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  1. Whew! Where do I begin with how wild life has been lately? Some pretty major changes to our family dynamic (good changes but also difficult) have occurred recently, and I just haven't had the opportunity to be active here. However, I do have some goals I want to set for this challenge, and I hope those of you who have been patient with me will continue to be so. Also, I recently accepted a position as a Language Arts teacher at the same high school I graduated from 25 years ago. It feels surreal, but I am honored and eager to begin. Forgive me this introduction before I get to my goals: I recently joined a community called The Fifth Direction, which has reawakened my creative spirit. It is inspired by poet Robert Bly and the Mythopoetic movement. If you're not familiar with the Mythopoetic movement, fear not; I'll talk about it more in a later post. Short version: it seeks to view life through the lens of story, especially ancient stories (i.e. myths, folk tales, legends, etc.). I have really been exploring how my growing interest in poetry and myth impacts my own faith and spirituality. I was at first concerned that much of it would "debunk" it but instead have found that it has deepened it. Reading scripture through the lens of story and myth and reading stories and myths that are similar and, at times, very parallel to stories in scripture, has reminded me of the omnipresence of God's Spirit in all things. I am also writing poetry again. Robert Bly said that he was inspired by poet William Stafford to write a poem every morning, and eventually Bly published these poems in a book aptly titled Morning Poems. I plan to take similar inspiration and write a poem every day during this challenge, as well as read a poem every day (and share it here, of course). I have also transformed my morning "routine" into something more akin to a morning "ritual" that includes prayer, reading scripture and poetry and stories out loud, meditating and doing breath work. I have not done well recently with my nutrition. I think part of the issue is I have approached it more as a disciplined practice rather than a spiritual one. Fasting has deep spiritual roots and therefore should be meaningful and have reason beyond just "cutting calories." I plan to continue my workout routine, which includes three days of strength training, one day of sprints, three days to move slowly/play/rest. Which day for what is usually determined by life. So, my goals for this challenge: Write a poem of my own every day and read/share someone else's poem every day. Continue my morning ritual: scripture, meditation, breath work, etc. Fast from 7 pm to 11 am daily except on strength training days; also fast for 24 hours every Sunday and Wednesday (I may post later about why I chose those two days). And that's it. Short and sweet and simple. To the best of my ability, I plan to be here daily and hope to not only post but also visit many of your challenge post, as well. Thank you if you've sat with me this long. I hope you will continue to visit and feel welcome here.
  2. (Story Time) Leaving the Forest Valley Academy for Druids, to enter my own next quest... I started to notice the relief of no longer having a grade. However, noticing the viciousness in my last trials That instead of just a grade, my name of Bouncer could be harmed. Sharp blows I could barely handle with criticims in a place full of magic. The old ways back in the darkness, especially with the Golden-Eyed Curse of cravings is not the correct way to go. Where placing good habits was difficult on top of quieting down the old ones. I was out of the darkness, but the strong feeling I should do more but tired. Professor Jade came forward, reminding me of my celebrations. Not just a man being my professor, but also a mentor who keeps an eye on me with check ins. He saw my puzzlement through a conversation, where I finally asked him for guidance. "If you are willing Bouncer, it is time for you to go to the Regal Woodland. Just being able to enter can be a challenge, no less find your way back out. I believe that will help get you to where you need to go". I felt the magic coursing through me with confidence. I believed that it would be easy to get into the Regal Woodland, however surviving it would be something else. --- So a story to hopefully make the challenge a little easier. Little about me: Self-reflect I finally feel like I can do more, but man I'm my worst enemy. What has helped me say goodbye to depression, my classes and chronic stress pains? Mindfulness... yup sounds stupid to me also. So before I can hit my goals of weightloss, no less finding a job I can live off of (and actually enjoy). I need to lean into the "magic". Have to write this out to remind myself when I hate this tomorrow. So challenge GOALS: Meditation Journaling Budgeting Gut Health I find all of these to be stupid a bit difficult but needed, and there is a "good feel" along with "crazy amount of anxiety" with these. Upside all of these are to help curb the anxiety if I do it long enough! And whatever Meditation and Journaling -- I see someone weekly that helps give me guidance. Been told for years to practice, now leaning in. Budgeting -- Using YNAB, I have anxiety to work through feeling "but I want to SPEND!!!" Plus I tend to eat healthier when I'm intentional about my budget. Gut Health- I'm seeing a Naturopath and am SUPER behind on the next step for gut health. Plus helps with my side effect of my hormones and birth control stuff. To add some fun, I'm adding a daily pic. I always love seeing people's posts, helps make people. Love to share with my favorite community.
  3. Level 1 Boto Scout Stats Weight: 206.8 lbs Height: 5'8" Neck: 15" Waist: 42" Hip: 42" Upper Arm: 15" Thigh: 27" Chest: 43" Calf: 16" Forearm: 12" Daily Workout (non-challenge) Swim between 2000 - 3000 yards / meters depending on pool Workout sessions are comprised of a mixed batch warm up, middle distance sets, drill sets, sprint sets, and a cool down and typically last between 45 - 90 minutes. 6/7/2013 Workout Current Challenge Progress Goals Nutrition: Maintain a Veg-Centric Omnivore diet with as little processed food as possible, locally and sustainably for myself and for the environment. Fitness: Reclaim the ability to do almost anything. Life: Get out of debt; Travel anywhere, everywhere; Earn Master's Degree Thank you to wesb1898, Jonsey, and Kibcy for formatting ideas.
  4. WORLD AT WAR AERI'S WAR FOR MASTERY Among the very particular things you must know before setting off to follow the path of an Apprentice of Intent; one who cultivates power, the art of seeing and mastery of the will, is exactly what makes a warrior. The Way of the Warrior A warrior thinks of his death when things become unclear. His ultimate weapon is the power of decision, as a master of his choices, executing them at his best, living strategically. Prepared for battle, gear carefully selected, every struggle is a warrior's last battle on earth. 'We are luminous beings,' that much you've heard. But it doesn't end here. There are ally and enemy forces in this world, and all can be turned. In order to conquer each of these forces a fearsome battle must be fought. When you least expect it, with or without your knowledge, you will be facing that which you thought your ally in one last stand. Enemies turned to allies, allies to enemies, to be defied and defeated only by those who will it, those who fight on and yet see. The ultimate goal of an Apprentice of Intent is to become a Lord of Knowledge. For that, one must develop unbending intent, and as a warrior, challenge and defeat one's four natural enemies: Fear, Clarity, Power, and Old Age. ______________________________ STORY INDEX Origins I: Dreaming Origins II: Forces Origins III: Planning Origins IV: Restart The Messenger The Trials The First Enemy The Rematch Meeting The Master ______________________________ EPIC QUEST LIST Woken by unseen forces, Aeri plots to bring about a revolution in the old ways and build a new world; she shall soon be known as: "The Light Bringer" . . . Beginning her journey as an apprentice, the first task given to her is to make contact with fellow newbies, seasoned warriors, and elders; set a line of communication and always take notes of progress and details of undertakings. It is through the ups and downs of each battle that one can improve tactics and scale them for winning the war. Below are the areas that must be covered to come out a victor in the war for mastery. It is a long list, I warn ye. Specifics for each quest can be seen in my Character Page, they will be updated as they come up for pursuit. Tales of major battles in the War for Mastery will be posted in this very thread. Whereas minor battles, result summaries and upgrades will be posted in my Battle Log. For bearing with the long scroll, thank you, - Aeri
  5. THE SILVER ARCHER Chapter 4: The Fire Within My father touched my shoulder reassuringly as I pushed against the massive oaken door of the scriptorium. The cavernous room was shrouded in dusty pink evening light, with one shaft of golden sunlight streaming through the high window, softly illuminating the shelves of parchments, meandering across the stone pillars and the red banners hanging from the ceiling. At its end, sitting quietly in the pool of of light, was the Elder - the powerful old man who led the island community's rebellion against the mainland, both politically and spiritually. My heart beat faster when I saw him. The first time he had captured me, he had worn a looping red garment hung around his lean chest and shoulders; but tonight he wore a simple white tunic over his short pants, emphasizing the pure whiteness of his hair; and he was barefoot. He did not look up as I softly walked into the room. "Come in, Sky Elvenword," he said, his formerly harsh voice lowered to a throaty grumble. "I know you're there." I took a deep breath and squared my shoulders, stepping partway into the scriptorium. "I've come for my Bow, Elder." "I know you have." He looked up and closed his book briskly, his intensely blue eyes almost glowing in the dim light. "Congratulations on defeating your nemesis once again. Your powers have advanced significantly since the last time you met him - many years in my future, of course." I shifted my feet, feeling uncomfortably chilly under his penetrating gaze. "Sir, my mission was to find out why you and your people are rebelling against the mainland, and if I could, to resolve the conflict. The Dark Elf has preyed on the grievances of your culture to stir up hatred and anger in your hearts. It is my hope that his banishment to the underworld will allow you to resolve your differences peacefully." The Elder's mouth twisted into a wry smile and he shook his head slowly. "Young troublemaker, you are not one of us and you do not understand us. The power of Caranthir Aranwas only enhanced the anger we already carry in our hearts toward our oppressors. His death means less to us than it does to you. Your mission is of a different kind than ours - you serve the King with peace and love and healing, but we cannot afford to love or be at peace with our enemies. We must have war." Intuition stirred in my heart and I moved closer to the old man, reaching out toward him. "Sir, the King does not want war among His people - He wants all of us to fight together, against the Dark Elf and his dark masters. Hatred and anger are not His way." Though the Elder must have known what I was doing, he did not move or take his eyes off mine as I stretched out my hand and gently placed it on his forehead, praying for the King's healing power to rise and fill his mind. But instead of the familiar sweet warmth flowing from my fingertips, a hostile power forced its way back down my arms for the second time that day - something hot, that filled my insides with a burning and an acrid stench. I gasped out loud and tore my hand away; but the heat and pain increased, searing the inside of my body as I fell to my knees, as if a fire were raging inside me. "This is the third of the four life-wounds you must carry, Sky Elvenword," the Elder's voice echoed in my ears as I wrapped my bandaged arms around my burning torso. "Each of them has a purpose, and each of them will be glorified by the King at the end of this age. The first was the scar-galaxy on your arm, where the blood of the Dark Elf splashed across it - this is your fear of the future and your fear of failure. The second was the gash across your forehead, dealt by Tobias the hobbit - this is your fear of others and their words. This is the third, the burning - it is your anger, your feelings of betrayal and loss. But the burning will be glorified, Sky Elvenword - this fire will be purified into a glorious light that illuminates all of your doubts about your identity and your purpose. This is the fire that will drive you homeward to the Undying Lands." The heat was so intense that I could not even cry; but it slowly receded, leaving a deep, shuddering sickness in its place. I hung low to the ground, gasping and choking on the smoky stench, as the old man continued: "And the fourth wound is inside you even now - it is the shard. When you attacked the Dark Elf earlier today, you did so, not to glorify the King, but to prove your own power and strength. Because of this, when he forced his powers inside you, they bonded with your own, creating a tiny shard of glassy ice deep inside your heart. From this day on, whenever you use your powers to bring glory or comfort to yourself, that shard will prick you on the inside and you will bleed." He paused. "The shard cannot be glorified. But one day, it will be removed." I felt brittle and charred as I slowly sat back on my knees and looked hazily up at the old man. He was still the same belligerent, husky warrior I had met that morning; but the fading sun touched his white hair with a sort of glow as he prophesied. I moved my parched lips to form words: "Who are you?" A hint of a smile flickered across his face. "I am the Elder," he said simply. "I make war, and I wound and kill, and I light fires in the hearts of young warriors. Even though I must expel you from my country so I may continue to fight my battles, I am glad I was chosen to light this fire inside you. You and I are different, Sky; but we will travel together to the Undying Lands one day." He turned to open a secret compartment in the heavy table and pulled out my bow and quiver, which he pressed gently into my hands. I dared to look up into his eyes once more. They were still frighteningly blue, but a bit warmer, like the ocean that lay between the island and the temple. He reached out to touch my face. "Great hardships and deep questions await you in the next part of your journey, young troublemaker," he said quietly. "Your future is uncertain to me; I do not know how long you will be in this world, or where you will go when you return to your home. Each of these four scars will continue to pain you and hinder you as you grow stronger and closer to becoming a Protector. But as you partake of the King's Vial and learn from His people, these scars will become ornaments, through which the King's brightest light can shine." I slowly stumbled to my feet and lifted my bow and quiver to my throbbing shoulders. As I turned to walk slowly out the door, he added: "And whether in this time or your own, if you ever need a purpose and a flag to fight for, there is always a place for you in my army."
  6. Howdy Rangers! This will be my third challenge with the Rangers. For those of you who didn't follow my first challenge, this challenge will be written a little differently than most. The majority of the posts in this challenge comprise a story, written in-character by Ranger Five. In character posts will be in green. These posts make up the story. I'll be writing about a zombie apocalypse setting, with a lot of inspiration from Zombies, Run! the app, but my own plotline. So don't worry about spoilers outside the first mission. If I've done my job, you won't be able to tell what's from the app and what's not unless you go through the app's story yourself. Most of what I use from Zombies, Run! will be characters and the basic premise, not the story itself.The story began in Chapter 1: Rebel Five Outruns Zombies, continued in Chapter 2: Rebel Five Seeks Answers, and this is the third chapter. However, the previous challenges have a lot of words in them, so for people who weren't following along with it, I've written the story so far for you.The Story So Far: Cast of Characters: Ranger Five: Our protagonist. Hails from Mullins Military Base. Major de Santa: Leader of Abel Township. Samuel Yao: Radio operator. Runner Seven: Head of Runners. Ranger Nine: Head of Rangers. Monk Two: Head of Monks. Has been giving Five fighting lessons. Emily: Head of IT. Janine Myers: Formerly Abel's doctor. Turned traitor at the end of Chapter 2. Currently at large. Louis: Works for Janine's mysterious employer or colleague. Henchman. Now that we know the narrative, let's look at the goals for this month: Goal 1: Lift weights at the gym up to thrice per week, using the Stronglifts program. (Exception in Week 1, where I can only make it to the gym once) Minimum: 6 workouts. Solid: 8 workouts. Great: 9 workouts. Excellent: 10 workouts. Goal 2: Run up to three times per week. Minimum: 6 runs. Solid: 8 runs. Great: 10 runs. Excellent: 12 runs. Nothing new here. I'm dialing my running back to thrice a week to prevent further injury. I'll run 5 km thrice a week (two slow, one fast) for Week 0-2, then I'll up the slow runs to 6 km for the remainder of the challenge. Goal 1 remains unchanged except for my scheduling issue; why mess with something that's working. Goal 3: Stretch up to three times per week. Minimum: 6 sessions. Solid: 8 sessions. Great: 10 sessions. Excellent: 12 sessions. I've been neglecting my stretching recently, and there's no excuse for that. If I can't do it at the gym due to time constraints, I can do it before I run, after I run, or at any other point in the day. Three sessions a week is a good start. Goal 4: Write up to three story posts per week. Minimum: 6 posts. Solid: 8 posts. Great: 10 posts. Excellent: 12 posts. Due to my injury, I got out of the habit of a solid Tues/Thurs/Sat schedule for writing story posts last challenge. I'd like to get back to it; there's quite a bit I'd like to write about this month. The plot's continuing to heat up, so I need to keep the posts coming! Scoring system: Minimum = 1 point. Solid = 2 points. Great = 3 points. Excellent = 4 points. 8 points or higher, all minimums met: Minor reward, worth up to $30. 12 points or higher, all minimums met: Major reward, worth up to $100. The first story post, explaining Chapter 3's title, should be up tomorrow.
  7. Hello Rangers! I still need to post the recap to my first challenge, but the new challenge went up faster than I expected, so I decided to put mine up sooner rather than later. This will be my second challenge with the Rangers. For those of you who didn't follow my first challenge, this challenge will be written a little differently than most. The majority of the posts in this challenge comprise a story, written in-character by Ranger Five. In character posts will be in green. These posts make up the story. I'll be writing about a zombie apocalypse setting, with a lot of inspiration from Zombies, Run! the app, but my own plotline. So don't worry about spoilers outside the first mission. If I've done my job, you won't be able to tell what's from the app and what's not unless you go through the app's story yourself. Most of what I use from Zombies, Run! will be characters and the basic premise, not the story itself. The story began in Chapter 1: Rebel Five Outruns Zombies, and this is the second chapter. However, the previous challenge has a lot of words in it, so for people who weren't following along with it, I've written the story so far for you. The Story So Far: Now that we know the narrative, let's look at the goals for this month: Goal 1: Lift weights at the gym up to thrice per week, using the Stronglifts program. Minimum: 6 workouts. Solid: 8 workouts. Great: 10 workouts. Excellent: 12 workouts. Goal 2: Run up to four times per week, according to my schedule. Minimum: 9 runs. Solid: 11 runs. Great: 13 runs. Excellent: 15 runs. Goal 3: Keep up with my uni schedule. Minimum and above: All assignments done on time, all marked assignments passed. Solid: All work caught up at the end of the challenge. Great: All work caught up on at the end of each week. Excellent: All work caught up on at the end of each day. (1 off day per week permitted) Minimum: 1 point. Solid: 2 points. Great: 3 points. Excellent: 4 points. 6 points (Solid average), all minimums met: Minor reward, worth up to $30. 9 points (Great average), all minimums met: Major reward, worth up to $100. I also have some objectives, in terms of what I want to achieve physically during the challenge. These won't be graded, since I'm grading myself on process rather than results. But they will give me an idea of how well my training's increased my strength at the end of the month. 5x5 Squat goal: 57.5 kg -> 70 kg 5x5 Bench goal: 40 kg -> 50 kg 5x5 Row goal: 37.5 kg -> 45 kg 5x5 OHP goal: 32.5 kg -> 37.5 kg 1x5 Deadlift: 75 kg -> 90 kg Bodyweight: 63 kg -> 65 kg (+/- 0.5 kg) I'll be keeping my running goals for the month secret, since those goals will end up defining Ranger Five's mission at the end of the challenge. For those who weren't following along with my first challenge, at the end of each challenge, I assign a mission to Ranger Five. Last challenge, it was to rescue a survivor from the red zom. The catch is that success in this mission is tied to my real-world running performance. I set a goal for myself (26:00 5k last challenge) and Ranger Five only succeeds if I do. If I fail, so does Five, and the story goes in a different direction. I'd say that just about sums it up! Ranger Five's first story post should go up tomorrow.
  8. Well, last challenge went swimmingly. Let's try that again. NightWatcher felt herself shaken awake. She jerked up, nearly braining herself on the overhang of the shallow cave she'd taken refuge in, and saw a young face dressed in the clothing style she remembered from the future. Her first thought was that she'd been caught and she reached for her sword, only to remember it wasn't there anymore. The man placed a hand over her mouth and held a finger to his own lips. "I'm a friend of The Doctor's, he sent me to help you. Hi!" Watcher let herself breathe again. "Hi?" She replied, her mind slowly arranging itself back into order. She remembered stealing the clothes and the satchel from a store, leaving the village and picking up some food on her way before finding this cave around noon the next day. She still felt bad about the clothes. "Where is The Doctor? When will he be back?" The young man laughed. "Well, that's a funny question. He'll be here in about 6 weeks, I'll be where he is in about 5 minutes of my time." As he said this, he reached for her hand. "Oh, mind if I say how lovely your fur is?" Watcher gave him a sideways glance as he fastened some kind of device onto her wrist and quickly put the hat back on her head. "Now, listen closely - the TARDIS dropped you off here, we don't know why, but this watch will bring you back here in 4 weeks of your time, about 6 weeks into the future now. Might be a bit off, it's not the most graceful travel device, but it'll get you close enough." "4 weeks? What do I do until then?" The man chuckled, taking the bag off of her shoulder and couching it under his arm. "You won't be here, or... now, I guess. There's someone we were told to send you to who might be able to help get you ready for what's coming, and well, since you'd be waiting a while anyways, we figured we'd use this to get you there quicker." He pushed a button. "See you in 4 weeks, I'll buy you a drink then." "But wha..." NightWatcher's words cut themselves off when she blinked and the cave, the man and the forest all disappeared, leaving a village in her view instead. People walked, led horses, goats and camels, and seemed to take no notice of her, even in her strange clothes - these were desert people, from the middle east, and a man in white robes with a wide belt and hood was walking up to her. "Ah good, I see you've come with nothing. This was how I started my journey too. Come with me." NightWatcher hesitated, then stood up, making sure the hat stayed where it was on her head. The man in the hood smiled, only his mouth showing. "My name is Altair, and you're in Masyaf, my home city. We're to make sure you're ready." With that, he lead her up a hill toward what looked like a castle. NW equipment stats - No armor, no weapon, no pouch. +1 blend hat This challenge is going to focus on basics so that (hopefully soon) I can build off of those; I wound up taking some time off, but time to get back on the horse that threw me. Last challenge had improvements in all areas except running, but none of them quite hit the marks so this will be similar to last challenge. Main Quest: Reclaiming the health bar Side quest 1 - Food prep. Make meals ahead for work (most likely Sunday or Monday night), and fill pint jars with salad that just needs dressing. 1 jar of each/lunch. Avoid eating out still, allowed 1/week. Have something available with protein and extra calories for days where I burn more calories than I remembered to plan for, either a PB/banana shake or another small, easily available snack. Side quest 2 - Flee the Enemy - zombies, run! Couch 2 5K, 3x/week Side quest 3 - Solid to the core - bodyweight strength training. 2-3x/week, depending on how body feels (3 is a bonus). Pilates, yoga, or bodyweight workout all count toward this. Life Quest - Music to my soul - This is combining 2 goals, but one was pretty close to perfect last challenge and I don't want to lose that progress. Practice guitar 3x/week for at least a half hour, and daily read both a section of the Bible and Morning & Evening (Mom got it for me for Christmas, so far I've read about one in 5 entries.) So far this week - SQ1 - check SQ2 - none yet SQ3 - none yet Life - 1/guitar, 3/reading
  9. MJ's sticks his head out from behind the hulking shape of a tree and can see that there is no one for miles around, one large hoof at a time he moves away from the tree and away from every comfort he had in his life. As far as he was aware, he was the first Centaur to leave The Forest to set out on his own. This was the start of a new day and his new life, he was nervous but overwhelmingly excited for what laid ahead of him. He headed for the small road just ahead and he thinks back to what lead him to this. In The Forest, MJ had the pleasure of eating what he wanted, drinking what he wanted and damn well doing whatever it was that made him happy. But he began to realise, he was not happy. He enjoyed the activities and meals but he noticed he could no longer keep up with his friends and the rest of the Herd. Where he was once the proud leader during The Game, he had fallen behind and could no longer keep up and the Herd had noticed. At first it did not worry him, but as it dwelled on his mind he knew something had to change. *GOAL ALERT* - Lose 5kgs (11lbs) by the end of the challenge "I will head North." He thought. "There is a town 20 leagues North of the forest, as that is where the traders who come to The Forest looking for the Herds armour and bows are from." Head down looking at the road beneath his hooves he set out, walking, because he could no longer trot for any large length of time. *GOAL ONE* - Walk for at least 10 minutes daily 3 STA - 24+ Days 2 STA - 15 - 23 Days 1 STA - 10 - 14 Days After a few hours of walking down the road he started to get thirsty and went to his pack to pull out some Sweet Forest Apple Cider. But he remembered this was part of the problem. He had grown accustomed to drinking the sugary nectar of the forest that rather than being a treat, it had become a daily drink. He also had the foresight to not include any on his journey. He knelt down to the river that was running adjacent to the road sipped until he had had his share and filled his flask full of the fresh running water. *GOAL TWO* - Drink more water daily 3 CON - 3L per day - 24+ Days 2 CON - 2L per day - 15 - 23 Days 1 CON - 1L per day - 10 - 14 Days As dusk approached, MJ set up camp on the side of the road next to the river. Sitting by the fire he had created he felt worn out from the days travel but knew he should be doing something more to help him prepare for the coming adventure. He reflected on some teachings from when he was younger. His mentor Chiron had taught him a number of exercises that could be done with just his body alone to help his strength and flexibility. The longer he sat there, the more he remembered and once he was confident that he had recalled as much information as possibe, he pulled out his journal and wrote it all down. *GOAL THREE* - Body Weight Exercises and Yoga N.B - to achieve the 3 STR and 2 DEX the following must be completed with the adequate rest days in between - 12 days body weight exercises, 16 days of yoga. Failure to do so drops down to 2 STR and 1 DEX. 3 STR, 2 DEX - 3 days of body weight exercises, 4 days of yoga a week 2 STR, 1 DEX - 2 days of body weight exercises, 3 days of yoga a week 1 STR - 1 day of body weight exercises, 2 days of yoga a week Looking back on his first day of this new adventure and life, he knows he has mapped out the immediate future, but whether he sticks to it or not, that is the real test TL;DR - MJ - Centaur - Level 0 - | STR 0 | DEX 0 | STA 0 | CON 0 | WIS 0 | CHR 0 |
  10. If this rings a bell, you came to the right place Many years ago, pro wrestler-turned-mayor Mike Haggar took justice into his own meaty hands in order to save his kidnapped daughter Jessica with the help of Guy and Cody. Her kidnappers, the Mad Gear gang, were hoping to use their hostage as leverage to crack down on his attempt to eradicate crime. Instead, it resulted in the destruction of the city’s largest gang and organized crime syndicate, themselves. Prominent members of the gang managed to evade capture or bail out of prison, but the damage was already done. There was no way Mad Gear could become what it used to be. Still, some kept hoping and put in the effort. In their attempts, they literally woke up a sleeping giant. Hugo Andore, a 7’10”, 440lbs beast of a man used to be a member of Mad Gear. His defeat at the hands of fellow pro wrestler Mike Haggar sent him into a spiral of depression and self doubt, made worse by the collapse of the gang. Hugo disappeared and isolated himself, living in a trailer, until former members of Mad Gear came knocking on his door. Their bullying when they say his fallen state made him snap and after single handedly getting rid of the thugs, he decided to enter the Street Fighter tournament in order to prove his worth.
  11. Jazzy started as something hit her on the head. She wished she could say that she had been meditating —she was sitting in the correct position, after all; hands on her knees, legs folded in front of her, back… slouched, chin on chest— buuuuut, she had been asleep. Not even in a very comfortable position, either. Who slept like that? He, apparently. She never knew it would be possible. She shook her head, blonde bangs falling away from her face for a brief moment before falling back into their original place. Searching for the thing that hit her, she found a bottle on the ground in front of her. She reached for it, her stomach getting in the way of reaching the bottle that really wasn’t all that far away. She grunted as she tried again, her claws just barely scratching the shiny surface, making it roll a little farther away. “Oh come on you stupid piece of—.†She rolled backwards a little then forward, onto her knees for a brief moment as she grabbed the offending bottle, then plopped right back on to her bottom, tail just barely moving out of the way. “Aha! I win, you stupid bottle,†she muttered at the bottle, holding it up for inspection. Inside it was no liquid, but a letter. What could it be? Could someone be in trouble and need help? Could it be a long lot love letter? And how had it fallen out of the sky and hit her on the head? Especially considering she was in a room, and this room had a roof. Inspired by curiosity, she pulled at the cork, her nails catching in to and pulling it out. “Come ‘ere, come ‘ere, come ‘ere you.†She shook the bottle opening towards her palm until the letter fell out. It felt… warm? And not in the ‘been sitting in the sun for a while’ kind of warm, but a living warm. She was suddenly regretting her decision to open this bottle. Well, she was here, she might as well go through with it. What could she lose by opening a warm piece of paper? Slowly uncurling it, dread growing in her chest. A light began to shine from it as she continued to uncurl it, causing Jazzy to squint and turn away from it. The light engulfed her as the final crease smoothed out and her world was gone. ************* Once upon a time, Jazzy could move easily, hop around in her fox form, taking Halloween candy from children, or just plain run around in her human form. Once upon a time, Jazzy could do gymnastics to an extent. She’d never been a full gymnast, but she could do things. Now she has hardly any balance to claim as her own. She was lucky to stay up right most of the time. Once upon a time, Jazzy knew who she was and would go out and do things. She enjoyed herself and her clothes and being seen by other people. One upon a time, Jazzy was a camera whore, taking selfies (though she hates that term) of herself and with her friends while they did things. Now hardly any pictures make it out of her, not even in her cosplays. Sometimes she remembers those once-upon-a-time days with a tear in her eye. Those days before she fell into that deep rut and barely moved from the couch. Those days before she lost herself. Sometimes she wonders who she is now and where she went. What happened to loud mouth Jazzy? What happened to confident, in-your-face, shy-but-made-friends Jazzy? Where did she go, and why can’t she be found? The old Jazzy stirs inside the current Jazzy’s chest, screaming to be let out, begging to live again. She wants to live, this new Jazzy doesn’t want to be here anymore. It’s time to find and break out the old Jazzy, bring her back to the light. ************* The orange ear twitched on top of Jazzy’s head, causing her whole face to twitch. Sunlight baked down on her face. She rolled over, wanting to escape the torture of the sky ball. Unfortunately, she was met with a face full of morning dew. Dew? Where did dew come from?! There was no dew in her bed! She jumped to her knees. Or, tried to. More like she groaned and pushed herself up as quickly as she could, staring wide eyed at the grass beneath her. The serene air was broken by a scream, and it took Jazzy a few moments to realize it had been her that screamed. This wasn’t her house. This didn’t even look like her cement forest, the place she called home. Hell, it didn’t even look like the desert she enjoyed visiting from time to time. This was… this was a meadow. She didn’t even know where the nearest meadow was. Did meadows even still exist? She spun, landing on her bum as she stared around, wide eyed. She wasn’t in California anymore. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ Well, looks like I've decided to take another stab at the Nerd Fitness boards. I did three really good challenges, then fell apart, then stopped coming on all together. In the mean time, I've completed the big challenge I took upon myself and went 365 days without soda. It was tough and I've decided that I miss root beer too much to continue not having soda. I have, though, given, up Starbucks as of April 11. So here I am, rebooting myself and doing this again. I plan to rock it this time around! Long Term Quest: Lose 140 pounds Main Quest: Lose 10 pounds 1. Eat like the locals - I don't want to count calories, but my boyfriend is helping me to set up a proper way of eating. So my goal is breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. I have very specific, 100ish calorie snacks that I can have. My boyfriend prepares and serves dinner and we have breakfast and lunch already planned out. Do this every day. 2. Following the purple brick road - My new job is a little ways from my house and I don't have a car, so I take the bus home. But to get to the bus I have to walk 8 blocks, half of them up hill. It's quite the work out, especially in this heat. This will be done 5 days a week, unless the school is closed and I don't have to go to work, or I'm sick. (This goal had to be changed because I got a new position at a new school, so I don't have the walk to the bus stop anymore) Ride the bike for 30 minutes every day. 3. Journal - This one works in one of two ways, depending on time and how I'm feeling. Both options include checking in every day. The first option is just an update about the day, maybe food pictures of dinner (cause I love my boys hoe cooking. Mmmmm). The second option is to actually write about Jazzy on her adventure. I want to try to write as much as I can so I can prep for NaNoWriMo this year, since I haven't don't it in years. Life Quest - Learn pixel art so I can teach my kids at school about pixel art and how to apply it to perler beads and eventually to cross stitch. This one will not have point assigned to it, but I wanna put it in writing so that I can hold myself responsible. Grading - On a spread sheet, each day I complete correctly will obtain a 1. At the end, each goal that is above 90% will be a pass, below that will be a fail. Reward - I will finalize points for each at another point. And a final reward... I know! One of my last challenges, I bought myself a shirt that says 'Good girls go to heaven, Bad girls go to Hell with Dean' but I failed and I've never worn the shirt. This will be my reward! Stats: Beginning weight: 292.1 lbs Current weight: 292.1 lbs Ultimate Goal weight: 150 lbs Minis: +1 CHA |
  12. Sovellis groaned as he woke up on the hard stone floor of Noor's mountain hut. This wouldn't do. "First thing we need to work on is making a better bed. Stone is not kind to my poor spine," he grumbled, "and I'm guessing we're going to be out here for a while." Stretching the stiffness from his limbs, he got up and looked around. The giant cat was laying on top of Noor, and the dog, Dael, was laying on top of the cat. The sight made him smile. He tried prodding his friend, who appeared to still be asleep. No reaction. So strange, her skin really felt like stone. Sighing, he got dressed and headed out into the cool sunny day. If she was still asleep, he may as well explore a bit and get the lay of the land. <------<<< Okay, so finally getting this post up. I had some family stuff that needed to be taken care of, but now that's out of the way. Still kinda processing stuff, but I think I can finally move forward with the challenge. I've moved over to the assassins because I want to work more on dex based stuff like slacklining. I'm trying to keep going on the habits I've been building in previous challenges, re-trying a failed goal, and adding in some new goals. This challenge will be done partly in conjunction with my friend Noor (her challenge post can be found here: Breaking Stoneshape ) Anyways, here's my goals for this challenge! 1. No Taverns in the Wild Redeux (CON): A = 1 day or less of drinking a week B = 2 days of drinking a week C = 3 days of drinking a week F = more than 3 days 2. Nimble Hunter (DEX): A = 5 days or more a week doing slacklining or archery B = 4 days a week C = 3 days a week 3. Warrior Poet (CHA/INT): Write a limerick a day! A = 38 days B = 32 C = 28 4. Make Ishu Proud (STR/STA): Keep up the strength and cardio training! A = 38 days B = 32 C = 28
  13. Battle With a Demon Vs. Prologue: The Battle Begins Tigera stumbled into Div's office, clumsily shutting the door as she dropped her bag on the floor. "I think I'm losing," Tigera said without preamble. "It's getting stronger, I can tell." Ed the Demon smiled sadly at the sorceress-in-training. It, of course, had smoothly slid through the door before Tigera managed to close it. "Of course you're losing. I mean, look at you. How could you ever think you had a chance?" Div rose from behind her desk, glaring at Ed. "OUT," she said, waving her hand. The demon scowled, but slowly faded. Ghost-like, it blended with the background until Tigera could almost forget it was there. Almost. Div sat back in her chair, gesturing for Tigera to sit as well. The older woman (much much much older) was an elf. They made up the majority of the faculty at the Academy, largely because their ability to see demons made them uniquely suited to mentoring young spellcasters. Everyone had their own demons to deal with, but when you start using magic…well. Your demons become a bit more real. "I'm not strong enough," Tigera continued. "It starts talking and I can't make it shut up. And once I start letting it get in my head, I can't do anything. Magic gets hard, I just don't have the energy. I can't make it stop. I don't know what to do." "Please sit," Div said, motioning again to the chair in front of her desk. Tigera looked at the elf's face, then sat. "Now. You already know what strengthens it." "When I'm out of balance, yes. But--" "So to defeat it, you need to regain that balance. It's an essential part of magic." Div rose, moving to one of the shelves that lined the wall. "Every element of your life must work together. They must all combine to give you the peace of mind necessary to banish it forever." Div picked up a smooth black stone from the shelf and turned back to Tigera. "You want mental strength? Alright. That doesn't come from the mind alone. It also comes from the body." The elf sat back at her seat, placing the rock in front of Tigera. "Physical strength leads to mental strength. This--" she tapped the rock "--is part of a set of Balance Stones. Each stone tests one element of your life. You see the character inscribed in it?" Tigera nodded. "When you can make that character glow, your body will be adding strength to your mind instead of taking it away. The demon should be much weaker then, and we can move on to other ways to vanquish it fully." The elf sat back in her chair, dismissing Tigera for the time being. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Main Quest: Be happy Sub-Quest: Gain physical strength Goals: 1) Work out three times a week. At the moment, this will be the Recruit Workout. As the challenge progresses, I may move to a different bodyweight routine. 2) Walk an average of 10,000 steps per day (or a total of 70,000 steps per week). 3) Eat three balanced meals per day. This is an intentionally vague goal, because it has to be. The demon I’m struggling with is disordered eating (and mild depression, but that’s heavily tied together with the eating), so if I create rules for myself about the types of food I should/shouldn’t be eating it will likely lead to restriction. Same with setting calorie goals or tracking macros. So instead, I’ll just log several things a day: a. Binge: Y/N b. Restrict: Y/N c. Meals eaten: number d. General health of said meals: i. 0: Completely unhealthy. Probably a binge in meal form. ii. 1: Some good, some bad. Mixed. iii. 2: Great. Healthy food, but also enjoyable. Balance is the key, so it could even include a dessert if I haven’t been doing that a lot lately (that probably won’t happen at the beginning, as sugar is quite triggering for me). The tracking for this goal will be very subjective. But that’s because my main quest is related to mental health, not strictly physical. And, for me, eating is very problematic (much more so than exercise) so this is the best solution for me. Life Goal: Participate in the Honorable Order of Rebellious Appraising Yeomen as an apprentice. Goal is to complete my apprenticeship this challenge and become a Journeyman! I think this fits very well with the mental health theme of my challenge. *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* As Tigera walked back to her room on the north-most side of the Academy campus, she turned the stone over in her hand. Physical strength. That was something concrete. That was something she could do. It wasn't like the whispered taunts about her appearance or her friendships or her life that Ed made--she didn't know how to change those things, which was why the demon mocked her for them. But this...this she could do. As she walked back to her room, holding the stone in her hand like a talisman, Ed rematerialized behind her. The demon was fainter now than it had been in a long time. The battle had begun.
  14. STORY COMING SOON! -- I am so far behind on this it isn't funny, lol. I thought I had more time until this challenge started. Boy was I wrong. I'll get more pretty stuff on here soon. I hope. I'm going to be taking it kind of easy this challenge because I have an eczema rash on my chest and stomach and I'm trying to keep the sweaty-ness on the down low. Main Quest Lose 5 pounds Quests Evening Meal Eat under 2460 calories a day +2 CON +2 WIS Swab the Decks Attend c25k training every week and complete each session fully +1 CON +1 STR +2 DEX +2 STA Keep Away Scurvy Drink 32oz of water a day +1 STA +1 CON +2 CHA Life Quest Save $20 per paycheck +1 WIS Grading At the end of the challenge, I will take my total days completing each goal and divide it by the total days available to get my final grade on each goal. In order to pass the goal and get the points, I have to get at least 70% on that goal. These will be tracked through my spread sheet. Passing the challenge completely will be based on whether I'm trying all the way through to the end. If I give up at any time, I fail. Rewards 70%-79% - Maroon 5 CD 80-89% - Maroon 5 CD, Supernatural shirt 90%-100% - Maroon 5 CD, Supernatural Shirt, Cheshire Cat tattoo
  15. It had been rough going for a while, but Jazzy had survived. Barely, but she had. A terrible storm had arisen, tossing the ship around in its torment. It even went so far as to knock the fox demon off of the deck and into the churning waters. Luckily, being a fox demon allotted her the ability to change form and she stayed below the ragged waves in a form more suitable for the ocean. Once the storm had mostly passed, she pulled herself free of the water and back on to the ship. Above her, clouds still passed, but the sun was shining and she was drying out. There may be some rough patches ahead, but Jazzy was going to tough them out, there was no other option. No more giving up, no more slipping behind. She was on deck to stay. Until she beat the Captain and got her own ship, that is. --- So last challenge, I had a rough time of it. My depression hit me hard and knocked me on my ass. This challenge, I've decided to join the druids and focus on meditation to help with manage my depression. My main quest is still to lose weight and I will be actively working towards that, but a big focus is on meditation. Main Quest Lose 5 pounds Quests Swab the Decks -Ride the stationary bike at least 3x/wk for at least 30 minutes +2 STR Food Rations -Stick to 2000 calories per day +1 STA +1 CON +1 WIS Nightly Activity -Use the HeadSpace app for meditation daily +1 STA +1 CON +2 WIS +1 CHA Life Quests Jazzy's Log -Post an update to my challenge thread every other day +1 CHA Pay it Forward -Post to my CutLass crew's challenge threads at least once a week +1 CHA Free Time -Cross stitch when possible +1 STA Side Quest Every Pirate Needs a "Rum" Ration -32 Oz of water a day +1 STA +1 CON Grading At the end of the challenge, I will take my total days completing each goal and divide it by the total days available to get my final grade on each goal. In order to pass the goal and get the points, I have to get at least 80% on that goal. These will be tracked through my spread sheet. Passing the challenge completely will be based on whether I'm trying all the way through to the end. If I give up at any time, I fail. Rewards Will be worked out
  16. Jazzy could feel it coming. Maybe it was something in the air. Maybe it was something in the food. Maybe it was the way she sweat like a damn pig every time she tried to do something simple. Whatever it was (thought it was probably that last thing), she could feel change coming on. She'd started simple, used some help, and made it through. Barely, but barely counted in most places. This time was going to be different. This time she was going to kick ass all the way through. She sat up in her hammock and she could feel the conviction pouring off of her. She could... she could... She fell sideways in her hammock. She could feel that hard work was coming. No one said getting off this ship was going to be easy. Hell, hadn't Logan told her the first day she'd woken up in this stink hole that it was going to be hard? Getting out from the rule of Captain Gut, a man she hadn't even met yet, was going to be tough work. She could see so many of her fellow just... lounging. How in the world this ship kept afloat was beyond her with how lazy people were around here. But that was a completely different story. Right now she needed to focus on something else. Where was she? Oh right, hard work. It was going to be hard work getting off this ship. She would have to start with something. Something relatively small, but doable, and something that counted as something. Because that thought totally made sense, right? Hello, Jazzy? The Department of Redundancy Department called, they want their sentence back. She knew what she meant and that was what mattered. Now, where to start... where to start... -- Hello and welcome back to another entertaining (I hope) adventure on the sea aboard the good ship Paunch. Or not so good, really. Hopefully this installment will contain more interesting and attractive prose than the last one. But I'll forgive myself for that, seeing as I didn't decide to do the writing part until over half way through, I believe. Anyhow, let's get this party started! -- Challenge 2: Now Starts the Hard Work Main Goal To lose 5 pounds Quests -Ride stationary bike at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week +2 STR +1 DEX -Stick to 1810 calories a day +1 STA +1 CON +1 WIS -Drink at least 32 oz of water a day +1 STA +2 CON Life Quest Write at least 100 words a day +2 WIS +1 CHA Side Fitness Quest Attend yoga twice a week (this isn't a quest above because I'm taking yoga as a course at my college, so I thought that would be cheating, seeing as there's a grade riding on my attendance) +1 STR +1 DEX +1 STA Measurements Weight: 300lbs Height: 5'8" Other Goals No Soda PVP Grading At the end of the challenge, I will take my total days completing each goal and divide it by the total days available to get my final grade on each goal. In order to pass the goal and get the points, I have to get at least 80% on that goal. These will be tracked through my spread sheet. Passing the challenge completely will be based on whether I'm trying all the way through to the end. If I give up at any time, I fail. Mini Challenge 1: +1 WIS |
  17. Hello and welcome to the RPG Fanatics. This is a story-based accountability group with some pretty easy guidelines: 1) Main story is written in this red and in bold. 2) Your character writes in this blue italic. 3) Regular writing that is not in character (like right now) is in regular old black. 4) Follow the threads of people in this group to offer accountability. Don't know how to follow and check on people? Easy: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/50975-how-to-pm-and-follow/ 5) Have some damn fun! With that out of the way, the story so far...... --- Welcome to the World of NerdFitness Putting their trust in a raving lunatic named Teros, a ragtag group naming themselves the RPG Fanatics faced their first foe: Sodamus. Along the way, the group rescued others that aided their quest; most notably Sulak; a goat monster that was held captive and specializes in arcane gem crafting. Sodamus' minions were a goblin horde and were dispatched. Sodamus was a demon-king responsible for the rise in new peppy 'elixirs'. Lo and behold, it turns out the demon-king's concoction was made with his own filth extracted from boils on his back and mixed with a blend of dirty water and drugs known as 'sugar' and 'caffeine'. The RPG Fanatics slayed the beast, only to deal immediately afterwards with three agents of the FrostKing. His minions froze the town of level 1 rebels as well as causing much destruction and mayhem. Two allies; the ravens Huginn and Muninn, explained the situation that has befallen the heroes. There are major Demon-Kings that have crept up to control the realm, and it was now the RPG Fanatic's quest to end them all. Sodamus was just the beginning- starting a chain reaction. The heroes have the attention of the mysterious RED ONE, as well as the other Demon-kings. Our heroes trekked through the Scout's Plains up past the Ranger's Fort to the Warrior's Hall. There, the FrostKing's draugr minions of ice and bone clashed in an epic battle that saved the Warriors from overwhelming odds. Putting an end to the FrostKing was no easy task; being that he was the manifestation of being frozen in fear and inactivity. He was beheaded with some creative thinking, and the RPG Fanatics headed back south to help the Level 1 rebel town heal. After helping rebuild the level 1 town, the ravens spoke of another threat looming over the horizon: Distractia. The group enlisted the aid of others that rallied behind the core group of the RPG Fanatics. They made their way to Distractia's casino- a place filled with all sorts of addictions and distractions to keep people from realizing their full potential. Distractia was a different type of foe; enlisting the use of riddles, poison gas, killer mannequins, sorcery in neverending hallways, and his jester-minions. In the end, Distractia's death came by a dagger to the heart from a quick-acting hero in the group. Before his abrupt demise, he spoke lovingly of his 'Maru', which according to the picture framed by his piano was some sort of other demon-queen. The RPG Fanatics made their way out of Distractia's Casino and back to civilization; where we now are all caught up and the adventure begins again... The team (still organizing): 1) Teros http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51002-teros-x-spartan/#entry11279192) Clarys http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51474-clarys-gets-out-her-comfort-zone-08/3) MissRebecca http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51048-missrebecca-steady-as-she-goes/#entry11282944) Dark_Raider http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51109-dark-raider-the-heroic-domains-of-ysgard/#entry11288595) Tomas http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51419-tomas-ulfhedinn-starts-again/#entry1133675 6) ItsDaniel http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51070-itsdaniel-avenging-the-past/#entry11284517) Kareesh http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51136-kareesh-fights-for-her-health/#entry11292458) Kzacher http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/47555-kzacherlesoks-journal-to-defeat-demons/9) RedEagleSpirit http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51017-redeaglespiritpractice-makes-perfect/#entry112803510) T2SarahConnor http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51024-t2sarahconnor-move-that-junk-in-your-trunk/#entry1128092 11) ChristArtist http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/50996-christartist-prepares-for-campnf/#entry112787012) PeteFeet http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51256-petefeets-second-adventure/#entry113076713) Minion25 http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51023-minion25-finds-serenity/14) Phytomancer http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51574-phytomancer-and-the-shrines-of-viruna/15) Starsapart http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51022-%E2%99%AB-starsapart-dances-through-the-fire-%E2%99%AB/#entry1128086 16) Red1263 http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51856-red1263-meets-the-lunarian-king/#entry114223317) Hanksdottir http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51859-hanksdottir-takes-2-steps-back/#entry114239618) KingLeeroy http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51058-kingleeroys-resolve-face-challenge-9/#entry112834819) Geekilee http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51160-viscuras-power-begins-to-grow/20 )Ravnos http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51861-ravnos-7-the-ever-progressing-journey/#entry114246321) Kitbi12 http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/51482-kitbi12-in-the-friendly-village/#entry1134483 22) Edigo http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/52155-edigos-6th-challenge-movnomz-the-child-within/ -At Maximum Capacity Unless a previous RPG Fanatic missed joining in time-
  18. Continued from my Battle Log: “Fight me over drinks, then. Tell me your story and I’ll tell you mine.” The two men picked up the chairs and table, sitting down. Felgar appeared the next instant, holding two mugs which he placed in front of them. "My name is Skorri" began the dwarf, after gulping down some beer. "I hail from the Keep of Karak Azul, south of the World's Edge Mountains. It is the only southern Dwarfhold that hasn't fallen into Greenskin hands, a place of miners and metalworkers. My past is irrelevant, at least to you. What you need to know is that I follow the path of the Slayer. It's an ancient tradition of my race, for dwarves that have suffered great disgrace. Suicide is considered an even greater disgrace and it is against our nature to give less than our best effort in what we do, whether it's mining, crafting, brewing, drinking or fighting. So, dwarves like me, we shave our hair into a mohawk and dye it orange, along with our beards. We abandon all armor and protection, seeking an honourable death against a worthy foe as the means to redeem ourselves for what has befallen us. Most start as Troll Slayers, some go on to seek worthier foes and become Giant Slayers, while a select few advance to Daemon Slayers. It's a sick joke really, the mightiest are also the greatest failures, as they have failed to meet their purpose for so long. I'm probably one of them... I'd almost slain a Greater Daemon, when it disappeared back into the Warp and tossed me in this thrice-damned city. I came here hoping to find the mighty foe that would give me a hero's death, but once again, I failed." Raider listened, until the dwarf was done and began drinking more beer. "Your words answer many of the questions in my mind, Slayer" he began. "And I do not *know* whether you believe in fate or destiny, but it seems like I can help you. I am a Planeswalker, a traveller of the dimensions that make up the cosmos we live in. Some are nice, others are downright murderous. I seek a companion in my next journey and it seems you could be him. My next destination is the Heroic Domains of Ysgard, where the mighty gods of the Norse dwell, joined by their finest warriors who battle amonst themselves and defend their domains from the wicked frost giants. I intend to enter on the first layer, Ysgard, travel to the tracherous second layer of Muspelheim, the land of fire giants, then descend to the third, the caverns of Nidavellir, in order to visit the Forge-Cities of the Norse Dwarves. Join me and seek your glorious death against the mightiest of heroes there." Welcome to my second challenge! I hope you enjoyed the story and stick around for the incoming awesomeness. Main quest: Enjoy the summer and gather enough courage for the coming year. By enjoy, I mean do more than just lay around and occasionally go to the beach. At the same time, I don’t want to let go too much as far as my training and diet are concerned. So I guess the key word for this challenge is “Balance”. Quest 1: Never back down from a challenge. Ysgard is the land of heroic exploits and the biggest disgrace is to deny a challenge or back down from a duel. Since holidays will be involved, it’s impossible to set a SMART goal in a “train at least X times per week” format. Program will be unstable, so the goal by definition will be set too high or too low. “As much as I can” is not SMART either. So, my goal is to participate in every RPG Fanatics and Rangers challenge, every week, plus do some personal mini-quests I’ll set up for myself every week. Of course I’ll still be going to the gym, but that’s just not part of the quest. Rewards: +1 WIS for consistency and perserverance. Not my prime focus, plus most challenges have stat rewards anyway. Quest 2: Heroes’ feast. Fighting is not the only past-time activity in Ysgard. The heroes feast in great halls, singing songs of great deeds and mighty battles. For this quest, I’ll follow my 10-day diet plan twice. First is July 28 to August 6, second is August 7 to 17. After that, it’s no takeout or delivery until the end of the challenge. I’ll be hosting a visiting friend until the 25th, and then I’ll go out of town for holidays, my cousin’s wedding and his son’s baptism in Aug. 30 so I won’t have control over the cooking but I can at least try to eat healthy. No pork was too easy during the first challenge, so in order to make the goal more specific than just “eat healthy” I’m setting the bar to no takeout/delivery for that part of the challenge. Sounds easy, but let me remind you that I'll be not staying at my place, so the difficulty is greater that it would initially appear. Rewards: +5 CON. I really need to focus on this, especially the post-diet part so max points to motivate me. Quests 3: Swords, axes, hammers, spears, bows. They may be all weapons, but have different design, techniques, strengths and weaknesses. The ideal warrior should be master of all types. Just like not all weapons are swords, not all training is done by exercising. For this quest, I’ll have to do a different type of activity each week, unrelated to typical exercising. Long walks, running, playing football or basketball, cycling, whatever, I gotta do it. Also, since it’s summer, I’ll have to go and swim at least twice every week. Rewards: +1 STR, +1 DEX, +1 STA, +1 WIS. Physical improvement plus WIS for finding out different and fun ways to work out. Life Quest: No two battles are alike. Different terrain, numbers, morale, visibility, weather, a multitude of factors make each battle unique. Woe to the one who gets lazy in his comfort zone. So last challenge I had complete control but my social life suffered a bit. This one I’m pushing myself through exposure to situations of peer pressure and not that much control in my hands. Besides, last year’s stuff made me too busy and anyway old friends are hard to get around anymore, so gotta go out there and socialize with new people! For this quest, I must go out at least twice a week. At least one of those times, it has to be to a place I haven’t been before. Also, I have to meet at least one new person each week. The idea is to go out more and stop going to the same old places with the same old people doing and saying the same old things. Rewards: +2 WIS +3 CHA. Another priority quest. Bonus Quest: Earn Skorri’s respect This one is mostly to incorporate the small victories and losses, as well as take into account unexpected events. Positive points are awarded every time I complete the Neila Rey training linked to Skorri’s character or do something noteworthy that’s unrelated to my goals but I’m proud of (new PR, extra event like last challenge’s OutDoor Training etc). Negative points subtract from the overall score and are penalties for doing bad stuff outside my main quests (cancel a training, eat unhealthy stuff etc). As a bonus, I’ll be doing the Bezerker challenge and each time I make it, I’ll score a Bezerker Point. Those will affect the storyline and ultimately can change Skorri’s behavior in the end. Motivation: I need to get out of my shell and socialize, immediately. Other than that, I need to enjoy the summer holidays well enough to have power to make the coming work year but not too loose that I undo the training and diet progress made so far. Once again, welcome and thank you for following. One last note, expect plenty of Norse/Viking music on this thread, just to set the mood. Here's one to go with Skorri's tale and his ambition of a glorious death in combat. Visual reference for Skorri and for my character Progress tracking spreadsheet
  19. Drip. Drip. Drip. Jazzy twitched in her bed. There was no way it was morning already; she’d only just gone to bed! Drip. Drip. Drip. What in the world was that noise? It wasn’t her alarm clock; that had more of a bell sound than a drip. A loud groan shook the demon’s ear drums before literally shaking her from her bed. Her eyes shot open as her body toppled from her bed. “Oh god! An earthquake!†She scrabbled to her feet, her orange tail puffed out like a pom pom. Wood bit at her toes and nipped her finger tips, splinters catching the flesh. She paused. Something wasn’t right. She… she had carpet in her house, didn’t she? Grey carpet, to be exact. She looked down. This was definitely wood. And real wood, too, not that cheap linoleum that was made to look like hardwood flooring. But this wasn’t hardwood flooring, either. This was hardwood planking masquerading as hardwood flooring. Nothing fancy here. There was only one thing left to do in a situation like this: scream. And scream she did, with a bit of stumbling and falling backwards into the hammock she’d just fallen out of. “Hey, hey, hey, what’s all this noise?†a voice said from the darkness. Jazzy popped her head up, ears alert on the top of her head. “Ah. A new member. Welcome aboard the Paunch.†“Come out into the light!†Jazzy yelled, slowly trying to untangle herself from the hammock while keeping an eye in the direction of the voice. The first thing she notice was the gleaming blue eyes of the man as he stepped where she could see him. Quickly followed by the sheer volume of the man. He was tall and thick. Not fat, not really, but thick. She’d have assumed he was a football player if it wasn’t for the sailor’s clothes he wore. Thank god the hammock was there to catch her swoon. “Who—who are you?†she stammered. He half smiled. “Logan. I try to help new recruits aboard the ship.†“I’m not a recruit! I went to bed in my own bed last night!†He nodded. “Most people don’t remember getting here, just that they did. It’s possible to leave, it’ll just take time and hard work. Most of the crew find it easier to just… deal with it and go on. I can help you, if you want.†Jazzy opened her mouth, then shut it. Did she want his help? Did she need it? How hard was it to get off a ship? “Your captain just lets you help people escape?†Logan shrugged. “He doesn’t care. Captain Gut knows he can claim almost anyone. What’s one lost crew among the masses? So… do you want my help or not?†--- Hello! I'm Jazzy and this is my battle log! I decided that to keep myself interested and entertained in posting, and to keep anyone who reads this entertained, to creatively write intros and make this a whole adventure for me. Hopefully it'll also keep me on my path to weight loss. A little bit of info about me, I'm 25 for now, 5'8", and as of last weight in, 303 pounds. I've always considered myself fat, though looking back on my younger self, I didn't really get "fat" until about 11th grade. But, I had always been told that if you look down and can't see your feet, you're fat; sad thing there is, I have a big rack! So seeing my feet beyond the boobs never happened unless I was naked. I've tried losing weight before after hitting my highest weight of 310 pounds (that's my guess, because my scale didn't go above 309, so all I got was ERROR, but it didn't take me long to get back to a weight that the scale read). I got down to 269 pounds, then bounced back to 285-289 area and was okay there until recently when I jumped back into the 300s. I'm an emotional eater and I'm trying to break that, with the help of my boyfriend. I suck in the willpower department when it comes to food, so all the help is loved, lol. I've actually written him in to the story as my guide, aka Logan from the story. Stats Age: 25 Starting Weight: 305 Current Weight: 303 Goal Weight: 150 Challenge 1: Befriend the Cook Main Goal: To change my eating habits Quests: -Eat at home 15 out of 21 meals a week 71% of my meals -Cut out soda (No Soda PVP Challenge) -Log all food eaten. Life Quest: Obtain my driver's license Challenge 2: Now Starts the Hard Work Main Goal: To lose 5 pounds Quests: -Ride stationary bike at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week -Stick to 1810 calories a day -Drink at least 32 oz of water a day Life Quest: Write at least 100 words a day Side Fitness Quest: Attend yoga twice a week (this isn't a quest above because I'm taking yoga as a course at my college) Challenge 3: Back on Deck Main Quest: Lose 5 pounds Quests -Ride the stationary bike at least 3x/wk for at least 30 minutes -Stick to 1810 calories per day -Work up to 7 minutes meditation/day (start at 2 minutes and add a minute each week) Life Quest: -Post an update to my challenge thread every other day -Post to my crew's challenge threads at least once a week -Cross stitch when possible Side Quest: -32 Oz of water a day
  20. At long last, I get to join a guild! This is going to be awesome! To those not interested in reading the story I've written up, please feel free to skip down to the colored text for my actual challenge. Story: Megawolf stepped off the bus onto a sidewalk in front of an ordinary-looking office building. Looking at the paper in his paws, he wondered if he had arrived at the right place. He had been invited to join the local branch of the Assassins Guild after some recruiters spotted him training a few days ago, and this was the address they had indicated he should visit to join. Could this really be it, though? The sign next to the door read "Ned Fitzgerald Contracting." Megawolf slowly walked up to the door, pushed gently on it to open it, and stepped inside. The inside of the office building seemed normal enough. Office workers were busy answering phone calls at a few desks lining the gray walls. In the rear-left corner of the room, another worker was leisurely copying some papers at an off-white copy machine. In the center of the room, directly in front of Megawolf, was a desk slightly larger than the ones near the walls. A sign rested on the edge of this desk and read "Alice Johnson, Receptionist." Alice, herself, sat in a leather chair behind the desk. Upon seeing the wolfman enter the office, a smile crossed her face and she arose. "Oh," she said, "are you here for an interview?" Megawolf stood still, somewhat confused. Alice continued "Judging by the look on your face, I assume that you are. Please, sir, right this way." Alice began walking toward a door at the back of the office. Megawolf felt somewhat nervous, but followed her anyway. A sign next to the door read "Ned Fitzgerald, Director." Alice opened the door and motioned for the wolfman to step inside. Once he did, she shut the door behind him. This room was significantly smaller than the one Megawolf had just come from. The walls were the same, gray color as the room before. The walls to Megawolf's left and right contained generic, motivational posters. A single window could be seen on the back wall. At the rear of the room was a large desk, and behind the large desk, a large, leather chair. The chair was turned to face the window, and Megawolf could not see who was sitting in it. At this point, Megawolf was nervous to the point that the fur on the back of his neck was starting to raise up and he began sniffing the air to try to detect any strange odors. All he could smell, however, was the leather from the chair. Megawolf nervously approached the desk. However, upon reaching the desk, he was startled to hear a deep voice coming from directly behind him. "Welcome," the voice said, "I've been expecting you." Megawolf spun around on his toes to face the direction he had come from and came face-to-furred face with a man wearing a black suit and tie. Startled, Megawolf instantly moved to a fighting stance. Before he could act, however, the man had vaulted over his head and landed in the chair behind the desk. Rotating the chair to face the stunned wolfman, the man spoke again. "That really isn't necessary, friend. We are on the same side, after all." Megawolf relaxed a bit at hearing this, but was still on-guard. Why was this man, whom he had never met, calling him friend? Suddenly, it hit him. "I get the feeling that this isn't an ordinary office building," Megawolf said. A smile spread across the man's face as he said "What was your first clue?" Megawolf realized that this building was just a false front for the local Assassins Guild. With the appearance of a normal office, they would be able to have an easily-accessible headquarters without arousing the suspicions of their various enemies. "I take it this is the Assassins Guild?" "You've got it," the man replied. "And, since you are standing here in my office, I will assume that you have decided to take us up on our invitation. You've done well to make it this far, wolfman, but you still have a long way to go." Megawolf nodded in understanding. He knew he was still very much out of shape, but he had accepted that accomplishing his dreams would be a lot of work long ago. The man continued. "My recruiters have told me that you have potential, and I believe we can turn that potential into a reality." The man extended his right arm toward Megawolf. In his hand was a folded paper. Megawolf took the paper and carefully unfolded it. The man continued speaking. "This paper contains your first official mission as a member of the Assassins Guild. Your job is to train and improve yourself so that you are ready when the real missions start coming in." The man arose from his chair and walked around the desk to Megawolf. Extending his right hand again, he grinned and said "Welcome to the Assassins Guild." Megawolf smiled back, shook the man's hand, and said "Thank you, Mr. Fitzgerald." The man chuckled a bit, then said "My name isn't really Ned Fitzgerald; that's just an alias. Everyone here calls me Black. You may do the same." The man walked Megawolf to his office door and opened it. "Good luck out there," he said. "Thank you sir," Megawolf responded as he walked back into the main office, across the floor, and back outside. Once out in the fresh air, Megawolf looked at the paper again. Knowing what he now needed to do, Megawolf set off to accomplish his first mission. Challenge Start! Mission: The Trainee Assassin Player: Megawolf Start Stats: Race: Wolfman Class: Assassin Age: 27 Height: 5'9" Weight: 195 lbs STR: 3 DEX: 3 STA: 3 CON: 3 WIS: 1 CHA: 2 Level: 2 Main Quest: Increase strength, control, and endurance; decrease body fat Black: You have potential, Megawolf, but you have a long way to go. You have the determination to be a good or even a great assassin, but your body needs a lot of work. I want you to increase your strength and balance while losing that excess fat slowing you down. Quest 1: Strength train 3 days each week Black: One of the most important things for an assassin to have is the strength to control their body. Without that, you could die the first time you see any real action. Train your strength exactly three days each week. No more, no less! Focus on training methods that utilize your bodyweight so that you can gain mastery over it, though I won't hold things against you if you decide to change things up once in a while and use weights as well. Grading Scale: A >= 90%, B >= 80%, C >= 70%, F <= 69% Rewards: A: +3 STR, B: +2 STR, C: +1 STR Quest 2: Spend 20 minutes or more conditioning body and 10 minutes or more stretching every day Black: Just as you need the strength to control your body, you also need a strong heart to power your body. Running out of breath while making an escape from an enemy stronghold would be bad news. In addition, the last thing you need is to injure yourself while training or using any skills you learn. Condition and stretch. Doesn't sound too hard, right? Grading Scale: A >= 90%, B >= 80%, C >= 70%, F <= 69% Rewards: A: +3 STA +3 DEX, B: +2 STA +2 DEX, C: +1 STA +1 DEX Quest 3: Don't pig-out on pizza Eat healthy amounts of healthy food Black: While I've generally heard good things about you from our recruiters, there are a few black marks on your record. I have been informed that pizza is one of your greatest weaknesses. When you see pizza, you consume it like it's the last pizza you will ever get to eat. Quit it! You're working against yourself! From now on, you are not to eat more than two slices of a large pizza or 3 slices of a medium pizza per meal. I'm not asking you to stop eating pizza altogether, just cut back on the amount you eat. You can do this. Pizza is just the tip of the food iceberg, though. You need to clean up your diet. From the third week on, no more munching on junk food between meals. You get hungry, you grab a vegetable or some other healthy snack. Don't undo all your hard work by gulping down a bag of potato chips. Also, being a wolfman does not give you permission to load up your plate and wolf your food down at mealtime. I want you to take smaller portions and really think about what your eating and how it impacts your body. Eat to deal with your hunger, not because you are bored or because the food tastes good. Grading Scale: A = 2 4 or fewer failures, B = 3 5 or fewer failures, C = 4 6 or fewer failures, F = 5 7 or more failures Rewards: A: +3 CON, B: +2 CON, C: +1 CON A: +2 CON +1 WIS, B: +2 CON, C: +1 CON Life Quest: Spend at least 15 minutes each day organizing bedroom Black: I've seen pictures of your place. It's not pretty. You have organizational skills. Use them! It may look like a daunting task, but if you spend just 15 minutes each day working on it, you can put things in order and keep them that way. An organized space is a space conducive to a clear mind and progress. Grading Scale: A >= 90%, B >= 80%, C >= 70%, F <= 69% Rewards: A: +2 CHA +1 WIS, B: +1 CHA +1 WIS, C: +1 CHA Motivation: Having just cleared my first challenge, I'm pretty psyched about doing this one. I love the amount of progress I can already see with myself in such a short time, and can't wait to see just how far I can go with this! Thanks for reading, everyone! Good luck with all your challenges! 08/11/2014 Update: I have turned the pizza quest into a more general nutrition quest because I have ended up consuming pizza far less frequently than I thought I would.
  21. Welcome to the world of NerdFitness The brave RPG Fanatics have now taken down two demon-kings. The first one was Sodamus, a demon-king responsible for the rise in new peppy 'elixirs' that were basically the drugs sugar and caffeine. Lo and behold, it turns out the demon-king's concoction was made with his own filth extracted from boils on his back and mixed with a blend of dirty water and drugs. The mighty RPG Fanatics slayed the beast, only to deal immediately afterwards with three agents of the FrostKing. His minions froze the town of level 1 rebels as well as causing much destruction and mayhem. Two allies; the ravens Huginn and Muninn, explained the situation that has befallen the heroes. There are major Demon-Kings that have crept up to control the realm, and it was now the RPG Fanatic's quest to end them all. Sodamus was just the beginning- starting a chain reaction. The heroes have the attention of the mysterious RED ONE, as well as the other Demon-kings. Our heroes trekked through the Scout's Plains up past the Ranger's Fort to the Warrior's Hall. There, the FrostKing's draugr minions of ice and bone clashed in an epic battle that saved the Warriors from overwhelming odds. Putting an end to the FrostKing was no easy task; being that he was the manifestation of being frozen in fear and inactivity. He was beheaded with some creative thinking, and the RPG Fanatics headed back south to help the Level 1 rebel town heal. Now, while helping the townsfolk and resting for another battle; the adventure begins again... -- The Level 1 rebel camp was not back to 100%, but it was very close. All the rebels and their animals were thawed. One young lad dressed in green was hugging his horse, Epona, happy to have their friend back. The blacksmith shop was back to functional, as well as new crops being sewn and many of the shacks people were living in had been rebuilt into log cabins. More rebels from far away lands arrived on the shores; the old mingled with the new as people set out on their adventures. The raven, Muninn nodded in approval. The camp was just about sustainable. Huginn swept in towards his friend and they murmured to each other. They agreed, it is time. Muninn swooped towards Teros, "This calm won't last forever. It is time. Huginn has given me word that Distractia's Casino has been swelling with more and more people. They have been boasting about new technologies and tricks; luring more into his time-warped walls. Assemble the group, and see if any newcomers would like to join. We must leave shortly." Muninn spoke with Teros a bit more and agreed. Teros ordered the call and rallied the RPG Fanatics once again. According to the ravens, Distractia is a mentally chaotic demon-king that is never seen, only heard about. He owns a massive complex that has all sorts of amusements. Some are rides, some are gambling halls, but the glitz, the glamor, the amazing aura of the establishment was enough to entrance many a wary soul to become lost in time to pleasantries. Distractia's halls had no sort of windows and always had permanent lighting fixtures to disorient people into not knowing what time or day it was. The exit-ways were intentionally confusing and plotted out to make sure it was easier to stay a while longer and play than to go back to their family or other priorities. The food there was tainted with likely the same foulness that Sodamus had used to keep people stuffing their fill on a constant basis. These people were stuck. They were in a cycle of warped and twisted version of carpe diem. They were trapped in a whole different world where nothing mattered but instant gratification and whimsical enchantment. Calling them 'halls' doesn't speak volumes to the grandiose scale of it. It was practically the size of a town, employed by Distractia's devil-may-care goonies. Jesters who wore faceless masks that delighted on draining the souls of those who entered the halls through tempting them for 'one more minute', whether it be the drugged food, the gambling, or the sedentary leisure of watching magical picture-boxes that played movies endlessly. It was not a place Teros wanted to venture, being prone to some of these distractions. However, if the ravens feel that Distractia now became the biggest threat to the people, that is where the RPG Fanatics must go. Teros called out to the group, "We must prepare!" ---Mini-Challenge #1--- Suit up - The first mini-challenge is to join the ranks and check on others. Like in any good story, the hero needs to be prepared and have allies. The challenge is to get your thread posted, to post the link here, and to check on everyone's goals. We need each other's back for this journey. (+1 Wisdom - Adventurers this counts as either option.) Any newcomers in the next day or two: This is a story-based accountability group. I write story in this type of font, and if you want your rpg character to write their responses then please do so in this font. If you're not sure what to do, just follow the lead of the people that have done this before and you'll feel at home in no time. I post the start of the story on Sunday, and usually something around thursday/friday; accompanied by a mini. Introduce yourself, good luck, have fun, and let's slay a demon-king! https://docs.google.com/a/my.uri.edu/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aiv-aMyHwRQKdGpuNDB2V2N1REhvLWtObnFod1hkbkE&usp=sharing#gid=12 Brave souls who will take down a demon-king (This is an accountability group. Please try to follow most and offer support.) Cannonfury Minion25 Red1263 Edigo ChristArtist Lupus T2Sarahconnor Missrebecca Ravnos Dark-raider Lycan Thom KingLeeroy Lilbichy Kareesh Petefeet Barefootdawsy Wyrdling Clarys Kzacher As Teros was talking, he saw one of the company emerge from the Forest of Doubts. It looked to be Pedibus heading out and towards the inn. Hopefully they were ok. The Forest of Doubts is not a place to ever go near. When talking to the ravens, Teros thought he heard someone mention 'fair maidens' behind him but was lost in thought at the time. Ravnos was nearby, probably trying to catch ear of what the ravens were telling him. "Excellent...so what is our next task in defeating these demon-lords?" Teros stood on a large nearby rock so his voice would project: "Listen, friends, comrades, and newcomers to this fight. I am not a particularly brave satyr, but I know what's right and wrong. The ravens have spoke to me and told me that the biggest threat with the FrostKing's demise is the disturbed Distractia. His halls are home to many a lost soul. His trickery of tainted food, wine, women, and song are that of the vilest sirens. Many enter the chambers that Distractia calls home, but very few ever leave. I have heard of prototypes of magic picture boxes using the arcane arts to create dazzling displays. There will be many innocents there, ensnared by a slew of temptations. We can't charge through to get to him. This foe is not brawn like Sodamus or the FrostKing. He is brains. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous going there. I've heard tales of this place prior to starting our Sodamus quest. If he is stronger now, then I fear this will be serious test of wills." Introductions were being made and some newcomers wanted to join the RPG Fanatics on their quest. As long as they knew this wouldn't be an easy quest and were trustworthy- then all were welcome. Teros collected his belongings. He would have to make a run to the tavern to get some meat to dry into jerky for the road. The group head out; the ravens scouting ahead and then circling back to the group. Distractia's halls were right near the edge of the Forest of Doubts; next to the Scout's Plains. It would be quick work; especially compared to the hike to the FrostKing in the frozen north the RPG Fanatics made weeks prior. Teros saw familiar faces and some new ones. As long as they were by his side, he would fight. Sulak walked up to Teros. "What are we-e-e-e-e-e waiting for. Let's g-g-g-o!"* Teros grimaced as the air around him started to feel dark, like a storm was approaching, "Let's go..." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TkgmHWptVc
  22. Hello, mates! My name's Antonio (but I prefer being called Tony), 22, male, Italy. I'm so happy to have found NF, I guess it's the perfect place for me, as I love playing videogames (my nickname says it all lol) and watching movies made out of fantasy books such as LOTR, or comics (especially Marvel). But why am I here? Now I'll tell you. I've had quite a difficult childhood (like many others I guess), which made me knowledgethirsty about how to become strong in my early 15s. My childhood hero was Cloud Strife, from Final Fantasy VII (I've even got a Buster Sword replica in my bedroom mwahahah), and I so wanted to become strong like him, and slim too. I was chubby, really chubby (like 25%-27% BF), so I sort of hated my body and my weakness. On the other hand I was too lazy to move a muscle, so 'til I reached my 16s I lacked of self-esteem, cried on myself and hated myself, and still didn't do a thing. I joined Karate classes to become like Rock Lee from Naruto, and got serious about it, so serious that in those three years I even reached the third place at the national competition. But then it costed a lot, and my family wasn't in a good financial situation, so I decided to quit to help 'em. Even though I stopped practicing Karate, I kept on reading books about martial arts... capoeira, krav maga, taekwondo (which was my fave thanks to Hwoarang from Tekken), Boxe... then I tried to go to the gym, but I didn't like it that much 'cause it was too... "fake" (?) for me, I preferred real and useful movements. That's why, last year (when I was 21) I attended a course to become a Functional Training Coach. I fell in love with Kettlebells, Clubbells, Sandbags, and Calisthenics and finally found my way, especially after I came in contact with Assassin's Creed. I started embracing my life as an assassin: obstacles are made to be climbed over, enemies to be eliminated (metaphorically speaking lol) silently, and innocents to be protected and safeguarded. To end my story, I want to be stronger to protect and help those I love and myself in any kind of situation, and to find freedom within my body (as I came up thinking that it can't be found anywhere else) through calisthenics and parkour. This is me, thank you for reading my story
  23. For all the zombie fanatics out there, or anyone looking for a great apocalypse survival story, you might want to check this one out. It's called We're Alive - A Zombie Story of Survival. Check it out if you like, it's on it's 4th and final season. All the episodes are free on iTunes and on their website. I'm addicted to it and have re-listened several times. The quality they put in this story is great, the sound effects and actors they have are amazing. www.zombiepodcast.com
  24. I am thrilled to have stumbled on this forum, it's exactly what I need. I know it's supposed to mainly include workouts and food logs, but I suspect it will become a catalog of triumphs and obstacles. I've never been big on journals on diaries. I'm haunted by the paranoia that others will read my private thoughts or scrutinize my public ones. Even worse, I fear the gut wrenching embarrassment I may feel when my future self reads my past self's thoughts. I am also fairly confident that no one really cares what fitness/healthy lifestyle goals I achieve or which struggles I endure along the way. Quite a melancholy perspective isn't it? However, after reading some other users' threads, I've found comfort in knowing that the community that has formed here really does care about its members' opinions and contributions. Whomever developed this supportive atmosphere should really be given a pat on the back... Who am I kidding, give 'em a beer! I am looking forward to sharing my journey with those who are curious and documenting my experience as I sit, safely hidden, behind my keyboard. :-P My story begins many moons ago. The first time I got healthy was as a teenager. I refused to change my diet as I was convinced all I needed was exercise. I took weight training in school with all the boys and went to the gym in my neighborhood at least once if not twice a day. Man, I had so much time! This worked okay, I was very strong and comfortable in my clothes, but still self conscious in bathing suits and the like. Did I mention I basically live in surf city? The place where everyone is friendly and beautiful. So feeling uncomfortable in swim suits dramatically reduces the number of social gatherings and activities available to you. Regardless, I still refused to change my eating habits. I slowly stopped going to the gym and began gaining weight. A few years later, my world seemed to crumble. It was my first day of junior year in college and my boyfriend of 3 years had finally completed the long, drawn out, and painful process of breaking up with me based on a rumor that I had been unfaithful. Thought I was already paranoid? Try adding the anxiety and stress of knowing that one or more of the people you know are spreading hurtful rumors about you. I analyzed everything, I questioned everyone, and I sank into a deep depression. Have you ever sat in a garden on a bright and sunny summer day, but saw nothing but dull colors with hues of grey as you choked back unprovoked tears? I hope you never have and never will. Here comes attempt to get in shape #2. I decided to get fit by running and completing Beachbody's Insanity. I also decided to clean up my diet. I stated counting calories, portioning properly, and ditching carbs for protein. I was in the best shape of my life, but I was obsessed and it was doing nothing good for my depression. I measured every inch and pound lost. All I could think about was my next meal and despite being 107 pounds (I'm 5'2" so I was healthy skinny) all I could see were flaws. I would look in the mirror and think, "I should really get braces and whiten my teeth now. Maybe I should dye my hair and get a tan." Also, I was unhappy with my lack of muscle definition. I was definitely skinny and starting to develop some definition after 90 days, but not nearly what I wanted. I also remember my face was so thin that one day I caught a glimpse of my reflection and didn't recognize myself. After Insanity, I kept eating well and working out in other ways. The weight stayed at bay until I entered law school. I began living a very sedentary lifestyle due to the fact that all I did was study. I would sit in the library for 10 to 12 hours on most days. I was too tired to exercise when I had the time and shortly my good eating habits were out the window because it was so difficult to plan meals for crazy long days. Some friends and I tried to do a spin class and encourage each other to run. It worked, for the most part, but it was only maintaining my body, not changing it. Then I left the country! Fast forward to today. I've been studying abroad for about four months with less than two to go. Fortunately, my boyfriend (the same one from the story above, we worked it out after about a year) has been able to accompany me so I'm not alone. The first couple of months here were freezing and I was adjusting to having so much time on my hands, trapped indoors. I ate and drank like a queen and I was so so happy. Unfortunately, due to all of the winter clothes I had never worn before, I couldn't see the weight piling on. I noticed I was wearing my fat pants almost all the time and my regular pants were becoming too snug. It was definitely time to make a change. Most people come back from studying abroad thinner and happier and I am not going back home fatter and with a drinking problem, damnit! I joined the neighborhood gym about two weeks ago, about the time I found nerd fitness. I work out everyday with about 40 minutes of weight training (arms one day, legs the next) and 20-60 minutes of cardio depending on my energy. Fortunately this gym focuses primarily on weights and only has a few cardio machines so i can't get too distracted. I've also cut out carbs quite a bit and re-introduced protein shakes. I just don't like the taste of meat enough to get ask the protein I need in a day naturally. So here I am. The heaviest i've been in my life - 138.6 - with about 40 days to get at least below 130 and back in my normal pants. Ready, set, go!
  25. My name is Erica. I am a self-taught artist, 5'2", and growing up eating moderately well (My mom kept both fruit and cookies in the kitchen, but cookies were always hidden). I was fairly active as a kid; playing outside after school and coming home when it got dark. I wasn't fat as a kid, but there was a time where I was too thin. At the age of 12, I weighed 112 lbs and every year I would gain/lose a few lbs that was approved by the doctor. By the time I was 19, I weighed 119 lbs and that's when I started exercising every morning, just to get my mind off of some family issues. However, after getting accepted into college, meeting a friend who got me a good job, I stopped. I haven't started exercising again about 4 years later. I lost my job, I've dropped out of college, and I'm just home all day now. Alone inside of my head. I went on this "Look Better Naked" diet, for a few months, but I hated it. The ingredients for the meals were expensive and I always felt hungry after eating them, despite the fact that the diet promises that, "you wouldn't feel hungry". The workouts that came with this diet were nice, but they weren't rigorous and seemed like the typical "women's exercise" routine. And after I've stopped, I've gained the weight back. I weighed 130 lbs then. Last August, I made a promise to my live-in boyfriend that I would exercise, eat right, and lose weight. I told him that I would not get any new clothes until I've lost the weight. It's December and I currently weigh 134 lbs, most of which, is [safely] on my thighs. Nothing has changed since I've been yo-yo exercising and I don't blame anyone but myself. I used to blame the birth control pills that I used to take, but I still could have fought it. I didn't have to feel moody. I didn't have to feel like I needed to eat more sweets. I didn't have to stay indoors and suffer in silence. I just wanted to be thin again. Thin like I always was. But what's the point of being thin? When I think of the word "thin" I visualize a pencil, a sheet of glass, and a Pokemon trading card. All of these things can be snapped, broken or ripped (Just don't rip a Pokemon trading card in front of a collector if you value your life). I don't want to be thin. I want to be strong. I want to be healthy. I want to finally be happy with myself. This health problem is taking my focus away from my first love: my art. I really like to lift weights. I find it more enjoyable than running on the treadmill or using stupid, painful, and oversized weight machines (remember, I'm a little lady after all). I know my squat forms, deadlift forms, and push up forms, but I'm clueless when it comes to what foods I'm putting into my mouth. I'm hoping for a little guidance, which is why I decided to join this community. I'm a bit bashful both online and IRL, so please be patient with me. Communicating right away is something I'm still working on. Thanks for reading and I hope to get to know all of you. Or maybe most. Or maybe some? I'm just going to back away from the keyboard now...
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