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  1. Stagnation is Death Annals of a Bladesinger A haunting melody weaves its way through the quiet forest. An alien in her homeland with a mind touched by the hand of darkness, the elven wizard hones her dangerous dance, ever vigilant, ever mindful. She practices her art not just for the protection of her people, but to soothe her tormented soul with the meditative, otherworldly whistle of bladesong. Journey to Bladesinger Master 2020 Stats: STR 10 || DEX 11 || CON 11 || INT 15 || WIS 16 || CHA 12 2020 Level: Bladesinger Apprentice Goal Stats: STR 14 || DEX 17+ || CON 14 || INT 18+ || WIS 18+ || CHA 14 Goal Level: Bladesinger Master Bladesinger Apprentice - Trains under a Master. Must demonstrate above-average intelligence, and wisdom to be accepted into training for a wizard, must show some promise in dexterity to be accepted by a bladesinger master. STR 8 || DEX 10 || CON 8 || INT 14 || WIS 14 || CHA 8 Bladesinger Knight - Able to train and fight independently. Must demonstrate above-average mastery of dexterity, and very high intelligence, and wisdom. Strength, constitution, and charisma must be high enough as to not impede progress. STR 12 || DEX 14 || CON 12 || INT 16 || WIS 16 || CHA 11 Bladesinger Master - Can train an Apprentice. Demonstrates exceptional abilities in dexterity, intelligence, and wisdom. Above-average abilities in strength, constitution, and charisma are required to perform at this level. Goal Stats: STR 14 || DEX 17+ || CON 14 || INT 18+ || WIS 18+ || CHA 14 Bladesinger Leader - Can serve as leader to other Master roles. Demonstrates all the abilities of a Bladesinger Master, with higher charisma for leadership qualities. Goal Stats: STR 14 || DEX 17+ || CON 14 || INT 18+ || WIS 18+ || CHA 17 How to Level Scores based on max 20 system, current list only filled to requirements for mastery from current stats, does not include information prior to or past current and master stats Strength (STR) - Calisthenics and Iron STR 11: Plank 1min, 4x13 Pushups, 4x25 Crunches, 30/20 bodyweight squats, 2x20 tricep dips, 2x30 one-leg calf-raises STR 12: Plank 2min, 4x20 Pushups, 3x40 Crunches, 2x10 pistol squats, 2x40 tricept dips, 2x40 15lbs one-leg calf-raises STR 13: Plank 3min, 4x25 Pushups, 2x70 Crunches, 2x25 pistol spquats, 5 pull-ups, 5 chin-ups STR 14: 2 Muscle-ups, Plank 5min Dexterity (DEX) - Flexibility, Agility, Balance, Coordination DEX 12: Eagle pose, Warrior III, Hands flat on floor in waist bend, Baby Crow pose DEX 13: Front and side splits, Crow pose, complete NF Yoga DEX 14: Crane pose, Wall handstand (1min), 1 year of martial arts training DEX: 15: Flying crow pose, 8-angle pose, dragonfly pose, unassisted handstand (1min+) DEX 16: Level 5: Dophin Push Up Challenge DEX 17: Black belt in a martial art DEX 18: 3rd degree black belt in martial art AND first degree black belt is second martial art Constitution (CON) - Stamina, Endurance CON 12: Complete a 5k in under 45 min CON 13: Complete a 5k in under 35 min CON 14: Complete a 5 mile run in under 60 min CON 15: Complete a 10k run in under 60 min Intelligence (INT) - Academia and Language INT 16: Personal Trainer Cert AND Health Coach Cert INT 17: Complete a Master's Degree program AND reading intermediate reading level for 2 forgeign languages INT 18: Complete a PhD INT 19: Research published in 5+ academic journals INT 20: Research published in textbooks and taught in classrooms Wisdom (WIS) - Generativity, Activism, Social/Environmental Awareness +Be a founding member or leader in a non-profit organization +1 Teach a skill to at least 10 people (OR) mentor at least 10 people +Teach a college course +Create a college or arts scholarship fund +Convert >90% of Beauty, Cleaning, and Meal Prep products to reusable/recycleable/eco-friendly Charisma (CHA) - Leadership, Social, Performance, Confidence CHA 13: Perform a leading role in a community/unpaid show CHA 14: Perform as a supporting role in a paid performance (OR) direct a community show CHA 15: Perform as a leading role in a paid performance (OR) release a music album CHA 16: Publish best-seller (OR) 10k subs to a blog (OR) 100k subs to social CHA 17: Name recognition in performance world (OR) performance award (OR) 100k subs to personal blog (OR) 1mil subs to social
  2. Wow, what a journey we have been on, Dear Readers. The process all began in 2015, but we never know it at the time. I realized I was on some sort of soul journey in mid-2016, then really ramped up through 2017. By the beginning of the year in 2018, I had a name for this path. I can confirm: the past two years have been crucible-level intense. The name "nightmare of the soul" is apt. I even got cocky this time last year, celebrating my new vantage point. I think I might have even said something along the lines of: FOR THE RECORD: DO NOT DO THIS. This was ill-advised. Confession: I kept this attitude through most of the crap that came my way all last year. I don't think the attitude can be beaten out of me, because this year the Universe gave me every reason and opportunity to quit. It would have been easier, for certain, to stop. To take my wounds and call it all a good fight, but over. No. This new land will be mine, and yet I have no idea what it is or what it will look like. For all I know, it's a barren potato field that not even sheep will graze in. I have this vision of cresting a ridge only to see this notice tacked to a tree: There were brilliant moments this year. Real watershed events one after the other (full list) January I wrote a song it went in a tv movie! February I went to a philosophy rave; I went to a Philosophy group; I got a Fellowship to do philosophy all the time; I had a head injury that crippled me; and even through the sidewaysness of it all: the legal situation is a protracted mess that doesn't seem to get better the healing of the head injury is so slow I don't even recognize what I was before intellectually I still can't drive I haven't been to the gym since September. I managed to find my way through by feeling for the next centered thing: I founded a local Philosophy Roundtable I signed up people to vote, raised the roof, amplified messages for causes using my digital life to be active when I had no voice or mobility physically. I am the lead for Philosophers for Sustainability's Public Philosophy team I am a member of the Philosophers for Sustainability Outreach & Social Media team I developed a topic and presented it at a national-level (international?) conference I am presenting a piece on Authenticity, Connectedness, and Hope at the APAPhil Division Conference in Chicago (any Chicago Nerds who want to join the 5e D&D game that is going to happen, or who want to meet RealLivePhilosophers™ drop me a line! It's at the Palmer House Feb 26-29. I'll be in town on March 1, too, mostly because I want to see the Art Institute and because I present on Saturday afternoon, so I wanted extra recovery time). I took my writing to the Thesis Level, and my advisor now refers to it as The Book. I developed the conference presentation into a structure for a book and am working on the proposal and article for submission (see #Goals2020). And now we are here. 2020. I'm not certain how this last part of the Hero's Journey will play out, but I know I'm capable and up for the challenges, whatever they might happen to be. There's a cool lunar eclipse that just happened with the December new moon, and a solar eclipse that is happening at the new moon in January. This challenge is "between the eclipses," so to speak, and I think that has some nice poetry to it. I know that there is a lot of possibility and potential swirling about -- sort of a liquid electricity looking for a channel of expression as it seeks the ground. I think that any number of opportunities await; I have the chance to bring my new sense of self (attitude is everything!) to focus and claim my path forward. I am grateful that you have been part of this with me. I have no idea what I will grasp from the air. Have you guys read the Kingkiller series (by Patrick Rothfuss, first is Name of the Wind) yet? This feels like the moment in the second book, The Wise Man's Fear, when our hero has to go through the willow tree to get the Thing at the center. In ways, it's almost like starting all over again. Thanks for being part of my Fellowship. I can't wait to see what we get up to.
  3. I was recently taking a gander at the "Elements of Martial Arts". I thought it was really interesting that there use to be a traditional system used to represent the different Movements/Agents/Phases/Elements in Martial Arts. However, as I was looking into it I found there isn't a widely agreed idea of what the all the elements were. Depending on the culture, the number of elements used and the element types differ. There seemed to be at least three widely agree elements for each philosophy: Water - Flowing and redirection Fire - Fast movements and rapid attacks Earth - Slow and heavy, use of grabbing and sedation Then the rest of the elements differ from here: Metal - Rigid thrust attacks (Chinese Philosophy) Wood - Large and expansive, uses push-type attacks (Chinese Philosophy) Wind - Freedom and evasiveness (Japanese Philosophy) Void(ether) - Spontaneity and inventiveness. Act without thinking (Japanese Philosophy) What do you guys think about the element theory in martial arts? Do you guys think there is a different philosophy that better represents the elemental structure?
  4. *Trigger warning: this post contains imagery and concepts that can be disturbing to heavy lifters – calorie deficits, sets with more than five reps, and cultivating inner calm. Care – with the holidays doubling down on normal stress and getting settled into a routine after all the moving; self care is a priority this season. I’ll be yammering about daily care activities like meditation, quality sleep, and mobility; weekly chiropractic visits and the occasional leisurely smoke. There may be high handed criticism of the odd novel or two that I’m reading. Who can know? Cultivation (of the self) – instead of being an awkward synonym for self-development, chosen to allow an alliteration of c-words (okay, mostly that), I’ll be posting about my efforts to cultivate and explore some fledgling interests including dog training (I have a tiny dog with massive dreams), German practice, creative writing, and a non-fiction reading list that’s been kicking my butt lately with the move these past weeks. Wendler’s 5-3-1 is first on the list, but some fun historical criticism theology, and post-structuralist philosophy is in there too. Conditioning – short on time, as always, I’d barely managed to make room for main lifts + accessories this last month, but now with a more stable schedule, I’m chasing the golden snitch of conditioning again. Circuits, sprints and other non-warrior stuff will get talked about here; and any lucky followers get to hear me complain about it. Daily MFP logging (same username as here) with initial CI target of 2000/2200 gross for rest day/gym day, 200g of protein and <=100g carbs. A few parties are on the schedule and I’ll aim for moderation, but we all know it’ll be a caloric reenactment of the red wedding - I’m okay with that.
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