I have always been one that is comfortable to be on my own in pretty much every facet of my life. I have felt like I have a decent amount of discipline to be able to accomplish whatever I wanted to and I could work out whenever I wanted and could fit it in.
Then, I got older, got married, and had a child, all while teaching and coaching 3 different sports. The time I had to focus on my physical and mental health dwindled. Now there was my family to take care of along with the other "families" I helped in my other roles. I wouldn't take any of that away because it is rewarding in many ways but when you don't focus on yourself at all you can tend to find yourself run down and in a rut doing the same thing each day. I worked out whenever I could but sometimes the motivation to get up and workout on my own in the morning waned with everything going on and I just wanted to sleep. Needless to say I felt that I had plateaued and was not making significant progress toward anything really. In college I experienced an exponential amount of growth in almost every area of my life, physically, academically, mentallly, religiously, and even a little bit socially (I always preferred to do things on my own). But now that that season of life was over and I was onto a much longer stretch of life, I felt myself falling into the monotony of day to day life and tasks.
In came F3, a group that met in The Gloom (early in the morning) when there's not much else going on to get in the way of working out! I had first been invited by our own Buck but thought to myself, it’s just another workout and I can do all of this myself at home like I always have. But I was a little in denial because I wouldn’t always get myself up and just take that extra 5 minutes of rest in the morning. There truly wasn’t any accountability for myself when I was alone. Then I was approached again by Charo, and this time I thought why not, it was worth a shot. I was in my short break between seasons and it’s at a time that I know not much else can get in the way of working out. After going a few times I felt like these guys get it, and are just like me in all this busyness yet there was a sense of accountability to be at the workouts and to push myself to my full potential. If I wasn’t there in the gloom, I felt like I missed something and just felt like I needed to be around these other men for one reason or another.
We see all ability levels at our workouts and every workout you can modify as needed. So even men with injuries are there working out and pushing themselves to do whatever they can. There was NO EXCUSE to not workout or do something if you were able. Yes, sometimes we might need that extra sleep but I'm glad that there are guys that can hold me accountable for putting the work in. THIS is what I needed to help push myself to be better than the day before, to help move past the stagnation that had begun to creep in just because life was busy. F3 helped me to learn to pick up our six and put in that little bit of extra to improve myself and those other men around me. No longer was I working out to just "get done" with a workout but I was doing it to make myself better and help others around me do the same. One of our sayings is “leave no man behind, but leave no man where you found them.” We all have room for improvement, and every single man that wakes up when it’s dark and goes out bundled up in freezing rain to do work might be a little crazy but is working on making themselves and the others around them better.
People, in general, are meant to be with other people. As much as I was able to be the lone wolf when I was younger I was finding out when life starts to bog you down with well "life" and everything in it you need people. People just to be next to, whether it's working out, to talk to, or for support in many of life's ups and downs. We really weren’t meant to go through life completely alone, because then you could ask yourself, “What is my purpose?” If you are constantly by yourself there is little to no purpose driving you to do more, to be better, to reach what you are fully capable to do.
F3 has not only been a great workout group that pushes me to be better and realize my potential even as I get older, but I have seen these men pick one another up and help when times are tough. Getting older for many men can be an excuse in and of itself that our bodies are breaking down, and everything just isn't what it used to be. This is true to an extent, but we can still help our bodies along and be stronger than we were yesterday and many men find that they are stronger today in many areas than they were 20 years ago. I know I wasn't able to do 10 pullups or 50 push-ups in a row 15 years ago.
I have yet to be more a part of our 2nd F (fellowship) away from the workout as much, but I hope as I continue in this group to be with people and to help support my brothers in F3.
Our 3rd F (Faith) continues to grow as we end with our Circle of Trust every workout and as what happened a couple weeks ago, we supported a brother who was celebrating Ramadan by getting a workout in while he was able. It's wonderful seeing this small group of men gather round one another just as MEN motivating other MEN to be leaders for our families, our faiths, and our communities no matter the circumstance or what each man believes. We are here to make one another better and help one another learn how to lead in life.
So if you are working out on your own and just need a little extra boost, it helps to have people around you to support your growth, F3 is for you. If it's been a while since you've focused on you and your well being, you can always modify, F3 is for you! This small group of men that meets outside in the dark, rain or shine, hot or cold, throws around cinder blocks, and finds fun/creative ways to push you to your potential IS F3 and IT IS FOR YOU!