I vividly recall Sway’s words when I made the first call to the F3 Columbia Nantan. He asked me, “How many men do you regularly associate with that are not your wife’s best friend’s husbands or your children’s best friend’s dads.” My answer was quickly NONE! I knew I needed to get back in shape but I did not know how badly I needed the fellowship of other men. I had no idea the impact F3 would have on my life physically, mentally and spiritually. I had no idea that a brotherhood of men from all walks of life was about to be formed, but I was beyond excited. I quickly realized that is what F3 is all about. The fitness part is just the bait, but it’s what happens before, after, and between workouts that really make it happen.
In the beginning it was an honor to be the PAX that possessed the shovel flag and you had the great honor of stabbing it into ground before the next work out. I was proud to slap on my black fitted Mudgear shirt with F3 stamped in the center of my chest. All the PAX wore their F3 shirts and everybody had a sense of belonging to something much greater than themselves like we were some crazy bunch of superheroes meeting up in the gloom. It was hard to understand why anyone would NOT want to participate in such an awesome organization. I was busting it at workouts and saw huge improvements in my fitness. It was a privilege to lead my brothers in tough beat downs that left you dragging yourself back to your car. The harder and more ridiculous the workout, the better it was! Writing back blast of all the crazy hard things you made the PAX do, all the mumble chatter you had to put up with, and celebrating the new PAX and their new nicknames each work out made it even better. Missing a workout was not an option. I recall 3rd Fs at the intimate quiet setting of the Cast Iron Waffle where men would pour out deep stuff that often punched me in the gut and made me want to be a better man. Iron was seriously sharpening iron. We were sharing the F3 message with anybody that would listen and getting told “no thanks, that is way too early” was the norm and we didn’t care. We kept asking anyway. We knew that if you stand up to pee, you need F3 (totally just made that up but I like it).
Anyway fellas, it has been 4 ½ years and I often feel like those were the good old days. I believe we (with the exception of a few) have fallen away from the standard of F3 and need to regain the fire that we once had. You want more from F3? Then give more to F3! You may ask how can I do that? Be accountable, sign up to Q, bring the shovel flag, wear your F3 gear, design well thought out tough workouts, write back blasts, be consistent in your attendance, be 3rd, pick up the six, enjoy mumble chatter, spill occasional merlot (its ok), lead at 3rd F, call your brothers out, pray with and for your brothers, be there when you say you will be there, and most importantly slay sad clowns by inviting every man that you can to post in the gloom.
Somewhere in the mix of changing jobs, opening a new business, healing from injuries, having close PAX members moving away or stop coming, kids getting older (and being even busier), things changed a lot for me in F3. I am sure I didn’t always fulfill my duties as Nantan the best that I should have. Harry S. Truman is known for his phrase “The buck stops here” and I guess I could say that myself, but F3 is much greater than just one person or group of persons leading. Ultimately this fall from the standard is all of our faults. We are all “Free to Lead” and we all need to hold each other to a higher standard and continue to sharpen each other daily.
I believe new leadership is healthy and needed at F3 Florence. Therefore, I plan to step down as F3 Florence’s Nantan at this time. I am certain that the new leadership team that steps up will thrive and continue to grow this much needed organization of men. I am proud to have played a role in getting this thing going here in Florence, but most of all I am proud to have the distinct pleasure of calling you my F3 brothers. Thank you to all that put forth great effort into making F3 Florence what it is and will become. Of course I will continue to post as often as I can and promote F3 every chance I get, but isn’t that what we all should be doing?
In HIS grip,