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  1. Hello everyone! I am Aquarii, your resident element of chaos trying to learn how to become an element of controlled chaos πŸ˜‚ For those of you who don't know me, hello! I love seeing new faces around here. For those of you who already know me, I am sorry. Jk. Welcome back, my wonderful friends. The last couple months have been pretty crazy. At the start of the last challenge, I left my job due to the environment spiraling into something very toxic. I have yet to find a new job, but I do have an interview coming up in a few days, and it happens to be for a place I would really love to work with, so fingers crossed there. Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with bipolar II (probably, the jury is still partially out on that one) and have been on a journey to better understand and manage it. Last week, my apartment management decided to inform me that they are raising my rent by about 15%, which serves to motivate me that much more to get a new job position and get out of this place. Anyway, on to the reason for the title of this challenge. Over the last year, the style of fitness that I choose to do has been changing. Avoiding gyms for Covid forced me to focus a lot more on bodyweight workouts with very minimal weight, and I have found that I much prefer working with bodyweight, calisthenics, and bands instead of iron and heavy weights. It just fits a lot better with my interest in functional fitness. Once I am back in a position with a little more disposable income, I would like to start taking a few dance classes again. And, my partner and I have decided that we want to get into martial arts as a couples' activity. He has always had an interest in martial arts, having done some as a kid, and I have always wanted to learn a martial art. So, it seems like a perfect way to increase our fitness while learning something fun together. I don't know if we will be able to join the dojo or if I will be able to get into a dance class this challenge, but at the very least, I want to focus my training around preparation for it. Improving joint stability, range of motion, and muscle/cardio endurance are all going to be a big part of my training this challenge. Because my fitness is going to be heavily centered around bodyweight training and martial arts prep, it seemed like a perfect time to multiclass outside of my little corner of the forums. If you all have any recommendations or tips, I am always open to your advice and ideas. I only have a minimal idea of what I am doing, so I will take all the help I can get. Anyway, challenge goals: Bladesinger - Martial Arts, Dance, and Bodyweight Training - (STR) Strength and Agility: Bodyweight workouts 3x/week with focus on joint stability and muscle endurance - (DEX) Balance and Coordination: Yoga and/or stretching 3x/week with focus on flexibility and range of motion - (CON) Stamina: 20min+ walks/jogs 3x/week with focus on improving cardiorespiratory endurance Bladesinger - Mental, Intellectual, and Passion Training - (INT) Intelligence: Read 6 books - (INT) Intelligence: Complete 6 modules of Health Coach certification course and study for Nov. Personal Training exam - (CHA) Charisma: Choose one performance-based activity (music, dance, or acting) to practice at least once per week - (WIS) Generativity and Legacy: Watch a documentary each week on a topic related to minimalism, protecting the environment, society/activism, etc *Note: If you are interested in learning more about my leveling system above, check out the full leveling map in my Battle Log.
  2. I'm closing in on 4 years in the forum now, having done my NF Introduction back right before leaving The North. I've finally been able to catch-up on updating my original training log, Third World Warrior: The Eight-Year Training Log (after some technical difficulties deleting like 2 years of logs) and I'll be using the Daily Battle Logs to both track my training and consolidate my challenges. I have been all over the place most of my life, hence many challenges with Rangers, but my issue is that I feed my training ADD and just ride the tides, making hay when the sun's out. Because of this I've gained proficiency in many things, but I'm having trouble tracking if I'm actually getting better in any of them. Hence, a long-term log. I've always been a fan of public training logs (for myself). I was never worried about how my competition was training, I was always focused on what I was doing. However because of this I tend to buy my own BS. A long term training log tracks progress, and allows others to call me out whenever I'm becoming too full of myself. (Perhaps having an Epic Quest might be of use as well, to keep the goal the goal.) I've always been very stubborn and secretive, even to my coaches. This can also cover training while I use 4-week challenges to work on life.
  3. I'm back. My big challenge for this month: my father is getting surgery later this month, and like me he won't take it easy when his pain is fully controlled unless ppl make him and my mom isn't physically able to do a lot of the stuff he would try to do and destroy himself attempting so to keep him from doing it she would try and probably hurt herself so I have decided to visit for a week to at least be around until his opiates run out and his body is acting as the limiter of his impulsiveness (I get it from him). I am able to do most of the stuff he could hurt himself trying to do and my sibling and their spouse live close enough to handle taking the hay in, which I can't do if I want to be able to breathe. My goal there is to basically take a load off my mother at least until my father is recovered enough to be a bit more self sufficient and on less heavy duty drugs so he doesn't get over confident. On the health front: I currently working out 5-6x per week, goal is to continue that and also try to break this dang plateau (I have been at 27lbs lost for almost 8 weeks now).
  4. Man, I disappear for like a month and y'all gotta go and change things. Huh. Neato. Reminds me of the old days. When last I was here, I was working on a novel for National Novel Writing Month and had just gone through the Book of Five Rings, which essentially worked out to being re-skins of the same challenge about 5 times in a row. I didn't plan it that way, and I think it was a little lazy of me looking back, but I took some good from it, and given all the everything around here in the past year, I reckon some consistency was actually rather called-for. And why did I disappear? Well, no particular reason. I just found myself out of things to say, and work got busy for a while and they rolled out some new processes and platforms for us which has taken some getting used to, and... yeah. What's new with me? Well, since the weather turned cold, I've pretty much just been sitting around, and between the lack of activity and all the holiday food, I've officially crossed the 25% body fat line and have become obese. Which I didn't see coming, but TBF I should have. Non Exercise-Activity Thermogenesis is a thing, and I've not been doing it, and between that and Hashimoto's (read: a finicky to dead metabolism), it was really only a matter of time. But that's hardly the only thing that happened. I rediscovered some movement drills from back in the old days of my training and my hips are good and loose and snappy for kicking now. I rediscovered that I like media! I like shows! I like watching them! I like bingeing them! There is content that is worth watching and reading! I refined my planning process for writing novels and the planning for this draft is well underway. I cooked for my family's Christmas Dinner! I did Green Bean Casserole and this time I had the guts to par boil green beans and fry my own onions, which was a major step for me. Despite my metabolism being dead, I've finally got my thyroid working again, so it's not all bad news on that front. Basically, I've spent the last month just kind of coasting and relaxing, and doing so has kind of allowed me some perspective on what I was doing before and how I want to shake things up. So, without further ado, my goals: Get my body fat percentage to sub-25%. Totally feasible over the course of the month. According to my measurements, I'm sitting at 25.8% with a 3% margin of error, give or take. That means reducing calories, but I can't do a real cut like everyone else does; my thyroid does not forgive that kind of thing. Instead, it's better to figure out a lower weight, figure out what maintenance looks like there, and then program my calories as such. Fortunately, I've got very good at calculating my numbers, so the goal is to stick to 2200-2300 calories for the duration of the challenge. I might dip a bit below that, but certainly I don't mean to go below 2100. New Kettlebell Program yeaaaaaaaaah. Long time observers would be shocked if I wasn't back on my bullshit of trying something new. Strongfirst released a program for sedentary people after one of their coaches at a similar experience to me. The article's worth reading, but the basic gist is to do some one arm swings every hour on the hour for 8 hours a day. This program is specifically designed to work alongside everything else as a plug-in for sedentary folk, and while I'm not swinging enough weight to necessarily burn that much fat, I can definitely tell that I get the "Tonic Effect" off the dosage (ie a sense of physical/mental refreshment and a heightened sense of focus). The other useful thing about this is that it gives me something to work my shadowboxing and other practices in with. But this is gonna be a daily goal, along with the others. One Page Of Planning Per Day. Pretty much what it says on the tin. One page of planning per day. This is actually easier now, since I took the time to figure out my Great Swampy Middle, so I basically have a bunch of dots to connect as opposed to having to make up the dots as I go (which was a real problem last go 'round). It goes without saying that I've got a bunch of extra training on tap. I gave up CaliMove's program because it's not designed to be friendly with martial arts, which will be a concern for me in the long run. I did Athlean X again for a while but it made my shoulder feel janky and I didn't like it, and it didn't stop me from getting obese (between training and nutrition protocols), so to hell with it. GMB's Elements program and Simple and Sinister are the two programs that are designed the most to give me the most what I want, so these will be what I do. It doesn't hurt any that they've both revamped pretty hard; S&S did so first with a revised edition and GMB's updated their Elements program for its release on their new training app. My shoulder feels better with their training, and the challenge can be ramped really easy and really well if you engage correctly with it. So... yeah. Anyway, here in the interregnum between challenges, my goal is to get through the holiday food and get some proof of concept going. And oh, hey, in the meantime, we're all together in one place now. That's pretty neat. Reckon I'll make the rounds and try to see to y'all. It's good to be back.
  5. I just got this idea. i'd like you monks to introduce yourselves in this thread. to come and introduce yourselves, tell us about your martial arts background and what it has given to you. it's hard to wrap a picture about singular personas in this forum based on comments here and there so i thought it would help to get understanding about who we have here, and what we do. I'd personally like to hear what arts you do, what arts you have done, and how long you have done them. what life around martial arts has given and taken. Tell where martial arts brought you and where you came from. i'm bad in writing so if someone has something to add here, please inform me. My main point is! i want to hear a story! Tell me a story what made you a warrior. and tell me what kind of warrior you are! If you don't want to bring anything personal here, just tell the stuff you're comfortable with. anything you give, brings a lot into the table
  6. Tzippi Tastes the Vinegar If you've read the Tao of Pooh (and if you haven't, consider it!), you might remember the allegorical image referenced at the beginning of the Vinegar Tasters, in which three men taste from the same vat of vinegar, one tasting sourness, one bitterness, and one sweetness. These three are representations of the three major religions/philosophies of China, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The vinegar is life, and the men each taste it differently. Tai Chi, which I have begun studying and is a hugely positive practice in my life, is largely based on Taoist philosophy. I'm not going to get very deep into Confucianism, Buddhism, or Taoism, as I am at best a tourist and at worst completely ignorant of them. Instead, I am going to use my battered copy of The Tao of Pooh to look at what I want to do in my life, as I get a little deeper into my goals, study of Tai Chi, and continue to grow and refine. The "theme" of this challenge is halfway between using the three vinegar tasters as my models and metaphor, and using the characters from the Hundred-Acre Woods as the same. Taking my inspiration from the inimitable @sarakingdom and @Mistr, I am building on last challenge's success by adding tiny incremental goals to enhance my new habits, rather than adding a million new ones. β€œRivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” Body and mind - * Continue to support my Tai Chi practice with daily work, whether class, Tai Chi practice, or some other exercise. * Once per week, one weight workout or long walk/hike. Could be body weight, or a hammer. Poetry and Hums - * Continue with daily (more often nightly) five-minute+ meditation. Got Calm subscription, starting with the Pooh meditations. * Using my MyOmer App, count the omer every evening. * Once per week, one longer meditation. Try different stuff, report and review here. I may start with metta meditation: Rumbly in my Tumbly - * Three servings of vegetables a day. * Plant more stuff in the garden. Herbs? Will it get warm enough for cukes, zucchs, and tomatoes?
  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 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.
  8. Joining late and fist week is not as good as I would like but here it is. My Goal = Improve fitness, reduce % body fat and get stronger Each day has tasks worth points each week I give myself a score out of a possible total of daily points. Week days = Early AM workouts; Nutrition tracking; 10,000 steps; martial arts training; Drink water Weekends = Nutrition tracking; drink water; 10,000 steps; Long distance run; cleaning Just to make life easier for me I am counting Sunday to Saturday as a week.
  9. Wu Wei Cup 2018 This year me and my Tai Chi team from the Netherlands participated at the Wu Wei Cup in Germany. The Wu Wei Cup 2018 is a bigg internal martial arts tournament organised by Jan Leminsky. My Dutch Apeldoorn team was made up of: Ferry van der Toorn, Argentina Cotcheza, Douwe ter Horst, Laura Bonthuis, and me Douwe Geluk. In this video you can see my team at the Wu Wei Cup 2018: Wu Wei Cup 2018 team Holland
  10. Sasquatch Kungfu Since 1985 until.1993 i trained a How Chuen Monkey Kungfu system in the Netherlands under a teacher which name is Fred Decramer. It was a standing tall Monkey system of the Sasquatch or Bigfoot. I did it until a brown belt level and i recently taped things i still knew and remember from that time. Here is the link to the video trailer.of the Sasquatch system: How Chuen Sasquatch Kungfu Video by Douwe Geluk What do you think? I do not know if it is a legit martial art, but Chinese martial arts are many times based on mythical creatures like the phoenix or dragon.
  11. Long before I settled on Wing Chun as my style of choice, I visited many schools and took free trial lessons. Sometimes they would even let you have a couple free classes. During those times, I got to know the other students. When I joined Wing Chun, I realized something about the majority of my classmates: we were all geeks in our own way. Specifically, there were a lot of people who were either engineers or going to college for physics. This was something I had NOT noticed about the students from the other schools. I have often wondered what it is about Wing Chun that draws this kind of mentality. Maybe I will never know, but it did inspire me to pose the question in the subject line of this topic.
  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 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.
  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.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "This is NOT going to go the way you think!" - Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi {I avoided spoilers this time!} We can plan and schedule everything in life. We can make assumptions, predictions, and estimations. We can set expectations high or low. None of it may amount to a hill of beans. There are always outside factors, randomness, errors, and poor judgement to throw any perfect plan off track. For each of these, we just reset, re-plan, reschedule, and go again. But nothing every goes exactly how we think. Worrying about it, getting frustrated with it, or crying about it is a waste of time and energy. It is a waste of life. Killing time is not murder, it's suicide. In this spirit, I decided to focus on a few items in different ways for this challenge. Chores and Maintenance I have a lot of control over my time. Others Life Categories are effected by how my free time gets chewed up or manipulated by outside factors. Instead, I'll have those tie into my incentives to push me more in those areas. I upped the stakes on my IJRS Lessons. There have been a lot of things keeping me from doing that, most of it on my shoulders for not making it a priority over other things. After Epic Nerd Camp, it'll be time to get it done. The things I prioritized over it, namely Toastmasters, needs to take a backseat for a bit. My evening Toastmasters club may be folding in September. It just has not gone well. I could go on and on about the new Toastmasters education program and it's online platform, but I already vented about it in an email to another Toastmaster. I feel it has a direct correlation with all of my clubs recent struggles with member retention and recruitment. Even I am having difficulty using it, which just shows how poor the user interface and program design is. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 4 Level 3 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 600 min total, 150 weekly STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 240 min total, 60 weekly. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 800 min total, 200 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. TURN UP THE HEAT! CON +4 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 80 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 20 hours each week. Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge Dishes (10) Laundry (8) Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (20) Yard Work (4) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($257.20 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 20 or more hours of Chores and Maintenance, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 20 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $50 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $10 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. REWARD: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. REWARD: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD: $1 for each morning or night of brushing and flossing. $0 for just brushing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $1 for each morning or night I forget to floss. Lose $2 for NOT flossing for the full day. BONUSES: Life: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training (mentoring, reading/writing, charity, meditation, IJRS lessons). $2 for each hour working on Toastmasters including meetings. $2 for healthy grocery shopping or healthy meal prep. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 150.0 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in.
  14. Increase strength and range of motion. Remove fat and get stronger, faster and more ninja like. A was a little late to post my challenge for May 28-June 24th but I do have one !!! Here it is. 1) FITNESS – I will follow my exercise program that is 6 days a week 2) Training- I will get in my martial arts training 6 days a week 3) Nutrition – I will hit my daily nutrition target every day on this 4 week challenge. 4) Life – I will grow a garden and spend 15 min every day focused on improving my habitat.
  15. Today, I signed up for traditional taekwondo classes at a local establishment that comes highly recommended by a friend who has been practicing for a few decades now. I have been taking a class here and there to experience a variety of martial arts and have decided upon taekwondo as a primary school for two not very great reasons: 1) Pricing: There was a really excellent deal for the summer months and competitive pricing thereafter 2) A friend: I have a very knowledgeable friend who is able to help me along and who once taught at this particular place The reason I chose SOMETHING, however, is that I feel as though I will get more from other disciplines if I have some sort of framework to apply the given knowledge. And I am posting here because I do not know whereelse to post. I do not have an excellent track record in terms of finishing these challenges but I am optimistic because I am starting late and have only one goal. Goal: Go to taekwondo classes I think I've got this.
  16. I was thinking on taking a month off from the forum to focus on graduation, but I think my habits would get too slacking. Instead I'm going to check in every week on Saturday (maybe Sunday), to report on my 3 major goals 1. Leg conditioning: I need to bump up my leg conditioning from 12 to 15 miles per week, running, sprinting, hiking, and swimming all count. My pti told me to make this a habit before ocs. 2. Pull-ups, I'm doing the Armstrong pull up program, so I am going to report my progress weekly 3. Martial arts, can't slack on my training sessions, I've gotta get 4 per week in l, 2 tkd classes, 1 solo with the group, and one solo. I'll try to encourage others on the forums while I'm taking this pseudo break but it's a busy time of the year so I'm not sure how active I can be. Ps, I know I use a lot of acrynoms, just ask and I'll explain them
  17. So, I'm actually competing in a local No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu tournament this Sunday. I don't feel that I took the steps to fully prepare for it. I want to make a change and after this tournament really focus on improvement of myself. Here are my goals: Physical Goals I'm planning on competing in the World Master IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship. For those not familiar with Sport Jiu-Jitsu, this just means you're over 30. There are also weight classes and right now, I'm in the super fatty weight class that has no limit. I plan to compete at Heavyweight which has a limit of 208 pounds. So the way I'm thinking is if I'm able to lose 10-12 pounds I would be able to reach my goal. While I'm considered very agile for my size (250 lbs) I believe that I am lacking strength-wise in my current division. So this goal will address that. The Plan 1. For Whom the Bell Tolls During a podcast interview, Eddie Bravo black belt, Denny Prokopos discussed the benefits of implementing kettlebell training. He mentions that after numerous injuries, his knees just couldn't handle the impact from running. He has since replaced running with kettlebells which he swears by as it gives him both strength and cardio training. The benefits of gaining some strength would be great and since I hate running anyway, I'll be able to hit that too. 2. The Key to Better Jiu Jitsu is More Jiu Jitsu. I often feel that I could train more. So my training schedule will go as follows: M/W- 6AM Gi Jiu Jitsu T/Th - 6AM No Gi Jiu Jitsu F - 6AM Gi Jiu Jitsu / 6PM No Gi Jiu Jitsu The weekends I'll check out some open mats. If I can, I'll try to come in late for one of the 6PM classes, but seeing how I get off work at 6PM except Fridays where I get off an hour earlier. Then I have a half hour commute, it gets difficult. 3. The Element That Brings Life Really, I thought I knew stuff about nutrition, but things have changed so much. I'm interested in the Ketogenic diet, but at this point I'm not familiar enough to even attempt to implement that as my diet. For now, I will focus on proper hydration. For the duration of the challenge, the only beverages I'll consume will be water, coffee, and if I make myself a protein shake out of protein powder and water. I have one of those vacuum insulated water bottles that holds 40 oz. I'll drink one of those before lunch. One after Lunch. and another after work. Mental Goal - Read More I haven't actually read a book in a few years. I sometimes listen to audio books on my way to work, but there's something meditative when it comes to actually reading a book. I did just pick up a copy of American Gods, so I think I'll start reading that. I plan to read for an hour before I go to bed every night. Lifestyle - There's Something About a Clean House, a Clean Room. Dishes keep piling up in our sink. Both my wife and I hate doing the dishes, but it just gets ridiculous sometimes. I think both my wife and I would appreciate it if the dishes were done. So, I plan to do the dishes every night. I'll make sure that the dishwasher is loaded up by the end of the night. It runs overnight. Then put away the dishes in the morning. Hopefully this will become a habit and I can keep the whole house clean because right now it's a huge mess.
  18. Hey folks, first time doing a log like this so let's see how it goes. I'm doing a monk ranger type hybrid, and my little training notebook isn't makin the cut anymore. - I'm gonna try to post my training, and most of my meals (I sometimes forget what I eat because I'm a college student who don't cook most of my meals). - for training I do a little bit of martial arts almost every day. I do light cardio most days too, and I've got a schedule of calisthenics and lifting that I'll post eventually. I'm just trying to get as well rounded a training system as I can to support my martial arts. Speaking of I train in taekwondo (just got 1st Dan woot) as well as a little Hung Gar Kung fu and Judo because I like variety.
  19. I just had my 5th class. It's super fun! However, I'm extremely out of shape. A positive thing, though, it's that I started this to motivate me to exercise, and it's working. There are a couple of things that I'm wanting to do, to get better in my classes: 1. Become Staminus Maximus, the god of stamina. 2. Inject Hulk serum into my limbs, to improve my strength. 3. Get better at eating the right things. Any tips for the kinds of exercise I would be doing, and food I should be eating, outside of class? For perspective, I haven't exercise for a full year, before starting Muay Thai.
  20. I've decide to start this log, as I feel it to be a good way to get feedback as well as accountability in my nutrition/fitness. Although I'm starting this today, I'm going to back fill to start it Monday, since that's when I'm considering my week to start, and I'm a fan of symmetry. My I'm on a pretty heavy calorie deficit, as I'm trying to drop quite a bit of weight, and would like to do it quickly (without becoming malnourished obviously), so on a given day I'm aiming for about 1500-1700 calories, and thanks to my meal prepping I tend to stay below 1600. As for my meal prepping, you'll notice a lot of similar items, because I tend to be busy on weekends, so whenever I can cook large quantities I do (for instance, the shredded chicken referenced below was several chicken breasts thrown into a crock-pot for 4 hours before being shredded and portioned out into several containers). I would also like to note that I don't eat breakfast , so my first meal will be lunch (not quite IF, my fast period sometimes is only about 15 hours, I'm just usually not very hungry in the morning and can wait until 12 or 1 pm). I'm not going to log my cup or two of green tea every day, as I'm counting that as negligible since it is just green tea with no additives. I do also take a bit of Apple cider vinegar in the morning, but that is also negligible calories, so I won't bother to log it every day. My workouts will consist of either attending my Kung Fu classes, or working out in the gym (a combination of cardio and free weights). For nights I attend class, I won't be getting into the details of what was involved, just that I went (on that note, I always leave class with a drenched t-shirt, so work is definitely being done). My gym workouts aren't focused on building strength just yet, since I've been out of the gym for quite a long time. So for now I'm working on getting back into the swing of things, going consistently, and keeping my form correct. January 15th- Lunch: Shredded chicken - 8 oz Brown Rice w/ Coconut oil - 1/2 cup Steamed Asparagus - 6 oz Dinner: Shredded chicken - 8 oz Brown Rice w/ Coconut oil - 1/2 cup Steamed Broccoli - 2 cups Fish Oil - 2 capsules Snacks: Natural peanut butter - 2 tbsp Granny Smith Apple - 1 medium Whey protein Shake - 32 grams w/ water Workout: Kung Fu Class
  21. After three years of doing challenges, I've decided that my long-run escapades might fit a bit better in a battle-log format. My plan is to keep doing light challenges, but the truth is there's a lot of stuff that I've done over these years that has kind of gotten lost in those old challenge threads: victories and failures, obstacles overcome and challenges that overwhelmed me. So, I'm Kyellan and I've been here at NerdFitness for a little over 3 years. About two months after I joined here, with intentions of practicing German Longsword HEMA stuff via the original texts (mostly on my own, since there wasn't a nearby club at the time), instead I got convinced by the people here to screw my courage to the sticking place and join a local Kung Fu studio, in the hopes of learning some basic martial work from a teacher, rather than struggling through alone. Subverting all my expectations, this local Kung Fu school turned out not to be your average martial arts experience. Instead of merely using it as a launching point for my other work, I fell in love with the practice, the discipline, the group combat therapy, and now I have a second family of martial artists, young and old, who I can't wait to spend my time practicing with four nights out of the week. Honestly, it's changed my life for the better in so many ways that it's impossible to count. It's the foundation that allowed me, in June 2016, to survive the Vermont Tough Mudder (along with my buddy @Oramac), and so many other things as well. There's no denying, though, that I'm a 6-foot-1 blond dude. Nothing's ever going to change that! So, here I am: one knight, learning the Shaolin disciplines. I primarily train Hung Gar, but our lineage also includes some Lau-family technique, as well as Bak Sil Lum (which is Northern Shaolin Kung Fu by way of a Southern stylist, so it's modified a bit). So, away we go!
  22. Not quite sure how to phrase my question here... but, essentially, one suggestion I've seen made in many places on how to improve your retention for a martial art and the training in general is to actually take notes on the techniques presented, or that you want to learn/specifically train. One of my frequent training partners actually does just that, in fact. When we meet up to review/train together, he generally has a notebook with him of the techniques he's working on. Specific moves can have anywhere from a few lines to a full paragraph of handwritten notation. I was wondering if anyone else does this and what sort of system they have for it? I've attempted to get into the habit at least once before, but generally all that I do is write down names and hope to recall what I need later... so I was hoping that if someone has a system they might be willing to share.
  23. Well, the madness of August is over. I didn't manage to do a whole lot other than work during that month, but I did put one major accomplishment under my belt: I finished memorizing the "first pillar" of the Hung Gar system, the foundational techniques known as Gung Gee Fook Fu Kuen, or "Taming the Tiger in the I-shaped Pattern". It's taken about a year of work, and it is a very long form with something like 350 individual techniques. Now that I've memorized it, the next step is to internalize the movements so that they all flow naturally, without thought or error. I'm doing okay on that so far, but that is pretty much going to be my physical focus for the next month or so. My data logging fell off for about two weeks due to the stress I was under, so I'm also reviving that. Still hovering around 205 lbs, give or take one on any given day, which I'm fairly happy with; despite the stress, I didn't fall off the plan too hard. I've started making breakfasts for myself: batch cooking English muffin breakfast sandwiches on the weekend and freezing them for the week. They're not the most amazing thing ever, but they're pretty cheap and come in between 350 and 375 calories, which isn't bad at all. I'm taking a long weekend this week: 5 days in a row of no work to focus on. Hopefully by the start of the challenge this bruised-brain feeling will be mostly gone, and I'll be feeling more like myself again. I worked myself into full burnout, and I'm still struggling with it a week after the worst of the craziness ended. The plan is to practice my Gung Gee flow, and get better at it. Attend class regularly again, and get myself back up to feeling healthy and strong, instead of bruised and weak and tired. That's pretty much it. Nothing fancy here, just patient recovery of my abilities and improvement of skills.
  24. Ok, so. After the total disaster that was last month's challenge and then completely falling off the wagon this week due to grief (a friend of mine died, found out Monday. Since Monday, I've watched a season and a half of Community, eaten a good 20,000 calories of junk food and fast food, done exactly 3km of walking and that's it for anything physical, stopped setting daily goals and checklists at work, and had like two servings of vegetables spread across four days. I am grieving, yes, but this is not a healthy way to go about it. I need to get my shit together again.), I need to respawn. My goal this month is simple: Each day, set three healthy goals. Can be whatever the fuck I feel like doing that morning. Check them off completed by end of day. That's it, that's all. Full stop. EDIT: Sorry for the cursing. I was brought up an army brat, stress brings it out (along with bringing out my stutter in meat space). I'm not sure what the language rules are here, and I've tried to keep it to a minimum, but I'll try to tone it down more if it needs more toning down.
  25. Hey, all. Vella here - I used to run about these parts a year or so back, but Life Happened and I fell straight into the abyss of working and just trying to keep afloat. But I'm back now. New account for a fresh start (and because I can't get into the old one anymore on account of doing an e-mail address cleanout/deletion), new plan, new goals, new pet. Today, it begins.
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