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About JediNickD

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  • Birthday 11/19/80


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    Cecil County, MD


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  1. 151.6 lbs this morning. Last year, I was 157.6 after my birthday. My average was 159.9 lbs. I've lost a good amount of excess fat since then to slim out my abdomen. My goal has been 1 lb every 4 weeks, which I am next making according to this comparison. I'm aiming to be around 145 lbs for my 38th birthday, but I need to focus more on the change in body measurements than weight fluctuations to make my goals. Weight is a good indicator when I may have had a misstep in diet, but it is not going to continue to drop significantly unless I make radical changes to my diet. I am progressing nicely with the small changes to diet to get healthier. Radical never sticks, so I'll keep it small and manageable. It was a great birthday weekend with family on Saturday at my older brother's house for his son's 3rd birthday. I used to only share November with a cousin in MA and my best friend (oddly, elementary school, high school, and college, I had different best friends, but all three have birthdays around mine). Now, I share November with three nephews, which is nice, because my family isn't likely to travel to see me for my birthday, but I'll travel to see them for their kids' birthdays. Church family made me feel special on Sunday, even though I'm not a member of the church with my birthday on the church calendar. Very thoughtful friends there. Spent the afternoon working the yard, folding laundry, cleaning up trash, and washing dishes. I took breaks to play Star Wars: Battlefront II (my present to myself) and watch football, but for the most part I felt pretty satisfied getting stuff done. If only the kids would get that same satisfaction from doing some hard work. They always just whine about having to do work. If only I was Mary Poppins, y'all.
  2. I kicked off my Speechcraft class. Instructing students in public speaking is difficult as I am an amateur with this skill still getting my feet under me, but as Toastmaster, 5 years and a Distinguished Toastmaster Award is a lot of experience to speak from where other Toastmasters see me as "the expert". I do fine in that environment, but in my workplace, it is a bit more intimidating. I need to take more time to prepare and build my confidence in my educational sessions. I don't think I was impressive today, but they learned and had fun doing it.
  3. 150.4 lbs this morning Phew, racquetball was ON this morning. I crushed it winning all three games. Had to come from behind in the first game which was cutthroat. 13-4-2 was the score when I started to get my game going. Yeah, I was the two, and mostly responsible for the big lead Wallace had, but I put it together and tied it at 13-13-9, then he got the next point, then I got one, then the third guy, Rick, closed in to tie it all up at 14-14-14 with the next point ending the game. It was competitive and great fun with that last volley. The other two games was just one-on-one against Wallace who is still relatively new to the game and still learning how to place shots. I went easy on him and we had some nice long rallies, but he makes it easy on me by hitting too hard allowing me to be patient for my shot. It's pretty amazing that we only got three games in during the 80 minutes we were one the court. Games usually average 15 minutes. My wife and I went to karate last night. We were doing review for testing. I earned my blue stripe for double kicks (no more floppy foot), which leaves only my purple stripe. I did get my letter recommending me for the test on the 26th, but I'm sure they want me purple striped by Monday at the latest. Also, I gotta tell them I want to break at the test. I've been working on my right leg out-to-in kick, but I might save that for another test since it is not one of the form or combination pieces. I'll probably do combination 5, which is a skipping side kick, ridge hand, back fist, breaking with both the side kick and ridge hand. They might make me do the back fist though. We'll see.
  4. I'm using a 50 lb weighted assist. It is a machine with dip and pull assist where you kneel on a padded lever to offset a portion of your body weight. I stand on the padded lever, so I can go above the bar for a muscle up. Also, my actual birthday is on Sunday. The party was so early and on a day where my wife and I had planned several clean up and renovation projects that I was completely blindsided. I felt so weird enjoying myself with games and friends when I had planned to get work done. Thanks for the birthday wishes!
  5. 151.4 lbs, back to assisted muscle-ups! I'm getting closer to unassisted work. Karate class last night was working on combinations. I was able to stripe for it, though I know my skipping side kicks were off balance in my landing. I got to break for my stripe. I used a ridge hand which is one of my favorite strikes as it comes out of nowhere. Personally, I wouldn't use it after a skipping side kick, as my belt combination suggests, as I have found in spar that I am exposed to counter attacks to my chest and head after a side kick. Instead, I prefer to use a ridge hand after blocking a middle attack, such as a side kick or a punch combination. Just as I was exposed, so would my opponent. The ridge hand to the head or neck is a perfect counter to surprise my opponent. Round house and out to in kicks work in the same fashion, but can be telegraphed and blocked easier.
  6. Surprise birthday party on Friday during my day off for Veterans Day. Played an Escape the Room and Cosmic Encounter. Pretty great day, but also fattening with cake, candy, and snacks. Saturday, we went to karate and I got some things done around the house, mostly cleaning and putting stuff away. Sunday, we got even more done, winterizing the backyard animals and putting up plywood on the deck for a rock wall, and I forgot to eat lunch. Karate practice this morning to focus on details from Saturday for my double kicks.
  7. Welcome back for 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.. World 1 was my first extended stay. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "This is a dangerous time for you" Last challenge, I used the second half of this scene. This challenge, I wanted to go back and capture a lesson from a few lines earlier. From Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (bold emphasis mine): Quote [Yoda tries to convince Luke not to leave] Yoda: You must not go! Luke: But Han and Leia will die if I don't. [Obi-Wan's Force-spirit suddenly appears] Obi-Wan: You don't know that. Even Yoda cannot see their fate. Luke: But I can help them! I feel the Force! Obi-Wan: But you cannot control it. This is a dangerous time for you, when you will be tempted by the Dark Side of the Force. Obi-wan introduces a concept which is a common thread throughout the Star Wars stories. The Dark Side of the Force is tempting and seductive. It corrupts Jedi who wish to find the easy path, who wish to meet their own goals, and who wish suffering on to others. This does not directly relate to real world Jedi, because no one is wielding the Force; however, we do find ourselves in positions of power. How we wield that power determines whether we work towards the Light Side or the Dark Side. Using the power to serve one's self instead of helping others is not very Jedi. When first entering that position of power, it is a dangerous time, because one is tempted to complete their own personal goals before helping those they are in the position to serve. If one looks at the position as a service position as opposed to a ruling one, then that leader will work towards other people's goals first, with their own personal goals being secondary. As I compete and win in Toastmasters contests, I need to watch my ego. I do not want to brag about success. I do not want to overplay my hand either. I'm just going to keep working hard to develop my skills and find new challenges. After this competition, I need to write a new speech with new ideas. I certainly won't bring back the same punch lines next time as that would not be growing. As I accept more leadership opportunities at work, I need to watch my ego. When I was a kid, I felt I was born to lead. I was always Robin Hood to my band of merry friends. I was always Leonardo when playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was always barking orders and deciding where to go and what to do. I felt strategy and vision were my strengths. I showed those strength in sports and captaining several teams. I had an ego thinking my physical and mental abilities were reason enough for others to follow, but I was seen as arrogant and egotistical. Eventually, I learned humility and teamwork. As I progressed through school, I decided being the center of attention was not my strong suit, instead focusing on being a successful engineer. After working as an engineer for 5 years, I found I can't just keep my head down and do good work. Successful engineers need to sell their thoughts and ideas to others. I needed to get over my fear of public speaking and get comfortable supporting my arguments. Coming full circle after hammering out many of my leadership and communication faults though Toastmasters, I am working towards being a successful leader professionally, but I need to watch myself and remember what I have learned to get where I am. Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is a service to your followers, your clients, and your end-users. To be successful, leaders must coach and develop their team members through listening to them for ideas and innovations, delegating tasks which will challenge their skills to make them better, and recognizing their achievements in special ways. This past week, I have been inserted into a delicate situation where two team leads instructed a software engineer to develop a program to specific requirements which have been miscommunicated or misinterpreted on a few occasions, but the project is also not going to meet the deadline due to time mismanagement. Myself and two other program leads are working with the team leads and the software engineer to correct the miscommunication and mismanagement with a plan to simplify daily tasks and weekly goals derived from the project requirements. Unfortunately, there is a lot of finger pointing and hand waving going on between the team leads and the engineer, which is only making the situation worse. It will be difficult to get everyone to move forward as a team without a showing of good faith from each side. Mostly, this is a dangerous time for me, because I am at a point of saturation with my priorities. Everything seems to want to boil over at the same time and like I did at the end of World 2, I need to maintain my course, keep my top priorities straight, and give it my best each step of the way. When I come through the fire, I will be forged better and stronger for it. 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 boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 7 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +2 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 300 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 400 min total, 100 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 600 min total, 150 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 1 lb by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 153.6 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. I'm looking to continue to cut down on snacking and desserts after dinner. I need to ensure I have a calorie deficit or I won't continue to lose weight. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 240 Tasks or Projects, with at least 60 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (8), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (8), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (6), Charity Work (10), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (16), Reading (16), Church Work (14), Job Work (10), Business Projects (10), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (20), Other Chores (20), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (30), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 I have a few major events this challenge: Toastmasters Speechcraft Interest Meeting at Work - Nov 2 Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest at the District Conference - Nov 4 Extra Life Kick Off with RPG Night - Nov 3 Extra Life Game Day - Nov 4 Toastmasters Speechcraft Kickoff at Work - Nov 16 37th Birthday Celebration - Nov 18 Any events involving the selling of our old house - Closing by Dec 1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($209 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 65 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 60 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. CONSQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without working on a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. REWARD 5: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: $5 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. (once a week only) $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below an 8 minute mile. (once a week only) $10 for running below a 7 minute mile. (once a week only) $5 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. (once a week only) PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 153.6 lbs. TIME FOR SERIOUS BUSINESS!
  8. I'm going provide a quote every weekday to help everyone stay motivated. Feel free to provide your own and discuss them. I hope everyone enjoys the thread!