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As I looked back at my life, I realized that I had never really put in effort. Not just toward fitness, but toward anything. I had spent 24 years coasting through life on my cleverness. But not anymore. Not after what happened yesterday. I was sitting in my comfortable home in the village when I saw smoke rising in the distance. There was way too much smoke to be just a campfire. I started running. Forest fires are terrible things if they get out of hand, and it was up to everyone to do their part to prevent them. Unfortunately, I was terribly out of shape and was panting and had to slow down to a walk before long. I swore at myself. "If this is bad, it's your fault. If you could run further you might have been able to stop it." I hadn't even seen what was going on yet and already I was blaming myself. So I forced myself on as fast as I could, jogging when possible and walking when I was too tired. Once I covered the ground I saw that there seemed to be some kind of fight going on. A group of all kinds were fighting against a dragon. Despite their numbers, they kept being driven back. But no matter how many times they fell down they kept getting up. Some of them had grievous wounds and I was amazed at their perseverance. After I stood and stared for a while one of them noticed me. "We could use a little help, you know," the stranger said, with the slightest smile on his face, as if this were just another day. At this point I realized that I knew nothing that could help them. Faced with a life or death situation, I realized that my quick wit had absolutely no value. Filled with embarrassment that I was of no use whatsoever, I hung my head. I think the stranger knew what that meant, because he went back to fighting the dragon. Shortly after this, the beast was slain. Knowing basic first aid I tried to help tend to the wounded. I was amazed that despite the fact that I had done nothing to help these people seemed to accept and encourage me. After a short time the stranger approached me. "I'm so--" I started, but the stranger cut me off. "There's no need to apologize. Everyone starts somewhere. Just promise me one thing." "What's that?" "The next time you find us, come prepared." I nodded, and he walked away. The people were all leaving, most of their own accord. The ones who were having trouble were being supported by others. I was a truly inspiring site. When I got back to my village I learned that those were the fabled guilds. I had always thought that they were separate and that there was great competition between them but I learned that when it was necessary they would work together flawlessly, putting any and all animosity aside for the greater good. So today when I woke up, I started to develop a plan. A plan to get into shape. A plan to be able to both cover distance quickly and have the strength to fight afterward. Eventually I would pick which guild I wanted to join, but for now I just had to get started. But I had learned from others' mistakes: I knew I had to start slowly. So here, written down, is my plan. MAIN GOAL: Run a Tough Mudder A friend of mine is trying to convince me to sign up for one in September. I'll decide at the end of this challenge if I want to sign up for that one or wait a while before trying one. I'd also like to lose fat and gain muscle, but that will come with the training. The first thing to do is to stop poisoning myself. Diet Goal: Drink Less Soda Week 1,2: <=4 sodas/week Week 3,4: <= 3 sodas/week Week 5,6: <= 2 sodas/week The second thing I need to do is learn how to cover any distance. Fitness Goal: Ride My Bike Week 1: Ride my bike one-way (to or from work) once Week 2: Ride round-trip once Week 3,4: Ride round-trip once, and one-way once Week 5,6: Ride round-trip twice The third thing I need to do is gain speed, so I can cover the distance quicker. Fitness Goal: Sprint Week 1: Beep test Week 2,3: Sprint workout once Week 4,5: Sprint workout twice Week 6: Sprint workout twice + beep test Grading for all goals is the same: A for all 6 weeks on target B for 5 weeks on target C for 4 weeks on target Starting Stats (as of 4/16/14) Height: 5'7" Weight: 156.6 lbs. Neck: 15.125" Chest: 39.875" Waist: 34.5" Bicep: 12" Thigh: 21.5" As I looked over my plan, it seemed like it could work. Next time, I'll be ready.