Each and every Saturday morning, a time of rest and respite for many, a group of men can be found close to the fountain in City Center Newport News, doing anything but taking it easy. F3 Nation is a national network of free workouts for men. The group was started by an Army veteran in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2011, but there is no leadership to speak of within the organization. The type of workout is determined by the leader for that day, a position that rotates so that every participant shares an equal role.
The name F3 comes from the three guiding principles of the group: fitness, fellowship and faith. Tyler Hudson is one of the pillars from the Newport News group, and he explains the principles in this way: “Fitness is like the magnet that draws men to participate in our workouts; fellowship is the glue that holds it all together and keeps people coming back; and faith is like the dynamite that makes the workouts so exciting.”
The level of fitness varies from man to man, and the only requirement is that one shows up at the appointed time and place and follows the suggested workout of that day’s leader, or “Q,” as he is known in F3 lingo. The Newport News group meets to work out once a week, each Saturday morning from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. There are, however, more workouts throughout Hampton Roads. The Virginia Beach F3 Nation group meets at Mount Trashmore four mornings a week.
Bill Pollard, with Virginia Commonwealth Bank and another pillar of the Newport News F3 Nation, points out that, “During the years after high school, college or military, fellowship fades for many men. The camaraderie they experienced as younger men diminishes along with their level of fitness. So F3 Nation helps to fill both of those gaps in the lives of adult men.”
If there was to be a fourth “F” added to the name of the organization, it might be “fun.” Every man receives a nickname when he shows up for his first workout. The nicknaming process is informal, and as it goes with most nicknames, one could end up embracing his nickname although this is not guaranteed. Pollard’s F3 name is “Funny Car,” associated with drag racing but selected for Pollard because he came to his first workout on his bike. Tyler Hudson’s F3 name is “Dreamliner,” a reference to his work as an engineer at a Boeing facility.
F3 Nation is not formally promoted, but rather is spread through word of mouth. Information about the local F3 Nation can be found on Facebook at F3 Hampton Roads, while information about F3 at the national level can be found at F3Nation.com. Any man wanting to participate should just plan to meet the group at City Center in Newport News on Saturday at 7 a.m., with a willingness to embrace fitness, fellowship and a little faith.
TO THE POINT:
F3 Nation–City Center
Contacts: Tyler Hudson, 336-817-1793;
Bill Pollard, 757-383-0277