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  1. GONE TURBO This is my second challenge in my return to NF. I decided to take a break from NF while I sorted through the pandemic, teleworking, and virtual relationships. It was a good plan, because each day presented new obstacles and challenges while navigating to best ways for finding time and space for fitness and karate training, adjusting to maintaining healthy meals at home, and staying productive at work and in my different self-development programs with the myriad of distractions. Planning a 4 week challenge would have been impossible, because I would be course correcting daily. I took my time and built new routines understanding that they may be temporary. Over time, I developed my new normal with virtual and hybrid Toastmasters meetings, virtual gaming with friends, moved to a new gym, and working a hybrid schedule for work with some telework built in. Some things have been able to return to normal such as karate training, DnD, visiting family and friends, and working on-site but with known risk. The biggest change came in July when I launched my own website: Journey2U.org . I started a blog and coaching business to help others. It is in it's infancy, but it is a project I have been dreaming of launching for a very long time. Having it out there, I am living that part of the dream and building a new future for myself and others. With all these changes, it feels like I am not just in a new world, but like I am playing a whole new game. I'm taking a page from the movie "Wreck-It Ralph". I've Gone Turbo jumping games. So now, here we go with another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. As a Ranger, I tried to Do All The Things in World 1, my first extended stay at NF through 22 challenges where I learned how to develop and pursue health and fitness goals utilizing daily, weekly, and monthly routines. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a better focus for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in an Epic Boss Fight slaying some mighty big life goals. In World 3, I hopped over to the Assassins and continued to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care healing my spine, reaching the high ranks at karate, blazing through the new Toastmasters education program called Pathways, and working to complete Novice rank at IJRS, World 4 was something new everyday. I have moved over to the Monks to reach for more diversity in my workouts and culture as my physical and mental training focus has been more on my karate training. As I actively took on more responsibility of coaching, mentoring, and teaching in all aspects of my life, I formed a different me on World 5. Now, I have Gone Turbo into World 6. Every day, I just keep on L-I-V-I-N: fighting the good fight, lighting it up, and leveling up my life!  Challenge Lesson: "Keep On Trying" I like themes so I'm going to continue with my karate dojo's creeds. The next one is for our Orange belt rank. The creed is below: Failure is the road to success. I've written about this many times and so have all sorts of professional writers, industry leaders, self-help advocates, etc. We learn in moments of failure, we gain momentum in moments of success. But how? Well, sometimes we fail because we lack experience or necessary skill. Through practice and preparation in a consequence-free environment, we can gain the experience and skill to succeed. When showtime comes, we are ready to perform. Other times, we may be successful in an overall capacity, but there is room to improve, or smaller areas where we failed to hit the mark. This requires evaluation to see the areas to improve. Self-evaluation may not be enough to catch all the errors. A second or third set of eyes can give you new perspective. Game-tape can be crucial for evaluating, because then we are not relying on memory or interpretation. Now, we understand how to achieve success learning from failure. Let us better understand what this creed is saying about success and failure. It starts off with "I am not judged..." The fastest way to quitting on a learning enterprise is to compare yourself to others, because there is always going to be someone better to put yourself down. It is demotivating. Instead, we should always compare ourselves to our self from the previous day or week. Focusing on our own progress is a great measure of success while building confidence and momentum. Progress is also about failure, where you have understand where the starting place compared to the current place is to know when you have achieved a level of success. My dojo takes the same approach, focusing on progress, consistency, and effort for considerations towards rank elevation. Perfection is never required. These considerations get tighter the higher one ranks, but the instructors and leaders of the dojo would never judge one person against another for rank. The last three words, "Keep on trying!" ties the creed together. This isn't the same try as Yoda refers to in "Do or do not... there is no try," or Mr. Miyagi's "Karate guess so" grape analogy. This try is about persistence, because success, failure, and progress are all part of the process of never giving up. Persistence to achieve your goal is a requirement to succeeding. Without persistence, you give up when you meet failure. Without persistence, you won't keep practicing to make progress. Failure is inevitable. It is what you do after that matters. To be successful, we get back up, we learn from to failure, and most importantly, we keep on trying. With persistence, progress is inevitable. With persistence, success is only a matter of time. I like the way Jason Nesmith from Galaxy Quest says it: "Never give up, never surrender." My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no end in Jedi training for every light cast a shadow somewhere. Instead, it is a journey of self-discovery and compassion for others. World 6 Level 3 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - Run twice a week. Include sprints and distance. The goal is to get faster and build stamina, but I have to set a starting block to decide where the finish is. Time to measure where I am for my 40 and 100 yard dash, 1 and 2 mile jogs. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 10+ min outside with good posture, daily. CON +1 Exercise: HIIT Lifting and Bodyweight - 20+ min twice a week. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - Daily exercises. Focus on hips, hams, and splits. DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - Two classes a week, practice for 20+ min twice a week. DEX +1, STR +1 DIET: Lean Body - I need to lose some weight, which starts with what I eat. 5+ cups of fruits and veggies. Cut down flour and corn based carbs at lunch and snack time. Fill up on spring mix. Time to start tracking the weight loss and body measurements again. 166.6 lbs yesterday. CON +1 LIFE: Write for Journey2U.org website, Facebook, and blog every day. WIS +1, CHA +1 Epic Quest - Complete something EPIC! I want to be able to look back at my four week challenge and say, "that was the challenge I did X". My challenges tend to be a lot of the same old. I've given myself plenty to improve in small steps, but I also want to see big strides in the things I've been working on. What box can I check? What have I been procrastinating? What am I focusing on? WIS +2, CHA +2
  2. My Epic Quest revolves around three things: my family, my personal experiences and skills, and my Jedi training. What about your career, you say? What is the point of a career without a family? How do you excel in your career without a solid understanding of your personal philosophy, ethics, and morals? The first one are kind of personal, so I'm going to keep them out of here for now, but will probably drop some Woots and Blogs every now and then. My Jedi training started when I was a young boy and first saw Empire Strikes Back. Since then, I've always seen myself in Luke. I understood his failings easily because they were easy to relate to. As I grew up, I learned more and more about Jedi philosophy and how to incorporate it into my life. While at graduate school in 2006, I found my first online Jedi community and began trading stories, philosophy, and training. I have always valued my own views and experiences over others, because I am one of the few in the online Jedi community without a spiritual background. I am much more scientific in my views of the "Force" or anything supernatural for that matter. I joined my first online Jedi training school, the Institute for Jedi Realist Studies (IJRS), this past winter and put together a training schedule. The training has three main elements: mind, body, and soul. Each training exercise must incorporate all of these elements. I keep an Excel spreadsheet to track all my goals, but I will share a few here. GOALS (updated 2019-1205) Toastmasters International Pass 5 lessons by Dec 31st, 2012. COMPLETE CC manual by Jan 31st, 2013. COMPLETE 2013-01-22 10 Advanced Manual lessons by Dec 31st, 2013 to earn my Advanced Communicator Bronze. COMPLETE 2013-10-01 Hold a new Club Officer position in July 2013 - June 2014. COMPLETE Complete two Successful Club Series speeches by Jan 14th, 2014 to complete my Advanced Leadership Bronze. COMPLETE 2014-01-18 10 Advanced Manual lessons by June 1st, 2014 to earn my Advanced Communicator Silver. COMPLETE 2014-03-24 Serve as Area Governor July 2014 - June 2015. COMPLETE Complete term as a Club Coach by June 2015. COMPLETE Complete one one-hour Leadership Series speeches by June 2015 to complete my Advanced Leadership Silver. COMPLETE (Speechcraft) Complete 10 Advanced Manual lessons and two Educational Training sessions by June 2015 to complete my Advanced Communicator Gold. COMPLETE Complete both Advanced Communicator Gold and Advanced Leadership Silver to earn Distinguished Toastmaster. COMPLETE. Earn a Triple Crown (3 or more Toastmaster Awards in a year) every year with a minimum of 20 speeches in a year. ON GOING Pathways Program: Effective Coaching (COMPLETE), Dynamic Leadership (COMPLETE), Presentation Mastery (COMPLETE), Engaging Humor (Level 1-4 Complete, Level 5 In progress), Leadership Development (Level 1-4 Complete, Level 5 In progress), Persuasive Influence (Level 1-4 Complete, Level 5 In progress), Team Collaboration (Level 1-2 Complete, Level 3-5 In progress), Motivational Strategies (Level 1 Complete, Level 2-5 In progress) Jedi Training IJRS Courses: Pass Intro, Meditation 101, and Force 101 by March 1st, 2013. COMPLETE 2013-02-14 IJRS Courses: Pass 2 courses (Communication 101 and Creed 101) by December 31st, 2013. COMPLETE 2013-12-30 IJRS Courses: Pass 2 courses. (Spirituality 101 and Personal 101) COMPLETE 2016-12-19 IJRS Courses: Pass 2 courses. (Jedi Studies 101 COMPLETE, Warrior 101 COMPLETE) IJRS Courses: Pass last Novice course. (Situational Awareness 101 COMPLETE) IJRS Novice Exam (in progress) Maintain CPR/AED Certification Expiration January 2021 Self Defense Karate White Belt - COMPLETE November 27th, 2016 Yellow Belt - COMPLETE Orange Belt - COMPLETE Green Belt - COMPLETE, Senior COMPLETE Blue Belt - COMPLETE Red Belt - COMPLETE Purple Belt - COMPLETE Brown I Belt - COMPLETE Brown II Belt - COMPLETE Brown III Belt - COMPLETE Probationary Black Belt - COMPLETE Black Belt Shodan - COMPLETE Black Belt Nidan - In Progress Tool Training Nunchucka Katana Bo Staff Helping Others Extra Life 2016 Gameday COMPLETE 2017 Gameday COMPLETE 2018 Gameday COMPLETE 2019 Gameday, COMPLETE, Gold Medal Fundraiser, +$1k 2020 Gameday, COMPLETE, Gold Medal Fundraiser, +$1k 2021 Gameday, COMPLETE, Gold Medal Fundraiser, +$2k Website, Blogging, and Vlogging Jedi Training Website/Blog - Combining with Coaching Determine Objective Find proper format based on objective Establish Website/Blog Maintain Website/Blog Coaching Website/Blog - COMPLETE and in Sustainment Determine Objective Vision, Values, and Mission Long Term and Short Term Goals Brainstorm Branding (few ideas) Find proper format based on objective Establish Website/Blog Maintain Website/Blog Practice Vlogging (Facebook Live, YouTube) for Website/Blog content Jedi Toastmasters Coaching Fitness Extra Life Charity Home Renovation Electrical and Lighting Wiring for the Deck Electrical and Lighting Wiring for Basement Closet COMPLETE Clean up basement for construction projects COMPLETE Second Basement Bedroom COMPLETE Kids Playroom / Craft Room COMPLETE Clean up Laundry Room / Workshop / Storage Area COMPLETE Fix Electrical Wiring in Laundry Room and First Basement Bedroom COMPLETE Attic Storage Garage Backyard Wiring and Plumbing Backyard Garage and Shed BUCKET LIST: Local US Travel Yosemite Yellowstone Niagara Falls Appalachian Trail Experiences DONE (x2): Hike Mt. Whitney to 10,000 ft (Lone Pine Lake) DONE: Hike with Redwood Trees (Trail of 100 Giants) Hike Mt. Whitney to summit 14,000 ft DONE: Hike Mt. Mitchell to 6,684 ft in Appalachian Mountains (highest East of Mississippi River) Hike and Camp at the Grand Canyon Sky Dive Ride in a Plane / Jet World Travel Asia Okinawa, Japan China Australia New Zealand Rugby Matches Lord of the Rings Moeraki Boulders North America Costa Rica Spotted Lake, British Columbia Whale Watching in Grand Manan, New Foundland, Canada Alaska Hawaii South America Brazil Rain Forest and Amazon River Marble Caves, Chile Cao Cristales River, Columbia Africa Pyramids Safari Europe Greece (Parthenon), Spain, France, Poland, Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, England Physical Feats Free Handstand for 10 seconds without support Free Handstand walk for 5 steps Muscle-Up Toe Above Bar Run 5 miles Run 10 miles Run Half-Marathon
  3. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good fight lightin' it up, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "I Need to Know How to Wield It" [No Spoilers this time for The Last Jedi] Everyday the human body changes. Old cells die and new cell are formed. I read recently that in 7 years, the skin cells of the human body have been completely replenished with new ones. One could argue that the person you are in 7 years is a completely new one. I'd say that the person you have become in 7 years a slightly modified replication, with natural aging appearance, augmented with new experiences and memories to enhance skills. Those new experiences are the ones which help us grow challenging ourselves in new ways. Occasionally, those new experiences will awaken a new passion or bring out a new skill. This can be an exciting or scary time as our comfort zone, status quo, personal priorities, etc are challenged and changed to make room for the awakening. Personally, I have a few new awakenings. I am interested in playing more Magic: The Gathering outside my close friends. The passion I have for the game and the newest release is pushing my interest into doing more than just playing the game with purchased or thrown-together decks. After playing in a Prerelease event, I feel confident I can recognize synergy among cards, use that synergy to build a strong deck, and play socially and competitively without making judgment errors or game play mistakes which would result in embarrassment or upsetting my opponent. These events are not free and require time; therefore, I'll have to pick and choose my battles and balance my other priorities. There is a Cosmic Encounter (my favorite board game) tournament in May which I am very interested in; however, I am also intimidated by the scale of it. One could prop up the other. My IJRS Jedi Novice Training and Karate Brown III training are in the final stages, which is exciting, but I am facing the question about what do I do with it. For both, the natural progression is to teach others. The IJRS may ask that I help tutor Novice students. I want to put together a website to put my knowledge and philosophy out there for others to learn from (I do that here a bit with these lessons). For Karate, I sempai classes, leading small groups. As I progress, the leading will progress as well. When I reach black belt, I may be asked to lead classes. I have to ask myself, what is my personal goals for teaching? How much commitment will it take? Where does it fall on my priorities? There is also Epic Nerd Camp, which I want to be more involved with, but I don't see myself being able to commit the time necessary to do it and meet expectations. I have a lot of desires and commitments which I keep trying to fit in. I keep on looking at my evening Toastmasters club thinking that I will need to step away from it to make time for these other things. But that is such a small commitment compared to the things I am looking to expand on. What else will take a backseat? The scariest part is that is all MY stuff. What about my wife's stuff? My kids stuff? My life is their life which means it is all OUR stuff. The priorities and commitments will be sorted out one way or another. The stuff which doesn't fall on all our lists is the stuff which falls to the bottom. I need to ensure that every voice and passion is heard to craft my stuff to fit the others. Because we share our lives, how I wield my awakened passions is integral to how my family will wield it. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 4 Level 8 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. 2 Sprints (10 reps), 2 Jogs (30 min), 2 Bikes (10 min), and 2 Racquetball sessions. Track time and distance. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 800 min total, 200 weekly. STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 320 min total, 80 weekly. Track reps for push-ups and sit-ups AMRAP and daily total. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 1000 min total, 250 weekly. Track progress towards belt. Track improvement on all material. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. CON +2 Keep on cutting out the crap - No CheezIts, limit snacking at work, 6 Dr Peppers a week, and limit cheese to 6 meals a week. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 72 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 18 hours each week. Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge) Dishes (15) Laundry (8) Cooking/Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (25) Yard Work (2) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($140.90 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 20 or more hours of Chores and Maintenance, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 16 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $20 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. BONUSES: Life: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training (mentoring, reading/writing, charity, meditation, IJRS lessons). $2 for each hour working on Toastmasters including meetings. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PENALTIES: Lose $10 each day with weight above 149.5 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in. Lose $5 for CheezIts, more than 6 Dr Peppers a week, and more than 6 meals with cheese a week. Lose $1 for each snack.
  4. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it you'll never make it through the night." Hope is something which comes and goes. Like motivation. Or passion. Or love. Each of these need attention to be maintained or it will fade with time. Motivation needs to be refreshed. Passion needs to be re-energized. Love needs to be nurtured. Hope needs to held close to the heart. Hope is attached to these other concepts (motivation, passion, love) as well as others, like dreams, beliefs, etc. Hope is a theme in The Last Jedi and will lead to the epic conclusion in Episode IX. In health and fitness, hope is part of our goals. We hope to our plans work out and we meet our goals moving closer to our dreams... When things go off the rails, our goals are obstructed or appear to be out of reach, those are the moments when hope is most important. It has to be held onto through those moments, return with you to the drawing board, and make it to a positive achievement. Hope in something better is what can get us back up after a failure. If we let even a little hope go, then it can all slip through like sand in your hands. Maintaining hope is best done with priorities. We prioritize our lives by what matters to us. Most of us would say that family is our number one priority. Tie your hope for your goal to your number one priority, then it will never fade. My hope is to be a Jedi who influences the world to make it a better place for my children and their children to inherit. That drives me to coach, mentor, and teach others. It drives me to make changes in my life to be a proper role model for everyone who may look up to me. Another hope I have is to maintain a healthy body so that I can take care of my family, and give them as much joy and happiness as I am able. My back injury made me grumpy and sedentary due to pain and discomfort. I committed myself to fixing it. Part of that was financially through doctor visits, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and a spinal injection. The other part is making changes in my daily life to correct poor posture and spinal issues through exercise, diet, and better sitting practices. Hope is your life line. Without hope, your life may be lost. Keep that life line strong with prioritization. With hope, you will always be rescued. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 4 Level 4 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 600 min total, 150 weekly STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 240 min total, 60 weekly. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 800 min total, 200 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. Cut out the crap. Eat salads, not burritos. Eat fruit, not cookies. Eat carrots, not Cheez-Itz. Eat less, not more. TURN UP THE HEAT! TURN DOWN THE EAT! CON +4 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 60 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 15 hours each week (reducing for the school year as I need time to help the kids with homework). Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge Dishes (10) Laundry (8) Cooking/Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (20) Yard Work (4) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($294.35 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 17 or more hours of Chores and Maintenance, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 15 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $50 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $20 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. REWARD: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each day without fasting. REWARD: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $5 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD: $2 for each morning or night of brushing and flossing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each morning or night I forget to floss. Lose $10 for NOT flossing for the full day. BONUSES: Life: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training (mentoring, reading/writing, charity, meditation, IJRS lessons). $2 for each hour working on Toastmasters including meetings. $2 for healthy grocery shopping or healthy meal prep. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 149.5 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in.
  5. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and more. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I have maintained my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine, but in the end I defeated World 3 by transforming my life into a new form. With chiropractic care for my spine, hitting the high ranks at karate, starting the new Toastmasters program called Pathways, and working to complete my Novice training at IJRS, World 4 feels like something new everyday. I just keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "This is NOT going to go the way you think!" - Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi {I avoided spoilers this time!} We can plan and schedule everything in life. We can make assumptions, predictions, and estimations. We can set expectations high or low. None of it may amount to a hill of beans. There are always outside factors, randomness, errors, and poor judgement to throw any perfect plan off track. For each of these, we just reset, re-plan, reschedule, and go again. But nothing every goes exactly how we think. Worrying about it, getting frustrated with it, or crying about it is a waste of time and energy. It is a waste of life. Killing time is not murder, it's suicide. In this spirit, I decided to focus on a few items in different ways for this challenge. Chores and Maintenance I have a lot of control over my time. Others Life Categories are effected by how my free time gets chewed up or manipulated by outside factors. Instead, I'll have those tie into my incentives to push me more in those areas. I upped the stakes on my IJRS Lessons. There have been a lot of things keeping me from doing that, most of it on my shoulders for not making it a priority over other things. After Epic Nerd Camp, it'll be time to get it done. The things I prioritized over it, namely Toastmasters, needs to take a backseat for a bit. My evening Toastmasters club may be folding in September. It just has not gone well. I could go on and on about the new Toastmasters education program and it's online platform, but I already vented about it in an email to another Toastmaster. I feel it has a direct correlation with all of my clubs recent struggles with member retention and recruitment. Even I am having difficulty using it, which just shows how poor the user interface and program design is. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 4 Level 3 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STA +1, DEX +1 Walking: Fortify the Spine - 600 min total, 150 weekly STR +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 240 min total, 60 weekly. STR +1, STA +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 560 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 800 min total, 200 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly for 24 of 28 days. TURN UP THE HEAT! CON +4 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 80 Hours of various Chores and Maintenance, with at least 20 hours each week. Chores and Maintenance are the following areas (goal hours for challenge Dishes (10) Laundry (8) Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming/Trash/Other (20) Yard Work (4) Animal Care (32) Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance (8) WIS +1, CHA +1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($257.20 carried over) REWARD: For each week in which I complete 20 or more hours of Chores and Maintenance, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 20 hours, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD: $5 for each Personal Project hour (Epic Nerd Camp, Extra Life, Jedi website, VHS-to-DVD conversion project, etc) CONSEQUENCE : Lose $10 for each week without a Personal Project hour. REWARD: $50 for each completed IJRS lesson. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $10 for each week without completing an IJRS lesson. REWARD: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. REWARD: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD: $1 for each morning or night of brushing and flossing. $0 for just brushing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $1 for each morning or night I forget to floss. Lose $2 for NOT flossing for the full day. BONUSES: Life: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training (mentoring, reading/writing, charity, meditation, IJRS lessons). $2 for each hour working on Toastmasters including meetings. $2 for healthy grocery shopping or healthy meal prep. $2 for each Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance hour. Workout: $5 for each cardio session over 30 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 150.0 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any day. Lose $5 for each morning not weighing in.
  6. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, Disc Fissures, and a crooked spine causing nerve root irritation and pain in my back, hip, legs, neck, and shoulders. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I maintain my core and back muscles to ease the pressure off my spine. I'm not planning to be playing rugby or football again in this lifetime, but I'm not giving up hope on the possibility either... Rebellions are built on HOPE! I'm just going to keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: Maz Kanata: Dear child. I see your eyes. You already know the truth. Whomever you're waiting for on Jakku... they're never coming back... But... there's someone who still could. Rey: Luke. Maz Kanata: The belonging you seek is not behind you... it is ahead. I am no Jedi, but I know the Force. It moves through and surrounds every living thing. Close your eyes... Feel it... The light... it's always been there. It will guide you. The saber. Take it. Rey: I'm never touching that thing again. I don't want any part of this. Life will present you with situations which are difficult. Like Finn running from the First Order, you will want to run away from it all. Like Rey, after the horrifying Force Vision, you will want no part in it. Whether you are afraid for yourself or others or whether you just want to stay in your comfort zone, you will find regret in your inaction. Through avoidance and denial, humans tend to lock themselves to behavior and habits which become overwhelming and appear inescapable. Maybe it is a dead end job too difficult to leave, or a family situation too sensitive to handle, or maybe an addiction or habit that is easier to dismiss as inconsequential rather than really seeing the effects it has on yourself or others. Instead of seeing the difficulty, look at it as if life is presenting you an opportunity to challenge yourself and to grow. Growing does not stop when we reach adulthood. Growth can happen every day. You just have to seize the opportunity. The Past is a history lesson from which to learn. The Future is undetermined and can be whatever you choose to make it. The Present is your opportunity to apply the Past to make a brighter Future. It is a gift to be opened every moment. Do not wait for a special occasion. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 12 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 240 min total, 60 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 480 min total, 120 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 600 min total, 150 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions, especially. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 300 Tasks or Projects, with at least 75 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (8), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (12), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (10), Charity Work (10), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (24), Reading (24), Church Work (8), Job Work (20), Business Projects (12), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (24), Other Chores (24), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (60), Home Renovation (6), Auto Maintenance (6), Family Activities (12), Adventuring (6). WIS +3, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($207 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week, I complete 80 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 75 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour: write/plan/record a 2018 Extra Life Kickoff Video get involved in Extra Life Baltimore Guild revisit Wizard Laser Tag (look into Recoil game app and tech) for Epic Nerd Camp draw up plan for Jedi website VHS-to-DVD conversion CONSEQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. $10 for each completed IJRS lesson. Need to get back to the formal training at IJRS. CONSEQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without working on a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE 4: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. REWARD 5: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. REWARD 6: $1 for each night I brush and floss before bed. $0 for just brushing. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $1 for each night I forget to brush. Lose $2 for voluntarily skipping brushing. BONUSES: Life: $2 for healthy grocery shopping $2 for healthy meal prep $2 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. Workout: $2 for each cardio session over 25 min $10 for doubling any weekly minimum PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 151.5 lbs. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. Lose $1 for each night I skip tooth brushing Upgraded to Reward 6 Lose $5 for not weighing in each morning
  7. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease and crooked spine causing all types of pain in my back, hip, legs, neck, and shoulders. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I maintain my spine and back muscles to slow down the advanced aging. I'm not planning to be playing rugby or football again in this lifetime, but I'm not giving up hope on the possibility either... Rebellions are built on HOPE! I'm just going to keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: Baze Malbus: Good luck! Chirrut Îmwe: I don't need luck! I have you! Any journey is difficult to navigate by yourself. Whether we want to admit it or not, no one can do everything by themselves. Sure, if you are lifting a weight, then you lift it with your arms. But you stay safe by having a spotter. You check your technique with a coach watching you. You push harder, because you have a coach pushing you. You recognize your achievements with your cheerleader routing you on. For your workouts, you surround yourself with people who will support you. Every aspect of life should reflect that. Why leave it to luck or chance when you can have a supporting cast to get you through? Sure, it is only you when it comes to deciding what goes into your body. But you have family and friends that you eat with who will also influence your decisions. The positive influences help us make healthy choices. The negative ones need to be weeded out or tuned out. Peer pressure when it comes to diet is crucial. Don't leave it to luck. Surround yourself with the right kind of support. Sure, it is your efforts which get you ahead in school or career, but just like a diet, you need to be aware of the individuals who would drag you down. Surround yourself with those who are going to build you up and help keep you on track. I'm looking at a job change right now. It is my decision to make. I want to stay with my current company. They trust me. They believe in me. They support me in my personal training. They are looking for the right contract opportunity for me to excel and develop while also being interesting and rewarding. They bring in the best and brightest, so they can do these things for everyone in the company. Switching companies would compromise that atmosphere. I trust them, but 4 weeks is a long time to wait. It could be 4 or 8 weeks longer. I may have an important decision to make next week to switch companies to get back to the work I was doing before, just on a different contract, or to stay with my current company and wait for the right opportunity. The biggest difficulty with staying is that I am risking that they could cut me loose at any time, like I was burned with my last company, who I thought I could trust. I was with them almost 5 years doing work which is a growth area for them, but they couldn't put me in a new spot. My current company is not fully invested in my line of work, which makes it difficult for them to find the right opportunity for me... it is a pickle. All the people I would want to talk to about this are all directly involved or influenced by my decision, so it is even harder to talk to them directly or at all about it. To help me make my decision, I am looking for my supporters. Recently, I reached out to several friends to see if there is opportunity outside of these two choices. I've reached out to my Toastmaster friends for support. And my immediate family is well aware of the situation. I have a few more stones to turn over for support. This site being one of them. So if you are reading this, don't wish me luck in my decision. Offer me some encouragement with your own experience as a reference. Don't leave it to luck or chance when you can have support. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 11 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 240 min total, 60 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 My leg is healing up, so walking is not going to count this challenge. I'm only counting super sweaty, heart rate elevated cardio. Need to keep it low impact. Gym membership is going to have to get put off until I can get there before work. I'm driving a friend to their work in the morning right now while their car gets fixed. Time to get the bike out to ride around before the sun comes up. Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 320 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 480 min total, 120 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 720 min total, 150 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 I have a belt test on 3/26 to move up to Purple Belt. They will let me test modified due to the back and leg injury. I'm debating just going all out for the test, because I really shouldn't be doing any of it. I have three stripes left to earn. Purple stripe is a review, which comes last and will include all the modified combinations, which are still painful because I can't modify the turn-back. Red stripe will be easy. It's just a step behind side kick board break which I've modified to an elbow. I should get that tonight. Yellow stripe is Taeguek 6, which I know a quarter of. I've only practiced once in class (last week). They really pushed combinations with us last month, but I don't know how I managed to go a whole month without doing form in class. I don't like having only a week to get it down. Modified for no kicks makes the footwork awkward too. I'll get it, because I'm going to put in the work through the pain. DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions, especially. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. I'm looking to continue to cut down on snacking and desserts after dinner. I need to ensure I have a calorie deficit or I won't continue to lose weight. CON +3 I'm on the Spring Mix salad kick this week and next. Red cabbage probably following that. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 300 Tasks or Projects, with at least 75 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (8), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (8), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (6), Charity Work (10), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (24), Reading (16), Church Work (8), Job Work (20), Business Projects (12), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (24), Other Chores (24), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (60), Home Renovation (6), Auto Maintenance (6), Family Activities (12), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($44 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 80 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 75 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour: write/plan/record a 2018 Extra Life Kickoff Video get involved in Extra Life Baltimore Guild (missed kick-off meeting and will miss Cecil Con) revisit Wizard Laser Tag (look into Recoil game app and tech) for Epic Nerd Camp draw up plan for Jedi website VHS-to-DVD conversion CONSEQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. $10 for each completed IJRS lesson. Need to get back to the formal training at IJRS. CONSEQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without working on a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE 4: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. REWARD 5: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: Life: $2 for healthy grocery shopping $2 for healthy meal prep $2 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. Workout: $5 for biking more than 20 min PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 151.5 lbs.
  8. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay through 22 challenges. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. In World 3, I continue to develop my fitness, getting my body in the best shape of my life, even with the Degenerative Disc Disease and crooked spine causing all types of pain in my back, hip, legs, neck, and shoulders. Through physical therapy exercises and karate, I maintain my spine and back muscles to slow down the advanced aging. I'm not planning to be playing rugby or football again in this lifetime, but I'm not giving up hope on the possibility either... Rebellions are built on HOPE! I'm just going to keep on L-I-V-I-N, fight the good (and healthy) fight, and level up my life! Challenge Lesson: Chirrut Îmwe: "The strongest stars have hearts of kyber." From Starwars.com: "At the heart of every Jedi lightsaber is a kyber crystal found on several planets, most notably the icebound caves of Ilum. This crystal is attuned to the Force, and connected to a Jedi Knight on a deeply personal level. In this way, a lightsaber is an extension of a Jedi's Force awareness. Because Jedi let the Force guide their selection of the crystal, the vibration that the crystal creates in the lightsaber blade helps Jedi center themselves and find balance in the Force. In this way, a Jedi can center his or her attention beyond the distractions of combat. A lightsaber crystal is colorless until first attuned and connected to a Jedi -- at which times it glows either blue or green, or in some rare instances, another shade. From that point on, it retains that hue." Kyber crystals are rare, powerful, and connected to the Force. When Chirrut says the quote, he is not referring to stars made of hydrogen and other gases. The stars he is referring to are heroes, philanthropists, and other role models who shine bright in the eyes of others. The strongest of them have hearts which are rare, powerful, and connected to the Force. [more to come] My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 10 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 580 min total, 140 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 300 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 400 min total, 100 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 720 min total, 180 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Track weight. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track lunch portions, especially. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. I'm looking to continue to cut down on snacking and desserts after dinner. I need to ensure I have a calorie deficit or I won't continue to lose weight. CON +3 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 280 Tasks or Projects, with at least 70 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (8), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (8), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (6), Charity Work (10), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (24), Reading (16), Church Work (14), Job Work (16), Business Projects (12), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (24), Other Chores (24), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (50), Home Renovation (6), Auto Maintenance (6), Family Activities (12), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($178 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 75 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 70 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour: write/plan/record a 2018 Extra Life Kickoff Video get involved in Extra Life Baltimore Guild (missed kick-off meeting and will miss Cecil Con) revisit Wizard Laser Tag (look into Recoil game app and tech) for Epic Nerd Camp draw up plan for Jedi website VHS-to-DVD conversion CONSEQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. $10 for each completed IJRS lesson. Need to get back to the formal training at IJRS. CONSEQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without working on a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSEQUENCE 4: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. REWARD 5: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSEQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: Life: $2 for healthy grocery shopping $2 for healthy meal prep $2 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. Workout: $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below an 8 minute mile. $10 for running below a 7 minute mile. $5 for running 2 miles in less than 18 minutes. $10 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. $10 for running more than 40 minutes. PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 152.5 lbs.
  9. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "Yoda and I will always be with you." Knowledge is passed from teacher to student. Steve Kamb has been a teacher through his articles for many of us. Our parents, school teachers, professors, coaches, and instructors are also teachers and mentors. Their lessons stay with us in our minds and our hearts. With those lessons is a part of the teacher. And that is what Obi-Wan means when he says, "Yoda and I will always be with you." Right after Yoda dies and fades away, Luke is the last living Jedi. On his shoulders rest the fate of the galaxy as physically alone he must defeat Darth Vader and the Emperor to destroy the dark side to bring peace and harmony back to the galaxy. Having been trained by Yoda and Obi-Wan, he will not challenge them spiritually or mentally alone. The lessons instilled in Luke carry Yoda and Obi-Wan's influence and memory. There is a double meaning there, too, in that Obi-Wan is a Force Ghost and becomes one at the end of the movie; however, as Force Ghosts they cannot influence the events around them physically and would be distracting to Luke when confronting Vader and the Emperor. They appear to only be able to connect with Luke (and in The Force Awakens through Anakin's lightsaber, they connect to Rey in a Force Vision). I think this ability may be addressed in The Last Jedi with Rey having another Force Vision. I think we will find out why Yoda and Obi-Wan's Force Ghosts (plus Anakin's Force Ghost) are no longer with Luke (or maybe they are in some not yet revealed in the teasers or trailers). But analyzing Star Wars movie plots is not what I do here. Thinking back to my education, there are several teachers who influenced me, encouraged me, and became a part of me. Thinking back to my childhood, there are several adults and friends who instilled in me life lessons, which I carry with me today. Thinking back to my athletics "career", there are several coaches and players who taught me about fair play, sportsmanship, playing as a team, and mental toughness, who I carry with me on the playing field. I'm going to turn this into a speech or two for Toastmasters, so I'm going to cap it here and just say more to come. With each lesson learned, there is a connection to another person built and carried with you in your heart and mind. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 8 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 300 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 400 min total, 100 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 720 min total, 150 weekly. *Belt test on Sunday to start the challenge, so I loaded an extra 120 mins to account for it. DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 1 lb by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 153.6 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. I'm looking to continue to cut down on snacking and desserts after dinner. I need to ensure I have a calorie deficit or I won't continue to lose weight. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 240 Tasks or Projects, with at least 60 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (8), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (8), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (6), Charity Work (10), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (16), Reading (16), Church Work (14), Job Work (10), Business Projects (10), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (20), Other Chores (20), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (30), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (6). WIS +3, CHA +3 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($264 carried over, but in Week 0, I spent $109 on new dress pants and XBox controllers) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 65 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 60 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. CONSQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without working on a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. REWARD 5: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: Life: $2 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. Workout: $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. (once a week only) $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below an 8 minute mile. (once a week only) $10 for running below a 7 minute mile. (once a week only) $5 for running 2 miles in less than 18 minutes. (once a week only) $10 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. (once a week only) $10 for running more than 40 minutes. (once a week only) PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 152.5 lbs. TIME FOR SERIOUS BUSINESS!
  10. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson: "This is a dangerous time for you" Last challenge, I used the second half of this scene. This challenge, I wanted to go back and capture a lesson from a few lines earlier. From Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (bold emphasis mine): Quote [Yoda tries to convince Luke not to leave] Yoda: You must not go! Luke: But Han and Leia will die if I don't. [Obi-Wan's Force-spirit suddenly appears] Obi-Wan: You don't know that. Even Yoda cannot see their fate. Luke: But I can help them! I feel the Force! Obi-Wan: But you cannot control it. This is a dangerous time for you, when you will be tempted by the Dark Side of the Force. Obi-wan introduces a concept which is a common thread throughout the Star Wars stories. The Dark Side of the Force is tempting and seductive. It corrupts Jedi who wish to find the easy path, who wish to meet their own goals, and who wish suffering on to others. This does not directly relate to real world Jedi, because no one is wielding the Force; however, we do find ourselves in positions of power. How we wield that power determines whether we work towards the Light Side or the Dark Side. Using the power to serve one's self instead of helping others is not very Jedi. When first entering that position of power, it is a dangerous time, because one is tempted to complete their own personal goals before helping those they are in the position to serve. If one looks at the position as a service position as opposed to a ruling one, then that leader will work towards other people's goals first, with their own personal goals being secondary. As I compete and win in Toastmasters contests, I need to watch my ego. I do not want to brag about success. I do not want to overplay my hand either. I'm just going to keep working hard to develop my skills and find new challenges. After this competition, I need to write a new speech with new ideas. I certainly won't bring back the same punch lines next time as that would not be growing. As I accept more leadership opportunities at work, I need to watch my ego. When I was a kid, I felt I was born to lead. I was always Robin Hood to my band of merry friends. I was always Leonardo when playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was always barking orders and deciding where to go and what to do. I felt strategy and vision were my strengths. I showed those strength in sports and captaining several teams. I had an ego thinking my physical and mental abilities were reason enough for others to follow, but I was seen as arrogant and egotistical. Eventually, I learned humility and teamwork. As I progressed through school, I decided being the center of attention was not my strong suit, instead focusing on being a successful engineer. After working as an engineer for 5 years, I found I can't just keep my head down and do good work. Successful engineers need to sell their thoughts and ideas to others. I needed to get over my fear of public speaking and get comfortable supporting my arguments. Coming full circle after hammering out many of my leadership and communication faults though Toastmasters, I am working towards being a successful leader professionally, but I need to watch myself and remember what I have learned to get where I am. Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is a service to your followers, your clients, and your end-users. To be successful, leaders must coach and develop their team members through listening to them for ideas and innovations, delegating tasks which will challenge their skills to make them better, and recognizing their achievements in special ways. This past week, I have been inserted into a delicate situation where two team leads instructed a software engineer to develop a program to specific requirements which have been miscommunicated or misinterpreted on a few occasions, but the project is also not going to meet the deadline due to time mismanagement. Myself and two other program leads are working with the team leads and the software engineer to correct the miscommunication and mismanagement with a plan to simplify daily tasks and weekly goals derived from the project requirements. Unfortunately, there is a lot of finger pointing and hand waving going on between the team leads and the engineer, which is only making the situation worse. It will be difficult to get everyone to move forward as a team without a showing of good faith from each side. Mostly, this is a dangerous time for me, because I am at a point of saturation with my priorities. Everything seems to want to boil over at the same time and like I did at the end of World 2, I need to maintain my course, keep my top priorities straight, and give it my best each step of the way. When I come through the fire, I will be forged better and stronger for it. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 7 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +2 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 300 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 400 min total, 100 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 600 min total, 150 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 1 lb by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 153.6 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. I'm looking to continue to cut down on snacking and desserts after dinner. I need to ensure I have a calorie deficit or I won't continue to lose weight. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 240 Tasks or Projects, with at least 60 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (8), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (8), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (6), Charity Work (10), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (16), Reading (16), Church Work (14), Job Work (10), Business Projects (10), Dishes (20), Laundry (16), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (20), Other Chores (20), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (30), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 I have a few major events this challenge: Toastmasters Speechcraft Interest Meeting at Work - Nov 2 Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest at the District Conference - Nov 4 Extra Life Kick Off with RPG Night - Nov 3 Extra Life Game Day - Nov 4 Toastmasters Speechcraft Kickoff at Work - Nov 16 37th Birthday Celebration - Nov 18 Any events involving the selling of our old house - Closing by Dec 1 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($209 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 65 or more tasks, I will put aside $10 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 60 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. CONSQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without working on a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $2 for each day without fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. REWARD 5: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSQUENCE: Lose $2 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: $5 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. (once a week only) $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below an 8 minute mile. (once a week only) $10 for running below a 7 minute mile. (once a week only) $5 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. (once a week only) PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 153.6 lbs. TIME FOR SERIOUS BUSINESS!
  11. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson "You Can't Win, Darth": In A New Hope, Obi-wan Kenobi encounters and battles Darth Vader in lightsaber combat. Amid the battle, they trade some banter, the most important being the line from Obi-wan: "You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine." Of course, if you have seen the movies you know what Obi-wan is referring to. Obi-wan becomes a Force-ghost to help and train Luke Skywalker in ways he could not in his physical form. Darth Vader has no idea how influential a dead Jedi Master could be, so he strikes Obi-wan down, which happens to be the beginning of the end for Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor. Turning the focus away from the fictional world to see how this statement could apply to real life, I could think of one area in particular that it relates to: learning through failure and defeat. In victory, you may feel successful and accomplish the extraordinary, but you will learn very little from success. There is much to learn from defeat. In failure, you have mistakes to learn from and experience to build on, but most importantly, you must find the strength and courage to get back up and do it again. Even in the lowest of lows, you can always rise back up. In The Dark Knight Rises, Alfred tells Bruce Wayne, "Why do we fall, so we can pick ourselves back up." Bruce recovers from a broken back in a pit, then climbs out to redeem himself as Batman. He learns from his failure and succeeds in the end. I like to think of myself telling failure that it can't win, because I can always get back up and try again. You are only defeated if you cease trying. In the end of the Original Trilogy of Star Wars, the overall lesson to learn from the series is similar. The dark side can never conquer the light. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr once said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." And from the animated Disney movie Robin Hood, "Love conquers all!" Darth Vader has gone completely to the dark side, but it is his love for Padme and eventually his son, which brings him back to redeem himself. Redemption and rising from failure always starts with love for yourself and a desire to grow. Vader hated himself for turning on everything to save Padme (from his nightmarish vision of her death), only to let the dark side consume him to the point that he threatened her life (and indirectly killed her). He finds the love for himself through his son's love for him. And his heart grew 10 times... ;-) I know I am interpreting a lot here, but read the novelization as it has more details on Vader's thoughts. Lastly, a creed from my Karate Budo school teaches the same lesson: I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed. And the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I CAN fail and KEEP ON TRYING. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 5 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +2 Exercise: Lifting and Bodyweight - 300 min total, 80 weekly. STR +1 Flexibility: Stretching and Physical Therapy - 400 min total, 100 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 600 min total, 150 weekly. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 1 lb by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 156.0 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. I'm looking to continue to cut down on snacking and desserts after dinner. I need to ensure I have a calorie deficit or I won't continue to lose weight. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 200 Tasks or Projects, with at least 50 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (4), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (8), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (6), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (8), Reading (16), Church Work (14), Job Work (10), Business Projects (8), Dishes (18), Laundry (18), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (18), Other Chores (18), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (16), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($296 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 55 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 50 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $1 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. CONSQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without working on a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $1 for each day without fasting. Lose $5 for each weekend day without any fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. REWARD 5: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSQUENCE: Lose $1 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: $5 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. (once a week only) $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below an 8 minute mile. (once a week only) $10 for running below a 7 minute mile. (once a week only) $5 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. (once a week only) PUNISHMENT: Lose $10 each day with weight above 156.0 lbs. TIME FOR SERIOUS BUSINESS!
  12. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson: In Episode IV: A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi is training Luke Skywalker in the fundamentals of the Force and Jedi. Aboard the Millennium Falcon, during a lightsaber training exercise, Luke is able to use the Force to deflect laser bolts while blinded. Han Solo is unimpressed calling it luck. Kenobi responds, "In my experience, there's no such thing as luck." His experience is that of a Jedi Master, listening to the "Will of the Force" and being able to predict or anticipate future events. Using instinct, intuition, observation, and knowledge, one can predict and anticipate future events like a Jedi. Maybe not deflecting blaster bolts, but predicting the motives or actions of another person can be fairly helpful in many situations. I don't rely on luck unless I'm playing a friendly game. It is better to create your own luck by understanding the circumstances and generating favorable odds through use of instinct, intuition, observation, and knowledge. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 4 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. Again, I will aim to push these harder than normal with some incentives. DEX +2, STA +2 Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. STR +2 Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly. Spar is a lot of fun and may result in me altering my Fitness numbers around mid-July. Pray I don't alter it any further. STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 1 lb by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 156.4 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. I'm looking to continue to cut down on snacking and desserts after dinner. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 180 Tasks or Projects, with at least 45 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (8), Toastmasters Speech and Training Development (8), Mentoring (4), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (8), Self Preservation (4), Reading (16), Church Work (8), Job Work (10), Business Projects (4), Dishes (18), Laundry (18), Cleaning/Dusting/Vacuuming (18), Other Chores (18), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (12), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (2). WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($107 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 50 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 45 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $1 for each hour working on Jedi Training lessons. CONSQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without working on a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $5 for each weekend day without any fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. REWARD 5: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSQUENCE: Lose $1 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: $5 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. (once a week only) $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below a 7 minute mile. (once a week only) $5 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. (once a week only)
  13. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson: In Episode IV: A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi is training Luke Skywalker in the fundamentals of the Force and Jedi. Aboard the Millennium Falcon, Obi-Wan dispenses this very important description of the Force during a lightsaber training exercise: Quote [Luke is training with his lightsaber and a laser remote aboard the Millennium Falcon.] Ben Kenobi: Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him. Luke Skywalker: You mean it controls your actions? Kenobi: Partially, but it also obeys your commands. [Luke gets shot by the remote.] Han Solo: [laughs] Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid. Skywalker: You don't believe in the Force, do you? Solo: Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. [Kenobi smiles] Anyway, it's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense. Kenobi: [gets up and takes a blast helmet] I suggest you try it again, Luke. Only this time, let go your conscious self and act on instinct. [puts the helmet on Luke, which covers his eyes] Skywalker: But with the blast shield down, I can't even see! How am I supposed to fight? Kenobi: Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them. [remote shoots Luke] Stretch out with your feelings! [Watches Luke succeed in blocking the lasers] You see? You can do it. Here, Kenobi is teaching Luke to trust his feelings to train him to tap into the Force. Acting on instinct is to react without thinking about how to react. The word instinct might not be the best choice, but Kenobi is just relating the concept to something Luke is familiar with. In my Jedi Training, we work on tapping into our intuition and to trust it in a similar manner as Jedi use the Force. Instinct, impulse, and intuition are all very similar concepts with subtle differences. Sometimes first impulse is correct, sometimes it is off. This is because it is untrained. Impulses are formed by instinct and intuition. Instinct are reactions breed into a being from years of survival. Intuition are learned reactions based on knowledge and experience. Meditation can help quiet the mind to understand the subtle differences in your instincts and your intuition. Quieting your mind and carefully listening to your intuition can assist you find an answer to a problem quickly, even without all the logic and reasoning worked out, because your intuition is tapped into your stored knowledge. The information is there in your brain, but accessing it takes time. Your intuition can access this information and bring the answer quicker than you can actually think through the process yourself. Also, it is important to trust your mind, sometimes over what your other senses may be telling you. Your eyes and ears could be missing something or picking up something false. Trust your intuition to discover the missing pieces or illusions. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 3 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. I will push these harder than normal with some incentives. DEX +2, STA +2 Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. I will look to set PRs in my bodyweight exercises. STR +2 Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 1 lb by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 156.8 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. NEW: Track "fasting" after dinner nightly. I'm looking to cut down on snacking and desserts after dinner. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 140 Tasks or Projects, with at least 35 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (6), Webmaster Work (4), Mentoring (4), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (4), Self Preservation (2), Reading (16), Church Work (4), Job Work (10), Business Projects (4), Household Chores (24), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (12), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (2). WIS +2, CHA +2 INCENTIVES! Working hard for CASH! ($129 carried over) REWARD 1: For each week I complete 40 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit. CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 35 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. An extra $5 for each Wizard Laser Tag hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $10 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $5 for each week working on a Jedi Training lesson. CONSQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without working on a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $1 for each night of fasting after dinner. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities, but no dessert or snacking. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $10 for each weekend without any fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. REWARD 5: $1 for each day with a small, healthy lunch. CONSQUENCE: Lose $1 for each day without a small, healthy lunch. BONUSES: $5 for each Home Renovation and Auto Maintenance task. $5 for 10 or more sprints in one workout. (once a week only) $5 for running more than 3.5 miles in a workout. $5 for running below a 7 minute mile. (once a week only) $5 for running 3 miles in less than 30 minutes. (once a week only)
  14. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge.. World 1 was my first extended stay. I took a hiatus from NF and came back with a new direction for my goals where I warped to World 2, which I defeated in a Boss Fight slaying some mighty big goals. On to World 3 to continue to level up my life! Challenge Lesson: In Episode IV: A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi is training Luke Skywalker in the fundamentals of the Force and Jedi. Aboard the Millennium Falcon, Obi-Wan dispenses this very important description of the Force during a lightsaber training exercise: Quote Obi-Wan: The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together. Here we get the first real description of what the Force is. We've seen a little of what it can do. There is a mystery about it. I don't want to focus on the wording though. More in what it means and how it relates to my training. Obi-Wan is talking about how all parts of the universe are connected in some way. It could be supernatural, sub-atomic, multi-dimensional, etc, but that is not important. Jedi can tap into it, interact with it, and manipulate real world things with it. The main way this relates to the real world is cause and effect. Everything you do, every choice you make, effects the universe around you. It could be significant or inconsequential, but there is an effect. If I move my hand to the left instead of the right, then air molecules are pushed a different direction. These moving air molecules create "wind" moving water molecules (humidity) and dust particles about. These changes may be inconsequential in the moment, but could alter the long run balance of the system if it were a prolonged change. Anyway, the idea is that for every cause there are infinite number of effects and the universe is different than before the cause. The biggest cause to the ever-changing universe is time. We do little to effect the world around us compared to time. Without time, there would be no motion. As time passes, motion passes and causing effects with it. The second way it relates to the real world is belief. Religious and spiritual people believe in supernatural beings or energies creating, controlling, and connecting the Earth, universe, or whatever. These groups of people believe with the proper training, life choices, equipment, etc that they can interact with these things to alter the universe, change the future, etc. Many scientists believe in String Theory connecting everything together, allowing seemingly unconnected things to influence each other. The Force is all those things for those people. The last way the Force relates to the real world is that it IS life. With each passing moment, life passes. The Force is the moment, the life, everything. As things around you change, you can hold one thing to your comfort. That is the Force is always there. Since I'm more of the logical, rational, non-believer, science-based type, I tend to just focus on the first and last one, ignoring the un-measureable, unobservable second way. I mediate to achieve calmness and clarity, not to find an enlightenment or connect to something. The more I train as a Jedi, the more I understand the second way and why people give their faith to it. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 2 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 157.6 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. CON +3 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 120 Tasks or Projects, with at least 30 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (6), Webmaster Work (4), Mentoring (4), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (4), Self Preservation (2), Reading (16), Church Work (4), Job Work (10), Business Projects (4), Household Chores (24), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (12), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (2). WIS +3, CHA +3 INCENTIVES! REWARD 1: For each week I complete 34 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit ($35 carried over). CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 30 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $5 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $5 for each Jedi Training lesson. CONSQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $5 for fasting on each weekend night after 6pm. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities. An extra $10 for all three nights. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $10 for each weekend without any fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza in any meal. BONUSES: $5 for Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance tasks. Any money made from Yard Sale on April 29th.
  15. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 188 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). Challenge Lesson: In Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Luke and Obi-Wan have this exchange: Quote Luke: Ben! Why didn't you tell me? You told me that Darth Vader betrayed and murdered my father. Obi-Wan: Your father... was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and "became" Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view. Luke: A certain point of view? Obi-Wan: Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. In explaining to Luke why he hide his father's identity from him, Obi-Wan instills a simple lesson which every Jedi must learn. Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view. These "truths", whether based on fact or opinion, could be seen as false from another point of view where there are more (or less) facts or just a difference of opinion. It is common for a Jedi to practice looking at a situation from different angles to find the appropriate solution. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 3 Level 1 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 158.0 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. CON +3 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 100 Tasks or Projects, with at least 25 each week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (6), Webmaster Work (4), Mentoring (4), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (4), Self Preservation (2), Reading (16), Church Work (4), Job Work (8), Business Projects (4), Household Chores (24), Yard Work (4), Animal Care (8), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (4), Adventuring (2). WIS +3, CHA +3 Added two new categories. Reading for entertainment is something I have been neglecting. Business Projects includes a few ventures I am working on with the Wizard Laser Tag, a Jedi Training Website, and a Life Coaching Website. Each could result in extra cash if they reach they maximum potential, but personally, that is not the overall goal for any of them. INCENTIVES! REWARD 1: For each week I complete 30 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit ($260 carried over). CONSEQUENCE 1: For any week where I complete less than 25 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. REWARD 2: $5 for each Business Project hour. CONSQUENCE 2: Lose $5 for each week without a Business Project hour. REWARD 3: $5 for each Jedi Training lesson. CONSQUENCE 3: Lose $5 for each week without a Jedi Training lesson. REWARD 4: $5 for fasting on each weekend night after 6pm. Fruits and veggies allowed in small quantities. An extra $10 for all three nights. CONSQUENCE 4: Lose $10 for each weekend without any fasting. Lose $5 for eating more than 2 slices of pizza. BONUSES: $5 for each advancement in the Speech Contests. Another $5 for first place finishes. $5 for Home Renovation or Auto Maintenance tasks.
  16. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 185 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). Challenge Lesson: From Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back: Luke: There's something not right here... I feel cold. Death. Yoda: [points to a cave opening beneath a large tree] That place... is strong with the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go. Luke: What's in there? Yoda: Only what you take with you. Luke enters the cave with his lightsaber as he is afraid that he may need to defend himself. He encounters Darth Vader. Igniting their lightsabers, they duel. Luke ends the confrontation quickly by beheading Darth Vader. The mask on the head explodes revealing Luke's face under the helmet. There are several lessons inside the cave for Luke to learn. The most obvious is that his fear and anger will lead him directly to the same fate as his father, Anakin Skywalker, who fell to the dark side and became Darth Vader. Of course, Luke can only figure out the "fear and anger can lead to the dark side" part at the time. He'd later learn the other parts from Vader himself. Another lesson within the cave is that Luke showed courage to enter the cave, but hid behind a crutch (the lightsaber). Would Vader have appeared with lightsaber drawn if Luke entered without his lightsaber? We'll never know, but Luke was certainly fearful of the dark side when he entered with his lightsaber. He learned this lesson well following the concluding events of Empire Strike Back. In Return of the Jedi, Luke is clearly embracing his fears of losing the Rebellion and his life by confronting Darth Vader and the Emperor as their prisoner. On two occasions, he removes his crutch from the equation showing real courage, when he surrenders to Vader on Endor and when he defeats Vader in their duel, then turns to confront the Emperor, he throws his lightsaber aside and says he'll never join the dark side and that the Emperor has lost. There is a line in the novelization, "Fear is a great cloud. It makes the cold colder and the dark darker, but let it rise and it will dissolve." For my fear of public speaking, I had to embrace it. Preparing, practicing, and executing public speaking on repeat for 4 years was the only way to beat that fear into submission. I found when I acted confident and comfortable, I eventually felt confident and comfortable. It's the "fake it, until you make it" mentality. I used to be a little afraid of roller coasters. The thrilling rides just weren't my thing when I was 8-11... until I went on a real thrilling water slide called Geronimo, where you basically free fall for a second down this completely vertical slide. After that ride, I decided to give roller coasters a try and haven't looked back. Heights were a problem, too. Everyone has these life preserving fears. Everyone has fears of embarrassment. Confront it with confidence, survive, get more comfortable with it, repeat. Eventually, you confront it without any crutches and conquer it never looking back. A third lesson is in what Yoda says, "Only what you take with you." We humans carry fear, anger, and hate around just as a Jedi would a lightsaber, but it is a lot more difficult to leave these emotions behind. Courage, forgiveness, and knowledge are the ways to leave fear, anger, and hate in the past where they cannot effect the future. Identify fears and find the courage to conquer them. Quell anger with forgiveness. Alleviate hate and ignorance by acquiring knowledge of the situation and circumstances. Check your suitcase. What are you carrying with you? Do you have heavy burdens? Are you collecting and bottling emotions? Do you have fears? Do you know how to unpack the suitcase and lighten your load? Think about what you are taking with you into the unknown. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 10 Challenge: This challenge I am confronting as a Boss Fight. I have some huge milestones and life changes coming to a head this month. When it is over, I will have slain a large beast, gained valuable experience, and uncovered new tools and artillery for future challenges. First, my job is in transition to a new work with my current contract expiring on the 12th. My company plans to move me internally, but I've been there before. I'm on the hunt for new work. I've already interviewed with one company and awaiting client and prime contracting company approval for an offer. I have another lead which could materialize quickly. And I have a few other opportunities which I have yet to pursue. I really wanted to stay where I was though. It is really hard to find a supervisor who truly appreciates and trusts you. It is really hard find work where you are part of a team that is working together with no internal fighting or bickering. It is really hard to find a job which is rewarding in that you can see the difference you are making in the lives of others. I have all that here. I hope to find it again, but I'll really miss what I have here. Second, it is Toastmasters contest season and I am planning to compete hard with my new speech. I have a message which I want to give to the world and make it better. I want a first place trophy outside the club this time. Third, August is coming soon and the Wizard Laser Tag project needs to make some significant progress this month to stay on track for a successful prototype test in March. We have a major design flaw to figure out. I've got ideas, but it is time to work through them. Fourth, I am working towards earning my Yellow belt in Karate class. I have two stripes left, but before the test at the end of February, I want to get my form and balance fine tuned. There is a level of execution expected at Yellow and I want to be the model student. Fifth, with my job transition, my gym time will be effected since I will lose access. I'll need new solutions starting next week. I've been thinking about heading to the YMCA in the mornings, but it'll add a lot of time to my commute, but my hours will be different, so it may not make a difference. Working out at home is an option, but I need to be careful about noise not to wake the wife and kids. I could move workouts to the evening and try to sleep in (good joke there). I am going to keep tracking the same for consistency. The focus is on the life goals so I moved some points around and added some bonus incentives. FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +1 Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. STR +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 158.0 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. CON +3 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 90 Tasks or Projects, with at least 20 week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (6), Webmaster Work (4), Mentoring (4), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (4), Self Preservation (2), Reading (16), Church Work (4), Job Work (8), Business Projects (4), Household Chores (20), Yard Work (4), Animal Care (8), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (4), Family Activities (4), Adventuring (2). WIS +3, CHA +3 Added two new categories. Reading for entertainment is something I have been neglecting. Business Projects includes a few ventures I am working on with the Wizard Laser Tag, a Jedi Training Website, and a Life Coaching Website. Each could result in extra cash if they reach they maximum potential, but personally, that is not the overall goal for any of them. INCENTIVES! REWARD: For each week I complete 20 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit ($200 carried over). CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 20 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. BONUSES: $5 for each Business Project hour. $5 for each advancement in the Speech Contests. Another $5 for first place finishes. $10 for fasting on Saturday nights. It is the unhealthiest night of the week. Time to change that. Fruits and veggies only after 4pm.
  17. Welcome back for another episode of The Exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 142 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). Challenge Lesson: "Ohhhh... Great warrior... Wars not make one great" -- Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Luke comes to the swamp world of Dagobah looking for the Jedi Master, Yoda. He meets an odd alien hermit after crash landing in the swamp. Their exchanges are quite comical as Luke's frustrations with the swamp and his search set in and are exasperated by the odd alien hermit. Finally, Luke tells the odd alien hermit he is looking for someone, a great warrior. The hermit replies with the above quote, "Wars not make one great." I agree with the odd alien hermit for three reasons. First, because he is Yoda! You can't disagree with the Grand Master of the Jedi! Second, it is not victory in war which brings about greatness, but all the work to get there. War is something that has been glorified through stories of drama and action to recount history or to entertain through all eras of humanity. Today, it is through film, television, and books that war and the heroes of war are glorified. The heroes are the main characters who could always be described as "great warriors" at the end. A great warrior is the successful victor in battle. The focus is on their accomplishments and achievements, not on the path which led them there. Not every great warrior starts out great. They have training, struggles, defeats, learning, practicing to go through before they can find success and claim victory over their opponents. War is conquest and conflict where there are winners (the great warriors) and losers (not yet great warriors). The loser of war or conflict has an opportunity to learn from failure. After they learn from failure, they can then achieve greatness and be a great warrior, but the war is not what makes them great. It is the training, struggles, defeats, learning, practicing which makes them great. But for my third reason, you have to take the quote in context. Yoda is indicating a slightly different lesson. A Jedi's purpose is to serve others, respect all life, and protect all life from those who wish it harm for personal gain. A Jedi accomplishes these things by being one with the Force to see the "right" path forward to find solutions and results that benefit everyone involved and do not have harmful effects in the future. Luke refers to the Jedi Master as a Great Warrior, but Yoda undercuts the compliment by implying the Jedi do not seek greatness through being a warrior. Jedi fight as a last resort. Jedi use the Force for defense, never for attack. Instead, a Jedi achieves greatness through their servitude of the light side of the Force. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 9 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +2 Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. STR +2, DEX +1 Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 159.0 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. CON +2 LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete (or dedicate at least one hour to) 75 Tasks or Projects, with at least 15 a week, from any of the following areas (minimum for challenge): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (6), Webmaster Work (4), Mentoring (4), Charity Work (2), Jedi Training (4), Self Preservation (2), Reading (8)Church Work (4), Job Work (4), Business Projects (4), Household Chores (16), Yard Work (4), Animal Care (8), Home Renovation (4), Auto Maintenance (3), Family Activities (4), Adventuring (2). WIS +2, CHA +2 Added two new categories. Reading for entertainment is something I have been neglecting. Business Projects includes a few ventures I am working on with the Wizard Laser Tag, a Jedi Training Website, and a Life Coaching Website. Each could result in extra cash if they reach they maximum potential, but personally, that is not the overall goal for any of them. INCENTIVES! REWARD: For each week I complete 15 or more tasks, I will put aside $5 to spend how I see fit ($215 total saved so far). CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 15 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. BONUS: $5 for each Business Project hour.
  18. Welcome back for another episode of the exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 142 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). Challenge Lesson: "Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future." -- Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Yoda is very powerful and knowledgeable in the Force. Typically, he has the ability to see events well into the future, but it can be clouded by the dark side or the tipping of scales of large decisions. In this quote, Yoda was specifically referring to the fates of Han, Chewie, and Leia in the hands of Darth Vader on Bespin since Luke's choice to stay or go and his potential to fall to the dark side factored heavily into the events outcome, but Yoda's words carry more weight to it. Predicting the future is always reliant on current conditions and knowledge. As things happen and new things come to light, those predictions become more or less likely. The predictions could drastically change due to new information or occurrences. There are too many unforeseen variables at times. Being aware of how our decisions can influence the future is important to achieving the future we desire. Being aware of outside influences and the potential for unpredictable occurrences can help prepare for detours and breakdowns. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 7 Challenge: FITNESS: Cardio: Speed and Stamina - 500 min total, 120 weekly. DEX +1, STA +2 The weekly plan is a minimum of two tabata runs with Pokémon Go. These runs are to include at least 5 sprints of ~50 meters for increased intensity. It's getting cold outside, so I may move to a treadmill for a few of the runs. We'll see how it goes. I'll also have 60 minutes of racquetball on Fridays. I'd like to do some field or gym training for rugby, soccer, and football footwork and ball work, as well. Exercise: Stretch and Strengthen - 500 min total, 120 weekly. STR +2, DEX +1 The weekly plan includes 10 minutes of regular stretching each day, two 20 minute sessions of physical therapy exercises and 20 minutes of other strength training each week. The minimum leaves 40 minutes to make up by the end of the challenge. Karate: Training and Practice - 500 min total, 120 weekly STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1 Better to count Karate by itself. It is too difficult to predict or categorize the classes as Cardio or Strengthening. Plan is 2 classes a week for 45 min each. Add a third class or a individual practice for the last 30 min. DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 159.5 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. Watch portions and make healthy choices for 24 of 28 days. CON +2 Going to eat salad and veggies as much as possible with apples and dark chocolate as my sugary snacks. Avoid soda, ice cream, and potato chips. Minimize cheese and nuts. Most importantly, I have to continue to watch my portions. I cannot ever have two "large" meals in one day. Aiming for one small meal and one medium meal a day, keeping breakfast as small as possible. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 60 Tasks or Projects, with at least 12 a week, from any of the following areas (max for challenge, no more than 3 each per week): Toastmasters Communication Practice (2), Toastmasters Leadership Practice (4), Webmaster Work (6), Mentoring (8), Charity Work (8), Jedi Training (4), Self Preservation (2), Church Work (4), Job Work (8), Household Chores (8), Yard Work (8), Animal Care (8), Home Renovation (8), Auto Maintenance (8), Family Activities (8), Adventuring (6). WIS +2, CHA +2 No longer worried about diversity. I want to continue to get the important weekly things done while looking for the neglected areas. I NEED to revisit my IJRS Jedi Training this challenge. It has been too long. Auto Maintenance will be important to get to before the weather gets too cold and icy. Same with any Home Renovation and Yard Work. Incorporating a reward and consequence has been really helpful, so I'll keep doing that. REWARD: For each week I complete 12 or more tasks, I will put $10 aside for buying something just for me. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 12 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. BONUS: $5 for each IJRS Lesson completed. Major Dates: Disney World Dec 1st-5th, Christmas Weekend Dec 23rd-26th. Each of these periods will need to be planned carefully to meet my goals.
  19. Welcome back for another episode of the exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 136 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). Challenge Lesson: "Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship." -- Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back What my experience at Nerd Fitness has taught me is that there is always time, it is just a matter of priority. There is no to-do list too daunting, there is no bar too high, and there is no skill that cannot be learned. It takes prioritization, motivation, and determination. There will be failures along the rode, but those are learning opportunities. There will be obstacles in your way, but those are problem solving opportunities. There will be risks and consequences to the journey, but those are just costs for the reward. Size is just a measurement from a perspective. Find what aspect of you perspective the size is relevant to and change it. The size will change with it. Think of yourself as an ant. Everything human is huge or irrelevant to your life. Think of yourself as the moon. Everything on Earth is tiny and irrelevant to your life. Now, relate that to your goal. What are the things that make the goal appear impossible? How can you turn those things into something possible? Let's say you overweight and would like to be able to run a mile. You are 30, the last time you ran a mile was high school, and even then it was a chore. That goal looks enormous. Well, you can't do anything about your age, but you can do something about the weight. You can do something about your puny muscles and weak lungs. Pretend those obstacles are solved. Does the mile still look difficult? Now, take aim at the sub-goals you have: lose weight, gain muscles, build stamina. Find the aspects that make the task difficult. Of course, Yoda is speaking specifically of the Force and how it knows no bounds. Just as the Force has no bounds, neither should one's belief in it. Belief, creativity, passion, empathy, faith, ambition are just a few concepts which know no bounds. Artificial bounds in these concepts stunts growth and understanding. If you want to be enlightened, then find a path across any artificial bounds in these areas. Sometimes it is another matter of changing perspective. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 7 Challenge: FITNESS: Work Up a Sweat - 600 minutes of conditioning training for the entire challenge. DEX +2, STA +3 The weekly plan is a minimum of two 60 minute tabata runs with Pokémon Go. These runs are to include at least 5 sprints of ~50 meters for increased intensity. It's getting cold outside, so I may move to a treadmill for a few of the runs. We'll see how it goes. I'll also have 60 minutes of racquetball on Fridays. I'd like to do some field or gym training for rugby, soccer, and football footwork and ball work, as well. Stretch and Strengthen - 600 minutes of exercises and stretches for the entire challenge. STR +2, DEX +1 The weekly plan includes 10 minutes of regular stretching each day, two 20 minute sessions of physical therapy exercises and 30 minutes of other strength training each week. The minimum leaves 40 minutes to make up by the end of the challenge. DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 161 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. I tend to over eat at gatherings on the weekend. I plan to eat as little as possible at the next gatherings, Thanksgiving included. CON +3 Going to eat salad and veggies as much as possible with apples and dark chocolate as my sugary snacks. Avoid soda, ice cream, and potato chips. Minimize cheese and nuts. Most importantly, I have to continue to watch my portions. I cannot ever have two "large" meals in one day. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 28 Tasks or Projects from any of the following areas: Toastmasters Communication Practice, Toastmasters Leadership Practice, Webmaster Work, Jedi Training, Job Work, Charity Work, House Work, Yard Work, Animal Care, Home Renovation, Auto Maintenance, Family Activities, Adventuring (to keep it diverse, no more than 4 from any one category) WIS +2, CHA +2 I need to revisit my IJRS Jedi Training this challenge. It has been too long. Auto Maintenance will be important to get to before week 4 as we have a long drive for Thanksgiving. Same with any Home Renovation and Yard Work. Incorporating a reward and consequence has been really helpful, so I'll keep doing that. REWARD: For each week I complete 7 or more tasks, I will put $10 aside for buying something just for me. CONSEQUENCE: For any week where I complete less than 7 tasks, I will give up $10 of saved cash. Major Dates: Nov 5th Extra Life Game Day, Nov 19th My Birthday, November 22nd-26th Thanksgiving Travel. Each of these weeks will need to be planned carefully to meet my goals.
  20. Welcome back for another episode of the exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 136 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). Challenge Lesson: "You must unlearn what you have learned." - Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back Chinese Scholar Tokusan, who was full of knowledge and opinions about the dharma, came to Chinese Zen Master Ryutan and asked about Zen. At one point Ryutan re-filled his guest's teacup, but did not stop pouring when the cup was full. Tea spilled out and ran over the table. "Stop! The cup is full!" said Tokusan. "Exactly," said Master Ryutan. "You are like this cup; you are full of ideas. You come and ask for teaching, but your cup is full; I can't put anything in. Before I can teach you, you'll have to empty your cup." In Jedi training, it is important to let go of lessons learned in the past to learn to see the world in a new way. During my Jedi Training at the IJRS in 2012, I took a course on the Force with lessons analyzing my use of intuition. I found that I typically ignore my intuition when I shouldn't. I rely on logic, which is fine as long as you have all the facts. When my intuition and logic do not align, it is because I do not have all the critical information to make a decision. To rely more on my intuition requires that I take a leap of faith, which I am not in the habit of doing. Listening to the wise words of Yoda, I am relying on my intuition more and more. Since 2012, I have discovered my intuition can be remarkably accurate in pushing me in a positive direction before I "know" the desired information to make an informed decision. In my Toastmasters training, I have found that my initial practice and preparation techniques for speaking in front of others was all wrong for my confidence and self esteem. I used to write out the entire speech and choreograph the entire speech. I'd rehearse until I could do it by heart. It worked great... for practice. As soon as I was in front of an audience, I had to be perfect. If I goofed anything, it made me sweat and it threw the entire speech off track. I take a much more casual approach to speech writing now. I jot down some notes about what I want to talk about, maybe work out a line or two which will be the take away for the speech, then I just speak the speech over and over. I get to know the points I want to make and discover how I naturally say them and look for better ways to say them just working on my natural abilities. This allows me to be more comfortable in front of the audience, since there is no strict scripture. I just have to know my material forward and back which allows me to think on my feet better and focus on connecting with the audience. My goal for public speaking is to make an impact on the audience, give them something to walk away with, and influence lives. When I started Toastmasters, my goal was just to not be horrible and fearful of public speaking. I am beyond that and actually enjoy public speaking. It has given me leadership opportunities which I thought would always be out of reach, because I was a chicken. Well, this chicken crossed the road and became a confident rooster. For my fitness training, I always believed that running for the sake of running is boring. I had a hard time finding ways to make running interesting or a priority. After the Zombie, Run! app didn't work, I thought I'd give up on distance and focus on sprinting, since I enjoy being fast. Unfortunately, unless someone is chasing me like in playing football and rugby or there is a team I am competing with, I don't really enjoy sprinting enough to push myself to new heights. I discovered this summer that I just needed the right motivation. I now run with Pokémon Go. The longer I run, the further I go, the more Pokémon I catch and the more I progress in the game. The gyms are always just difficult enough to present a challenge and push me to keep improving. I fear that once I dominate gyms with my superior Pokémon, that I might not enjoy the game as much. I've noticed that some players have created a second account to help them hold down gyms, getting them to level 2 or 3. I kind of think of that as cheating, since the game really wants you to team up with other players. If the game starts to get boring, then I have these two options to make it more interesting. Starting from scratch with a second account or finding players to team up with on my morning runs, gym battles, etc. Those morning runs will always be important in progressing to the next level in the game, so I don't really see that part getting boring. I might just need to change the setting for my runs to discover different Pokémon. There are lots of areas where we fill up our minds with knowledge and opinions, but to truly grow you need to look past what you already know or think, see things from different perspectives, try different approaches, and experience new things. To continue to do things the same way, you will only get the same results. Change is growth. Empty the cup. Unlearn what you have unlearned to properly prepare yourself to be enlightened. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 5 Challenge: FITNESS: Work Up a Sweat - 600 minutes of conditioning training for the entire challenge. DEX +2, STA +3 The weekly plan is a minimum of three 45 minute tabata runs with Pokémon Go, plus plenty of walking, hiking, or other activities. I crushed my goal last challenge, but my family tends to throw a wrench in all plans I make for evenings and weekends. The minimum won't get me to my goal. I have to go above the minimum for at least 60 minutes. Stretch and Strengthen - 600 minutes of exercises and stretches for the entire challenge. STR +2, DEX +1 The weekly plan includes 10 minutes of regular stretching each day, two 20 minute sessions of physical therapy exercises and 30 minutes of other strength training each week. The minimum leaves 40 minutes to make up by the end of the challenge. DIET: Weight Control - Lose 2 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 163 lbs. Complete measurements before or during Week 1 and again during or after Week 4. The last part of this challenge is that I want to minimize how many times I have the thought, "I ate too much". I will count and report on each time I have that thought to identify how I can avoid the pitfall in the future. CON +3 Going to eat salad and veggies as much as possible with apples and dark chocolate as my sugary snacks. Avoid soda, ice cream, and potato chips. Minimize cheese and nuts. Most importantly, I have to watch my portions. I cannot ever have two "large" meals in one day. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 28 Tasks or Projects from any of the following areas: Toastmasters Communication Practice, Toastmasters Leadership Practice, Webmaster Work, Jedi Training, Job Work, Charity Work, House Work, Yard Work, Home Renovation, Auto Maintenance, Family Activities (to keep it diverse, no more than 4 from any one category) WIS +2, CHA +2 I'm still procrastinating, deciding to do the fun stuff first and delay the less fun stuff. Jedi Training is definitely something that is not getting any focus. I added more areas to the list to track (I don't want to not do something just because it doesn't make the list) and increased to 28 total (7 a week, or 1 a day). Incorporating a reward and consequence has been really helpful, so I'll keep doing that. My wife identified that we may be playing too much in our free time together and not getting to the bigger projects. She works weekends, so we have very little time where we can tackle a project together. The focus has been on smaller projects where single parenting is easier. When we are together, we usually have plans for something fun. I am having trouble motivating the kids to be useful with weekly chores, as well. I think I have a viable solution. REWARD: For each week I don't procrastinate undesirable tasks (where I think "I'll do it later") where I overcome procrastination and do it or at least work on it, I'll reward myself with one game of Madden Saturday morning. CONSEQUENCE: If I procrastinated at all, then I have to give up my morning to working on something I procrastinated. This plan won't influence my goal grade, but it will give me incentive to do all the things, instead of just the fun ones. Some might look at my reward scheme and think, "why not have a reward and consequence for the other goals", and my response is that I do. A healthier, muscular, sexy body is all the reward I need. ;-)
  21. Welcome back for another episode of the exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 136 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). So what is my story? As I said, I've been here before. I kicked a lot of butt progressing through 22 challenges since 2012, until middle of 2015. After struggling to maintain a presence here through the first half of 2015, I struck out on my own as I had conquered many obstacles here, learned many lessons, and felt I was ready to implement a new accountability strategy for I had developed a strong supporting cast in real life to keep me accountable. Alas, a back injury and a "layoff" crumbled all my plans. I am recovered from both now, more or less. In October, I started a new job only three weeks after my old one ended. The growing pains are over and now I feel entrenched in my new world. In October and November, I took a lot of time off from fitness to allow my back to heal. In December, I started physical therapy to strengthen my back. I have occasional flare ups, but for the most part, I have my body functioning like its old self. Well, an out-of-shape and over-weight old self. Today, I am wrapping up my last physical therapy session. It is like I am back at square one, or Level 1 for my character here. But it is not like my character died and I have a new one. My knowledge and experience is retained. Instead of hitting the reset button, I'll jump to World 2 complete with new challenges and obstacles. Old foes may come back, but they will require new techniques to defeat them. I am still a Jedi in training, learning from the old masters, unlearning what I have learned, practicing the new techniques, and improving daily. Challenge Lesson: "Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless." - Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back [emphasis mine] Last challenge, I discussed commitment a bit analyzing the "Do or do not" quote from Yoda eliminating "Try" from my vocabulary. This challenge, I take another look at commitment in regards to seriousness for Jedi training and applying it to real life. Yoda says specifically, "A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind." (bold above) There is no joking or tomfoolery when it comes to Jedi. Being a Jedi is serious business with serious consequences for not taking it seriously. In Star Wars, it is a matter of life or death for the whole rebellion if Luke Skywalker was not paying enough attention during his failure in the cave. For a Jedi in Star Wars, commitment to training and Jedi ideals comes before all else, even a Jedi's friends. Yoda demands that Luke stay at Dagobah and complete his training instead of rushing off to save his friends from Darth Vader. "If you honor what they fight for" Yoda says. By going off to save his friends, Luke endangered everything the Rebellion had accomplished and would accomplish in the future, because he was their last hope of defeating the Emperor. Only with Luke fully trained as a Jedi could the Rebellion destroy the Emperor and put an end to his tyranny. Luke is not well prepared for facing off with Darth Vader, but his fortitude in the light side of the Force (through the love for his friends) is better than Yoda and Obi-Wan realized. Luke survives and returns to complete his training keeping his promise to Yoda and Obi-Wan, keeping his commitment to the Rebellion, the Jedi, and the Light side of the Force. It is tricky to analyze and understand peoples motives for keeping committed to something. For me, my commitment to Toastmasters is three-fold. I have a deep desire to continue to improve and discover myself. Toastmasters gives me that opportunity in a variety of ways. I have a deep desire to impact the lives of others in a positive way, influencing them to improve themselves and reach their highest potential. Toastmasters gives me the opportunity to coach and mentor people in a variety of ways while watching them grow as individuals. Lastly, I developed the worst fear of public speaking through many traumatic embarrassing experiences, where Toastmasters helped me get over it and will continue to ensure I am never that scared person again. For other Toastmasters, I am still searching for their why to help hook them in and keep their commitment. I have decided that each Toastmaster can use the stage to find their why for other things. By writing and giving speeches, a Toastmasters will have to look at themselves and their genuine feelings on subjects. Sure, presenting facts is easy, but defending your personal opinion or belief in front of a crowd calls for a deep commitment to those opinions or beliefs. If you don't feel strongly for something, then it will be difficult to be confident in your stance and persuasive in your speech. However, if you have passion for something, a deep commitment, a most serious mind, then you will speak with enthusiasm and excitement. That enthusiasm and excitement is contagious. It will infect the audience, grab their attention, and influence them towards your opinions or beliefs, facts be damned. By finding these passions, beliefs, and opinions which one is most committed and excited for, the individual will discover who they are underneath the frightened and embarrassed outer shell sheltering us from the potential thoughts and actions of others. Find your voice, find your confidence. The deepest commitment is something where tomfoolery is unacceptable. It is where passion and enthusiasm reside. With a deep commitment, mountains can be moved. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 5 Challenge: FITNESS: Work Up a Sweat - 500 minutes of conditioning training for the entire challenge. DEX +2, STA +3 The weekly plan is a minimum of three 30 minute tabata runs with Pokémon Go, plus plenty of walking, hiking, or other activities. I crushed my goal last challenge, but my family has returned home. They throw a wrench in all plans I make for evenings and weekends. Stretch and Strengthen - 520 minutes of exercises and stretches for the entire challenge. STR +2, DEX +1 The weekly plan includes 10 minutes of regular stretching each day, two 20 minute sessions of physical therapy exercises and 20 minutes of other strength training each week. DIET: Weight Control - Lose 4 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 167 lbs. CON +3 I'm starting at 163.2 lbs as of August 22nd. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 16 Tasks or Projects from any of the following areas: Toastmasters, Webmaster, Jedi Training, Work, House Work, Home Renovation, Auto Maintenance, Family Activities (to keep it diverse, no more than 3 from any one category) WIS +2, CHA +2 I'm still procrastinating, deciding to do the fun stuff first and delay the less fun stuff. I need a rewards system for getting the hard stuff done. For each week I don't procrastinate undesirable tasks (where I think "I'll do it later") where I overcome procrastination and do it or at least work on it, I'll reward myself with one game of Madden Saturday morning. If I procrastinated at all, then I have to give up my morning to working on something I procrastinated. This plan won't influence my goal grade, but it will give me incentive to do all the things, instead of just the fun ones.
  22. Welcome back for another episode of the exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Upon my return, I have decided to revisit some of my challenge themes to turn them into lessons as I had been doing more recently. I feel it is a good way to reflect on my own learning and progress to write about and share these lessons, but I also have another objective. I am cataloging these lessons in a document which is now up to 136 pages. The plan is to use this document as a reference for my personal Jedi training and to pass on for my Padawan training. It isn't just my Nerd Fitness challenges. It includes every Jedi-related writing I have done, training I have worked through, and documents I have collected (which are not protected but have sources noted). So what is my story? As I said, I've been here before. I kicked a lot of butt progressing through 22 challenges since 2012, until middle of 2015. After struggling to maintain a presence here through the first half of 2015, I struck out on my own as I had conquered many obstacles here, learned many lessons, and felt I was ready to implement a new accountability strategy for I had developed a strong supporting cast in real life to keep me accountable. Alas, a back injury and a "layoff" crumbled all my plans. I am recovered from both now, more or less. In October, I started a new job only three weeks after my old one ended. The growing pains are over and now I feel entrenched in my new world. In October and November, I took a lot of time off from fitness to allow my back to heal. In December, I started physical therapy to strengthen my back. I have occasional flare ups, but for the most part, I have my body functioning like its old self. Well, an out-of-shape and over-weight old self. Today, I am wrapping up my last physical therapy session. It is like I am back at square one, or Level 1 for my character here. But it is not like my character died and I have a new one. My knowledge and experience is retained. Instead of hitting the reset button, I'll jump to World 2 complete with new challenges and obstacles. Old foes may come back, but they will require new techniques to defeat them. I am still a Jedi in training, learning from the old masters, unlearning what I have learned, practicing the new techniques, and improving daily. Challenge Lesson: "No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try." -Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back One of the most quoted (or misquoted) lines from Star Wars, it seems that everyone knows this line and what Yoda is saying. Training can not be tried. It is not an odd looking potato salad which your friend brought to your cook out. "I've never seen raisins in a potato salad, but I'll give it a try!" If you are training like that right now, you are likely also wondering why you fail to reach your goals. Training is something you DO. You've probably heard the phrase "Commitment is the road to success". Doing something with the mentality that you will succeed is a step towards committing to it. Trying something with the mentality that you may or may not succeed is a great way to miss your mark. Yoda tells us if trying is our mentality, then you might as well pack it in and go find something else to do. If you've seen the 1984 film "The Karate Kid", then you may be familiar with Mr. Miyagi saying these lines: “Man walk on road. Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk down middle, sooner or later, get squished just like grape. Here, Karate same thing. You karate do "yes," or karate do "no." You karate do "guess so," just like grape.” Miyagi teaches the same lesson to Daniel Russo with a great analogy towards Karate training. It is as if I grew up with this lesson beaten into my skull, as Nike athletic shoe brand's marketing slogan was "Just Do It." Whether you prefer Yoda, Miyagi, or Nike, I think we can all agree that doing will beat trying every day of the week. There are other interpretations of Yoda's famous lesson, where some discuss duality and others discuss causality, but for today I'll stick with just the training metaphor as it applies to where I am in my training. I find myself, as a Jedi Ranger, sampling all the trades and skills, overburdening myself to be a Jack-of-all-trades, but not being able to fully commit to any one thing. As a Jedi Ranger, my personal philosophy is to be a "Master-of-all-Trades" through balance and diversity. Below is a writing I did back in 2012, which I cleaned up a bit today. Diversity and balance go hand in hand. A Jedi seeks balance. To acquire balance a Jedi must be diverse. The Aptitude Maxim of my personal Jedi trainging says a Jedi needs to be highly proficient in many skills mentally and physically. Balance and diversity. A Jedi must taste all the flavors of the Jedi path in order to achieve balance within their own unique path. Being skilled in combat does not make a Jedi. Being sensitive and knowledgeable in the Force does not make a Jedi. Knowing the Philosophy, Maxims/Truisms, and the Code does not make a Jedi. Only being a student of all walks of the Jedi path can someone find balance and be a Jedi. If one is a student of all walks of the Jedi path, then does that not make their overall goal to be a "Master-of-all-Trades"? Master of one trade or "Jack of all Trades" are just not enough to prepare a Jedi properly. This is what the Aptitude Maxim is about. Of course, "Master-of-all-Trades" in a lifetime is impossible. A lifetime is hardly enough time to truly master any one skill, never mind all (even something as simple as walking and talking). But that does not mean it still should not be a Jedi's goal. With "Master-of-all-Trades" as my personal goal, when I come across something new, even if I'm not particularly interested in it, I pick it up, try it out. If it sparks more interest, then I continue with it as daily or weekly study until I master it (I DO it), then opt for monthly practice or study for maintenance. If my interest is not piqued at the time, then I decide to come back to it at another time storing up the information and my experience. It is not useful to force study on yourself towards a subject which does not interest you. Deciding to master the trades we are good at or the ones which interest us first does not negate the "Master-of-all-Trades" goal. Interest in other areas will grow with time in which case we can return to a subject we have stored. Of course, everyone has a specialty, but that only comes with where you begin to learn. At the age of 24, I had solidified my specialty in Electrical Engineering and Electromagnetics in Microstrip Patch Array Antenna Design. With many years ahead of me, I made it a professional goal to become proficient in other antenna types to make myself a bigger asset to my company and our customers. Three years later my extracurricular studies paid off allowing me the ability to transfer to another division within the company when business dwindled and cuts needed to be made. Specialties aren't just professional. We have hobbies and other interests which can become specialties. We follow our interests early in life to find these specialties. If a Jedi is diverse, then their interests will delve into other areas as life goes on. It is this "Master-of-all-Trades" goal which lead me to the online Jedi community to branch out my Jedi training and it is what lead me to NerdFitness, as well. It will continue to lead me to new and unusual places, like Pokémon Go catching them all. Like I said, "Master-of-all-Trades" is a goal, but not necessarily an achievable one. Realistically, you can’t learn everything, because life has its limitations, but you can damn well do everything in your power to get as close as you can. It is the mentality which is important. Strive for the unreachable and what you do reach will be outstanding. Aim for the sky and you will soar, but aim for the farthest star and who knows how much further you can go. When applying this goal, it is important not to stretch yourself too thin as to never master anything. Know your limitations and use proper time management to schedule your studies to optimize your time and energy. Diversify yourself and balance all aspects of life. You only get one shot at life so get the most out of it. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 4 Challenge: FITNESS: Work Up a Sweat - 320 minutes of conditioning training for the entire challenge. DEX +2, STA +2 The weekly plan is 60 minutes of racquetball on Friday and two 10 minute fast walks or runs. Fast walks can be replaced by jogging, swimming, biking, or rowing (haven't done since my injury, but may be ready to test) depending on what I feel like doing. Stretch and Strengthen - 440 minutes of exercises and stretches for the entire challenge. STR +2, DEX +1 The weekly plan includes 10 minutes of regular stretching each day, two 20 minute sessions of physical therapy exercises (therapist or gym) and 20 minutes of other strength training each week. DIET: Weight Control - Lose 4 lbs by end of challenge. Never weigh more than 170 lbs. Get measurements to compare to last year. CON +3 I'm starting at 165 lbs as of today. LIFE: Get Stuff Done - Complete 12 Tasks or Projects from any of the following areas: Toastmasters, Webmaster, Jedi Training, Work, House Work, Home Renovation, Auto Maintenance, Family Activities (to keep it diverse, no more than 3 from any one category) WIS +3, CHA +2 I seem to always have a lot on my plate these days with a bunch of started-but-not-finished projects and tasks, then other stuff lingering for me to crack open, but I keep putting off because of what I already have. I need to get some check-completes and build momentum for other projects. Less procrastinating and more doing.
  23. Have you seen the new Star Wars movie? If not, then stop reading this and go see it, now! It is a fantastic revisit to the Original Trilogy style and storyline with old characters returning with new lessons to bestow on the new characters. I'll do my best to avoid spoilers or at least mark it in the stuff I write, but you've been warned! I've seen the movie, I'm excited about it and the new story, and I will write about it! So what is my story? Well, I’ve been here before. I kicked a lot of butt progressing through 22 challenges since 2012, until middle of last year. After struggling to maintain a presence here through the first half of 2015, I struck out on my own as I had conquered many obstacles here, learned many lessons, and felt I was ready to implement a new accountability strategy for I had developed a strong supporting cast in real life to keep me accountable. Alas, a back injury and a "layoff" crumbled all my plans. I am on the road to recovery for both. In October, I started a new job only three weeks after my old one ended. The growing pains are over and now I feel entrenched in my new world. In October and November, I took a lot of time off from fitness to allow my back to heal. In December, I started physical therapy to strengthen my back. I have occasional flare ups, but for the most part, I have my body functioning like its old self. It is like I am back at square one, or Level 1 for my character here. Instead of hitting the reset button, I'll jump to World 2 Level 1 complete with new challenges and obstacles. Old foes may come back, but they will require new techniques to defeat them. I am still a Jedi in training, learning from the old masters, studying the new practices, and constantly improving. Challenge Lesson: “There has been an awakening…†The quote of course comes from the new Star Wars movie, Episode VII: The Force Awakens. It is actually the first quote I have used from a dark side character as it is delivered by Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo Ren’s dark side master and leader of the First Order. I believe he is referencing a disturbance in the Force which I am guessing feel more like an awakening which could be Rey realizing her Force potential, or something grander. An awakening can be a realization or inspiration which causes sudden growth. I feel that is the perfect summary for what the new movie has done for me. I am highly motivated at the moment to pursue training, defeat obstacles, and hit my highest achievements. Through the summer of 2015, my focused turned to jobs to complete with my 2 year project and contract coming to an end in August and September. I also finished my term as Toastmasters Area Governor and began my term as Division Director in June and July which prompted a very similar focus on completing tasks taking my eyes off training. In October, I started a new job in a similar field on a familiar program, but very new tasks. The new job required training and learning. By December, I was out of the training stage and entered the execution stage of my new job. Training and execution is cyclic. You need skills to execute effectively; therefore, you must train first to learn and master the skills. New tasks come along to execute, which requires new training. You must balance these. If you train too long, then the execution is delayed. If you execute a task too long, then the training will fade in other areas. Toastmasters is training only. I spent a lot of time training skills, but I was not applying them in my previous job often. In my new job which requires more application of communication and leadership skills, I found that training in some areas was rusty. Luckily, my interview skills we not one of those areas. Now, I have an outlet for execution of the skills learned through Toastmasters training. I am growing through practice and practical experience. My awakening has me motivated in several ways. I started a monthly Toastmasters Training and Mentoring session to give me an opportunity to teach, coach, and mentor people. I offered to conduct similar classes for my co-workers in my office (meeting on Wednesday to discuss opportunity further). I am considering where in my community and other community Toastmasters may be able to spread and form new clubs. I took on an opportunity to coach a struggling club. I am looking to take classes to improve my Program Management skills at work. I am increasing my visibility within the office with social and work related interactions. Typically, I am an introvert, but I am acting more extroverted than ever before. My Main Quest and Mission: My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. World 2 Level 1 Challenge: FITNESS: Work up a sweat! – 100 minutes of high intensity training per week DEX +2, STA +2 Stretch and strengthen – 100 minutes of my physical therapy exercises and stretches per week STR +2, DEX +1, STA +1DIET: Portion control – Eat less per meal, snack less throughout the day. It is time consuming to measure accurately, but I am pretty confident whether I can count a day as a successful one or a subpar one (or a complete failure). CON +2LIFE: Read – I have lots of reference material to read, but I find myself reading unimportant news. Return my reading focus to learning. Use reading in my social interactions. WIS +3, CHA +2
  24. Welcome to the exciting Adventures of JediNickD! It seems like forever ago that I joined this site and started my first challenge. Judging by my level, you might say I'm right! But level and experience mean nothing unless lessons learned are applied in your life. This website has given me practical knowledge in goal setting and planning. Throughout my life, I have been applying that knowledge. In my career, in my job, in my home life, in my Toastmasters training, in the gym, in my Jedi training, and even in my video games! Throughout the next few challenges, I plan to focus my Jedi lessons around this passage from Return of the Jedi where Obi-Wan says that quote: This challenge, I'll focus on the quote in bold by Obi-Wan Kenobi. In this part of the conversation, Obi-Wan plainly states that Luke cannot escape his "destiny". That word destiny implies a predetermined path laid out for Luke. That predetermined path is the ultimate struggle of good versus evil (light versus dark sides of the Force) in the Star Wars galaxy by being the son of Anakin Skywalker and being powerful in the Force. Being a Jedi and weilder of the light side of the Force, Luke cannot avoid his confrontation with the dark side, because it will hunt him down to either recruit him or destroy him. Since Luke cannot kill his own father, he decides there must be another way. He confronts Vader and the Emperor on his own terms by surrendering, then we all remember what happens. The lesson to take away from this quote is to confront your problems on your own terms. Do not let your problems chase you down or haunt your dreams. The dark side will find you. For Jedi, confronting the dark side is their destiny. It can be defeated with intitative, accountability, and honesty by taking ownership and being confident that a solution will be found. Doing so will give you an advantage over the obstacle and sometimes force the solution to appear one its own. That is what confronting something on your own terms means. Now, on to the CHALLENGE! My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. I'm changing things up for this challenge by eliminating all the Side Quest Goals. I'll still use the Excel spreadsheet and Battle Log, but I will not set any specific weight or rep goals. I am adding a new training technique and incorporating what I learn from the MAX Workouts eBooks I bought recently. The new training technique is a Complex workout where you move through a series of excerises without putting the weight down. MAX Workouts stresses power and intensity while working the whole body in one workout to achieve maximum fat burn and build lean muscle. I'm taking both concepts and combining them to something I call Combo Complexes. An example is Deadlift into a Bent-Over Row then a Squat into a Overhead Press, 10 reps each with the same weight. My plan is to eliminate the time consuming and boring cardio from my workout routine. I loathe running more than a mile. I'll do it on occassion, but I don't want to rely on it to keep my weight in check. My main quest with attribute points is below: FITNESS: Build STA +2, STR +2 and DEX +1 by conducting powerful and intense Weight Training for 20 minutes or more, three times a week. Schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (optional). FITNESS: Build STA +1, STR +1 and DEX +2 by conducting muscle recovery Training for 20 minutes or more, two times a week. Schedule is Wednesday, Friday, Saturday (optional), Sunday (optional). DIET: Build CON +2 by eating healthy 35 times or more, eating unhealthy 16 times or less and count their calories, drinking 200 fl oz of Dr Pepper or less, taking care of my skin and lips by applying moisturizer 80 times or more (twice daily), brushing (twice daily) and flossing (once daily) 120 times or more. LIFE: Build WIS +2 and CHA +2 by completing two Toastmaster Speeches, completing Lesson 4 of my High Performance Leadership project, and completing 2 IJRS Personal 101 lessons.I'm three lessons in to my High Performance Leadership manual, but I'm in the bulk of the work now inlesson 4, which I won't complete until May. I finished my second Competent Leadership manual and have only one speech left in my third Competent Communicator manual. I have 1 speech left for my Advanced Communicator manuals. I plan to do a Speechcraft training session for the 1 hour training session I need to do for my Advanced Communicator Gold, so I can earn my DTM. My Club Coach and Area Governor roles are going very well. Jedi Training is progressing. I'm hoping to finish the course this spring.
  25. Welcome back for another episode in the Adventures of JediNickD! It seems like forever ago that I joined this site and my first challenge. Judging by my level, you might say I'm right! But level and experience mean nothing unless lessons learned are applied in your life. This website has given me practical knowledge in goal setting and planning. Throughout my life, I have been applying that knowledge. In my career, in my job, in my home life, in my Toastmasters training, in the gym, in my Jedi training, and even in my fantasy football league! Throughout the next few challenges, I plan to focus my Jedi lessons around this passage from Return of the Jedi where Obi-Wan says that quote: Quote This challenge, I'll focus on the quote in bold by Obi-Wan Kenobi. In this part of the conversation, Obi-Wan mentions a theme that is prevalent throughout The Origial Trilogy. Nature is good, technology is evil. No where is it more prevalent than in Return of the Jedi when the Ewoks aid the Rebels in defeating an advanced Storm Trooper army at the Battle of Endor. There is a book called "Star Wars and Philosophy" edited by Kevin Decker and Jason Eberl which includes a chapter on this very subject titled "A Technological Galaxy: Heidegger and the Philosophy of Technology in Star Wars" penned by Jerold J. Abrams. Using Martin Heidegger’s philosophy of technology, Abrams separates technological experience into two categories, ready-to-hand and present-at-hand while explaining the process of enframing. He uses real life and Star Wars examples to help explain the concepts. Lastly, Abrams points out how present-at-hand and enframing is the path to the dark side. Ready-to-hand is our primitive tool-use relation, where we experience tools and the external environment as natural extensions of our bodies. This application of technology is considered in tune with nature. The tools are used to care for our homes, each other, and the earth. Abrams explains that ready-to-hand is the light side or Jedi application referencing Yoda’s existence on Dagobah as perfect example as a Jedi applying only ready-to-hand technology which I’ll get into later. Present-at-hand is the opposite of ready-to-hand. We are detached from the environment by way of high-tech tools due to our basic attitude towards the universe. This comes from advances in science which allow us to see deeper into nature and gain control of natural processes. In essence, we are challenging nature to reveal itself to us as something for us. Everything natural is put under a microscope. Heidegger calls this process “enframingâ€. Nature’s elements are classified as resources to be consumed. Forests become “lumber†and rivers become “hydro-electric powerâ€. Abrams considers this the dark side or Sith application referencing the Death Star as the ultimate example of present-at-hand technology and enframing. Darth Vader a walking example of enframing. When is the last time Darth Vader smelled a flower or watched a sunset? In The Original Trilogy, we only see him stand on metal floors except in one scene in "The Empire Strikes Back" where he is inside the Hoth Rebel Base (excluding Luke's cave experience, which isn't really Vader, but a hallucination). Anakin Skywalker, the man who would become Darth Vader, exclaims to Padme in Episode 1 "I'm a person." In Episode 2, he begins the enframing process by losing part of his arm and having it replaced with a robotic limb. With Yoda’s home life on Dagobah contrasted against the Death Star, there is no doubt which is the path to the dark side. Yoda lives a meager life in a hut molded out of mud. He only consumes that what he must to survive. He utilizes no technology outside of rudimentary tools and utensils; therefore, leading the perfect example of a ready-at-hand technological experience. It is very possible to live as Yoda does on Earth. Amish and Mennonites do it every day along with many African and South American tribes and even other communities dedicated to living a wholly natural life. These communities are very isolated to the rest of the world, which means a Jedi would not be able to serve the greatest good of the world in one of these communities; however, they would be able to serve the greatest good of the community and nature of the planet. Yoda hides in isolation, preventing Darth Sidious and Vader from discovering him while preventing himself from fighting the dark side and protecting the galaxy from a tyrannical government. He is able to preserve the nature of Dagobah by only employing ready-at-hand technology, but he fails to help protect the galaxy. Technology may be leveraged in many ways, but fall into the two categories of ready-at-hand and present-at-hand, which are defined by how it is used by humans. Photography when used to post "selfies" and such falls into present-at-hand, but when used to promote and educate about nature, natural experiences, and such it falls into ready-at-hand. Jedi must be careful with how and why they use technology. Now, on to the CHALLENGE! My mission is to be the best Jedi I can be. My main quest is always to enhance my overall health, fitness, and knowledge to be prepared for whatever challenges life could throw at me. As a Jedi, I need to be able to help people, whether that is a life threatening situation or just a charitable one. There is no boss level in Jedi training, there is only tomorrow. I'm keeping it similar as last challenge with a couple upgrades while keeping in mind that Thanksgiving falls in the middle of the challenge. My main quest with attribute points is below: FITNESS: Build STA +2 and DEX +1 by Running, Sprinting, Hiking, Biking, Rowing, Rollerblading, or Training (HIIT or Sports*) for 20 minutes or more, three times a week. Get to the gym once a week at lunch time (or on the weekend) for an extra work out.Winter is here and that's when I tend to mail it in, so I'm going to turn up the pressure by going to the gym at lunch time at least once a week. Schedule will resemble TuWF, MWTh. FITNESS: Build STA +1, STR +3 and DEX +1 by meeting at least 95 % of my fitness side quest goals. I've switched around a few exercises to my fitness side quest goals. Going for another 100%. DIET: Build CON +1 by eating "Healthy Meals"** 34 times or more, eating "Unhealthy Food"*** 18 times or less and count their calories, drinking 230 fl oz of Dr Pepper or less, taking care of my skin and lips by applying moisturizer 80 times or more (twice daily), brushing (twice daily) and flossing (once daily) 120 times or more. Looking to make more small strides. I will be counting calories, but not as a goal this time. LIFE: Build WIS +3 and CHA +3 by completing two Toastmaster Speeches, participating in Table Topics thrice and Meeting Roles four times, working on my High Performance Leadership project by recruiting students for a Speechcraft, successfully completing the Area Speech contest, and completing 2 IJRS Personal 101 lessons.I'm three lessons in to my High Performance Leadership manual, but I'm in the bulk of the work now inlesson 4, which I won't complete until May. I finished my second Competent Leadership manual and have only one speech left in my third Competent Communicator manual. I have 1 speech left for my Advanced Communicator manuals. I plan to do a Speechcraft training session for the 1 hour training session I need to do for my Advanced Communicator Gold, so I can earn my DTM. My Club Coach and Area Governor roles are going very well. I'm holding a speech contest in March and assisting one in April. Jedi Training will take a backseat this challenge. I'm hoping to finish the course this spring. I have 5 lessons left, so 2 this challenge and 3 in the next should complete it. To improve my project management and proposal skills, which are vital to rising higher in the ranks of my contracting company, I decided to take some online courses. I just finished Acquistion 101 which is a prereq for just about every course at the University. I signed up for the next course which ends on April 12th. * - Training or playing Basketball, Soccer, Rugby, Football, Hockey, Swimming, or Racquet Ball ** - "Healthy Meals" means no grease, minimal fat and calories, mostly veggies, meat, and fruit, while avoiding starches. Breakfast is not included in count. *** - "Unhealthy Food" means anything with excessive grease, fat or sugar, empty calories, or any meal void of veggies or fruit. Breakfast is not included in count. NOTE: By these terms, a meal can be neither healthy nor unhealthy. These are neutral meals which I still need to watch my portions on, but will not be tracking this challenge. CHALLENGE GOALS: SIDE QUESTS FITNESSBarbell ExercisesDeadlift = lbs, 60 repsBack Squat = lbs, 60 repsIncline Bench = 155 lbs, 60 repsDecline Bench = 155 lbs, 60 repsBench Press = 240 lbs, 60 repsOverhead Press = lbs, 60 repsStanding Curl = lbs, 60 repsDumbell ExercisesBench Press = lbs, 60 repsFly = lbs, 60 repsOverhead Press = lbs, 60 repsStanding Curl = lbs, 60 repsHammer Curl = lbs, 60 repsInverted Row = lbs, 60 repsSide Raise = lbs, 60 repsForearm Curl = lbs, 60 repsReverse Forearm Curl = lbs, 60 repsForearm Twist = lbs, 60 repsGoblet Squat = lbs, 60 repsTricep Ext = lbs, 60 repsMachine ExercisesTricep Pull Down = 65 lbs, 120 repsLeg Press = 1320 lbs, 120 repsSingle Leg Ext = 125 lbs, 120 repsBodyweight ExercisesBox Jump = in, 100 repsLunge = lbs, 100 repsBurpee = lbs, 60 repsMount Climbers = lbs, 120 repsPull Up = lbs, 60 repsChin Up = lbs, 60 repsHammer Pull Up = lbs, 60 repsDip = lbs, 120 repsDive Bomber = lbs, 150 repsPush Up = lbs, 500 repsAbdominal ExercisesCrunch = lbs, 600 repsBicycle Crunch = lbs, 600 repsLeg Lift = lbs, 200 repsSide Leg Lift = lbs, 350 repsOblique Twist = lbs, 600 repsSide Bend = lbs, 600 repsSide Raise = lbs, 200 repsRollout Wheel = lbs, 300 repsReverse Situp = lbs, 300 repsCardio ExercisesSprinting Distance = meters, 20 repsJogging Distance = miles, 6 reps3 mile Jog = min, 1 reps2 mile Jog = min, 2 reps1 mile Jog = min, 3 repsDIETDiet & HealthSkin and Lip Care = 40 qty Dr Pepper = 230 fl ozHealthy Meals = 34 qtyUnhealthy Food = 18 qtyBrush & Floss = 120 qty LIFECareerFamily & HomeChores = 50 hrsNF CommunityChallenge Thread = 6 qtyBattle Log = 40 qtyEpic Quest = 2 qtyMini Challenge = 6 qtyNew Follow = 1 qtyFriend Thread = 6 qtyToastmastersManual Lessons = 2 qtyMeeting Roles = 4 qtyTable Topics = 3 qtyJediIJRS Personal 101 = 2 qtyJedi Reading = 500 minGeocaching
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