So about a year ago, in mid July, I was told by 2 friends about this boot camp thing called F3. They both knew I had talked about trying to get in shape and neither realized (as far as I knew) they both were getting on my case to check it out. So I figured I should look into it.
I was so tired of being tired, tired of seeing my weight yo yo up and down, tired of diets that don’t work, tired of supplements that, if you believe the info, will get you skinny/ripped without changing a thing in your life.
I realized I can’t rely on any fad workout either whether it’s P90X, Insanity etc. as good as those can be it is hard to stay motivated when you are by yourself. I already knew fitness equipment turned into drying racks for clothes and/or dust gatherers. I had seen the difference it can make in the friends that told me about it and thought I should just give it a shot.
Knowing I had not worked out in probably a year I thought I would jog around the block for a few days before I started just to get my muscles moving again. The next week I got there just before 5:30am to stretch out since I was told it starts at 5:30am sharp. Being up at that time was rough in itself, then the first words I heard out of the guy leading, nicknamed “Dora” (Everyone gets a nickname) when we lined up was “This is a little different but we are doing the Marine Recon Short Card Workout!”. That did not sound like a good day to start but no turning back now!
I was about 10 minutes in and wondered when was the water break, I quickly realized there would not be one and that is when the thoughts of ‘these guys are crazy!’ popped into my mind!
I could not keep up at all physically and every exercise has a nickname so I had to watch what everyone was doing to even pretend like I could keep up and was not dying. I would stop just short of tossing what little I had in my stomach that morning! Throughout the beatdown I had some guys encourage me through what felt like a “near death” experience and that was the key! As I drove home I had an internal conflict thinking I was going to die from what I just went through and how awesome it was!
F3 stands for Fitness, Fellowship & Faith. It is a free peer-led bootcamp workout. The guys that started this crazy thing are right when they say that the 1st F (Fitness) got me there, but it was the 2nd F (Fellowship) with a group of guys who I didn’t even know that was the glue to keep me, or make me want to come back. While many guys are Christian it is open to anyone and the 3rd F (Faith) plays out through being involved in things that are bigger and outside of you. This includes programs where you can step up & help others less fortunate locally, raising money for Wounded Warrior Project and other non-profits, Bible studies and many other things. None of it is mandatory, but it is there to help make us better men. This includes leadership because after you are involved for a period of time you are expected to lead a workout from time to time.
I was not an athlete and to be totally transparent, had no father figure in my life to push me or instill that desire to push for more, in other words I was pretty lazy. Though my new faith in Christ during my college years gave me another “Father” to try to model many things after in my life, F3 gave me a practical place to be pushed and grow in many ways including leadership. Over the course of this past year, not only have I connected with other guys that push me, but I have also encouraged and pushed others physically, personally and spiritually. While I still feel like I lag behind a lot of guys, that’s ok, it’s a brotherhood that helps and does not put down. I just remind myself I am getting stronger every day, so are they, and that is good.
I learned early on that I need to judge my ability by where I started and how far I have come. Here we are today and the fact that I “Q’ed” (led) the Marine Recon Short Card Workout recently, that I thought would kill me 1 year earlier was a very proud moment for myself.
I stuck with it and will continue to do so thanks to the guys and this movement of F3 Nation!