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  1. 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
  2. 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: "Keep On Trying" I like themes so I'm going to continue with my karate dojo's creeds. The next one is for our Orange belt rank. The creed is below: Failure is the road to success. I've written about this many times and so have all sorts of professional writers, industry leaders, self-help advocates, etc. We learn in moments of failure, we gain momentum in moments of success. But how? Well, sometimes we fail because we lack experience or necessary skill. Through practice and preparation in a consequence-free environment, we can gain the experience and skill to succeed. When showtime comes, we are ready to perform. Other times, we may be successful in an overall capacity, but there is room to improve, or smaller areas where we failed to hit the mark. This requires evaluation to see the areas to improve. Self-evaluation may not be enough to catch all the errors. A second or third set of eyes can give you new perspective. Game-tape can be crucial for evaluating, because then we are not relying on memory or interpretation. Now, we understand how to achieve success learning from failure. Let us better understand what this creed is saying about success and failure. It starts off with "I am not judged..." The fastest way to quitting on a learning enterprise is to compare yourself to others, because there is always going to be someone better to put yourself down. It is demotivating. Instead, we should always compare ourselves to our self from the previous day or week. Focusing on our own progress is a great measure of success while building confidence and momentum. Progress is also about failure, where you have understand where the starting place compared to the current place is to know when you have achieved a level of success. My dojo takes the same approach, focusing on progress, consistency, and effort for considerations towards rank elevation. Perfection is never required. These considerations get tighter the higher one ranks, but the instructors and leaders of the dojo would never judge one person against another for rank. The last three words, "Keep on trying!" ties the creed together. This isn't the same try as Yoda refers to in "Do or do not... there is no try," or Mr. Miyagi's "Karate guess so" grape analogy. This try is about persistence, because success, failure, and progress are all part of the process of never giving up. Persistence to achieve your goal is a requirement to succeeding. Without persistence, you give up when you meet failure. Without persistence, you won't keep practicing to make progress. Failure is inevitable. It is what you do after that matters. To be successful, we get back up, we learn from to failure, and most importantly, we keep on trying. With persistence, progress is inevitable. With persistence, success is only a matter of time. I like the way Jason Nesmith from Galaxy Quest says it: "Never give up, never surrender." 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 3 Challenge: 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 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 10+ min outside with good posture, daily. CON +1 Exercise: HIIT 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 - Two classes a week, 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. 166.6 lbs yesterday. CON +1 LIFE: Write for Journey2U.org website, Facebook, and blog every day. 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
  3. First, let me put this here. I listened to perhaps half a dozen edits of this song before I found the one that's too my liking. It has the tone, the beat, and the message I'm looking for. I'm there for you You're there for me That's how it is When we believe that We are the ones we belong to I just lost my grandmother this past weekend and I didn't want to finish putting up a challenge. My mother was also extremely ill just the week before that. How much time did SFG want to spend on himself? None. Then I had an intense conversation with my sister before my grandma's wake and I was reminded how much more there is. We are the ones Who want to make a better place We are the ones Who do believe in the human race We are the ones Who want to shape their better days I'm going to keep this simple. I'm planning a trip to Philadelphia at the end of the month and I want to be able to transport my goals with me. Hapkido My grading partner had a moderate shoulder injury so he's out of commission for a time. This gives me more time to polish my 2nd degree techniques. I'm pretty happy with my sword and kicking techniques as those were not up to the quality that I had desired a year ago. With some dedicated effort, I feel confident about their condition now. I'm less confident about my joint locking techniques. Some jerkface reminded me of the roots of my art in our shared parentage. I spent so much time focusing on my striking that I have neglected my locks. 2nd degree test involves directional joint locks, basically being able to direct an opponent to any angle with any one of our joint locks up to and beyond 360 degrees. There are some harmonizing movements that I can do and my master is clearly happy enough with it that he wants me to grade, but I feel that I need some more polish. So let's do it! Continue attending class a minimum of 2 times per week. While in Philadelphia, this obviously isn't going to happen at my school, but I'm looking into visiting one of the local hapkido schools (there are 3!) to check them out while we're there. Body Weight work Once upon a time, I did a "push up every day" challenge. Got myself up to a steady 50 a day. That made me very happy to do. I felt stronger. It gave my days focus. And also made my shoulders pop a lot. So why not do that again as something simple that I can try to sustain. Week 1 and 2: 20 push ups and lunges per day Week 3 and 4: 35 push ups and lunges per day Week 5 and 6: Big ole 50 a day Meditate Does it look like I'm just lifting things directly out of sarakingdom's suggestions? I don't know what you're talking about. I have been sad at losing my habit of meditation. It used to be part of my routine. Well, I can make it part of it again. Meditate for five minutes every day. Happiness Ha! You thought this was going to be about food, didn't you! Ha! Am I happy? Right now, that's a definite no. It's not because of where my life is, or my relationship, or my family, or my friends. I'm just generally dissatisfied with "me". The big change I have is that I feel like I should be. So what am I happy about? What makes me feel grateful to have? Here's my accountability to myself and my nerds. I need to talk more about the things that make me happy. It's not just nerds and hapkido (but those are two things). All the little things piled together make a big thing. Write about my happiness. At minimum, once a week.
  4. You know, sometimes you just need a training montage. It may come from being a child of the 80s, but there is something that moves me about training montages set to awesome power ballads. Of course, finding the right media to go along with it, you end up with a lot of same-y results. I've gotten the heads-up from my master that it's time for me to be setting a date for my second degree black belt grading. The timing is apropos as the challenge is just beginning and I need to get some semblance of order back into my life. So lets do some order. I also started typing this at 8 am this morning and it's now almost 2 pm. I keep trying to find some interesting words and I need to accept that I'm letting me be the one to stop myself. The thing about that is that I am also the one that can get myself moving. Train for dat belt I have directional joint locks, sword techniques and kicking techniques on my grading. I have been kicking a lot and my legs have definitely shown the improvement. I'll be investing some time in my locks and sword work over the next six weeks. So we're back to a twice a week schedule. Lift dat thing Strong SFG is strong. When I actually train, that is. I love barbells, but I get derailed easily because of an inherent acceptance of the status quo. And that is my problem. I love lifting, but I too easily make excuses. Given the craziness of the next month, I am going to aim for twice a week at the gym. Eat dat food Hey, how about that regular meal schedule? Yeah, that hasn't been happening. The very first thing that I fall off the wagon with is food when I'm in a bad place. And I have a month of essentially living alone ahead of me. My wife is working her already full schedule plus picking up shifts in another region for three days a week. I need to eat my meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sleep in dat bed Sleep, as we know, is critical for good recovery and overall health. The second thing that breaks down when I am not doing well. And I'm really not doing well, so my sleep schedule is waaaaaay off kilter. My goal, then, is to be in bed by 11 for the first two weeks, 10:30 in weeks 3 and 4, and finally 10 o'clock in 5 and 6. This is going to be one of those challenges that I really need to pay attention to myself. I'm going to be alone for much of the next month and I do poorly under those conditions. I will also have extremely limited access to a vehicle. My exercise and training goals are going to require that I suck it up and do something about it to meet them. Now let's get this going. I've wasted enough time as it is.
  5. Ahem. "Yes, it's true. I may not be a Master Builder. I may not have a lot of experience fighting or leading or coming up with plans. Or having ideas in general. In fact, I'm not all that smart. And I'm not what you'd call a creative type. Plus, generally unskilled. Also, scared and cowardly. I know what you're thinking. he is the least qualified person in the world to lead us. And you are right." - Emmett, The LEGO Movie (also how I feel almost all the time) Alright, guys. I know I'm late. Like, really late. I get it. The realization that the Spartan was coming up immediately after this challenged may have kicked my ass. That, and nerd withdrawal from Chicago made this a bad week. Was I posting on all of the nerds' threads whom I missed from Chicago? Was I doing that to avoid dealing with my own training? Maaaaybeeee.... So let's fix that. Together. Because everything is awesome. I feel more awesome than an awesome possum When I lift weights, when I get under the barbell and crank out a full set, I feel amazing. I feel like a fucking monster. Like I could just tear down walls with my hands. When I was in Chicago, I got to lift with bigm141414 and emcee. These two radically sized people were just absurd. I got tips from biggums to help me with my lifts and things felt amazing. I watched Rob_ and Flex_Luthor benching me and a half like it was nothing. I got to watch and learn from these incredible, strong people. When I got back to the gym, despite my weights being way back down, I felt like I had levelled up a bunch of times. Things just felt better. And I want to keep feeling like that. I can be better than an awesome possum. Lift 3 times / week. Everything is cool when you're part of a team The summer threw off my schedule of hapkido classes. Though I've been focusing very heavily on my strength training, it all comes back to wanting to be a better martial artist. I stuck with my Mondays for my black belt class, but I need to get back to at least twice a week. My wife is no longer on call on Thursdays (which used to be my go-to day) so I can take the car and make that happen. I want to spend more time with my cool team. Go to hapkido 2x / week. Everything is better when we stick together Know what I hate more than anything? Running. Running sucks balls. It is the worst thing there ever was. But, there's this thing in Boston. It's called the Spartan Sprint. Stupid running. I hate you, RP. I really do. This is your fault. So, I guess I'm going to be running? But I won't have to do it alone. I blackmailed convinced my wife to do the Sprint with me, so we are going to run together. And we're going to do it on my terms. See, behind our house there's this great sodding hill with a walking path going right over it. We're going to get up early three times a week together and run up that bastard five times. Is that the equivalent of doing the November Project some unholy number of times? No, it's not. But from a not-running lifestyle to one where one can sprint up sharp inclines (or, I don't know, stadium stairs) this feels like good training. Run the hills 3x / week. A Nobel prize, a piece of string. You know what's awesome? EVERYTHING! And now, tacos! Wait, hold on. Food is always my nemesis. Too many times, I end up cobbling together a sort-of-meal from whatever I can scrounge in the house. Grocery shopping? Fah! Meal planning? A pox upon it! I can do better than that. Breakfast is covered. I've ground that into myself that I need a good meal to start the day. I don't do cereal, so I've got to prepare food that I can actually eat (yay, celiac!). But my lunches are usually a collection of snacks or, more usually, a tiny snack that just leaves me weary and cranky. And my dinners are what I pick up at the grocery store that night probably 5 days of the week. That's gotta stop. In light of leftovers being a thing, my goal is to plan 4 dinners and make sure I have a plan for my lunches during the work week. 4 planned dinners and 5 lunches / week And that's it, nerds. Super late, but trying to get myself back on track.
  6. Whelp, it seems that I'm back. Y'all can thank littlewings for reaching out to me and reminding me that I used to stay on top of these "healthy" things. There's talk of a meetup here in the wilds of Canada and monks gotta represent. Soooo.... Main Quest I have a history of writing a ton of stuff about my challenge in prose and then little factoids of reality. I don't think I'm going to have the time and energy to do that. It's Monday already and I want this up before the end of the day. Basically, in my main quest, I've been trying to build myself into the heroic capability of one of the Solar Exalted. White Wolf scholars already know that these glorious bad-asses are shining demi-gods who shake the foundations of the world with their footsteps. Rebels with a long memory will remember that their ideal of perfection and excellence is my great goal. So, what now? This'll be my third challenge through this quest and, I have to say, things are not going super great. But I'm back and it's time to buckle down. I'm going to revamp my challenge goals to suit the individual Castes of the Solars. In light of the extremely niche appeal of the Exalted, I'm going to be light on media again. That makes me sad, as there's a lot of very impressive gifs flying around in the other challenges. This challenge will be about the Dawn Caste. They are the warrior-generals of the armies of heaven. Master tacticians and brilliant with any weapon they lay a hand to. To earn my Dawn Caste Exaltation, I will need to do this: Train like a warrior of heaven I live about an hour from my hapkido club. Historically, this has been a great challenge to me as my wife and I have only one car and I, having grown up in big cities for most of my life, never learned to drive. But I got my license, you guys! I can drive all by myself! Now I can take care of that transportation myself and get back into the habit of consistently going to class and, even more specifically, get to the black belt classes every Monday so that I can have the practice to earn my second degree black belt. Get to hapkido twice a week: 12 classes in total. +1 STR, +2 DEX, +1 STA We may also have bought a brand new Jetta that I am in love with and love to drive. Build the strength of heaven One of the fun things I discovered during my months of recuperation is that my joints have weakened to the point where I simply cannot physically tolerate the sharp snapping motions of repetitive striking AND lift heavy weights. That gives me a sad, but I want to build back up to that point. Striking is a pretty important part of hapkido, so I am doing a lot of it. I'm also training with a pair of guys who are preparing to grade for their red belt (our equivalent of brown) which involves throwing 1000 good kicks. So them joints are seeing the work. I want to keep up with that. That means punching and kicking the crap out of everything. 500 punches and 500 kicks each week: +1 STR, +2 DEX, +1 STA Guard the foundations of heaven Seems like everybody's paying attention to their calorie intake. I don't like to count calories because it drives me mad. What I do enjoy doing is monitor my food intake and keep the crap out. I found out last year that I have celiac disease, which forces me away from all the grains that are so very delicious but so very bad for me. This put my wife and I in the position where we were cooking every meal from scratch all the time. We haven't been too bad the past few months but one of the bad habits we developed was to keep snacks in the house. You know the kind I'm talking about. Salty, carby, sweet, creamy, delicious snacks. Grocery trips weren't complete without them. That business has got to stop. NO snacks 6 days a week. Easter is this weekend and if you try tell me that I don't get a cheat day to eat my aunt's gluten-free baking that she is making just for me then I will fight you. +2 CON, +1 WIS Life Goal A warrior (no, not these warriors) still needs to live in the world. It's not all roundhouse kicks and straight punches. If only. I'm not about to get into all the feels, but my wife and I have agreed to dedicate more time to each other. And we're even even both tracking it. So I'm putting it out here that I'm going to spend more time just for her and I to be together. 3 separate and for realz 1 hour chunks a week. That's 18 whole hours just with my wife! Madness! +2 CHA, +2 WIS And that's it! It's not even the end of Monday yet! -- x = 0.999... 10x = 9.999... 10x - x = 9.999... - 0.999... 9x = 9 x = 1 0.999... = 1
  7. It is the beginning of the end. The culmination of an era. The final months. The past seventeen years have all be leading to this ultimate destination, and once it is reached the entire time spent traveling to it will matter no more. It will be the end of an end, and the beginning of a new beginning; in truth, it will be the end of the beginning. But the destination has not been reached yet; the end is in sight, but it has not arrived. Eight months remain. Eight more months of freedom; eight months until freedom. Eight months to finish learning; eight months until the learning truly begins. Eight months until graduation. There is much that our heroine must accomplish in those eight short—and yet unbearably long—months. Some things must be finished in that time, while others simply should be, and some might barely be begun. Nevertheless, these eight months will be the capstone on our heroine’s journey; it will be because of them that she will be vaulted higher than she could image, or that she will sink lower than ever before. Let us begin. MAIN QUEST In eight months, our heroine must become the person she truly wishes to be, the person she wishes to continue her life as. This improved version of herself is a black belt, weight at least 20 pounds less than our heroine does now, and has sharpened her social skills to a razor edge. First Mission (+2 DEX, +2 STR): In order to achieve her black belt, our heroine must be stronger and more flexible than she ever has been before. To this end, she will continue to awaken every morning in order to stretch, do her slow kicks, and perform bodyweight strength exercises on Moon’s day, Odin’s day, and Freya’s day. GRADING: Each day is on a pass/fail basis A: 7/7 passes B: 6/7 C: 5/7 D: 3-4/7 F: 1-2/7 Second Mission (+4 STA, +1 WIS): Strength and flexibility are not the only attributes our heroine needs to successfully attain her black belt; she must also improve herself as a martial artist. This mission has two parts: our heroine must attend all classes as that she is able, and must practice her art alone at least thrice a week. GRADING: a "missed" class means an unexcused absence--if I legitimately had so much homework that I couldn't go, it doesn't count as a missed class. If the only reason I didn't finish my homework in time is because I was YouTube-ing for three hours after school, then it counts. A: All classes attended, 3x practice B: 1 class/practice missed C: 2 classes/practices missed D: 3 classes/practices missed F: 4+ classes/practices missed Third Mission (+2 CON, +2 CHA): If she wishes to continue her journey to a lighter version of herself, our heroine must fuel her body correctly. She will continue to avoid grains and carbohydrate-filled foods while journeying down (a modified) Paleolithic way. Our heroine will, however, continue to consume dairy. In addition to eating as her ancestors did many moons ago, our heroine will also continue to experiment with Intermittent Fasting. At least five days a week, our heroine will ensure that she endures for 16 hours without food, then fuels her body for a mere 8 hours before repeating. GRADING: Pass/fail daily basis. The first two days without IF are still a pass (if the food I ate was acceptable) but after that, non-IF days count as a fail. A: 7/7 passes B: 6/7 C: 5/7 D: 3-4/7 F: 1-2/7 Life Side-quest (+2 WIS): If our heroine wishes to attend college, she must set herself down on her formidable ass and dedicate herself to completing manifold applications and composing essays of her most impressive prose. GRADING: Point system. Finish an application form - 1 pt; finish the rough draft of an essay - 1 pt; finish the essay to the point where I give it to other people to read - 1 pt; finish essay completely - 1 pt; all transcripts sent - 1 pt; application fully completed - 2 pts; all applications completed - infinite points A: 5 pts B: 4 pts C: 3 pts D: 1-2 pts F: 0 pts STARTING STATS Weight: 161.4 BMI: 24.5 Waist: 29.5 Hips: 42.5 Thigh: 24 BF Percent: 31% Bicep: 11.25 inches
  8. Right. So here it is. I attempted another challege a few months ago, and failed. I was trying to do too many things at once. While I think taking away the attribute points is a bit extreme (and while I'm confused about how people could be confused about calculating them--it's not very complicated) in some ways I think it is a good idea. It might help me, anyway. Here's the background for my challenge. I've been a 1st Kyu Brown Belt for more years than I care to remember, and that needs to change. Pretty soon, I'll be leaving for college and I won't be able to continue at my studio. Basically, it's down to now or never. Also, I broke my collarbone about a month ago. It's lots better now, and I have an appointment with the bone doctor in a few days. Hopefully, he'll clear me to go back to regular class (although I know he won't let me go back to sparring and Krav Maga for a while). Anyway, I'm going to use the break as a way to ease into the exercise/diet plan I have scheduled for myself. I want to wake up before school (5:45-ish), practice karate, and shower. I'll go to class without eating breakfast, because I've started doing IF (8 hours eating/16 hours fasting). When I get home, I'll either strength train or run, depending on the day. If I have karate class in the evening, I'll go. It's a lot and I'm starting from a bit of a stand-still because of the collarbone, but I had good momentum before the break and I'm trying to recapture that. Plus, I'm not starting all this at once. I'm working up to it all as the break (and my doctor) will allow, which will let me ease in and hopefully stick with it. So. The challenge. MY QUEST, AS I HAVE CHOSEN TO ACCEPT IT: Get my black belt by February. Which means get recommendations to test in December, appear before the Board of Review in January, Pre-Test in late January/early February, and test in Feb. FIRST MISSION: Practice karate every morning M-F, and do bagwork on the weekend. Weekday morning workouts should be strictly 30-45 minutes total (includes warm-up and cool-down). Weekend workouts can be any length. SECOND MISSION: Strength training every M-W-F after classes, and running on Tu-Th. This will be AS ALLOWED BY DOCTOR/BREAK. There aren't any time constraints on the strength workouts--just however long it takes to finish my routine. Tuesday running will be straight endurance--30 minutes of running. Thursday running will be intervals. On the weekends, I will go for a long walk. THIRD MISSION: Attend as many karate classes AS ALLOWED BY DOCTOR/BREAK. Hopefully, this will immediatly include all Mainstream classes. I'll be watching Krav, and hopefully will be able to go back to Krav, Sparring, and Self-Defense sometime in the next month. LIFE MISSION: Keep records of EVERYTHING. This is something I have trouble with (and something I won't be able to score myself on later Challenges without) so it's going in. Every time I workout, it goes in my notebook. The start and end times go in. So does everything I did. Every time I weigh myself, it goes in. Any thoughts, worries, panicked moments, etc. go in. Every Monday, I will post The Week In Review on this thread. I won't be posting more often than that just because it's more convenient to write everything in a notebook. There we go! That's my Challenge, and this time I'm sticking with it!!
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