When the EC folks returned from a brisk tour of suburban Durham, they found a house party in the Jordan High School parking lot.  In all, there were 28 PAX ready for action.

After the customary warm-ups by the track, we got down to the main event.  The idea was for each group of three to claim a lane.  One PAX would start on the far corner of the track, with the others opposite their teammate.  While one PAX ran a 200, one would do merkins (24) and the other burpees (12), holding a high plank until it was their turn in the relay.  Pinball—all the way around.  Run, merkins, run, burpees, run, merkins, etc.  The “x-factor” came in the form of three cinderblocks.  The plan was that the cinderblocks would move from the outside in.  Once each person in the outermost group had carried the block 200 meters, they would pass it in a lane.  And so forth.  For three blocks.

The exercise may have been elegant in conception, but nothing worked out as planned.  There were too many PAX (seven had to approximate the same exercise with rucks in the parking lot).  The seventh lane of the track only went ¼ of the way around.  No one could remember how to pass the cinderblocks.  People kept shifting groups.  It took way too long.  And yet, somehow, just like a meal when the ingredients are all good, it ended up OK.  Sprints + Burpees + Merkins + Cinderblocks + PAX = Goodness.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for many of the other treats YHC had planned.  We did a quick bear crawl up the hill, then jogged to the overhang area just below the parking lot.  Instead of four or five sets of lumberjack pull-ups on the rafters, we squeezed in only one.  Bummer.  We then finished with 40+ cadence-count flutter kicks.

COT was a personal highlight.  We greeted three FNGs (welcome Sven, Slow Pitch, and Canary!), making it a banner day.  On the second anniversary of my first post, I also tried to communicate how grateful I am for F3 and the PAX.  It’s an incredible privilege to work out with guys who are so committed to excellence and so encouraging—and who are also kicking cancer, volunteering their time with the most vulnerable, standing in the gap in tough family situations, and stepping up when their community needs them.  And I still can’t believe there are that many other guys in town who think it’s fun to run around a track in the dark with cinderblocks…