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  1. Comes to save the Princess Zelda. Listen to that song. Enjoy it. It will probably be stuck in my head for the vast majority of this challenge. I'm back. I have started - and quit - so many challenges on here that I'm not even sure if I did one with the Rangers a while ago or not. I have followed a few to the end, but never hit all of my goals. I'm not even sure that I've ever succeeded in more than one goal in any given challenge. I really wasn't sure if I wanted to do this challenge or not. Why? Because I'm tired of failing. Which leaves me two options. 1) I can stop formally trying. This is what I've done for the last several months. No plan, just general trying to make slightly better choices, which is very hit-or-miss. Mostly miss 2) I can jump back in and risk failing again. I was playing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword the other day and I jumped for a vine, missed, and fell into a bottomless pit. Ouch. So, having not played the game before, I waited to see whether I would die or just lose a heart. And then Link just rematerialized on the cliff I had leapt from, without any hearts missing. So what did I do? The same thing again. For science, of course. Not because I'm terrible at video games. And again, I respawned. No game over. No health damage. It didn't even put me back at the start of the room. The original Zelda game actually counted your deaths, and displayed them on the start screen. The new one doesn't even seem to let you die, let alone hold it over your head to try to encourage you to improve. The thing about that is that I always hated having deaths in the original game. And at the beginning, it's *really* hard. Three hearts is not enough by far and it sucks until you get up around 5 or 6. I've probably spent hours replaying just the beginning of the game because I wanted to get through the first couple of levels without a death. Also because I'm extremely bad at that game, even though I enjoy the heck out of it. So how is that different than failing in real life and trying, again and again, to get it right? It's not. So if I just play Levels (or Weeks) 1 and 2 over and over again and get progressively better, then at least I'm improving, and eventually can get to the end of the game (challenge) without dying. At least in theory. I really didn't intend that metaphor to go that far, but it worked out pretty well. So since I was typing this without any real plan, it seems to me like I've got my theme, both short- and long-term. So time for take one. There are nine levels in the Legend of Zelda, but before you start Level 1 there are some things you can collect to make things easier: the wooden sword, bombs, three heart containers, blue candle, white sword, magical shield, arrows (though you don't get the bow yet), medicine, blue ring, and a ton of rupees, most of which are used to buy some of the aforementioned crap. So the point that I'm trying to make is that you spend a lot of time gathering your resources and getting the basics down. And that's exactly what I'm going to do for the next six weeks. So let's get started. The first thing you get is a sword. You use it to kill enemies. Admittedly, it kind of sucks. Well so does my upper body strength, so it seems like there's a good parallel there. In order to upgrade to the White Sword, I need to be able to do 10 pull ups. I can currently only do 1, though I could do 4-5 at one point, so hopefully it won't be as difficult to regain strength as it is to gain it in the first place. I'm going to follow this plan (http://www.kbnj.com/FighterPullupByPavel.htm) to get there. However, 10 is my stretch goal. I'll be happy with 7 or 8, and as long as I stick to the plan I'll give myself a passing grade. After you get your sword, you spend a lot of time running around. Especially if you've never played the game before and aren't cheating, in which case you spend a *lot* of time running around. Fortunately, I have played the game before (both literally and metaphorically), so my running will be kept to a minimum of 14 runs. I've never gotten quite to the habit of 3/week, but I feel like 2/week is doable. Especially since my running buddy is back in town. When I'm by myself I'll be doing Zombies, Run! You also need a magic shield, which is way better than the crappy little shield you start with. To get the magic shield, I need to record 100% of my food for 36/42 days. I did this in the past and got to the point where it was automatic, but I've since gotten out of that habit. This goal is solely for tracking. The hardest part of the game (for me, anyway) is only having three hearts. As I said earlier, I'm really bad at this game, so I try to get more heart containers quickly. For this goal, I will gain a heart for every 12 days that I'm under 2,000 calories. They don't have to be in a row. TL;DR Goal One: Pull-Ups for the White Sword Get to 10 pull ups. Or at least follow the plan listed above. Goal Two: Running to Explore Go for 14 runs throughout the challenge. Goal Three: Record for the Magic Shield Record food intake for 36 of the 42 days. Goal Four: Calorie Restriction for Heart Containers Be under 2,000 calories 12 days to earn each heart container. A total of 36 to get an A. Stats Starting weight: 164.6 (the highest I've weighed since I went past it on my initial weight loss) Starting waist: 35.5" Starting neck: 15" And I almost forgot my main quest. My main quest is, of course, to save Zelda. And what I mean by that is that my quest is to constantly improve until I've successfully completed a challenge for every dungeon. Also, I signed up for a Tough Mudder in Chicago next May, so I want to be able to survive that, which is why I've come over to the Rangers. It seems like that's more their area of expertise. I'm also going to note that I may start doing CrossFit halfway through this challenge. That will not, however, change my goals. It'll be like an added bonus.
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