October 17, 2020


Oh, could one ask for a finer morning at Shelby Farms? 40-odd degrees, sunny, and fine.


I was as welcoming as I’m capable of (sort of, in other words), and I disclaimed folks in an off-handed and jaded way, which was wrong of me, ’cause we had an FNG.
20 SSH, 10 Daisy Pickers, 10 Michael Phelps, 10 Sumo Squats, 10 Sumo Lunges

All PAX were issued an old tire and a slightly used Slam Ball.  The tires range from 18 lbs or so to 28 lbs or so.  The Slam Balls ranged from 20 to 40 lbs.  I had a 10 lb ball for anyone with concerns over shoulder issues.  It wasn’t used.

I announced that there would be no workout, but we would instead play a game.  The game is BasketGolfSlamHuck.  It consists of a deep sumo-style squat, whereupon the PAX lifts his old tire, and throwing obliquely (off to one side or the other) as nearly level as possible, to put the tire at some distance from himself downrange.  Then, shifting 90 degrees to square up to the tire, he stands behind his slam-ball, squats, lifts, curls, overheads, tricep presses the dang thing, then hucks it as hard as necessary in order to land it in the tire.  The following tire throw must be with the opposite arm.  PAX may throw from either side of the tire, so long as they alternate arms.  That’s the basic moves.  Modifications are encouraged, such as Overhead backward tire throws, chest passes, or granny throws- whatever puts the tire at a reasonable distance and/or covers the space between the PAX and the ‘hole’.   PAX must throw the balls leaving at least one foot behind the space where the ball was lifted. If a second throw (or ‘Putt’) is required, overhead behind-the-back or ‘hike’ between the legs throws were encouraged.  Oblique throws into the hole are good, too.  Dead drops are acceptable, and more so as everyone’s arms start giving out.

Every ‘hole’ is a par 1.  Every lift (tire and ball) requires a complete and clean squat.  When a second (or, heaven help you, a third) throw (“Putt”) is necessary to put the ball in the hole, the PAX must perform Mountain Climbers equal to the number of strokes his game is currently ‘over’.  Most PAX ended the game in the high teens.  Everyone’s performance was impressive.  While working out this game over the past few weeks, I ended in the twenties, and it would have been more if I hadn’t been trying crazy stuff to see how to make the game work.

We circled a large copse of trees, working uphill sometimes, and in and out of the grass or pavement.  Simple, and effective work on legs, obliques, and shoulders.

When there were seven minutes left in the workout, “Carry Mary” was called and we picked up our toys and hustled to Startex.  We arrived back with a minute to spare and filled it with Flutter Kicks.

9 PAX.  Landline, Tackleberry, Webelo, Hobo, Dawson, Evan Almighty, Tremor, Barnum, lanFNG Enos (Enis?)

My favorite aphorism is “The assumptions you don’t know you’re making are doing you the most harm.”  Your world view is built on rules and observations and lessons that pile up willy-nilly as you make your life, and few of us ever take it out and look it over to see what we’re assuming that is wrong or outdated or misunderstood or correct.

The story I like to tell to exemplify the aphorism is when my Brother-in-Law brought his daughter into my studio where I was using a light table to transfer my sketches to another sheet of inking paper to avoid pencil lines on the finished art.  My niece suddenly burst into the accusation “You’re cheating! You’re cheating!”  When her father tried to shush her, I stopped him and said we should discover what’s up.  I asked her what the ‘rule’ is I was breaking.  She said that artists never, ever trace.  I said, “Okay, when and where did you learn that?”  She said it was all the way back in Kindergarten, the answer I expected.  So I showed her my sketch and my finished drawing and asked her why I worked that way.  She agreed that the sketch was mine, and that the finished art didn’t NEED to have pencil lines on it.  So we discovered that she learned a ‘rule’ that is good and proper in Kindergarten, but doesn’t actually apply in the context of a trained graphic artist in the course of day to day work (said artist not being, entirely, a Kindergartener)  She had to adjust her world view, and had never done so- nor probably had reason to.

So- some of our assumptions (the shorthand way we learn to categorize the world and rarely consider thereafter) lead us pretty badly astray, depending on how deeply we embrace them, how outdated they are, and how little we examine them for adjustment.  It’s the fact that we don’t realize that we’re making assumptions that leave us shrieking at other people “You’re cheating,  you’re cheating” without first considering where and when our assumptions come from.

I like this workout.  I’ve been doing it solo every Friday for a month, and occasionally in various forms before that.  It started out as a simple set of different lifts and throws, then evolved to include the old tire, and only recently to have the scorekeeping MountainClimbers.

The ‘game’ aspect of it keeps me entirely engaged the whole time.  I hope to get input from all the PAX involved to see what their reactions are.  I don’t want to assume that everyone responds to it the way I have.  I enjoy mountain biking and offroad unicycling, but I know people utterly disinterested in those challenges who genuinely love road biking, a form of riding that I, in my turn, dislike.

I’d be best pleased to discover that this useful workout suits enough people that it could become another side of F3, but I doubt that many people would want to order Slam-Balls and gather on Fridays.  We’ll see.


Workout Date: