WHERE: The Cheetah
THE PAX: Glow Plug (Respect), Harp, Title 9, Chitwood, FNG Lane (“Uncle Si”), Papa John, Cricket, Cuban (Respect), Ricky Bobby, A.C., Hooch
Total # of PAX: 11
YHC arrived promptly at 4:55 am to spruce up the AO. Prep work included some trash pick-up, illuminating the basketball court, setting out a Cone Zone rectangle, and finally scaling the 8′ A-Frame to hang some nets on the forlorn schoolyard basketball goals. Time to stow the ladder and join the growing circle of smiling men for some chatter and stretching. Chitwood brought his B-I-L out for some FNG fun, so we went ahead with the disclaimer even before venturing out into the especially dark gloom that resides on the second half of the HSES loop.
Mosey one lap around the school from the Shovel Flag to the Cone Zone (north 3/4 of the basketball court). Circle up for some:
Don Quixote (F3 Royalty Moment: Manning mentioned as our exercise briefly resembled the Manning Windmill)
The Goofball (Not everyone got to climb a real ladder, and I like to share experiences)
The Dancing Bear (foreshadowing)
SSH (x 25 IC)
Staying in our circle inside the Cone Zone, one PAX at a time left the circle to go attempt (key word) to make a free throw. Basketball has always been my sport, as you can tell by my stature. Again, I like to share experiences, so being constantly mistaken for an NBA star, my bros were welcomed into the glory of the b-ball court this fine morning.
The amount of time it took each subsequent PAX to sink a free throw (ehem, or reach the shameful maximum of 10 shot attempts, as was the case on more than one occasion) determined how many reps we got in over in the Cone Zone. As an intermittent stream of mumble chatter, encouragement to the shooter, and a bit of trash talk were uttered, YHC led the circle of PAX from the center in a scattershot quasi-rotation of the following exercises:
Squats (AMRAP, OYO)
Alternating Lunges (AMRAP, OYO)
SSH (In Cadence – one bricker made us do like 44 IC)
LBC (AMRAP, OYO)
Reverse LBC (AMRAP, OYO)
After the first round, our half-time pep-talk took the form of one Bear Crawl lap around the Cone Zone. After round 2, the victory celebration was only to be had after a Cone Zone lap of Crawl Bear (that is, a backwards Bear Crawl that will make either a man or a minion out of ya).
Sucking wind and chattering about the awfulness of the Crawl Bear, we lined up for our final lap around the school. One cycle through the PAX in Indian Run, followed by a quick mosey for the rest of the lap, as the second half really is dark and dangerous (Just ask A.C.’s left ankle. Not to worry: he stayed afoot after a brief stumble and was not injured).
6 Minutes of Mary? No, thank you. Only way to close out the morning and satisfy these rising Kings of the Court was some shirts and skins basketball (F3 Royalty Moment: Yes, Homeboy, you were with us in spirit, as I lost my shirt for the first time at an F3 workout). 6-on-5, with the eldest playing all-time offense. I must at this point divulge that (a) I cannot seem to be in the key precisely when the ball is passed to where I should have been, and (b) Team 2 (Shirts) won by a count of 5-2. But we have some real hoopsters among us, including the visiting FNG from Illinois. Appropriate, as the bro-in-law of the one and only Hoosier man himself, Jimmy Chitwood.
CIRCLE OF TRUST:
Despite its tricky spelling, “Maurer” is actually pronounced a lot like “Mallard” (esp. to Cricket as a truck drives by to drown out the FNG’s speech), and hence the Duck Dynasty direction. Welcome, FNG – “Uncle Si”. Go drive an hour and a half to your nearest AO back home, and have them help you launch F3 in your hometown! You KILLED it out there this morning.
We are praying for our brother, Kiffin. It may be your knee that’s keeping you from the gloom, but we know the most painful part is just that – not being out in the gloom with your brothers, getting stronger. Your presence was missed.
We are also praying for PAX, friends, and family members enduring cancer treatment and recovery. For God’s gracious hand on the Power in Unity event in Woodstock this Sunday, that an impact will be made on many hearts and lives with ever-increasing ripple effects into our community and beyond. And for our impact as individuals within our circle of influence, that we would feel the full weight of knowing that we cannot re-live our lives.
We get “one shot” at navigating the relationships and circumstances of life. It could be over in 60 years. Or it could all end today. We are all going to miss some shots, as evidenced on the court this morning. But we have a sure hope, that we are not only forgiven, but also given new life in Jesus Christ to be transformed to know and show His love to those He has placed in our path. He has given you all you need to succeed. Now, take your time and make your free throws with care, gentlemen. The spectators in your game of life will remember how you played.
– When the Q finds himself up before the gloom even KNOWS it’s the gloom, then 10 feet in the air in a dark, deserted schoolyard… the first set of headlights pulling in to wonder why he’s on a ladder truly brings a greater sense of encouragement than usual.
– YHC unintentionally went out of turn on the first time around the circle. My bad, A.C. And yes, I am guilty of calling an exercise I didn’t want to do as I crossed the court to lay bricks.
– No amount of reminding and chiding yesterday seems to have been enough – no shovel flag picture was captured.
– Cuban is a straight up BALLA. Pretty sure he maxxed out on free throw attempts first round, but that was apparently just out of humility, not wanting the other PAX to be ashamed of their game. He drained his first shot in round two, then went Homeboy (aka shirtless) and rocked some point guard. Elected to play all-time-offense at the end of the drill, he was sure to win no matter what.
– F3 is my favorite game-changer this year. Thank you to each man who posted at the Cheetah this morning. Your presence and fellowship were and are an encouragement to me. Go make some shots.