Jump to content

The First Steps: Becoming Iroh


CaptMillwood

Recommended Posts

Iroh_smiling.png.f13815f2a8febdfe64e066044d87fcff.png

 

For those unfamiliar, Iroh as a character from the show Avatar the Last Airbender. He was a wise peaceful man, whose past as a general was full of victories and skill. I personally thought he was a great thing to aspire to, so I will take those first steps in this challenge. My challenge is broken down into three manageable parts each one focused on a different aspect; body, mind, spirit. Since training one without the other leads to imbalances and weakness, I want them all to get better.

 

The Body: Enjoy what is good, as often as possible.

Reason: One of the major parts of Iroh's personality is his love of food, tea especially. I am a line cook, so I know how to cook quite well. But I continually find myself not eating or eating things that make be feel terrible afterwards. So this part of the challenge is to fix this and have my body running on good healthy food.

Plan: When I cook and have the time, I actually eat very well. Including a massive amount of vegetables. However it is when I am rushed or looking for quick energy that I eat terrible things for me. 

     So the plan is as such. Begin to carve out time for two meals a day, one in the morning and one in the evening, with small snacks in between. My work has plenty of options for snacks, so it is chiefly the meals at home I need to focus one. The main battle will be when I need something fast before leaving or heading to bed. So for the mornings I will be making sure that I start making up overnight oats, or keeping fruit on hand. Ideally granola as well, even though it isn't perfect. For the evening making sure there is sandwich materials on hand and making some dressing ahead of time, as given half a chance I will eat a large salad and a sandwich leaded with veges. 

     In addition on my time off actually cooking larger meals. Forgetting to eat is a goal. Also no more dairy as I am lactose intolerant.

Measure of Success: I will measure this with a weekly grade of fifteen points. Two for each meal a day and one for getting good things at the grocery store. At the end I will tally the points and see how I did. 100%: A, 90%: B, 80% C, 70% D, and Failure after that. 

Reward: By doing this I will feel better, as I will have a constant supply of energy and not be going up and down constantly. In addition not eating dairy will stop bloating, which makes it easier to move and breath.

 

The Mind: Study both deeply and widely.

Reason: Iroh was known not only for his skill in certain areas, but also in the breath of his knowledge. He continually learned about new things, and applied them to his own interests. As such I will make time each day to read.

Plan: I enjoy reading so there will be no need for it to be forced, it is mainly finding the time. I will set aside the last half hour of the day before bed to read each night. In addition I will count any time reading articles online towards this, if only because it is still reading.

Measure of Success: I will be using a similar method as above, giving myself one point a day every time that I read. I will also give myself the option of reading articles for halg an hour a day to gain an additional point. This way if I don't read one day, I can double up to make up for it for a short while.  100%: A, 90%: B, 80% C, 70% D, and Failure after that. 

Reward: Reading is good for the mind, and I genuinely enjoy it. By reading both books and articles I let myself learn more deeply about one topic, while still keeping up to date. Plus it gives me a way to relax at the end of the night.

 

The Spirit: Many arts are better then one.

Reason: Iroh knew many ways of bending and incorporated them into his bending. I have been doing Tai Chi on and off for various reasons. While it may not be the style that speaks most to me, it is a very useful one.

Plan: Every day I will do ten minutes of Tai Chi. I have not worked out when in the day is best, so the fist week will be trying various times of the day. Ideally I would prefer the morning, but we shall see what works out. I have a basic form that I know and will do that, with a few minutes of breathing meditation beforehand to focus. 

Measure of Success: I will tally how many days I did it at the end of the challenge, with the same break down of success as before. This one however will not reward extra practice, as it is more about establishing a routine. 

Reward: Tai Chi helps with the little aches and pains I have, as well as giving me a way to relax and center myself. In addition the concepts behind it seem like they would be useful in other martial arts.

 

Any questions or comments are appreciated, I love good feed back! Especially as it may help me further refine or trouble shoot.

Iroh_smiling.png

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Oooh, yes. We know Iroh in this place. Most of us, anyway.

 

In any event, welcome to the Monastery! Always glad to see new Monks.

 

I like the look of the challenge so far, and I'll be interested in your experience with overnight oats. My brother does those too, but we never get the chance to nerd out about them together.

 

For the food goal, I'm assuming it's a total of 3 points/day - one point for each meal (2 meals) plus a third point for buying good things at the grocery store. Is that correct? And if so, does that mean that you're taking a couple of days off of that each week? Or do you only grocery shop once per week? I ask because I have a tendency to shop every day, so it just looks a little weird to me.

 

The other goals do look like they're good. The reading goal is straightforward and concrete, and the Taiji goal seems pretty clear from here as well.

 

I like that you see the rewards of each of the activities you've chosen. Well and good! At the same time, don't be afraid to offer different rewards if you find that these don't motivate you enough.

 

Anyway! Feel free to reach out to any of us if you have any questions or concerns. Otherwise, get hype - we officially start next week!

Link to comment

Welcome!!!!!

 

I love overnight oats, but I don't do the often because they dont generally agree with me. Love the consistency and the lack of slimness you get with cooked oats sometimes. 

 

Might I also suggest for easy breakfasts:

Left overs

breakfast salads- spinach and egg and bacon easy and really good!

Egg Muffins

 

Overall looks like a great challenge!

Try not, do or do not- Yoda

Link to comment

Hi there, I don't know you yet but I am 5000000% here for your challenge because IROH IS THE BEST.

 

I did overnight oats for about 6 months straight, and it was very good for me.  I had to switch because I didn't have time to eat them, but I highly recommend them.  Good nutrients and delicious!  If you would like other suggestions for breakfasts, I have recently gotten on the No-Protein-Powder-minimal-dairy-Smoothie bandwagon and there is lots of room on here.

I like how you noticed that the quick-bites is where you need to work on your fooding, because that is the thing most people ignore when changing their diet.  Good work already.

 

Looking forward to your challenge!  Best of luck!

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Current Challenge

Battle Log

Breathe deep.  Seek peace.  Bring a sword.  ---Kishi

Playlist for the Zombie Apocalypse

Link to comment

Iroh goals are the best goals.

 

Nuts make an excellent source of quick, portable energy.

  • Like 1

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

Link to comment

Thanks for all the support and ideas everyone! I haven't actually sat down to make the overnight oats as I haven't gone grocery shopping for the week. Otherwise goals are doing very well, reading has been easiest to do and tai chi after that. 

 

So far this test run has been a good way of seeing how things will go. Quick eats have been the issue. While technically I haven't said I won't eat unhealthy things I have been wanting to eat them for snacks. Dairy was been the biggest issue, I ended up snagging a couple of cookies at work yesterday that had dairy in them. Which did lead to the usual response, but such is life. 

 

I think I need to modify the food goal to include a point for no dairy. That is honestly the biggest challenge as it s everywhere and SO GOOD.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Good that you figured that out! That's what these 0-weeks are for - shakedown/warm up work, basically.

 

I'm trying to figure out the quick eats riddle also. It's, uh. It's not quite there yet. But I suspect the solution, if you're going to eat healthfully, lies in having things ready ahead of time or else having restaurant options around that can facilitate good eats. It's a challenge either way. But you'll get it!

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Alright so checking in! I almost didn't notice the beginning of the challenge as I was helping with a Pirate Festival. That basically means there are now videos out there of me sword fighting people and singing sea shanties, the second poorly. While I did eat two meals that day, I did end up having some dairy on one of the sandwiches I ate. It was from a stand and while I could have gotten it taken off or a different sandwich, I didn't. Simply have to do better next time. Today I did much better with the eating, including overnight oats! Some dairy slipped in but that was unintentional on my part so I am not counting it against my points.

 

Reading has been good as well. Due to general fatigue (ten hours at a festival being social wore me down) I read mostly short articles for half an hour since it was less strenuous. TOday though I started "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein. I am kind of sad to see that my reading speed has decreased from use. I did a quick test online and I am now an "Average reader" where I was once a good one. To put that in context I read about 377 words per minute, but only have a 64% comprehension. It will be interesting to take the test again at the end of the challenge, so I will include the link. http://www.readingsoft.com/

 

Tai Chi has been easier. I have been a little sore since starting it but that is to be expected as I stretch muscles not used. Morning has yet to be the time that I do it, but I have been doing well with evenings.

 

So far, pretty solid start.

 

The Body: Week One, 6/15

The Mind: Week One, 2/7

The Spirit: Week One, 1/7

Link to comment

Now, now, I doubt you sing as poorly as you think. Or alternately, if you, it's acceptable in context. :D

 

I'm pretty sure my reading speed is down too, since most of my reading is done via audio these days. Otherwise, there's just no time to sit down and actually read a book. That test looks interesting, though; I'll have to give it a try at some point and see what it tells me.

 

Glad to hear that things have started off solid! Keep going!

Link to comment
On 8/14/2017 at 7:58 AM, Kishi said:

Now, now, I doubt you sing as poorly as you think. Or alternately, if you, it's acceptable in context. :D

 

I'm pretty sure my reading speed is down too, since most of my reading is done via audio these days. Otherwise, there's just no time to sit down and actually read a book. That test looks interesting, though; I'll have to give it a try at some point and see what it tells me.

 

Glad to hear that things have started off solid! Keep going!

Thanks. I ended up coming out around 377 words a minute but only 65% comprehension, which is less then ideal. But like everything else, practice practice practice.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Alright so thinking that breaking this into days would be a better bet. 

 

Week 1, Day 3: Eating has been well, my first meal ended up being lunch with my mother and the second was at home later. There was some butter on the broccoli I had which I didn't notice will half way through. Such is life, I will know for next time we eat there. 

 

Reading was once again "Stranger in a Strange Land". So far it is pretty good, though the sheer amount of exposition in the first eighth of it threw me off. Right now I am reading a little under thirty pages a night, so I will have it done long before my book club on the 28th. Then it is the Dunwich Horror after that. Slowly but surely my book pile will be defeated! 

 

Tai chi went well. I seem to have fallen into a nice habit. About two and a half minutes  of sitting meditation, five minutes of actual practice, then two and a half minutes of standing meditation. Since all parts are considered part of a good practice, I am happy with this set up. If it were me doing something totally unrelated I might be disappointed in myself, but this is all based on Tai chi. Besides, be water.

 

Week 1, Day 4: Eating didn't go as well as planned as I missed my first meal. My evening meal ended up being vege nachos with no cheese, so pretty good. Snacks ended up being nuts, peanut butter crackers, and some chicken salad I made for a picnic tomorrow. Still I have a literal fridge full of vegetables now, so good eating ahead!

 

Reading and Tai Chi are happening after this posting so I can't comment on them.

 

The Body: Week One, 10/22

The Mind: Week One, 4/7

The Spirit: Week One, 3/7

Link to comment

Hey! I wanted to start a file on you stop by and say hello and I just realized that you're only 6 days older than me! We're like brothers, yo!

 

So, I guess I haven't said it before but Welcome to The Monastery! Don't worry about Avatar references... Everyone knows Iroh here. 

 

Worry about not getting The Dresden Files references... that's when you become an outcast. 

 

I like your challenge! I'll try to stick around and show some support from time to time!

One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.

Current Challenge

 

 

Link to comment
On 8/16/2017 at 9:38 AM, Kishi said:

Re: "Stranger in a Strange Land" - well, that's Heinlein for you. He's pretty heavy on ideas and on telling you what to think about those ideas. That said, it's a good book, and I enjoyed it.

 

Glad to hear that the Taiji is becoming ingrained. It's not over yet, though. Keep working on it!

I am enjoying it a lot, to the detriment of my sleep schedule. So far I have enjoyed the view that a complete outsider has on our society. While not specifically mentioned, I also appreciate the Martian idea of ancestor worship as well as their attitude towards death. Still half a book to go so I shall see how it ends up.

 

On 8/17/2017 at 10:55 AM, The Shogun said:

Hey! I wanted to start a file on you stop by and say hello and I just realized that you're only 6 days older than me! We're like brothers, yo!

 

So, I guess I haven't said it before but Welcome to The Monastery! Don't worry about Avatar references... Everyone knows Iroh here. 

 

Worry about not getting The Dresden Files references... that's when you become an outcast. 

 

I like your challenge! I'll try to stick around and show some support from time to time!

Hello then new brother! Don't worry I get those references, been reading the Dresden Files for years.

Link to comment

Gone a bit longer then anticipated, but I was a little sick. See below.

 

Week 1, Day 4: A quick follow up, reading and Taiji did happen. 

 

Week 1, Day 5: So Wednesday is my early day, which means I head to work at 7am. Not a fan of it but what can you do? As a result food waited till around 11am, egg in a basket which is one of my favorite breakfast foods. After that I had a picnic on the beach with my lady, which included some veges as well as chicken salad again. Pretty healthy (as I made it) and I read to her a bit from a fairy tale book. I ended up using leftovers as snacks and doing both reading and taiji at the end of the night.

 

Week 1, Day 6: So this is where things went a little screwy. I ate well but could feel a sickness creeping on, which showed itself at the end of the night. Was not fun at all. But being my stubborn resolute self, I did my Taiji and reading at the end of the night. Not to the same level but this was just not a fun time at all.  

 

Week 1, Day 7: Eating went according to plan. However time got away from me. TO summarize it, it was a busy day and I opted to stay late and do a bunch of prep work to set up the next day, so I got home after midnight. On the tail of being sick I was just way too tired, so I smoked a hookah to come down from work and went to bed. I would like to read but there is no light in my back yard, though as I write this I did take my computer out today. So reading some articles tonight to off set that.

 

Week 1 Review: So even though I cook for a living my meals at home tend to be really really basic. Which is why I haven't really detailed them as what I do at work is much cooler. For instance one of our best sandwiches is as follows. Griddled bread, coleslaw dressing, ham (different cut so much taster then normal ham), cheddar cheese, pickles, and pulled pork with a side of fries. That is not to mention the chicken roulade that we made because we had free time and have roughly 75 years of kitchen experience behind the line. But suffice to say I do eat pretty cool stuff, just not as cool as that. 

 

Taiji has been going very well. It serves what for many people what meditation does as I never stop moving, so sitting for even five minutes is just torture to me. I do note however all the differences that have happened with a more regular and mindful practice. I think eat week I will add another part of the total form (?) until I can go through it completely. So far what I do takes 2.5 minutes, and I alter it for the other side. 

 

Reading has gone so well, and I am so happy I started again. For a few years I have been using podcasts as I drive and hour and a half each day for work. But the time at the end of the night has been great. I think I will do it in my study from now on though, as it has been taking away from sleep, which is a struggle. I naturally want to sleep 3am-11am but that doesn't work with out current schedule of the world. So need to alter the plan to not negatively affect other areas.

 

But in total going really well. And avoiding dairy!

 

The Body: Week One, 22/22

The Mind: Week One, 6/7

The Spirit: Week One, 6/7

Link to comment

TBH, cooking simply for yourself as a cook doesn't surprise me at all. I had a roommate once who worked his way up to being a sous chef for one of the restaurants in downtown Raleigh. He was (and to my knowledge remains) a really good cook. But he didn't like to go all out for himself when he was back at home. The way he explained it to me, it sounded like a kind of burnout - at the end of the day, after having done this so long, he just didn't have the appetite to work so much anymore. Which is understandable.

 

Glad to hear that taiji and reading are happening, and hope you get to feeling better soon!

Link to comment
On 8/20/2017 at 10:13 AM, Kishi said:

TBH, cooking simply for yourself as a cook doesn't surprise me at all. I had a roommate once who worked his way up to being a sous chef for one of the restaurants in downtown Raleigh. He was (and to my knowledge remains) a really good cook. But he didn't like to go all out for himself when he was back at home. The way he explained it to me, it sounded like a kind of burnout - at the end of the day, after having done this so long, he just didn't have the appetite to work so much anymore. Which is understandable.

 

Glad to hear that taiji and reading are happening, and hope you get to feeling better soon!

That is in essence it. With the added fact that I lack the time. That is changing in a couple of weeks, but at the same time if I can't maintain a habit in the bad times, it is a weak habit.

Link to comment

Alright so the second week isn't off to the best start, mainly as there was a work trip. But still it didn't end terribly, and all but one of my goals is still on track.

 

Week 2, Day 1: So Sunday eating went very well, I had a massive vegetable breakfast with three eggs and oatmeal and quinoa added to it. Next meal was a veggie burger (scratch made where I work) on bread with some zucchini relish on it. Didn't snack a whole lot besides some broccoli. Taiji and reading didn't go so well though. Saturday night I did read articles to offset the loss the previous days so that is good.

 

However I had a work trip the past two days and due to time restrictions pulled an all nighter. Wasn't the best idea by any means but it go me through it. The tiredness killed any real urge to do much besides start the Defenders and chat with people. So no points there.

 

Week 2, Day 2: So the work trip was a white water rafting trip down the Kennebec River with a night in some cabins with food and drinking. So for a decent portion of the day is actually spent doing really good things. My set up and intention was spot on. I brought my book and had set aside time to actually do both Taiji in the evening and read. However after the rafting I was wiped and took a nap, and the night lets say did not allow for free time or a good reading environment. Reality is I could have done it if I had prioritized, but to a certain extent I didn't want to seem too weird. Which is not a great thing, so you know what I need to remember I am a weird awesome guy more often.

 

Eating though was on point. I snacked on jerky and some vegan biscuits before the trip. Lunch was steak, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and corn which is a solid if carb loaded meal. And dinner was BBQ brisket, corn salad, beans and sausage, pasta salad, chicken wings and tuna steak. I ended up cooking a lot. So a really carb and protein filled day which may not be a bad thing after rafting some class four rapids :D

 

Week 3, Day 3: So here is where we do the turn around. Breakfast was pretty much leftovers as the other stuff had a bunch of dairy in it. So not a bad start. Driving and cleaning up after out]rselves was the order of the day. For those who hike and know about the Appalachian Trail is, we did some trail magic. Ran into two hikers who had been on it for a month. So we gave them all our leftover meat, the cake no one ate, cornbread, bunch of eggs. Literally enough food for a dozen people to carry them through a few days. 

 

I am sitting down to read some articles after typing this, and then hitting my Taiji and reading BEFORE cleaning my house and unwinding a little more.

 

Going to turn this challenge into a success.

 

 

The Body: Week One, 22/22. Week Two, 9/22

The Mind: Week One, 6/7. Week Two, 1/7

The Spirit: Week One, 6/7. Week Two, 0/7

  • Like 1
Link to comment

As a way for me to keep track better, and have more accountability, just finished my articles. Below is a link to one on stoicism and how it might be used to help mental issues. 

 

I am linking it as it had some good advice, but also because one of his quotes is actually from Iroh!

 

'Dis-ease (Mental Health)' by Zachary G. Augustine

 

The Body: Week One, 22/22. Week Two, 9/22

The Mind: Week One, 6/7. Week Two, 2/7

The Spirit: Week One, 6/7. Week Two, 0/7

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Wow, what an adventurous past few days! Sounds like you rolled with it and did the best you could.

 

13 hours ago, CaptMillwood said:

Reality is I could have done it if I had prioritized, but to a certain extent I didn't want to seem too weird. Which is not a great thing, so you know what I need to remember I am a weird awesome guy more often.

 

Exactly.

 

As someone who gets up in his cube every half hour or so to stretch and has to deal with people, I'm pretty confident that they for the most part don't really care all that much. Nobody treats me any differently for being weird where they can see it. It takes a lot of willpower and confidence to get over that first hump, but if you can manage it, I don't think you'll find anything bad on the other side. :)

 

13 hours ago, CaptMillwood said:

Eating though was on point. I snacked on jerky and some vegan biscuits before the trip. Lunch was steak, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and corn which is a solid if carb loaded meal. And dinner was BBQ brisket, corn salad, beans and sausage, pasta salad, chicken wings and tuna steak. I ended up cooking a lot. So a really carb and protein filled day which may not be a bad thing after rafting some class four rapids :D

 

Carbs are not the enemy! They simply provide a different set of advantages which may or may not be appropriate for a given person in a given situation. On the other hand, it sounds like you put yourself in position to take advantage. Cool. :)

 

Also, I bet those hikers appreciated all the food. Hiking definitely builds the appetite, and had I been in their position I probably would have wept for joy. :D

 

I'll have to check out those articles if you're linking them. Thanks!

Link to comment
On 8/22/2017 at 7:35 PM, CaptMillwood said:

So the work trip was a white water rafting trip down the Kennebec River with a night in some cabins with food and drinking.

 

Man, I did that river a couple years ago, and I've been dying to go back.  It was super fun.

 

On 8/22/2017 at 7:35 PM, CaptMillwood said:

Reality is I could have done it if I had prioritized, but to a certain extent I didn't want to seem too weird.

 

Wait, we aren't supposed to be weird?  I was not informed of this in the employee intake training....

  • Like 1

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines