Hold your ground! Hold your ground!
Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers, I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day!
This day we fight!! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!!!
– Aragorn before the Black Gate
Some Vortex first-timers joined a veteran crew for fun and games at Cedar Falls Park. Twenty-two total PAX did the customary warm-ups before heading to the playground for a merkin and pull-up fest. Fifteen PAX did repeating sets of twelve merkins while six worked three pull-up stations. The pull-ups were of the beautiful, dead hang variety (with a spotter holding a cinder block above his head if and until needed), and the merkins were of every variety (regular, wide grip, diamond grip, Spider Man, hand release, staggered left, staggered right, left leg up, right leg up, fingertip, etc.). Not sure how many total sets of merkins we did, but each PAX did two sets of pull-ups (min 8, max 15).
After the playground, we moseyed back to the field for the main event and divided into three teams (Team Wheezer, Beano, and Sweats). Two teams competed to move 36 tennis balls from one side of the field to the other. Sprinters could carry one ball each trip; bear crawlers two balls; and those brave enough to attempt broken wheelbarrows six balls (total; three apiece). The contest ended when one team moved all the balls, assumed the “balls to the wall” position, and yelled “For Frodo!” Losers did blockees and/or shoulder lifts with the cinder blocks during the next round. We had time for four, glorious rounds.
We all know that, in the immortal words of Two-Ply, there will come a day when our bodies can no longer handle these early morning beat downs. We are also all thankful that was not this day. I don’t take for granted a single, breathless second and had a great time this morning. A privilege to be with everyone, as always.