It’s the holidays, so that means a lot of parties — and a lot of chances to EH guys who need a little F3 in their lives. I distinctly remember EHing Black Bird (formerly my across-the-street neighbor in Elizabeth) at Hitman’s late, lamented Dragonfly Christmas Party at this time last year. If I had known what a monster he was going to be and how embarrassed I would be to be left in his and Cougar’s dust on Sunday morning runs, I might have thought twice. But that’s the great double-edged sword of the EH — you may Unleash the Lion.
Dredd: yes, let us all bow our heads in lamentations for the DragonFly Christmas Party. A classic good time and opportunity to drink on Hitman’s tab.
So to gird the members of the F3 Nation in the midst of prime EHing season — whether for the Cherokee startup, to try to get a guy out to an existing workout or for the new workouts launching in Atlanta and Dallas in early ’12, here’s a convenient list of the Top Five EH Excuses and Dredd’s and my proposed responses:
Dredd: I just EH’d HokieJohn after the Christ Church Christmas Pageant and he actually issued all five of these excuses in less than 60 seconds, and then conditionally HC’d. By my reckoning HokieJohn has been EH’d more than any man in CNC who has never/ever posted. Even MDredd leaped in and said “just do it. Do IT!!” and she has serious reservations about the cult thing (see below).
1)”I need to get in shape to come work out with you guys.”
This is No. 1 with a bullet on the F3 Excuse Charts. Kasey Kasem says so. And for a lot of guys it gives them all the wiggle room they need to take themselves off the hook. Because let’s be honest (and some of you who joined midyear and were already in pretty good shape can attest to this): There’s nothing you can do on your own that is going to get you ready for that first workout. Unless you’re already a committed CrossFit guy, if you’re new to F3 you are probably going to suffer for the first 3 weeks or so. You’ll be stiff and hobbling for two days after a Saturday workout. It’s just reality. But you either push through that solo or find some other FNGs with whom you can come up the curve together. “I need to get in shape” is just a way to keep the commitment just over the horizon, always just out of reach, because you’ll never really be in shape enough on your own until you put yourself in the middle of a group of other men a push yourself to keep up with the Pack.
Dredd: Would you get drunk before you went to a bar? Though, as many of the Faithful know, Zoot gave me this excuse in reverse when he headlocked me so long ago, telling me I needed to get in shape before I came out. But I was a special case in that I looked really really bad. I mean, c’mon I had pizza crumbs stuck in my mammal hole that I couldn’t even see. Disgraceful.
2) “I already belong to a gym.”
Hey, that’s great. I’m glad you’re supporting all the wonderful work the Y is doing in the community. I bet it really rockets you out of bed every morning to think about another exciting day on the treadmill, headphones plugged in so you can listen to the Sportscenter anchors run through yet another rendition of “Hot or Cold? Brought to You by Miller Lite” while the plastic ficus next to you waves gently in the 68-degree climate-controlled splendor. Meanwhile, at several locations in this beautiful city of ours, men are gathering of their own free will in temperatures ranging from 9 to 90 degrees and conditions ranging from starlit to monsoonish to sweltering to give it their all for an hour and launch into the day. Trust us, there’s a difference.
Dredd: Gyms have rules. The rules are usually dumb. The put signs listing the dumb rules all over the wall. There aren’t any walls outside, so there is no place to post the rules. Thus, no dumb rules.
3) “That’s too early to get up to work out. I’m really not a morning workout guy.”
Oh, yeah … I know you. You’re the Lunch Hour Workout Guy — until that 11 a.m. conference call runs long and you don’t have time to work out and get back for the 1:30 meeting, so you’ll have to run downstairs to Chick-fil-A on the Overstreet Mall and grab some Fast Food That I Can Pretend Isn’t Fast Food, but you’ll definitely get out in time to hit the Y before you go home except your wife calls and she needs you to go pick up 2.0 from basketball practice so she can get 2.1 from violin lessons and still get home in time to put dinner on the table and meet her friends for girls’ night out at 7:30 and, well … now you’re Tomorrow Workout, aren’t you?
Dredd: There are only two kinds of workout guys, the early morning workout guy and the guy who blows off most of his workouts. Which are you?
4) ” I’m already working with a personal trainer.”
Yeah, I can really tell. Really getting your money’s worth there, aren’t you? And you’re paying this guy or girl how much to count your reps and hold a clipboard? Did I mention the fourth F that comes after Fitness, Fellowship and Faith? It’s called: Free.
Dredd: not every day? Surely, not every day. C’mon, you can make one day a week the day you let somebody give you for free the thing you’ve been paying for. Seriously.
5) “This sounds like some sort of cult.”
Call this one The Warthog Complaint. And yes, 6Mike is fond of calling me the Bhagwan. But back when our father’s fathers ran the world, a bunch of men gathering at odd hours to engage in common effort for the common good and with an eye toward the larger improvement of the world around them and the raising up of men to be leaders was simply plain vanilla, old-fashioned civic engagement, and it was was what men of our demographic and age did. If society has moved so far toward atomization and self-absorption that the notion of free assembly and group pride qualifies as cultish behavior, then so be it — but we will be the ones, in the words of the late William Buckley, standing “athwart history, yelling stop.”
Dredd: uhhhh, actually it is kind of a cult, but I’m thinking it’s the good kind of cult like the Blue Oyster Cult. Not the kind of cult where you end up with tin foil on your head or castrating yourself to get a ride on the Hale Bop Comet or drinking hot aid in French Guyana.
P.S. And yes, I did just quote William Buckley. See, I’m on to something about the cult. A guy who votes for HWNSNBM in 2008 and finds himself quoting the King three years later is pretty much exhibiting cultish behavior. WFB would have choked HWNSNBM out if he was alive and had half a chance. Just saying. . .