29 converged on Pullen, once again voted F3 Raleigh’s best workout site, for the 1st Annual Forge Awards.  The social media build-up was tremendous (said by at least one to be the “F3 Raleigh Social Media Campaign of the Year”, edging out Costco’s promotion of F3 in general….too bad I didn’t make an award category for that just to screw with him), and the show did not disappoint …..more on that later.

Unfortunately, gentlemen of the Forge, the PTB at True Grit informed us in their backblast that this was not an “actual workout” (even though it was 1 hour), so you better plan accordingly to double up later in the week.  My apologies.  #norespect.  My logic suggests that these guys shouldn’t take themselves so seriously and learn to laugh (even at themselves once in a while or attend another workout for variety) as being wound so tightly can lead to health issues.  One aside: I’ve been to True Grit, and it’s no Ball Bearings.

On to the “non-workout” (hereafter referred to as “activities” so as not to confuse people with an actual workout).  One clarification:  28 participated in the activities with Screech mapping out his own 5 mile run due to shoulder issues.  Thanks for coming out Screech, helping me with set-up (even though you lost one of the cards leaving Pax unsure of how many hammers to do at that station) and returning for COT. Note: Sorry for the constant jumping around throughout this BB….that’s how things are in my head all the time.  Make it stop!

Warm-up:  SSH x 20; good mornings x 10; mountain climbers x 15, standard merkins x 15, and one other I’ve forgotten.  After warm-up, split into 9 teams of 3 with one team having 4.  Worked out perfectly b/c I had already created 9 stations around the park.  I had originally thought of just a run to East Village and back with random activities along the way until Costco mentioned the other day how much he hates when people don’t plan a workout.  Didn’t want to disappoint him or challenge Countrywide for the “Off the Cuff Award” so I changed course and planned something Monday afternoon with 007’s help at Pullen.  You’re welcome, Costco!

Once teams formed, all run to the tennis courts and grab one large rock per team (the team of 4 gets 2 rocks).  Return to the main circle near Andy / Opie for instructions and a walk-through of the circuit around the lake.  Rules are pretty simple.  Each team will fill in at a station much like a shotgun start and complete the required activities at said station (as noted on the note card inside the cone – #planning) moving to subsequent stations at their pace.  All exercise counts are cumulative as a team with one caveat:  teams can never set their rock down, thus one member of the team (or two members for the team of 4) must always be doing curls (TARP rule often invoked), presses, extensions, etc. with the rock while the others are doing exercises as the rock stays with you for the hour.  If possible to do exercises with the rock not hitting the ground, have at it!  Rotate with the person with the rock as necessary.  Just running with the rock between stations got old to me, but that’s why I chose Shaggy and Deliverance as my partners!  My wife often says I’m long-winded.  I prefer “thorough”, but I digress.

Station 1 (near main circle in park): 100 derkins on benches / team – not in cadence count

Station 2 (bench around tree on bridge): 50 dips / team – not in cadence count

Station 3 (across the lake): 150 Quick feet on steps – in cadence count – this one was possible with the rock but got interesting at the end.

Station 4 (goose poop island): 150 American hammers in cadence – done with rocks (or as many as you felt like doing b/c the card was lost in the wind at 5:25 during set-up)

Station 5 (at bottom of steps leading to tennis courts): 40 burpees / team

Station 6 (steps near lake): 60 diamond incline merkins / team – not in cadence count

Station 7 (pavilion near carousel): 100 step-ups / team – in cadence count – done with rocks at least by our team

Station 8 (large steps leading up to upper park): Stairbarrows to top x 2 / team (tribute to LD)

Station 9 (playground): 75 swing pull-ups / team – not in cadence count

Each team made it through approx. the full circuit once and then to approx. 4-5 more stations.

Approx. 6:35 – 6:40, all regroup at station 5 to return rocks to rock pile.  Various planks, merkins, etc. while waiting on all teams to arrive at bottom of stairs.  Run to rock pile.  Once at rocks, audible called for all to get a rock and do 21s led by special guest TARP #gunshow.

Run back down to main circle for one final set of merkins (#merkinoff2015) and then done.  Mister Rogers leads COT while Epoxy runs to car to retrieve goods for the much anticipated Forge Awards.  Prayers / thoughts by Orwell and Countrywide….thanks gentlemen.

FORGE AWARDS (each winner got a paper plate award including a picture, some funnier than others…see photo above).  Background: Being the “organized” type (some mistake organization for being anal…..whatever!), I keep a spreadsheet of each week’s attendance at The Forge.  At first it was just for fun and to see trends, who was coming, etc., but then I figured months ago I could use this info for something…..THE FORGE AWARDS!  For those curious, there were approx. 700 attendees at the Forge in 2014 by 135 different Pax (with many one-hit wonders).  And now for the categories, nominees, and winners:

1) “Off the Cuff Award” for totally unplanned (but effective) workouts:  Nominees: Wonk and Countrywide. WINNER: Duh, Countrywide

2) “Bear Grylls Award” for dealing with the most extreme weather conditions:  Nominees: Gnard Dogg for 12 degrees and Hush Puppy for torrential rain.  WINNER: Gnard Dogg

3) “Trailblazer Award” for stepping up and being a trailblazer / guest Q:  Nominees: T-Square and TARP.  WINNER: TARP

4) “Vanilla Ice Award” for being a one-hit wonder at The Forge:  No specific winner but most listed on the award including, among others: Chong Li, Maize, Fungo, Floppy, Lamp, Zima, and Munson.  We will work on getting the likes of King David, Vila, and others in 2015.  #babysteps

5) “Most Challenging Q:  Nominees: Friar Tuck, Deliverance, and MacGruber   WINNER: Deliverance.

6) “Phantom Award” (could have also been called the Houdini Award for disappearing from the Forge and two for disappearing from F3 altogether).  Nominees: Horschack now just known as Karl, PIcante, and Hooch.  WINNER: Hooch for Qing, not doing a BB and then just leaving for Texas.  One less dook fan at the Forge works for me though.

7) “Carrot Top Award” for best use of props: Nominees:  Epoxy for use of ladders and cones and Hush Puppy for use of EVERYTHING from his office.  WINNER: Hush Puppy

8) “Ferdinand Magellan Award” for most exploratory Q:  Nominees:  Countrywide for random runnings and Friar Tuck for taking us to parts of NC State we didn’t know existed.  WINNER: Friar Tuck

9) “Alanis Morrisette Award” for most ironic Q:  Only one nominee:  This Q’s focus was on proper cadence count trying to teach the pax proper count, technique, etc., and he had various pax call cadence during the workout.  Penalty burpees were in place for each mess up.  Only problem was, the Q continue to mess it up himself.  And for that, the WINNER is clear-cut: Cee Lo.  Just happens I was at goodwill Monday and found an Alanis CD so Cee Lo also won a CD featuring “Ironic”….you’re welcome.

10) “Cal Ripken Award” for consecutive times at the Forge:  WINNER was to be Ollie who had 19 straight (he had never missed one since starting F3), yet he missed this one.  Forge Committee is in discussions to reconsider….

11) “Janet Jackson Award” for equipment malfunction:  WINNER and only nominee:  Screech for failure of his sound system during Q of expected bluegrass music

12) “DBAP Award“: WINNER and only nominee: MacGruber for his yell of “Don’t be a P…” at the end of his Guest Q – ask him to show you the award…..can’t describe it here, but it will make you laugh

13) “Invisible Shirt Award“:  WINNER and only nominee mostly b/c we’re all old and don’t want to take our shirts off:  Singlewide for faking a fire ant attack to go the whole Q shirtless

14) “AFAM Dept / No-Show Award” (this is like talking about family, I can do it b/c it’s my school, but the rest of you shut up already):  WINNER and only nominee:  Costco for failing to reciprocate my Q at Dawn Patrol.  He claims he was never “invited” although he retweeted my “sign-up / guest Q request” no less than 48 times.

15) “Richard Award“:  This one’s hard to explain but I’ll try.  Lost tropical bird in park during this person’s Q with “Reward” on a sign with a picture of his bird (who has a picture of their bird….loser! and do people really have birds?….to each his own).  Anyway, Mister Rogers thought “Reward” said “Richard” from afar so we spend the whole workout making bird calls and yelling for Richard.  You had to be there (serious True Grit guy would never have such fun).  Anyway, due to “Richard” and this Q being the biggest “Richard” of F3 Raleigh….WINNER: MYRTLE

16) “Godfather Award” – This was sort of like the lifetime achievement award, etc. as it had nothing to do with a specific Q.  This award was to honor someone that had done a great deal for Forge (in this case its founder).  WINNER in absentia due to aged egg nog food poisoning: Howard.  Please pick up your award in the Forge administrative office at Pullen.

17) “Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe Award” – has nothing to do with Forge or any workout…..I just thought the shit was funny.  WINNER: duh…..MYRTLE.  Congrats Myrtle on cleaning up.  Only 2 time winner in the Forge Awards history.

18) “Iron Man Award” for most Forge “workouts” attended (out of 51 due to one ice cancellation):  Nominees: Hush Puppy – 27 which is solid given recent health issues; Cee Lo – 27; Countrywide: 41; Epoxy 42 (damn those trip to Wisconsin for holding me down!)….WINNER: Mister Rogers 48.  That is strong my friend!!!

Thanks to everyone for being a part of the Awards, for being a part of 2014 Forge, for still reading if you’ve made it this far (who do I bill these 2 hours to?), and we hope to have a successful 2015.