I arrived at 4:15 am and ran 2 miles in the rain before everyone got there. I had a hard time sleeping last night and was nervous about the Circle of Trust that I had prepared. The rain stopped in time for the workout to begin at 5:15am. I started with the typical language:
It’s 5:15 so let’s get started. This is a free, volunteer, peer-led workout. I am definitely not a professional. I have no knowledge of any injuries or fitness considerations that you might have. It is each person’s responsibility to be safe and modify exercises if you need to. We all do it, most important thing is that you don’t get hurt. F3 has 5 principles to make sure that it is an F3 workout:
- Be free of charge
- Be open to all men
- Be held outdoors, rain or shine, heat or cold
- Be led by men who participate in the workout in a rotating fashion with no training necessary
- End with a circle of trust
Side Strattle Hops (20)
Abe vigodas (10)
For the last exercise, we did Sun Salutation Broga that is part of my warm ups before I come out in the gloom.
I will explain the steps and then we hold each pose while I count to 10.
Today, we will head over to the pavilion with our coupon.
Spread out around the perimeter in the circle with your coupon. You will do 25 reps of the upper body exercise then 10 reps of the lower body exercise then you will run down the path to the little triangular turnabout that I have marked with lights and you will do 2 merkins and run back.
You will move onto the next upper and lower body exercise and run back and increase your merkins by 2 so now 4 this time and run back to the pavilion.
I have the upper and lower body exercises written out on the sign in the center of the pavilion. The one lower body exercise that needs explanation is the Foundation Kicks. They are a deep squat and you shift over and do a front snap kick to the left then back to the deep squat and then shift over to the right and do a front snap kick. You will do 5 with each leg for the 10 total.
Curls( 25)/10 step-ups (5 each leg)
Run and 2 merkins at the station down the path marked with lights
Shoulder Presses (25)/10 lunges (5 each leg)
Run and add 2 merkins from last time at the station down the path marked with lights (this time 4 merkins)
Bent Over Rows (25)/10 Foundation Squats (5 kicks with each leg)
Run and add 2 merkins from last time at the station down the path marked with lights (this time 6 merkins)
Dips (25)/10 Air Squats
Run and add 2 merkins from last time at the station down the path marked with lights (this time 8 merkins)
Rinse and repeat until Mary.
Big Boys on my count (35 REPS)
Pickle Pushers on my count (20)
Scissor Kicks in cadence (15)
LBC’s in cadence (15)
Held high planks for the last 40 seconds until 6am
NAME-O-RAMA and Announcements
For Circle of Trust I want to talk about vulnerability. Since childhood, many men are taught that vulnerability equals weakness and therefore men are not supposed to be vulnerable. It can be difficult to be vulnerable from a fear of feeling embarrassed or being hurt by someone’s response. Vulnerability is a strength.
Vulnerability must take place with people that you have built a trust with. Being vulnerable takes away the pressure that you have to do this on your own. It also helps to voice your feelings which actually helps to decrease the impact of your emotions and overcome them faster.
Several of you have been very vulnerable and shared over the last few months and have touched me more than you can imagine. Fish Sticks, Toby, Disco Ball, Dilly Dilly. I have been vulnerable with some of you over the past several months about my toxic relationship with my ex wife. I was married to her for just about 15 years and experienced extreme emotional abuse, manipulation, and her infidelity. I tried working it out for years but it takes both people to be willing to participate and both have to admit wrongdoing. I heard phrases like “how could anyone love you?” or “you can’t do anything right” and also remember spending Father’s day with my young daughters alone because my wife left to go with her male friend for several hours. She went on multiple weekend trips with him staying in the same hotel room and I was told that it was to save money and to quit being jealous. I am telling you this not for your pity but just as a background and after years of this I hit bottom in February of 2015 after suffering from severe depression and extreme anxiety for years. I remember the major fight the night before when my ex told me that she accepted a new job and we were moving before discussing it with me. I heard many of the negative things about me and then how her job was the one that supports the family. I didn’t sleep as happened many nights in the years leading up to then. I went to work the next morning and found a letter that she wrote and tucked in my laptop so I wouldn’t find it until I was at work. It was two pages and told me how she can’t put up with me and all of the bad things that I do. It told me a list of things that she said that I did or need to change and how could someone love that kind of person. I vowed that if I am this messed up that I will get help and fix myself. I had officially hit rock bottom. I had lived for years with severe depression and anxiety and the only thing that I woke up for in the morning was I HAD to be there for my children. She cared about herself first and foremost and so my kids needed me. Up until that point, I hadn’t opened up with any friends or family about the state of my marriage relationship. I allowed myself to be vulnerable that morning and talked to a good friend who I worked with for a long time about my personal life. I also made an appointment with a therapist and saw her within the next day or two. After a month of visits, she helped me to cypher through the crap and you know what. I wasn’t this terrible person and there were a lot of discrepancies in my ex-wife’s version of events and reality. She became more aggressive and meaner as I became healthy and she lost her control over me. She refused to see couples counseling until after I had eventually filed for divorce later that year. She contacted my friends and told them that I was insane and had lost touch with reality. She spread this throughout the friends in the neighborhood and school. During the divorce, I had to defend against unfounded allegations of abusive drunk behavior. These were ridiculous and outright lies which I easily proved for the court. I have dealt and have let go the resentment that I held onto for years. I allowed myself to open up and be vulnerable after that terrible experience and I was remarried in 2018 to an amazing woman who is such a good person. I continue to struggle overcoming my hurts and damage from the past and to keep allowing myself to be vulnerable. My journey of healing made some great gains over the past 8 months since I joined F3. I have been told by my wife, my counselor and my Dad that they have noticed such a huge change in my anxiety and mood since I have been coming out in the gloom. I strive to continue to accelerate in my emotional healing as I have in my fitness. Every day is a struggle to not let my anxiety run my life as it did for years. I have to constantly remind myself to not dwell on things out of my control such as other people’s actions. Gaining control of my life again started with allowing myself to be vulnerable.
My challenge to you today is to take a chance and be vulnerable if you have not and are going through tough times. You are not alone and it can and will get better.
Ended with prayer.