A Note from OBT: Dredd and I wrote the original Five Emotional Headlock (“EH”) Excuses post in December 2011, as we approached the one-year anniversary of the first F3 workout. This is an updated version of that original post, designed to be applicable to would-be headlockers across F3 Nation.
We’ve been at this F3 thing for a while now, so we’ve heard pretty much every excuse for why a guy can’t post to a free workout with other guys at a time of day when the rest of the world is still in the Fartsack. And in an F3 world where guys in Statesville, N.C., come off of overnight shifts and roll straight into an 0530 workout, there really are no good EH Excuses.
But we know that you, the EHers of F3 Nation, need ready answers for weak, lame, overused EH Excuses. So consider this post a little ammo. Here, our choices for The Top Five EH Excuses.
No. 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. The late Casey 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: There’s nothing you can do on your own that is going to get you ready for that first workout. Almost no one working out in a gym or on the streets (let alone coming off the couch) combines the kind of aerobic and bodyweight fitness that F3 workouts demand. So you need to make the choice to join with a bunch of other men and push through that pain. Because “I need to get in shape” is really just a way of keeping the commitment just over the horizon, always just out of reach. The only way to get in shape is to put yourself in the middle of a group of other men and force yourself to keep up with the Pack.
Dredd: Would you get drunk before you went to a bar? I rest my case. (Dredd’s a lawyer).
No. 2: “I already belong to a gym.”
Hey, that’s great. 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, elsewhere in your home city, 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 with power and impact. Trust us, there’s a difference.
Dredd: Gyms have rules. The rules are usually dumb. They 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.
No. 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 over to Chick-fil-A to 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 your 2.0 from basketball practice so she can get the 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 Guy, 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?
No. 4: “I’m already working with a personal trainer.”
Yeah, I can 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.
No. 5: “This sounds like some sort of cult.”
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 what grown-ass men did. If society has moved so far toward atomization and self-absorption that 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 Bopp Comet or drinking Hot-Ade in French Guyana.