6:30 am, April 19, 2021, 45 degrees and clear
7 Pax: Wall-E, Dos Equis, Risky Business, Aviator, Mountie, Scar-U, Brisket, and Dick Clark on Q.
To commemorate the 246th anniversary of “the shot heard round the world”, Dick Clark walked (or ran) the Pax through a reenactment of the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
Dick Clark set the stage as we did warm-ups. In early 1775, the large British army in Boston was trying to disrupt the simmering independence movement, which had not yet become a shooting war. On April 18, the British prepared to march 18 miles to Concord, Mass., to seize suspected stockpiles of weapons that local militias were gathering for their defense. Patriot spies learned of the plan, and started preparations of their own.
- Run in place
- Arm circles
- Imperial Walkers
After dark on April 18, the British force slipped out of Boston, hoping to be undetected. They chose to row across Boston’s Back Bay, to take the northern road to Concord, instead of marching by land on the south road.
So we got our boats to the waterfront in pairs, with: Wheelbarrows for 25 yds
Patriot spies saw the movement to the waterfront, and a volunteer climbed the steeple of the Old North Church in Boston to shine lanterns indicating the British route: Two if by sea.
To climb the steeple, we did: 30 seconds of step-ups, and 5 box jumps.
The Patriot couriers Paul Revere and William Dawes saddled their horses, and rode out on the Lexington road, to rouse the militia as a show of force, and to prevent British looting of their villages.
The Pax started our Mosey, stopping to rouse the militia with 7 Motivators (120 SSH)
We moseyed on, and word spread in the towns and farms: To Arms! Minutemen jumped out of bed with 10 Turkish get-ups
At dawn on April 19th, the British marched into the town of Lexington, where the militia stood in formation on the green, as a show of defiance, but not intending to fight—they were badly outnumbered. The 800 British lined up around them and shouted at them to disperse. While the groups faced each other down, a shot rang out from an unknown source—maybe a sniper, maybe an accident. The “Shot heard round the world”. As a result, nervous soldiers on both sides started firing. The militia commander ordered his men to disperse, but eight were dead when the firing died away. The militia had come out to show they would protect their homes. They bore a heavy weight of responsibility on their shoulders, and showed intestinal fortitude:
- Shoulders: 30 merkins
- Guts: 50 flutters
- Shoulders: 30 alligator merkins
- Guts: 50 Freddy Mercuries
The British marched onwards to their objective of Concord, as more militiamen came out to guard their homes. The British found two militia cannon hidden in town, and burned the gun carriages. Enraged by the site of smoke coming from the village, the Patriot militias north of town determined to confront the redcoats. The British crossed the North Bridge over the Concord River and stopped, as they saw militia gathering on the hillsides around them. Without orders, a British soldier fired into the river, which prompted others on both sides to start firing at their enemy. But this time, the Americans stood their ground, then advanced downhill.
- Staring down the hill at the bridge: 20 decline merkins
- Standing your ground: 20 No Surrenders
- Grinding it out: 20 merkins
- Advancing under fire: 20 lunges
With more militia gathering around them and firing, the British realized they were in danger of being cut off and destroyed, 18 miles from their base in Boston. They retreated, as the minutemen swarmed around them and fired from covered positions. Reenacting the pursuit of the British column back to Boston:
- The slow crawl of the British: 10x 1-legged bear crawls, each leg
- Minutemen jumping up to fire over the walls and fences: 15 Burpees
We moseyed back to the shovel flag, finishing the long pursuit.
By nightfall, the British were almost back at their base; they only had to get back in their boats and row across Back Bay from Charlestown to Boston. The Pax did a round of Boat-Canoes, and the long battle ended.
As Rick Atkinson writes in The British Are Coming, “The shooting ebbed, and finally faded away, along with this very long day. … The moon rose, a bit later than the previous day, and found the world changed, changed utterly.”
For the COT, we noted that history gives us several ideals to live up to; one of the most important is supporting the community, and keep showing up for each other and our families, as the militia did. We did a round of gratitude—each expressing what we are grateful for, and ended with a prayer. The COT Heard Round the World.