Black Ops Iron Pax Challenge Pt. 1 @ The Annex

THE SCENE: Beautiful Evening, plagued with skeeters. The list of things in my vehicle are growing (toilet paper, epi pen (for grass allergies), and now bug spray.
As people kept trickling in I continuously gave a disclaimer and a heads up on what was actually going down. Slots n Four Eyes stretched responsibly on their own
IRON PAX CHALLENGE part 1: IT SUCKS(ed)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (more so on the 2nd attempt of the day)

  • 30 MERKINS
  • 400m RUN
  • Repeat the above for a full 4 sets.

When Slots and Four Eyes crossed the finish line we cut it short.
7 PAX got better at a more Christian hour: Slots, Four Eyes, Nature Boy (Clipboard Q), WOW (fng), Quikrete (fng), Woke (fng), and speedy (q)

KUDOS to BILLY BLANKS who brought the encouragement, the Jerry’s, and his M to the big kickoff! its always a treat.
Words about the mission of F3 were spoken due to the evangelistic nature of the black ops.
Slots and Four Eyes went to Town on this challenge. I’m glad they had each other to be pushed by, cause YHC was outta gas. WOW hung in for the entire 4 rounds, only modifying the number of reps, and kept up the encouragement. Quikrete had already done about 3 laps around the mile track before we got rolling and was pretty winded. He did a round and assisted in the Clipboard Q with Nature Boy after that. Nature Boy brought the encouragement and was pushing everyone through. I hadn’t really thought about calling out times and keeping up with rep counts, so it was very helpful. Woke hung in for the first round, then jogged a bit and encouraged the finishers. Everyone did a great job, the challenge was difficult and taxing to say the least, and YHC is glad to have been apart of it. Tclaps to everyone who participated in this challenge.
Grow ruck, and the City Tour was mentioned.

Box-Jump-Pull – Warriors Center Black Ops

THE SCENE: Nice breezy morning, uncharacteristic for Memphis in August

Side Straddle Hops x 20
Big Baby Arm Circles x 10
Little Baby Arm Circles x 10
Windmills x 15

Mosey to Brentwood Park

Break into two teams by counting off

Team 1 do Box Jumps on ledge
Team 2 do Pull-ups on swingset (Reverse Rows to modify)
Stay together as a team, wait for slower PAX
Burpee Broad Jump across the playground to next exercise

Begin with 5 reps then add 5 each set.  We got up to 20.

Mosey back

Dealer’s Choice:

Mountain Climber ABCs (26)
Freddie Mercury x20
American Hammer x 25
Iron Cross 45 secs
Hiphop Anonymous x20
LBC x20

Costello, Bottomless, Handsy, MmmBop, Teacher’s Pet, Toms, Father Abraham, Food Fight, Tomb Raider, Soybean, Crayfish – FNGs Slurpee, 24/7, Dude Ranch

Mark chapter 2 tells of when Jesus was surrounded by a crowd.  There was no way to get near him but a paralytic and his friends found a way.  They went through the roof.  HIM need to make a way forward, be intentional about moving toward Jesus.  What imaginary obstacles stand between you and your purpose?  Move forward, make a way, pursue Jesus.

The 4-Round-Downtown-Beatdown

THE SCENE: a Memphis July morning (miserably humid and 76 degrees)

  • SSH X20
  • Leg stretches
  • Mosey to TLP Pull Up Bars

Accompanied by 200 watts of hip hop BANGERS, the PAX began 4 rounds of partner beatdowns:

  • Round 1/Partner 1:
    • 5 Pull Ups
    • 5 Merkins
    • 5 Dips
    • 5 Burpees
    • hold plank til partner is back
  • Round 1/Partner 2:
    • Sprint approx. 50m and back (to the end of the monkeybars)
  • (SWITCH)
  • Round 2/Partner 1:
    • 10 Pull Ups
    • 10 Merkins
    • 10 Dips
    • 10 Burpees
    • hold plank til partner is back
  • Round 2/Partner 2:
    • Sprint approx. 200m and back (to the base of BSL)
  • (SWITCH)
  • Round 2/Partner 1:
    • 10 Pull Ups
    • 10 Merkins
    • 10 Dips
    • 10 Burpees
    • hold plank til partner is back
  • Round 2/Partner 2:
    • Sprint approx. 200m and back (to the base of BSL)
  • (SWITCH)
  • Round 3/Partner 1:
    • 10 Pull Ups
    • 10 Merkins
    • 10 Dips
    • 10 Burpees
    • hold plank til partner is back
  • Round 3/Partner 2:
    • Sprint approx. 300m and back (to the top of BSL)
  • (SWITCH)
  • Round 4/Partner 1:
    • 10 Pull Ups
    • 10 Merkins
    • 10 Dips
    • 10 Burpees
    • hold plank til partner is back
  • Round 4/Partner 2:
    • Sprint approx. 400m and back (completely up and over to opposite end of BSL)
  • (SWITCH)
  • MARY:
  • Flutter Kicks X 20, hold feet 6in for 20 count (last 10 count down)
  • LBC’s X 20, hold feet at 90 degree angle for 20 count (last 10 count down out loud)
  • Mosey/stair sprint back to startex
    11 PAX
  • 1 FNG – Ciacetti
    James 1:2 – Count it all joy my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness and let steadfastness have it’s full effect, that you may become mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

    • Going all out ensures that we’re growing beyond our current capacity – work the hills in life, knowing God’s promise is to fill in the gaps between what He’s called you to and what you’re able to do in your own weak self.ANNOUNCEMENTS:
      Overwhelming PAX support for The Ruins to set down roots as an official AO

RUINS rush of blood to the head

THE SCENE: “The Ruins,” aka Spaghetti Warehouse/Tom Lee Park. Muggy, 78 degrees, loads of dew and water sprinklers.


  1. Welcome: I am not a professional
  2. You are participating at your own risk
  3. You are responsible for your own wellbeing
  4. You are here voluntarily, and you are not paying to be here
  5. Know your limits and do the best you can, all exercises can be modified and are only suggestions.


20x SSH, 20 Imperial Walkers, Arm Circles 10 front 10 back, 10 Merkins in cadence, 10 Squats in cadence.


Mosey down BIG STAIRS to Tom Lee Monument. Flutter kick for six.

With partner, must get 100 box jumps and 50 derkins. Flutter for six.

Run fast to pull up bar tower.

With partner, get 40 burpee box jumps (on retaining wall) and 40 pullups. You can get help with pullups! Timber, @old man hitch

Run fast to monkey bar tower.

Conveyor belt: “derkin walk” along retaining wall, then do monkey bars. Some expressed 5th grade monkey bar memories more fondly than others.

Run fast to bottom of Beale street landing “hill.” Flutter kick for six. Partner carry to top (switch as often as needed) Wheelbarrow down with partner (switch as often as needed).

Find the concrete arch in the splashpad area. “derkin walk conveyor belt,” run to other end.

Mosey back to startex for Mary (see below). Fast up the steps.

ab/core exercises: HW Side crunch x10 each side (at base of steps).

Teacher’s Pet, Sir Mix A Lot, Tom’s, Soybean, Woodpecker, Hitch, Ramen, Four Eyes

It’s good to be reminded that God heals brokenness that we can’t heal. He will fix everything in his timing.

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13     and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.


THE RUINS ruined many a man this morning. Apparently having your head below your body is tougher than YHC expected. It was very hard. The pull up station, monkey bars, hills, stairs, etc lend themselves to at least 9,876,543,219 more variations of workouts we could do there.

Look out for CSAUP Ruck Simulation coming soon…

Sir Mix A Lot is Q’ing the next Ruins workout on 7/19…..

Baby Black Ops Beatdown

THE SCENE: Hot, humid 88F, felt like Hell. PAX met YHC at Baptist Memorial Women’s Hospital due to YHC having his 4th 2.0.



SSH x 20 IC

Imperial Walker x 20 IC

Windmills x 10 IC

Arm Circles x 10 IC (CW & CCW)

*mosey to Wolf River Greenline*


PAX ran 1.7 miles stopping at every bench and stone wall along the route.  At each stop 25 dips or 20 steps ups were performed, alternating along the route. Resting PAX held plank or performed flutter kicks until their turn. Total dips = >200, total step ups = >200.


At end of circuit, PAX performed Irkins, Derkins, and Merkins AMRAP until failure.

*mosey to parking garage*


PAX split into two groups. First group sprinted to top of garage via the stairs (4 floors) and came back down. The other group performed squats until first group returned. Rinsed and repeated.

Gas Pumps x 20 IC

Hollywood Side Crunch x 10 IC (each side)

Dealer’s Choice (O Positive picked Box Cutters x 10 IC CW & CCW)

5 PAX (1FNG): Bruce, O Positive, Woody, Carport, & FNG – Zippin Pippin

YHC didn’t prepare due to lack of sleep. However, YHC shared the importance of blessings and being thankful for what you have.  YHC is thankful for God, his family, newest 2.0, friends, and his F3 brothers who go out of their way to meet YHC in a hospital parking lot to make sure he got out and put some work in.

PAX endured the humid outside and got some #milez and circuit work in. F3 Memphis welcomes FNG Zippin Pippin.



*BLOP (Black Op): Cameron Brown Park: 81 degrees, still very light out at 7:30pm and…humid

F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER: Including what is the Mission of F3

**50 STARS ON THE US FLAG=50 reps
*SSH x 50 IC
*IMPERIAL WALKERS (moving in a circle clockwise as a unit) x 50 IC
*HILL BILLIES (moving in a circle clockwise as a unit) x 50 IC

YHC led PAX on a lil’ mosey around the nearby lake… .25 mile and back to STARTEX

THA-THANG:  Looks like a harmless parking lot, right? Right?!?
Part 1
>YHC designated 13 adjacent parking spots
*Each spot (1-13) represented the stripes on the flag and each spot was a unique exercise to be performed
*A timer of undetermined time (otherwise known only by YHC) was set before the PAX would move to the next spot and begin exercise
*The # of reps for the designated exercise that the PAX would be AMRAP at each stop until timer expired

**At each station and before YHC would set timer for PAX to begin YHC would flip a penny:

Heads=7 Burpees then set timer then start AMRAP exercises for that spot
Tails= 6 Merkins then set timer then start AMRAP exercices for that spot

*The order of the parking spots:

2=Side Straddle Hops
3=Standing Curls with Dumbbells
4=Alternating Shoulder Taps
5=Big Boy Sit Ups
6=Alternating Plank Flys with Dumbbells
8=Flutter Kicks
9=Mountain Climbers
10=Alternating Plank Deep Shoulder Shrugs with Dumbbells
12=Jump Squats
13=8-ct Body Builders

Penny Flips:
1=Heads (7 Burpees)
2=Heads (7 Burpees)
3=Heads (7 Burpees)
4=Heads (7 Burpees)
5=Heads (7 Burpees)
6=Tails (6 Merkins)
7=Heads (7 Burpees)
8=Tails (6 Merkins)
9=Heads (7 Burpees)
10=Heads (7 Burpees)
11=Tails (6 Merkins)
12=Heads (7 Burpees)
13=Heads (7 Burpees)

YHC would flip penny then YHC would start timer.  PAX would perfom the exercise reps that were dictated by the penny flips (heads/tails=burpees/merkins )specified.  YHC started on # 1.  YHC set timer and all PAX would begin.  All PAX would complete each station until finishing back at starting spot.

Next, YHC then moved onto # 2. YHC set timer and all PAX would begin.

After completing the 1st 4 numbers the PAX would run as a unit, single-file, on a lil’ mosey and return back to next spot.

After completing 8 numbers the PAX would mosey a lil’ more.

After 12 numbers…justa lil’ mosey

After completing all 13 numbers…Indian Run to finish


*Big Boy Sit Ups x 13 IC
*Lil’ Baby Crunches x 13 IC
*American Hammers x 13 IC
*Big Boy Sit Ups x 13 IC
*Lil’ Baby Crunches x 13 IC
*American Hammers x 13 IC

4; Anklet, Speedy, Barney and O Positive (YHC)


YHC prepared this pre-D-Day memorial beatdown in memory of his late father, Billie (born on June 6, 1925 and deceased in March 2008) who proudly served in the USAF for 20 years; enlisted underage just after Pearl Harbor at age 16, went straight to gunnery school and became a waist gunner for 50 missions over Occupied Europe during WWII shooting a .50 cal Browning machine gun to defend his B-26 medium range bomber, BAD PENNY, against enemy aircraft.  The 50 reps were in honor of the 50 stars on the United States flag.  The 13 exercise reps during Mary were in honor of the alternating 13 stripes on the United States flag.  The 7 burpees were in honor of the 7 red (courage/valor/blood shed) stripes and the 6 merkins were in honor of the 6 white (purity/innocence). Oh, and the penny…represented the name of my dad’s B-26 that he flew in…BAD PENNY.  Their motto…you could depend on them…’like a bad penny…we will always turn up.’  And that they did. **See below**

The Crusaders
Battle Honors:
‘To the 386th Bomb Group (M) for outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy in the European Theater of Operations.  During this period the 386th Bombardment Group (M) attained the most outstanding record of all B-26 Groups in terms of number of successful sorties flown, tonnage of bombs dispatched, and enemy aircraft destroyed while maintaining the highest bombing accuracy score.’


My father, like many men of the Greatest Generation and many after…he may not have lost his life because of the war…but he did lose his youth. RIP, Dad.   I love you and miss you. Thank you for your service.

Speaking of…serving and protecting…so great to see our active local law enforcement brothers (Barney and Speedy) taking part in tonight’s festivities. Also reminded the PAX of the F3 Mission and the reason why the F3 Mission is important to remember.

**PAX prayers were lifted up.

This work-out is rather simple yet versatile and will become a staple of YHC’s to share with the PAX at all AO’s when YHC is on Q especially around military holidays.  Turns out to be a great cardio work-out, too.  The PAX were quiet and crushed it.  Billy Blanks arrived to encourage the PAX right after Mary was over. Oh, and Speedy did the Macarena as his modify to the Alternating Shoulder Tap. Still not sure about that one. SMH…




Brucedown on the Bluff

THE SCENE: Monsoon and 50F



  • SSH x 15 IC
  • Squats x 10 IC
  • Arm Circles x 10 IC (CW & CCW)
  • Finkle Swings x 10 IC (each leg)

Street Signs
PAX ran a chosen route. When signs were approached PAX did exercises based on the type of sign.  Speed Limit signs = PAX did as many merkins as the speed limit for that area. No Parking signs = PAX lunge walked until the next No Parking sign.  Lunge walking got old quick being downtown, so we switched to side lunges mid-way.  Street signs (standard green ones) = PAX did as many burpees as letters in the street sign.  This also got old quick, so we switched to merkins since there is a lack of speed limit signs downtown.  For this workout, PAX ran 1.25 miles.

Proud Mary
Hollywood Side Crunch x 15 IC (each side)
Hands of Time (6″, 90 degrees, flutterkick 6″, flutterkick 90 degrees, Hello Dolly)

6 PAX (No FNGs): Bruce, Teacher’s Pet, Pirtle, Toms, Woodpecker, and Extended Stay

Q quoted Matthew 24:13, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved”.  This scripture factors into many parts of our lives: work, school, home, workouts, etc.  Those who push through the hard times will be rewarded. Whether it be struggling with a project at work, your relationship with Christ, your M at home, or a GORUCK event.  Rewards go to the finishers.

PAX took the scenic route and got drenched in that dirty water downtown, but enjoyed some hot joe in the pouring rain.

BrewRuck901 on 4/28, Bruce Memorial Workout at The Lair 4/30, and S.O.S. Service Project 5/5 from 8am-12pm.

Expose the Pecker – BLOPS


Cloudy and 64 degrees Fahrenheit next to the river.  I mosey’d one mile from work down to the park just before noon with FNG.  When we arrived at the park we saw crews setting up stages and fences for Memphis in May.  This was a problem because the parking lot was closed and I didn’t bring a phone.  At noon, no other PAX had showed.  I figured that the next likely place they may have parked would have been down at Martyr’s Park, so I left the FNG and ran that way.  Fortunately, the other PAX were waiting for me a mile in the opposite direction.  When I didn’t find them, I ran back to meet FNG at Beale St Landing.  Now I figured FNG and I were going to be alone.

FNG suggested that we sprint up the Landing hill.  I thought this was a bad idea, but I did it anyway.  Upon reaching the summit, I developed an early onset case of acute mountain sickness because I neglected to stop and camp for a day in the middle of the climb.  I felt like this was a good place to conclude the day’s exercising.

Shortly thereafter, I was surprised/relieved/wheezing to see three PAX ascending the other side of the hill.  We jumped in with a disclaimer and began warm-o-rama at the peak.  As we were just getting started, “guy in the orange shirt” passed by, was invited to join, and did so.  (I’m sure there’s an F3 word for that, but I haven’t learned it yet).  I believe some effort was made to get more information from him, but I’m not aware of how that went due to the high altitude pulmonary edema I was suffering.  For now, we’ll just assume he’s the ghost of one of the steamboat passengers that didn’t make it to Tom Lee’s skiff.


SSH x 21 IC

Daisy Pickers x 20 IC

Windmills x 20 IC

Mosey to bottom of hill.



Partnered up, one partner did exercise while the other ran up and down the hill.

50 Burpees

100 Overhand Claps

150 Merkins

200 Big boy sit ups

250 Squats

When “guy in the orange shirt” realized that he was supposed to do squats after running up the hill, he decided he’d rather resume drowning in the river and disappeared.  He put in really good work though.  Hopefully he’ll be back.

I felt like the using the hill like this was going to be terrible, but that it was the right thing to do.  It was worse than I expected.  However, I know that if was working out on my own I never would have done it more than once.  I did it a lot more than that today, and I’m thankful to be a part of a group that pushed me to do it.


Carolina Dry Dock x 15 OYO

American Hammer x 25 IC

Woodpecker, Phat Pat, Mama’s Boy, Bruce, Air Bud (FNG), ?


Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

Rambled about that some in relation to my winding career path.  My group at work was eliminated last week and I was assigned a new role.  I’m happy to still have a job, but struggle to make sense of things.  I’ve had several jobs that haven’t play out at all as expected and have felt unrewarding for lots of hard work.  I wish I could read verse 6 and know that because I believe in Him, He will provide a straight, easy path ahead with no obstacles.  I don’t think that’s how it works though.  When I look back I can see how  God has used different jobs and people there to teach me a lot that I needed to learn.  So for today I can know that He is working in me in this.  Whatever the path looks like along the way, the destination is Jesus, and He knows the best way there.

That is all.
Things are occurring.

Black Ops – Big River Mosey

THE SCENE: 59°F, 49% Humidity, Wind Speed 10.4mph SSE

Picked a playlist…
Mosey from the parking lot across the Big River Crossing (1.0mi)
“Don’t play your music so loud, those Sad Clowns might think you’re an @$$hole.”
20x Merkins

Mosey down the ramp to the WC’s (.25mi)
“I drank too much water. I need to pee.”
10x Single Leg Step-Ups on the Man-sized CMUs, 10x Flapjack

Mosey under the bridges back to the River (.65mi)
20x Toilet Squats M-CMUs
“My block is too tall, I can’t get low enough.”
10x Front Squat w/ Over-head Press, River Coupon (Rock)

Mosey back to Dacus Lake Rd (.42mi)
10x SSH IC
20x Inclined Merkins
Mosey to the bridge pillars (.12)
5x Up-n-Overs (~6ft wall)
“We can’t do them EVERY time, Hitch.”

Mosey up to the half domes (.38mi)
15x Plank, feet on dome, walk down to left, up, down to right, up
10x Plank, hands on dome, walk down to left, Merkin, up, down to right, Merkin, up
15x PAX 1 – BBS sitting on dome, PAX 2 Planking on ground with feet on PAX 1’s feet for counterweight
“We better get out of the way of these cyclists. They look like they mean business.”

Mosey back across the bridge to the car (1mi)
“Wow that downhill was nice, but now it’s uphill and it sucks.”

3.82mi total

Mary-d before we returned from Arkansas.
4, Tater, Four Eyes, FNG (Burro), Hitch
Talked about community and being intentional with where you are and who you are around. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few. Good thing God gives us grace with our limitations.
Tom Lee Park connects to the Big River Crossing via Martyr’s Park
::brooding foreshadow of a ruck-sim::

BLACK OPS: Ruck Ferguson

THE SCENE: Cold with ice slicks on rucking trail




    Teams carrying bag: Partners brisk walk/jog with 60 lb sandbag (front to back, side to side alternating). Transfer bag to next team on Q command.

    Teams without bag: Ruck and recover
    At transfer time
    , sumo squats X 10 (team who was holding bag does sumo squats facing each other while holding bag)

    After each team completes one round, Indian run, passing the 60 lb bag backward until the last person in line runs it to the front.

    2.1 PICNIC TABLE WORK (Keep ruck on back)
    Step-ups X 25 on each
    Squats with pause on bench X 25
    Bulgarian split squat X 5 on each

    2.2 RUCK WEIGHT MOVEMENTS (Keep ruck on back)
    Push ups X 50
    Getups X 30

    2.3 RUCK FINALE (take ruck off and use as weight)
    Kettle-bell swings X 30 (MOD: plank to knees to chest)
    Front raises X 30 (MOD: Carolina dry docks)
    Tricep extensions X 30 (MOD: close grip merkins)

    Ruck burpee + kettle bell swing combo X 10


Billy Blanks: Weighted V-ups IC X 20
TOMS: Weighted flutter kicks IC X 30

6 | Toms, Soybean, Cowbell, Captain Obvious, Billy Blanks, Slots | No FNG’s

Words of lament over recent double homicide in QIC’s ‘back yard.’ Call to have compassion and develop empathy even for those with whom it is difficult for us to relate. Every murder victim is a son/daughter to someone and is made in God’s image. Call to action: get involved to help create communities of safety, trust, and accountability.

After a nearly a week-long visit with family out west, YHC was ready to get back after it. It was a tough ruck workout, but the PAX stuck together despite QIC being a few minutes late.

Service project finale this upcoming Saturday.