The Three Fs:

The 1st F is Fitness.

That’s the reason for doing exercise, right?  Right.  Every morning (except Sundays) before dawn a bunch of guys show up and one of them leads a workout.  Typically a bootcamp, but there are variations.  The guy who leads that day is a volunteer from the group, with no training, no experience and he doesn’t get paid.  Every day there’s a different leader and the training style or focus changes according to his whim.  This makes for dynamic, challenging workouts.  The 1st F is the magnet that brings us together.

The 2nd F is Fellowship.

After working out together, sweating side by side, laughing weakly at each other, everyone trying to catch their breath, after grumbling about the idiot who planned today’s workout, after surviving pain and difficulty together, men come together.  There’s something about taking the worst punishment and sharing it that creates a bond between men.  It’s fun to work out with other people, but it’s not just about getting better – it’s about getting better together.  The 2nd F is the glue that holds the group together, that keeps us coming back.

The 3rd F is Faith.

In the context of F3, it’s not necessarily religious faith (though it can be).  After a man’s basic need for physical fitness has been addressed and after he’s been in regular fellowship with men he respects, a little spark appears in the back of his mind.  The idea that the world isn’t what it should be, the realization that he can do something about that, and the desire to try.

One man might express this by signing up a handful of friends to help at the local soup kitchen.  Or by starting a weekly bible study group.  Or by organizing a professional guest speaker to deliver a marriage counselling workshop for men.  Or by volunteering to create a website for his new F3 region, and afterwards learning how WordPress works and how to code in html.  These men don’t get permission from F3 leadership to do these things.  They get encouragement.

The 3rd F is the dynamite that causes a need in a man to look outward, once he’s in the best physical shape of his adult life and has a strong foundation of men backing him up.