Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Weather – a dank and mildly stanky (may have been the creek or a Ripken rip, we’ll never know for sure), mid-70s morning. It didn’t take long for YHC to surmise that there would be no cooling-off this gloom only sweat, sweat and more sweat — which is a good thing.

Pre-Run — YHC and three additional pax (Bing, Ripken and Tatanka) relished in a pre-beatdown run of roughly 3.5 miles around the NBP loop. The fellowship was great, the pace was good, but the jokes were horrible. Ask Ripken about the clam shells and some lady friend he once knew. Anyway, as we coasted into the parking lot, a whole host of unsuspecting souls — clueless of the impending pain — could be seen stretching, joking and just being Pax. At one point, Jimmy Dean was so knotted-up in a self-induced Amish pretzel thingy, YHC was concerned he might not untangle himself before 0515 struck. Nevertheless, JD managed to find his way out and all Pax breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Welcome — At exactly 0515, YHC mentioned the 5 core principles and away we went for a two-lap Mosey that included lateral slides, high knees, butt-kickers, skips, and pick-ups. Then down to the Tower parking lot we strolled for a Circle of Pain.


  • SSH x15IC
  • Mt Climbers x15IC
  • Imperial Walkers x15IC

The Thang: Horseshoes and Hand Grenades are a match made in heaven and all Pax were about to understand this holy union, and why “close” is good enough. The horseshoe portion of the beatdown consisted of 8 stations staged around the NBP tower (in an almost horseshoe-like shape) extending to the near turn on the south side about 1/4 mile from the starting line / recovery zone (more detail to follow). Each station was comprised of one exercise and a count. Stations were as follows:

  1. Burpees (x5), farthest away
  2. Sumo Squats (x10), a little closer
  3. Dips (x10), closer
  4. Scorpions (x10 each leg), closer
  5. Derkins (x10), yet closer
  6. Shoulder Taps (x10 each arm), even closer
  7. Peter Parkers (x10 each leg), almost closest
  8. Captain Thor (x5), closest of all, right near the start / recovery area

After a time of slight confusion, concern, speculation and prognostication, Pax paired-up with a partner of similar fitness level to allow for nearly equal recovery times. On YHC’s count, Partner A took off running “the long way” around the tower toward the north side (Sniper tried a clever little short-cut directly south, but was quickly redirected by YHC) and then headed south toward station #1. At this point a small contingent of Pax stopped at the first station they saw (which was station 8) and started doing something, but YHC clarified matters in parental fashion. All that could be heard was, “you want us to run way down there?” Yes, way down there.

Anyway, Partner A eventually continued to station #1 and performed the written exercise and reps, then worked his way back toward the start / recovery area stopping at station #2 and doing the exercise and reps. After completing station #2, Partner A ran to the start / recovery area (intentionally skipping stations 3-8) where Partner B was “recovering” with a round of 21’s consisting of LBCs and Moroccan Nightclubs. Once Partner A made it to the start / recovery area, Partner B then headed toward station #1 and then station #2 in like fashion. Upon Partner B’s return, the process continued with Partner A then revisiting stations #1 and #2, but adding station #3 to the series before running back to the start / recovery area where Partner B would then commence to do the same. The addition of one station to each Partner’s rotation is how the entire beatdown continued.

In horseshoes (the game), a “ringer” is worth 3-points, a “leaner” worth 2-points, and a “close” is worth 1-point. The goal of the horseshoe was to get through as many stations as possible. If Pax could complete up to station 5, he received 1-point (i.e., close). Completing stations 6 or 7 was worth 2-points (i.e., a leaner). Completing all 8 stations was to be worth 3-points (i.e., a ringer). As we have all been taught, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Or does it?

While working the horseshoe, “hand grenades” could be thrown our way at any time. YHC had a random timer that could detonate anywhere between 0-10 minutes. When the timer “exploded,” YHC yelled “INCOMING!” At that signal, all Pax had to stop wherever they were along the horseshoe and head straight to the tower and do their best to be the first to reach the top. One wrinkle is that Pax had to climb the tower “hallelujah” style, that is, with their hands held high above their heads. YHC planted a cow bell (horse bell??) at the top of the tower steps. The first Pax to reach the top rang the bell loud enough for all to hear. At the sound of the bell, all Pax returned to where they were when the hand grenade was first announced (i.e., “as you were”). The only additional rule was that once a Pax rang the bell, he could not ring it again even if he was the first to the top again. A different Pax had to ring the bell each time. This created an unwanted diversion from the horseshoe.

As time wound down, a final “INCOMING” was announced and all Pax shot their way up to the top of the tower with the 6 ringing the bell as the beatdown finally ended. No Pax did better then “close,” so all received 1-point. Tatanka claimed he was mere steps away from a “leaner,” but YHC has yet to confirm this. This workout will be revisited from time-to-time to gauge our fitness progression. “It doesn’t get easier; we just get stronger.” ‘Till next time.

Moleskin —  The horseshoe represented the daily grind that each of us have to do (work, manage the home, lead our family, etc.). It’s part of the job description God has given each of us as men. It’s required. The hand grenades represented those things that hit us, or those we love and care about, unexpectedly. This could be a financial issue, a health issue, a loss, or some other crisis. These “flaming darts from the evil one” are orchestrated to take us off of our game, distracting us from our horseshoe duties. What should we do when hand grenades or flaming darts are incoming? Of course, take them to the Lord, our Strong Tower, a Tower of Refuge. So, that’s what we did when the grenades came at us this morning — we ascended to the Tower of Refuge, hallelujah-style, as a signal of laying our worries down at His feet. As Believers, God is our source for all things, especially in times of trouble.

All Pax got close, and that’s okay for people of faith. We know that our best is “as filthy rags” in the sight of a Holy and righteous God. But in Jesus, the gap is filled and the righteous requirements are satisfied because of our faith in Him. It turns-out that close not only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, but also in faith in Jesus Christ! Amen!

As you go about this week, be mindful to take your cares and worries to the Lord. He delights in partnering with us to accomplish His purposes even when things get tough. We don’t have to navigate the battlefield alone.


  • Races coming up (Myakka Half), Siesta Tri cancelled
  • Gator Wilderness Retreat getting closer (see newsletter for details)
  • Congrats to Jimmy Dean on becoming the site Q for NBP
  • Congrats to Sniper on becoming the site Q for Nolan


  • Banjo and family stuff
  • Clutch’s son broke an elbow, needs speedy healing
  • Sniper and brother
  • Injured Pax (6-pack, et al), quick recovery

Peace Out –I’m grateful for the chance to Q and for the privilege of being part of Fitness, Fellowship and Faith small workout groups.


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

1 thought on “Horseshoes & Hand Grenades”

  1. Great backblast Gridlock. Smurf would have rather had the Bob Ross action but learned much more. I will now be yelling “INCOMING” anytime anything untoward comes my way.

Comments are closed.