Tim Center welcomes 2022 with a freezing dip in the Atlantic Ocean

Tim Center described it as the first win of the day.

The Tallahassee resident greeted 2022 with an early morning workout that included a dip in the freezing 61-degree Atlantic Ocean.

“It’s a bunch of guys who laugh and push each other a little bit with really good intentions,” Center said of the session.

DEMOCRATIC SPORTS COVERAGE

Center, 55, is involved with F3, a nationwide network that offers free peer-led workouts for men.

In St. Simons Island, Georgia, visiting his wife’s family, Center really enjoyed his Saturday session which started at 7 a.m.

It included a run in the park, weight-bearing exercises such as lunges, push-ups and sit-ups on the beach near the waterline, a polar dip and, most importantly, camaraderie with new friends.

“I’ve been doing this (F3) for three years,” said Center, chief executive of the Capital Region Community Action Agency. “It’s probably the best thing I’ve done in my life.”

The three Fs of the national organization stand for Fitness, Fellowship and Faith.

F3 Tallahassee meets every morning, six days a week, in several locations.

Workouts take place outdoors (rain or shine, hot or cold) and typically last 45 minutes to an hour. The participants lead the training sessions which end with a (non-denominational) prayer and an oath of allegiance.

A mixed training session for all ages is also organized once a month.

Nicknames are also part of the fun of F3

Participants are also given nicknames.

Center, a two-time Florida State graduate, is “Mr. Emcee” because of his background in public speaking. “Britannica” for someone familiar with history).

The center remains busy.

He is also the principal partner of Centerfield Strategy and executive director of Sustainable Florida. Center still follows his Seminoles and is a season ticket holder for the Tampa Bay Bucs (he grew up in Tampa and attended Plant High).

The center tries to work with a local F3 organization when it travels. Saturday’s group included 16 participants aged 10 to 70.

For the Centre, the dip in the Atlantic Ocean was the perfect way to end one year and start another.

“A refreshing dive from a polar bear knocked 2021 out of our systems and set us up for a better 2022,” Center said.

Contact Jim Henry at jjhenry@tallahassee.com.