March 13, 2020

F3 Memphis COVID-19 Precautions

[UPDATE 3/30/20]: Today, Memphis Mayor Strickland added further restrictions to park use and clarified “social distancing”. Starting tomorrow, cars will not be allowed at parks and some streets may be closed. While you’re encouraged to be out and to exercise, experts recommend only being out with members of your household and to stay at least six feet away from others. You can read Strickland’s full update here:

F3 Memphis will remain closed until these guidelines are loosened (and they may continue to tighten). Do not gather for workouts. The distancing guidelines are in place to protect each of us. You’re serving the PAX by refusing to meet with them to work out. You’re setting a good example by following the instructions of medical experts and elected officials. This doesn’t mean we’re open in a less formal, unorganized way. It means we’re not meeting. Anyone who tells you otherwise does not have your best interest in mind.

As a group dedicated to invigorating male community leadership, we hate this. Our magnet is fitness. Gathering with other men to improve our fitness is what brought every single man into F3. However, what is required of us now is to isolate ourselves for the greater good to preserve precious hospital capacity and limit the effect of this virus. You might even say we’re preserving fitness by not meeting.

We’ll continue to monitor local, state, and national updates and adjust our plan. We’re eager to be back together in the Gloom! In the meantime, take advantage of the daily Home WODs to accelerate your fitness, the virtual COT and Q Source meetings to accelerate your faith, and the myriad of social technology we have available to connect with others and accelerate your fellowship. Aye!

[UPDATE 3/24/20]: Yesterday, Memphis Mayor Strickland issued an order asking everyone to stay home unless you’re engaging in “essential activities” (shopping for groceries/household items, helping care for others, and personal outdoor activities). You can read the full order here. The order expires April 7th. If they aren’t already in place, the surrounding municipalities will likely adopt a similar approach.

What does that mean for F3 Memphis? While city parks are still open and outdoor exercise is not prohibited, we are going to follow the advice of our government officials and continue to not have organized workouts. We plan to remain closed through this order’s expiration date, April 7th. We’ll adjust this plan as the situation in Memphis continues to change.

In the meantime, consider ways your can continue accelerating your fitness, fellowship, and faith during this interruption.

Fitness: You should get out and exercise! We’re posting daily workouts you can complete on your own. If you happen upon another PAX doing burpees alone and you decide to do burpees near him, please follow the government’s recommendations of maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet and do not workout in groups of more than a few people.

Fellowship & Faith: We’ve started hosting a short, daily COT online meeting (weekdays at 11:15 AM) and a weekly online Q Source discussion (Wednesdays at noon). Please take advantage of those. Keep up with the PAX and be a High Impact Man in your neighborhood.

[UPDATE 3/16/20 – Part Deux]: We’ve decided to close all AOs for the next week (3/17-3/22). We will reevaluate the situation on Sunday, March 22nd and decide whether to resume workouts. This was a difficult decision, but one we feel is necessary at this time. If we wait until it’s the obvious right move, it will likely be too late.

We are most concerned with protecting vulnerable people in our families and communities. Many of us have grandparents or senior neighbors and church members we see regularly. As an example, my mother is at risk due to her age and her current cancer treatments. We could all list several people we know and love who would likely suffer and possibly die if they were infected. Part of loving them is avoiding unnecessary risks ourselves.

Now, what should you do during this hiatus? The temptation will be to sleep in, but that’s going to be a hard habit to break once we open back up. Get up early. Do the Home WOD (linked below) and brag about it on Slack. Read a book. Build your faith. Connect with your family. Stay connected with the PAX. Find out how you can serve your neighbor and do it. Use this time to prepare for what’s next and let’s hit the ground running together once we’re back in the Gloom.


[UPDATE 3/16/20]: The F3 Memphis leadership team is continuing to monitor the situation. We are taking this very seriously and are monitoring: healthcare and disease control professional recommendations; responses and recommendations from local government and community organizations; and the responses of other F3 regions.

Large groups: Yesterday, the CDC recommended cancelling events consisting of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. This should not affect our current workout schedule. If we happen to have a very large group show up to a workout, AOQs will be responsible for breaking the group into smaller groups to exercise in separate areas to ensure we can all keep appropriate distance.

Home WODs: If you are staying home from workouts for any reason, Chuck E. Cheese will be organizing daily workouts designed to be done on your own at home. You’re welcome to do them outside in the rain for max effect! These will be posted daily in #1f-ideas-for-fitness and also on our website under the Home WOD category (link below).

[Original Post 3/13/20]:

Given the swift and sweeping changes we are seeing globally, the F3 Memphis Tentpole believes it important to proactively issue this initial address with our position on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our actions. These guidelines will be updated as the situation continues to evolve.

While it is vitally important that we as leaders maintain a calm sense of perspective and avoid overreaction, it is necessary that we implement some practical changes in the interests of all.

  • As we participate in F3 of our own free will, we ask you to be diligent about your health and follow the CDC’s recommendations for personal hygiene. More importantly, we ask you to take measures to be respectful of your brother’s health as well.
  • None of us know what fight the man next to us has with his own health. With that we ask if you’re not feeling well, if you present any signs or symptoms of illness, or if you believe you may have been in contact with others potentially carrying COVID-19, please stay home and exercise the CDC’s recommendation for self-exclusion.
  • We respectfully ask that if you do present symptoms of any respiratory illness, you seek medical attention right away and communicate openly with someone from our leadership team. If you are infected, we need to be able to notify other PAX who may have been in contact with you.
  • As you design your work-outs, we ask that you avoid activities requiring close personal contact during partner exercises (lookin’ at you, Billy Blanks…) and avoid sharing equipment (sandbags, coupons, etc). For stationary equipment like pull-up bars, be diligent to not touch your face after use and wash/sanitize your hands as soon as possible after contact.
  • During workouts and other gatherings, please avoid handshakes, high fives, elbow bumps, and other contact. Opt instead for air high fives, nods, or literally anything else that doesn’t involve direct touching.
  • During the Circle of Trust, we ask that these be executed from the Name-O-Rama circle position instead of the closed Ball-Of-Man.
  • We ask that you respect every man’s concern with this virus and never belittle anyone wishing to modify their activity or stay home for their own well being.

Remember that as leaders in our communities it is our responsibility to help maintain a sense of safety, security, and order for those around us and be that “rock” for anyone struggling with the fear that this pandemic may bring.

We encourage everyone to stay engaged with each other via Slack and Social Media. We remind you that the impacts of this pandemic may be more challenging and frightening for some than others, and to support each other with empathy and compassion. We ask you to be open and transparent with your own concerns and never hesitate to reach out to the group for support when needed.

Again, we are an organization of virtuous leaders. If we can be of aid to our communities, we need to look for those opportunities, step-up, and lead with courage. We deeply want The Gloom to remain a place of normalcy amidst this challenging time, but feel these few practical requests are important. As always, we ask that each man push himself hard everyday, but please do so with the respect for others in mind!

Stay safe and SYITG!

(Thanks to the HIM of F3 Naperville for initiating the original draft of this; we modified as necessary.)