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Hey guys, I'm back on the wagon here, after finding a different path to wander for the past coupla months. It's great to be here again! I've got a couple of new goals - long term and for this challenge. But one really cool thing that happened was a letter I found when I got back home. It's probably best if you just read it for yourself :

 

Meraki

Director of E.R.A.

Meraki

Redacted,

Redacted,

interest@era.com

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13 March 2018

To Infinity Zero,

The Elite. Reconnaissance. Agency. are honoured to send you a letter of interest.

E.R.A. is a non-military led sub-branch of United Nations Security Council Counter Terrorism Unit, dedicated to stopping major acts of destruction before they occur.

 

We have seen your progress and ambition and have decided that you would be a good candidate for our training program and subsequent employment within our agency.

Your role within E.R.A. will be as an Intelligence Officer, though this is all the information we can give you before you sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement with us. Therefore, any further detail will be provided to you at an information briefing in a few days time. The exact date, time, and location will all be sent to you when you respond to this letter signifying your interest.

 

This briefing will also include an assessment for further character details and current skills that may not be known to us. This includes your knowledge, fitness, and social abilities - which will be key for employment with E.R.A.  We expect that all of our agents to be at their peak performance in each of these areas at all times. Training will be provided during our training program, but there is a minimum level of competency we require to be able to train you to your full potential.

The exact entry requirements will be given to at the briefing, along with information of what E.R.A. does, and what the training program will provide you with.

We shall assess any progress needed to get to the requirements at the briefing, and further points of contact before acceptance.

 

Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear back from you soon.

 

So, of course I signed up and agreed to go. The exact details, of course, and going to be slightly more vague for you from now on, but seeing as how it applies to getting my fitness up and training, they allowed me to keep up to date with that on here! 

Just this morning, I got a follow up email for a more specific regime that I'm going to have to follow from now on.

 

Thank you for your attendance at the information briefing that was held. We have decided that you are qualified to continue with the orientation, though we have decided that you need a period before acceptance into the training program as you are physically unable to complete the necessary requirements.

To aid you in your progress, we shall have a different instructor interview and assess you at the end of five week intervals, until the date of the entrance exam. This is to ensure that you continue to be a suitable candidate and can hold up in our training program and work there onwards.

Further details of the entrance requirements are provided below.

  • Be able to run 5 kilometers in under 30 minutes.

  • Be able to pull yourself up onto a ledge

  • Be able to touch your toes

  • Be able to hold a plank for 2 minutes

Further skills may be of benefit to help boost your skill within the program.

  • Basic computer security knowledge

  • The ability to drive a car / motorbike

  • Strong long and short term memory

 

What you do with the rest of your time is up to you, but we advise that you develop some personal skills as well, in preparation for developing skills within the training program.

 

The date of the entrance exam is at the beginning of September - the 11th to be exact. (Also happens to be my birthday, so hopefully some good luck will come from that) So I have five challenge spans for these sessions to get me to the first set of goals. The first instructor, someone called Demeter, emailed me shortly after with a set of goals, and they look perfect for turning into a challenge on here.

 

To Infinity Zero, my name to you will be Instructor Hestia. I'm welcoming you into this probation period, getting you up to snuff and making sure you know the drill around here before you start facing some of the others. The first four week span technically starts on Monday, but I thought I'd email you now with my expectations so you can start working on them.

 

By the end of this period, I expect that you will be capable of the following  :

  • Know your average 5k speed

  • Your measurements over this span

  • A consistent food log over this span

  • The ability to hold a plank for 20 seconds

I will be checking in with you again on Sunday 25th to see you progress.

 

So, of course, this becomes a task. 

1) Run 5k once a week. 

2) Take measurements every Monday morning.

3) Record food consumption in journal.

4) Hold a plank for 10 seconds, then add 5 seconds each week. Do it every day.

 

 

tl;dr Basically I was approached by a non military sub branch of the UN SCCCTU, who are counter terrorism, and look for people out of sixth form and university. Someone approached me about a potential interest in ERA (the branch's name), but told me that I wouldn't be able to get into the training program unless my health and fitness was up to snuff. But they're going to be training me for this!

 

 

 

(Disclaimer : none of this is real - it is to trick my brain into treating it all seriously, but it's like any other story. There may be refinements in the future, and other areas I will be working on, but this is it for now.)(Also wow, sorry this post is so extremely long)

 

 

 

 

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So, to everyone who doesn't know me, I've just finished my gap year - having gone to a bunch of different countries, but it means I've been away from home for about nine months. I've done a bit of backsliding, but I'm still planning on improving just day by day from here on. 

I flit between Rangers and Rebels, but this is where my people are (for now), though I may take challenges elsewhere every now and then. 

 

But what with all the moving, I'm in a bit of a chaotic situation (some may really empathise with me here :P ) 

I'm settling back into my room at home, I've got an interview with a potential university today, looking for a job and trying to get back to some sort of normalcy / habit / routine, so there may be a bunch of side habits I'll try to keep integrated into my life from now on. (eg keep my room clean, journal, pray, etc)We'll see how it goes and make updates as I go along and into further challenges as well.

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5 hours ago, Eskcanta said:

(But it is also pretty interesting!  Good luck and I hope you keep following through.  I like your motivation idea here.)

I always wanted to be a spy or in special forces, and it's not impossible for me to maybe do so in the future. It could really be real if that was were I wanted to bee going in my life, but I do want to achieve the fitness and mental strength that they have, which I don't quite have yet. 

And thanks! I hope the idea continues and I'll be able to create some form of narrative from here on out.

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2 hours ago, Bean Sidhe said:

Okay, I think this is super awesome and I am glad you are back. Looking forward to watching you get ready to go be a superspy.
 

Super spy may be a bit much :P I'm just gonna aim for being a pretty awesome spy right now. WHo knows? Maybe I'll injected with the super serum at some point along the way.

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Good news I discovered - my appetite has gotten smaller over the past while.

Unfortunately, I have a slightly increased desire to snack, and though I eat less stuff, a higher percentage of that stuff has been bad for me.

Solution - keep eating the same portion size - just make it better food. 

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Dear Infinity,

I'm emailing a reminder of the task that you need to complete this week. You told me that to achieve your goals, you are going to 

- Run 5k on Saturday

- Train C25K three times a week

- Complete a daily dare

- Log all food and drink

- Take your measurements this morning

- Hold a plank for 10 seconds every day.

You have four daily goals and two weekly ones, which is an acceptable balance. Let me know by the end of the week how it goes, and I will adjust future weeks accordingly.

~ Hestia 

 

So, new email from my first instructor (we had a bit of correspondence, but to detail all of it is a bit boring) about the challenge ahead. I just wrote my measurements and I'm about to start exercising for today, so should be able to cross most of that off. :D First day of the future begins! 

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30 minutes ago, Bean Sidhe said:

Looks like you have a good plan set in place for this week. i am sure you will do great. I am here to cheer you on.

Today went well, though the ground outside was so icy that it was just a 3k walk, no jogging possible :( 

But thanks! :D

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4 minutes ago, Akari said:

Your Intro is really exciting! I want to read more :)

Oh heya Akari! How are you doing? 

Though the story won't really be ramping up for about five challenges - which is when I'll hopefully be accepted to the actual academy.

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Day 1, as usual, went amazingly.

Day 2 was a struggle.

Day 3 recovered a bit of momentum.

Day 4 was non-existent.

Day 5 tried to be better than the day before (and created some fun graphs and todo lists and  timetables which make it easier for me)

Day 6 has been really good.

 

Some of the struggle was when I planned certain activities (like my walk) around other things in the day (like going to see a friend) but then that plan falling through and no longer going on that walk. The friend was the reward for the walk, but I need something more in the form of immediate gratification. I think I'm going to start setting aside money for nice clothes / vinyl records, and the only way I can is if I set a certain amount after each walk. Or maybe every distance completed (eg on the way to Mordor) is another reward. This will be flesh out further (and may correlate to in story rewards as well).

 

My second issue was aimlessness, not knowing what to do in specifics, or when to do it in a day. I would have the list but put it off throughout the day until it was late and I was too tired to do any of it. So I drew out a graph with tasks in time periods of the day (not specific times because then that gets too micromanagy and I don't do it if its not perfectly on time). So my walk is before lunch, but my shower is after my walk, and I have to work on my job applications between 3 and 5pm. Also, having things to cross off really helps me know where I'm going wrong, and I hate seeing those empty spaces. So that should help with the daily things.

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Hopefully your new plan helps some. I get the same way about wanting to do things and then trying to figure out how to do them. Right now, the exercises and stretching are after homework before bed, so if I end up too tired, sometimes I miss them. Good luck with the new plan.

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8 hours ago, Bean Sidhe said:

Hopefully your new plan helps some. I get the same way about wanting to do things and then trying to figure out how to do them. Right now, the exercises and stretching are after homework before bed, so if I end up too tired, sometimes I miss them. Good luck with the new plan.

Yeah, too many plans and not enough realism :P

The struggle is that I'm also applying for a ton of things and trying to write and trying to process and record my year out. Eek, its more than I thought I could handle, especially while relaxing while watching B99 :P

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I decided to get further training myself, and accompanied my sister to a two hour taekwondo session yesterday evening. Let me just say, ouch, all my muscles hurt today. It's less taekwondo and more an hour of exercise, half hour of kicking and punching (that's actually straight exercise) then half hour of sequences. Overall really fun, and I definitely think that mandatory (due to going with a friend) group exercises are my favourite kind, as seen by my devotion to ParkRun. They also tend to be more fun because there's the competitive and cooperative elements in it. 

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Dear Infinity,

This week seems to have only partially gone your way. A reminder that the skills for an agent is not just fitness and capability, but discipline and self-reliance. Please find a source of motivation, or your place in the academy shall be put under revision.

However, there's no point in forcing you to do something that isn't going to happen. As such, I shall be adjusting your goals for this week accordingly.

-Run 5k this Saturday

- Training C25K four times this week (to make up for the one missed last week)

- Complete a daily dare daily

- Hold a plank for 10 seconds every day (unless going to taekwondo)

- Take your measurements this morning.

I dropped the food log, despite the fact that food is 80% of the fitness challenge, and will think of an adjustment for you later. Mindfulness about it is important, but actually not eating bad things is more important.

~ Hestia

 

I forgot my measurements this morning, so shall have to do them tomorrow morning instead. And the four C25K sounds frustrating, but I should be able to get one done on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I might move the Friday to Thursday and go on the final one tomorrow.

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For some reason my upper arms still feel really tired from Saturday Taekwondo! It almost feels like I got vaccines, mixed with DOMS, but more straight weakness and a hatred of bending my arms. I know what sore muscles feel like, (my core is still sore as well) but maybe that's the hardest I've worked out my arms in a while and I just never realised? 

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Dear Infinity,

Your performance continues to be subpar. However, the time with me is most definitely a period of adjustment and experimentation. So, I shall be emailing you with specific directions once every two days, instead of weekly, because I believe that you are in need of more direct accountability. Also, you have some important deadlines, so those will taken into account.

As you have a job application due on Wednesday, please make that your priority tomorrow. Your future is more important that one day, but you have to realise that your 'one days' make up your future. Whenever you aren't writing your application, I want you to be exercising. After you finish the application, please write your 1.5k words.

On Wednesday, you will be out of routine for the entire day at university elsewhere. Please enjoy your time there, but don't forget to find time to write.

Those are your only two goals, if you do more, that will be good, but not at expense to your priorities. 

An agent needs to understand what their roles are, and the minimum expected of them. 

I will contact you again on Wednesday evening with your instructions till Friday.

~ Hestia

 

 

I missed my measurements again! I think I need a calendar notification to remind me. Also, it's been Easter so filled with far too much treating of myself and going out for meals and making meals for other people. But the diet will be adjusted, especially with help from the family.

I'm applying for a BBC Production Apprenticeship role on Wednesday, or rather, getting it in on Tuesday evening. For some reason I have procrastinated this for the past two weeks. I've drafted all the answers to the online form, but I need to get it done. It's bad that I've left it this late, but I wonder if that isn't also me sabotaging myself because I'm terrified of getting it? 

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6 hours ago, Bean Sidhe said:

This challenge had a few of us where it just didn't go well. Glad to hear the story continues.

True. But it's always good to know that there's you great people surrounding me and encouraging each other on :D

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