F3 Lingo –
The Workout Pearls on a String (POAS): Term for the structure of a typical, base model F3 workout – running segments (the string) interspersed with Circle of Pain set-pieces (the pearls).
Circle of Pain (COP): Basic exercise formation during an F3 workout – the Q in the center of a circle of the PAX, calling exercises and cadence.
TenCount: A mini-break within the workout, when the Q asks a member of the PAX to count backwards from ten while everyone gets a breather.
Pusherama: A COP built around a series of pushup variations. Six Minutes of Mary: A base-level ab-and-core sequence. Reference is to the “6-Minute Abs” joke from the movie There’s Something About Mary.
No PAX Left Behind
A great F3 Workout is not one that has a few SugarRays running away from a long straggle of Clydesdales. Nor is it so brutal a BeatDown that half the PAX are laying on the ground or SplashingMerlot. That proves nothing. A great Workout is one where everybody gets smoked and no man is left behind. To do that, a good Q will go Corner To Corner (C2C) with his POAS. In a C2C, the Q runs the String as hard as he can with the SugarRays to a predetermined corner (or identifiable spot of some kind) where he intends to form his COP. While the Clydesdales and FNGs are catching up, the PAX at the corner hold the plank position or do some kind of exercise until the Six arrives. At that point, the Q forms the COP and hits his Pearl with all the PAX. When the Pearl is done, the Q dissolves the COP and launches on another String to the next corner in the C2C. Lather, rinse, and repeat.
C2C seems too simple and obvious to work, but it does. By the time the Q works his way through his POAS back to the ShovelFlag, the SugarRays and the Clydesdales will be equally smoked, even though they have done the Workout at different rates and exertion levels. The workout is not dumbed down or slowed down, but no man is left behind. This is a key F3 ethic. We do not leave a man behind. Less experienced Qs will sometimes (in their exuberance) lose sight of that, but there should always be a call from a vet in the PAX to “watch the Six.” In other words, don’t forget the men working to catch up. Don’t leave anyone behind. We do not do that.
Every Workout should get progressively and incrementally more difficult over time as the general fitness level of its PAX increases. An effective Q uses C2C to keep everyone progressing together. It works, and that is the only criteria we have in F3 for doing anything. If it works, do it. If it works really well, pass it on.
1 John 3:14
We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
- In our lives, change is unavoidable, loss is unavoidable. In the adaptability and ease with which we experience change, lies our happiness and freedom.” Buddha
- “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” Mary Anne Roadacher-Hershey
- “You never regret being kind.” Nicole Shepherd
- “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Ben Franklin
Leaders Leading Leaders
A few years ago at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally challenged, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race to the finish and win.
All, that is, except one boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times and began to cry. The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. They all turned around and went back. Every one of them.
One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him and said, “This will make it better.” All nine linked arms and walked across the finish line together.
Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winningfor ourselves.
What truly matters in this life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
The story is more true than not, although its primary point has been grossly exaggerated. According to folks at the Special OlympicsWashington office, the incident happened at a 1976 track and field event held in Spokane, Washington. A contestant did take a tumble, and one or two of the other athletes turned back to help the fallen one, culminating in their crossing the finish line together, but it was only one or two, not everyone in the event. The others continued to run their race.
The story is thus not about an entire class of “special people” who spontaneously tossed aside their own dreams of going for gold in favor of helping a fallen competitor, but rather one about a couple of individuals who chose to go to the aid of another contestant. Unfortunately, this tale as it is now being told helps further a stereotype that deficiencies in intelligence are compensated for by unfailingly sweet natures and a way of looking at the world in childlike wonder.
Special Olympians train long and hard for their events and are every bit as committed as athletes who compete in any other athletic endeavors. The Special Olympics are not a casual get-together organized to give less fortunate members of the community a day to socialize and perhaps run in a foot race or two. They’re highly organized sporting events taken very seriously by all involved, with each competitor striving to do his best. It’s about trying. And succeeding.
The Special Olympics oath is “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”