FORTY-THREE FEET OF GOOD ROAD
As we said earlier, a few of us started the Mothership on 1/1/11 with only the vaguest idea of what the Problem was and not much of a grasp on the solution. We just sent e-mails to the eighty or so men we thought might like to try it. Some responded, and some didn’t. We had no idea how many guys would Post that first Saturday morning. We would have been happy with five. If we could get a solid core of five men, we thought we could build that up to about twenty by the end of the year. So we were surprised when thirty-four men Posted for that inaugural session of the Mothership, in the early morning on New Year’s Day.
- Gloom: Generic term for the early morning hour at which F3 Workouts usually take place and the generally dark conditions in which they are conducted.
- Fart Sack: A man who rises and Posts in the Gloom must almost always leave the warmth and comfort of his Fart Sack to do so. Also can be used as a verb, to describe the action of missing a workout to stay in the Fart Sack, as in, ‘Sorry I missed you — decided to fart sack this morning.’
We thought that the first Saturday’s success might be an anomaly or just thirty-four guys with short-lived New Year’s resolutions, so we were only cautiously optimistic about the second Saturday. Until we saw thirty-something men gathering again in the Gloom. The third Saturday was the same. By the fourth Saturday, we realized we were onto something. In a month, we had far exceeded our expectations for the year. That was wonderful, but it also created a problem for us. We had expected to use that year to figure out how to run the group, but this early and unexpected success forced us to improvise quickly so we wouldn’t squander the opportunities it created. This has been the pattern for us ever since, improvising to capture opportunities. It has seemed to us like we have been scrambling to build a road forty-three feet in front of the men driving on it.
Given that challenge (and the fact that we are not very creative men), we have to (ahem) “borrow” some road-building ideas from other sources. So, when a PAX asks, “Hey, have you guys ever seen Fight Club?” Or says “Wow, this reminds me of AA somehow.” Or says, “Hey, have you guys ever read The Starfish and the Spider?” “Uhhhh,” we respond, “Yeah, we have.” All that and more. We will use any tool we find helpful.
We are not ashamed to incorporate and adapt a good idea to our needs just because we didn’t come up with it. Likewise, we are not afraid to abandon something we actually did come up with ourselves if we discover that it doesn’t work. This is how we have built (and keep building) the road, on the backs of the ideas of men far smarter, more creative, and more inspired than we are. This even goes for the original idea itself, which we inherited from another workout group called the Campos.
This borrow-improvise-discard method reminded Dredd of a military strategy course he took twenty years ago. The final exam had only one question on it: “Was Napoleon evolutionary or revolutionary, and why?” The obvious answer seemed to be revolutionary. This Corsican artillery captain had run headlong over every decent army in the world. He was a firestorm. Of course he was revolutionary. But the “why” part of the question was more difficult to answer, because Napoleon hadn’t actually invented anything. He had only excelled at recognizing the good ideas of other men and putting them to work to win battles for his army. He cared more about winning than he did about innovating. Napoleon was not an agent of revolution at all; he was a master of evolution. His success was founded upon the unabashed use of other men’s ideas to accomplish specific goals. He was a road builder, and he didn’t care where the asphalt came from as long as it was durable enough to drive on.
Out of necessity, we have developed F3 in a similar fashion. When our road has hit an obstacle, we have not been afraid to look anywhere for a way to overcome it. If it works, we keep it. If it doesn’t, we don’t. F3 is a band of evolutionary pragmatists, focused on keeping forty-three feet of good road between us and the men we are serving.
Freed To Lead: F3 and the Unshackling of the Modern-day Warrior
In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill
- “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” Oscar Wilde
- “The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.” Bruce Feirstein
- “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” John D. Rockefeller
Leaders Leading Leaders
Things will be Brighter Tomorrow
Never stop caring about the little things in life,
Never stop dreaming or give in to strife.
Never stop building bridges that lead to promising tomorrows,
Never stop trying or give in to sorrows.
Never stop smiling and looking forward to each new day,
But most of all My friend…
Never stop shining in your own special way.
Never forget that all storms can clear, the grayest sky can turn pure blue.
Remember brighter tomorrows are near…
Remember always, things will be brighter tomorrow!