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Solve the puzzle, open the box


Echoceanic

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The cave was damp and dark. Echo lowered slowly. her feet slipped from the rocks occasionally, and she would wind up hanging in mid air for a split second before she found her footing again. But the rope was long, her gear was solid, and the cave called to her with its promise of rare metals. Maybe she could find some fascinating discovery. With the new wind she had gotten came her curiosity, and it couldn't be stopped.

 

The cave floor came unexpectedly. Echo dropped down and lit her lantern. The amount of darkness concerned her but didn't stop her from pressing on. Soon enough she came across what she could only describe as ruins. Even in near darkness, so far beneath the ground, after so many years, Echo could see someone hid something important here. She ran her fingers down the wall, reading the ancient language in her head.

'Use your mind, open the box. The box holds what you require the most.'

 

"What box?" Echo said, to herself in this empty space, before she saw the dark object. For a second Echo could swore the darkness was denser around it, as if it emanated it. when she picked it up she heard a rattle inside, the sound of metal hitting metal. All of it was covered in maze-like pathways, that cross-crossed and swam around each other. She tried to follow one path, but she only managed to do five turns before she got lost. This was not the place to figure this out.

 

Echo shoved the box in her cloak pocket and climbed back out of the cave. The first thing she needed to do was go to the local mage that owed her a favour and see if this box was dangerous. And then, if it was fine, she would solve the puzzle and open this box.

 

Hiiii!

 

I'm doing something different this time around and sticking to a narrative, hopefully a cool one. It might not be every update, but it will be finished by the time I finish this challenge. Now for the goals. Or, well, goal.

 

  • Do a full push up. Okay, I am focusing on this for several reasons:
  1. I can do a 45 second plank (and did a 60 second one today) - so I don't lack the arm strength clearly.
  2. I can lower down to the floor, it's just my chest (or nose, cause for my chest to hit it I would have to lie flat on the floor, I tested it) don't hit it. My shoulder blades contract. But it feels like it's too high. When I do it from the floor up I can barely lift up though, and i think it is because my arm placement is super close to my body from the bottom up, and at a 45 degree angle and higher when doing it from the top down. I can't check my form via video either because I can't tape it well. So I need to figure out what is up with that.
  3. I find that I slow down while lowering down because I am afraid I will fall flat on my face, collide my knees to the floor and piss them off (I have scars on both knees and they bruise easily plus hurt) and hit my nose or break my glasses. I am not sure if this is the only thing that stops me, but I know it is a thing.
  4. I tried doing this by placing weights on the ground (small 4 pound ones), grab them in the middle and use them as handlebars because my arms slid on the floor. It helped my wrists too, but my palms are really sensitive (I stop lifting stuff because of skin pain not other stuff).
  5. I lack the expertise to figure this out, and honestly, sharing your problems with people that actually understand what you mean is much easier and more rewarding.

 

  • Don't let everything else fall apart while you focus on this. This is obvious. I am a bit of a hyper-focusser. I need a long time to focus, but when I do I can have other things fall to the wayside. I am going to not do that this time around.

 

SO LETS DO THIS.

giphy.gif

 

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Fun narrative.

i know you said you tried video, but maybe if you posted it here, someone might be able to help. Or ask a friend to watch. Have you tried incline push ups or knee push ups? You can also lower yourself down like you do now, then go on your knees to push yourself up. Doing it slowly really isn't a problem, as a matter of fact it can be good, and build strength.

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"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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18 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

i know you said you tried video, but maybe if you posted it here, someone might be able to help

The thing is, I can't video it well, because of furniture placement, darkness and shitty camera. Friends don't know what to watch out for. Plus, still a bit skittish about posting my face everywhere and anywhere so I generally stay away from that.

 

18 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Have you tried incline push ups or knee push ups? You can also lower yourself down like you do now, then go on your knees to push yourself up.

I have been doing inclines for a long time. I can't do knee push ups, my knees get hurt easily. I fell on them a bunch of times and while they are healthy (as in they don't hurt otherwise and I can do everything just fine), any large amount of pressure makes them bruise and hurt something nasty. 

Slow is good, unless it gives enough time for your brain to freak out on the decent.

 

18 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

Fun narrative.

 

Thanks! Writing usually involves a lot of thinking and editing for me, so it's nice to just run with something.

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"... However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -  Stanley Kubrick

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ANother idea is to just go half way down, and then back up.That  will make it slighltly easier, and hopefully build your confidence, so you aren't as worried about flling. Do you have a mat? Having a mat under you might help too.

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Elastigirl:Just Living Life , Part II - Current Challenge: February 14 to March 20 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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31 minutes ago, Elastigirl said:

ANother idea is to just go half way down, and then back up.That  will make it slighltly easier, and hopefully build your confidence, so you aren't as worried about flling. Do you have a mat? Having a mat under you might help too.

I have a DIY mat made out of sponge so I use that, but it's not that comfy. I might just put a pillow under my knees and face and that might help.

And oh yeah I will continue going half-way down during exercise I do feel like I am doing better. And I will try a wider hand placement for from the bottom up. I should be exercising tomorrow, so we'll see.

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A pillow would work, or even a folded up blanket.

 

I'm a big fan of negatives. You do a full pushup on the way down and then touch your knees down at the bottom and do a knee pushup on the way up. They made a huge difference for me.

I know you said your knees are sensitive, but with this method your knees are only on the ground part of the time. Maybe if you tried it with a pillow or some other cushioning??

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Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

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On 4/18/2018 at 11:54 AM, Echocheanic said:

I have a DIY mat made out of sponge so I use that, but it's not that comfy. I might just put a pillow under my knees and face and that might help.

 

I use a folded up blanket beneath my knees in yoga (on top of my mat).  And often, I still need to take a break if we are holding the pose very long.  

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18 hours ago, Xena said:

I know you said your knees are sensitive, but with this method your knees are only on the ground part of the time. Maybe if you tried it with a pillow or some other cushioning??

 

Hi. I kinda do negatives without the knee push push already - eccentric push ups I think they're called because I basically drop on my stomach in the end. The bruises first developed during lunges and knee push ups, so I don't know. 

 

I should start doing stuff with push ups tomorrow - today and yesterday I was soo tired the rapid heat is killing me, so we'll see how it goes. 

 

Part of what I think will help is actually static holds, as per advice from here actually, so I am working on being able to hold one for more than 5 seconds.

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The local mage did a lot of oohing and awwing, but he didn't know much about the box. He held it in his hands, almost pressed up against his white spectacles as he studied the marks on it.

"Well, I call tell you they are no runes."

"Gee, and here I thought there was a maze language."

"Don't snark at me, you came over here for answers. Not my fault I can only give you ones you already have."

Echo sighed. "Well, do you have an idea as to where we can find answers?"

"The pattern is definitely familiar, and if we take into consideration the language on the wall, we can narrow our search to one wing of the library here in town."

"You mean the one that is deemed to be the biggest library in existence? The one that happens to be more confusing than even the ranger hall? I need to go there?"

"Don't worry, I'll help." The mage grinned and picked up his cloak, a little bit too fast for his age. Echo wondered if he was waiting for an excuse to go there.

The library was filled with books from top to bottom. Shelves were bolted to the floor and ceiling, and no matter how many books each of the guilds in town brought, the library somehow found a way to gather them all. Echo had only been here  a few times, and each time she had to take extreme measures not to get lost. She would mark her way every ten steps. Luckily, the librarians didn't remove any markings, even if they cleaned everything else. That was the only reason she knew there were actually librarians in this place.

The mage and Echo made their way to the wing they needed, one of the smaller ones thank the gods. There they sat down and went on reading, comparing mazes to the ones on the box. By the end of the day, Echo had a list of things to try. She needed to head to the guild hall. The relaxing atmosphere and company would help her work after the mind-numbing hours in silence, sometimes punctuated by a loud, long 'hmmmmm' coming from the mage.

Despite the fact it was more reading than she expected, Echo's enthusiasm hadn't waned. This would be great, she just knew it.

 

 

Hope you like where this is going - there is no adventure without research after all (not if you ask me).

 

tumblr_lgoa6tPAL61qgbabho1_500.gif

 

I haven't been able to commit a lot of time on exercise (which sucks), but after reading a lot about push ups (yes there was a reason this update is mostly reading), I decided to try and count to 100 using (elevated) push ups these weeks. The goal is to get more confident and to build arm strength. I did do this once with the counter and I did 70 a day, so this is not going to be the only thing I do this challenge. A few notes:

  1. Doing these on my soft bed for added dificulty
  2. All I need to do is do a 100 elevated push ups as fast as possible over the course of these days.
  3. It includes the ones I do during my full body bodyweight workouts too.
  4. But any half push ups I do on the floor won't count.
  5. According to my math, I can do five a day and be done in 3 weeks. I can do more than 5 a day easy (I did ten today and could have done more if it wan't super late) so this is a simple goal.
  6. Remaining push ups will be counted at the end of each update.

Here goes nothing! 

 

ELEVATED PUSH UPS REMAINING: 90

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This weekend started out great. It might have something to do with the fact that I did push ups right before I went to work and then I had a nice day.

I had a nice day today too. I am excited actually. This is going super well. I might not be able to make a full push up by the end of this, but I will definitely be doing better. 

 

ELEVATED PUSH UPS REMAINING: 65

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On 4/26/2018 at 4:16 PM, Echocheanic said:
  • I can do more than 5 a day easy (I did ten today and could have done more if it wan't super late) so this is a simple goal.

 

Great way to "grease the groove" and build up a habit!!

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We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Current Challenge: Return of the Persistent Priestess

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

"No, I'm from Iowa.  I only work in outer space." -- James T. Kirk

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Update.

 

The countdown is going well, I can already do more than 5 in a set without feeling winded. I did 10 the day before yesterday and my arms were sore the next day but I am fine with it. Did 7 then 5 today. (Couldn't do it daily because I fall asleep after work a lot - rant about that in battle log).

 

The second part of the challenge is going well too, I am not forgetting the fact I need to work out my other body parts, drink water and don't get frustrated that I can't do it all. I also did a minute plank today so, I mean, I'm doing pretty good in the arm strength department. I can confidently say I no longer have noodle arms ('m still skinny but now I feel strong).

 

I was thinking about my next move this challenge - a static hold count. I got the tip from these forums actually and was advised to get my plank to 45 seconds first. I am not sure of the best way to try it - do I lower from the plank position, or do an inverted push up (from bottom up) and just hold the position at the level I can rise? Which one sounds easier? 

I am super tired today so I won't try it or risk falling flat on my face (did a full routine already) but I will try it tomorrow and see what I can do and how to measure it - seconds passed or tries... tried. :D 

 

ELEVATED PUSH UPS REMAINING: 43

 

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I don't have any answers to your questions, just wanted to pop in and say hi! I'm working my way towards being able to do a pushup too :) Following along for tips, tricks, and camaraderie :applause:

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21 hours ago, kcaleece said:

I don't have any answers to your questions, just wanted to pop in and say hi! I'm working my way towards being able to do a pushup too :) Following along for tips, tricks, and camaraderie :applause:

 

Hi! So glad you're here. 

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These days have been a huge ball of stress for me, so I didn't have the time to try a static hold till today. I tried it on the bed - lasted 10 seconds. Better than the 3 before that.

 

I find I can do push ups easier the higher my hands are - so if they are even with my head it's super easy to descend down and lift up but I am aware that is sucky push up form. If I am going to do this I am going to do it properly. And hey if I wound up learning the proper form like this, I am fine with that. Push ups are not a novice thing.

I find myself over-correcting at times, pushing my hips up (ironically I can do 10 and over before my hips dip down which is worse because it can affect the spine) , and the elbows flare out when I'm tired.

 

The next thing I am researching after this is upper arm strength exercises that will help with my arms. 

 

ELEVATED PUSH UPS REMAINING: 30

ELEVATED STATIC HOLD: 10 seconds

(I'll see how far I can push this, my goal will be to get to at least 15 at most 20 seconds since I have ten days left)

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On 11/05/2018 at 3:53 AM, Xena said:

A low plank position (chaturanga dandasana in yoga) is probably most directly useful for pushups

Yeah that is basically what a static hold is I think. Working my way towards that. I have always had a weak upper body (though now it's a lot better and I am super proud of my progress in less than a year - I think, if you don't count the exercise before the break).

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...So when I was learning how to do planks, I watched a YouTube video and the lady held herself up on her elbows, which is what I've always done since then. You just made me realize I can do them on my hands like a pushup too! I feel like I seriously need to try this now :biggrin-new:

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Current Challenge: KCAleece Keeps Trudging

Alors je ne lui parlais ni de serpents boas, ni de forêts vierges, ni d'étoiles. Je me mettais à sa portée. Je lui parlais de bridge, de golf, de politique et de cravates. Et la grande personne était bien contente de connaître un homme aussi raisonnable.

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On 16/05/2018 at 8:03 PM, kcaleece said:

...So when I was learning how to do planks, I watched a YouTube video and the lady held herself up on her elbows, which is what I've always done since then. You just made me realize I can do them on my hands like a pushup too! I feel like I seriously need to try this now :biggrin-new:

Yeah that is the easier version. It is useful to build up strength till you can do the actual plank, which puts a lot more weight on your arms, and you need to balance a lot better. Let me know how it goes for you!

 

 

These days have been a ball of stress (as evidenced by the fact my time of the month made me take 2 days off of work because of pain and nausea when usually it's at 'annoying but passable' levels) so I haven't done anything but light dancing so that sucks. But I did do 15 today and will see if I can do 15 tomorrow so I can finish this off on a high note and end the story. :D 

When I do arm exercises I feel the dumbbells shaking and the movements not being smooth. I don't know why that happens. And for some reason I can't do the handstand against the wall as well as I could before I exercised. This might be because I am simply heavier now? :D 

 

ELEVATED PUSH UPS REMAINING: 15

"... However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -  Stanley Kubrick

"Difficult for myself? Agent... I was born difficult for myself." - Clint Barton

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Soo... I miscalculated how sore I'd be today so I didn't do the last 15 push ups... 

 

I mean I can always cheat and do them tomorrow morning or something. I'll have to finish this story then anyway because I am really tired (was up at 4:40am) and it's 10pm now so bed time. I am not postponing sleep for this.

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Great job on all those push ups! Good idea to wait until you aren't as tired and do them tomorrow. Or if you feel like it won't injure you, you could do  1 or 2 pushups every 30 minutes until you hit goal (but not if that makes you sore)

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Elastigirl:Just Living Life , Part II - Current Challenge: February 14 to March 20 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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1 hour ago, Echocheanic said:

Soo... I miscalculated how sore I'd be today so I didn't do the last 15 push ups... 

 

I mean I can always cheat and do them tomorrow morning or something. I'll have to finish this story then anyway because I am really tired (was up at 4:40am) and it's 10pm now so bed time. I am not postponing sleep for this.

 

Yes, I would say take Elastigirl's advice if you can, but otherwise do them tomorrow. Consider it an A- or something if you don't want to "cheat", but it will be a good satisfying feeling to finish it, even if it's a day late.

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Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

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Oct/Nov 2016

 

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All of the reading and writing in the darkened hall paid off, but not in the way Echo expected. Which is usually how these things turn out anyway.

The maze wound up being a sliding puzzle she had to push in the correct manner to get it to open.

The box unfurled as if made out of origami. Echo noticed the inside was reflective. And in the middle of the reflective walls was a little ball of dark metal, with a hook like one would use to hang it up on a necklace.

"The heck?" Echo picked it up. As soon as she picked it up she felt something etched on the bottom of it. She couldn't see it with her bare eyes, but she borrowed a magnifying glass from the pile of people in the middle of the hall and focused on it.

"If found, I hope you had fun finding it."

Echo stared at the ball for a second, and then burst out laughing.

 

So, I didn't wind up doing the push ups yesterday, because I got sick and threw up. Which hasn't happened in like two years. So yeah.

All in all, I didn't mind thing challenge. I learned some new things and I think I know what I want to do next. So even though I didn't do everything, I am fine with it.

 

On 20/05/2018 at 10:37 PM, Elastigirl said:

Great job on all those push ups! Good idea to wait until you aren't as tired and do them tomorrow. Or if you feel like it won't injure you, you could do  1 or 2 pushups every 30 minutes until you hit goal (but not if that makes you sore)

I was sore from squats so it was really hard to keep my legs and but tense, so push ups were not happening. 

But I hadn't done squats in so long I've missed them. :D 

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