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  1. The liturgical calendar marks this as the season of Lent, my favorite season of the Church year, one marked by dedication and gratitude. Through mindful application of ourselves and our spirit, the Way opens before us, as if lit by small lights that bolster us in our efforts. This is the Way. Last challenge I took stock of where I am, of what worked and what didn’t. This round I’m applying a bit of a honing blade, sloughing off that which doesn’t serve me and narrowing my focus and efforts onto what does. Also last challenge I resurrected the old-school skills tree, marking my progress in somewhat less-than-orthodox ways, but meaningful ones nonetheless. I’m interested to see what comes of this next segment, and would like to level up a point in each. Sometimes the Universe gives me the opportunity to level up a second point as well. Constitution: This is wellness, and includes Acupuncture, gym time, good food, and plenty of water and sleep. It also includes the apartment work that I’ve been doing, because being at home while I’m at home is a comfort and an anchor. Strength: Go to work, each day and every day. I know this seems simple. It’s not as easy as it sounds, physically, and I’m seven months into a six-week contract. Being a contractor has a lot of uncertainty with it, so part of my job is also cultivating and nurturing having my job. (See Dexterity) Additionally, my doctor as given me a PT regimen beyond the routine walking. I’ll be doing exercises with bands in the hopes that additional physical strength will help relieve some of the tension and inflammation that is everywhere all the time. Dexterity: Lots of emotional balance going on between the job and the relationship with my daughter. It feels like significant moments are on the horizon for each. Any movement stat also has to take into consideration transportation, which is once again in the Challenge column. I’m hoping to get more fluent with public transit this round. For everything else, there is Uber. Wisdom: Speaking of balance, there’s also perspective. This is the “choose well” portion of keeping my center and being able to choose well during the chaos. It’s also about lightening my debt load. I’d loaded up some debts with scary interest rates over the last couple years, and I’m grateful I was able to leverage my way out of a bad situation, and now it’s time to put that behind me as swiftly and neatly as possible, without wrecking anything else. Possible bonuses to other stats as well. Intelligence: The class wraps up this challenge, and I’m glad I’m taking an accelerated course. Also, there’s a fair amount of work that gets to be done for the dissertation. Before I take on the next project, there’s a lingering, overdue paper that I really want to finish up and move on from, probably next challenge, but definite bonus sparkles if I get it done this round. Charisma: Alliances and support. We aren’t meant to be on this path alone. Thanks for being here.
  2. Not sure what this challenge holds for me, so I'm coming in with an open heart. Stay tuned, because this is the mindset that usually means the doors get blown off. ❤️
  3. Challenge #2 (Sept. 15th – Oct. 26th) Main Quest: Part 1: To be happy with what I see in the mirror, and to feel healthy and STRONG! Oh, I almost forgot to add in... Part 2: To push my daughter in a half marathon by the end of 2015. Still a HUGE part of my goal, so I'm doing the Hal Higdon Novice 5K training plan to start off with. Side Quests: Quest 1: Running This is my most important quest. I am determined to push my daughter, so I will keep running my current schedule of 3 days a week. -Run 3 days a week, following the Hal Hidgon 5K novice training plan to the best of my ability. I will adjust this back to the beginner training plan if I have problems or my ankle gets funky again. (Reward: A (90-100%) – 3 STA, 2 DEX | B (80-90%) – 2 STA, 1 DEX | C (70-80%) – 1 STA) Quest 2: 6 Week Food Log This is an extension of one of my quests from last challenge. This time I want to be more in depth with it. -Track not only honestly, but accurately: I’m talking weighing, measuring, etc! -Make smarter, healthier food choices and not give into the temptation! (No Starbucks, No pizza, but I'm not giving up my dark chocolate...there could be casualties if I gave up chocolate!) (Reward: A – 2 CON for both | B – 1 CON for 1) Quest 3: 100 Push up Challenge I will follow the challenge in the link. I don't know whether or not I will be able to do 100 pushups consecutively by the end of the 6 weeks, but I will damn sure try! Wish me, and my lats some luck! (Reward: A - 3 STR | B – 2 STR | C – 1 STR) Quest 4: 30 Day Lunge Challenge Same as above, I will follow the challenge in the link. Again, I don't know if I will be able to pull off 175 lunges on the 30th day, but I sure will give it a shot! (Reward: A – 3 STR | B – 2 STR | C – 1 STR) Life Quest: Part 1: I will NOT pull from the savings account! This challenge I will budget for the unexpected. Part 2: I will pay off 2 smaller debts, and lock up the cards associated. (Reward: 2 WIS for both | 1 WIS for 1) MOTIVATION As always, my motivation is to be a better Me! I feel like the more I focus on doing this for myself, the easier it is to keep on pushing! The better I am, and the better I feel about myself, the happier I am, and the happier my family is. I LOVE seeing my daughter light up on a 5 mile trail because she loves to be outside. Seeing my son pump his arms, and run ahead of me; excited about running! I think overall I did pretty well last challenge but, there is always room for improvement. This challenge, I'm going to set it on FIRE! Side Info My starting weight this challenge is 185.2 lbs. Body fat 41.1%, and BMI 29.8 (woohoo for below 30!) I'm hoping to be down another 5-10 lbs by the end of this challenge, but it's not a big focus of mine as long as I'm seeing progress as a whole. I will take my starting measurements on Sunday evening, post them and compare them to my starting measurements from last challenge. Also, I was just a baby in the 80's, but I remember this song gracing my tiny little ears many times. Catchy tune with lots of hidden meanings!
  4. Challenge #3:Trials of Fire and Shadows Courage is our most powerful weapon Anyone who followed my previous challenge will know that I’ve been planning to take a trip to New Zealand to visit the woman I’ve been in love with for 7-8 years. There are so many barriers keeping us apart it feels like a losing battle in my moments of weakness. The financial barrier is the most obvious, but there are other emotional and mental barriers that are preventing this. Working out gives me an outlet to vent my frustrations, hone my body, improve my overall mood, and makes me feel like I can take on the world, and win. So this challenge I am increasing my minimum workouts to 4x/week, to keep my body functioning at its peak, both physically and emotionally so I’m prepared to withstand anything life throws at me. A: 24+ workouts - B:20+ - C:18+ - D:16+ - F: anything less (+3 STR, +2 DEX) The most difficult choices are often to best As some of you may know I officially got approval for the name of my company, which will be Righteous Blade Studios. Now the next step, I have to get my company registered with this name now that I’ve gotten it approved (Long tedious process… making a company). This should hopefully be fairly straight forward, but I want to research some more and make absolutely sure I’m going about it the correct way to meet my needs (all these legal documents are going to do my head in). I want to keep it sole proprietorship, so that I don’t get screwed by some board or majority shareholders or something that don’t give a damn about the games, and corrupt my company just to pad their bottom line. So I need to make sure I take appropriate measures so this cannot happen. This is a pass or fail. (+2 CHA) Shields up, and smite the smirking face of adversity Before I can start to publish I also need a way to protect my intellectual property, which means trademarks and/or copyrights. So I need to figure out exactly what I need for the type of products I’ll be creating and how I go about getting it. This is another pass or fail. (+1 WIS) The path to glory is a difficult one, because there is no end in sight This one will be a huge milestone for me, and my company. My goal is to release my first game, under my own company. Our first title is well on its way already, so I don’t think this will be too difficult to achieve. This one will be a bit difficult to grade, but I will consider it an A as long as all the mechanics are solidified and completed. If we are still expanding on the storyline, as it is a very story dependant game, I’ll let that slide because that’s a moving target. We won’t know we’re done until we are. (+1 CHA, +1 WIS) Fight the shadows within Now, I’m sure a lot of people think I spend a lot of time working on all these things I’ve accomplished, or are currently working on. But the truth is I spend an irritating amount of time just procrastinating, just I work very fast and effectively, so it seems like I’ve spent way more time than I actually have. And being self-employed makes it a challenge to manage my time effectively when I can spread it out however I please. So, for this challenge, I going to spend a minimum of 3 hours working on actual game development (not researching or working on business aspects of my other goals), at least 5 days/week. A: 30+days - B: 27+ - C:20+ - D:12+ - F: anything less (+2 STA) Dream of the light When you’re in the trenches day after day, just trying to keep it together and keep pushing to make a difference, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re fighting for. And when this happens, it can be very difficult to keep moving forward. So, sometimes we need to be reminded of why we do what we do. To keep myself motivated, I will meditate for at least 20minutes a day to reflect and remind myself what I’m fighting for. I feel this is a very important goal for me, because this challenge is going to be very tough on me, both mentally and physically. Plus I tend to do everything on my own, so my triumphs are entirely my own, but so are my failures, and there’s nobody to pick me up and push me forward when I fall. So I can’t afford to lose sight of what I’m striving for, this has happened in the past, and completely devastates my productivity. This is unacceptable this time around. A:36+days - B:32+ - C:24+ - D:18+ - F: anything less (+1 WIS, +2 CON) To sum up, I know I've made some pretty lofty goals, but I feel they are definately achievable, it will just take a bit of work. The first and last of my goals are more designed to help keep me on track with the others, which are the most important. So hopefully they help keep me focused and my mood up. Ultimately I'm not sure if I'll ever achieve what I'm striving for, but I am sure as hell going to try.
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