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  1. A dragon is attacking the monastery! Monks -- TO ARMS! [ ███████████████████ ] HP 1426/15,000 ============================================= WEEK 1 DAMAGE DEALT: 3,237 CRITICAL HIT!! ============================================== WEEK 2 DAMAGE DEALT: 2,636 ============================================== WEEK 3 DAMAGE DEALT: 3,539 ============================================== WEEK 4 DAMAGE DEALT: 4,162 ============================================== The dragon flees for its life, but may return one day to threaten the monastery again! Welcome to the March-April kettlebell mini-challenge! The rules for playing are simple. Each week on Sunday, check in with how you did on your kettlebell goals, and the boss's health will be updated to reflect the damage! Don't have a kettlebell? No problem! Do goblet squats or TGUs or deadlifts with a dumbbell! (We do NOT advise using a dumbbell for swings!!!) Values are: Kettlebell Swing --> 2 damage Kettlebell Deadlift --> 5 damage Goblet Squat --> 7 damage Turkish Get-Up --> 10 damage Let's go get 'em, Monks!
  2. I've been on a bit of a D&D obsession lately (which @Oramac can attest to). I wasn't planning on doing a thread, but I thought hey, what's the harm. Not sure how frequently I'll update since my life is still a bit scattered, but y'know. It'll do. So, let's build this adventuring party, and delve the depths of the Dungeon of Life. Front Line: The Monk STR: 13 / DEX: 14 / CON: 12 / WIS: 15 / INT: 12 / CHA: 8 Okay, not your traditional front-line for a dungeon-delving group, I admit. But still, my martial arts is at the forefront of everything I do. The monk neatly covers both my Hung style (3 days/week) and the lightsaber class (because, let's face it, a Jedi is a monk with a light-up sword. Unarmored Defense, Ki Points for force powers, etc etc. It's obvious.) So the Monk will take care of our primary activities: fighting and observing everything around him. He doesn't talk much, though. He prefers to bash things with fist and staff. Support: The Cleric ST: 14 / DEX: 8 / CON: 13 / WIS: 15 / INT: 10 / CHA: 11 This, on the other hand, is about as traditional as it gets. Everybody needs a cleric now and then. My major physical goal for the year is to attempt to rehab my damaged knees. Sifu has given me some ideas on how to do that, and so I'm going to be spending time each day basically doing PT on my stupid broken knees. I'm hoping that by next Christmas I will be able to actually drop into a low-bow stance without being in screaming agony. That's the goal, and I'm going to need the Cleric's healing powers to get there. He's strong enough to help out on the front line with the Monk, but his Life Domain powers will keep us going when things get rough. Control: The Wizard STR: 8 / DEX: 14 / CON: 12 / INT: 15 / WIS: 10 / CHA: 11 The third member of my D&D adventuring party has to be the traditional wizard. Mechanically speaking, I actually prefer the Warlock and Sorcerer, but there's no match for the wizard in my life right now. I'll need his Intelligence to continue working on scribing my magnum opus, to continue improving at my work (I am, after all, a Wizard in real life: I am a Datamancer and nobody can tell me otherwise!) and also to help me figure out what to do with this incredible home automation kit that I got from my father-in-law for Christmas, including a SmartThings hub, several sensors, and a Google Home. Definitely going to need the wizard on board for figuring all that stuff out, 'cuz he's the smarts. The Life of the Party: The Bard STR: 10 / DEX: 14 / CON: 12 / INT: 13 / WIS: 8 / CHA: 15 Because you can't go wrong with a bard in the party. Somebody's got to do the talking, the singing, and just basically handle everything else not covered by the other three.
  3. Hello again! First off, I’d like to explain my mysterious absence from the end of the last challenge. The last week of the challenge coincided with a ton of schoolwork as well as moving to a new place! So I had to do finals and move an entire house with my family to a new place so I was exhausted and didn’t do much, challenge wise. And then, I forgot the challenge started it yesterday. So, anyway, I’m back for another challenge and this month’s theme will be... Marvel!! I am immensely happy and looking forward to this month because we get Captain America: Civil War (which I’ve seen already and it was amazing, seriously, go see it) and X-Men: Apocalypse! I’ve been a fan of Marvel since I first saw the first X-Men movie when I was about 10 and has since become one of my favorite movie series. I hope Apocalypse is as good as Days of Future Past, which is my favorite. Goal #1: Go biking around my new neighborhood three times this challenge. One aspect of all superhero movies is the sense of adventure, no matter how small. For example, Steve Rogers is accepted into the Army, Thor is sent to Midgard/Earth and Rogue is given a ride by Wolverine and is taken to Professor Xavier’s mansion. The new neighborhood I’m in is gorgeous and I want to bike through it a lot. The reason I’m going slow is because I have to learn the layout of my neighborhood first. I am definitely going to get up to where I bike through my neighborhood regularly. Goal #2: Do my old routine of 100 sit-ups and 25 push-ups three times a week. Having powers alone does not make one strong. This is proved by Professor Xavier’s school for mutants. It’s understood that those with powers need to train to become stronger and more controlled in their powers. Since I’m still on Level 1, I’m going to start slow and pick up my push-up and sit-up routine I used to do in karate class. Goal #3: Read a novel at least an hour five days a week. Reed Richards, Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, Professor Xavier. What do all of these characters have in common? They’re all smart! And how do you become smart? By reading. I have so many novels on my shelved that I have never read so I’m going to try to read one or two during this challenge. I’m looking forward to this challenge, especially the physical part. I’m looking forward to really starting to make my body more fit. I’m on my way to becoming the superhero version of me!
  4. Hey guys! Not sure if I should post this in the warrior forum or here, but I felt this is the proper place. So, I have just started barbell training (stronglifts 5x5 + bodyweight exercises) 3x a week. Really having fun, and a change of pace from pure bodyweight strength training. However, I feel like I can do more during my rest days. Usually I go to MA classes (kali) during my rest days, but because of my current schedule, I can't. It's sad, I know. Now I'm wondering what conditioning workout I can do during my rest days that won't affect my strength training too much? I really feel like I could do more. My overall goal is to be a well rounded athlete, in terms of strength and endurance. Thank you very much, would appreciate the help.
  5. Main Challenge- Attend every HEMA and SCA practice in preparation for the Pas d'Armes and my belt test on the 30th and 31st of January. Side Challenges- Attend one parcours session a week, preferably Saturday mornings. Drink 1L of water daily Perform at least two Spartan Workouts a week (not counting the mental workouts). Use any two FitDecks (choices are Bodily Annihilation Bodyweight [custom deck], Strength Stack 52, Yoga, Pilates, SAQ, and Stretching) at least once a week. Rewards to be determined once the new character creation and quest mechanics are up.
  6. Well, I survived my first challenge and greatly enjoyed it (even though the wheels fell off towards the end). This time around I think my goals are going to be a little more diverse. 2.1 The Path to Mastery (STR +2; DEX +2) 2.1a Attend Kajukenbo class two times a week. Last challenge I found out that three times a week is too much for me and my family. Two classes a week is the minimum to progress towards belt testing, and I would really like to work towards my yellow belt. Plus if I'm not going twice a week, I think that I will have a very hard time justifying the expense and will have to drop out. A = >14 classes; B = 12 classes; C = 10 classes; D = 8 classes. 2.1b Practice at home. This will be a broad category of practicing martial arts at home, stretching, exercising. Let's aim for doing some sort of activity at home four times a week. A = 24; B = 20; C = 15; D = 10 2.2 The Way to Enlightenment (CON +3) Weight loss is still a goal. I will be 175 by October 1, 2016. I did well with only one piece of candy at work last challenge, but eating at home is derailing me. To that end, I am going to reduce the snacking at home. That means after work, no bowls of cereal or pieces of buttered toast while I'm making dinner. If I need a snack, I can cut up some carrots/celery or wait. It also means reigning in desserts to a reasonable amount. No more 8 peanut butter cookies with milk (no matter how freshly made they are) or giant root beer floats. Let's work on moderation. Three cookies with milk, or a small root beer float. No need to cut all the goodies out, but let's be a bit more responsible with them. No snacking after work, reasonable amount of dessert; 2 opportunities a day. A+ = 84; A = 75; B = 65; C = 55; D = 45. 2.3 The Road to Stability (WIS +2) Adulting is hard. Having a set routine seems like it should make it a bit easier. One of the large friction points with my wife and I is my not paying attention to finances. I am going to sit down and look at the finances three times a week. If I can get into the habit of this, then this will be modified to include other adulting challenges (cleaning the bathroom, folding laundry right after it comes out of the dryer...) A = 18; B = 14; C = 10; D = 6 2.4 (WIS + 1): Reread The Obstacle is the Way and segue into reading Meditations. I've been interested in Stoic philosophy recently after hearing about it on the Tim Ferriss podcast. Instead of going after the fluff and fun books all the time (which have their place), Let's try for something different.
  7. Here I am for another rodeo. Yeeeehaaaw! *coughcough* Sorry, my bad. After a first time that didn't go so well I am back and ready to actually accomplish some goals. Without further ado: MAIN QUEST Two weeks ago I threw out my back and couldn't move for a week. Heck, I could barely sit in one place for longer than an hour. It meant that I couldn't work out the way I usually do. Then came a week-long vacation filled with deep-fried fish and chips intermitten with other delicious but unhealthy food. Work out? What work out? In the end I put on 5lbs and lost all definition in my muscles (arms and abs in particular). GOAL: Lose 10lbs (CHA +2) Current weight: as of this morning, I am at 185lbs (ugh, I almost cried when I saw that) Goal weight: 175lbs QUEST #1: The moment I loosened up my eating habits my body immediately started feeling worse. When I tried Paleo, I felt like a goddess. I endeavor to cleanse my body and get back on the wagon. GOAL: Keep Paleo diet for 6 weeks (CON +2 STA +2) Stipulation: It is impossible for me to do kickboxing/muay thai without some extra carbs (and I hate the sweet potato) so I will be eating one regular potato before a workout each day. I will allow myself one non-Paleo meal a week. 100%-76% full marks 75%-51% (CON+1 STA +1) less than 50% no marks QUEST #2 I live in Colorado where constant hydration is key. When I add the intensity with which I exercise, I really need a lot of water to replenish my reserves and stay properly hydrated. Sadly, I'm usually severely dehydrated. GOAL: Drink 128oz of water per day (CON +2 WIS +2) Current drinking habits: about 60oz a day First 3 weeks: consistently drink 90oz/day Last 3 weeks: consistently drink 128oz/day 100%-76% full marks 75%-51% (CON+1 WIS +1) less than 50% no marks QUEST #3 I signed up for a 5K run this October and I want to run it without having to stop. GOAL: Run 3 times a week (STA +5) I will be using Couch to 5K as a guideline for my training. Schedule - Sunday morning - Tuesday afternoon - Friday evening 3 days +5 2 days +3 1 day +1 End of week 2: I have to admit that I can't do the running challenge due to a minor injury to my ankle and a bunion flare-up in my right leg. That being said, I still want to do something that will help me improve my stamina. Enter Airdyne. Goal: Do 9 minutes of HIIT on Airdyne 2 days a week (+5 STA) 3 x 3 minute sets, one (1) minute rest in-between Set: 30 seconds @ 70 RPMs 30 seconds @ 35 RPMs Most probable days: Tuesday & Thursday 2 days: full marks 1 days: +2 STA 0 days: no marks Mini-quests: Week 1: SMART goals WIS +1 (COMPLETE) - see just below Week 2: Making friends CHA+1 (COMPLETE) Week 3: The Library CHA +1 (COMPLETE) Week 5: The Cafeteria CON+1 (COMPLETE)
  8. So...confession time: I didn't do so well on my last challenge (see link in signature). Or at the very least, as well as I hoped: Positives: This was the first challenge that I completed after many tries! I worked out consistently in martial arts throughout the challenge, moving on to another belt. I decided to "reward" myself with the challenge of performing in a tournament at the end of this month. I also got over my fears and I have started sparring again regularly. I also built some awareness about my eating habits (which were a little common sense, honestly) and I've started carrying a water bottle everywhere. Negatives: Was definitely not consistent with my water intake or my food journaling, and because of that my diet suffered. I realized I have very little willpower. To improve on this, I plan on having fixed times to trigger when I drink water: one bottle right when I wake up, one when I go to bed, one at karate class, and one during lunch and/or when I'm commuting in the car (I don't drive every day). Reflection time over: Today is a new day! Main Quest: Lose 20 pounds by July 4, 2015. My little sister is getting married in July, so I'd like to look my best for her special day and start forming good habits for the rest of my life. I joined the rebellion because I would really like to change my lifestyle and be (what I think) would be an ideal weight for me, which at 5'1" is 120 pounds. I will make accurate measurements tomorrow. Quest 1: Track all of my meals using a food journal. This is a redo of a goal from my old challenge, combining both food journaling and my water intake goal (2 liters). This time I will focus on tracking my water intake, writing everything down (good and bad - no judgement), and pre-planning out my breakfasts with a goal of eating 20-30 grams of protein at breakfast. Any recipes and suggestions would be appreciated! However, my challenge is to come up with a new recipe every week (at the end of my usual week summary) and share it with you guys! Food journaling will be done using the 2nd half of my Fitbook. Measurement: A = 42-38 entries B = 37-33 entries C = 32-28 entries Quest 2: Body weight workouts 3 times a week. While the karate classes are great for my cardio fitness, I want to improve my strength outside of classes. In the group fitness classes it's a little difficult to do and I usually end up injuring myself because they encourage speed over good form. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays will be my BW workout days, because they are my easiest days at the dojo (as well as the days that I don't have to get up super early). The workout I will be doing is the Academy bodyweight workout. Measurement: A = 16-18 workouts B = 12-15 workouts C = 9-11 workouts Quest 3: Get my dental hygiene routine straightened out. (Maybe TMI) After a really rough scolding from my dental hygienist for not going to the dentist for several years and having poor brushing/flossing habits, I've decided to make a commitment to change the habit. I have a calendar that I posted in my bathroom, and I will be doing the "hard hat" method to make it stick! For me this means: brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and tongue-scrapping twice a day. Measurement: A = 42-38 days completed B = 37-33 days completed C = 32-28 days completed Life Quest: Weekly Spanish journal entry on lang-8. As a future grad student in Spanish linguistics, I think I need to improve my Spanish abilities. For me, the best way to increase my vocabulary and get feedback is to write entries for native speakers to review on lang-8. Measurement: A = 6 entries, B = 5 entries, C = 4 entries Motivation: I not only want to look good at my sister's wedding (sibling rivalry makes me want to say "look better than her," but I'd be happy if we both looked awesome). I also want to live a long, healthy life where my body isn't limited and is full of energy. More importantly, I want to finally prove to myself that I can finish something I've started. Reward: $35 worth of things from my wishlist on Amazon.
  9. will clean up and polish it later but here is the new challenge ideas 6 week challenge Goal 1: Fitness 25 Pushups in 1 go1 unassisted Pullup75 situpsComplete Daily Hero Journey WorkoutGoal 2: Job -Apply to 3 different companies OR -Start new Job Goal 3: Reading -Finish Book For of A Song Of Fire And Ice: A Feast for Crows Goal 4: Life -Meditate for atleast 15 minutes every day (can be sitting quietly on the couch with coffee, at gym with headphones in w/e as long as I take time to center myself I have also decided to add into this challenge 3 more mini goals MG1: going sober~ no alcohol of any kind for the next 6 weeks MG2: Natures energy~ No caffinated beverages(i.e. Coffee/soda) for 6 weeks MG3: You gotta pay to play~ Cheat jar in effect $1 for things I shouldn't eat (per item so a mean consisting of 5 things I shouldn't eat is $5) Missed workout =$5 (unless for medical/injury reasons)
  10. So here I go with my 3rd challenge, it doesn't feel like it's been that long yet. Basically I have trouble with my kicking height, especially on my right side ( non dominant leg). yeah... at least this kid got a little height So my goal starting this challenge is to improve the height and control of my kicks. And with no further ado, my steps to complete my challenge. Cheechoe's Game of Pain Alright this may seem a little ridiculous, but i've known for a while that I wanted to add cheechoes stretching routine to my daily routine. the goal here is to stretch out my hips so I have a little more flexibility which should help with both control and height. This might be a bit too much for me... Just sayin. Kicking it Up a Notch Again one more goal designed to help my kicks, this one is focused more on control than on flexibility, but it does help with both, what I am doing here is to practice all basics kicks 20 times a day ( double that for my non dominant leg ). I want to do these with moderate to slow speed to work on form and control. So that some day I can do this That... might take a while. Core-dinate yes, I know that was terrible lol but I liked it lol This goal is meant to focus on building my core strength, which helps with balance during a kick, this one is more for control as well, but hopefully they all work together to improve my kicks. Oh yeah I have to tell you what I'm doing lol The angry birds workout routine, I have been doing it for the second half of this last challenge, but wasn't pushing myself as hard as i could have. If only i could do stuff like this some day ( sooner than later lol) and finally Searching Up Above My life goal this time around is to reconnect with my faith, I have fallen away from it and I am not happy with that, so I will be reading my bible( at least 1 chapter) every night. that way some day I get the chance for him to say to me And that is something I want to look forward to Well that's my challenge feel free to comment ( but if you don't like it i'm sorry, or if you are not christian and are offended by my life goal that was not my intention).
  11. So this is a very vague meet up at this point. The last 2 or 3 challenges we cluster up in Cheechoe's thread and talk about getting together to throw each other around the room. I'm terribly indecisive about making plans like this but I really want to see if we can make it happen. I thought I would create a thread for discussion to see if we can get our Monk-ish act together. But wait...you're not a Monk? That's cool. We like everybody. Or we'll ninja you and you'll never know what happened. Either way you should be there! (You know, when we figure out when and where IT is.) The main event will be planned around monking but I'm sure if we find a place to lift there will be other Feats of Strength. Judging from other Rebel meet ups there will be much hugging and tom-foolery. Good food, a few beverages, a game of Cards Against Humanity where everyone will get the historical references and probably a designated cooling off spot for introverts who are peopled out. Then a week of sadness from Nerd withdrawal. Alright...that's all I've got. Discuss amongst yourselves.
  12. Been doing this fitness thing on and off for roughly 3 years now. Got myself down close to my goal weight of 200 (really hit 225). Fell apart on my goals. Went from a job where I was able to work out consistantly and eat great. Left that job to go back to an old job where I stress ate, worked WAY to many hours in the week, and couldn't make it to the gym ever. I recently (october) left the crazy job to go back to the OTHER job (I know it gets confusing) been there for about 3 months now and I have a bet going with my new (old yes it is the same boss that I worked for before) boss. We are both doing Paleo in a mission to drop weight. The first one to break paleo gives the other person $50 The main piece to this challenge is that within the next 6 months I plan on enlisting in the United States Air Force. I am currently at 250lbs and I need to be below 208. I need to atleast have the Liberator standards under my belt. I plan on getting to Warhawk before I enlist but Liberator is where I am starting. Males Run (2 miles) Run (1.5 mile) Push-ups Sit-ups Pull-ups Liberator (minimum graduation standard) 16:45 min. 11:57 min. 45 50 0 Thunderbolt (honor graduate standard) 14:15 min. 8:55 min. 62 70 4 Warhawk (extraordinary - highest standard) 13:30 min. 8:08 min. 75 80 10 Fitness Goals: 1. Run 5K in under 30 miutes 2. Complete 5 pullups in 1 set 3.25 Pushups in 1 set 4.60 situps in 1 set Life Goals: 1: Put 350 into personal savings (took a paycut to go to a lower stress job, need to rebuild the savings account,) 2: Read something printed at least 30 minutes every day, does not matter what it is as long as it is NOT on the internet.
  13. I have an idea for my challenges already I will post them on the 5th just making sure that I'm not forgotten lol Oh and what I'm talking about breaking are bad habits, wasteful routines, and of course boards,I start board breaking this time around kinda excited and a little worried that I will hesitate, either way it's gonna be a great challenge everyone, hopefully i'm a little more talkative this go around
  14. Good afternoon to all! I know I'm a little late (oops), but there was a visiting fencer at the club which stole my attention. Main goal- Earn "E" ranking in foil. Goals to get me there- Practice foil three times a week Do some form of PT six days a week (currently looking at two days of weights, two days of plyometrics, and two days of run conditioning) Intermittent Fasting at least four days a week.
  15. So this challenge is pretty simple really, and has two (simple) parts. Part 1 I shall do my nidan kata. They shall be done mindfully. My aim is daily. Part 2 I shall train for the Newport half marathon (which happens on March 1st). I shall be looking on improving form and thus (hopefully) reducing my tendency towards injury. Training is three times weekly. I am also following the 6 week course on improving running form from kinetic revolutions. That's it. Simple.
  16. Here's to a better challenge this time around
  17. Placeholder no more! Really, all I care about is from 1:34 and on, but it's still a funny clip. If you haven't watched Venture Brothers, it's on Netflix and it's well worth your time. . I have this problem. I'm really inconsistent with my workout regimen. I get super excited about things, I get into the swing of things and then life happens and I get completely wrecked. Then I start again and I am in agony for a few days from DOMS. Lather, rinse, repeat. So I feel a little bit like these guys. As if that wasn't obvious by the teaser video. Henchmen 21 and 24 sum up a lot of how my challenges go. They mean well. They love what they're doing. But they muddle their way through everything. They have an excess of enthusiasm and get easily distracted by pointless minutiae. That's pretty much me all over. Rather than fight against my nature, I will instead embrace it! *** Henchman #24: Boss, there's a monster down here! Henchman #21: I think it was two ninjas taped together to make one giant ninja! That's right. That's me. One giant ninja. I keep including this as a challenge goal, because it's really important to me. Hapkido, twice a week. I need something that I feel like I'm successful at. Travelling to Boston next week is going to put a kink in this, but I'm going to count Guild Leader pummelling as attending a class. You know who you are... Henchman #21: You still don't get it. 24 and I have been on, like, a thousand missions. We've been shot at, dipped in acid... Henchman #24: Brock Samson hit me with a car. Drove right into my kidney. Here I am! Some monster posted the idea of doing Tabata workouts during the last challenge. A horrible, horrible monster. Then I started doing them. The first one kicked my ass up and down. Then I did another one and I didn't feel as awful. I felt terribly, terribly vital and full of energy. Now my students are excited about them, too. I have people coming to off-nights so that they can be around when I run this workout. I think I have found a desirable form of punishment exercise. I've promised a number of people at my club that I'm going to run these for several weeks to gather appropriate data. I will run this every Thursday and Saturday that I'm in class. Mondays are out-of-bounds because I'm doing black belt stuff during the regular warm-up. Thursdays are largely for me to torment students and Saturdays are a lovely time to work up a sweat. Henchman 21: [Opening his bureau] Gentlemen, choose your weapons. Henchman 24: Are these them? Henchman 21: [correcting] Are these 'they'. Henchman 24: Who talks like that? The Monarch: Stand aside. I'm in charge here and I will assign the... are these they? Henchman 21: [Proudly, as the scene reveals the 'weapons' to be collector's toys] Yep. And you gotta admit that it is a sweet collection. The Monarch: You f***ing idiot! You expect us to go in to battle with these? Is it your plan so that they will die laughing? I'm a martial artist. That means my weapon of choice is my own body. Like many nerds, I often feel like that weapon is one of 21's collectible toys. I have reach, mass and sheer intimidating size. Strength and the appearance of strength are definitely missing. I keep saying that I intend to lift more regularly and I keep falling down. I'm putting it back on the page to lift. Those weights gotta go up, my nerds. Lift twice a week. During the trip to Boston, there is a plan to lift with a bunch of Warriors and maybe a monk or two who might have time in his busy running schedule. So even travel will not deter me. LIFE GOALS Dr. Killinger: "The Venture problem is very volatile. We must approach it with caution, but first we need to address other drastic issues. The floating cocoon is in bad need of..."Henchman #24: "The cocoon's fine! I think the problem is you!"Henchman #21: "He's right! Yeah, everybody just thinks you're sooo great, but you're just sooo not!"Henchman #24: "Yeah! Who do you think you are?"Henchman #21: "I mean, come on! This guy just waltzes in here with his huge baby-bearing hips and he starts changing everything."Dr. Killinger: "That's not fair. I never chose my figure." Change is always scary. With my anxiety and (currently being managed) depression, I don't like it when things change. But life is change. Everything changes all the time. It's unavoidable. Until the freeze ray is complete nothing at all happens. One of those changes is that my wife is going through an extremely intensive certification program. We have a very give-and-take dynamic when it comes to looking after our home. She does some things. I do other things. Some things we do together or share. I think that's the point of a marriage, actually. But for a year, she doesn't have the time. This certification is super important for her career and will make for huge quality of life improvements for both of us. In almost every way imaginable, I need to step up my game so that our home stays a home and not a squalid cave where two angry bipeds live. Therefore, I intend to spend 1 hour each day doing "stuff". I'm being deliberately vague here (a NerdFitness no-no) as each day will bring changing circumstances. Clean the kitchen, do the laundry, clean the bathrooms, tidy the bedroom, tidy up junk mail, the list goes on. I spend a lot of time at home on my computer, lost in my own little world. I can take some of that time and dedicate it the home that I share with the woman I love. I may not like the short term, but I can at least look at the long term and acknowledge that VAST improvements it will bring. And that about wraps it up. Embrace my inner henchman and let the mindless invulnerability keep the expendable at bay. Excelsior, my nerds!
  18. Hey there monks! I met a couple of you during my first challenge, and now here I am! For those who don't know me, I'm Kyellan. I'm an IT analyst by day, a writer by... well, afternoon, and a sci-fi/fantasy/video-game nerd. A little under six months ago, I finally discovered the source of a problem which drastically limited my exercise and energy, and solved it. I had been living in chronic pain for years which worsened anytime I tried to increase my activity level, and since the change my average daily pain level has dropped from a seven to a three. I'm not exactly living pain-free, but I'm definitely living pain-lite, and it's freakin' awesome! During my first Rebel Challenge, I worked myself up from exhausted after a single round of Steve's Beginner Bodyweight Workout into doing three and pushing four, built my dexterity up by practicing with melee weapons, and increased my discipline through fasting. When I started I couldn't do five pushups in a row--now I can do 25 without stopping, and I'm nearing 30. Next, I plan to broaden my goals to get myself into the thing I've wanted to do for ten years... martial arts, which is why I'm here! The problem is... well, I'm not really sure what kind of martial art I want to get into. I did karate when I was a kid, but not past yellow belt (maybe a year or so). I really enjoyed it, but it unfortunately became too much of a financial and time burden on our family, so I wasn't able to continue. I've done tai chi sporadically throughout the years (something I would really like to add into my daily routine--more on that to come) and occasionally looked into something more, but was always stopped by the aforementioned pain problem. My primary interest in martial arts has always been western--even before it was really a thing, I think. I grew up on fantasy and always had a fascination with the nuts and bolts of European sword fighting. The fact that HEMA has become a bigger thing these days is really cool... but it's not big enough to have reached me yet. The closest HEMA clubs to me are well over a 50-mile one-way drive, and while I might be able to manage that once a month, that's really not going to help me. I've done some HEMA practice on my own, but even finding a sparring partner has proven to be a difficult search. In that light, there have always been three eastern arts that intrigue me: Baguazhang, Kung Fu, and Kendo. Judo also looks pretty cool, as I've done some research on it recently, and I think that Shaolin Kenpo could be interesting as well. There are Kung Fu, Judo and Kenpo clubs within a relatively close distance, and others farther out. So, over the next six weeks, my goals are to continue my body conditioning, and start investigating the martial arts schools closest to me to see where my first path will begin. It's all about little steps right now, but by the end of this six-week challenge, I want to have taken my first paid class. So, onto the goals! ------------------------------ Strength [Li] (STR +2, STA +2): Continuing straight on from my previous challenge, I want to keep increasing my strength. My overall strength goal is to be able to do a pull-up, but I've got a ways to go before I get there. For now I'm going to continue having a goal of 3 strength workouts per week, whether that's free weights, BBWW, 7-minute workout, or whatever else my brain can devise to work my upper and lower body to build overall strength. A: 3 workouts/wk; B: 2 workouts/wk; C: 1 workout/wk Balance [Pingheng] (DEX +3): For balance, I have begun learning the Chen Old Frame Tai Chi routine. It's just a video, unfortunately, and nothing like learning from a Sifu in person, but at least it's something. So far I have completed three of the lessons, and there are 20 total. By the end of the six weeks, my goal is to go through and learn all of the lessons and be done with the entire video. A: 17 lessons completed; B: 14 lessons completed; C: 11 lessons completed Discipline [Yueshu] (CON +1, WIS +1): I need a strong daily food tracking habit, because I have a habit of letting little things sneak up on me and pretending they don't matter, when they really do. I've proven that I can fast regularly, now I need to keep myself accountable for what I eat and when I eat it, because the awareness is sometimes all it takes to make a big difference. I will also try to record something of my thoughts and impressions if there is something strong attached to the intake in order to be more fully aware. A: 90%+ of days tracked; B: 80%+ of days tracked, C: 70%+ of days tracked Finding the Path [Dao] (+1 CHA): By the end of six weeks, I want to take my first paid martial arts class in the style and at the dojo of my choice. My first stop will be the Kung Fu studio about 20 minutes north of me. If, for whatever reason, it doesn't work or doesn't sit well, I will branch out and try the next most interesting option. ------------------- Onward toward the end of 2014! =)
  19. Styx

    Padawan Training

    Hey monks! I am finally back at NF, and I guess it's a great time to start another challenge. My last challenge (which was with the scouts), I was not able to get back to because of a really tight schedule Although I was not able to document that challenge, I was able to finish it on my own. This time, I really am decided to finish and document til the end. Because of my recent fascination with the Darth Bane series and a recent acquisition of the Jedi manual, I have decided to make my challenge, Jedi themed. PILLAR 1. THE FORCE There is no emotion, there is peace. Goal 1: Practice handstands. Handstands have been really a skill that I wanted to learn. So for this challenge, I'll do my best to establish a routine for handstand practice. I guess I'll start from wallcrawls. Practice handstands at least 5mins a day, at least 5days per week.Goal 2: Learn to do meditate. To be honest, I have no idea how I'm going to do this, but meditation really piqued my interest. I'd love to have some help from you guys to figure this one out. If not meditation, I'll do yoga instead. (Isn't it a form of meditation?) PILLAR 2. KNOWLEDGE There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. Goal 1: STUDY! Even though I'm going on a break from school, I have decided to review my past lessons and subjects to ready myself for my internship. Study at least an hour a day, at least 5 days per week.Goal 2. BRAIN TRAIN! Recently, I have downloaded this app (elevate) in ]my tablet that claims that it can train my brain! I don't know how real this thing is, but I've researched some articles and studies that say that brain training is really possible so, I guess I'm doing it! Brain train everyday!PILLAR 3. SELF-DISCIPLINE There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. Goal 1: Drills! Recently, I joined an Eskrima (Filipino Martial Arts) class. And I enjoyed it immensely! Too bad, I'm going on a break, and the school is too far from home. But I won't let this hinder my training. With my eskrima drills, I will incorporate my muay thai and boxing drills. Practice drills on striking, footwork, and blocking at least 6 days per week. Goal 2: Strength! I have been doing bodyweight workouts and progressions that I plan to continue. Do strength training at least 3 days per week.Goal 3: Cardio! Since I'm returning home, I'll be together with my bike again! Of course, running will always be in my routine This will also mean I'll be back on the pool! Bike, swim, or run on my off days! THAT'S IT FOR MY 6 weeks! OH MY GOD, I WENT FULL NERD ON THIS!
  20. So, I attended my first martial arts class since childhood on Monday, and I had a really great time. It's something I've wanted to do for many years, and now that I actually can, I am definitely going to start going regularly to something--whether it's the Hung Gar Kung Fu school that I attended Monday (and am going back to tonight!) or another school/style. I asked these questions in my challenge thread, but I thought they might get a bit more visibility here: 1) How do you best recover from a hard training session? 2) Is it normal to still feel the work in some of your joints and muscles two days later? 3) Any tips (diet, rest, stretching, etc?) for making sure you're able to give everything you've got in every session?
  21. Example of a good challenge format: Introduction: Hi I am Wyrmmaster/MadScientist and this is my first challenge. My life cycles from periods where I am very physical to periods where I am very lazy. I am a quester by nature, and I just won't work out or achieve anything if it isn't a "quest". After 22 years in the military and 4 years as an armed contractor, I am struggling to fit into the kind of life that everyone else is used too. After spending half my adult life out of a rucksack, I struggle with "mundain" things like children and house payments. My family deserves better than my current attitude. The great military Dungeon Master is just not going to issue out quests for me anymore. That's not my families fault. So, I am going to have to skill myself up. I am transitioning from nerd-soldier to nerd-superhero AND super-dad. That means mixed martial arts (every super hero has to be able to fight), Parkour (every super hero needs to be able to move through/around obstacles), Strength Training (For just about every emergency), functional fitness (can't get tired in an emergency) and practical shooting (until someone gives me a real batarang, I'll go more punisher than batman for weapons training). Basically, if my dad had these hobbies, I would think he was cool as F**k. Main Quest: Become a well rounded martial artist/tracur/practical shooter with minimum injuries, expense, or family away time. Quest 1: BJJ Blue Belt Step 1: Get my first white belt stripe. (two out of three classes a week minimum) Reward: A = +1 Con, B = +.5Con, C = +0.25Con Quest 2: Work harder to get back my upper body strength (3 full routines a week), recover from injuries on lower body (two full routines a week). Reward: A = +1 Str, B = +.5 Str, C = +0.25 Str Quest 3: One hour practical/tactical airsoft per week. Reward: A = +1 Dex, B = +.5 Dex, C = +0.25 Dex Life Quest: Spend time with my kids (outside the house) doing what THEY want to do. (at least two hours per week) Reward: A = +1 CHA, B = +.5 CHA, C = +0.25 CHA Motivation: I want to enjoy life while acting responsibly (I tend to do one or the other). Subtasks: 1-Provide for and protect my wife and children (above all other activity) 2-Prepare my kids to be a productive members of society (Education, Physical Fitness, Moral Courage, Emotional Resilience, Strong Work Ethic, Self Defense) 3-Channel my narcissism into positive/functional activity that benefits of my family instead of just myself 4-Limit my hedonism to what is necessary to enjoy life, and no more 5-Face my angst with regards to insignificance, cowardice and survivors guilt. (more than 10 years at war, 30 months in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo, not a single sustained fire fight, less than 10 days outside the wire. I was a total FOBBIT)
  22. Never thought I'd end up as a belligerent tavern-dwelling NPC. Time to unleash the cool rogue it is inside. Main Quest +STAMINA: 5k under 30min. Broke all the rules and did a mini 4 week challenge before this cause I just couldn't wait. For my first real challenge the goal is to run that 5k under 30 min. My current time is 40 min. Here is the plan. Starting out at 4.5mph, I will increase speed by .4mph every week until week 4 when I reach 6mph, then play it by ear from there. Side Quest 1 +CONSTITUTION: Keep doing physio exercises everyday. Following a program like this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgIhzlp474A and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpxGJjx_Ovw per my PT. Can't really tell if my back hurts less. But I can feel my posture is way better. Also my gut actually stays in place when I run instead of flopping all about. Side Quest 2 +STAMINA +DEXTERITY: Quadrupedal Gallops and Footwork Getting pretty fast at Bear Crawls. If my wrist stops swelling I'll try doing QM gallops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7iHtOosxZo For footwork I'll practice 4x30s each of Quarter Turns https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3rSHB7lSR4 and Side-Steps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wY0HYR7ROCc As a Berserker I got my ass handed to me half the time and it sucked. Not during, but the week after when the booze and adrenaline wears off and you are all swollen. Basic Quadrupedal Movement and 5 Basic Boxing Movements My heart says yes but my wrist says FU! No plyometrics on my wrist, just can't handle that shit. I'll continue my bear crawls and add pike crawls [lateral, forward and backwards]. Minimum of 46 reps each per training day [every other day] to build muscle memory. As for the evasive footwork I think I'm getting ahead of myself. My balance is kinda wonky so I'm gonna start out fresh with the 5 moves in this noob video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cB4Uhpmvps&index=2&list=PLYhbuLiV970FgBaztRzhNQDsiQSfB9Uoc 23 reps each everyday. Side Quest 3 +STRENGTH: Babby's 1st Pull up. I got about halfway throught the NF how to do a pull up finally article, then I got stuck. I figure I got 6 weeks to get unstuck. This quest will also require some weight loss. Currently on lvl 2 body weight rows. http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2011/04/25/do-a-pull-up/ Life Quest +INT: Add a portfolio piece every week outside of work. I found I haven't been drawing enough outside of freelancing and my part time gig. Make that not at all. Once my current project is over in January I'll need a brand spanking new portfolio. Maybe I'll go to a cafe to work because being in my apt is very distracting. The goal is to have 6 new pieces by the time the challenge is over. Motivation: I want to get to a baseline fitness level and blow off some nervous energy. Also get a degree-related job finally and start my career already. But mostly its because I want to look good and have money to buy cluthes and video games. So...vanity and greed? Yup.
  23. So, I was gonna post some music today that had a very Chariots of Fire kinda feel, but decided against it because I friggin' can't stand Chariots of Fire. Let's rock instead: This challenge could alternately have been called "Kishi Learns to Doubt His Doubts," or "Kishi Slowly But Surely Goes Out of His Mind." I took stock of myself this past challenge and determined that I'm pretty much on the way to having a lot of my physical issues resolved. My epic quest is also taken care of - barring catastrophe, I will be running in Fenway Park with the Boston Nerds, as I set out to do at the beginning of the year. But the truth is, this body will only go so far as the mind will allow it to. I've been looking at the things I've been saying about myself, as it pertains to my life, and also looking at the life I lead. And there is dissonance. The truth is, I've done/am doing some incredible things with myself. Who learns how to go without food for 24 hours twice in a week? Who learns to run barefoot for miles where there is glass, and who persists in doing such when it's clear that this is a strange thing that violates the social contract? Who wakes up and immediately belts out striking combos? Who finds ways to pass from strength failure through it, to find more reps and to find more challenge? A badass, that's who. It's time I started believing that about myself. But I can't think my way into that. The mind does not have the power to independently think its way into anything. It only has the power to desire change. If I'm going to wash my brain into something else, then I have to use the power of habit. And also, I just don't like the life I'm living. I don't like being poor as I am, and I don't like feeling like I'm unworthy of romancing/being romanced, and I don't like having so many half-baked novels. I just don't like it. So, I'mma start some new processes and see what happens. Process 1: Write Like It's My Job These first processes are about changing myself professionally. I recently saw a man begin his final approach into management at Panera. It took him 3 years. I am not patient enough to put up with this crap for that long. So, I'mma begin by writing. I've already begun to retool the novel I was sending out to you guys by rebuilding it from the ground up using the Snowflake method. It's looking better already. I need to keep applying this, which means one of three things: completing a step of the planwriting 250+ wordsposting writing up somewhereOr any combination of the above. Process 2: System 9 System 9 is a fitness professional marketing system devised by Bedros Keuillian. He's a big-time marketing guru in the field of fitness, sworn by by many of the names that I respect. But the system won't work if I don't work. There are many modules/lectures for me to undertake. I could try to do it all and fail... or, I could undertake just one per week. If I find something immediately applicable in one week, then the following week I will work to apply it. Process 3: Improve My Social Skills So, I wanna get better at talking to girls, ultimately with the idea of asking them out. Most of the advice I've seen has been about how one presents oneself, which means money and such, and I don't have that right now. I'm working to address that now so that I'll be ready, but in the meantime I need to improve something else. Fortunately, Nerd Fitness even has a guide for that. To kickstart this process, I will complete Level 1: I am a funny dude. I don't mind living my life genuinely in front of others, and spinning it in such a way that it makes people laugh.I am kind. If I see someone struggling, I don't mind speaking up to make things easier for them. Sometimes all people need is to know that they aren't struggling alone.I am genuine. I don't have to force myself to be good - I'm a good person, down to my bones. (not perfect, really, this is no humblebrag, but I am good nevertheless).I am strong. No, really. I don't look like much, but when people need help moving their heavy sh!t, I'm usually at the top of the list. And I deliver.And now having completed that, it's time to manage Level 2: the Drive-by Compliment. Play the game and earn 16+ points per week. No Life Goal Because let's face it. These are all about the life I wanna lead. An extra life goal would just be superfluous. And, naturally, I'll be posting workouts and stuff here as well. I'll try to get out and say hello to everyone too, but we've gotten kinna popular lately and the schedule makes that hard as is. If I'm gonna go to work on my life, I can't imagine it gets any easier. So, t-minus 4 days and counting...
  24. “Waves of blue and green clash and blend as Omega awakens from his slumber. Omega is leaning against the tree as his vision clears as a large oak tree comes into view shading him from the scorching sun and blue sky. Omega gazes upon his body in horror and confusion that he is covered by the trees roots. He frees an arm and rips his earth covering off. Omega wonders how long he has been in deep sleep. He stands in the warmth of the sun in despair with the revelation that his body has lost its wonder of youth and his mind has been lost with time. With his body deteriorated and mind covered by a strange fog Omega must now quest to regain what he has lost†Introduction Hey guys! It has been two long years since the last time I posted anything here. Two years ago I lost close to 100lbs using the basic body workout, running, and the paleo diet. Well I went through a dark depression and quit the forms, working out, and eating healthy. I have gained all my weight, plus some, back and now it is time to get back at it! I am 24, 5'9 and 330lbs and I am ready to be healthy. I am a manager at Gamestop and I am working on obtaining my teaching license, which I will have in November!! My basic outline is to set up routines this 6 weeks. Main Quest My quest is simple: To become the hero my Ladyfriend to be proud of! I want to be under 300 by the end of the 6 weeks! To do this I am going to start jogging/running/walking, basic body workout, eating healthy, and to exercise my mind. I am determined to become healthy. My life is not my own! I want to become physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy. Better than ever before Quest Log Quest #1 - Healthy Eating at the homestead - I am going to be doing the paleo eating lifestyle. By the end of the 6 weeks I want to be doing a 90% paleo diet. I will only be keeping brown rice (in small quantities). I have already cut sweet tea and sodas out and drinking only water. I’m also lactose intolerant so I don't consume dairy. I am going to start an eating journal to track all my meals to keep myself accountable. Quest #2 - Running for my life - I want to get in the routine of running three times a week. Honestly it is hard for me to complete even a mile right now. I want to build my walk/jog/sprint up to 3 miles by the end of the 6 weeks and not be horribly out of breath! Quest #3 - Pumping the Iron - I want to start working out on the off days of running. I am going to be doing the Beginner Body Weight Workout. I have already started and want to continue to the end of the 6 weeks. Quest #4 - Delve into the depths of knowledge - I want to read through at least two books that will help with spiritual growth and ministry. I graduated college with a degree in English and another one in Biblical Studies. Since I've graduated I have essentially stopped all mental growth and it's time to dust off the books and get back at it. I want to not only be physically healthy but mentally and spiritually healthy as well. I don't have attributes posted for this six weeks because I want to be like an old throw back to RPGS. I have to complete the first trial to prove my worthiness to enter into one of the guilds and then my attributes will start.
  25. Yup. I got Shepherd Book. I've always liked Shepherd Book as a character. He strikes me as one of the few genuinely Christian characters in media - not a caricature or a propaganda piece, but someone who was deeply religious and has to wrestle with what that means from time to time. He prays for people who don't want to be prayed for, but more than that: he walks with them in the muddiness of their lives, and keeps trying to point back to something greater than himself. Also, the man can shoot, and he's not afraid to throw down when it's time. So, I have a theme for this challenge. What shall my three goals be? Goal 1: Twice Weekly Yoga The Shepherd's someone who can clearly still move well, even at his age. He fights, shoots, works, just like a regular member of the crew. It's a good example for me to strive after. I've found three yoga flows over at doyogawithme.com that are specifically tailored for trouble areas. All told, the whole time investment would be thirty minutes each session. I'd love to do more like go for a full-body SMR session, but that takes time, and right now I want to get back in the habit of doing some kind of regular maintenance routine. Goal 2: Follow Through The Shepherd learned to fight. Nobody really knows how. It's a part of his life he doesn't talk about very much. Fortunately, I'm there now. Keep on with the PUG. I'll have to find some other cool way to keep myself training afterward, though... Goal 3: "The important thing is the spices. A man can live on packaged food from here 'til Judgment Day if he's got enough rosemary." When Book first shows up on the show, he pays his way aboard the Serenity with strawberry and spices. This is a man who knows how to eat well. I need to figure that out my own self. The current program I follow only allows for one cheat meal per week. I'm not feeling deprived - I eat between 2300 and 2700 calories and easily go over 3000 on a busy day - but this is going to take some real grit on my part to compartmentalize and not let myself get side-tracked. LIFE GOAL: KEEP WRITING Book quotes poetry and scripture and is quite cultured. I bet if he'd had the time, he would have written a book... maybe... Anyway. Need to get back on those deadlines. One chapter per week. Here we go on another crazy adventure!
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