January 20, 2020

Relationship -> Compassion -> Action – An MLK themed bootcamp

Old Forest


Cold AF


Check. They were disclaimed

All in Cadence:

  • SSH – 50
  • IW – 15
  • Arm Circles – 20
  • Hillbillies – 15
  • Daisy Pickers – 10


———- Part 1 ———-
DORA-ish style (in gazebo)
Partner up and cumulatively each pair performs:
  • 250 Merkins (representing years of legalized slavery in America)
  • 90 Dips (years of Jim Crow laws in America – legalized discrimination)
  • 60 CDD’s (years of “separate but equal” – which was never really equal)
  • 35 Burpees (years of racist housing policy – redlining, discriminating against African Americans)
While one partner pounds out reps, the other bear crawls (or lunge walks) from the gazebo to the middle island and back.
———- Part 2 ———-
Divide up into two equal sized groups (3 and 3 for our crew this morning). We swapped which group was “Group 1” and “Group 2” with each new exercise to share the love. We quickly realized the inequity and difficulty faced when one group had to perform significantly more reps than the other.
  • Every PAX in each group to get a total of 100 squats
    Group 1 gets a head start of 70 (thus only need to perform 30 squats to finish)
    Group 2 gets a head start of only 48 (thus need to perform 52 squats to finish)
    Percentage of HOME OWNERS among white Americans – 70%
    Percentage of HOME OWNERS among African Americans – 48%
  • Every PAX in each group to get a total of 200 Overhead Claps
    Group 1 gets a head start of 171 (thus only need to perform 29 Overhead Claps to finish)
    Group 2 gets a head start of only 17 (thus need to perform 183 Overhead Claps to finish)
    Average WEALTH of white American families – $171,000
    Average WEALTH of African American families – $17,000
  • Every PAX in each group to perform BBSU’s
    Group 1 only has to perform 8 BBSU’s
    Group 2 has to perform 20 BBSU’s
    Percentage of white Americans living in POVERTY – 8%
    Percentage of African Americans living in POVERTY – 20%
  • Every PAX in each group to perform Shoulder Taps (2 is 1)
    Group 1 has to perform 30
    Group 2 has to perform 33
    White Americans make up 64% of the country’s total population.
    White Americans make up 30% of all INCARCERATED individuals.
    African Americans make up only 12% of the country’s total population. African Americans make up 33% of all INCARCERATED individuals.

High Plank for 30 seconds

6 – Handsy (QIC), Easily Amused, Frisky, MIB, Barnum, Dewey


  1. When we learn more about our country’s history of racism and then look at present day statistics highlighting inequalities like we did in bootcamp today it should be no surprise to us that those inequalities exist. It’s like playing a game of Monopoly but one of the players already owns all or most of the properties and houses and hotels on many of them. We can’t simply tell the other players to try hard and that they have the same opportunities. African Americans do not have the same opportunities as white people in America today. They’ve missed out on centuries of opportunities to build wealth and stability due to racist laws, policies, and cultural practices.
  2. Not only does that history make it hard for African Americans to get ahead, build wealth, and have the same opportunities as white people today, but the racist attitudes that permeated our culture for 300 + years also do not just go away when you change the laws. African Americans may generally be protected under the law today (and we can celebrate that!), but many if not all of them still experience racism or race-based prejudice to some degree on a regular basis because many of our policies and cultural norms are still influenced by racist ideas and perspectives of our country’s past.
So, on this day when we celebrate the legacy of a great champion for the rights of African Americans, we can rejoice that many wonderful victories have been achieved towards equality and towards eradicating racism. But it is important that we also honestly and humbly acknowledge that we have not arrived. There is still much work to be done. Our country has not achieved the dream that Martin Luther King Jr spoke about so eloquently years ago.
In his challenging book, The Color of Compromise, Jemar Tisby writes: “Many Christians today say they would have been active participants in the civil rights movement fifty years ago. Now, in the midst of a new civil rights movement, is their chance to prove it.”
So what are we going to do about all of this? If you have ever said or thought what Tisby wrote in the quote above, what are you doing about it today? Here are some thoughts toward that end:
  • Things will only change if there is intentional ACTION. We must be proactive and not merely passive. Passivity or neutrality with regards to racism is essentially being complicit in allowing the continuation of racism.
  • We will only take definitive action if our hearts are stirred with COMPASSION for others.
  • Our hearts will only be stirred with compassion for others if we are in RELATIONSHIP with and PROXIMATE to those who are different from us.
  • So, the challenge (mostly for my caucasian brothers): I want you to think about the relationships and connections in your world. Think about the people that are regularly around your dinner table, think about the authors of the books that you read and the podcasts that you listen to, think about the friendships that you have, think about what your church looks like, think about your neighbors. If all of those things are entirely or predominately made up of people who look, think, and see the world just like you, it’s going to be very difficult to grow compassion for those who are different, who are marginalized, who might be experiencing racism. So I must continually find ways to be in relationship with and learn from those who don’t look, act, believe, worship, see the world like I do. Read books by non-white authors, listen to podcasts by people who have a different perspective than you, visit churches where people look different than you, find ways to connect with those who are different than you. Only then will empathy and compassion grow and only when that happens will we be moved into action. And it is going to take action on behalf of all of us if we are going to see Martin Luther King’s dream realized one day.

Starting off with 250 merkins combined with bear crawling was tougher than I thought. But it proved effective in adding to the poignancy of the illustration.

Check the Pre-Blast for any announcements.

Workout Date: