On Feb. 27, 2017, F3 launched its first workout in Cherokee County, with just a few men.
F3 stands for fitness, fellowship and faith, a national workout movement with roots in Charlotte, N.C. Last year, one of F3’s leaders, Tony Cipriani, shared with our magazine about moving their unique, free workout program from Alpharetta to Cherokee County.
One year later, Tony and friends have grown exponentially from one workout, meeting three days a week, to seven locations with a variety of options Mondays through Saturdays. Classes include boot camps, limited running and mountain biking. Their meetings span from Highway 20 in Canton to downtown Woodstock. It’s not just a workout movement; they also join together to serve our community, completing service projects together.
Since they began, their mission is being fulfilled with many men — that is, to plant, grow and serve small men’s workout groups to invigorate male community leadership. The gatherings include getting a nickname at the end of your first workout, as a part of the friendship building process.
Using F3 names, here are a few words on how lives have been changed: Papa John shared, “After many weeks of being invited to join, I gave it a try. It turned out to be more than a workout. I found a community of men that believed in and encouraged one another. It has made me a better man, husband and father.”
Harp said, “F3 changed my life. I have lost 60 pounds, gotten stronger, and just feel better overall. I now have a group of friends that I know would drop what they are doing in a heartbeat to help me out if I needed it. I have seen men in my group do it for others. I now have friends to serve and laugh with — friends that I wouldn’t trade for the world.”
And, it doesn’t stop with the men. Tony’s wife, Megan (Chocolate Chip), saw a huge difference in her husband. He motivated her to do the same thing for the women in our community. So, she started a FiA (Females in Action) group here in Cherokee, based on the same principles. Also a national program founded in North Carolina, FiA was launched by Amy Peacock in 2013.
Inspired by the joy F3 brought to the men important to her, she is forever grateful for the template F3 men provided. Peacock ran with it, modifying it for female success. FiA’s mission is to be a community of women who make each other stronger in all areas of their lives.
In Cherokee County, Megan has two friends who are involved with FiA and its expansion: Liza Thompson (Partly Cloudy) and Michelle Carr (Wonder Woman). Liza said, “To me, FiA is fun, fitness and friendship. It is my encouragement, my motivation, my accountability, and my village. We push each other to be better, to make our community better, and to help serve those around us. We have fun, build friendships, and support each other.”
And, Michelle added, “FiA is a group of strong, energetic and passionate women who strive to make themselves and the world around them a little better every day.”
Both F3 and FiA groups are:
• Open to men and women of all ages and fitness levels.
• Held outdoors, rain or shine, heat or cold.
• Peer-led by men and women in a rotating fashion, with no training or certification necessary.
• Ended with a circle of trust.
If you want to get motivated in a life-strengthening way, visit a group close to you. For men who want to find out more about F3, visit F3cherokee.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Women who are interested in FiA can visit www.fianation.com or email: email@example.com.
By Susan Browning Schulz, contributing writer