Short-term Caution for Long-term Growth

Men of F3 Fort Collins – as some of you are undoubtedly aware, the state of Colorado is currently fighting multiple wildfires as we push into one of the driest parts of the year. With western winds blowing ash and particles into Fort Collins and the surrounding areas, air quality has (as of late) been unpleasant at best and difficult at worst.

In addition to this, smoke and debris from the wildfires currently burning in California have aided in putting Colorado as a whole into a difficult season, as our quality of health and life is being impacted once again by forces outside of our control.

As many of us witnessed this morning (08/22/2020), long-range visibility along the front-range of the Rockies is (effectively) zero; the smoke and debris in the air are making most of our city smell like a bonfire, and the additional difficulties for those with health/breathing concerns are on the rise. As I write this, current AQI (Air Quality Index – a measure of the quality of breathable air for a given area, ranging from “Good” to “Hazardous” based on particle concentration) is currently at 126 – “Unhealthy for sensitive groups”.

While many of us may not have some of the underlying health concerns that would deem an AQI score of 126 to be of concern, AQI forecasts remain pessimistic in the coming weeks, and as such we need to be cognizant of circumstances.

In F3, our third core principle is “Workouts are held outside rain or shine, hot or cold.”  While the true embodiment of this principle is that we should eschew external challenges such as weather to forge mental and physical toughness, there exist bounds to this that each Region, each AO, and ultimately each PAX needs to consider.

As a set of first principles, it’s expected that the workout will be held outdoors.  If circumstances for this prove too difficult to overcome (sub-zero degree rain, or strong hail, for instance) workouts should be held outdoors under shelter.  In the event that shelter can’t be found, in pre-covid days, workouts would be cancelled and/or redirected for a different day. Luckily, with the aid of technology, we have the opportunity to “go remote” with our workouts while staying (relatively) connected.

As your Nant’an, it’s my duty to make sure the PAX of F3 Fort Collins are pushed (“Leave no man behind; leave no man where you found him”), but within the bounds that each man is willing to go. During this season, as we navigate the effects of these wildfires, I’m encouraging the following steps be taken in the event that AQI forecasts project unhealthy conditions for outdoor activity.

If you’re the Q for the workout, and you feel you cannot lead the workout due to a potentially unhealthy AQI forecast, contact the site Q (Ditka for Abduction, Go Blue! for The Swanson) and YHC (Short Circuit) immediately.  If it’s felt we, as a region, would benefit from staying-at-home due to these circumstances, you will be responsible for coordinating a Zoom call to host the workout, notifying the PAX via Slack, and providing login details for the workout.  If we as a region feel it still safe to carry on, we will find a substitute Q for this day.

As I stated previously, it’s up to each man to make the best decisions that will ultimately render his health and conscience clean. While we may push one another to get better and not get comfortable due to external circumstance, we will always respect a man who chooses the hard path for the sake and safety of his life and the lives of those he’s called to lead.

Ultimately, we’re all freed to lead in our own way.