7 studs showed up for EC at Ruck Ready this morning. The rain from the prior day still soaked the ground and the chill filled the air. 9 men showed up by 0530 for the main event. Here’s what went down.

The Thang:After a brief disclaimer the event started with the following: Squats x 15; OH Press x 5; Merkins x 7; Ruck Roll x 5 (after we started counting).

The Pain Train is a series of sandbags connected with a carabiner. We had 6 this morning. The goal was to move it efficiently. If we did so, there would be a benefit. If we didn’t the punishment would be the same benefit. The goal is the Grizzly. Leonard Skynyrd took the TL for this movement.

The Grizzly: At the back of the park, we passed up eating an elephant because we are real men. This thing was a Grizzly. Cadre Kevin allows every Tough class to take a bite out of this seemingly impossible task. We completed this task at the beginning of GrowRuck 12 Memphis, right before heading to the home of the Memphis Grizzlies so the name makes sense to YHC. The Grizzly is 100 Squat OH Press – IC. It’s simple. It growls. It’s brutal. We did them in a circle to increase accountability and in reps of 10 to take one bite at a time. In between each set of 10 a different man took time to talk about what he was thankful for. Really thankful for.

Conch Fritter led us to the playground, THE right Playground, and we then took advantage of the wonderfully wet grass and unhooked the pain train. We divided into teams so every sandbag had 3 men on it. Sandbag toss down and back; move the front guy to the right, back to the left to make new teams and went down and back again. The final round the 2nd guys moved. This was loads of fun.

After that we unhooked the Pain Train and made it back to the flag. 30 flutter kicks took us out.

COT/BOM: Prayers for Chris, Vanilla’s wife’s Uncle who had 5 transplants recently. For everyone traveling, for those dealing with a loss pregnancy, for Patch and his 2.0 talking about college and debt. YHC offers praise for my Dads successful procedure yesterday. He had a mini-stroke a little over a month ago and finally is getting settled in a healthily lifestyle. Small changes = Big differences.

Announcements: BJ is taking over as Site Q for Ruck Ready. Vanilla led us to a great place and was able to line up Qs planning ahead like a real leader. Be sure to sign up for the Reindeer Dash for Cash on Dec 2nd. The new Rucking division needs some love – bit.ly/2Dy45qM This is a great way to show some support for the Salau’s – Remember Ed’s talk at the end of @F3GrowRuck 02.  Pub Ruck is Friday around 6PM.  Join the Darkside Ruckers for an evening at Stumpy’s on 11/28 from 6-8PM

Moleskin: Doing a difficult thing always sucks, until it is accomplished. Then that dread turns to a euphoric high that will last far past any pain felt the next day or two. Today was about taking a small bite out of a big bear. That’s the only way to eat something that big and mean. The Grizzly was big and mean and that pain train was big and mean. What made today special were the men who joined together to conquer both.

Each man was Thankful for something. When we started with a generic, “I’m thankful for my family…” men were prompted to be real. It’s amazing what we found out. Vanilla has a son who fights every day like Rocky, where he gets his F3 name. Ma Bell is thankful for his little daughter. You wouldn’t know it, but that beast of a man can dress a little girl to style like a champ. Patch is thankful for his daughter and the ability to have a real conversation with her about her scholarship and debt. Sometimes having difficult conversations are the things that are needed. Scotty Mo is thankful for his bride who will put up with his shenanigans and drive him around. Similarly, BJ is thankful that he found a beautiful woman who will “lie down with him” in an intimate way…don’t ask. Leonard Skynyrd is thankful for his 93 year old grandma. That lady still drives and will make the trip to his house for Turkey. That made YHC smile thinking about a tough, strong lady cruising down the road. It’s always a pleasure having the Weasel Shaker with us from the tiny metropolis of Metro. Slaughter is a busy man and luckily his 2.0 is a real Pirate. He is also thankful for the men of F3 allowing him to be the man that he knows he can be. Conch Fritter is thankful for his family and afterward the workout we had a conversation to learn he is thankful for the uncertainty that not owning a home offers. We had a great conversation about how hard that can be and the opportunities that God has in store for him and his family. YHC is thankful that his dad is had his own “Come to Jesus” moment Sept 22nd when he had a mini stroke. Since then, he’s been swimming (he was a state butter fly champ in high school and swam in college) and he stopped drinking. That was a huge step. Maybe we are all thankful for the humans in our lives we love the most. Today was about learning something about the men we were working next to.

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