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  1. 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.
  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 (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.
  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 a crooked spine causing nerve root irritation and pain in my back, hip, legs, neck, and shoulders. 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 Chiropractor, Back Pain Injection, Purple Senior, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, a new Toastmasters year with less club leadership responsibility (I need to stop carrying clubs on my back to reduce my stress levels), and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, this next challenge is going to feel like a new world. I'm not planning to relive my youth by playing rugby or football again, but I'm not giving up hope on the possibility of achieving other amazing fitness goals... 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: "The Greatest Teacher, Failure Is" - Yoda, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi {The Last Jedi spoilers below} Before viewing "The Last Jedi", many thought Luke would act as Rey's Yoda, dispensing incredible wisdom to the young padawan and train her to be a Jedi knight, making "The Last Jedi" a parallel to "Empire Strikes Back", which it is in many ways and even parallels "Return of the Jedi" in some instances. Instead of Jedi Knight training and memorable philosophical quotes, we get, as one might expect from someone who voluntarily exiled themselves over a traumatic experience which may have doomed the galaxy, a damaged and defeated Jedi Master Luke refuses to teach Rey because he failed in teaching Ben Solo and failed to protect his other students. His failure was not necessarily against Ben or the dark side of the Force. His failure is against fear. In the scene described above, Luke goes to "burn it all down". He is driven to do this through fear of what he and future Jedi would lose should they be trained to oppose the dark side, which is the true Jedi calling. He is ashamed again for acting impulsively, as he did when he ignited his lightsaber to strike down Ben Solo while he slept. Then Yoda invokes the lightning to "burn it all down". It ends up being symbolic as Rey took the ancient Jedi texts. The entire scene and exchange with Yoda boil down to Yoda extending one of the first lessons he bestowed on Luke. Yoda says, "Skywalker, still looking to the horizon. Never here, now, hmm? The need in front of your nose," which is the same lesson from Empire Strikes Back where Yoda says, "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." Luke's greatest failure has always been that he is reckless in the moment. He looks at what might be and allows it to cloud his judgement in the moment. Yoda explains that Luke's failure needs to be taught to the student, as failure is the best teacher. Until this part of the film, through Luke's entire life, he never learns from this failure and it is left unclear if he does, but it is assumed by the viewer. His sacrifice at the end is intended to be the spark for a new generation of Jedi and Resistance. The film ends with it unclear if Luke learns from his failure and will part the knowledge on to Rey or other Jedi, except for a hint of a return in what he says to Kylo Ren, but I'm leaving that for another lesson. The lesson today is not Luke's lesson (been there, done that), but that of learning from failure. I'm sure I've been there and done that too, and I'm sure anyone reading this has too. Nerd Fitness creator Steve Kamb writes about it constantly. There are numberous quotes with the sentiment. He's a Google Image search for quotes on the subject: One of my favorites is from Batman: "Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up." There is so much more to learn from a failure than a success. First, you learn perseverance and determination. Second, you learn how NOT to be successful. The list can go on and on. Maybe later I can write some more. 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 1 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 240 min total, 60 weekly. DEX +1, STA +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. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 720 min total, 150 weekly. (120 min for Karate test on May 27th) 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. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 220 Hours of various Tasks or Projects, with at least 55 hours each week. Tasks and Projects are the following areas (goal hours for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (8) Leadership Practice (16) Speech and Training Development (4) Jedi Training Padawan Training and Mentoring Others (10) Reading and Writing (18) Meditation and Reflection (7) Completing IJRS Lessons (1) Church and Charity Work (13) Personal Projects (12) Chores and Maintenance Dishes (7) Laundry (8) Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (26) Yard Work (4) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (12) Happiness Self Preservation (23) [includes hot tub, doctor and dentist visits, video games, or anything else I do just for my own sanity or health] Family Activities (16) Adventuring (8) WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($138 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week in which I complete 60 or more hours of Tasks or Projects, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 55 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Personal Project hour: write/plan/record a 2018 Extra Life Kickoff Video get involved in Extra Life Baltimore Guild draw up plan for Jedi website VHS-to-DVD conversion project CONSEQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Personal 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 $5 for not weighing in each morning
  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 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
  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 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.
  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: Chirrut Îmwe: "The strongest stars have hearts of kyber." From Starwars.com: "At the heart of every Jedi lightsaber is a kyber crystal found on several planets, most notably the icebound caves of Ilum. This crystal is attuned to the Force, and connected to a Jedi Knight on a deeply personal level. In this way, a lightsaber is an extension of a Jedi's Force awareness. Because Jedi let the Force guide their selection of the crystal, the vibration that the crystal creates in the lightsaber blade helps Jedi center themselves and find balance in the Force. In this way, a Jedi can center his or her attention beyond the distractions of combat. A lightsaber crystal is colorless until first attuned and connected to a Jedi -- at which times it glows either blue or green, or in some rare instances, another shade. From that point on, it retains that hue." Kyber crystals are rare, powerful, and connected to the Force. When Chirrut says the quote, he is not referring to stars made of hydrogen and other gases. The stars he is referring to are heroes, philanthropists, and other role models who shine bright in the eyes of others. The strongest of them have hearts which are rare, powerful, and connected to the Force. [more to come] 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 10 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 580 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 300 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 400 min total, 100 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 720 min total, 180 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. 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 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 280 Tasks or Projects, with at least 70 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 (14), Job Work (16), Business Projects (12), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (24), Other Chores (24), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (50), Home Renovation (6), Auto Maintenance (6), Family Activities (12), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($178 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 75 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 70 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 10 or more sprints in one workout. $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below an 8 minute mile. $10 for running below a 7 minute mile. $5 for running 2 miles in less than 18 minutes. $10 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. $10 for running more than 40 minutes. PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 152.5 lbs.
  7. 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. 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. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "Yoda and I will always be with you." Knowledge is passed from teacher to student. Steve Kamb has been a teacher through his articles for many of us. Our parents, school teachers, professors, coaches, and instructors are also teachers and mentors. Their lessons stay with us in our minds and our hearts. With those lessons is a part of the teacher. And that is what Obi-Wan means when he says, "Yoda and I will always be with you." Right after Yoda dies and fades away, Luke is the last living Jedi. On his shoulders rest the fate of the galaxy as physically alone he must defeat Darth Vader and the Emperor to destroy the dark side to bring peace and harmony back to the galaxy. Having been trained by Yoda and Obi-Wan, he will not challenge them spiritually or mentally alone. The lessons instilled in Luke carry Yoda and Obi-Wan's influence and memory. There is a double meaning there, too, in that Obi-Wan is a Force Ghost and becomes one at the end of the movie; however, as Force Ghosts they cannot influence the events around them physically and would be distracting to Luke when confronting Vader and the Emperor. They appear to only be able to connect with Luke (and in The Force Awakens through Anakin's lightsaber, they connect to Rey in a Force Vision). I think this ability may be addressed in The Last Jedi with Rey having another Force Vision. I think we will find out why Yoda and Obi-Wan's Force Ghosts (plus Anakin's Force Ghost) are no longer with Luke (or maybe they are in some not yet revealed in the teasers or trailers). But analyzing Star Wars movie plots is not what I do here. Thinking back to my education, there are several teachers who influenced me, encouraged me, and became a part of me. Thinking back to my childhood, there are several adults and friends who instilled in me life lessons, which I carry with me today. Thinking back to my athletics "career", there are several coaches and players who taught me about fair play, sportsmanship, playing as a team, and mental toughness, who I carry with me on the playing field. I'm going to turn this into a speech or two for Toastmasters, so I'm going to cap it here and just say more to come. With each lesson learned, there is a connection to another person built and carried with you in your heart and mind. 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 8 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 300 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 400 min total, 100 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 720 min total, 150 weekly. *Belt test on Sunday to start the challenge, so I loaded an extra 120 mins to account for it. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 1 lb by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 153.6 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. 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 +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 240 Tasks or Projects, with at least 60 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 (16), Reading (16), Church Work (14), Job Work (10), Business Projects (10), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (20), Other Chores (20), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (30), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (6). WIS +3, CHA +3 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($264 carried over, but in Week 0, I spent $109 on new dress pants and XBox controllers) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 65 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 60 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. CONSQUENCE 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. CONSQUENCE 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. CONSQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: Life: $2 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. Workout: $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. (once a week only) $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below an 8 minute mile. (once a week only) $10 for running below a 7 minute mile. (once a week only) $5 for running 2 miles in less than 18 minutes. (once a week only) $10 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. (once a week only) $10 for running more than 40 minutes. (once a week only) PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 152.5 lbs. TIME FOR SERIOUS BUSINESS!
  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.. World 1 was my first extended stay. 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. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "This is a dangerous time for you" Last challenge, I used the second half of this scene. This challenge, I wanted to go back and capture a lesson from a few lines earlier. From Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (bold emphasis mine): Quote [Yoda tries to convince Luke not to leave] Yoda: You must not go! Luke: But Han and Leia will die if I don't. [Obi-Wan's Force-spirit suddenly appears] Obi-Wan: You don't know that. Even Yoda cannot see their fate. Luke: But I can help them! I feel the Force! Obi-Wan: But you cannot control it. This is a dangerous time for you, when you will be tempted by the Dark Side of the Force. Obi-wan introduces a concept which is a common thread throughout the Star Wars stories. The Dark Side of the Force is tempting and seductive. It corrupts Jedi who wish to find the easy path, who wish to meet their own goals, and who wish suffering on to others. This does not directly relate to real world Jedi, because no one is wielding the Force; however, we do find ourselves in positions of power. How we wield that power determines whether we work towards the Light Side or the Dark Side. Using the power to serve one's self instead of helping others is not very Jedi. When first entering that position of power, it is a dangerous time, because one is tempted to complete their own personal goals before helping those they are in the position to serve. If one looks at the position as a service position as opposed to a ruling one, then that leader will work towards other people's goals first, with their own personal goals being secondary. As I compete and win in Toastmasters contests, I need to watch my ego. I do not want to brag about success. I do not want to overplay my hand either. I'm just going to keep working hard to develop my skills and find new challenges. After this competition, I need to write a new speech with new ideas. I certainly won't bring back the same punch lines next time as that would not be growing. As I accept more leadership opportunities at work, I need to watch my ego. When I was a kid, I felt I was born to lead. I was always Robin Hood to my band of merry friends. I was always Leonardo when playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was always barking orders and deciding where to go and what to do. I felt strategy and vision were my strengths. I showed those strength in sports and captaining several teams. I had an ego thinking my physical and mental abilities were reason enough for others to follow, but I was seen as arrogant and egotistical. Eventually, I learned humility and teamwork. As I progressed through school, I decided being the center of attention was not my strong suit, instead focusing on being a successful engineer. After working as an engineer for 5 years, I found I can't just keep my head down and do good work. Successful engineers need to sell their thoughts and ideas to others. I needed to get over my fear of public speaking and get comfortable supporting my arguments. Coming full circle after hammering out many of my leadership and communication faults though Toastmasters, I am working towards being a successful leader professionally, but I need to watch myself and remember what I have learned to get where I am. Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is a service to your followers, your clients, and your end-users. To be successful, leaders must coach and develop their team members through listening to them for ideas and innovations, delegating tasks which will challenge their skills to make them better, and recognizing their achievements in special ways. This past week, I have been inserted into a delicate situation where two team leads instructed a software engineer to develop a program to specific requirements which have been miscommunicated or misinterpreted on a few occasions, but the project is also not going to meet the deadline due to time mismanagement. Myself and two other program leads are working with the team leads and the software engineer to correct the miscommunication and mismanagement with a plan to simplify daily tasks and weekly goals derived from the project requirements. Unfortunately, there is a lot of finger pointing and hand waving going on between the team leads and the engineer, which is only making the situation worse. It will be difficult to get everyone to move forward as a team without a showing of good faith from each side. Mostly, this is a dangerous time for me, because I am at a point of saturation with my priorities. Everything seems to want to boil over at the same time and like I did at the end of World 2, I need to maintain my course, keep my top priorities straight, and give it my best each step of the way. When I come through the fire, I will be forged better and stronger for 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 3 Level 7 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +2 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 300 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 400 min total, 100 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 600 min total, 150 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 1 lb by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 153.6 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. 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 +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 240 Tasks or Projects, with at least 60 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 (16), Reading (16), Church Work (14), Job Work (10), Business Projects (10), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (20), Other Chores (20), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (30), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 I have a few major events this challenge: Toastmasters Speechcraft Interest Meeting at Work - Nov 2 Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest at the District Conference - Nov 4 Extra Life Kick Off with RPG Night - Nov 3 Extra Life Game Day - Nov 4 Toastmasters Speechcraft Kickoff at Work - Nov 16 37th Birthday Celebration - Nov 18 Any events involving the selling of our old house - Closing by Dec 1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($209 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 65 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 60 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. CONSQUENCE 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. CONSQUENCE 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. CONSQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: $5 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. (once a week only) $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below an 8 minute mile. (once a week only) $10 for running below a 7 minute mile. (once a week only) $5 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. (once a week only) PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 153.6 lbs. TIME FOR SERIOUS BUSINESS!
  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.. World 1 was my first extended stay. 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. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson "You Can't Win, Darth": 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 referring 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 beginning 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 extraordinary, but you will learn very little from success. There is much to learn from defeat. In failure, you have mistakes to learn from and experience to build on, but most importantly, you must find the strength and courage to get back up and do it again. Even in the lowest of lows, you can always rise back up. In The Dark Knight Rises, Alfred tells Bruce Wayne, "Why do we fall, so we can pick ourselves back up." Bruce recovers from a broken back in a pit, then climbs out to redeem himself as Batman. He learns from his failure and succeeds in the end. I like to think of myself telling failure that it can't win, because I can always get back up and try again. You are only defeated if you cease trying. In the end of the Original Trilogy of Star Wars, the overall lesson to learn from the series is similar. The dark side can never conquer the light. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr once said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." And from the animated Disney movie Robin Hood, "Love conquers all!" Darth Vader has gone completely to the dark side, but it is his love for Padme and eventually his son, which brings him back to redeem himself. Redemption and rising from failure always starts with love for yourself and a desire to grow. Vader hated himself for turning on everything to save Padme (from his nightmarish vision of her death), only to let the dark side consume him to the point that he threatened her life (and indirectly killed her). He finds the love for himself through his son's love for him. And his heart grew 10 times... ;-) I know I am interpreting a lot here, but read the novelization as it has more details on Vader's thoughts. Lastly, a creed from my Karate Budo school teaches the same lesson: I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed. And the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I CAN fail and KEEP ON TRYING. 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 5 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +2 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 300 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 400 min total, 100 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 600 min total, 150 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 1 lb by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 156.0 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. 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 +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 200 Tasks or Projects, with at least 50 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (4), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (8), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (6), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (8), Reading (16), Church Work (14), Job Work (10), Business Projects (8), Dishes (18), Laundry (18), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (18), Other Chores (18), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (16), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($296 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 55 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 50 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $1 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. CONSQUENCE 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. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $1 for each day without fasting. Lose $5 for each weekend day without any 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. CONSQUENCE: Lose $1 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: $5 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. (once a week only) $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below an 8 minute mile. (once a week only) $10 for running below a 7 minute mile. (once a week only) $5 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. (once a week only) PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 156.0 lbs. TIME FOR SERIOUS BUSINESS!
  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.. World 1 was my first extended stay. 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. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson: In Episode IV: A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi is training Luke Skywalker in the fundamentals of the Force and Jedi. Aboard the Millennium 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 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 4 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. Again, I will aim to push these harder than normal with some incentives. DEX +2, STA +2 Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. STR +2 Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly. Spar is a lot of fun and may result in me altering my Fitness numbers around mid-July. Pray I don't alter it any further. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 1 lb by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 156.4 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. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. I'm looking to continue to cut down on snacking and desserts after dinner. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 180 Tasks or Projects, with at least 45 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (8), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (4), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (4), Reading (16), Church Work (8), Job Work (10), Business Projects (4), Dishes (18), Laundry (18), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (18), Other Chores (18), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (12), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (2). WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($107 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 50 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 45 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. CONSQUENCE 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. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $5 for each weekend day without any 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. CONSQUENCE: Lose $1 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: $5 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. (once a week only) $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below a 7 minute mile. (once a week only) $5 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. (once a week only)
  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.. World 1 was my first extended stay. 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. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson: In Episode IV: A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi is training Luke Skywalker in the fundamentals of the Force and Jedi. Aboard the Millennium Falcon, Obi-Wan dispenses this very important description of the Force during a lightsaber training exercise: Quote [Luke is training with his lightsaber and a laser remote aboard the Millennium Falcon.] Ben Kenobi: Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him. Luke Skywalker: You mean it controls your actions? Kenobi: Partially, but it also obeys your commands. [Luke gets shot by the remote.] Han Solo: [laughs] Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid. Skywalker: You don't believe in the Force, do you? Solo: Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. [Kenobi smiles] Anyway, it's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense. Kenobi: [gets up and takes a blast helmet] I suggest you try it again, Luke. Only this time, let go your conscious self and act on instinct. [puts the helmet on Luke, which covers his eyes] Skywalker: But with the blast shield down, I can't even see! How am I supposed to fight? Kenobi: Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them. [remote shoots Luke] Stretch out with your feelings! [Watches Luke succeed in blocking the lasers] You see? You can do it. Here, Kenobi is teaching Luke to trust his feelings to train him to tap into the Force. Acting on instinct is to react without thinking about how to react. The word instinct might not be the best choice, but Kenobi is just relating the concept to something Luke is familiar with. In my Jedi Training, we work on tapping into our intuition and to trust it in a similar manner as Jedi use the Force. Instinct, impulse, and intuition are all very similar concepts with subtle differences. Sometimes first impulse is correct, sometimes it is off. This is because it is untrained. Impulses are formed by instinct and intuition. Instinct are reactions breed into a being from years of survival. Intuition are learned reactions based on knowledge and experience. Meditation can help quiet the mind to understand the subtle differences in your instincts and your intuition. Quieting your mind and carefully listening to your intuition can assist you find an answer to a problem quickly, even without all the logic and reasoning worked out, because your intuition is tapped into your stored knowledge. The information is there in your brain, but accessing it takes time. Your intuition can access this information and bring the answer quicker than you can actually think through the process yourself. Also, it is important to trust your mind, sometimes over what your other senses may be telling you. Your eyes and ears could be missing something or picking up something false. Trust your intuition to discover the missing pieces or illusions. 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 3 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. I will push these harder than normal with some incentives. DEX +2, STA +2 Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. I will look to set PRs in my bodyweight exercises. STR +2 Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 1 lb by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 156.8 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. NEW: Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. I'm looking to cut down on snacking and desserts after dinner. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 140 Tasks or Projects, with at least 35 each 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 (10), Business Projects (4), Household Chores (24), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (12), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (2). WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($129 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 40 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 35 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. An extra $5 for each Wizard Laser Tag hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $5 for each week working on a Jedi Training lesson. CONSQUENCE 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. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $10 for each weekend without any 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. CONSQUENCE: Lose $1 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: $5 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. (once a week only) $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below a 7 minute mile. (once a week only) $5 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. (once a week only)
  12. 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. 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. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson: In Episode IV: A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi is training Luke Skywalker in the fundamentals of the Force and Jedi. Aboard the Millennium Falcon, Obi-Wan dispenses this very important description of the Force during a lightsaber training exercise: Quote Obi-Wan: The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together. Here we get the first real description of what the Force is. We've seen a little of what it can do. There is a mystery about it. I don't want to focus on the wording though. More in what it means and how it relates to my training. Obi-Wan is talking about how all parts of the universe are connected in some way. It could be supernatural, sub-atomic, multi-dimensional, etc, but that is not important. Jedi can tap into it, interact with it, and manipulate real world things with it. The main way this relates to the real world is cause and effect. Everything you do, every choice you make, effects the universe around you. It could be significant or inconsequential, but there is an effect. If I move my hand to the left instead of the right, then air molecules are pushed a different direction. These moving air molecules create "wind" moving water molecules (humidity) and dust particles about. These changes may be inconsequential in the moment, but could alter the long run balance of the system if it were a prolonged change. Anyway, the idea is that for every cause there are infinite number of effects and the universe is different than before the cause. The biggest cause to the ever-changing universe is time. We do little to effect the world around us compared to time. Without time, there would be no motion. As time passes, motion passes and causing effects with it. The second way it relates to the real world is belief. Religious and spiritual people believe in supernatural beings or energies creating, controlling, and connecting the Earth, universe, or whatever. These groups of people believe with the proper training, life choices, equipment, etc that they can interact with these things to alter the universe, change the future, etc. Many scientists believe in String Theory connecting everything together, allowing seemingly unconnected things to influence each other. The Force is all those things for those people. The last way the Force relates to the real world is that it IS life. With each passing moment, life passes. The Force is the moment, the life, everything. As things around you change, you can hold one thing to your comfort. That is the Force is always there. Since I'm more of the logical, rational, non-believer, science-based type, I tend to just focus on the first and last one, ignoring the un-measureable, unobservable second way. I mediate to achieve calmness and clarity, not to find an enlightenment or connect to something. The more I train as a Jedi, the more I understand the second way and why people give their faith to 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 3 Level 2 Challenge: 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 157.6 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) 120 Tasks or Projects, with at least 30 each 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 (10), Business Projects (4), Household Chores (24), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (12), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (2). WIS +3, CHA +3 INCENTIVES! REWARD 1: For each week I complete 34 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit ($35 carried over). CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 30 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $5 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $5 for each Jedi Training lesson. CONSQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $5 for fasting on each weekend night after 6pm. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities. An extra $10 for all three nights. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $10 for each weekend without any fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. BONUSES: $5 for Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance tasks. Any money made from Yard Sale on April 29th.
  13. 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 188 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: In Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Luke and Obi-Wan have this exchange: Quote Luke: Ben! Why didn't you tell me? You told me that Darth Vader betrayed and murdered my father. Obi-Wan: Your father... was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and "became" Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view. Luke: A certain point of view? Obi-Wan: Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. In explaining to Luke why he hide his father's identity from him, Obi-Wan instills a simple lesson which every Jedi must learn. Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view. These "truths", whether based on fact or opinion, could be seen as false from another point of view where there are more (or less) facts or just a difference of opinion. It is common for a Jedi to practice looking at a situation from different angles to find the appropriate solution. 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 1 Challenge: 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) 100 Tasks or Projects, with at least 25 each 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 (24), 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 1: For each week I complete 30 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit ($260 carried over). CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 25 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $5 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $5 for each Jedi Training lesson. CONSQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $5 for fasting on each weekend night after 6pm. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities. An extra $10 for all three nights. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $10 for each weekend without any fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza. BONUSES: $5 for each advancement in the Speech Contests. Another $5 for first place finishes. $5 for Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance tasks.
  14. 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.
  15. 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: "No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try." -Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back One of the most quoted (or misquoted) lines from Star Wars, it seems that everyone knows this line and what Yoda is saying. Training can not be tried. It is not an odd looking potato salad which your friend brought to your cook out. "I've never seen raisins in a potato salad, but I'll give it a try!" If you are training like that right now, you are likely also wondering why you fail to reach your goals. Training is something you DO. You've probably heard the phrase "Commitment is the road to success". Doing something with the mentality that you will succeed is a step towards committing to it. Trying something with the mentality that you may or may not succeed is a great way to miss your mark. Yoda tells us if trying is our mentality, then you might as well pack it in and go find something else to do. If you've seen the 1984 film "The Karate Kid", then you may be familiar with Mr. Miyagi saying these lines: “Man walk on road. Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk down middle, sooner or later, get squished just like grape. Here, Karate same thing. You karate do "yes," or karate do "no." You karate do "guess so," just like grape.” Miyagi teaches the same lesson to Daniel Russo with a great analogy towards Karate training. It is as if I grew up with this lesson beaten into my skull, as Nike athletic shoe brand's marketing slogan was "Just Do It." Whether you prefer Yoda, Miyagi, or Nike, I think we can all agree that doing will beat trying every day of the week. There are other interpretations of Yoda's famous lesson, where some discuss duality and others discuss causality, but for today I'll stick with just the training metaphor as it applies to where I am in my training. I find myself, as a Jedi Ranger, sampling all the trades and skills, overburdening myself to be a Jack-of-all-trades, but not being able to fully commit to any one thing. As a Jedi Ranger, my personal philosophy is to be a "Master-of-all-Trades" through balance and diversity. Below is a writing I did back in 2012, which I cleaned up a bit today. Diversity and balance go hand in hand. A Jedi seeks balance. To acquire balance a Jedi must be diverse. The Aptitude Maxim of my personal Jedi trainging says a Jedi needs to be highly proficient in many skills mentally and physically. Balance and diversity. A Jedi must taste all the flavors of the Jedi path in order to achieve balance within their own unique path. Being skilled in combat does not make a Jedi. Being sensitive and knowledgeable in the Force does not make a Jedi. Knowing the Philosophy, Maxims/Truisms, and the Code does not make a Jedi. Only being a student of all walks of the Jedi path can someone find balance and be a Jedi. If one is a student of all walks of the Jedi path, then does that not make their overall goal to be a "Master-of-all-Trades"? Master of one trade or "Jack of all Trades" are just not enough to prepare a Jedi properly. This is what the Aptitude Maxim is about. Of course, "Master-of-all-Trades" in a lifetime is impossible. A lifetime is hardly enough time to truly master any one skill, never mind all (even something as simple as walking and talking). But that does not mean it still should not be a Jedi's goal. With "Master-of-all-Trades" as my personal goal, when I come across something new, even if I'm not particularly interested in it, I pick it up, try it out. If it sparks more interest, then I continue with it as daily or weekly study until I master it (I DO it), then opt for monthly practice or study for maintenance. If my interest is not piqued at the time, then I decide to come back to it at another time storing up the information and my experience. It is not useful to force study on yourself towards a subject which does not interest you. Deciding to master the trades we are good at or the ones which interest us first does not negate the "Master-of-all-Trades" goal. Interest in other areas will grow with time in which case we can return to a subject we have stored. Of course, everyone has a specialty, but that only comes with where you begin to learn. At the age of 24, I had solidified my specialty in Electrical Engineering and Electromagnetics in Microstrip Patch Array Antenna Design. With many years ahead of me, I made it a professional goal to become proficient in other antenna types to make myself a bigger asset to my company and our customers. Three years later my extracurricular studies paid off allowing me the ability to transfer to another division within the company when business dwindled and cuts needed to be made. Specialties aren't just professional. We have hobbies and other interests which can become specialties. We follow our interests early in life to find these specialties. If a Jedi is diverse, then their interests will delve into other areas as life goes on. It is this "Master-of-all-Trades" goal which lead me to the online Jedi community to branch out my Jedi training and it is what lead me to NerdFitness, as well. It will continue to lead me to new and unusual places, like Pokémon Go catching them all. Like I said, "Master-of-all-Trades" is a goal, but not necessarily an achievable one. Realistically, you can’t learn everything, because life has its limitations, but you can damn well do everything in your power to get as close as you can. It is the mentality which is important. Strive for the unreachable and what you do reach will be outstanding. Aim for the sky and you will soar, but aim for the farthest star and who knows how much further you can go. When applying this goal, it is important not to stretch yourself too thin as to never master anything. Know your limitations and use proper time management to schedule your studies to optimize your time and energy. Diversify yourself and balance all aspects of life. You only get one shot at life so get the most out of 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 2 Level 4 Challenge: FITNESS: Work Up a Sweat - 320 minutes of conditioning training for the entire challenge. DEX +2, STA +2 The weekly plan is 60 minutes of racquetball on Friday and two 10 minute fast walks or runs. Fast walks can be replaced by jogging, swimming, biking, or rowing (haven't done since my injury, but may be ready to test) depending on what I feel like doing. Stretch and Strengthen - 440 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 (therapist or gym) and 20 minutes of other strength training each week. DIET: Weight Control - Lose 4 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 170 lbs. Get measurements to compare to last year. CON +3 I'm starting at 165 lbs as of today. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 12 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 +3, CHA +2 I seem to always have a lot on my plate these days with a bunch of started-but-not-finished projects and tasks, then other stuff lingering for me to crack open, but I keep putting off because of what I already have. I need to get some check-completes and build momentum for other projects. Less procrastinating and more doing.
  16. 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
  17. Welcome to the exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It seems like forever ago that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Judging by my level, you might say I'm right! But level and experience mean nothing unless lessons learned are applied in your life. This website has given me practical knowledge in goal setting and planning. Throughout my life, I have been applying that knowledge. In my career, in my job, in my home life, in my Toastmasters training, in the gym, in my Jedi training, and even in my video games! Throughout the next few challenges, I plan to focus my Jedi lessons around this passage from Return of the Jedi where Obi-Wan says that quote: This challenge, I'll focus on the quote in bold by Obi-Wan Kenobi. In this part of the conversation, Obi-Wan plainly states that Luke cannot escape his "destiny". That word destiny implies a predetermined path laid out for Luke. That predetermined path is the ultimate struggle of good versus evil (light versus dark sides of the Force) in the Star Wars galaxy by being the son of Anakin Skywalker and being powerful in the Force. Being a Jedi and weilder of the light side of the Force, Luke cannot avoid his confrontation with the dark side, because it will hunt him down to either recruit him or destroy him. Since Luke cannot kill his own father, he decides there must be another way. He confronts Vader and the Emperor on his own terms by surrendering, then we all remember what happens. The lesson to take away from this quote is to confront your problems on your own terms. Do not let your problems chase you down or haunt your dreams. The dark side will find you. For Jedi, confronting the dark side is their destiny. It can be defeated with intitative, accountability, and honesty by taking ownership and being confident that a solution will be found. Doing so will give you an advantage over the obstacle and sometimes force the solution to appear one its own. That is what confronting something on your own terms means. Now, on to the CHALLENGE! My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. I'm changing things up for this challenge by eliminating all the Side Quest Goals. I'll still use the Excel spreadsheet and Battle Log, but I will not set any specific weight or rep goals. I am adding a new training technique and incorporating what I learn from the MAX Workouts eBooks I bought recently. The new training technique is a Complex workout where you move through a series of excerises without putting the weight down. MAX Workouts stresses power and intensity while working the whole body in one workout to achieve maximum fat burn and build lean muscle. I'm taking both concepts and combining them to something I call Combo Complexes. An example is Deadlift into a Bent-Over Row then a Squat into a Overhead Press, 10 reps each with the same weight. My plan is to eliminate the time consuming and boring cardio from my workout routine. I loathe running more than a mile. I'll do it on occassion, but I don't want to rely on it to keep my weight in check. My main quest with attribute points is below: FITNESS: Build STA +2, STR +2 and DEX +1 by conducting powerful and intense Weight Training for 20 minutes or more, three times a week. Schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (optional). FITNESS: Build STA +1, STR +1 and DEX +2 by conducting muscle recovery Training for 20 minutes or more, two times a week. Schedule is Wednesday, Friday, Saturday (optional), Sunday (optional). DIET: Build CON +2 by eating healthy 35 times or more, eating unhealthy 16 times or less and count their calories, drinking 200 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 +2 and CHA +2 by completing two Toastmaster Speeches, completing Lesson 4 of my High Performance Leadership project, and completing 2 IJRS Personal 101 lessons.I'm three lessons in to my High Performance Leadership manual, but I'm in the bulk of the work now inlesson 4, which I won't complete until May. I finished my second Competent Leadership manual and have only one speech left in my third Competent Communicator manual. I have 1 speech left for my Advanced Communicator manuals. I plan to do a Speechcraft training session for the 1 hour training session I need to do for my Advanced Communicator Gold, so I can earn my DTM. My Club Coach and Area Governor roles are going very well. Jedi Training is progressing. I'm hoping to finish the course this spring.
  18. Welcome back for another episode in the Adventures of JediNickD! It seems like forever ago that I joined this site and my first challenge. Judging by my level, you might say I'm right! But level and experience mean nothing unless lessons learned are applied in your life. This website has given me practical knowledge in goal setting and planning. Throughout my life, I have been applying that knowledge. In my career, in my job, in my home life, in my Toastmasters training, in the gym, in my Jedi training, and even in my fantasy football league! Throughout the next few challenges, I plan to focus my Jedi lessons around this passage from Return of the Jedi where Obi-Wan says that quote: Quote This challenge, I'll focus on the quote in bold by Obi-Wan Kenobi. In this part of the conversation, Obi-Wan mentions a theme that is prevalent throughout The Origial Trilogy. Nature is good, technology is evil. No where is it more prevalent than in Return of the Jedi when the Ewoks aid the Rebels in defeating an advanced Storm Trooper army at the Battle of Endor. There is a book called "Star Wars and Philosophy" edited by Kevin Decker and Jason Eberl which includes a chapter on this very subject titled "A Technological Galaxy: Heidegger and the Philosophy of Technology in Star Wars" penned by Jerold J. Abrams. Using Martin Heidegger’s philosophy of technology, Abrams separates technological experience into two categories, ready-to-hand and present-at-hand while explaining the process of enframing. He uses real life and Star Wars examples to help explain the concepts. Lastly, Abrams points out how present-at-hand and enframing is the path to the dark side. Ready-to-hand is our primitive tool-use relation, where we experience tools and the external environment as natural extensions of our bodies. This application of technology is considered in tune with nature. The tools are used to care for our homes, each other, and the earth. Abrams explains that ready-to-hand is the light side or Jedi application referencing Yoda’s existence on Dagobah as perfect example as a Jedi applying only ready-to-hand technology which I’ll get into later. Present-at-hand is the opposite of ready-to-hand. We are detached from the environment by way of high-tech tools due to our basic attitude towards the universe. This comes from advances in science which allow us to see deeper into nature and gain control of natural processes. In essence, we are challenging nature to reveal itself to us as something for us. Everything natural is put under a microscope. Heidegger calls this process “enframingâ€. Nature’s elements are classified as resources to be consumed. Forests become “lumber†and rivers become “hydro-electric powerâ€. Abrams considers this the dark side or Sith application referencing the Death Star as the ultimate example of present-at-hand technology and enframing. Darth Vader a walking example of enframing. When is the last time Darth Vader smelled a flower or watched a sunset? In The Original Trilogy, we only see him stand on metal floors except in one scene in "The Empire Strikes Back" where he is inside the Hoth Rebel Base (excluding Luke's cave experience, which isn't really Vader, but a hallucination). Anakin Skywalker, the man who would become Darth Vader, exclaims to Padme in Episode 1 "I'm a person." In Episode 2, he begins the enframing process by losing part of his arm and having it replaced with a robotic limb. With Yoda’s home life on Dagobah contrasted against the Death Star, there is no doubt which is the path to the dark side. Yoda lives a meager life in a hut molded out of mud. He only consumes that what he must to survive. He utilizes no technology outside of rudimentary tools and utensils; therefore, leading the perfect example of a ready-at-hand technological experience. It is very possible to live as Yoda does on Earth. Amish and Mennonites do it every day along with many African and South American tribes and even other communities dedicated to living a wholly natural life. These communities are very isolated to the rest of the world, which means a Jedi would not be able to serve the greatest good of the world in one of these communities; however, they would be able to serve the greatest good of the community and nature of the planet. Yoda hides in isolation, preventing Darth Sidious and Vader from discovering him while preventing himself from fighting the dark side and protecting the galaxy from a tyrannical government. He is able to preserve the nature of Dagobah by only employing ready-at-hand technology, but he fails to help protect the galaxy. Technology may be leveraged in many ways, but fall into the two categories of ready-at-hand and present-at-hand, which are defined by how it is used by humans. Photography when used to post "selfies" and such falls into present-at-hand, but when used to promote and educate about nature, natural experiences, and such it falls into ready-at-hand. Jedi must be careful with how and why they use technology. Now, on to the CHALLENGE! My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. I'm keeping it similar as last challenge with a couple upgrades while keeping in mind that Thanksgiving falls in the middle of the challenge. My main quest with attribute points is below: FITNESS: Build STA +2 and DEX +1 by Running, Sprinting, Hiking, Biking, Rowing, Rollerblading, or Training (HIIT or Sports*) for 20 minutes or more, three times a week. Get to the gym once a week at lunch time (or on the weekend) for an extra work out.Winter is here and that's when I tend to mail it in, so I'm going to turn up the pressure by going to the gym at lunch time at least once a week. Schedule will resemble TuWF, MWTh. FITNESS: Build STA +1, STR +3 and DEX +1 by meeting at least 95 % of my fitness side quest goals. I've switched around a few exercises to my fitness side quest goals. Going for another 100%. DIET: Build CON +1 by eating "Healthy Meals"** 34 times or more, eating "Unhealthy Food"*** 18 times or less and count their calories, drinking 230 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. Looking to make more small strides. I will be counting calories, but not as a goal this time. LIFE: Build WIS +3 and CHA +3 by completing two Toastmaster Speeches, participating in Table Topics thrice and Meeting Roles four times, working on my High Performance Leadership project by recruiting students for a Speechcraft, successfully completing the Area Speech contest, and completing 2 IJRS Personal 101 lessons.I'm three lessons in to my High Performance Leadership manual, but I'm in the bulk of the work now inlesson 4, which I won't complete until May. I finished my second Competent Leadership manual and have only one speech left in my third Competent Communicator manual. I have 1 speech left for my Advanced Communicator manuals. I plan to do a Speechcraft training session for the 1 hour training session I need to do for my Advanced Communicator Gold, so I can earn my DTM. My Club Coach and Area Governor roles are going very well. I'm holding a speech contest in March and assisting one in April. Jedi Training will take a backseat this challenge. I'm hoping to finish the course this spring. I have 5 lessons left, so 2 this challenge and 3 in the next should complete it. To improve my project management and proposal skills, which are vital to rising higher in the ranks of my contracting company, I decided to take some online courses. I just finished Acquistion 101 which is a prereq for just about every course at the University. I signed up for the next course which ends on April 12th. * - 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. *** - "Unhealthy Food" means anything with excessive grease, fat or sugar, empty calories, or any meal void of veggies or fruit. Breakfast is not included in count. NOTE: By these terms, a meal can be neither healthy nor unhealthy. These are neutral meals which I still need to watch my portions on, but will not be tracking this challenge. CHALLENGE GOALS: SIDE QUESTS FITNESSBarbell ExercisesDeadlift = lbs, 60 repsBack Squat = lbs, 60 repsIncline Bench = 155 lbs, 60 repsDecline Bench = 155 lbs, 60 repsBench Press = 240 lbs, 60 repsOverhead Press = lbs, 60 repsStanding Curl = lbs, 60 repsDumbell ExercisesBench Press = lbs, 60 repsFly = lbs, 60 repsOverhead Press = lbs, 60 repsStanding Curl = lbs, 60 repsHammer Curl = lbs, 60 repsInverted Row = lbs, 60 repsSide Raise = lbs, 60 repsForearm Curl = lbs, 60 repsReverse Forearm Curl = lbs, 60 repsForearm Twist = lbs, 60 repsGoblet Squat = lbs, 60 repsTricep Ext = lbs, 60 repsMachine ExercisesTricep Pull Down = 65 lbs, 120 repsLeg Press = 1320 lbs, 120 repsSingle Leg Ext = 125 lbs, 120 repsBodyweight ExercisesBox Jump = in, 100 repsLunge = lbs, 100 repsBurpee = lbs, 60 repsMount Climbers = lbs, 120 repsPull Up = lbs, 60 repsChin Up = lbs, 60 repsHammer Pull Up = lbs, 60 repsDip = lbs, 120 repsDive Bomber = lbs, 150 repsPush Up = lbs, 500 repsAbdominal ExercisesCrunch = lbs, 600 repsBicycle Crunch = lbs, 600 repsLeg Lift = lbs, 200 repsSide Leg Lift = lbs, 350 repsOblique Twist = lbs, 600 repsSide Bend = lbs, 600 repsSide Raise = lbs, 200 repsRollout Wheel = lbs, 300 repsReverse Situp = lbs, 300 repsCardio ExercisesSprinting Distance = meters, 20 repsJogging Distance = miles, 6 reps3 mile Jog = min, 1 reps2 mile Jog = min, 2 reps1 mile Jog = min, 3 repsDIETDiet & HealthSkin and Lip Care = 40 qty Dr Pepper = 230 fl ozHealthy Meals = 34 qtyUnhealthy Food = 18 qtyBrush & Floss = 120 qty LIFECareerFamily & HomeChores = 50 hrsNF CommunityChallenge Thread = 6 qtyBattle Log = 40 qtyEpic Quest = 2 qtyMini Challenge = 6 qtyNew Follow = 1 qtyFriend Thread = 6 qtyToastmastersManual Lessons = 2 qtyMeeting Roles = 4 qtyTable Topics = 3 qtyJediIJRS Personal 101 = 2 qtyJedi Reading = 500 minGeocaching
  19. 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
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