F3, FiA groups shaping mind, body, soul
SPRUCE PINE – It takes place early in the morning, it is difficult and it is outdoors rain or shine, hot or cold.
There are three reasons those things did not matter to Spruce Pine resident Adam Burleson: fitness, fellowship and faith.
F3, as it is known, was officially formed in 2011 by David Redding and Tim Whitmire as a free, participant-led boot camp that took place early on Saturday mornings at a park in Charlotte. The group’s mission is creating small workout groups that ultimately invigorate male community leadership.
“The average age of men in the groups is 40,” Adam, 29, said. “It’s mostly people who have graduated college, had kids and had ‘sad-clown syndrome,’ which is when someone appears happy in all aspects of their life but, deep-down, are sad about something. A lot of times it’s being out of shape that causes the sadness and that’s what we do, focus on fitness; the faith and fellowship just happen.”
F3 groups have since spread throughout the country and Burleson started the F3 Spruce Pine chapter June 25, 2016, which meets three days a week: 5:30 a.m. Tuesdays at Harris Middle School; 5:30 a.m. Thursdays at the Mitchell High School track; and 7 a.m. Saturdays at Deyton Elementary. The idea behind the early morning workouts is minimizing the intrusion on one’s personal life.
“When there’s failure in the male leadership in the community, communities fail,” Adam said. “In the group, we lift each other up. It’s a total team effort; we lift each other up.”
F3 is hosting “The Wolf” from 6-8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, which is a group endurance event covering roughly 8 miles beginning in downtown Spruce Pine.
Adam’s wife, Brooke, 35, started this past April a Spruce Pine chapter of F3’s female counterpart, Females in Action, or FiA, which has the mission of making women stronger in all aspects of their lives. FiA members participate also in book clubs, career and family discussion groups and faith interactions. As of now, FiA meets at 8:15 a.m. in Riverside Park on Saturday mornings only.
“FiA is modified to fit all shapes, sizes and fitness level,” Brooke said. “It builds relationships among women. We go have coffee afterward and it leads to friendships outside of the group. Too often women get caught up in being moms.”
To encourage participation in F3, Adam routinely tells people the workouts are too hard and they probably couldn’t handle it to tap into the male’s competitive instincts. FiA takes more of a “you vs. you” approach, Brooke said.
“Women tend to compare themselves to each other and are less competitive,” she said. “The beauty of all this to me is that anyone can do it, all walks of life.”
The best way to join either group is to attend a workout session.