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  1. The city of sorrows is silent still in the early hours before dawn, but Turval knows where he can find him. Even as the streets begin to fill with the first of Tuzanor's throngs the grounds around this, the least of the city's hundred temples. The temple of the lost sits low and unremarked on the edge of the city, facing the veil of bright dreams, the crystal cliffs that encircled the city. Turval enters through the low doorway, the room beyond is lit by a single candle, the pale orange glow casts flickering shadows over the walls while pinpricks of light dance in the crystal facets of the domed ceiling above. The robed figure kneeling ahead of him shifts slightly before a voice pierces the silence "I was waiting for you." The Narn does not rise and does not turn. "How could you be sure it was me?" He can sense the Narn's smile even though he cannot see it. "Despite my failure at the academy, I am still something of a legend am I not? The thrice-marked Narn?" He pauses, waiting for a response that never comes. "I knew my return would pass to your ears soon enough." "But how did you know I would come?" Now the Narn turns, his eyes bright despite the obvious weariness in his heart. "Because you see what they see. What is still obvious in spite of everything, and you know that no disgrace will stop me wanting to give it life." Turval kneels beside him, staring ahead at the single shrine, its figure, carved in black crystal, unknown, a relic of the civilisation destroyed here in a battle of untold bloodshed millenia ago. "They will not take you back." Turval says, softly "I do not wish to go back." His reply is simple, unabashed. "But you came here." "I came for me, not for them." Recognition dawns on Turval's face and he smiles. "So why this place?" The Narn stands, turning he pulls back the hood of his robe and faces the temple's low door. "Do you know what makes this place so special?" Turval does not speak, he does not know the answer, but he knows he will hear it. "The first temple of the lost was burned down, not by violence, but by the forces of nature. It had stood for almost a century when it happened. One morning, with the rising of the sun the temple burst into flames, the walls themselves melting, and the statue turned from pure white to carbon black by the heat." He sighs, stepping once towards the door, the deep purple of night is rapidly fading to a midnight blue tinged with the fires of dawn. "Many saw this as an ill omen, they became terrified of the vengeance of the lost souls trapped in the cliffs, that they were still fighting the war that had killed them." He takes another step, turval watching his slow procession towards the small temple's centre. "But the truth was far more mundane." The Narn stops. the room is now awash in splashes of colour, tiny rainbows appearing on the temple's plain white walls. growing with the approach of the coming sun. "The temple's door was too large." He says simply, gesturing with a curt nod to the beam of sunlight creeping across the floor like a trickle of water. "On that one particular day at that one particular time, the full burst of the sunlight struck the cliffside out there and poured liquid gold into this very room." The sunbeam stirs up the fine specks of dust on the temple's floor with each passing second it grows brighter and brighter as it creeps across the floor. "The walls and roof amplifing it until its heat was like that of a laser. The walls melted, the rocks caught fire..." The sunbeam at last touches his bare feet and the room is suddenly bathed in rainbows, swirling like a kaleidescope as the beams of sunlight bounce around the temple's white walls. "They made the door smaller." He says, hurried, wanting to finish his story before the moment arrives. "and now. Once a century, for only a minute, the lost can be found, because there is light." A blinding flash forces Turval to his knees as blue white light shattered by rainbows swirls about the temple like a whirlwind. Shielding his eyes he glances the figure of the Narn, cast entirely in silouhette as the first rays of dawn are amplified by the crystalline cliffs and thrown back into the temple, its every surface blinding white and shot through with explosions of colour, red, green, Yellow, orange, blue, yellow, red, violet, orange, blue violet. The spinning dervish of colour and light forces Turval to shut his eyes, and just as suddenly it is gone. The suns rays pass beyond the focal points of the crystal dome's facets, the reflected power of the cliffs shrinking back away from the temple. Turval stands, his heart hammers a furious beat, his hands shaking. Despite the spots dancing before his eyes he sees the world sharper than ever, he feels closer to the Narn before him, to the temple floor beneath his feet, to its walls and the hands that made them. "I, I never knew." He stammers, barely holding on. The Narn turns. "That is my every sunrise." He turns to go and for a moment Turval is still too stunned to talk, but as the Narn ducks below the temple's doorway he is moved to action like a drowning man to a life raft. "Baenlynn wait!" Baenlynn, the Narn slows but does not stop and Turval follows him into the dawn, the sunlight does not faze his dazzled eyes, and already it seems inadequate in more ways than one. "Is that the only reason you returned?" The Narn smiles, it is warm and confident, all-embracing. "I told you I came here for me." "But we could teach you." Baenlynn sighs. "And now they would take me back?" Turval shakes his head. "I will make them." Baenlynn shakes his head. "Not yet, my friend, not yet." Turval stops dead, he breathes deep as though winded. "But why?" Baenlynn, turns to him. "Describe what just transpired in that temple to me, leave out nothing of the feeling it left you with." For the second time in as many moments, Turval is stunned. "I..." he stops. "I cannot." "And how does every sunrise you have ever witnessed compare to that moment now that you have seen it, what would you do to experience its equivalent again?" Turval shakes his head, wanting to clear the fog of the memory from his mind. "I would do anything." "And now you know my burden. To see as that moment, and live as I am every other... I must learn how to walk first." He turns to go. "and when you do?" Turval calls after him. The narn stops, looking over his shoulder. "Then, Turval. Then I will redefine for you the meaning of Anla'shok." The sun climbs high into the sky as Turval stands, watching after the spot where he last saw Baenlynn's head retreating below a small hilltop.
  2. Well, after that melodramatic title, I can only imagine what you must be expecting from this post. ALAS! This shall be anticlimactic! I am at an interesting point in my life. I am 25 years old, 5'8" tall, female, a university student (Bachelor's of Science in Biology;Pre-Med), and an avid metal head. Five years ago,I weighed 320lbs. Today, I weigh ~185lbs. (read* I have lost 135lbs). This is all through diet, as I have always been fairly active. My waist measurement used to be 48 inches, and is now 33 inches. that is JUST my waist, folks... -15 inches. Previous body fat = above 45% (doctor says the caliper test is too limited to accurately test above that) to around 28% now (adding 2% to caliper test)This seems like a great success story! But here is where it gets interesting. I still need to lose a minimum of 30 pounds and 5" off my waist. Also, I would like to get to no more than 22% body fat. My body no longer wishes to respond to diet alone, and I have noticed that certain foods that I could eat and lose weight before, I can't now. Any sweetner (artificial or natural), dairy (jury is still out with greek yogurt, though), fruit, and legumes now cause weight gain. Which is fine, but the elimination of those foods also doesn't seem to be enough to prompt lipolysis. There are also the issues of loose skin and (still) large breasts that make exercise painful (but not impossible). I had previously tried BodyRock.tv for workouts, but I found myself unable to relate to the hosts, and also really depressed about my body, as the hostess runs around in nothing but a bra and hot shorts and resorts to plastic surgery for body modification (despite being at about 14% body fat). So, I went in search of something else, and my friend turned me onto Nerd Fitness. Since just after Thanksgiving, I have been reading the articles and receiving the email, and went about creating a character for myself. I want to change this. I am so close to acheiving what I have already worked so hard to acheive. But, I am afraid. I am at a point where, since I was 12, I have never weighed less than I do now. As an adult, this is the least I have ever weighed. And though my journey, I have noticed people treat me differently, and somehow this bothers me. Yes, they are treating me better. But, what does that say about people that they felt like I wasn't worth good treatment before. And what does that say about me (my personality). And how much more will that change as I become more and more physically fit. And shoot, just the fear of the unknown. So I need to conquer fear. Or, perhaps I ought to ignore it and just DO. There is a lot I do not know. But, what I do know is that I need support. My husband has the opposite problem of being unable to gain weight, and he likes seeing me happy, so there is frequent "OH MAN THIS TIRAMISU IS soooo GOOD; HAVE SOOOOMMMMME!" And because he is small (to the point people say hurtful things and tease him), he doesn't like the idea of me strength training because he doesn't want me to be stronger than he is. [my solution was for him to suck it up and strength train too, but that didn't go over so well lol]. I also know that I need some one to be accountable to, and some type of structure that works for me. But I do not know whee to begin or what to do. I am pretty strong in my arms,chest, and legs, but not so much in my core. My core is also where I carry my fat; straight across my hips, like a skirt (the loose skin makes this a pretty accurate description). I want my life to be awesome. I am already so much happier than I used to be (I was fat partially due to genetics but mostly due to unhappiness... longer story). I refuse to change in anyway unless it's for the better. And I am determined to get better; stronger, happier, faster, smarter, wiser, and calmer. I am hoping NerdFitness is the place for me to start. BEFORE AFTER
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