Northeast Tennessee

AMRAP to failure.

Northeast Tennessee Erwin Iron Valley (Love Chapel)

8 PAX show up for a guest Q in the Iron Valley by yours truly.


  • Through The Tunnel – 10 IC
  • Calf Stretches (with a buddy, on your brick) – 10 seconds
  • Neck Rolls – 20 seconds OYO
  • Shoulder Rolls – 20 seconds OYO
  • Arm Stretches – 20 seconds OYO
  • Plerkins (merkins with a 10 second plank in between each rep) – 10 IC
  • Shoulder Pretzels – AMRAP to failure (We got to 50 something before my elbows starting dropping, and I called it a fail.)


For each exercise, we’ll go around the circle, taking turns as the leader. All exercises are AMRAP, ALAP, or AFAP IC until the leader fails. On this day, we had four blocks and eight men, so we split into two groups of four and had one group do arms while the other did abs, then switched. We did the leg rounds and suicides together.

  • Block Curls – AMRAP IC to failure (Hooker kicks us off with 90 block curls. Dang!)
  • Overhead Block Presses – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Vertical Block Rows – AMRAP IC to failure
  • LBCs – AMRAP IC to failure (Apparently, AMRAP to failure = infinity for Slugger. He finally had mercy and just stopped.)
  • Pickle Pounders – AMRAP IC to failure (of course)
  • Nirvana Babys – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Squat Jumps – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Calf Raises – AMRAP IC to failure (more like AMRAP to cramp)
  • High Knees – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Block Curls – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Overhead Block Presses – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Vertical Block Rows – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Boat/Canoe – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Plank – ALAP to failure
  • Freddie Mercurys – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Side Straddle Hops – AMRAP IC to failure (Skaggs knocked out 150+ before fail — a ridiculous number, given everything we’d already done.)
  • Squats – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Calf Raises – AMRAP to failure
  • Block Curls – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Overhead Block Presses – AMRAP IC to failure
  • Vertical Block Rows – AMRAP IC to failure (Even after two previous arm sets, and everything else we’d done, Ma Bell brought the goods with over 40. Stud.)
  • Two-Man Suicides, to the 50 and back, three times.

We ran out of time for our finale — Bear Crawl – AFAP to failure (meet at the 50), Plank – ALAP to failure, and three rounds of Boat/Canoe with holds. We were stronger than I thought we’d be, and took too long to fail. #studs


No time left on the clock for Mary.


I was thinking about failure this week — mostly about how we men want to hide ours. It’s so tempting to hide weakness and feign strength, to hide ignorance and feign knowledge, to hide mistakes and feign perfection.

I know I have. I’ve lied about mine, and blamed them on made-up circumstances. I’ve stuck my head in the sand and pretended the consequences of my stupidity wasn’t coming. I’ve gotten angry at others. I’ve been embarrassed. I’ve been ashamed. I’ve played dumb when I’ve been caught or found out. I’ve made up excuses, and given in, and lied to myself, and truth be told — I haven’t done a whole lot about most of them (I’m still working on that).

But something I have done, is I’ve gotten over trying to pretend that I’m perfect or strong. My identity is secure as a son of God, received by grace through faith in the perfection of Jesus Christ, with a deposit (the Holy Spirit) that guarantees my inheritance. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. It doesn’t matter how I rank. It doesn’t matter if I’m good enough, if others like me, approve of me, or love me. It doesn’t matter if others reject me, or criticize me, or judge me, or if I fail. I am a created, beloved son of God.

And once you can rest in that, there’s no room for worry or fear or shame. You just do the best you can every day — be creative and kind and disciplined and loving and wise and generous and hard working and full of grace. And every day, you fail, and repent, and find grace, and find mercy, and find hope.

James MacDonald, one of my favorite preachers, has this summary of James 5:16 and 1 John 1:9: “Confess your sins to God to be forgiven, and confess them to others to be healed.”

If we’re not open about our failures, it robs us of healing and fellowship and help, and it robs others of those as well, because playing perfect, or just being silent about our struggles, gives the enemy a foothold to convince us that we are alone. We’re not alone.

The difference between humility and humiliation is giving up control.

You cannot feel loved unless you are known.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

If “God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble” is true, the best way out of our troubles, failures, or weaknesses isn’t to hide them, it’s to bring them into the light so we can learn and get help and grow.

I think we already added a 4th F for fun or football or flatulence or something, but maybe we can add a 5th honorary F for failure too? Because, truth be told, it is failure that leads us to humility, which leads to repentance, which leads to His kindness, and mercy, and love — and that of our brothers as well.

Don’t miss out.


Goliath at the Gorge is coming up on Saturday, October 14th. We have two pre-paid spots that have come open due to injury. If the $60 entry fee was keeping you from committing, that’s not an excuse any more. Sign up at Goliath at the Gorge but — let me know first if you want to claim one of the pre-paid spots.

Donatello has to full-court press on the GrowRuck event on November 18th. This is great CSAUP opportunity that is sure to grow your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Fs tremendously. Get on the ruck train. Add your name to the spreadsheet to confirm your interest.

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