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  1. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease and crooked spine causing all types of pain in my back, hip, legs, neck, and shoulders. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I maintain my spine and back muscles to slow down the advanced aging. I'm not planning to be playing rugby or football again in this lifetime, but I'm not giving up hope on the possibility either... Rebellions are built on HOPE! I'm just going to keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: Baze Malbus: Good luck! Chirrut Îmwe: I don't need luck! I have you! Any journey is difficult to navigate by yourself. Whether we want to admit it or not, no one can do everything by themselves. Sure, if you are lifting a weight, then you lift it with your arms. But you stay safe by having a spotter. You check your technique with a coach watching you. You push harder, because you have a coach pushing you. You recognize your achievements with your cheerleader routing you on. For your workouts, you surround yourself with people who will support you. Every aspect of life should reflect that. Why leave it to luck or chance when you can have a supporting cast to get you through? Sure, it is only you when it comes to deciding what goes into your body. But you have family and friends that you eat with who will also influence your decisions. The positive influences help us make healthy choices. The negative ones need to be weeded out or tuned out. Peer pressure when it comes to diet is crucial. Don't leave it to luck. Surround yourself with the right kind of support. Sure, it is your efforts which get you ahead in school or career, but just like a diet, you need to be aware of the individuals who would drag you down. Surround yourself with those who are going to build you up and help keep you on track. I'm looking at a job change right now. It is my decision to make. I want to stay with my current company. They trust me. They believe in me. They support me in my personal training. They are looking for the right contract opportunity for me to excel and develop while also being interesting and rewarding. They bring in the best and brightest, so they can do these things for everyone in the company. Switching companies would compromise that atmosphere. I trust them, but 4 weeks is a long time to wait. It could be 4 or 8 weeks longer. I may have an important decision to make next week to switch companies to get back to the work I was doing before, just on a different contract, or to stay with my current company and wait for the right opportunity. The biggest difficulty with staying is that I am risking that they could cut me loose at any time, like I was burned with my last company, who I thought I could trust. I was with them almost 5 years doing work which is a growth area for them, but they couldn't put me in a new spot. My current company is not fully invested in my line of work, which makes it difficult for them to find the right opportunity for me... it is a pickle. All the people I would want to talk to about this are all directly involved or influenced by my decision, so it is even harder to talk to them directly or at all about it. To help me make my decision, I am looking for my supporters. Recently, I reached out to several friends to see if there is opportunity outside of these two choices. I've reached out to my Toastmaster friends for support. And my immediate family is well aware of the situation. I have a few more stones to turn over for support. This site being one of them. So if you are reading this, don't wish me luck in my decision. Offer me some encouragement with your own experience as a reference. Don't leave it to luck or chance when you can have support. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 11 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 240 min total, 60 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 My leg is healing up, so walking is not going to count this challenge. I'm only counting super sweaty, heart rate elevated cardio. Need to keep it low impact. Gym membership is going to have to get put off until I can get there before work. I'm driving a friend to their work in the morning right now while their car gets fixed. Time to get the bike out to ride around before the sun comes up. Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 480 min total, 120 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 720 min total, 150 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 I have a belt test on 3/26 to move up to Purple Belt. They will let me test modified due to the back and leg injury. I'm debating just going all out for the test, because I really shouldn't be doing any of it. I have three stripes left to earn. Purple stripe is a review, which comes last and will include all the modified combinations, which are still painful because I can't modify the turn-back. Red stripe will be easy. It's just a step behind side kick board break which I've modified to an elbow. I should get that tonight. Yellow stripe is Taeguek 6, which I know a quarter of. I've only practiced once in class (last week). They really pushed combinations with us last month, but I don't know how I managed to go a whole month without doing form in class. I don't like having only a week to get it down. Modified for no kicks makes the footwork awkward too. I'll get it, because I'm going to put in the work through the pain. DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions, especially. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. I'm looking to continue to cut down on snacking and desserts after dinner. I need to ensure I have a calorie deficit or I won't continue to lose weight. CON +3 I'm on the Spring Mix salad kick this week and next. Red cabbage probably following that. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 300 Tasks or Projects, with at least 75 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (8), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (8), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (6), Charity Work (10), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (24), Reading (16), Church Work (8), Job Work (20), Business Projects (12), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (24), Other Chores (24), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (60), Home Renovation (6), Auto Maintenance (6), Family Activities (12), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($44 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 80 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 75 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour: write/plan/record a 2018 Extra Life Kickoff Video get involved in Extra Life Baltimore Guild (missed kick-off meeting and will miss Cecil Con) revisit Wizard Laser Tag (look into Recoil game app and tech) for Epic Nerd Camp draw up plan for Jedi website VHS-to-DVD conversion CONSEQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. $10 for each completed IJRS lesson. Need to get back to the formal training at IJRS. CONSEQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without working on a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE 4: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. REWARD 5: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: Life: $2 for healthy grocery shopping $2 for healthy meal prep $2 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. Workout: $5 for biking more than 20 min PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 151.5 lbs.
  2. Welcome to the exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It seems like forever ago that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Judging by my level, you might say I'm right! But level and experience mean nothing unless lessons learned are applied in your life. This website has given me practical knowledge in goal setting and planning. Throughout my life, I have been applying that knowledge. In my career, in my job, in my home life, in my Toastmasters training, in the gym, in my Jedi training, and even in my video games! Throughout the next few challenges, I plan to focus my Jedi lessons around this passage from Return of the Jedi where Obi-Wan says that quote: This challenge, I'll focus on the quote in bold by Obi-Wan Kenobi. In this part of the conversation, Obi-Wan plainly states that Luke cannot escape his "destiny". That word destiny implies a predetermined path laid out for Luke. That predetermined path is the ultimate struggle of good versus evil (light versus dark sides of the Force) in the Star Wars galaxy by being the son of Anakin Skywalker and being powerful in the Force. Being a Jedi and weilder of the light side of the Force, Luke cannot avoid his confrontation with the dark side, because it will hunt him down to either recruit him or destroy him. Since Luke cannot kill his own father, he decides there must be another way. He confronts Vader and the Emperor on his own terms by surrendering, then we all remember what happens. The lesson to take away from this quote is to confront your problems on your own terms. Do not let your problems chase you down or haunt your dreams. The dark side will find you. For Jedi, confronting the dark side is their destiny. It can be defeated with intitative, accountability, and honesty by taking ownership and being confident that a solution will be found. Doing so will give you an advantage over the obstacle and sometimes force the solution to appear one its own. That is what confronting something on your own terms means. Now, on to the CHALLENGE! My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. I'm changing things up for this challenge by eliminating all the Side Quest Goals. I'll still use the Excel spreadsheet and Battle Log, but I will not set any specific weight or rep goals. I am adding a new training technique and incorporating what I learn from the MAX Workouts eBooks I bought recently. The new training technique is a Complex workout where you move through a series of excerises without putting the weight down. MAX Workouts stresses power and intensity while working the whole body in one workout to achieve maximum fat burn and build lean muscle. I'm taking both concepts and combining them to something I call Combo Complexes. An example is Deadlift into a Bent-Over Row then a Squat into a Overhead Press, 10 reps each with the same weight. My plan is to eliminate the time consuming and boring cardio from my workout routine. I loathe running more than a mile. I'll do it on occassion, but I don't want to rely on it to keep my weight in check. My main quest with attribute points is below: FITNESS: Build STA +2, STR +2 and DEX +1 by conducting powerful and intense Weight Training for 20 minutes or more, three times a week. Schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (optional). FITNESS: Build STA +1, STR +1 and DEX +2 by conducting muscle recovery Training for 20 minutes or more, two times a week. Schedule is Wednesday, Friday, Saturday (optional), Sunday (optional). DIET: Build CON +2 by eating healthy 35 times or more, eating unhealthy 16 times or less and count their calories, drinking 200 fl oz of Dr Pepper or less, taking care of my skin and lips by applying moisturizer 80 times or more (twice daily), brushing (twice daily) and flossing (once daily) 120 times or more. LIFE: Build WIS +2 and CHA +2 by completing two Toastmaster Speeches, completing Lesson 4 of my High Performance Leadership project, and completing 2 IJRS Personal 101 lessons.I'm three lessons in to my High Performance Leadership manual, but I'm in the bulk of the work now inlesson 4, which I won't complete until May. I finished my second Competent Leadership manual and have only one speech left in my third Competent Communicator manual. I have 1 speech left for my Advanced Communicator manuals. I plan to do a Speechcraft training session for the 1 hour training session I need to do for my Advanced Communicator Gold, so I can earn my DTM. My Club Coach and Area Governor roles are going very well. Jedi Training is progressing. I'm hoping to finish the course this spring.
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