Northeast Tennessee

The Grind

Northeast Tennessee Johnson City Iron Horse (Founders Park)

22 wet degrees with frozen butts for 12 PAX who showed up for “The Grind.”


Mosey to the amphitheater.

  • Merkins 10 IC
  • Side Straddle Hops 20 IC
  • Merkins 10 IC
  • Side Straddle Hops 20 IC
  • Merkins 10 IC
  • Side Straddle Hops 20 IC


Mosey to Tombstone Hill for AMRAP Ups and Downs w/ 10 Merkins at the bottom and 10 Boat/Canoes at the top until time is called.

  1. On your way up, sprint from the white line to the top.
  2. We’ll do our usual thing, and encourage one another as we pass w/ a fist bump, high five, butt slap, swingover low five, standard low five, chest bump, or cat call; but we’re also going to say a prayer for the man that we passed. If you’re not much of a prayer, no worries, just meditate for a minute on some good that you want in the life of that man — healthy kids, or a healthy marriage, physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health; wisdom, or success. It doesn’t have to be much, or be long. After all, we’ll be passing somebody else in about 30 seconds so… Just pray as you see fit, for whatever comes to mind.

Burpee Train.

Mosey to the field.

  • 200 Cumulative Burpees for the group (shout out every time you hit 10).
  • 10 Merkins
  • 10 Boat/Canoes


  • 100 Cumulative Burpees for the group (shout out every time you hit 5).
  • 10 Merkins (hold plank for approx. 30 seconds)


The Grind.

Much of life is a grind of repeating to-do lists, bills, stuff at home, stuff at work, stuff at church, car maintenance, home maintenance, yard maintenance, school, kids, clubs, groups, practices, obligations, commitments, chores, invoices, phone calls, emails, and more. It’s an endless cycle, doing the same things day in and day out, week in and week out, for months, or years, or even decades.

And sometimes, that can really suck the joy out of life, or create doubt about if you’re in the right place, doing the right thing. Sometimes, too, it can keep you from connecting in meaningful ways, around meaningful work — work that makes you feel valuable and appreciated and strong.

I get caught in those loops sometimes — days where I check a million things off the list, but haven’t really accomplished anything that anyone would know or see, which can be a little deflating, even depressing.

But if I’m honest, that’s not usually my problem.

My problem is a lack of discipline (and self-control).

I have a good sense of what to do, and I see the clear connection between what I’m doing and the impact it has on the health of my kids and my employees. But even so, it’s a big list of to-do items, most of which aren’t really what I enjoy doing, so — it’s easy to procrastinate for a day, or two, or even a few weeks. Then, once I’m so far behind that it’s effecting others, I’m forced to put out fires on the most important things, and then just take a loss on the ones that are too far gone to save.

My focus on prayer this month has had a positive impact in this area.

Confessing intentionally, every day, has made me more aware of how often my primary, recurring sin isn’t lust or envy or pride — it’s a lack of discipline and self-control. Being grateful, intentionally, every day has made me more aware of areas where God’s provision has given me many good things to steward — things that I have a responsibility to steward well. Petitioning and interceding for others, intentionally and daily, has really helped me to see things (and people) the way God sees them, and that helps me see the connection between the “meaningless” work I’m doing, and the blessing that work is to others.

Being more connected to God, connects me more to others, who are connected to my work, which gives meaning to what I’m doing — even if it is mundane, repetitive, thankless, and unseen. And being more connected to God reminds me that He cares about me, and that helps me work from a healthier place — not for the approval of men, or to shore up my identity, but to rest in my identity, and to do good work as a response to His goodness and His love.

Friends do that too, and it’s one of my favorite things about F3.

Friendships can make the mundane (or two-hundred burpees on a wet, twenty-two degree morning) fun. Good friends can encourage you with the right word at the right time or — they can give you a kick in the pants when you need it. Children can make the mundane meaningful, make sacrifice joyful, and make a heavy responsibility, a welcome one. Wives can make us want to be better men, not because we want credit, but because we want to care for, protect, and provide for those we love.

Luke 14 says that we must carry our own cross. 2 Thessalonians says that if a man doesn’t work, he doesn’t eat. Colossians 3 says that we should do whatever we do as if working for the Lord. There are dozens of other references that challenge us, as men, to work hard, lead well, steward our resources wisely, run the race, beat our bodies, lay ourselves down, etc.

Galatians 6 tells us to carry one another’s burdens. Hebrews 10 says to consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, encouraging one another. Ephesians 4 challenges us to use our words to build others up, according to their needs, so that it will benefit those who listen.

James 5 directs us to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another so that we can be healed. 1 Timothy 1 asks us to pray for all people. Ephesian 6 tells us to persevere, praying for all of the saints.

So… Here’s a challenge for us to be disciplined enough to do the things we should, to be self-controlled enough to avoid the things we shouldn’t, and to be humble, intentional, and brave enough to move past relationships of niceties and polite, generic questions and responses, into authentic friendships, where we are encouraging one another (carrying one another’s burdens), holding one another accountable to be growing, working, and making gains (carrying our own crosses), and praying for one another in a consistent, intentional way.

If you’re not connecting in meaningful ways with other men who really know you, you should do that now. If you’re not praying daily, you should do that too.

“The grind” is only a grind if you don’t know why you’re doing the work, and if you’re doing it alone.

One more thing:

About 3/4 of the way up the hill, I drew a white line. For me, that line represented the place where I normally feel like slowing down, or giving up — where I tend to think “this is close enough to the top to start stopping.” But today, that line marked the place where we worked harder, and sprinted to the top.

Where in your life can you draw a line where you normally give up, where instead, starting today, you can work harder, and press hard to the finish line at top to of the hill?

I’m praying for you men every day, and expecting good things to happen.


  • 3rd F 3rd Thursday is this week. 9:00 PM at Main Street Pizza.
  • Rudy is prescribing a monthly fitness focus on Slack. Join the 1stF channel if you want to be in the loop.
  • Our 3rd F focus this month is prayer — five minutes a day with intentional confession, repentance, praise, thanksgiving, petition, and intercession. Get ‘r done.

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