Q: So wait, so what’s your deal again?
A: F3 was modeled after another workout group. A couple of military dudes missed working out with other military dudes because they realized it was actually fun and helped them get in great shape. They also found that they deepened their friendships and became more decent men because of it. So they thought, Oh hey, we could do this and invite more dudes to join. It kind of snowballed from there, and here we are with our local group.
Q: What do you guys do when it snows?
A: Bundle up and modify our workouts as necessary. All our events are snow, rain or shine (unless conditions are physically dangerous).
Q: Seriously, is F3 some kind of a cult?
A: I guess we can’t speak for every single chapter of F3, but none of us lives in a bomb shelter or eats cats or anything. So, short answer, no.
Q: If you have to tell me you’re not a cult, doesn’t that pretty much make you a cult?
A: Okay, fair logic. F3 has no dues. It’s come as you please. If you’re not into it, no worries, thanks for giving it an effort. It’s really just about getting in shape (fitness), building a community/band of brothers (fellowship) and embracing something above and beyond ourselves (faith).
Q: I’m not so sure about the faith part.
A: Right, we get it. F3 Nation is very much born out of the Bible Belt, but each F3 chapter gets adapted a bit to the regional culture. Our group has a big mix of belief systems, and you are honestly welcome with whatever you bring. Whether you’re a Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, Druid, believer, skeptic, atheist or… whatever, you are welcome. Each workout ends with a Circle of Trust (CoT) where one man speaks from the heart to “close out” the workout. For some that means a prayer, for others it’s just an expression of gratitude. All we ask is that everyone who participates be respectful of those speaking at the CoT.
Q: I’m not exactly in great shape, and I tend to hate working out. I need to get in shape before I come out with you guys.
A: Sure, a few of us definitely felt that way, too. We all modify each workout as we see fit. We don’t expect everyone to be at the same ability or fitness level. Some of us are cardio guys, some are lifting guys. Some are couch potato guys. You start somewhere, and build from there. We don’t compete with each other, we compete against the man we were yesterday. And we always “pick up the six,” meaning we don’t leave anyone in the dust.
Q: What’s with all the lingo and weird nicknames and stuff?
A: Maybe this is what happens when former military guys get bored? I don’t know. If nothing else, it just keeps things interesting. Why talk about throwing up when you can talk about Spilling Merlot? It’s more fun, and contributes to the sense of being a part of something different.
Q: I would like to come try it out, except I have (blanket excuse or something)…
A: Look, come on out and see what you think. We are working to create a space here in Cincinnati where all men are welcomed to just bond with other men. It’s not easy for most of us, since American men tend to be socialized to be tough mavericks who try to do everything solo and not actually form deep friendships. Research shows that approach isn’t healthy, and it affects every aspect of our lives. So we get that you might feel different or like an outsider. Some of our members fit that bill. We’d just challenge you to come and check it out anyway – we’ll do our best to make you feel welcome.
Q: I’m a woman. Can I join?
A: Sorry, nope. This is just for men. That’s our one hard line criteria.
Q: You guys look like a bunch of wimps.
A: Maybe. Why not come by for a Saturday beatdown and find out?