• When: 2024-02-27
  • QIC: Shine
  • The PAX: Coon Dog, Ken Doll, Shades of Gray, Genie (R), LEGO, Hash & Rice, Love Shack, Duff, Soaker (R), Revere, Shine

Burden Bearers

Posted by Coon Dog on behalf of Shine.

The fabled VQ… I probably volunteered a little too fast, but it’s who I am. Didn’t sleep well last night. Felt restless. M asked if I was nervous – which she knew was a ridiculous question. I chuckled out loud and told her “not quite.” She just smiled and went on to bed. She was as excited as I was…
She’s been praying for this for eight years.
When we moved from WV I didn’t know anyone in Lexington but a few members of her family. And I was leaving behind a very close group of guys that I had been with my whole life: my brother and my cousins.
Her prayer was that I could find a group of men who would replace what I left behind.
That’s a tall order.
People came and went – nothing stuck.
It needed to be a special group. The standard was high. Much would be required. More than anything it had to be a group of men who were committed to the same things I was: My relationship with Christ > my relationship with my wife > my relationship with my children > my relationship with others.
It also needed elements of leadership, accountability, and even vulnerability at times…
The icing on top was if it could push me to my physical limits too.
I needed real men who had been through real life who were willing to bring others along, and who wouldn’t settle for less.
I needed men who could bear my burdens. And men who would let me help bear theirs.
Who knew my M’s prayer would be answered by Shawshank!

Disclaimer and Prayer:
Someone led Stride Lite too quickly so there was plenty of time to spare before BC. 5 minute and 1 minute warnings were given.
Called time at 5:30 – no FNG’s – opened us in prayer.

Grabbed Burden Bearers (2×4 with brackets) from back of YHC’s truck. PAX were confused…
Mosey to the field where some glow sticks could be seen in the distance.

Brief COP:
      • 10 SSH
      • 8 Michael Phelps

Dredd would have been proud of this one…

The Thang:
Mosey to block pile and take one. Partner up. We were blessed with an even number!
Glow sticks illuminated an 8 point circle.
Each point represented a different workout.
Each PAX and their partner worked their way around the circle stopping at each point for 2 minutes of exercise.

The catch: While one partner was completing the exercise, their partner was behind them ‘bearing’ the ~80 lbs of burdens. Bearing the burdens consisted of the 2×4 with brackets holding up the 2 cinder blocks. Burdens (blocks) were not allowed to touch the ground during the entirety of the workout.
10 PAX kept 400 lbs of block and wood off the ground for nearly 30 minutes!

After the reps were completed, the partners would switch off bearing the burdens while the other did the exercise. As many trade offs to fill the 2-minute session as needed.
20 second rest.
Rotate to the next glow stick.

      1. 10x Sledge Swings on Tire
      2. 6x Broad Jumps
      3. 20x Your Choice Sit Ups
      4. 15x Your Choice Merkins
      5. 20x Mountain Climbers – should have been more!
      6. 10x Iron Crosses
      7. 5x Burpees
      8. 15x Kettle Bell Swings

Rotate around the circle as much as time would allow. We made it 1.5 times around.

30 second rest as PAX were begging to put down the burden bearers.

Picked them back up and finished with:
      1. 10x Squats with partner and weight
      2. 10x overhead presses with partner and weight
      3. 5x Blockees (or for at least this Q: Burden Bearing Burpees) love me some alliteration.

Returned Blocks. Cleaned up field. Mosey back to Shovel Flag.

      • 10th Anniversary shirt order (closes tomorrow!)
      • Lexington Race Against (for?) Hunger – 3/16
      • Thirsty Tuesday Tonight (7 pm Krafty Draft)
      • Shades Q JB tomorrow, Duff Q Thursday
      • Ville to Ville Race – April 12/13
      • April 14 – Shine preaching at LBC (8:45 am and 11 am services)

Prayer Requests:
      • Ken Doll’s friend’s dad (80 y/o) bone cancer and relationship with the Lord
      • Harmon Family
      • Shades’ Family
      • Cheers’ M & D
      • CD’s brothers getting back in church!
      • Shine’s friend’s brother – found a mass on his brain

Prayed us out.

The Devo:
The Gloom

~ A Month’s (or two) Worth of Observations from a FNG ~

What is it about the Gloom that calls out to me?

What is it about that early morning darkness that awakens in me an ancient desire to push myself further and harder?

Is it the stillness of those hours when the rest of the world sleeps? Is it the mile after mile of shrouded routes that we venture down? Is it Old Glory, lashed atop a shovel, swaying gently in the morning breeze? Or is it the satisfaction of hard work, the pressing and pulling of my own weight, that draws me in?

Surely it is all of these things.

Nay, the Gloom is more.

For the Gloom also carries a supernatural significance. It cries to us with the voice of our Creator, echoing to us through the ages.

Abraham. Joshua. David. Daniel. Jesus.

On so many of the days that mattered most to them, the Bible tells us of its great characters, who rose early, while it was yet dark, and set out to change the world.

They prayed. They worshipped. They journeyed. They lamented. They spied. They battled!

It is that very calling, that mission to make better ourselves and the world around us, that can be found in the Gloom.

Surely it is all of these reasons too.

Nay, the Gloom is more.

The Gloom is her people. These debatably sane men who venture out, morning after morning, cold, snow, ice rain, heat, fog... it matters not. They venture out.  

And when you show up they push you. Their presence alone invites you to challenge yourself to be more, to go harder, to run faster. They’re grinders. Good people with a work ethic that is admirable.They’re able to dig deep for one more rep. They push. They pull. They sprint. They carry. They circle up. For pain and then for trust.

Being in the circle becomes contagious. For the brave few, we can’t get enough. It spills into weekends and holidays. They talk about the Gloom with family and friends – often being met with expressions of confusion or ridicule. “Who on earth does that?” they question us.

Surely it is all of these things too.

Nay, the Gloom is more.

What is it that calls me to the Gloom? What about it can I not shake?

Perhaps its not the Gloom at all…

It’s not the early morning hours, the long miles, or the burpees.

It’s not the supernatural tug of ancient biblical ritual.

It’s not the circle of the pain or the Gibson Trick.

Rather, I have learned, the thing about the Gloom that draws me in, is what remains when the Gloom is gone.

Rare on this earth does something unite people so fast as does the Gloom.

These men were complete strangers to me in January. Now many of them are turning into mentors, brothers, friends…

That must be it. The bonds of brotherhood that are forged in the Gloom. Relationships that last long after the sun is up.

Relationships that I believe are orchestrated to help each other out. To bear one another’s burdens.

For I cannot think of more worthy men, than those who unite in the Gloom.

Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Romans 15:2-7 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

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