On September 4th, I crossed the “Respect” mark and forced 27 others to play along. Most wearing pink for reasons to be determined later.
The beatdown started with the recitation of the 5 core principles, mission statement and motto of “no man left behind.” While the pax ran a short mozy, Ripken secretly planted a few presents in the parking lot. Prior to unveiling them, a warm up of “jacks” was required.
-SSH, Push jacks, Seal Jacks. Conveniently the “Richard Simmons happy birthday song” came on so we did a few of those in his honor as well. “Soul Man” hit the airwaves, and we did burpees every time John Belushi recited the refrain.
Ripken spoke of his journey to age 50, and the Three Reasons he is who he is.
First, after living as an agnostic/atheist for his whole life, someone strong enough to share the gospel with him opened his eyes about 15 years ago, and he became a Christian. This came only after 2-3 years of study and searching many religious views. The book that put him over the top was “The Case for Christ” which was then given as a reverse birthday to all pax attending. We can’t take our possessions with us to heaven, but we can take other souls with us. We can be “Soul Men.”
Second, you have to do the little things every day. Show up early, be there for your friends/family, say what you do/do what you say, and stay close to God. On the pavement was Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We changed “I” to “our names” as we did the next group of exercises. They were 4 sets of
4 Getups, run to steps, 13 Box Jumps
4 Big Boys, run to gate, 13 Squats
4 Burpees, run to steps, 13 Walking Dips
4 Reverse Burpees, run to gate, 13 Merkins
An audible was called, and we took a run to the darkness (while Bing ushered in a special guest). Out there ,we did 50 LBCs, 50 Imperial Walkers and a few other rando exercises. Back at the tower, a round of Mary’s included a set of seemingly never-ending 30/60/90s by Pincher.
The Third reason was loudly pronounced and almost as if it was planned, Bing escorted Lori, Ripken’s M, out to the circle in her pink F3 tank. As she received a well-deserved standing O, we talked of how our M’s are our strength and the glue to our families. Specifically, Lori has been through so much this year and has been in our constant prayers. We noted all the prayer requests and lifted our hands to lay “virtual hands” on Lori as she approaches a biopsy this week. We trust that God has this under control; his plan is greater than ours.
A heartfelt thanks to all who have pushed me, held me accountable, and been there especially in the tough times this year has brought. F3 has re-fired my purpose to “Aspire and Inspire” for the next 50 years. With much love from your Q du jour…