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  1. So... ...the thread to log this Padawan's workouts and progress toward the long-term fitness goals (along with weekly program changes). Long-term fitness goals 1. Be lighter (get down from 205 lbs to 180lbs | 93 kg to 82 kg) | STATUS: 87 kg 2. Be leaner (cut that gross belly) | STATUS: still there, but smaller 3. Be stronger (especially in the arms and chest) | STATUS: improvement, but going for more 4. Gain more sleep (at least 7 and half hours on average) | STATUS: still under 6.5 hrs per night on avg 5. Gain deeper endurance (come to a point where I can do a full chin-up in a row and run a half-marathon) | STATUS: still half chin-ups only; but ran a half-marathon (2:07) Typical workout week Sun: long run (over 10k) + strength training Mon: strength training + walking 6000+ steps Tue: active recovery day (walking 6000+ steps) Wed: HIIT/fartlek/hill running + walking Thu: strength training + walking 6000+ steps Fri: tempo run + walking (before sundown) Sat: 24-hours rest day (from sundown Fri to sundown Sat) + walking 6000+ steps after sundown Will post the first workout battle log soon. When I reach the long-term fitness goals, I will become a Jedi Knight, with a seat in the Jedi Council as a bonus (I won't complain about not being granted the rank of a Jedi Master like silly Anakin did).
  2. Hi Nerd Fitness tribe! I'm so glad something like this exists. I despise those fitness courses by conventional 90s-looking guys with shiny muscles and artificial smiles. That always looked superficial and repulsed me from the whole fitness culture. Thankfully, this is so much different. NF can actually reach nerds and geeks who detest physical activity and the dullness of its advocates. This is an achievement in itself. I will spread the word about NF to all the SF/Fantasy geeks I know. As for me, I'm still a padawan when it comes to working out. I have a bit more experience with running, but I'm completely new to strength training. And seeking information about it (how to start lifting weights) is how I actually ended up here. I created my free character, so you can check it out for more of my story. Interestingly enough, Mi Band 2 triggered a change of my habits. I have been eating healthy for 8 years now, but was still living a sedentary life all that time. Thank God, now it all changed. Keep it up, Steve and NF tribe. You rock!
  3. Welcome back for another episode of the exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 136 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). So what is my story? As I said, I've been here before. I kicked a lot of butt progressing through 22 challenges since 2012, until middle of 2015. After struggling to maintain a presence here through the first half of 2015, I struck out on my own as I had conquered many obstacles here, learned many lessons, and felt I was ready to implement a new accountability strategy for I had developed a strong supporting cast in real life to keep me accountable. Alas, a back injury and a "layoff" crumbled all my plans. I am recovered from both now, more or less. In October, I started a new job only three weeks after my old one ended. The growing pains are over and now I feel entrenched in my new world. In October and November, I took a lot of time off from fitness to allow my back to heal. In December, I started physical therapy to strengthen my back. I have occasional flare ups, but for the most part, I have my body functioning like its old self. Well, an out-of-shape and over-weight old self. Today, I am wrapping up my last physical therapy session. It is like I am back at square one, or Level 1 for my character here. But it is not like my character died and I have a new one. My knowledge and experience is retained. Instead of hitting the reset button, I'll jump to World 2 complete with new challenges and obstacles. Old foes may come back, but they will require new techniques to defeat them. I am still a Jedi in training, learning from the old masters, unlearning what I have learned, practicing the new techniques, and improving daily. Challenge Lesson: "No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try." -Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back One of the most quoted (or misquoted) lines from Star Wars, it seems that everyone knows this line and what Yoda is saying. Training can not be tried. It is not an odd looking potato salad which your friend brought to your cook out. "I've never seen raisins in a potato salad, but I'll give it a try!" If you are training like that right now, you are likely also wondering why you fail to reach your goals. Training is something you DO. You've probably heard the phrase "Commitment is the road to success". Doing something with the mentality that you will succeed is a step towards committing to it. Trying something with the mentality that you may or may not succeed is a great way to miss your mark. Yoda tells us if trying is our mentality, then you might as well pack it in and go find something else to do. If you've seen the 1984 film "The Karate Kid", then you may be familiar with Mr. Miyagi saying these lines: “Man walk on road. Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk down middle, sooner or later, get squished just like grape. Here, Karate same thing. You karate do "yes," or karate do "no." You karate do "guess so," just like grape.” Miyagi teaches the same lesson to Daniel Russo with a great analogy towards Karate training. It is as if I grew up with this lesson beaten into my skull, as Nike athletic shoe brand's marketing slogan was "Just Do It." Whether you prefer Yoda, Miyagi, or Nike, I think we can all agree that doing will beat trying every day of the week. There are other interpretations of Yoda's famous lesson, where some discuss duality and others discuss causality, but for today I'll stick with just the training metaphor as it applies to where I am in my training. I find myself, as a Jedi Ranger, sampling all the trades and skills, overburdening myself to be a Jack-of-all-trades, but not being able to fully commit to any one thing. As a Jedi Ranger, my personal philosophy is to be a "Master-of-all-Trades" through balance and diversity. Below is a writing I did back in 2012, which I cleaned up a bit today. Diversity and balance go hand in hand. A Jedi seeks balance. To acquire balance a Jedi must be diverse. The Aptitude Maxim of my personal Jedi trainging says a Jedi needs to be highly proficient in many skills mentally and physically. Balance and diversity. A Jedi must taste all the flavors of the Jedi path in order to achieve balance within their own unique path. Being skilled in combat does not make a Jedi. Being sensitive and knowledgeable in the Force does not make a Jedi. Knowing the Philosophy, Maxims/Truisms, and the Code does not make a Jedi. Only being a student of all walks of the Jedi path can someone find balance and be a Jedi. If one is a student of all walks of the Jedi path, then does that not make their overall goal to be a "Master-of-all-Trades"? Master of one trade or "Jack of all Trades" are just not enough to prepare a Jedi properly. This is what the Aptitude Maxim is about. Of course, "Master-of-all-Trades" in a lifetime is impossible. A lifetime is hardly enough time to truly master any one skill, never mind all (even something as simple as walking and talking). But that does not mean it still should not be a Jedi's goal. With "Master-of-all-Trades" as my personal goal, when I come across something new, even if I'm not particularly interested in it, I pick it up, try it out. If it sparks more interest, then I continue with it as daily or weekly study until I master it (I DO it), then opt for monthly practice or study for maintenance. If my interest is not piqued at the time, then I decide to come back to it at another time storing up the information and my experience. It is not useful to force study on yourself towards a subject which does not interest you. Deciding to master the trades we are good at or the ones which interest us first does not negate the "Master-of-all-Trades" goal. Interest in other areas will grow with time in which case we can return to a subject we have stored. Of course, everyone has a specialty, but that only comes with where you begin to learn. At the age of 24, I had solidified my specialty in Electrical Engineering and Electromagnetics in Microstrip Patch Array Antenna Design. With many years ahead of me, I made it a professional goal to become proficient in other antenna types to make myself a bigger asset to my company and our customers. Three years later my extracurricular studies paid off allowing me the ability to transfer to another division within the company when business dwindled and cuts needed to be made. Specialties aren't just professional. We have hobbies and other interests which can become specialties. We follow our interests early in life to find these specialties. If a Jedi is diverse, then their interests will delve into other areas as life goes on. It is this "Master-of-all-Trades" goal which lead me to the online Jedi community to branch out my Jedi training and it is what lead me to NerdFitness, as well. It will continue to lead me to new and unusual places, like Pokémon Go catching them all. Like I said, "Master-of-all-Trades" is a goal, but not necessarily an achievable one. Realistically, you can’t learn everything, because life has its limitations, but you can damn well do everything in your power to get as close as you can. It is the mentality which is important. Strive for the unreachable and what you do reach will be outstanding. Aim for the sky and you will soar, but aim for the farthest star and who knows how much further you can go. When applying this goal, it is important not to stretch yourself too thin as to never master anything. Know your limitations and use proper time management to schedule your studies to optimize your time and energy. Diversify yourself and balance all aspects of life. You only get one shot at life so get the most out of it. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 4 Challenge: FITNESS: Work Up a Sweat - 320 minutes of conditioning training for the entire challenge. DEX +2, STA +2 The weekly plan is 60 minutes of racquetball on Friday and two 10 minute fast walks or runs. Fast walks can be replaced by jogging, swimming, biking, or rowing (haven't done since my injury, but may be ready to test) depending on what I feel like doing. Stretch and Strengthen - 440 minutes of exercises and stretches for the entire challenge. STR +2, DEX +1 The weekly plan includes 10 minutes of regular stretching each day, two 20 minute sessions of physical therapy exercises (therapist or gym) and 20 minutes of other strength training each week. DIET: Weight Control - Lose 4 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 170 lbs. Get measurements to compare to last year. CON +3 I'm starting at 165 lbs as of today. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 12 Tasks or Projects from any of the following areas: Toastmasters, Webmaster, Jedi Training, Work, House Work, Home Renovation, Auto Maintenance, Family Activities (to keep it diverse, no more than 3 from any one category) WIS +3, CHA +2 I seem to always have a lot on my plate these days with a bunch of started-but-not-finished projects and tasks, then other stuff lingering for me to crack open, but I keep putting off because of what I already have. I need to get some check-completes and build momentum for other projects. Less procrastinating and more doing.
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