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  1. Okay, so in addition to having a thing for dragons I'm a fan of Star Wars and the Jedi. With my first two challenges I earned my name as a padawan and began to remember the path I was starting to follow years ago that began to lead to health and increased ability. Now, it is time to get serious. It is time to become a master of the force. The teachings of the force masters have left us three codes to follow: Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me. There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force. Flowing through all, there is balance There is no peace without a passion to create There is no passion without peace to guide Knowledge stagnates without the strength to act Power blinds without the serenity to see There is freedom in life There is purpose in death The Force is all things and I am the Force In the book The Jedi PATH it is written that there are three pillars of training: The Force Knowledge Self-discipline Therefore, the structure of this challenge is going be around these pillars of training. Now, to the substance of this challenge. This is about passion, rediscovering what truly drives and empowers me. This is the first lesson of the Sith: We are not emotionless beings. Our passions are an intrinsic part of our identities. Therefore, I need to get in better touch with my own passions. The aspects of my life and practice that drive me to do do the things I do. For Week 0 the only thing I will be focusing on is reconnecting with those passions. So this is a time for meditation, reflection, and thought. Starting with week 1 the tasks shall be as follows: The Force Task 1: Continue with the Black Ribbon (not scored) Task 2: Meditation, min 10 minutes daily Knowledge Read a verse from the Tao Te Ching daily and reflect on how to apply the teaching to my life. Self-Discipline Task 1: The Diet -- M-F Breakfast is a protein shake with an optional freggie. Lunch is a protein bar with an optional freggie. Dinner is a regular meal NO ALCOHOL!!! Up to two snacks can be allowed as long as they are freggie or lean meat. -- Sat, Sun Eat normally but try to keep alcohol and sugar to minimum Task 2: Training Like a Jedi Tai Chi twice a day, morning and evening Yoga prior to bed (the custom routine that was written for me last challenge) Office Yoga whenever possible When time allows practice this routine: http://darebee.com/workouts/ronin-workout.html modified for single handed saber. Grading will be as previous challenges. 20 points each day 1 point for task or subtask M-F for each of the 3 pillars of the Jedi converted to a percentage of total possible points. Mon 31 Oct is not going to be counted as part of the challenge as it's both a personal and religious holiday for me. Grading Scale 100-92% = A 91-84% = B 83-76% = C 75-70% = D Below 70% = F So I didn't bother to score week 0 and yesterday was not counted (Holiday, Wedding Anniversary, Religious Holiday) therefore no weekly summary quite yet.
  2. Actually, one of our business trips in March just got cancelled, so I'll be coming home this Tuesday night, and I'm only gone from the 11th to the 21st. (Dallas and Atlanta.) I'll be home for 15 days out of 26 for this challenge, which is better than I'd been expecting, but still, modest goals! "Nearly every day" is a minimum of 20 out of 26, but half credit for at least 15. (22=A, 20=B, 18=C, 15=D) 1) FITNESS ACTIVITY - nearly every day. [20xp] I'll be doing a lot of bodyweight based training, because I can't bring the kettlebells to Dallas and Atlanta. (We're flying, and we need our whole baggage allowance for the books we're selling.) While I am home, kettlebelling and running in the woods are top priority fitness activities. REVISED VERSION: I like spreading things out through the day, but it is easy to convince myself I've been "super active" when I've done a grand total of 20 pushups. So, given that, I'm writing up a list of what counts as one point, with a goal of getting 5 (or 10) points. Old version: 2) RESPONSIBLE ADULT MEALS - twice a day, nearly every day. [20xp] I should be able to eat reasonably healthy for two meals a day. My "Responsible Adult Meals" are based on the guidelines from Precision Nutrition that I mentioned last challenge. For now I'm going to focus on the veggies and protein, and be mindful of carbs and fat but not strictly limit them. 4-8oz meat (~1c. 4 eggs. or MORE THAN 30g other protein.) (Target: "two palm-sized portions" ~40-60g protein.) 2c of loosely packed veggies (2x for fluffy greens, x1/2 for cooked greens or solid packed stuff) A reasonable amount of carbs. (Target: "two handfuls", 40-60g carbs, 1-2c grains.) A reasonable amount of fat. If the meat or carbs aren't fatty, add 1-2oz nuts or cheese. (Target: 15-25g) For reference, I'd say an unreasonable amount of carbs is more than twice the target amount. I don't generally go crazy with fat, so as long as I can plausibly call it a "responsible adult meal" I'd say I'm okay. 3) HYDRATION - 2L water, nearly every day. [20xp] This shouldn't be a problem. I'd been having a hard time of this, basically toting a 1L water bottle around everywhere but not actually drinking much. My new plan is refilling two to four 500mL water bottles with my "weasel-ade", and just chugging one of those twice in the morning and twice in the evening. LIFE QUEST: DAILY CHECK-IN & TO-DO LIST [20xp] This'll be really important during the days we are home, but since I'll be doing some daily tracking anyway, I might as well have some kind of daily to-do list. At minimum, I need to: Look at the calendar in the evening, and note anything relevant. Check-in with Raven in the evening. Tell him my plans, ask about any tasks. Check off my progress on my goals during the day. SIDE QUESTS: Continue tracking sleep, nearly every day [5xp] Post kettlebell form-check videos [5xp] Run with the dog nearly every day I am home (10/15 days) [5xp] Post a progress photo [5xp] PREVIOUS CHALLENGES: 1. Weasel Gets Things Done Nov-Dec 2015 More protein, veggies, and whole grains (B+). Sleep Routine (A). "Primal Fitness Blueprint" (A++). Laundry! (A++). Order of the Stick (Success!) 2. Return of the Weasel : Consistency! Jan 2016 Handstands (A), Kettlebells - Pavel's "Simple & Sinister" (A-), Daily Routine (A), Ukulele! © 3. Weasel Takes this Show on the Road! Feb 2016 Continue Simple & Sinister kettlebell routine. (D. Injury.) Track sleep schedule (A). Make a diet plan (A). Write on spirituality blog. (F)
  3. Better late than never. I missed week 1, but hopefully I can still meet these goals by the end. A little bit about me, Jeff, before I dive into my Level Up character. I am 26, just out of law school and a recent new-resident of Manhattan. Fan of Star Wars, comics (Marvel+Batman), TMNT, video games, and all things nerdy. Also big NBA and NFL fanatic. I work long hours at a firm here in the city, but try to find time (usually in the mornings) to stay active and mentally sane. My wife and I food prep every week to save money and eat healthy. We are both running the SPARTAN TRIFECTA this year in honor and memory of a friend that passed away suddenly last year (more info on this if you want it). Other than that fitness goal, I want to take more time to myself, recommit to drawing and sketching, and also pay off the debt that comes along with higher education. So here are my goals for this challenge: Strength: 50 consecutive Burpees Headspace: Meditate 15 days Thriftiness: Pay off $2,000 credit card debt Creativity: 15 Sketches And here is my character description I wrote up for Level Up My Life (I am trying to work this philosophy and creative writing approach into a journaling technique, but haven't started that project yet): Level 1: Jeff was just a humble kid growing up on a tiny forest world. He flew off to Tempe to study at the Sun Devil temple before finding adventure on the swamp planet of Nola. He achieved small levels of success, but also faced terrible failures. Eventually, he regained his strength and courage, moved to the city-covered planet of Manhattan, and began his life as an ordinary lawyer in an ordinary interplanetary law firm. Like other young heroes, ours struggled with the feeling that he was meant for more than the life he had been given. He was impatient and spent his days searching for instant gratification and only finding disappointment. However, just as the prophecies had predicted, Jeff soon stumbled across the long-forgotten knowledge of the Force. Through his own unique leans, he studied the Force and uncovered the secrets of the Light…and the Dark. He understood the value of inner peace while recognizing the reality of life’s chaos. He knew that through passion, he would gain strength; through patience, he would gain knowledge; and through strength and knowledge, he would gain power. Unknown to those around him, Jeff was transformed. Although he continues to spend his days as an ordinary real estate attorney, Jeff has been reborn as ZeffKay. Away from prying eyes, the Force allows ZeffKay to do the things no one ever expected of Jeff: travel to far-off worlds, achieve professional prestige, accumulate great wealth, survive the most dangerous of adventures, and thrive where others might bow their heads. Armed with the power of the Force, our hero focuses on the journey, not the destination. ZeffKay devotes himself to the Force, improving his mind with its secrets and unleashing its power on his enemies, transforming with each completed quest.
  4. Okay. Still very new here (day 2) and not sure I'm doing this right. If not, lemme know and I'll fix it. I'm following the Stronglifts 5x5 program until I find something better to do but adding 1 kilo to each side of the bar each time because my local sports shop does not stock and cannot order 1.25 kilo plates. Progress will therefore be slower, but hopefully remain constant. I've managed to jump in two weeks before the next 6wc, if I read correctly but I see no reason to stop working out so I'll just keep going with this and see what I wanna do when the time comes. Right now I'm at Wednesday of week 3. I started from scratch so, as some say, I'm only using a fraction of my true power. Therefore my squat is still at 34k, bench press and chest press at 28k, standing barbell row is 36 and deadlift is 52k. I also managed to get biceps curls up to 15k adding 1k per time over 3 weeks or so, but that's more of a side quest. I've heard some say one should not do biceps curls, I'd like to know more about why. My diet is something else that needs some serious work. I should really write this down after my eating for the day is finished but I'm sat here now so I'll make an estimate and update tomorrow with any corrections. Breakfast @ 7:15 - microwaved scrambled eggs on 50/50 toast, two slices, dash of salt and pepper w/ ketchup and coffee, milk and two. 15 minute break at work @ c. 10:30 - cup of tea, milk and one. Lunch @ 12:15 - tuna mayo sandwich on 50/50 bread w/ spread, cup of tea, milk and one Dinner @ (probably) 18:30 - egg and bacon muffins and 'fancy sausages', orange and mango squash (no added sugar version) Also roughly two glasses of Dr. Pepper zero and probably at least one more tea or coffee later on. I know I need to try to stomp on the fizzy drinks and cut down or cut out the sugar with hot drinks. Looking back there's also no trace of green vegetables. A definite concern. Hmm. Plans going forward therefore include more vegetables and fewer fizzy drinks. Happily the shop where I work as a sandwich maker carries several products containing spinach. It sure worked for Popeye! Breaks at work usually include bacon and sausage breakfast rolls, sadly on white, but meat still good. I shall have to take some something spinach-packed for lunch. Finally, "Tagged as Sith!?" I hear you cry in dismay. Why, yes! In fact I believe many of you will join me on the so-called 'dark side'. Check my introduction for more details! However in summary any creed that focuses on strength and gains and breaking chains is a creed I can get behind!
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