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About JediNickD

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  • Birthday 11/19/1980

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    Cecil County, MD
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  1. 163.4 lbs. I ran Wednesday and today 2.5 miles in ~20 mins with an inclined walk cool down for 7 min. Both felt great and I followed up with a kata cool down and a hydro massage. Breathing and muscles are in good shape, but I've been in better. It's a process I had been procrastinating, because I don't like treadmills, but I hate running in the cold more. Putting "Cowboy Bebop" on helps get me through. I expect I'll make it more routine in January. Spar class tomorrow hopefully. It's our last weekend at home before heading to the in-laws, so we'll be plenty busy.
  2. Yesterday, I worked glutes for my HIIT. Today, I did a squat thrust HIIT, which is 10 different squat thrust exercises 12 reps each in under 10 minutes. February 2020, I broke 9 minutes on this routine. Today, I did that again. When I started at Planet Fitness, it took 15 minutes and I was ready to puke. Not today. I feel flipping great. Finished the HIIT with 10 minutes of kata speed and power style. Karate class tonight! My wrists and shoulders enjoyed the time off, but i expect I'll beat them up with more cardinal practice. I posted a bunch of my live stream recordings from Extra Life Game Day on my YouTube channel. The recording quality came out so much better this year with my improved hardware. I have one more video to film. I have eat a raisin. Yuck. I'm going to play Alien: Isolation and when I die, I'll eat the raisin. It is just a matter of when. Looking like Sunday afternoon will be the time.
  3. We did Kotegeishi take downs at karate, which are a wrist twist take down. I thought I had these down where I could do them at full speed, but there is always another detail to improve. My entry needed some polish to account for when I'm tired or sweaty, using a two handed catch, slide, and roll. My technique is already messy at full speed, so learning how to do it messy certainly helps fine tune my technique. This was really good practice. Unfortunately, I can't work on it again today. My wrist and shoulder are sore from demos and partner work. I was matched up with a 14 year old for most the time and he had no qualms wrenching my shoulder and wrist. I'm ok with a partner doing a few reps full speed with no quarter given. I'm ready to protect myself in those reps. Every half and quarter speed rep? No thanks. I had to intentionally miss my punch, because he hardly moved to get out of the way. I asked him several times to move out of the way first. When it was my turn, he would not punch at me, which was also not helpful, because I was moving too far out of the way. Just make sure you are a good partner when you are working with someone. Give them an authentic attack, give them natural body reactions, and take care not to hurt them.
  4. 162.2 lbs which is a good start. I have to say that I am going to miss my Spar goal due to scheduling. Last Saturday, we had a Friendsgiving. Tomorrow night is the kids Choral Concert. This Saturday, I have Toastmasters Leadership training. I need to make it to spar on Dec 18th, because the next class won't be until January 8th. And I won't make it to any extra classes either. So bad start there, but that is mostly just mistakes made planning my challenge. Work life is about to take a big change. We are bringing someone new in to work under me. My first subordinate! He is highly qualified and been with the company for years. In a few months, I'll be splitting time between a second project where I expect my expertise to be leaned on heavily as the current technical lead is leaving Friday. This is exciting stuff, but I'm going to need to buckle down on the books. No worries on that front, though.
  5. Yesterday was test day at the Dojo. I volunteered to help out because we had 3 amazing young kids going to black. I've seen these kids grow over the last 4 years and I can't wait to see them in Black Belt class. Today, I tried a new single leg hamstring and glute isolation dead lift. It's fire and I'm going to be sore tomorrow. It wasn't even leg day. This week is hela busy. Karate tonight and Wednesday. Tuesday is company holiday party and Toastmasters. Thursday is the kids Choral Concert. Saturday, I have a Toastmasters leadership training most the day.
  6. Published a new blog: https://www.journey2u.org/post/your-hero-s-journey This incorporates some writing I did for NF challenges around Yoda's "Adventure..." quote, which is going to part of a Star Wars / Jedi series, much like what I write for my challenges, because I enjoy it.
  7. GONE TURBO This is my second challenge in my return to NF. I decided to take a break from NF while I sorted through the pandemic, teleworking, and virtual relationships. It was a good plan, because each day presented new obstacles and challenges while navigating to best ways for finding time and space for fitness and karate training, adjusting to maintaining healthy meals at home, and staying productive at work and in my different self-development programs with the myriad of distractions. Planning a 4 week challenge would have been impossible, because I would be course correcting daily. I took my time and built new routines understanding that they may be temporary. Over time, I developed my new normal with virtual and hybrid Toastmasters meetings, virtual gaming with friends, moved to a new gym, and working a hybrid schedule for work with some telework built in. Some things have been able to return to normal such as karate training, DnD, visiting family and friends, and working on-site but with known risk. The biggest change came in July when I launched my own website: Journey2U.org . I started a blog and coaching business to help others. It is in it's infancy, but it is a project I have been dreaming of launching for a very long time. Having it out there, I am living that part of the dream and building a new future for myself and others. With all these changes, it feels like I am not just in a new world, but like I am playing a whole new game. I'm taking a page from the movie "Wreck-It Ralph". I've Gone Turbo jumping games. So now, here we go with another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. As a Ranger, I tried to Do All The Things in World 1, my first extended stay at NF through 22 challenges where I learned how to develop and pursue health and fitness goals utilizing daily, weekly, and monthly routines. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a better focus for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in an Epic Boss Fight slaying some mighty big life goals. In World 3, I hopped over to the Assassins and continued to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care healing my spine, reaching the high ranks at karate, blazing through the new Toastmasters education program called Pathways, and working to complete Novice rank at IJRS, World 4 was something new everyday. I have moved over to the Monks to reach for more diversity in my workouts and culture as my physical and mental training focus has been more on my karate training. As I actively took on more responsibility of coaching, mentoring, and teaching in all aspects of my life, I formed a different me on World 5. Now, I have Gone Turbo into World 6. Every day, I just keep on L-I-V-I-N: fighting the good fight, lighting it up, and leveling up my life!  Challenge Lesson: "Relearning" I like themes so I'm going to continue with my karate dojo's creeds. The next one is for our Green belt rank. The creed is below: At Green belt, my dojo requires students to attend spar once a month. This is to introduce them to spar at a point where they have gained basic skills and need to start applying the skills. Students are also allowed to sempai classes at Green belt, though it is not required until Purple (3 belts higher). Here is where they start to learn basic skills in teaching. Teaching is not an easy task, because all students are different. Teaching is also easy, because you are essentially regurgitating what you know. If you listen to your own teachings, then you won't learn anything new, but you will solidify your understanding and enhance your recall of the information. This is what the creed means by relearning. Relearning is just practicing, or getting more reps. It is nothing special, but it is rather important when you want to build muscle memory or you want to improve your recall of information. The second aspect of this creed is to point out that discovery happens when you are silent and listening, because your brain can digest information and take time to wonder about it. You learn new things in your silence. If you are talking, then your ears will miss things. If you are talking, then your brain is focusing on things you know about. If you want to learn something new, then your first action is to ensure you remain quiet, so your brain can focus on new thoughts. These concepts are pretty straight forward for an adult, but for kids, they need to hear it, say it, and understand it. We have many young students who like to jabber all class and they struggle to pick up new information. Part of learning martial arts is learning discipline, where discipline applies to controlling yourself in all sorts of ways. Quieting the mind and focusing on what is important in the moment is one of the hardest lessons for young students to learn. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no end in Jedi training for every light cast a shadow somewhere. Instead, it is a journey of self-discovery and compassion for others. World 6 Level 4 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - Run twice a week. Include sprints and distance. Get on the treadmill if I have to. I may have to throw the stationary bike in every once in a while to reduce impact. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 10+ min with good posture, daily. Do some stairs too. CON +1 Exercise: HIIT, Weight Lifting, and Bodyweight - 20+ min twice a week. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - Daily exercises. Focus on hips, hams, and splits. DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - Three classes a week plus every spar class I can attend, practice for 20+ min twice a week. DEX +1, STR +1 DIET: Lean Body - I need to lose some weight, which starts with what I eat. 5+ cups of fruits and veggies. Cut down flour and corn based carbs at lunch and snack time. Fill up on spring mix. Time to start tracking the weight loss and body measurements again. 163.2 lbs yesterday. CON +1 LIFE: Write for Journey2U.org website, Facebook, and blog every day. Publish a blog article once a week. WIS +1, CHA +1 Record gaming videos. Practice editing and publish videos. Record speeches and talks to build a Vlog library. Find a time to live stream on a schedule, even if it is just once a month. WIS +1, CHA +1 Epic Quest - Complete something EPIC! I want to be able to look back at my four week challenge and say, "that was the challenge I did X". My challenges tend to be a lot of the same old. I've given myself plenty to improve in small steps, but I also want to see big strides in the things I've been working on. What box can I check? What have I been procrastinating? What am I focusing on? WIS +1, CHA +1
  8. World 6 Level 3 Challenge GRADES: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - Run twice a week. Include sprints and distance. The goal is to get faster and build stamina, but I have to set a starting block to decide where the finish is. Time to measure where I am for my 40 and 100 yard dash, 1 and 2 mile jogs. STA +1, DEX +1 C = I ran, but I didn't do the measurements. Next time? It's getting cold so I'll probably be running on a treadmill. Walking: Fortify the Spine - 10+ min outside with good posture, daily. CON +1 A = I walked a ton moving inside for some. I did stairs. Going to keep this one going in the cold months. Exercise: HIIT Lifting and Bodyweight - 20+ min twice a week. STR +1, STA +1 A = I hit the core, upper, and lower. Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - Daily exercises. Focus on hips, hams, and splits. DEX +1 A = My hamstrings are doing well. My splits are progressing towards the floor. My hip flexor is a mess. Gotta find the right exercises for me to get it better. Karate: Training and Practice - Two classes a week, practice for 20+ min twice a week. DEX +1, STR +1 A = Going to crank to 11 next challenge. I need more time on the mat to get where I need to be for my cardinals, pressure point knock outs, and bone breaks. I want to get more spar time to get better in the ring too. DIET: Lean Body - I need to lose some weight, which starts with what I eat. 5+ cups of fruits and veggies. Cut down flour and corn based carbs at lunch and snack time. Fill up on spring mix. Time to start tracking the weight loss and body measurements again. 166.6 lbs yesterday. CON +1 A = I didn't track stuff, because I really don't want to spend time cataloging stuff in a spreadsheet. It is valuable for looking back and finding what is useful, but I'd rather spend more time writing. LIFE: Write for Journey2U.org website, Facebook, and blog every day. WIS +1, CHA +1 A = I wrote a bunch of draft material, but hardly published anything. I need to cool this down between holidays. Epic Quest - Complete something EPIC! I want to be able to look back at my four week challenge and say, "that was the challenge I did X". My challenges tend to be a lot of the same old. I've given myself plenty to improve in small steps, but I also want to see big strides in the things I've been working on. What box can I check? What have I been procrastinating? What am I focusing on? WIS +2, CHA +2 A = I crushed Extra Life. I had a great birthday. Thanksgiving was one of the best times. What else could make it more Epic?
  9. 163.2 lbs yesterday morning. It felt like I might have put on a few pounds, but it looks like I made it through T-Break ok. Portion control and keeping active were the keys to stay on track. Gotta get back to the normal grind though. Today is Giving Tuesday, so I'm watching my social media for causes my friends support. Give a little here and a little there to show my love and support. I met my goal, but I might try a stream tonight to reach out for a few more dollars towards Extra Life. I have a Friendsgiving with my top donor this weekend. I owe her a live stream with me eating something of her choice with chop sticks, but I think I might bring the dish and do it live for her as a surprise.
  10. Down to 161 lbs and starting to feel lighter. Earlier this week, my back was finally feeling good again. Spar class last week was rough, and I thought I might have injured my hip, but it turned out fine. I'm a little tired of sucking at spar and my body is ready to go full throttle, which means I can start pushing my cardio and physical activity time. I need to get out and run as I've been holding off due to my back. Thanksgiving break is a good opportunity as I'll be home with everyone else sleeping in. In December, I plan to attend more spar classes and push my lifting to challenge power. I've fell back on some bad habits in spar, so more practice will train them out while challenging my fitness. Lifting for power will enhance quickness and strength, which will also aid my spar skills.
  11. When I was 12, I beat it with just 3 lives. I remember being on my last life fighting the final boss, jumping those spider-alien things and shooting the alien-heart in rhythm with my heart racing. It takes so much memorization and flawless movement. Looking back I realize I probably played too many video games when I could have developed more useful skills for later in life, but the experience of playing video games with my brothers and friends built friendships and social skills and suffering through failure to accomplish something extremely difficult built character I needed to succeed at anything. I'm not sure I would change that for something like wood carving or drawing, or more likely excessive sports training since that was really becoming my thing at that age. I try to remember this when my kids are playing video games, because my parents always looked down on video games. Are they playing challenging games pushing limits? Are they relaxing with some friends or family? For the most part, they play relaxing creative games with social aspects, like Minecraft, Zoo Tycoon, Goat Simulator, Roblox to name a few. I notice when they take some time for themselves, they will play challenging games on their tablets like puzzle games or race-against-the-clock type games. It is a good experience for them. Instead of looking down on my kids habits, we have conversations about screen time, perspective, relevancy, and moderation. This way, they learn and understand lessons at a young age that I learned as an adult.
  12. Weight is down to 162.6 lbs, but my lower back has been giving me issues since taking a fall in karate class last week. We were doing take downs and I got hip tossed hitting the padded floor hard. I needed minute when it happened to make sure I wasn't concussed. I was limber at the time, so I didn't feel any trauma in my back, but the muscles were certainly injured. The recovery has been slow, but I'm feeling better. I need to get my hot tub cleaned so that I can expedite the recovery. I have spar class tomorrow. I hope I can participate fully.
  13. The weekend was fantastic! We raised over $2000 surpassing my goal. We absolutely crushed last years efforts before I even played a game. I filmed two of my incentive videos for eating Jello with chop sticks and the Mimi Make Over. Those two I expected to hit, but my friends are entirely too generous. I also have to eat Jello Jiggles with raisins using chop sticks and dye my hair Extra Life light blue (which will be around summer time most likely). We played Valheim instead of Rogue Heroes, because I had different players stick with me late at night. I played Alien Isolation for the Mimi Make Over, which had a lot of video exposition. I was hoping to jump right in Survival Mode, but it made me play the Campaign mode first. It didn't make the best footage. Oh well. Next time I play, I moved the story far enough along that some interesting stuff might happen. The story is railroaded, so you can't do tasks out of order, which means exploring is only going to get you off course, but some of the tasks force you to explore. The game feels like it would be open world for you to explore the ship and avoid death, but I guess to make the Xenomorphs scarier, they railroad everything to use cut scenes for the scary stuff. It is a bit annoying. I hope I can unlock the Survival Mode soon. For retro games, we played a few two player Nintendo games. We beat Contra with just under 120 lives, which is pretty bad, but first time playing in a very long time. Glad the Konami code is there to give us a chance. We failed miserably at Battletoads and RC-ProAm II. We passed the controller around for Zelda and Mario. The Atari was pretty lame and I won't be doing again. The games are just awful with some of the graphics not working or the game just being boring. We found two interesting games: Moon Patrol and Haunted House. Neither were fun enough to play again, but I feel I would play again just to beat them and see the final screens. I think Among Us and Don't Starve Together were the real hits. We had so much fun murdering each other or watching other things murder each other. Party games like these allow you to build a community which is what you need to fundraise for a cause like Children's Hospitals. I'm going to stick to those types of games and really stretch the hours to exhaustion where my friends are having to keep me going. What I want to do next year is organize a game with other Extra Lifers to show my friends that there are other streamers doing this thing and to grow my community/audience. A coop game like Don't Starve Together would be good to give us time to chat and a fun game to help each other in.
  14. This week is flying by. I weighed in at 163.0 lbs, which is fantastic. This week is full of activity with a three straight days of Toastmasters meetings and getting Extra Life stuff squared away. Maxed bench press at 140 lbs for 5 reps and leg press at 720 lbs for 3 sets of 5 reps. In my stretching, I am working more hip rotation and flexibility as I am getting closer to the ground in my scissor splits. Heel splits are still way off, but I am using the scissor as a transition to the heel to press it hard. And I finished and published my next article for my blog: https://www.journey2u.org/post/share-your-passion-and-be-a-nerd Also, I finished two gameplay videos from my exploits in Counter Strike: Global Offensive. I am certainly not a pro at CSGO, but I have fun playing. I uploaded them to my YouTube channel linked in my signature. Next on my agenda is a practice stream run on Twitch and Facebook Live. I'm building a schedule of games for my Extra Life Gaming marathon. Here's what I got so far: 11/5 5:30pm Incentive and WHY video. I'll talk about why I support Extra Life and why it is important to donate. I'll attempt to eat jello and beans with chop sticks, as I made it over my $500 milestone already. A makeover to look like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show is my next milestone at $1000. 6-10pm Don't Starve Together with a few friends. 11/6 6am Halo Reach Firefight or Overcooked 2 (friends choice) / Legend of Zelda Randomized until he arrives. 8am Retro Games with my NES emulator 10am Atari 12pm Ultimate Chicken Horse or Overcooked 2 2pm Ultimate Chicken Horse or Overcooked 2 4pm Halo 3 8pm Among Us 11pm Rogue Heroes - Infinite Dungeon 11/7 2am Nearing wrap-up, but breaks during the day will extend my marathon beyond 2am... I play what keeps me awake. It'll probably be CSGO, but I also have Alien: Isolation which I want to do late at night, but I also don't want to wake up my family screaming from a Xenomorph attack.
  15. Woke up congested, but felt like I just need to clear it out. I went for a 2 mile run which was more Tabata, because I had to walk and hack out the phlegm. It was gross, but needed. I feel a lot better already.
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