4th of July. F3 Naperville. Convergence. What more needs to be said! It was enough to drag 79 PAX out to the Outpost and boy oh boy it was a glorious morning!
YHC arrived at OP at 0500. First thing’s first I had to scope out the parking situation. The City of Naperville’s fireworks show would be from this location later in the evening and I wasn’t sure if they would block off the lots to avoid people gathering super early. Rolled on in, everything was open, GREEN LIGHT!
From Day 1 of planning this I knew I needed to be cognizant of making the Pax feel safe and comfortable being around 79 other guys during this time we are living in. I felt confident that the space at the Outpost could accommodate that initiative and also knew it was scale-able to handle any number of attendees.
The workout plans were relatively simple. We would break up into small workout groups. Each with their own space (soccer field) and we would just rotate throughout the morning. To the unassuming passer-by it would just look like a bunch of small workout groups. 7 Pain Stations (Thangs) had been created, each focusing on a different type of Fitness (Mobility, Cardio, Legs, etc). The HC counts were around 75 so I knew we were good. I did have a few extra planned, and a few extra signs, if more PAX showed up than HC’s.
YHC and Appletini went about setting up the stations. Each station had its own yard sign detailing that workout. We had flags and cones to set up different lines or courses at a station. Spacing seemed perfect and only thing to do was listen to Appletini yell into his megaphone and wait for 0600!
We assembled everyone on a nearby soccer field in a big circle. First things first on July 4th, National Anthem time! Brick came out and belted the Anthem out beautifully. Goose bumps all around as the sun was rising on the horizon. What a great way to get this started!
Appletini jumped into the circle on the WoR Q.
He walked the Pax through some standard warming up: Tappy Taps and Good Mornings. He sprinkled in some OYO Burpees in between as well. Then really kicked things up with Motivators x 11. 11 because that was his draft pick in the Lincoln Games, but also because it’s 7+4 (July as the 7th month), and also YHC’s favorite number. It was a no-brainer!!! But mostly because that number will forever be special to Appletini (haha). Who can guess what his number was during COUNT-O-RAMA?? You guessed it. Can’t make that stuff up!
Pax counted off into teams of 7. Once a number was assigned they ran off to find their station. After a few minutes, the siren rang loud and off we went. 76 minutes of a Beatdown to remember (7 stations of 10 minutes each, plus 30-60 seconds of transition time). Here were the stations:
- 11’s with Hydraulics and Little Man In The Woods
- Start with 1 Hydraulic on one side. Broad jump across field for 10 LMITW’s. Lunge Walk back across for 2 Hydraulics…
- 3 Pax per Beam (55# wooden beam). Beams on shoulders. Alternating Shoulder Presses while rest of team completes Obstacle Course.
- Obstacle Course: Bear Crawl to 1st set of cones, Zombie Crawl to 2nd set of cones, Inchworm to 3rd set of cones, Sprint back to Beams. LBC’s for the Obstacle Course 6.
- #Cardiac Arrest
- AMRAP: Ascending BodyBuilders. Start with 1. Run across field. Do 2. Run back across field. Do 3. Continue until time is up.
- 11’s with Hand-Release Merkins and Carolina Dry Docks.
- Zombie crawl across the field. Low Army crawl back. Bear crawl or walking lunge is your modifier.
- #PrimalSwoldier (mobility)
- EMOM: Step-through’s and X-Man
- One Pax will need to keep a 1-minute timer for their group
- #Gassed (cardio)
- Suicides. Start at 1 row of flags. Run to the next and back. Run to the far row and back. That’s 1 suicide. Now do 1 4-count Mountain Climber. Run 2 suicides + 2 Mtn Climbers…3+3…
- #Popeye’sSuperPump (arms) @ playground benches
- 5 Dips on playground curb. Bear Crawl to bench for 5 Derkins. Crab Walk back to curb for 10 Dips. Bear Crawl back to benches for 10 Derkins.
A few minutes for some Mary: American Hammers IC and 1-minute Plank Hold and LBC’s IC. This is when YHC lost his voice for the weekend. It’s one thing to count cadence. It’s another to do it and make sure 79 guys hear you at all corners of the circle.
Circle of Trust
We counted 80 Pax. We named 2 FNG’s – Bartles & Jaymes and Happy Meal. YHC gave a shoutout to our SLT team and asked our Nant’an Roach Coach to come up and say a few words to the GenPax. Then passed it over to Tiny Bubbles to close us out in prayer. Check out Name-o-Rama on F3 Naperville’s social media’s to see who was there!
Naked Man Moleskin
It was back around Memorial Day and YHC was perusing through F3 Nation’s Twitterverse and seeing a lot of coordination of workouts in other regions. Most of them were OYO because of COVID, but it made me reflect on the time that had passed since F3 Naperville had a big “holiday celebration.” At the time, there were of course tons of unknowns because we were still SIPO but I decided to claim all Q spots for 7/4/2020 in an effort to pursue some type of fun workout challenge for our region. At a minimum, all PAX would perform some type of common workout OYO (1776, Clovis WOD, etc) and we would have that connection to commemorate July 4th this year. At a maximum, we’d be able to have a big all-AO Convergence and have a special morning.
As weeks passed and Illinois began re-opening, and F3 Naperville re-opened, and nearly 100 PAX were out posting ITG every day, it became clear(er) that a Convergence may be entirely possible. What’s a Convergence? A Convergence, in our world, is when all the PAX come together at a single AO for a workout. We close the other AO’s and we converge. Guys from Oswego, Plainfield, Aurora, Lisle, Naperville, Woodridge, etc all at one workout! When 2020 began, our SLT (Shared Leadership Team) had grand plans for Convergences and had even begun to schedule them for a quarterly frequency because they are special events and without fail have always built or renewed energy amongst the GenPax.
We are host to men of all creeds and ideologies, different home environments, different belief systems, and all different comfort levels with this COVID pandemic. A few weeks out, YHC had tested out the idea of a Convergence with a few PAX and some members of our SLT. The idea was generally well-received with the underlying focus of doing something that was as safe and responsible as possible for all. I took that responsibility seriously from the get-go and knew I had all the space I needed at The Outpost fields to do so.
I recognized that most of our Convergences have had an element of competition included, but that was going to prove more difficult this time around as I wanted to focus on keeping groups on the smaller side as well as sufficiently spaced out. Also, didn’t have much interest in Pax trying to count a bunch of poor form reps or run a bunch of miles and have the 6 left behind and all other dynamics that can come with a competition. Or I just wasn’t creative enough. Either way, goal was to keep this simple, keep the groups small, make the workout difficult, and let everyone get out what they put in. I think this worked out pretty well. The groups had about 12 Pax per team which was perfect. Each station had a ton of space to do the work so each Pax should have felt comfortable at all times. Feedback so far confirms that the workouts were difficult. #TClaps to Appletini being my sounding board on a lot of the planning!!
Whew, what a fun fun morning. Convergences are friggin fun!!! Convergences have the opportunity to be really special for a few reasons. The first are self-explanatory. They are a chance for men from all over our region to come together. When we have AO’s that are separated by upwards of 45 minutes, there’s plenty of men who only know other Pax by a Slack name. Bringing them together allows Pax to meet new guys or get to see someone they hadn’t seen in a while. Plus, circling up with 80 other guys for a workout is unique and brings a special energy. The hype in the air was PALPABLE!!
Convergences also come with their own energy and often their own hype. There’s an energy that gets created around these events that’s unlike a normal Tuesday morning Iron Lion beat down. Hell, we created a special logo for this one!! Tailspin was even willing to come out and play with his drone as well – capturing video and photos from high above that will cement the memories of this morning in many’s minds. It’ll also help F3 Naperville keep pace with the rest of F3 Nation. If you’re on Twitter you see what other regions are doing, how quickly they’re growing, when they accomplish a milestone, when they do a CSAUP-event, etc. For me, that fires me up to try and chase that down and keep F3 Naperville relevant in the eyes of F3N. As the best region in all of F3 Nation, a Convergence of 80 PAX on the 4th of July IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC is is major shot across the bow that we’re still here! We’re still out here doing tough things, and cool shit, and having all sorts of fun the whole time!!
Lastly, there’s also a connection piece to a convergence. A Convergence could be viewed as a CSAUP event. It’s usually a longer workout than any normal posts. It usually has some type of team or competition element. While there wasn’t an over-arching competition, each small group team bonded by working hard together, figuring out what each station’s goal was, etc. Now, I believe it’s been proven by #science that people that do difficult CSAUP events together create a special bond upon completing. Well the mumblechatter around the coffee pots would echo that as well – full of recapping the difficult morning, or sharing a story about an exercise they hadn’t done in forever (Zombie Walks!) or guys planning their next Q (Hootie and House Arrest claimed the wooden beams for something coming up!).
Alright, that’s a wrap. Convergences are special. This one was no different. It was an honor to plan it and to see and hear how much fun the Pax had this morning. Planning this one for a large group, and being ever mindful of what we are going through at our homes and in our community, was a fun journey. To see the HC’s roll in throughout the week was fun. To tinker with the workouts with Appletini was fun. Making the signs, gathering flags, coordinating cones and megaphones, working on an Onsite Coffeeteria plan (TClaps FIB and AFib!!) so the Pax could enjoy some 2ndF immediately following was fun. Hearing the drone buzz overhead was fun. Having our Nant’an get up and say a few words to a big group was fun! Brick singing the National Anthem, are you kidding me with those goose bumps!!! Knowing that our IG and Twitter accounts would soon be blowing up with all sorts of photos and videos for all of F3N to see and hear was fun! So. Much. Fun. Thank you for listening. Let’s do it again soon.