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  1. My Epic Quest revolves around three things: my family, my personal experiences and skills, and my Jedi training. What about your career, you say? What is the point of a career without a family? How do you excel in your career without a solid understanding of your personal philosophy, ethics, and morals? The first one are kind of personal, so I'm going to keep them out of here for now, but will probably drop some Woots and Blogs every now and then. My Jedi training started when I was a young boy and first saw Empire Strikes Back. Since then, I've always seen myself in Luke. I understood his failings easily because they were easy to relate to. As I grew up, I learned more and more about Jedi philosophy and how to incorporate it into my life. While at graduate school in 2006, I found my first online Jedi community and began trading stories, philosophy, and training. I have always valued my own views and experiences over others, because I am one of the few in the online Jedi community without a spiritual background. I am much more scientific in my views of the "Force" or anything supernatural for that matter. I joined my first online Jedi training school, the Institute for Jedi Realist Studies (IJRS), this past winter and put together a training schedule. The training has three main elements: mind, body, and soul. Each training exercise must incorporate all of these elements. I keep an Excel spreadsheet to track all my goals, but I will share a few here. GOALS (updated 2019-1205) Toastmasters International Pass 5 lessons by Dec 31st, 2012. COMPLETE CC manual by Jan 31st, 2013. COMPLETE 2013-01-22 10 Advanced Manual lessons by Dec 31st, 2013 to earn my Advanced Communicator Bronze. COMPLETE 2013-10-01 Hold a new Club Officer position in July 2013 - June 2014. COMPLETE Complete two Successful Club Series speeches by Jan 14th, 2014 to complete my Advanced Leadership Bronze. COMPLETE 2014-01-18 10 Advanced Manual lessons by June 1st, 2014 to earn my Advanced Communicator Silver. COMPLETE 2014-03-24 Serve as Area Governor July 2014 - June 2015. COMPLETE Complete term as a Club Coach by June 2015. COMPLETE Complete one one-hour Leadership Series speeches by June 2015 to complete my Advanced Leadership Silver. COMPLETE (Speechcraft) Complete 10 Advanced Manual lessons and two Educational Training sessions by June 2015 to complete my Advanced Communicator Gold. COMPLETE Complete both Advanced Communicator Gold and Advanced Leadership Silver to earn Distinguished Toastmaster. COMPLETE. Earn a Triple Crown (3 or more Toastmaster Awards in a year) every year with a minimum of 20 speeches in a year. ON GOING Pathways Program: Effective Coaching (COMPLETE), Dynamic Leadership (COMPLETE), Presentation Mastery (COMPLETE), Engaging Humor (Level 1-4 Complete, Level 5 In progress), Leadership Development (Level 1-4 Complete, Level 5 In progress), Persuasive Influence (Level 1-4 Complete, Level 5 In progress), Team Collaboration (Level 1-2 Complete, Level 3-5 In progress), Motivational Strategies (Level 1 Complete, Level 2-5 In progress) Jedi Training IJRS Courses: Pass Intro, Meditation 101, and Force 101 by March 1st, 2013. COMPLETE 2013-02-14 IJRS Courses: Pass 2 courses (Communication 101 and Creed 101) by December 31st, 2013. COMPLETE 2013-12-30 IJRS Courses: Pass 2 courses. (Spirituality 101 and Personal 101) COMPLETE 2016-12-19 IJRS Courses: Pass 2 courses. (Jedi Studies 101 COMPLETE, Warrior 101 COMPLETE) IJRS Courses: Pass last Novice course. (Situational Awareness 101 COMPLETE) IJRS Novice Exam (in progress) Maintain CPR/AED Certification Expiration January 2021 Self Defense Karate White Belt - COMPLETE November 27th, 2016 Yellow Belt - COMPLETE Orange Belt - COMPLETE Green Belt - COMPLETE, Senior COMPLETE Blue Belt - COMPLETE Red Belt - COMPLETE Purple Belt - COMPLETE Brown I Belt - COMPLETE Brown II Belt - COMPLETE Brown III Belt - COMPLETE Probationary Black Belt - COMPLETE Black Belt Shodan - COMPLETE Black Belt Nidan - In Progress Tool Training Nunchucka Katana Bo Staff Helping Others Extra Life 2016 Gameday COMPLETE 2017 Gameday COMPLETE 2018 Gameday COMPLETE 2019 Gameday, COMPLETE, Gold Medal Fundraiser, +$1k 2020 Gameday, COMPLETE, Gold Medal Fundraiser, +$1k 2021 Gameday, COMPLETE, Gold Medal Fundraiser, +$2k Website, Blogging, and Vlogging Jedi Training Website/Blog - Combining with Coaching Determine Objective Find proper format based on objective Establish Website/Blog Maintain Website/Blog Coaching Website/Blog - COMPLETE and in Sustainment Determine Objective Vision, Values, and Mission Long Term and Short Term Goals Brainstorm Branding (few ideas) Find proper format based on objective Establish Website/Blog Maintain Website/Blog Practice Vlogging (Facebook Live, YouTube) for Website/Blog content Jedi Toastmasters Coaching Fitness Extra Life Charity Home Renovation Electrical and Lighting Wiring for the Deck Electrical and Lighting Wiring for Basement Closet COMPLETE Clean up basement for construction projects COMPLETE Second Basement Bedroom COMPLETE Kids Playroom / Craft Room COMPLETE Clean up Laundry Room / Workshop / Storage Area COMPLETE Fix Electrical Wiring in Laundry Room and First Basement Bedroom COMPLETE Attic Storage Garage Backyard Wiring and Plumbing Backyard Garage and Shed BUCKET LIST: Local US Travel Yosemite Yellowstone Niagara Falls Appalachian Trail Experiences DONE (x2): Hike Mt. Whitney to 10,000 ft (Lone Pine Lake) DONE: Hike with Redwood Trees (Trail of 100 Giants) Hike Mt. Whitney to summit 14,000 ft DONE: Hike Mt. Mitchell to 6,684 ft in Appalachian Mountains (highest East of Mississippi River) Hike and Camp at the Grand Canyon Sky Dive Ride in a Plane / Jet World Travel Asia Okinawa, Japan China Australia New Zealand Rugby Matches Lord of the Rings Moeraki Boulders North America Costa Rica Spotted Lake, British Columbia Whale Watching in Grand Manan, New Foundland, Canada Alaska Hawaii South America Brazil Rain Forest and Amazon River Marble Caves, Chile Cao Cristales River, Columbia Africa Pyramids Safari Europe Greece (Parthenon), Spain, France, Poland, Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, England Physical Feats Free Handstand for 10 seconds without support Free Handstand walk for 5 steps Muscle-Up Toe Above Bar Run 5 miles Run 10 miles Run Half-Marathon
  2. 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 for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good fight lightin' it up, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "I Need to Know How to Wield It" [No Spoilers this time for The Last Jedi] Everyday the human body changes. Old cells die and new cell are formed. I read recently that in 7 years, the skin cells of the human body have been completely replenished with new ones. One could argue that the person you are in 7 years is a completely new one. I'd say that the person you have become in 7 years a slightly modified replication, with natural aging appearance, augmented with new experiences and memories to enhance skills. Those new experiences are the ones which help us grow challenging ourselves in new ways. Occasionally, those new experiences will awaken a new passion or bring out a new skill. This can be an exciting or scary time as our comfort zone, status quo, personal priorities, etc are challenged and changed to make room for the awakening. Personally, I have a few new awakenings. I am interested in playing more Magic: The Gathering outside my close friends. The passion I have for the game and the newest release is pushing my interest into doing more than just playing the game with purchased or thrown-together decks. After playing in a Prerelease event, I feel confident I can recognize synergy among cards, use that synergy to build a strong deck, and play socially and competitively without making judgment errors or game play mistakes which would result in embarrassment or upsetting my opponent. These events are not free and require time; therefore, I'll have to pick and choose my battles and balance my other priorities. There is a Cosmic Encounter (my favorite board game) tournament in May which I am very interested in; however, I am also intimidated by the scale of it. One could prop up the other. My IJRS Jedi Novice Training and Karate Brown III training are in the final stages, which is exciting, but I am facing the question about what do I do with it. For both, the natural progression is to teach others. The IJRS may ask that I help tutor Novice students. I want to put together a website to put my knowledge and philosophy out there for others to learn from (I do that here a bit with these lessons). For Karate, I sempai classes, leading small groups. As I progress, the leading will progress as well. When I reach black belt, I may be asked to lead classes. I have to ask myself, what is my personal goals for teaching? How much commitment will it take? Where does it fall on my priorities? There is also Epic Nerd Camp, which I want to be more involved with, but I don't see myself being able to commit the time necessary to do it and meet expectations. I have a lot of desires and commitments which I keep trying to fit in. I keep on looking at my evening Toastmasters club thinking that I will need to step away from it to make time for these other things. But that is such a small commitment compared to the things I am looking to expand on. What else will take a backseat? The scariest part is that is all MY stuff. What about my wife's stuff? My kids stuff? My life is their life which means it is all OUR stuff. The priorities and commitments will be sorted out one way or another. The stuff which doesn't fall on all our lists is the stuff which falls to the bottom. I need to ensure that every voice and passion is heard to craft my stuff to fit the others. Because we share our lives, how I wield my awakened passions is integral to how my family will wield 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 4 Level 8 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. 2 Sprints (10 reps), 2 Jogs (30 min), 2 Bikes (10 min), and 2 Racquetball sessions. Track time and distance. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 800 min total, 200 weekly. STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 320 min total, 80 weekly. Track reps for push-ups and sit-ups AMRAP and daily total. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 1000 min total, 250 weekly. Track progress towards belt. Track improvement on all material. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. 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 lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. CON +2 Keep on cutting out the crap - No CheezIts, limit snacking at work, 6 Dr Peppers a week, and limit cheese to 6 meals a week. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 72 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 18 hours each week. Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge) Dishes (15) Laundry (8) Cooking/Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (25) Yard Work (2) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($140.90 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 20 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 16 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $20 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. BONUSES: Life: $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. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PENALTIES: Lose $10 each day with weight above 149.5 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in. Lose $5 for CheezIts, more than 6 Dr Peppers a week, and more than 6 meals with cheese a week. Lose $1 for each snack.
  3. 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 for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it you'll never make it through the night." Hope is something which comes and goes. Like motivation. Or passion. Or love. Each of these need attention to be maintained or it will fade with time. Motivation needs to be refreshed. Passion needs to be re-energized. Love needs to be nurtured. Hope needs to held close to the heart. Hope is attached to these other concepts (motivation, passion, love) as well as others, like dreams, beliefs, etc. Hope is a theme in The Last Jedi and will lead to the epic conclusion in Episode IX. In health and fitness, hope is part of our goals. We hope to our plans work out and we meet our goals moving closer to our dreams... When things go off the rails, our goals are obstructed or appear to be out of reach, those are the moments when hope is most important. It has to be held onto through those moments, return with you to the drawing board, and make it to a positive achievement. Hope in something better is what can get us back up after a failure. If we let even a little hope go, then it can all slip through like sand in your hands. Maintaining hope is best done with priorities. We prioritize our lives by what matters to us. Most of us would say that family is our number one priority. Tie your hope for your goal to your number one priority, then it will never fade. My hope is to be a Jedi who influences the world to make it a better place for my children and their children to inherit. That drives me to coach, mentor, and teach others. It drives me to make changes in my life to be a proper role model for everyone who may look up to me. Another hope I have is to maintain a healthy body so that I can take care of my family, and give them as much joy and happiness as I am able. My back injury made me grumpy and sedentary due to pain and discomfort. I committed myself to fixing it. Part of that was financially through doctor visits, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and a spinal injection. The other part is making changes in my daily life to correct poor posture and spinal issues through exercise, diet, and better sitting practices. Hope is your life line. Without hope, your life may be lost. Keep that life line strong with prioritization. With hope, you will always be rescued. 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 4 Level 4 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 600 min total, 150 weekly STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 240 min total, 60 weekly. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 800 min total, 200 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. 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 lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. Cut out the crap. Eat salads, not burritos. Eat fruit, not cookies. Eat carrots, not Cheez-Itz. Eat less, not more. TURN UP THE HEAT! TURN DOWN THE EAT! CON +4 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 60 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 15 hours each week (reducing for the school year as I need time to help the kids with homework). Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge Dishes (10) Laundry (8) Cooking/Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (20) Yard Work (4) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($294.35 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 17 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 15 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $50 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $20 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. REWARD: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each day without fasting. REWARD: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD: $2 for each morning or night of brushing and flossing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each morning or night I forget to floss. Lose $10 for NOT flossing for the full day. BONUSES: Life: $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 healthy grocery shopping or healthy meal prep. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 149.5 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in.
  4. 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 for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "This is NOT going to go the way you think!" - Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi {I avoided spoilers this time!} We can plan and schedule everything in life. We can make assumptions, predictions, and estimations. We can set expectations high or low. None of it may amount to a hill of beans. There are always outside factors, randomness, errors, and poor judgement to throw any perfect plan off track. For each of these, we just reset, re-plan, reschedule, and go again. But nothing every goes exactly how we think. Worrying about it, getting frustrated with it, or crying about it is a waste of time and energy. It is a waste of life. Killing time is not murder, it's suicide. In this spirit, I decided to focus on a few items in different ways for this challenge. Chores and Maintenance I have a lot of control over my time. Others Life Categories are effected by how my free time gets chewed up or manipulated by outside factors. Instead, I'll have those tie into my incentives to push me more in those areas. I upped the stakes on my IJRS Lessons. There have been a lot of things keeping me from doing that, most of it on my shoulders for not making it a priority over other things. After Epic Nerd Camp, it'll be time to get it done. The things I prioritized over it, namely Toastmasters, needs to take a backseat for a bit. My evening Toastmasters club may be folding in September. It just has not gone well. I could go on and on about the new Toastmasters education program and it's online platform, but I already vented about it in an email to another Toastmaster. I feel it has a direct correlation with all of my clubs recent struggles with member retention and recruitment. Even I am having difficulty using it, which just shows how poor the user interface and program design is. 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 4 Level 3 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 600 min total, 150 weekly STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 240 min total, 60 weekly. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 800 min total, 200 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. 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 lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. TURN UP THE HEAT! CON +4 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 80 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 20 hours each week. Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge Dishes (10) Laundry (8) Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (20) Yard Work (4) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($257.20 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 20 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 20 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $50 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $10 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. REWARD: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. REWARD: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD: $1 for each morning or night of brushing and flossing. $0 for just brushing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $1 for each morning or night I forget to floss. Lose $2 for NOT flossing for the full day. BONUSES: Life: $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 healthy grocery shopping or healthy meal prep. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 150.0 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in.
  5. 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 a crooked spine causing nerve root irritation and pain in my back, hip, legs, neck, and shoulders. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I maintain my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine. I'm not planning to be playing rugby or football again in this lifetime, but I'm not giving up hope on the possibility either... Rebellions are built on HOPE! I'm just going to keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: Maz Kanata: Dear child. I see your eyes. You already know the truth. Whomever you're waiting for on Jakku... they're never coming back... But... there's someone who still could. Rey: Luke. Maz Kanata: The belonging you seek is not behind you... it is ahead. I am no Jedi, but I know the Force. It moves through and surrounds every living thing. Close your eyes... Feel it... The light... it's always been there. It will guide you. The saber. Take it. Rey: I'm never touching that thing again. I don't want any part of this. Life will present you with situations which are difficult. Like Finn running from the First Order, you will want to run away from it all. Like Rey, after the horrifying Force Vision, you will want no part in it. Whether you are afraid for yourself or others or whether you just want to stay in your comfort zone, you will find regret in your inaction. Through avoidance and denial, humans tend to lock themselves to behavior and habits which become overwhelming and appear inescapable. Maybe it is a dead end job too difficult to leave, or a family situation too sensitive to handle, or maybe an addiction or habit that is easier to dismiss as inconsequential rather than really seeing the effects it has on yourself or others. Instead of seeing the difficulty, look at it as if life is presenting you an opportunity to challenge yourself and to grow. Growing does not stop when we reach adulthood. Growth can happen every day. You just have to seize the opportunity. The Past is a history lesson from which to learn. The Future is undetermined and can be whatever you choose to make it. The Present is your opportunity to apply the Past to make a brighter Future. It is a gift to be opened every moment. Do not wait for a special occasion. 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 12 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 240 min total, 60 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 480 min total, 120 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 600 min total, 150 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. 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 lunch portions, especially. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 300 Tasks or Projects, with at least 75 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (8), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (12), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (10), Charity Work (10), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (24), Reading (24), Church Work (8), Job Work (20), Business Projects (12), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (24), Other Chores (24), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (60), Home Renovation (6), Auto Maintenance (6), Family Activities (12), Adventuring (6). WIS +3, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($207 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week, I complete 80 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 75 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour: write/plan/record a 2018 Extra Life Kickoff Video get involved in Extra Life Baltimore Guild revisit Wizard Laser Tag (look into Recoil game app and tech) for Epic Nerd Camp draw up plan for Jedi website VHS-to-DVD conversion CONSEQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. $10 for each completed IJRS lesson. Need to get back to the formal training at IJRS. CONSEQUENCE 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. CONSEQUENCE 4: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. REWARD 5: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD 6: $1 for each night I brush and floss before bed. $0 for just brushing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $1 for each night I forget to brush. Lose $2 for voluntarily skipping brushing. BONUSES: Life: $2 for healthy grocery shopping $2 for healthy meal prep $2 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. Workout: $2 for each cardio session over 25 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 151.5 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. Lose $1 for each night I skip tooth brushing Upgraded to Reward 6 Lose $5 for not weighing in each morning
  6. 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 and crooked spine causing all types of pain in my back, hip, legs, neck, and shoulders. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I maintain my spine and back muscles to slow down the advanced aging. I'm not planning to be playing rugby or football again in this lifetime, but I'm not giving up hope on the possibility either... Rebellions are built on HOPE! I'm just going to keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: Baze Malbus: Good luck! Chirrut Îmwe: I don't need luck! I have you! Any journey is difficult to navigate by yourself. Whether we want to admit it or not, no one can do everything by themselves. Sure, if you are lifting a weight, then you lift it with your arms. But you stay safe by having a spotter. You check your technique with a coach watching you. You push harder, because you have a coach pushing you. You recognize your achievements with your cheerleader routing you on. For your workouts, you surround yourself with people who will support you. Every aspect of life should reflect that. Why leave it to luck or chance when you can have a supporting cast to get you through? Sure, it is only you when it comes to deciding what goes into your body. But you have family and friends that you eat with who will also influence your decisions. The positive influences help us make healthy choices. The negative ones need to be weeded out or tuned out. Peer pressure when it comes to diet is crucial. Don't leave it to luck. Surround yourself with the right kind of support. Sure, it is your efforts which get you ahead in school or career, but just like a diet, you need to be aware of the individuals who would drag you down. Surround yourself with those who are going to build you up and help keep you on track. I'm looking at a job change right now. It is my decision to make. I want to stay with my current company. They trust me. They believe in me. They support me in my personal training. They are looking for the right contract opportunity for me to excel and develop while also being interesting and rewarding. They bring in the best and brightest, so they can do these things for everyone in the company. Switching companies would compromise that atmosphere. I trust them, but 4 weeks is a long time to wait. It could be 4 or 8 weeks longer. I may have an important decision to make next week to switch companies to get back to the work I was doing before, just on a different contract, or to stay with my current company and wait for the right opportunity. The biggest difficulty with staying is that I am risking that they could cut me loose at any time, like I was burned with my last company, who I thought I could trust. I was with them almost 5 years doing work which is a growth area for them, but they couldn't put me in a new spot. My current company is not fully invested in my line of work, which makes it difficult for them to find the right opportunity for me... it is a pickle. All the people I would want to talk to about this are all directly involved or influenced by my decision, so it is even harder to talk to them directly or at all about it. To help me make my decision, I am looking for my supporters. Recently, I reached out to several friends to see if there is opportunity outside of these two choices. I've reached out to my Toastmaster friends for support. And my immediate family is well aware of the situation. I have a few more stones to turn over for support. This site being one of them. So if you are reading this, don't wish me luck in my decision. Offer me some encouragement with your own experience as a reference. Don't leave it to luck or chance when you can have support. 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 11 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 240 min total, 60 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 My leg is healing up, so walking is not going to count this challenge. I'm only counting super sweaty, heart rate elevated cardio. Need to keep it low impact. Gym membership is going to have to get put off until I can get there before work. I'm driving a friend to their work in the morning right now while their car gets fixed. Time to get the bike out to ride around before the sun comes up. Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 480 min total, 120 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 720 min total, 150 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 I have a belt test on 3/26 to move up to Purple Belt. They will let me test modified due to the back and leg injury. I'm debating just going all out for the test, because I really shouldn't be doing any of it. I have three stripes left to earn. Purple stripe is a review, which comes last and will include all the modified combinations, which are still painful because I can't modify the turn-back. Red stripe will be easy. It's just a step behind side kick board break which I've modified to an elbow. I should get that tonight. Yellow stripe is Taeguek 6, which I know a quarter of. I've only practiced once in class (last week). They really pushed combinations with us last month, but I don't know how I managed to go a whole month without doing form in class. I don't like having only a week to get it down. Modified for no kicks makes the footwork awkward too. I'll get it, because I'm going to put in the work through the pain. DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. 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 lunch portions, especially. 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 +3 I'm on the Spring Mix salad kick this week and next. Red cabbage probably following that. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 300 Tasks or Projects, with at least 75 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 (24), Reading (16), Church Work (8), Job Work (20), Business Projects (12), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (24), Other Chores (24), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (60), Home Renovation (6), Auto Maintenance (6), Family Activities (12), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($44 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 80 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 75 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour: write/plan/record a 2018 Extra Life Kickoff Video get involved in Extra Life Baltimore Guild (missed kick-off meeting and will miss Cecil Con) revisit Wizard Laser Tag (look into Recoil game app and tech) for Epic Nerd Camp draw up plan for Jedi website VHS-to-DVD conversion CONSEQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. $10 for each completed IJRS lesson. Need to get back to the formal training at IJRS. CONSEQUENCE 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. CONSEQUENCE 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. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: Life: $2 for healthy grocery shopping $2 for healthy meal prep $2 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. Workout: $5 for biking more than 20 min PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 151.5 lbs.
  7. Happy New Year fair Druids My last few challenges have left me uninspired, so I am joining you with my efforts to realign and find fresh perspective. It has been a year of sea changes and I am in need of some introspection I enjoy GIFs and emojis and exploring raw emotions. I'm keeping things very simple to start, and will try to flush out details as I go FOCUS Moving Meditation (4X per week/Leaves) Combining my martial and fine arts practices, this is an experiment in meditative mark making that utilizes qigong movements, starting with a piece of the Ving Tsun form Silumtao. I will allow the details of the movements to evolve as I explore, and post photos for accountability. Ditch the Dew (As per) I have a pretty bad Stardew Valley habit that I need to get under control. I believe I use it as a numbing agent so I don't have to deal with some of the more difficult things hapenning in my life, but it's also just very fun. This is a goal requiring limitations: Do NOT play for more than 1 hour at a time. After 1 hour, do something on the list. (Still in progress on the bujo page) Must have 1 hour break in between. One meanie pic on bujo page for every fail. COMMUNICATE Write it Out (1X per week/Pansies) In the past year I've done a 180 and become completetly over socialed after a long period of being people starved and pretty damn lonely. I am predominantly extroverted, but currently stretched way too thin between a very social job, and new and old friends and the activities that come with all of it. Honestly... I'm not sure how I feel about everything other than being overwhelmed. Stream of consciousness has helped in the past and so I will try it here to see if I can set some priorities down with a weekly journaling. Find A Pro (1X per challenge/Rose) I'm no stranger to therapy, but it's been awhile. I feel that I'm in a place where I would benefit from regular counseling. I have started to research local options and must get to the point of the process where I make a sit down appointment with one of the prospects by the end of the challenge.
  8. 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. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 185 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). Challenge Lesson: From Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back: Luke: There's something not right here... I feel cold. Death. Yoda: [points to a cave opening beneath a large tree] That place... is strong with the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go. Luke: What's in there? Yoda: Only what you take with you. Luke enters the cave with his lightsaber as he is afraid that he may need to defend himself. He encounters Darth Vader. Igniting their lightsabers, they duel. Luke ends the confrontation quickly by beheading Darth Vader. The mask on the head explodes revealing Luke's face under the helmet. There are several lessons inside the cave for Luke to learn. The most obvious is that his fear and anger will lead him directly to the same fate as his father, Anakin Skywalker, who fell to the dark side and became Darth Vader. Of course, Luke can only figure out the "fear and anger can lead to the dark side" part at the time. He'd later learn the other parts from Vader himself. Another lesson within the cave is that Luke showed courage to enter the cave, but hid behind a crutch (the lightsaber). Would Vader have appeared with lightsaber drawn if Luke entered without his lightsaber? We'll never know, but Luke was certainly fearful of the dark side when he entered with his lightsaber. He learned this lesson well following the concluding events of Empire Strike Back. In Return of the Jedi, Luke is clearly embracing his fears of losing the Rebellion and his life by confronting Darth Vader and the Emperor as their prisoner. On two occasions, he removes his crutch from the equation showing real courage, when he surrenders to Vader on Endor and when he defeats Vader in their duel, then turns to confront the Emperor, he throws his lightsaber aside and says he'll never join the dark side and that the Emperor has lost. There is a line in the novelization, "Fear is a great cloud. It makes the cold colder and the dark darker, but let it rise and it will dissolve." For my fear of public speaking, I had to embrace it. Preparing, practicing, and executing public speaking on repeat for 4 years was the only way to beat that fear into submission. I found when I acted confident and comfortable, I eventually felt confident and comfortable. It's the "fake it, until you make it" mentality. I used to be a little afraid of roller coasters. The thrilling rides just weren't my thing when I was 8-11... until I went on a real thrilling water slide called Geronimo, where you basically free fall for a second down this completely vertical slide. After that ride, I decided to give roller coasters a try and haven't looked back. Heights were a problem, too. Everyone has these life preserving fears. Everyone has fears of embarrassment. Confront it with confidence, survive, get more comfortable with it, repeat. Eventually, you confront it without any crutches and conquer it never looking back. A third lesson is in what Yoda says, "Only what you take with you." We humans carry fear, anger, and hate around just as a Jedi would a lightsaber, but it is a lot more difficult to leave these emotions behind. Courage, forgiveness, and knowledge are the ways to leave fear, anger, and hate in the past where they cannot effect the future. Identify fears and find the courage to conquer them. Quell anger with forgiveness. Alleviate hate and ignorance by acquiring knowledge of the situation and circumstances. Check your suitcase. What are you carrying with you? Do you have heavy burdens? Are you collecting and bottling emotions? Do you have fears? Do you know how to unpack the suitcase and lighten your load? Think about what you are taking with you into the unknown. 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 2 Level 10 Challenge: This challenge I am confronting as a Boss Fight. I have some huge milestones and life changes coming to a head this month. When it is over, I will have slain a large beast, gained valuable experience, and uncovered new tools and artillery for future challenges. First, my job is in transition to a new work with my current contract expiring on the 12th. My company plans to move me internally, but I've been there before. I'm on the hunt for new work. I've already interviewed with one company and awaiting client and prime contracting company approval for an offer. I have another lead which could materialize quickly. And I have a few other opportunities which I have yet to pursue. I really wanted to stay where I was though. It is really hard to find a supervisor who truly appreciates and trusts you. It is really hard find work where you are part of a team that is working together with no internal fighting or bickering. It is really hard to find a job which is rewarding in that you can see the difference you are making in the lives of others. I have all that here. I hope to find it again, but I'll really miss what I have here. Second, it is Toastmasters contest season and I am planning to compete hard with my new speech. I have a message which I want to give to the world and make it better. I want a first place trophy outside the club this time. Third, August is coming soon and the Wizard Laser Tag project needs to make some significant progress this month to stay on track for a successful prototype test in March. We have a major design flaw to figure out. I've got ideas, but it is time to work through them. Fourth, I am working towards earning my Yellow belt in Karate class. I have two stripes left, but before the test at the end of February, I want to get my form and balance fine tuned. There is a level of execution expected at Yellow and I want to be the model student. Fifth, with my job transition, my gym time will be effected since I will lose access. I'll need new solutions starting next week. I've been thinking about heading to the YMCA in the mornings, but it'll add a lot of time to my commute, but my hours will be different, so it may not make a difference. Working out at home is an option, but I need to be careful about noise not to wake the wife and kids. I could move workouts to the evening and try to sleep in (good joke there). I am going to keep tracking the same for consistency. The focus is on the life goals so I moved some points around and added some bonus incentives. FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 158.0 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. CON +3 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 90 Tasks or Projects, with at least 20 week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (6), Webmaster Work (4), Mentoring (4), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (4), Self Preservation (2), Reading (16), Church Work (4), Job Work (8), Business Projects (4), Household Chores (20), Yard Work (4), Animal Care (8), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (4), Adventuring (2). WIS +3, CHA +3 Added two new categories. Reading for entertainment is something I have been neglecting. Business Projects includes a few ventures I am working on with the Wizard Laser Tag, a Jedi Training Website, and a Life Coaching Website. Each could result in extra cash if they reach they maximum potential, but personally, that is not the overall goal for any of them. INCENTIVES! REWARD: For each week I complete 20 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit ($200 carried over). CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 20 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. BONUSES: $5 for each Business Project hour. $5 for each advancement in the Speech Contests. Another $5 for first place finishes. $10 for fasting on Saturday nights. It is the unhealthiest night of the week. Time to change that. Fruits and veggies only after 4pm.
  9. 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. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 142 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). Challenge Lesson: "Ohhhh... Great warrior... Wars not make one great" -- Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Luke comes to the swamp world of Dagobah looking for the Jedi Master, Yoda. He meets an odd alien hermit after crash landing in the swamp. Their exchanges are quite comical as Luke's frustrations with the swamp and his search set in and are exasperated by the odd alien hermit. Finally, Luke tells the odd alien hermit he is looking for someone, a great warrior. The hermit replies with the above quote, "Wars not make one great." I agree with the odd alien hermit for three reasons. First, because he is Yoda! You can't disagree with the Grand Master of the Jedi! Second, it is not victory in war which brings about greatness, but all the work to get there. War is something that has been glorified through stories of drama and action to recount history or to entertain through all eras of humanity. Today, it is through film, television, and books that war and the heroes of war are glorified. The heroes are the main characters who could always be described as "great warriors" at the end. A great warrior is the successful victor in battle. The focus is on their accomplishments and achievements, not on the path which led them there. Not every great warrior starts out great. They have training, struggles, defeats, learning, practicing to go through before they can find success and claim victory over their opponents. War is conquest and conflict where there are winners (the great warriors) and losers (not yet great warriors). The loser of war or conflict has an opportunity to learn from failure. After they learn from failure, they can then achieve greatness and be a great warrior, but the war is not what makes them great. It is the training, struggles, defeats, learning, practicing which makes them great. But for my third reason, you have to take the quote in context. Yoda is indicating a slightly different lesson. A Jedi's purpose is to serve others, respect all life, and protect all life from those who wish it harm for personal gain. A Jedi accomplishes these things by being one with the Force to see the "right" path forward to find solutions and results that benefit everyone involved and do not have harmful effects in the future. Luke refers to the Jedi Master as a Great Warrior, but Yoda undercuts the compliment by implying the Jedi do not seek greatness through being a warrior. Jedi fight as a last resort. Jedi use the Force for defense, never for attack. Instead, a Jedi achieves greatness through their servitude of the light side of the Force. 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 2 Level 9 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +2 Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. STR +2, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 159.0 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. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 75 Tasks or Projects, with at least 15 a week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (6), Webmaster Work (4), Mentoring (4), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (4), Self Preservation (2), Reading (8)Church Work (4), Job Work (4), Business Projects (4), Household Chores (16), Yard Work (4), Animal Care (8), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (3), Family Activities (4), Adventuring (2). WIS +2, CHA +2 Added two new categories. Reading for entertainment is something I have been neglecting. Business Projects includes a few ventures I am working on with the Wizard Laser Tag, a Jedi Training Website, and a Life Coaching Website. Each could result in extra cash if they reach they maximum potential, but personally, that is not the overall goal for any of them. INCENTIVES! REWARD: For each week I complete 15 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit ($215 total saved so far). CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 15 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. BONUS: $5 for each Business Project hour.
  10. 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. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 136 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). Challenge Lesson: "Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship." -- Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back What my experience at Nerd Fitness has taught me is that there is always time, it is just a matter of priority. There is no to-do list too daunting, there is no bar too high, and there is no skill that cannot be learned. It takes prioritization, motivation, and determination. There will be failures along the rode, but those are learning opportunities. There will be obstacles in your way, but those are problem solving opportunities. There will be risks and consequences to the journey, but those are just costs for the reward. Size is just a measurement from a perspective. Find what aspect of you perspective the size is relevant to and change it. The size will change with it. Think of yourself as an ant. Everything human is huge or irrelevant to your life. Think of yourself as the moon. Everything on Earth is tiny and irrelevant to your life. Now, relate that to your goal. What are the things that make the goal appear impossible? How can you turn those things into something possible? Let's say you overweight and would like to be able to run a mile. You are 30, the last time you ran a mile was high school, and even then it was a chore. That goal looks enormous. Well, you can't do anything about your age, but you can do something about the weight. You can do something about your puny muscles and weak lungs. Pretend those obstacles are solved. Does the mile still look difficult? Now, take aim at the sub-goals you have: lose weight, gain muscles, build stamina. Find the aspects that make the task difficult. Of course, Yoda is speaking specifically of the Force and how it knows no bounds. Just as the Force has no bounds, neither should one's belief in it. Belief, creativity, passion, empathy, faith, ambition are just a few concepts which know no bounds. Artificial bounds in these concepts stunts growth and understanding. If you want to be enlightened, then find a path across any artificial bounds in these areas. Sometimes it is another matter of changing perspective. 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 2 Level 7 Challenge: FITNESS: Work Up a Sweat - 600 minutes of conditioning training for the entire challenge. DEX +2, STA +3 The weekly plan is a minimum of two 60 minute tabata runs with Pokémon Go. These runs are to include at least 5 sprints of ~50 meters for increased intensity. It's getting cold outside, so I may move to a treadmill for a few of the runs. We'll see how it goes. I'll also have 60 minutes of racquetball on Fridays. I'd like to do some field or gym training for rugby, soccer, and football footwork and ball work, as well. Stretch and Strengthen - 600 minutes of exercises and stretches for the entire challenge. STR +2, DEX +1 The weekly plan includes 10 minutes of regular stretching each day, two 20 minute sessions of physical therapy exercises and 30 minutes of other strength training each week. The minimum leaves 40 minutes to make up by the end of the challenge. DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 161 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. I tend to over eat at gatherings on the weekend. I plan to eat as little as possible at the next gatherings, Thanksgiving included. CON +3 Going to eat salad and veggies as much as possible with apples and dark chocolate as my sugary snacks. Avoid soda, ice cream, and potato chips. Minimize cheese and nuts. Most importantly, I have to continue to watch my portions. I cannot ever have two "large" meals in one day. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 28 Tasks or Projects from any of the following areas: Toastmasters Communication Practice, Toastmasters Leadership Practice, Webmaster Work, Jedi Training, Job Work, Charity Work, House Work, Yard Work, Animal Care, Home Renovation, Auto Maintenance, Family Activities, Adventuring (to keep it diverse, no more than 4 from any one category) WIS +2, CHA +2 I need to revisit my IJRS Jedi Training this challenge. It has been too long. Auto Maintenance will be important to get to before week 4 as we have a long drive for Thanksgiving. Same with any Home Renovation and Yard Work. Incorporating a reward and consequence has been really helpful, so I'll keep doing that. REWARD: For each week I complete 7 or more tasks, I will put $10 aside for buying something just for me. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 7 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. Major Dates: Nov 5th Extra Life Game Day, Nov 19th My Birthday, November 22nd-26th Thanksgiving Travel. Each of these weeks will need to be planned carefully to meet my goals.
  11. 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. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 136 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). So what is my story? As I said, I've been here before. I kicked a lot of butt progressing through 22 challenges since 2012, until middle of 2015. After struggling to maintain a presence here through the first half of 2015, I struck out on my own as I had conquered many obstacles here, learned many lessons, and felt I was ready to implement a new accountability strategy for I had developed a strong supporting cast in real life to keep me accountable. Alas, a back injury and a "layoff" crumbled all my plans. I am recovered from both now, more or less. In October, I started a new job only three weeks after my old one ended. The growing pains are over and now I feel entrenched in my new world. In October and November, I took a lot of time off from fitness to allow my back to heal. In December, I started physical therapy to strengthen my back. I have occasional flare ups, but for the most part, I have my body functioning like its old self. Well, an out-of-shape and over-weight old self. Today, I am wrapping up my last physical therapy session. It is like I am back at square one, or Level 1 for my character here. But it is not like my character died and I have a new one. My knowledge and experience is retained. Instead of hitting the reset button, I'll jump to World 2 complete with new challenges and obstacles. Old foes may come back, but they will require new techniques to defeat them. I am still a Jedi in training, learning from the old masters, unlearning what I have learned, practicing the new techniques, and improving daily. Challenge Lesson: "Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless." - Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back [emphasis mine] Last challenge, I discussed commitment a bit analyzing the "Do or do not" quote from Yoda eliminating "Try" from my vocabulary. This challenge, I take another look at commitment in regards to seriousness for Jedi training and applying it to real life. Yoda says specifically, "A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind." (bold above) There is no joking or tomfoolery when it comes to Jedi. Being a Jedi is serious business with serious consequences for not taking it seriously. In Star Wars, it is a matter of life or death for the whole rebellion if Luke Skywalker was not paying enough attention during his failure in the cave. For a Jedi in Star Wars, commitment to training and Jedi ideals comes before all else, even a Jedi's friends. Yoda demands that Luke stay at Dagobah and complete his training instead of rushing off to save his friends from Darth Vader. "If you honor what they fight for" Yoda says. By going off to save his friends, Luke endangered everything the Rebellion had accomplished and would accomplish in the future, because he was their last hope of defeating the Emperor. Only with Luke fully trained as a Jedi could the Rebellion destroy the Emperor and put an end to his tyranny. Luke is not well prepared for facing off with Darth Vader, but his fortitude in the light side of the Force (through the love for his friends) is better than Yoda and Obi-Wan realized. Luke survives and returns to complete his training keeping his promise to Yoda and Obi-Wan, keeping his commitment to the Rebellion, the Jedi, and the Light side of the Force. It is tricky to analyze and understand peoples motives for keeping committed to something. For me, my commitment to Toastmasters is three-fold. I have a deep desire to continue to improve and discover myself. Toastmasters gives me that opportunity in a variety of ways. I have a deep desire to impact the lives of others in a positive way, influencing them to improve themselves and reach their highest potential. Toastmasters gives me the opportunity to coach and mentor people in a variety of ways while watching them grow as individuals. Lastly, I developed the worst fear of public speaking through many traumatic embarrassing experiences, where Toastmasters helped me get over it and will continue to ensure I am never that scared person again. For other Toastmasters, I am still searching for their why to help hook them in and keep their commitment. I have decided that each Toastmaster can use the stage to find their why for other things. By writing and giving speeches, a Toastmasters will have to look at themselves and their genuine feelings on subjects. Sure, presenting facts is easy, but defending your personal opinion or belief in front of a crowd calls for a deep commitment to those opinions or beliefs. If you don't feel strongly for something, then it will be difficult to be confident in your stance and persuasive in your speech. However, if you have passion for something, a deep commitment, a most serious mind, then you will speak with enthusiasm and excitement. That enthusiasm and excitement is contagious. It will infect the audience, grab their attention, and influence them towards your opinions or beliefs, facts be damned. By finding these passions, beliefs, and opinions which one is most committed and excited for, the individual will discover who they are underneath the frightened and embarrassed outer shell sheltering us from the potential thoughts and actions of others. Find your voice, find your confidence. The deepest commitment is something where tomfoolery is unacceptable. It is where passion and enthusiasm reside. With a deep commitment, mountains can be moved. 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 2 Level 5 Challenge: FITNESS: Work Up a Sweat - 500 minutes of conditioning training for the entire challenge. DEX +2, STA +3 The weekly plan is a minimum of three 30 minute tabata runs with Pokémon Go, plus plenty of walking, hiking, or other activities. I crushed my goal last challenge, but my family has returned home. They throw a wrench in all plans I make for evenings and weekends. Stretch and Strengthen - 520 minutes of exercises and stretches for the entire challenge. STR +2, DEX +1 The weekly plan includes 10 minutes of regular stretching each day, two 20 minute sessions of physical therapy exercises and 20 minutes of other strength training each week. DIET: Weight Control - Lose 4 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 167 lbs. CON +3 I'm starting at 163.2 lbs as of August 22nd. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 16 Tasks or Projects from any of the following areas: Toastmasters, Webmaster, Jedi Training, Work, House Work, Home Renovation, Auto Maintenance, Family Activities (to keep it diverse, no more than 3 from any one category) WIS +2, CHA +2 I'm still procrastinating, deciding to do the fun stuff first and delay the less fun stuff. I need a rewards system for getting the hard stuff done. For each week I don't procrastinate undesirable tasks (where I think "I'll do it later") where I overcome procrastination and do it or at least work on it, I'll reward myself with one game of Madden Saturday morning. If I procrastinated at all, then I have to give up my morning to working on something I procrastinated. This plan won't influence my goal grade, but it will give me incentive to do all the things, instead of just the fun ones.
  12. I turn thirty this month. I've a mortgage, the Finch and I are expecting a baby. We're getting buying† a car from my parents. I am on the tipping point into Ætas Adulta, and out of the land of the carefree twenties. It turns out that my priorities have been a little askew. Not terribly much, and when I wasn't in school, it worked out fine. It was a little rockier after I started school but with all this freaking adulting happening, the skew is now causing a bit of strife. I'm also the worst at communication: I tend not to say what I'm thinking during Important Conversations™, for fear of making conflict worse. I'm pretty sure this started as a coping mechanism because when I get upset, my brain jams and often what I'm thinking is unfair or inflammatory, which by not voicing I don't step on anything. The problem is though when the not voicing itself it the stepping in anything. The next five and a half weeks are to prioritize housework and communication with the Finch. I do also need to keep up with my schoolwork, with this self-directed course that I'm taking. While I've started by filling out my Passion Planner for the week, I'm kinda at a loss for what to do for how to fill out chore lists, and then on top of that my mental tunnel-vision makes it difficult to look around the condo and seeing what needs to get done. Week -1: Try to pinpoint what can be done to improve accountability at home and improve communication. Then build the plan for the rest of the challenge. Challenge: Let's do a KISS challenge! Fill out the passion planner every Sunday for the week. Include some Unfrell Your Habitat time for everyday. Unfrell Your Habitat: do a little bit of house work every day. Particularly, because they're the worst: no bed until the dishes are clean. That way they don't pile up. Two outings a week with the Finch that's just us, even if it's just for a Pokéwalk † Since my parents already gifted so much for our down payment, they can't gift anymore without someone taking a big ding in taxes. So I'm purchasing my mother's Honda for a nominal fee to avoid that. It's still steeply discounted from the blue book value.
  13. Have you seen the new Star Wars movie? If not, then stop reading this and go see it, now! It is a fantastic revisit to the Original Trilogy style and storyline with old characters returning with new lessons to bestow on the new characters. I'll do my best to avoid spoilers or at least mark it in the stuff I write, but you've been warned! I've seen the movie, I'm excited about it and the new story, and I will write about it! So what is my story? Well, I’ve been here before. I kicked a lot of butt progressing through 22 challenges since 2012, until middle of last year. After struggling to maintain a presence here through the first half of 2015, I struck out on my own as I had conquered many obstacles here, learned many lessons, and felt I was ready to implement a new accountability strategy for I had developed a strong supporting cast in real life to keep me accountable. Alas, a back injury and a "layoff" crumbled all my plans. I am on the road to recovery for both. In October, I started a new job only three weeks after my old one ended. The growing pains are over and now I feel entrenched in my new world. In October and November, I took a lot of time off from fitness to allow my back to heal. In December, I started physical therapy to strengthen my back. I have occasional flare ups, but for the most part, I have my body functioning like its old self. It is like I am back at square one, or Level 1 for my character here. Instead of hitting the reset button, I'll jump to World 2 Level 1 complete with new challenges and obstacles. Old foes may come back, but they will require new techniques to defeat them. I am still a Jedi in training, learning from the old masters, studying the new practices, and constantly improving. Challenge Lesson: “There has been an awakening…†The quote of course comes from the new Star Wars movie, Episode VII: The Force Awakens. It is actually the first quote I have used from a dark side character as it is delivered by Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo Ren’s dark side master and leader of the First Order. I believe he is referencing a disturbance in the Force which I am guessing feel more like an awakening which could be Rey realizing her Force potential, or something grander. An awakening can be a realization or inspiration which causes sudden growth. I feel that is the perfect summary for what the new movie has done for me. I am highly motivated at the moment to pursue training, defeat obstacles, and hit my highest achievements. Through the summer of 2015, my focused turned to jobs to complete with my 2 year project and contract coming to an end in August and September. I also finished my term as Toastmasters Area Governor and began my term as Division Director in June and July which prompted a very similar focus on completing tasks taking my eyes off training. In October, I started a new job in a similar field on a familiar program, but very new tasks. The new job required training and learning. By December, I was out of the training stage and entered the execution stage of my new job. Training and execution is cyclic. You need skills to execute effectively; therefore, you must train first to learn and master the skills. New tasks come along to execute, which requires new training. You must balance these. If you train too long, then the execution is delayed. If you execute a task too long, then the training will fade in other areas. Toastmasters is training only. I spent a lot of time training skills, but I was not applying them in my previous job often. In my new job which requires more application of communication and leadership skills, I found that training in some areas was rusty. Luckily, my interview skills we not one of those areas. Now, I have an outlet for execution of the skills learned through Toastmasters training. I am growing through practice and practical experience. My awakening has me motivated in several ways. I started a monthly Toastmasters Training and Mentoring session to give me an opportunity to teach, coach, and mentor people. I offered to conduct similar classes for my co-workers in my office (meeting on Wednesday to discuss opportunity further). I am considering where in my community and other community Toastmasters may be able to spread and form new clubs. I took on an opportunity to coach a struggling club. I am looking to take classes to improve my Program Management skills at work. I am increasing my visibility within the office with social and work related interactions. Typically, I am an introvert, but I am acting more extroverted than ever before. 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 2 Level 1 Challenge: FITNESS: Work up a sweat! – 100 minutes of high intensity training per week DEX +2, STA +2 Stretch and strengthen – 100 minutes of my physical therapy exercises and stretches per week STR +2, DEX +1, STA +1DIET: Portion control – Eat less per meal, snack less throughout the day. It is time consuming to measure accurately, but I am pretty confident whether I can count a day as a successful one or a subpar one (or a complete failure). CON +2LIFE: Read – I have lots of reference material to read, but I find myself reading unimportant news. Return my reading focus to learning. Use reading in my social interactions. WIS +3, CHA +2
  14. I want to keep the goals from the last challenge as daily habits (lets assume I do them). That means 3x weekly yoga, almost daily J-exercises, daily work post-it, fewer carbs, and a daily evening routine which includes gratefulness exercises and putting stuff in place to make my mornings no-brainers. But I also continue on my goal towards a happy, active retirement. That's a long way off, of course, but I want to lay the groundwork now, and there are a bunch of studies out there which show that stuff like getting healthy (hence yoga and diet: check) is one part of it, but also that seniors with wider circles of friends and greater community support do better. Hence I want to try and improve on that part of my life, since I'm a natural introvert with a relatively small circle of friends I need to take care of. And goal 4 is about getting back to creativity, because keeping an active mind is another part of staying healthy, active and happy longer. So.... Communication: Goal 1) call *someone* everyday. This is working towards improving my communication in friendships. Over the last few years I've become telephone shy, though I can remember back to a time a few years ago where I could talk to certain friends on the phone for hours at a time. Also, I need to get better at keeping in touch with people - some friendships just seem to slide. So, call *someone* everyday, and log who. That's going to cost me some serious willpower, trust me. Goal 2) make at least one complement daily. Along similar lines. Could be a stranger, friend or work colleague, but work towards being more (genuinetly) positive with people. Also, log the complement for future reference (and scoring purposes). Goal 3) Social meida abstinence before 9.30am and after 10pm. It's distracting, and it stops me communicating with people in person. This basically means e-mail, facebook and online dating sites. And yes, I'm including work e-mail in that with the idea of trying to get something significant done in the morning. Creativity: Goal 4) Writing every morning before work. Could be taking notes, editing or working on an actual story. I want to start writing again, and since it's November and therefore Nanowrimo, this seems appropriate. So, use some of that social-media-free time in the morning (before work) to do some writing or editing. On an aside, guitar practice needs to become a habit, but I worry that adding that as a goal here will be too much, so I came up with the genius thing of adding the following to my evening routine: Put the guitar on the sofa. Then if I want to sit down at lunchtime (which I often do after lunch), I have to physically move the guitar to do so, and it might at least inspire me to do a few minutes.
  15. In A New Hope, Obi-wan Kenobi encounters and battles Darth Vader in lightsaber combat. Amid the battle, they trade some banter, the most important being the line from Obi-wan: "You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine." Of course, if you have seen the movies you know what Obi-wan is refering to. Obi-wan becomes a Force-ghost to help and train Luke Skywalker in ways he could not in his physical form. Darth Vader has no idea how influential a dead Jedi Master could be, so he strikes Obi-wan down, which happens to be the begining of the end for Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor. Turning the focus away from the fictional world to see how this statement could apply to real life, I could think of one area in particular that it relates to: learning through failure and defeat. In victory, you may feel successful and accomplish the extrordinary, but you will learn very little from success. There is much to learn from defeat. In failure, you must find the strength and courage to get back up and do it again. My main quest with attribute points is below: FITNESS: Build STA +2 and DEX +1 by Running, Hiking, Biking, Rowing, or Training (HIIT) for 20 minutes or more, three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). For side quests, I increased my Running miles to 25 to train for a 5k on May 24th and increased my biking goal to 12 miles.FITNESS: Build STR +1 and DEX +1 by completing 400 minutes of Sports Training* in 10 sessions and meeting at least 90 % of my fitness side quest goals. Fitness side quests are geared more towards body weight and cardio.DIET: Build CON +2 by eating "Healthy Meals"** 20 times or more, eating Snack Food 12 times or less, drinking 300 fl oz of Dr Pepper or less, taking care of my skin and lips by applying moisturizer 80 times or more (twice daily), brushing (twice daily) and flossing (once daily) 120 times or more.LIFE: Build WIS +4 and CHA +4 by completing six Toastmaster Speeches from the Competent Communicator manual (2nd run), participating in Table Topics twice and Meeting Roles twice, and completing six lessons from the IJRS Personal 101 and Spirituality 101 Manuals in Jedi Training.* - Training or playing Basketball, Soccer, Rugby, Football, Hockey, Swimming, or Racquet Ball ** - "Healthy Meals" means no grease, minimal fat and calories, mostly veggies, meat, and fruit, while avoiding starches. Breakfast is not included in count. SIDE QUEST CHALLENGE GOALS FITNESSBarbellsDeadlift = 195 lbs, 60 repsBack Squat = 215 lbs, 60 repsBench Press = 200 lbs, 60 repsStanding Curl = 75 lbs, 60 repsDumbellsGoblet Squat = 90 lbs, 60 repsBodyweight ExercisesLeg Press = 1200 lbs, 60 repsBurpee = lbs, 120 repsMount Climbers = lbs, 300 repsPull Up = lbs, 60 repsChin Up = lbs, 60 repsHammer Pull Up = lbs, 60 repsDip = lbs, 120 repsDive Bomber = 0 lbs, 100 repsPush Up = 0 lbs, 400 repsAbdominal ExercisesCrunch = 0 lbs, 800 repsBicycle Crunch = 0 lbs, 800 repsRollout Wheel = 0 lbs, 300 repsCardioSports Training = 400 min, 10 DIETDietSkin and Lip Care = 40 qty Dr Pepper = 300 fl ozHealthy Meals = 20 qty Snack Food = 12 qty Brush & Floss = 120 qty LIFEFamilyNF CommunityChallenge Thread = 6 qtyBattle Log = 40 qtyEpic Quest = 6 qtyToastmastersManual Lessons = 6 qtyOfficer Duties = 600 minMentoring / Coach = 300 minMeeting Roles = 2 qtyTable Topics = 2 qtyJediIJRS Spirituality 101 = 6 qtyJedi Reading = 500 minGeocaching
  16. In Episode IV: A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi is training Luke Skywalker in the fundamentals of the Force and Jedi. Aboard the Millenium Falcon, during a lightsaber training exercise, Luke is able to use the Force to deflect laser bolts while blinded. Han Solo is unimpressed calling it luck. Kenobi responds, "In my experience, there's no such thing as luck." His experience is that of a Jedi Master, listening to the "Will of the Force" and being able to predict or anticipate future events. Using instinct, intuition, observation, and knowledge, one can predict and anticipate future events like a Jedi. Maybe not deflecting blaster bolts, but predicting the motives or actions of another person can be fairly helpful in many situations. I don't rely on luck unless I'm playing a friendly game. It is better to create your own luck by understanding the circumstances and generating favorable odds through use of instinct, intuition, observation, and knowledge. My main quest with attribute points is below: FITNESS: Build STA +2 and DEX +1 by Running, Hiking, Biking, Rowing, or Training (HIIT) for 20 minutes or more, three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).FITNESS: Build STR +2 and DEX +1 by completing 400 minutes of Sports Training* in 10 sessions and meeting at least 85 % of my fitness side quest goals.DIET: Build CON +3 by eating "Healthy Meals"** 20 times or more, drinking 300 fl oz of Dr Pepper or less, taking care of my skin and lips by applying moisturizer 80 times or more (twice daily), brushing my teeth 80 times or more (twice daily), and flossing 40 times or more (once daily).LIFE: Build WIS +3 and CHA +3 by completing one Toastmaster Speech for the Spring Contest Season (practice on 2/25 and contest on 3/8), completing two Successful Club or Better Speaker Series Speeches to earn my Advance Communicator Silver in Toastmasters, and completing three lessons from the IJRS Personal 101 and Spirituality 101 Manuals in Jedi Training.* - Training or playing Basketball, Soccer, Rugby, Football, Hockey, Swimming, or Racquet Ball ** - "Healthy Meals" means no grease, minimal fat and calories, mostly veggies, meat, and fruit, while avoiding starches. Breakfast is not included in count. SIDE CHALLENGE GOALS FITNESSBarbellsDeadlift = 190 lbs, 60 repsBack Squat = 210 lbs, 60 repsBench Press = 195 lbs, 60 repsOverhead Press = 100 lbs, 60 repsStanding Curl = 70 lbs, 30 repsDumbellsBench Press = 50 lbs, 60 repsFly = 50 lbs, 60 repsRow = 55 lbs, 60 repsSide Raise = 35 lbs, 60 repsHammer Curl = lbs, 30 repsHammer Ext = lbs, 30 repsGoblet Squat = 85 lbs, 60 repsTricep Ext = 70 lbs, 60 repsBodyweight ExercisesLeg Press = 1150 lbs, 60 repsLeg Ext = 160 lbs, 30 repsBurpee = lbs, 100 repsMount Climbers = lbs, 200 repsHS PU = lbs, 60 repsPull Up = lbs, 60 repsChin Up = lbs, 60 repsHammer Pull Up = lbs, 60 repsDip = lbs, 100 repsDive Bomber = 0 lbs, 60 repsPush Up = 0 lbs, 300 repsAbdominal ExercisesCrunch = 0 lbs, 800 repsBicycle Crunch = 0 lbs, 800 repsLeg Lift = 0 lbs, 200 repsSide Leg Lift = 0 lbs, 300 repsOblique Twist = 0 lbs, 600 repsSide Bend = 0 lbs, 600 repsSide Raise = 0 lbs, 400 repsRollout Wheel = 0 lbs, 300 repsCardioHIIT = min, 5 repsSports Training = 300 min, 6 DIETDietSkin and Lip Care = 40 qty Dr Pepper = 300 fl ozHealthy Meals = 20 qty Floss = 40 qty Brush Teeth = 80 qty LIFEFamilyNF CommunityChallenge Thread = 6 qtyBattle Log = 40 qtyEpic Quest = 3 qtyToastmastersManual Lessons = 1 qtyOfficer Duties = 600 minModule Series = 2 qtyMeeting Roles = 4 qtyTable Topics = 4 qtyJediIJRS Personal 101 = 1 qtyIJRS Spirituality 101 = 2 qtyJedi Reading = 500 minGeocaching
  17. I wasn't going to do a challenge, I'm fairly new here and still feeling my way around, trying to see if I feel at home. Then I read through a few challenge threads and realized that there are some goals I should be working toward, and why not see if this is an effective format and an effective strategy for staying on target. Soooo, here goes! Main Quest I love autumn, really, I do, but historically, this is a difficult time for me. I tend to close myself off - I stop communicating well with others, I am more likely to get depressed, and I more likely to get injured. Autumn is when I transition from fun outdoor summer workouts with my husband to hitting the gym, so I lose that hour spent with him doing something fun and transition to workouts that I don't love as much (although I do still enjoy them - I love to workout!). This year, I want to Avoid the Demons of Autumn and stay more positive and healthy, maintain the strength gains I made this summer, and improve (not just maintain) my communications with coworkers, friends, and spouse. Goal 1: I will make a positive, personal daily contact. This may be a phone call instead of sending an email, a personal visit to an employee, or opening a new conversation with my spouse. Scoring: 6 contacts/week = 4 5 contacts/week = 3 4 contacts/week = 2 fewer than 4 = 0 Goal 2: I will do the things that I know keep my mental state positive and that ward off depression and avoidant behavior - no wheat - no alcohol - limit added sugar - run, hike, or do other "sanity maintenance cardio" at least 3 times a week Scoring: Deduct a point any time I have wheat or alcohol (these substances are terrible for me!) Add point each day I do cardio/run/hike (bonus points available for long hikes or long runs) Deduct a point anytime I have a sugary treat Goal 3: I've made some wonderful strength gains this summer with both body weight and barbell workouts. As I transition to more indoor workouts, I will maintain those gains - pullups/pushups/T2B at least 2 times/week - bonus points for OHP and squats - lunges and KB swings at least once a week (winter hiking season is coming as is telemark season!!!) Scoring: 4 points any week I do the 2 days of p/p/t and a day of lunges/KB Add a point for PR on counts of pullups, pushups or T2B Add a point for OHP or squats Add a point for new PR on OHP or squats Side Quest: Grand Canyon Double Crossing on 10/4: 50 miles, 11,000 feet of elevation gain, and my goal is to complete the trek in 20 hours or less: 3:00 AM - 10:00 PM (ish) - this will mess with my workout schedule a little the week before, and definitely the week after, and I will eat wheat for the easily available calories needed (pizza, cheddar bunnies, and mac & cheese to carb load the evening before we start). I am waiving the no wheat rule only for 10/4-10/6. If I meet the goal of 20 hours or less, I will award myself bonus points (max of 15).
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