SEABROOK SAYS: Steven Long, the co-leader of Gastonia Sheet Metal, tells about his high level of commitment to F3. F3, a national organization, was founded in Charlotte. The organization is dedicated to grow young male county leadership in unique ways. Gaston County desperately needs young leaders to emerge to lead us now and into the future. NOW THAT YOU KNOW, WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Six days each week, usually in the gloom of 5:30 am or 7:00 am, men gather at different locations throughout Gaston County for a 45 – 60 minute workout. The number of attendees at any given workout can vary from 3 – 35+. The rules for these ‘Boot Camp’ style workouts are very simple and are as follows, they are open to all men, are held outside regardless of weather conditions, are free, are led by the attendees in a rotating fashion and each workout ends with a Circle of Trust.
The F3 movement began on New Year’s Day 2011 in Charlotte, NC. The mission of the group isn’t to get men in better shape, it’s “to plant, grow and serve small workout groups for the invigoration of male community leadership.” You can find this exact wording on the website, www.F3Nation.com.
Something happens on the road to better leadership the F3 way with regular attendance at workouts. Regular attendees get in better shape. It is impossible to attend multiple workouts each week and not see your fitness level improve. Regular attendees meet other men with similar goals and thoughts on life, family, faith, etc. This fellowship is ultimately what brings the men back week after week. New friendships are formed from this fellowship and interaction leads to more opportunities to serve each other and the community. Regular attendees become a part of a group that supports each other, motivates and holds each other accountable, and pushes each other to be better.
For me personally, the F3 story started in March, 2015 when a good friend from Church invited me to the first few workouts. Initially, there was one weekly workout held on Saturday mornings with the group meeting in the parking lot at the Schiele Museum. When I finally got out for that first Saturday, I was blown away by what I experienced. First, there were 18 – 20 persons in attendance including several that I personally knew. There were guys from other F3 Regions there to lead the first few weeks of workouts until the Gastonia group was ready to lead on its own. I had the same thoughts that most have at the first workout, “I’m not in good enough shape”. What I found was a group of men working to be better regardless of fitness level. I witnessed all ranges of fitness level that first day including guys who could have done that workout in half the time and then ran a marathon right after to guys who were struggling to keep up after the first 10 minutes. It was terrific. I found myself to be somewhere in the middle of the pack that day for most of the workout and that is where I continue to be. The guys in front did all they could to help the guys in back and that’s what struck me mostly at that first workout. Since then, I have posted over 130 times, led 15 – 20 workouts and helped launch a workout in Lincolnton. I have become close friends with men I would have never met otherwise and had these same men check on me after missing a few workouts. I have found it to improve my daily outlook and health.
From that first workout in March, 2015 to now, we have grown to 13 different workouts throughout the week at 8 different locations and are looking to add more. We have multiple workouts scheduled each week in Cramerton, Gastonia and Dallas with the newest location on Saturday mornings in Belmont. This link shows the exact locations and times, http://f3nation.com/schedules/gastonia-nc/ . Please come out and see what it’s about. I can almost assure you won’t regret it…….at least not after getting a few workouts behind you. Aye!!
Steven Long (F3 Stroganoff)
President, Residential Divisions
Gastonia Sheet Metal
P.S. – At the end of your first workout, you’ll be given your F3 nickname…so think hard before answering those questions.