Army CORE of Engineers

Weather – a sultry morning with temps and dew point in the upper-70s. The conditions were right for a massive sweat box, with perspiration oozing from every pore. But this isn’t grandma’s house, this is F3. If you don’t drink sweat for hydration, then you’re in the wrong fellowship. Yikes, beginning to scare myself.

Pre-Run — YHC flew solo this gloom for a 3-mile loop around the Bing circle. It was dark and it was lonely, but it was good. For a fleeting second, YHC thought Sparky might show for the pre-run, but he mentioned something about having the sniffles or a scratchy throat. I don’t know. It was probably just his morning to do the laundry. Anyway, the usual suspects (Bing and Ripken) are on some sort of forced sabbaticals. Hopefully, they can find their way back some day.

As YHC plodded into the parking lot, the usual F3 jackals were all sort of sprawled-out, believing they were doing all they needed to get their bodies ready for a beatdown. Well, that might not have gone according to plan. At one point, a reluctant Pax asked me, “are you Q?” YHC responded with a simple, “yes, sir” in traditional military style, which was appropriate given what was to come.

Welcome — Promptly at 0515, YHC reciteed the 5 core principles and away we went for a two-lap Mosey that included lateral shuffles, high knees, skips, and some nur for good measure. About halfway through the first lap, a shadowy figure emerged from the gloom, introducing himself as Mad Dog from Charlotte. The Pax cordially welcomed him to the underway Mosey and didn’t miss a beat as all circled-up for a quick Circle of Pain.


  • SSH x20IC
  • Mt Climbers x15IC
  • Cherry/Strawberry Pickers x10IC
  • MAN DOWNS (approx. 2-minutes, each pax quickly ran in place and on YHC’s call of “man down,” each pax hit their belly to the ground and quickly stood back-up and continued the rapid running in place). The mumble chatter pretty much stopped from here on.

The Thang: Army CORE of Engineers was a simple little workout comprised of, you guessed it, rounds of exercises involving — you guessed it — the arms, the core and a little bit of math fun (hey, I’m an engineer after all). Oh, and there was plenty of running to keep that cardi-oh smoldering. Eight boards were created, each with two exercises written on them (exercise A and exercise B) with a designated count or time for each exercise. Some of the repetitions were revealed by simple math problems. When YHC called out an exercise that involved repetitions, the math problem that revealed the rep count was also called out. If the Pax got the problem correct, the reps were as designated. If an over-anxious Pax called out the wrong answer, YHC took liberty to up the reps as punishment. Luckily only one wrong answer was called-out. The Pax learned quickly that engineers simply can’t get it wrong.

The rounds, exercises and reps/time were as follows:

  1. A) Side Bridge (60-sec each side, left and right), B) Bent Leg Raise to 6-inches and hold (60-sec)
  2. A) Merkins (15^1), B) Shoulder Taps (2^3)
  3. A) Flutter Kicks (5×5), B) LBCs ((2×2)+(4×4))
  4. A) Forearm Plank (60-sec), B) Glute Bridge (60-sec)
  5. A) Back Bridge (60-sec, alternate every 5-sec each leg), B) Quadraplex/Dancing Bears (60-sec, alternating sides every 5-sec)
  6. A) CDDs (2^2 + 3^2), B) Peter Parkers (sq-root of 81)
  7. A) Hello Dollies (sq-root 400), B) Captain Thors (2^2)
  8. A) Back Plank (60-sec), B) Front Plank (60-sec)

After each round, starting with number 1 above, the Pax completed one lap of the parking lot. Since this was an Army inspired beatdown (kind of), the only additional wrinkle was that during the lap YHC could yell out “MAN DOWN!” at any moment similar to what we did during the CoP. At the sound of YHC’s MAN DOWN!, all Pax had to stop where they were and hit the ground (chest touching) and get back up as quick as possible and continue their run. So as not to be the persistent drill sergeant bad guy type, YHC delegated his MAN DOWN! duties to several other Pax during some of the laps. One lap, Sniper had honors, and he was fairly gentle with his MAN DOWNS. Another time, Jimmy Dean had honors, and he wasn’t quite as nice. He commanded some 4-5 MAN DOWNS (a little excessive by any standard), one of which occurred right as YHC reached laps-end. No bueno! And the MAN DOWNS! truly demoralized every, as they should have.

Anyway, the beatdown continued with a round of exercises then a lap, round of exercises, then a lap until all exercises had been completed. The Pax overachieved so well that we were able to squeeze-in an encore performance of round #1 in truly gritty fashion. Mad Dog from Charlotte, grunted and grimaced so intensely on the final Bent Leg Raises to 6-inches, that YHC wasn’t sure if he suffered a spontaneous hernia, was having a shart attack, or was in desparate need of an emergency C-PAP fitting.

Nevertheless, we all survived the Army CORE of Engineers beatdown. The Pax circled-up for Count-o-rama and Name-o-rama at exactly 0600. We won the Wednesday shartsack battle. Well done, Suncoast Pax (and Mad Dog).

Moleskin —  The Army CORE of Engineers tested our ability to hold steady when things got tough. Core work is critical to all physical exercise, but it’s hard. It takes guts to do intense core work. In spiritual things as in fitness, certain critical aspects constitute the CORE. For fitness, strengthening the core brings stability, flexibility, strength and injury prevention. In spiritual things, ready your Bible, prayer, fellowship and faith comprise the core, bringing steadfastness, courage, soundness of thought and peace. To increase physical fitness, core work is critical. To increase spiritual conditioning, the core work is essential. After all, it’s not called the “core” for no reason. Do your spirit man a favor — and build your spiritual core!

Today, we all pushed ourselves to the point of shaking, trembling and maybe even dry-heaving to gain a minuscule amount of improved physical core strength. When’s the last time you pressed-in to the point of quaking and trembling to build your spiritual core strength? As you go about the remainder of this week, be mindful of how you’re building your spiritual core. Are there changes you need to make? If so, find an accountability partner and give him permission to hold you accountable to the changes you need. That’s how iron sharpens iron. Know that one step in God’s direction yields 10-miles of spiritual progress. Be blessed, my brothers.


  • Races coming up (Myakka Half, November)
  • Gator Wilderness Retreat (see newsletter for details)


  • Safety for those in Hurricane Florence’s path
  • Jimmy Dean’s family as they adjust to their son’s first year in colleged
  • Injured Pax (6-pack, et al), quick recovery

Peace Out –I’m thankful for the chance to Q and for the honor of fellow-shipping with my F3 brothers.


“To do what others can not, be willing to do what others will not.”

1 thought on “Army CORE of Engineers”

  1. Awesome looking beatdown. Always LOVE your creativity in the gloom, and love the pre-runs. I’ll be back in town and ready to hit the ground running, literally, Monday! Need to start upping mileage and frequency to get ready for Myakka.

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