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  1. Honestly, I didn't plan this, it just kind of happened on its own. Hello! I'm Kishi, sometime GL of the Monks and newly itinerant wanderer. Nice to meet you. I've wandered into the Assassin's Den because I'm trying to learn how to play with movement, and I hear y'all the best around for that kind of thing. Specifically: I am learning myself how to juggle. Why? Because I want to. And also because it's got a lot of benefits that should in theory carry over to martial arts. My situation is thus: I have settled down at a local academy that teaches both BJJ and kickboxing; it bills itself as a Muay Thai school but it is, in fact, Dutch-style kickboxing, which means less knees and elbows and more long combinations whilst standing in the pocket. I enjoy it very much. It's a new set of challenges, and coming from my background it's a lot to adjust to. But there's a problem: we have a space that is too small for the amount of students that we have. So we can't actually spar, which means that as much as we drill and drill and drill, it's actually really hard to develop the skills I need to develop myself further. Since I can't get what I need at school, I'm on my own. And my belief is that the attributes required to juggle - hand-eye coordination, mental processing, relaxation, fluidity of motion, etc. - will have carryover to my main thing. It's no replacement for sparring or anything like that, but perhaps when the time comes I will find that I'm a little sharper than I thought. And worst case, I'll have some fun along the way. As far as goals go, I'm more of a process guy. Ideally, I'd like to pick up a three ball cascade: But I don't have a deadline for it. The journey will get me there when it does. The real trick is showing up. So my goals will be as follows: Goal 1: Juggle 10 Minutes A Day Most likely to be done as two five minute sessions at different times of day. Half credit for one session, full credit for both. Goal 2: Shadowbox Mostly with the idea of staying up on the balls of my feet and keeping my pelvis scooped so that I have tension in my stomach. This is opposed to my Shotokan upbringing, which is big on these long, fencing-style lunges. They can work together. But they won't if I don't put in the work to make them. Goal 3: Grappling To be broken up again between standing work and ground drills. Half credit for one, full credit for both. Goal 4: Clean 1 thing per day So, I've had an issue with my place which is that I have entirely too much stuff. I don't like it. I don't like the lack of space and I don't like how it makes this place feel. I want to be rid of as much of it as I can. In the past, I've tried to go through an entire box of stuff, but that turned out to be too much. Gonna try again with this and see about getting rid of just one thing per day, with the idea being hopefully to finally start clearing some space out. Rewards Because I find that I like them, especially those things that help me get better at what I want to do. 80%: Juggling Balls. I decided to start with tennis balls. That was... a choice. By showing up to practice, I will unlock tools that will make the whole thing easier. That'd be dope. 90%: New Rashguard. Something like this. I like the design, and I could use more. But definitely make sure it's white, because it's a signifier of rank, and I'm crazy, but not stupid enough to show a rank I haven't obtained. I'd get beat up for that. 95%: Djembe Drum. Another thing that would help my martial arts and also make me a more expressive human being. Drumming is a good way to study rhythm, which is better than speed. Depending on how much space I clear out, there's a whole range of options to choose from. Nothing too fancy, though. I'm not looking to master it. I just want to play. And... yeah. That'll do it. I'll make my round to everyone as I can. See y'all when I do!
  2. Hi hey howdy ever-body! Hope you're doing all right. I'm sorry I didn't step up sooner, but after last challenge, I didn't really know where to go. I know I wanted to do another challenge, but everything had got so well locked in place at the end that I didn't really know what to do. I wanted to take some time, if not to think, then to observe and consider, and try to figure out what next steps were necessary, if any. It took all week for me to figure out where I wanted to go next. Basically, things didn't stumble into clicking just right until I made a point of scheduling things. I responded well to that - swings every hour actually turned out to be a good way to break up the day and get my other training done. I'm pleased to report that it hasn't caused me to hurt worse. If anything, I'm feeling better. I want to keep that going, and with diet and exercise mostly under control, it's time to turn to sleep and mental stuff. Goal 1: Honor My Bedtime Basically, I want to start getting more sleep. I know I do better when I have a concrete bedtime, but for too long I've been letting it be dictated by my waking time. I want to break that if I can. Bedtime for me is most realistically 01:55 for now. Further edits to be made as needed but for now, let's start with something that'll be easy for me to keep. Goal 2: Wim Hof Method This is a breathing technique by Wim "The Iceman" Hof, a famed figure for feats of inhuman endurance. I've done this before with good results, and I want to get back to it. Goal is to actually take my lunch break (since I'm writing first thing in the morning, still making sure that's locked in) and to go do my practice. It's not exactly lengthy work or anything, but it'll take long enough that doing it in the morning would be prohibitive. Goal 3: Meditate Want to come back to this again. I'm a better me when I do this. So! Goal is to do this at the end of the working day. It fits in well there when I've done it before; the reason I haven't been is because I've been too wrapped up in trying to get other stuff done. Gonna start at 1:00 per day for the first week and add a minute per week. And that should do it, I think. Sci Fi got moved to Tuesday Nights, which in the long run is good for me because when I'm cleared to get back on the mats again, the MMA place will be having strike work on Wednesdays, so it'll be nice to have that time open. That's the way it's gonna be. Today's goals will be something of a wash on account of just really only having crystallized this stuff in the past 20 minutes, but what can you do? BTW, quick shoutouts to @Tanktimus the Encourager, @Rurik Harrgath, @Mistr, @WhiteGhost, @Treva, @Kyellan and anyone else I missed for stopping by last challenge to cheer me on. I appreciate the work as always, although I'm not always good at saying so. Let's get to it.
  3. Man, I disappear for like a month and y'all gotta go and change things. Huh. Neato. Reminds me of the old days. When last I was here, I was working on a novel for National Novel Writing Month and had just gone through the Book of Five Rings, which essentially worked out to being re-skins of the same challenge about 5 times in a row. I didn't plan it that way, and I think it was a little lazy of me looking back, but I took some good from it, and given all the everything around here in the past year, I reckon some consistency was actually rather called-for. And why did I disappear? Well, no particular reason. I just found myself out of things to say, and work got busy for a while and they rolled out some new processes and platforms for us which has taken some getting used to, and... yeah. What's new with me? Well, since the weather turned cold, I've pretty much just been sitting around, and between the lack of activity and all the holiday food, I've officially crossed the 25% body fat line and have become obese. Which I didn't see coming, but TBF I should have. Non Exercise-Activity Thermogenesis is a thing, and I've not been doing it, and between that and Hashimoto's (read: a finicky to dead metabolism), it was really only a matter of time. But that's hardly the only thing that happened. I rediscovered some movement drills from back in the old days of my training and my hips are good and loose and snappy for kicking now. I rediscovered that I like media! I like shows! I like watching them! I like bingeing them! There is content that is worth watching and reading! I refined my planning process for writing novels and the planning for this draft is well underway. I cooked for my family's Christmas Dinner! I did Green Bean Casserole and this time I had the guts to par boil green beans and fry my own onions, which was a major step for me. Despite my metabolism being dead, I've finally got my thyroid working again, so it's not all bad news on that front. Basically, I've spent the last month just kind of coasting and relaxing, and doing so has kind of allowed me some perspective on what I was doing before and how I want to shake things up. So, without further ado, my goals: Get my body fat percentage to sub-25%. Totally feasible over the course of the month. According to my measurements, I'm sitting at 25.8% with a 3% margin of error, give or take. That means reducing calories, but I can't do a real cut like everyone else does; my thyroid does not forgive that kind of thing. Instead, it's better to figure out a lower weight, figure out what maintenance looks like there, and then program my calories as such. Fortunately, I've got very good at calculating my numbers, so the goal is to stick to 2200-2300 calories for the duration of the challenge. I might dip a bit below that, but certainly I don't mean to go below 2100. New Kettlebell Program yeaaaaaaaaah. Long time observers would be shocked if I wasn't back on my bullshit of trying something new. Strongfirst released a program for sedentary people after one of their coaches at a similar experience to me. The article's worth reading, but the basic gist is to do some one arm swings every hour on the hour for 8 hours a day. This program is specifically designed to work alongside everything else as a plug-in for sedentary folk, and while I'm not swinging enough weight to necessarily burn that much fat, I can definitely tell that I get the "Tonic Effect" off the dosage (ie a sense of physical/mental refreshment and a heightened sense of focus). The other useful thing about this is that it gives me something to work my shadowboxing and other practices in with. But this is gonna be a daily goal, along with the others. One Page Of Planning Per Day. Pretty much what it says on the tin. One page of planning per day. This is actually easier now, since I took the time to figure out my Great Swampy Middle, so I basically have a bunch of dots to connect as opposed to having to make up the dots as I go (which was a real problem last go 'round). It goes without saying that I've got a bunch of extra training on tap. I gave up CaliMove's program because it's not designed to be friendly with martial arts, which will be a concern for me in the long run. I did Athlean X again for a while but it made my shoulder feel janky and I didn't like it, and it didn't stop me from getting obese (between training and nutrition protocols), so to hell with it. GMB's Elements program and Simple and Sinister are the two programs that are designed the most to give me the most what I want, so these will be what I do. It doesn't hurt any that they've both revamped pretty hard; S&S did so first with a revised edition and GMB's updated their Elements program for its release on their new training app. My shoulder feels better with their training, and the challenge can be ramped really easy and really well if you engage correctly with it. So... yeah. Anyway, here in the interregnum between challenges, my goal is to get through the holiday food and get some proof of concept going. And oh, hey, in the meantime, we're all together in one place now. That's pretty neat. Reckon I'll make the rounds and try to see to y'all. It's good to be back.
  4. We're back to find our hero, Red wandering the swamps, trying to find that elusive crystal shard. "Man, I am lost! I thought I would've found it by now." Red sifts through heavy foliage, he keeps his wits sharp as he hears rustling in the trees. "OK, something is definitely following me, I better watch my back." He makes sure that he sets up camp by a large and heavy tree, so as to not be attacked from behind. As he rests by campfire, the rustling seemed to have stopped for a moment, looks like whatever was following him gave up. 'Whew!' Red thought, 'I hate having to fight something when I'm this deep into unknown territory.' But as Red looked up, he noticed that sitting right in front of him was a Mysidian Rabbit! This creature with a straw hat and black coat, sorta resembles a Black Mage, but... it's a Rabbit... "What the? Where did you come from lil guy?" Red offered the rabbit some food, but all it did was hesitantly hop closer and closer to him. "It's ok, lil guy. I won't hurt you. See?" Red places his sword at arm's length so that the Rabbit didn't feel threatened. The Rabbit moved closer until it was right next to Red. "Well hey there." Red said towards the Rabbit as it sniffs the air. It hops once more towards Red's pack then stares at Red with wide eyes. "Err... is everything ok?" Red asked, feeling a bit creeped out. "Mugu mugu!" The Rabbit chants. Those wide eyes flash with a blinding light, "GAAH!!" Red yelled out! Frantically searching for his sword, he hears the clamber of his things and when the light from his eyes cleared, he saw that the shard he had possessed was gone! "What the?! Why that no-good vermin! I'll kill 'im!" Red yelled! He heard rustling in the distance, "There you are!" And he took off after the Rabbit! OK So as you all know, I'll be starting school again. Which means that my time management skills will be put to the test because this is my new schedule. I can fit in some exercising in the mornings on M, Th, and the Weekends. I think that should be enough to keep me in the hang of things. In either case, I'll let you guys know, how my progress is going. If I have a short amount of time, I can always shadowbox, if I have longer than that I'm going to follow this routine Pull-ups - 5, 2 Chin-ups - 7, 2 Weighted Lunges - 15, 11, 15, 7 Push-ups - 15, 15, 11 Leg Raises - 11, 11, 9 Prone Cobra - 56 sec, 1 min, 56 sec In each set, aim for 15 max reps, rest for 1 min between each set, and rest for 2 mins between each exercise.
  5. No story this time. This is just for me. For the past few challenges, I would push myself to do something, and I would simply let it slide and fail at doing them due to Life/Excuses. Then at work, someone said something that resonated with me. "You're so boring, being so serious all of the time." And quite honestly, she was right. I had forgotten how to have fun in life and in NF and Rule #32 in Zombieland "Enjoy the little things." So I'm not going to hold my exercising in such a high priority that if I slip my entire progress is ruined. I'm simply going to move and train and push only when it feels right. And I'm going to (re-)learn how to enjoy my progress, and not worry to the point where as it was pointed out to me, I become so serious all of the time. My routine will still be the same. Push-ups, Planks, Side-to-side Lunges, Regular Lunges, BW Squats, and shadowboxing. But the goal this time is simply to Enjoy it.
  6. As Red ventured further into the swamp, He noticed that the once dense purple fog is now lifting and he's finding more and more clearings. However that also means that more things can find him. ... "Man, just how deep is this swamp?" Red questioned the crystal shard in his hand, rhetorically. As he continued forth, he noticed that the scarce trees had taken twisted and barren shapes. "Yeesh. I wonder what sort of trees these guys used to be..." He says outloud to himself. "Heh, that one looks like his bark is worse than his bite! HA HA HA!" Red laughed pointing to a random tree, his laughing stopped when a thought hit him, "Wait... Who am I talking to?!" Then he heard an unexpected response. "Oh, I t'ought ya was talking ta me. I t'ought we became friends." Red jumped at his sudden company. A scraggly limping form that looks a lot like a person "stepped" forth. "What the--!? Who the--?! Where did--?! I--" The scraggly man looked at Red cockeyed, "Huh, figured ya had more ta say. Eh eh eh! cat gotcha tongue?" After a moment, Red composed himself, "Ummm... Who are you?" "Me? You walk in ta my neeeebor'ood, 'n' ya ask me 'who am i?' Ya've got some nerve, mister!" Red pondered for a moment, admitting to himself that the scraggly man had a point. "You're right, I'm sorry, I'm a bit lost, actually. I'm looking for a shard that looks just like this one." Red showed the scraggly man the crystal shard, glowing in his hand. "Have you seen anything like this around here?" the scraggly man looked at the shard with an intense one-eyed stare, "Ehhh.... hmmmm... Nope! Can't say that I 'ave!" "-_- Great. Well thanks anyways, old timer. I'll be on my way then, sorry to interrupt you." Red started walking away, but the scraggly man, went in front of him. Red was surprized. "Uhh... Pardon me, I'm going this way." The scraggly man said nothing. As Red took a step to the side, the scraggly man stepped in front of him again. "Yer not going anyw'ere." He muttered in a low tone. "Beg pardon?" "HA! I know what yer up ta! Yer after it, aintcha?! But , ya can't fool me, Stranger!" Puzzled, Red asked assured the man that he had no idea what he was talking about, but then the scraggly man attacked! One singular fist flying at Red at blinding speed, clocked him square in the face! "GAHH!! What was that for, you daft fool!?" Red shouted, his hands on his face. "That really hurt!" The scraggly man cackled, and lunged forward again, Red put up his hands to block but the one fist went right through his defenses and hit him again in the face. "GAH!!! That's it! Now I'm pissed!" Red retaliated, swinging with both arms. His fists and elbows flying but hitting nothing, the scraggly man's head vanished before Red could make contact, and after a couple of swings from Red, the scraggly man dodges and lands a solid hook onto Red's face! Red was knocked to the ground, punched three times by a one-armed opponent. "I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!" The scraggly man boasted. Red's face bloodied and angry, questioned, "What?! What do you know?!" The scraggly man, suddenly relaxed, and with a sudden tranquil voice said, "You want to be a fighter, but ya can't be if ya can't dodge." Red's anger suddenly left him and he was left shocked. "What did you say?" The scraggly man looked at him cockeyed once more, "I saw it in yer stance, ya cant' dodge worth a nuthin! How can ya call yerself a fighter if ya can't dodge nuthin?" Red still was confused. "What are you talking about?" "Ehhh, whoops, guess I hit ya harder than I t'ought. I'll teach ya, if ya want, that way when you find whatever yer looking fer, ya can at least not get yer face pounded! Eh eh eh! Now let's get started!" Dodging - Using several training videos on Youtube (and this scraggly man), I'm going to practice dodging (or slipping if you will) a punch, I have a mirror and a fist drawn around face-level, and I basically slip the punch, with stepping forward, and counterattacking with a hook/uppercut from the same side that I move to. ie. slip right, right cross. Slip left, left cross. 3 Disabilities, no excuses - The One-armed, one-legged, one-eyed man doesn't let anything stop him from doing what he has to do. I have to get to 3 sets of my routine, No excuses, no more time restraints. Handstand - I've let this one goal, slip my fingers for far too long, I'm going to pick it up again. I'm not expecting to achieve it in this challenge, but I aiming for at least 60 seconds, 12 inches or less against the wall. Food - I've gained 2 inches around my waist, I've been 32 inches, nearly all my life. except for now I've grown to 34 inches! Nearly all of my pants don't fit anymore! I've hit the age where my metabolism is slowing down, which means that I need to be very careful what I eat. I'm going to add more veggies/fruits to my meals.
  7. Last we left our hero, he was wandering a swamp searching for a new shard of the crystal. "Man, what's with this place!? I feel like I've been stuck in one spot for days! I think I better take a breather over here." Red builds a small fire and tries to observe his surroundings. "The crystal hasn't changed it's brightness in a while. I wonder if I'm making any progress in this swamp." After a short rest, Red decides to continue walking. The fog continues to make his body feel weaker and stiffer, yet, he knows he must press on. He then stumbles upon a peculiar clearing, and upon further examination he realizes that this place was where a severe battle took place. "What on Midgard happened here? It's just... horrible." As he slowly paced around, he heard a voice, "It's terrible, isn't it?" Jumping back Red looked for where the voice came from. "Who said that?! Why does it always have to be a random disembodied voice?!" A cloaked figure stepped forward. "I didn't mean to startle you, I'm sorry. I just saw you here, and thought you'd might like some company." Red after catching his breath, introduced himself, "I'm Red, I'm... looking for something in this swamp, but I think I'm lost. Actually, I'm certain I'm lost. What's your name?" The Cloaked Figure hesitated, "I'm... umm... I... Don't... Know?" the Figure looked away shaking its head, "I can't remember... I was here with... some... one? And then every... thing... was gone... I looked up and saw you..." Red looked at him puzzled, "You don't know who you are? Well, maybe I can help, Why not take off the hood, an--" "NO!!!" ".... Ooook. So the hood, stays on." "I'm sorry, but this is... you shouldn't... I'm sorry." Seeing the sad Figure, Red decided to comfort him. "Nah, Hoods are all the rage now a days. As a matter of fact, I--" Before he could finish his story, Monsters appeared! They slowly approached and Red and the Figure stood back to back, preparing to fight. "Uh oh! Looks like we'll finish this conversation la--" The Figure disappeared in a blur! Each monster was dispatched as quickly as it came and the Figure reappeared. Red was completely astonished by what he saw! "That. Was. Incredible! How did-- where did you learn how to do that?! You moved like a Lvl 99 Monk with Haste!" Red asked. The Figure hesitates again, "I... I don't know... I just... Moved." "Well you did a hell of a lot more than just move! I only saw a blur! You did something like this?" Red swung his elbow terribly outward. "Heh, no it's more like.. Well, I'll tell you what, why don't I show you? Maybe I'll remember something in the process?" * * * Red learns a new Technique! - I've decided to teach myself a new Muay Thai technique: Elbow Combos! Using a video from a very successful Muay Thai instructor, I'm going to learn 5 Elbow combos. Utilizing my 3 rounds, I'll start slow so as to perfect form, and then I'll speed it up to add more speed to the combos. Now I'm teaching myself by watching said video carefully and then imitating what I saw, so I might have it perfected by the end of this challenge, but I'm giving it my damnedest! Body still feels different! - I liked stretching every day, but I slacked off on it last challenge. So I'm renewing it for this one. Stretching 5 times a week! "I.. I think I remember something..." - A few nights ago, I lost sleep to an idea that I want to learn something new, it didn't matter what it was or how random said thing was, I was inspired to learn SOMETHING. This list was random, but I'm going to start learning something new and broaden my horizons. This is what my quick 1am list looks like Knot-tying Face Reading Lock Picking Finances Language Learning (Tagalog) Astronomy How to fly a plane General Business And that's about it. I am not going to have a fourth goal this time, if I did, it'd probably be a list of chores I need to/plan on doing. Changing an (expensive) fuse in my SUV, Rearranging my entire room, Selling stuff on Ebay, Shipping the thing that someone bought from me on Ebay, And general cleaning that my room desperately needs... Probably when I rearrange the room...
  8. As Red fights the dragonlord, he starts to become overwhelmed at the strength of the ancient beast. 'Gah... This isn't looking good.' He thinks to himself as he tries to dodge a barrage of fireballs that are hurdled towards him. "I know I can't beat him, but maybe If I can just get that crystal, I can pass this test." Bahamut continues to goad him, "Is that all you're capable of? I thought you would do better than this?" Red quickly thinks up a plan to get to the crystal. 'Aha! I know what to do! Now I just have to look for my opening!' The Dragon inhales for another attack 'There!' Red immediately charges forward, sword drawn while the dragon launches another barrage! 'I'm... almost... there!' And then... "Got it!" As Red touched the crystal, it began glowing with a strange light. It emitted a pulse that pushed him back. Even the Dragonlord was confused by this reaction as the crystal tore itself away from his claws and floated between them. 'I've got a bad feeling about this...' They both thought, as the crystal began to shine brighter and brighter. They both were paralyzed with awe as they were being engulfed by the crystal's light. ... ... "Uhhh... My head..." "Any body catch the number on that Chocobo?" Red mutters as he tries to open his eyes. "You've been asleep for some time." A voice calls out. "WAAAHHH!!! Who the--?? Old guy?! Where am I? What happened?! Why do I look... different?" Red spoke, startled by the voice "Wh-- I'm only 37! *AHEM* I mean, I found you lying on the ground some distance from here, there was rubble and you were in naught but your skivvies. So I brought you here and gave you some armor from my old days in the army. You've been passed out for some time. I am Baron and this is my h--" Suddenly there was a crashing sound shaking the whole house! "No... They're back early!" Baron immediately runs outside, naturally Red quickly follows. "Oi! Old man! We've come fer our payment!" A snarky voice shouts. "Again?! I'm only 3-" "Who are those guys?" Red asks. "These are Borras' men. They come and take whatever Borras demands. They're early today." Baron speaks to the group of henchmen. "I'm afraid you're early, I don't have enough. Please just give me more t--" "Oi! Wazz all dis about not enuff money?!" Shouted what seems like the head henchmen of the bunch. "Borras sayz ya got ta pay! Dat iz it den!" Red steps in, "Look buddy, the old guy clearly doesn't have enough, maybe you should--" "Oi! Who'z dis?!" "Baron found me and cared for my wounds, that's all, I'm about to leave and--" "Well well well, Looks like da old man haz got enuff ta house a stranger, but not enuff ta pay up? Tsk tsk tsk, old man." The leader then strikes Baron, knocking him to the ground. "Hey! That was uncalled for!" "Ohhh... I don't tink I like dat tone of voice. Looks like we needz ta teach ya a lesson!" Red fights back! Shadowboxing + Exercises! - I've got to get back my old strength, I've slacked so much! So now I've formulated a routine where I implement shadowboxing after each exercise, kinda like a modified HIIT. The number of combos I perform will be the same number of reps I do (I.E. 15 push-ups = 15 1-4 Punch combos, etc). I take a 1 min break between each set, and 2 mins between each exercise - STR +3 STA +3 3 x 15 Push-ups + 1-4 Punch Combo 3 x 20 Squats + Teap Kick (10 for each leg) 2 x 4 Pull-ups + Extended Punch combos (i.e. 1-1-2-3, 1-2-3-3-4, etc to make up for the low number of reps) 3 x 20 Lunges + Knees (Grappling knees, 10 for each knee) MT Sit-ups or Planks (I'm still up in the air about which one) Read! - This guy talks worse than he smells! I'm losing Intelligence points just listening to him! I know! I've obtained the classic book 1984 as a Christmas present, so I'm going to set aside time to read it everyday for at minimum 15 mins. WIS +2 Clean eating! - Now that the holidays are over, I need to clean up my food intake! Salads, veggies, and greens will be part of my normal lunches from now on. WIS +3 Red's Absence - OK, now this one is a doozy. I can't continue my Master's program because there wasn't enough financial aid to help me cover my tuition (I've even looked into loans and whatnot, and still no.). So I'm forced to take a Leave of Absence. Today, I'm going to talk to Student Services about how exactly this works, and how I can pay off my balance, as well as plan steps to build up enough financial aid to cover my tuition for when I go back. I'll be looking into Scholarships, grants, and most likely a second job (because my current one will start cutting my hours soon). If you guys have any additional advice, I'd greatly appreciate it. WIS +4
  9. Red finds himself backed into a Corner with a mountain on one side and the horde of Zombies on the other side, his energy failing and the horde seemingly endless Each swing taking more and more strength from him, he wonders if this is where he'll meet his end, eventually his sword becomes too heavy to hold and he embeds it into the ground as the zombies get closer and closer. Then the ground begins to crack, and the weight of the approaching Zombies starts to cause the ground to give way! Red falls in to a pit! Landing with a hard thud, he stands up only to find himself in an ancient temple. Yet, there was no time to observe his surroundings and he soon learned that he wasn't alone. Heavy breathing filled the air as something very large began to approach him. "Well, well. It's about time..." 'That voice... I know that voice!' "Is that you, Lord Bahamut?" A loud huff was his only response, "I have been waiting for a very long time for you to get here." "You... You have?" "Yes, but you weren't ready then... But now it seems that you are... This will not be easy... But I can assure you, you will never be the same again..." Red realizing he's been out of energy and breath queried, "Uhhh...What are you talking about?" In a sudden flash the Dragon Lord changed. He was slimmer, more colorful, his scales shone like brandished steel. Despite all of this, he still emitted the same ancient air of thousands of years of living on this earth. "This is what I mean, it is time for you to finally complete a Crystal." Within his newly sharpened claws, he revealed a completed Air Crystal. Shining with knowledge as old as Life itself. "Hw-- Wh--- I don't understand. How did you-- Why did you do this?" Red spoke in shock. "Simple, because it is time for you to change, and you can't without the knowledge embedded in this crystal. So I have brought it here for you." Red was stupefied, he reaches for the crystal and then suddenly, he is hit with the Dragon Lord's tail, knocking him back "FOOL! DID YOU REALLY THINK I WAS SIMPLY GOING TO GIVE THIS TO YOU?!" Red, getting up, muttered to himself, "The thought had occurred..." "Change comes with Trials and Tribulations! You must TAKE the crystal from me!! Only then can you obtain the knowledge that you seek!" Shadowboxing - Bahamut is the toughest son of a Dragon you'll ever meet and if I am going to find any way to beat him, I need to take every chance I can find and attack! Shadowboxing whenever I have the free time. So far, it's as follows: M: Between School and Work, During work break T: Between Classes, Between School and Work, Work break W: After classes Th: During the 2-3 hour break between classes F: Before work, During Work break S: Before Work S: Before Work Within these breaks, I will aim for at least 5 minutes of shadowboxing. It might be a problem if I'm not wearing proper attire. Also Whenever I get out of class/work early, that's another opportunity to throw in some shadowboxing Clean Eating: Dragons don't get tough just by eating whatever comes their way. I need to watch what I eat, especially since I'm going to be busy with projects and school! Sleep: Projects, Midterms, Exams, Quizzes, Presentations, and overall Studying will keep me from going to bed on time, This goal is to make sure that I don't forget that I'm not a robot and need rest. Also, I'm going to try to keep up with the rest of you nerds!
  10. Last we left Red, He had just defeated the undead Samurai, and continues on his path towards the Temple of the Lich "Man, this pathway is taking forever! I shoulda made a left at Albuquerque! HA HA HA!" Looking around he noticed that there was no one to hear his joke, "... Oh right." As he pressed on, He heard something faint. He stopped to listen. "Huh, guess I imagined it." "Grrrggghh..." "There it is again! OK, there's something definitely out there!" Red looks around and sees a Zombie moving towards him, "Huh, that's odd." He quickly dispatched it, without a second thought. "Heh, is that the best you can do?!" He arrogantly shouts towards no one. Before he can take another step, another zombie rises from the dirt. Then another, and another, and another, and another! In a manner of minutes, an entire horde of Zombies are surrounding Red! Running out of space, he immediately comes up with a plan "OK, so Zombies are uhhh... slow! Slow swings, meaning openings! Openings in their attacks means I can attack back! Got it!" Sliprope Training: "Zombies always swing towards the head, so if I can learn to dodge that swing and attack afterwards I'll survive!" - Using one of my handwraps, I've managed to set up an interesting twist on the shadowboxing aspect of my workout. I will do 3 rounds of Sliprope training: Round 1: pure movement Round 2: Step-1-2 Punch combo, Step-1-2 Punch combo, Rinse and Repeat Round 3: Step-1-4 Punch Combo, Step-1-4 Punch combo, Basically, two swings with the same arm: one cross/jab, the other uppercut/stomach shot Side-to-Side Pushups: "I've gotta make some room before I get overtaken here!" - Keeping up with increasing the difficulty of my exercises, I'm now adding Side-to-side Push-ups to my routine. I only count 1 rep after going right to left, and left back to right. Less Xombox, More NF: "I can't let myself become a zombie! I have to fight that temptation to give in!" - I just recently bought myself an Xbox One Slim, and I REALLY like it, but I can't let it get in the way of my health and seeing you lovely nerds here! So only AFTER seeing all of the threads that I follow, and my exercises, will I allow myself time to play Xbox. 5 Minutes to Play: Another attempt to get myself to practice the guitar, except this time, starting small, 5 minutes of practice for 3 days (2 of the days will be on my days off, and the 3rd will be on a work day)
  11. Red awakens with a start. He's lying on the floor, cold and shivering, his eyes refocus and he's sees the Red Knight standing before him, waiting for him. "Again." He says, his words direct yet hollow, like a winter wind. Red gets to his feet, and picks up his sword, "We've been at this for weeks now! What is it you're trying to teach me?" He gets into an attack stance. The Red Knight lunges forward, and strikes! "Gahh! Why are you doing this?" The Red Knight says nothing, as Red tries to get an answer from him. A barrage of attacks falls upon Red, nothing he couldn't defend against, but once the attack was over, the Knight disappeared. "What the?" Red pondered, he was just here. "You search with your eyes. That's wrong!" Winding up right behind Red, The Knight attacks with a series of strikes! "How... How did you do that? I was looking right at you." "That is the problem. You see when you should feel. Now get up, again!" The two swordsmen resume their battle, while Red ponders over the vague words of the Knight. 'I should feel and not see... I should feel? Feel what? I feel hungry and a bit pudgy... Hmmm, maybe I should really watch what I'm eating... What else do I feel? I feel like I've slipped on my training lately, I need to get back to it and work even harder!... OK what else do I feel?..." Hungry and Pudgy - I have a bit of a spare tire that I haven't been able to get rid of, and I've realized that it's from a lack of focus on what I should be eating vs what I've been actually eating. I've gotten water down pretty well, now it's time for me to focus on cleaning up on my eating habits. I'll try to take pictures of what I'm eating to show you guys (and to keep myself in check) what exactly I'm eating, as I could always use some pointers on what's healthy to eat and what isn't. Work even harder! - I have bought some Wrist/Ankle weights a while ago, and I haven't brought myself to use them yet, well now I will! I'll pick half of my exercises to have these weights integrated in them... or maybe just the ones that can utilize the weights Shadowboxing is a definite! What else do I feel? - I haven't been meditating and I feel like that was always a healthy habit to practice. I will make sure I meditate 3 times a week! No excuses! Seeing and not Feeling - I have a couple of books I've been meaning to finish! So I will spend 15 minutes every day reading as much as I can out of these books! Probably before I go to sleep or on my breaks at work.
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