VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — As you get older, it might seem more challenging to make new friends or get fit. Well, there’s an organization for the men out there that allows them to do both at the same time while also exploring their faith.
“F3 stands for Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith. The faith part really doesn’t define one specific religion or faith. It is simply a belief in something outside of oneself,” said Bill Pollard, the Nantan, or spiritual leader, of F3 in Virginia Beach.
The national F3 organization started 10 years ago in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Now we have almost 3,000 workouts in 41 states, and we’re on four continents now,” said Pollard.
This Friday, Nov. 5, marks five years of F3 in Hampton Roads.
“The idea is men have families, have jobs, they sort of lose that male bonding. So, F3 sort of gives us an opportunity to do that. Our workouts are free. They’re open to all men. They’re held outdoors. We’re peer-led. These guys come out, it’s a free workout. You’re held accountable to each other. We motivate each other, and then we’re there to support each other. That’s why I enjoy F3 because I make these new friends, I’m working out, and there’s a faith part to it.”
Pollard says there are now 19 F3 workouts, throughout Hampton Roads for all ages and fitness levels.
“If you can’t do something, you just do what you can do. We have guys in their 20s and guys in their 70s. Some guys are in great shape. Some guys aren’t in as good of shape. You can just modify as needed,” he said.
As for the workouts? Pollard says it simply depends on the man assigned to create the workout that day.
“We might run some. We might do a lot of pushups, burpees, each workout is different. We work out at Mt. Trashmore, in the summertime on the beach, in Norfolk, Newport News, and Suffolk, and in Franklin. We work out at churches, at parks, at City Center in Newport News. So, all different locations. We’ll go into parking decks, run up hills, it’s pretty neat to see the different workouts each day,” he said.
Pollard says has witnessed F3 change lives.
“I’ve seen guys in Hampton Roads who were fighting alcohol, and F3 has helped them stop that. I’ve seen guys lose over 50 pounds, get in better shape. We try to help each other be better men, better fathers, better workers, and we’re accountable to each other, and it’s just been amazing seeing this organization transform men,” he said.
At the end of each workout, the men stand in what’s called a circle of trust. If you’re new to the group, you tell them about your self and then you get a nickname.
BELOW: Watch what happens in the circle of trust.
“In the circle of trust, each guy says his full name, F3 name, and age. So, I say, ‘Bill Pollard, Funnycar, 58.’ That way we know everyone. Then, whoever led the workout ends with some kind of thought. It might be a Bible verse. It might be something on his heart, just something to leave us with that day to think about. Then we end with a prayer request and prayers,” he said.
Pollard says he was given the nickname “Funnycar” because he rode to the first workout on his bicycle. He says the men meet once or twice a month at a restaurant or another location. They also participate in service projects.
“We’re trying to build male leaders, and we’re trying to service our community,” Pollard said.
If you would like to learn more about participating in F3 in your area, click here.