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 through 22 challenges. 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. In World 3, I continue 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 focus has been more on my karate training in the recent months. As I actively take on more responsibility of coaching, mentoring, and teaching in all aspects of my life, I can see a different me forming with World 5 on the horizon.
World 5 begins now.
I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good fight lightin' it up, and level up my life!
Challenge Lesson: "It was too late."
My Black Belt training started off fast and I was blazing with confidence in myself to earn that belt. But my confidence was too high and before I realized it, it was too late. I hit a wall on Saturday... actually a fist... and actually, it hit me. I was already out of sorts with two rigorous fights, which had me gasping hard, but the third fight and most jarring, that fist, had me shaken and a bit dazed. I thought I was ready for my Red stripe test. I woke up early, stretched my muscles, hydrated my body, and relaxed my mind. In class, I blasted through warm up and drills. When the matches were set to start, I had the quickest hand and loudest voice to get the first match (and second and third for the stripe test). I mentally checked my opponents techniques and knew what to expect from each fighter as I had favorable matches before with each. As I stood in front of the first, I planned my pacing to avoid getting winded. My plan was rock solid.
We all know about a good plan, right? It is good right up to the first step of implementation, then it might as well be written on a diaper, because you'll have to change it with every shit storm. My first opponent came at me harder and faster than I expected, landing a few head shots, which was probably the start of my issues. I stayed offensive and kept a hard pace, but he slipped those shots in anyway. After that match I was a little disappointed in myself and I was more winded than planned. I told myself to relax and round 2 would be easier. It wasn't. I was out of steam already. What happened? I don't know. Third match, I decided to shift gears at the start and tried a different opening kick, because my opponent knew from my regular stance that the side kick was coming. I did a jump up hook kick, lost my balance coming down and crashed on the floor. I sprained a finger and I'm sure I looked like an idiot. We got set again and I set off on the offensive, sticking to my plan for this opponent, but with the fuel all spent, I labored to keep up and he got some distance. The match turned for just a second and he landed that fist on my eye socket. I saw stars and tried to collect myself. I kept my distance avoiding his kicks as best I could, but eventually I lost my balance and they called the match. I was concussed and could not finish.
My wife and two of the instructors said I looked "off" in the first fight, then saw a dramatic fade in my energy during the second fight. I was certainly concussed, but I was also pale and winded. Hydration and breathing brought my color back, but I worry that my almost 39 year-old body was not as ready as I was mentally. Was it my lungs, my muscles, my blood flow, my rattled brain? All of the above?
The Black Belt creed is about Commitment and how things go your way when you are most committed. I was committed and I had worked hard to be ready. My spirit was as strong and youthful as ever. It is a tough lesson to learn, that an aging body does not always keep up with a young spirit. There will be more days like this. I learned to be ok with it, but more importantly, I need to learn how to handle it as it is happening, so I don't over extend myself and end up vulnerable to a smash in the face. I need to work on knowing where to be one step ahead so I can avoid being too late.
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.
I'm using Habitica and Excel to track a ton of things, so I may make some changes below to better integrate them, but I'm sticking to the basics drawn to 5 Weeks.
World 5 Level 1 Challenge:
Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 100 weekly. Track time and distance.
Walking: Fortify the Spine - 1250 min total, 250 weekly. CON +1
Exercise: HIIT Lifting and Bodyweight - 300 min total, 60 weekly.
STR +1, STA +1
Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 700 min total, 140 weekly.
Karate: Training and Practice - 1500 min total, 300 weekly. Track progress towards belt. Track improvement on all material. DEX +1, STR +1
Lean Body - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 5. Looking to maintain 150 lbs or less while shrinking my waist and building muscle. CON +1
Keep on cutting out the crap - No CheezIts, limit snacking at work, cut down portion sizes. Drink more water. CON +1
Get Stuff Done - Complete 110 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 22 hours each week. Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge)
Dishes (16), Laundry (10), Cooking/Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (32), Yard Work (2), Animal Care (24), Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (10)
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 +2, CHA +2
INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($218.85 carried over)
REWARD: For each week in which I complete 25 or more hours of Chores and Maintenance, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit.
CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 22 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash.
REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour
CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without at least one hour for Personal Projects.
REWARD: $5 for each HIIT workout. For a healthy heart among other things, HIIT is recommended by my health coach. I don't like them, but they are a necessary evil.
CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each week without a HIIT workout.
REWARD: $5 for each day with weight below 154.0 lbs.
CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 each day with weight above 156.0 lbs.
REWARD: $5 for 1 Sprint/Run/Bike workout (minimum 10 reps/30 min/10 min), $10 for second, $20 for third and up.
CONSEQUENCE: Lose $10 for each week without one of these workouts.
$1 for each hour working on Jedi Training (mentoring, reading/writing, charity, meditation, IJRS lessons).
$2 for each hour working on Toastmasters including meetings.
$2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour
Lose $10 for eating pizza, candy, popcorn, CheezIts, pretzels, potato chips.
Lose $10 for more than 6 Dr Peppers a week or more than 6 meals with cheese a week.