Vern Burns and Stairways

AO: The Ridge

When: 02/20/2021


Number of Pax: 10

Pax Names: 5-Putt, Beatbox, Better Call Saul, Bone Spur, Corningstone, Fish Sticks, Heifer, Pawn Star, Sheldon, Tourniquet,

Number of FNGS: 0

FNG Names:

QIC: 5-Putt

The BackBlast:


I woke up at 4:00am, even though my alarm was set for 5:30am.  There was not even a thought about going back to sleep—I was much too excited for this workout!  My plan was to recreate two workouts that kicked my butt in my early days of F3.  Not only was it going to be a chance to redeem myself, but I was looking forward to sharing parts of these burners with the PAX.  My wife woke up to congratulate me on my one-year anniversary…that was pretty cool because I hadn’t been talking about it, she just remembered.  So instead of going back to sleep, I sat down in the kitchen and could not stop thinking about my last year in F3.  I was having the strongest feelings and it actually caused me to rewrite my CoT, which I already had planned in advance.  Afterwards I checked the weather for the thirteenth time…cold (-2) but no wind.  Not bad for what I was planning.  I knew we would be moving non-stop, so I decided to leave off a couple layers today.  Grabbed my speaker and headed to the Ridge at 6:00am to set up.

I went for a run last night around the Ridge to make sure the paths were clear.  And then I double-checked them this morning.  I had a plan, and I really wanted to use the paths.  Not only am I tired of parking lot workouts, but I had this Q planned for 8 months and I wanted to move around the AO.  Paths were just fine.  I checked the hill to make sure we would be able to bear crawl up it…once again, not a problem.

A little bummed at the low turnout, because I thought this was going to be a good bootcamp that many people would enjoy.  But I do like small groups.  10 was perfect.  PAX arrived and mostly waited in their cars until the last minute.  Was able to chat with Tourniquet about his new job, and was pleased to hear Bunker is at Tourniquet’s hospital and he was able to pay him a visit yesterday!  Pawn Star rolled in complaining about Toady’s workout at EOP.  Sounds like it was merkin-heavy, which made me happy because I had a leg burner planned.  6:30am and ready to roll!


Motivators (7)

Good Mornings (10)

Goofballs (10)

Tappy Taps (10)

Arm Circles (10/10)

Thang 1: Recreate my first Vern Burn

Pearls on a string. Ran the inside loop of Grand Park, about ¼ mile at a time.  Fast runners stopped at the cone, turned around and jogged back to pick up the six.  Everybody finished each leg at the same time.  Stopped three times for exercises before ending at the hill.

Stop 1:

10 – Merkins

20 – Bonnie Blairs

30 – Cobra Squats

40 – Bobby Hurley’s

Stop 2:

10 – Merkins

20 – Bonnie Blairs

30 – Cobra Squats

40 – Bobby Hurley’s

Stop 3:

10 – Merkins

20 – Bonnie Blairs

30 – Cobra Squats

40 – Overhead Claps

Thang 2:  Recreate Tourniquet’s Stairway to Seven (Hill)

1 Burpee at first cone at the bottom of the hill

Bear crawl 1/3 of the way up the hill to the next cone:  1 Merkin

Bear crawl the next 1/3 of the way up the hill to the next cone: 1 Big Boy

Bear crawl to the top of the hill: 1 Squat

Run back down the hill and and keep running on the path to the street, turn around and run back to the bottom of the hill.

Rinse and repeat increasing the rep count each time up the hill until you complete 7 of each exercise.

*Bone Spur might have finished all 7 rounds…pretty impressive considering the amount of time we had.

I ended up logging just under 3 miles.  But I didn’t tell Corningstone that–he might never come to one of my Q’s again.


I believe a CoT should be thoughtful, and I believe it is thoughtful to be thankful.  Therefore, I like to share that which I am thankful for during my CoT’s.  Today I am going to do that in a roundabout way.

I don’t do a good job celebrating the things in my life that excite me.  This is very contradictory because I actively encourage others to share what excites them, and I am always eager to celebrate with them.

Regardless, I was VERY excited about today.  Having stuck with F3 for one year is a meaningful accomplishment to me because I feel as though it has directly caused a significant change in this stage of my life.

When I was in my 20’s and early 30’s I felt like I had everything.  I was in great physical shape coming out of college, I was in great intellectual shape as I had just finished grad school.  I had an abnormally large number of very close friends, a fun, rewarding job and an even more fun, more rewarding hobby teaching college philosophy.

After I was married in my late 30’s and started a family, everything changed.  I suddenly found myself with zero friends, I fell out of shape and I stopped teaching philosophy in order to focus on raising my kids.  I was actively aware of the sacrifices I was making.  It was the saddest time in my life, and strangely, looking back I would not change anything because I deeply valued how I focused on my children during these years—and I still do today.

Now, as I look back over the past year, I am very excited to see things changing again.  I am in better physical shape.  I have more meaningful interactions with people.  I still give proper attention to my kids and wife.  And I am proud of several professional accomplishments.

I feel as though I have taken an important step in an important direction.  And I am excited to say that it is only the first step, with many more good steps to come.  Now is the time to cultivate friendships, to accelerate physically and to start heading back down the path of intellectual stimulation.  Not only is it rewarding for me personally, but I believe it is important for my children to learn the value of each of these things.

So, what am I thankful for?  I am thankful for the effect F3—and each of you here today—have had on me:

Corningstone, your constant drive to improve your health is inspiring and your eagerness to talk about F3 at work motivates me, and everybody else we work with, throughout the day.  Thank you!

Heifer, I know your dad well, and while I have only chatted with you recently, it is clear that you—and your commitment to working out—reflects well upon your dad and your family.  I certainly look forward to posting with you in the future.  Thank you!

Bone Spur, you are one of the nicest and most positive people in F3.  You motivate me to push harder and get better, and you have that same effect on many others on a daily basis—thank you!

Beatbox, you are an interesting 16 year old.  Sometimes we think you are 12, and sometimes you come across as an adult!  You are creative and thoughtful, and I don’t know many kids your age who could commit to showing up in the gloom like you do.  I hope I am able to teach some of what you have to my kids when they are your age.  Thank you!

Sheldon, your commitment to F3 is unquestioned.  Not just because of the coffee, which allows us to have an important 2nd F every day, but because you show up every day to get better.  And you ARE getting better, even though I’m not sure you realize it sometimes.  Thank you for pushing us all to keep showing up and improving!

Fish Sticks, for years you have motivated myself and many others at work to be better, and to be a nicer person.  You are a fantastic role model.  It has been my absolute pleasure to have so many people in F3 go out of their way to tell me how much they appreciate getting to know you.  It makes me very proud to be associated with you.  Thank you!

Tourniquet, what you accomplished in growing F3 has affected me profoundly.  You should be incredibly proud of the positive effects you have on so many people.  Thank you!

Pawn Star, it has been my pleasure to get to know you a little bit more and to see how you wear your heart on your sleeve.  Your drive to grow 3rd F is absolutely inspirational, and I have benefited  greatly from your contributions at Q-source.  Thank you!

Saul, you are very quiet, but you show up and push hard during every workout.  Additionally, I have enjoyed getting to know Second City.  He is a fantastic kid, and you should be proud of what you have accomplished as a father.  I hope I have similar effects on my kids when they are his age. Thank you!

So, to sum it up very simply, my past year in F3 has made me better because of the people that surround me every day.  Thank you to each of you who showed up today—and thank you to SO MANY more who have had positive effects upon me over the last year.  I sincerely cannot thank each of you enough.  What you have done means more for me than you might ever know.