There are 39 members of the Twitter Depot chat.
There is an average of 12 PAX attending workouts over the last several months.
There’s something wrong with these numbers.
Let me start off by describing a moment. A moment that, for some of us, was several years ago; and for others, not so long ago. But that moment was when you first started coming out to Depot. Not the first workout. We all know that one was probably the day(s) you felt like a train ran you over. No, this “moment” is that first few weeks. When you attended almost every workout because you just couldn’t get enough. You looked forward to setting your alarm. Putting your clothes out the night before. Looking forward to who was going to Q and what you’d be doing. How many calories you might burn or miles you might run. It was an exciting time.
Then your first month became a few months. Then several. Then a year went by. You started feeling like you met all the people you could meet. You know who was going to complain and who was going to put forth the most effort. And you also started learning how easy it would be to stay in bed. Ignore the alarm clock. Put more emphasis on an injury you would sooner forgot about when you first started posting. Events like the P200, Mud Run (what’s that?), Go Ruck, et al become just another event you have to spend money on, even though F3 is “free”.
Now, your moment is no longer the moment. No. Now, getting up and showing up to a 0530 workout is the moment you just don’t feel like it because maybe it’s not what it used to be.
And that sucks.
So let’s go back to your early moment. That time when you couldn’t wait to show up at Depot. What did you like about it? What made you come back? What got you out there in the first place?
More importantly, what’s changed? Are you tapped out? Have you done every possible exercise you can think of and now you feel like you’ve piqued? Do you miss the gym? Have the guys you enjoyed seeing just stop coming and now you feel like, “what’s the use?”
Is Depot, or F3, just not fun anymore? And is “fun” what brought you out to begin with?
Everyone of us will have a different answer. For me, I’ve been hit with all of them. Some workout days I just felt burnt out. Others I felt frustrated, tired, unchallenged, and yes, even bored. All of us can think back and recall a “I remember when…” moment. I have lots of them. I remember when we had 20 to 30 people at every workout. I remember when we had a different Q every week, for months on end. I remember when it seemed like we had an FNG every other workout. I remember when workouts were geared towards training for the Mud Run (which was, at one point, called the Super Bowl of F3). I remember when I Q’s would have some crazy creative new exercise that got everyone talking. I remember when you had to wait several weeks just to get on the Q sheet. And I remember Depot was the AO to try and match.
What’s happened to us? And how can we get back to form? Have we become just status-quo?
Is Depot tapped out?
To quote Tracy Morgan from ‘Cop out’:
“No. No. Mm-mm. Mm-mm. No. No. No, no, no, no. Hell no. No! No!”
I want everyone at Depot to ask themselves these questions and share their answers. We haven’t even begun to be tapped out.
Here’s where we can start.
First, we need to make sure we post. Me included. Not just because we are the seasoned veterans, but because if you invite someone, they come out, and you stop showing up, what does that say about us and how important this thing we call F3 is?
Secondly, we need to start inviting others. There are roughly 150,000 people that live in the Irmo/Ballentine/Chapin area. If even a third of them are husbands/dads/ferns/etc, that’s still 50,000 men we can try and reach. And if you don’t feel like knocking on random doors, live in a remote area, or just aren’t a people-person, start with out own Twitter room! If we average 12 PAX/workout and there are 39 members of Depot chat, that’s 27 other people who aren’t showing up but claim Depot as their AO. Reach out to someone. Maybe they’ve gotten bored. Maybe they need that encouragement to come back. Maybe they have something going on in their lives and just need a friendly hello. If 12 of us contacted just 3 people each, we could reach everyone in the Depot Twitter chat.
Finally, we need to continue to encourage each other to come back – even if you show up! Remember when we compared each other’s Coach.Me stats? Let’s get back to that.
In order to reach those 50,000 potential FNG’s we need to be proactive. Talk to someone at work. Casually mention F3 when you’re visiting a friend. Or wear your F3 shirt out and take an opportunity to mention it to a stranger. To help with this, in the coming weeks, I’ll be bringing by some kick-ass business cards. I’ll give everyone a small hand-full. Your mission is to get them into the hands of someone that doesn’t know F3. Maybe you paid for the guy’s Chik-Fil-A behind you. Give the cashier a card to hand to them. Leave one where business cards are displayed. Leave a few at a gym you visit! Get creative.
Creativity at Depot:
A few years ago, Paint Chip introduced us to the greatest game ever: handball. What started as something to break the monotony of a typical workout became the workout and now continues to be something PAX look forward to. Thought not as much. What else can we introduce? What else can we do to break the monotony of a typical workout? We had a great time scheduling flag football. What about kickball? Dodgeball? Anything that would get PAX excited to want to show up to Depot. Think of it, and let’s try it.
And what about the workout? Depot is big. There’s lots of ground. What ways can you be creative? How much surface area can you cover at Depot? Do we need something else besides blocks and bricks? What about tires? Ropes. Bring your own kettle bell day. Wear a ruck day. Carry around a block the entire workout. I remember a workout I Q’d where after the 5 minute warm-up, I got everyone into the merkin position, and made the announcement we wouldn’t get up from the ground the rest of the workout. Let’s start getting creative so we get people talking about the workouts.
Coach.Me bragging rights was great. While it lasted. Attendance numbers were great. While it lasted. What else have we got? There has to be something to give PAX the motivation to succeed at posting. Maybe some type of reward after posting so many times. Other than the reward you get of being at Depot and burning all of those calories so you don’t get winded every time you walk up the steps.
I’m all for nostalgia, antiques, and the preservation of originals – but it’s time for a more creative shovel flag. One that’s a statement. I’m artistic. I’ve created a few shovel flags for other AO’s. I have some ideas for a new Depot shovel flag. We need to get our Ol’ Glory to the point where people want to take the shove flag to the next workout.
The permission has been given and the location is approved. It’s time to get serious about the pull-up bars. In the coming weeks, I’ll be reminding everyone that we’ll be taking a donation for materials and to think of a day that everyone can come help build them.
A few weeks ago I was frustrated about being your AOQ. I let petty remarks on Twitter get the best of me and I was willing to give up AOQ duties that day. And then something sad happened. I threw out the position for someone to take – and no one stepped up. I thought for sure someone would jump at wanting to be AOQ. But no one did. So it reminded me that Depot has lost some of it’s character and fun. It’s core reputation of being the first in Lake Murray. So I’m here to reinvigorate you. To motivate you. To get you contributing to making Depot great again.
Let me make this clear: Depot is NOT status-quo.
We are proactive and progressive. If anything, we are status-pro.
Let’s be status-pro.