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EricMN's Jedi Training - I Rebel


EricMN

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After a great start to 2017 that was highlighted by qualifying for the first time at age 50 for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships and capped off by competing in the Age Group category in that race, the year ended rather quietly as I "whatever"-ed myself into missing workouts, backing off on my running program, and basically falling as out-of-shape as I have been in over three years. Coming on its heels, my 2018 has been consistent in its inconsistency. The year started off poorly; I was eating poorly, I was not working out consistently, and I was missing my scheduled runs. 

 

In context, I am not failing, regardless of what the scale says. I look reasonably good in clothes that fit and I am pretty fit in comparison with most of my peers, who largely laugh when I describe myself as "Old, fat and out-of-shape." This is true despite the onset of psoriatic arthritis in the middle of 2017 that has adjusted how I exercise and how I recover. However, I'm not ready to admit defeat to my arthritic knees and lower back. Instead of my deskbound co-workers, I expect to measure myself against a whole different set of peers:

 

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These men, 50 and over, who are not content to take that knee but will Rise Up and Conduct Their Business as Grand Masters.

 

I will not go quietly into the night. I will fight until I can't fight anymore. I will Rebel.

 

Main Goal

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In October of this year, I'll be competing in the 2018 OCR World Championships. I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the 2017 season and raced in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I will travel to the UK to participate and will run as a journeyman if necessary, but it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again. This time, I don't want to be happy to be there, I want to finish closer to the middle of the pack than the back, and I'd like to leave with something more than just a finisher medal (or two, or three) and a tee shirt: I want to finish with 100% obstacle completion.

 

This is where I say "I know what it takes to get where I want to be" and put my goals in. I do know what it takes. If I had any self-discipline, I could run a Battle Log, because this is basically Level Grinding, but I have the self-discipline of a weasel on crack and the attention span to match, so here we are. If you've been around for any of my challenges you're already familiar with what's going on, but if there are any new eyes reading, here's what's on the menu:

 

Goal: Speed

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I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." I'm still building up my mileage from a long winter of slacking, but I have a running plan that works. Consistency will get me there.

Plan:  Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run.

 

Goal: Strength

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I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with boot-camp style bodyweight and high-rep, low-weight training, and pull-ups. This will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. There will be white boards.

Plan: Boot Camp Monday and Wednesday, weight training Tuesday and Thursday. Bonus: 400 pull-ups during the course of the challenge. I tried this last time and it faded out due to inconsistency.

 

Goal: Skill

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While raw strength will help with some obstacles, it's not going to help me through a ninja-style rig or on Pegatron or obstacles where there are specific skills involved. I have a gym membership to Obstacle Academy for this.

Plan: Weekly Friday obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy.

 

Goal: Sustenance

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When I track my nutritional macros, I can lose inches around my middle and still keep up my muscle mass. When I'm consistent, I see the results I want. I've worked with a couple trainers over the past five years to arrive at the numbers below and as long as I am honest with myself, I can meet my goals here and also look good in my mud jersey when I hit the starting line at the Spartan Race in June.

Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros.

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Sanity

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This is my self-care non-goal. I'm chronically over-scheduled and currently don't have an out for this, and it won't even get better at the end of the school year until I'm back from my summer Youth Mission Trip, which happens during the last week of this challenge cycle. This is not a quantifiable, SMART goal, but it will stay on the list to remind me to spend some time in self-care daily. 

 

Starting Line

I Race, and I love it. I love the atmosphere and the people and the event itself. A bad day on an obstacle course is still the happiest day of my week. Including my trail race during Week Zero, I've got a handful of trail "races" on the docket this cycle to ensure that I am getting in my weekend long runs, and one OCR in the middle:

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The Minnesota Spartan Sprint is my lone local OCRWC Qualifying event of the year, and this year they've made it part of their "Mountain Series", which means it will probably draw more people than I'm used to seeing at our venue and may stack my Age Group with highly-competitive runners who are significantly faster than me and who want the cool finisher medal. We'll see what happens as far as OCRWC qualifying times, but I'm going to go all out trying in front of my friends and family.

 

Finally, I have bee pretty crappy about keeping my challenge threads up-to-date for the past couple months. I won't ghost on y'all - I love my Rangers - but bear with me, especially since this challenge will be done for me at the end of Week 3. I want y'all to know that regardless of the lags in posting, every like and every comment is observed, read, and appreciated.

 

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Carry on, Rebels. It's time for an adventure.

 

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Lurking status...Engaged.

 

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You da man, Eric!

 

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A wolf rises in my heart; against my darkness; against my demons; against my despair. I DECLARE WAR!

 

Romans 8:28 (CSB) We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.

 

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2 hours ago, EricMN said:

Instead of my deskbound co-workers, I expect to measure myself against a whole different set of peers:

 

I love that statement.  Following. 

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2019 Roadmap

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" Always aim for something stupidly crazy." - Charlie Quinn

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Following a man I'm proud to call friend.

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"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Zero Week Update, or: What the hell has Eric been up to?

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Just because I'm posting infrequently around here lately doesn't mean I'm completely slacking in meatspace.

 

Last Saturday was Muddy Warrior, a local OCR that in the grand scheme of OCR was a good fun run. There were some legit hill climbs and descents, a little mud on course, and this thing, which I cannot currently overcome:

 

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I sat on the edge of this platform, trying to get the courage to push off, for what felt like forever before I climbed down the other side.

 

...but otherwise it was just a fun run with an opportunity to stretch my legs and get in a little obstacle work.

 

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No paparazzi!

 

I'm enjoying my morning workouts. The Boot Camp instructor, Shannon, has a Crossfit background and she's kicking my ass.

Monday Boot Camp

Spoiler

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Main set for time, finished in 18:28, followed by the final 50 sit-ups.

Run is 200-meters each.

I did this wrong. I did 5 TGU with every set instead of decreasing reps.

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Tuesday weights:

Spoiler

This is Traci's last week as a trainer at my gym. She's been there for four years and was the first trainer the original owner hired. It's pretty much the end of the original era.

 

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Wednesday Boot Camp:

Spoiler

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Morning workouts have made it possible to do other things with my evenings, like going to Star Wars night at the local Major League Baseball game:

 

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I pose terrible.

 

Or participating in a 10K trail race in 85degF temps:

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Did not finish last. If you really want to see the "wow, he's slow" details, you can look them up yourself. I had fun.

 

I haven't tracked my nutrition well this week, although I'm not making a lot of sketchy choices, and until the school year is over for the small monsties, sanity is going to be touch-and-go... but overall things have been pretty positive.

 

Thanks for all your support, Rebels. 

 

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1 hour ago, EricMN said:

I sat on the edge of this platform, trying to get the courage to push off, for what felt like forever before I climbed down the other side.

 

I wish you'd been able to make it out to RRDW. There was something in the atmosphere there that enabled us all to overcome the sheer terror of doing a jump like that. Easily the most scared I'd ever been at an OCR but also my most proud moment was when I actually went off the edge but there is no way I'd have done it if it wasn't for the rest of the group. 

 

 

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2019 Roadmap

Spoiler

 

" Always aim for something stupidly crazy." - Charlie Quinn

2019 Races: Cliveden MTR 06/01 | Nuts Challenge 02/03 | Reading Half Marathon 17/03 | W.A.R 27/04 | RRDW 11/05 | Nuclear Oblivion 19/05 | Man vs Lakes 20/07 | Spartan Trifecta Weekend 05-06/10 | OCRWC 11-13/10

 

Current Challenge: First Steps

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I'd follow regardless, but the fact that your theme is my favorite Star Wars movie so far ( I know some people hated it. I wasn't one of them) just makes this even better.

 

On 5/23/2018 at 5:47 PM, EricMN said:

rebeltiltheend.jpg

 

Think I just found my next tattoo

 

16 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

 

I wish you'd been able to make it out to RRDW. There was something in the atmosphere there that enabled us all to overcome the sheer terror of doing a jump like that. Easily the most scared I'd ever been at an OCR but also my most proud moment was when I actually went off the edge but there is no way I'd have done it if it wasn't for the rest of the group. 

 

 

 

What he said. May 11th 2019, just sayin'

harrison ford wink GIF by Star Wars

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6 hours ago, Charlie_Quinn said:

I'd follow regardless, but the fact that your theme is my favorite Star Wars movie so far ( I know some people hated it. I wasn't one of them) just makes this even better.

My Mud Sister. I am right there with Rogue One - it's in my Top 3.

 

6 hours ago, Charlie_Quinn said:
On 5/23/2018 at 11:47 AM, EricMN said:

rebeltiltheend.jpg

Think I just found my next tattoo

It's what I was thinking when I saw it.

 

22 hours ago, jonfirestar said:

I wish you'd been able to make it out to RRDW. There was something in the atmosphere there that enabled us all to overcome the sheer terror of doing a jump like that. Easily the most scared I'd ever been at an OCR but also my most proud moment was when I actually went off the edge but there is no way I'd have done it if it wasn't for the rest of the group. 

I was thinking about you all as I was sitting there like a trembling chihuahua, trying to muster up the courage to jump off. It wasn't even as high as yours.

 

And now there's photographic evidence of my shame...

Spoiler

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For what it's worth, the kid to my right was up there a long time, too, which probably didn't help my brain.

 

6 hours ago, Charlie_Quinn said:

What he said. May 11th 2019, just sayin'

harrison ford wink GIF by Star Wars

Y'all are killing me. I want to do RRDW but I also want to do this when it's announced for 2019...

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On 5/25/2018 at 12:57 PM, EricMN said:

For what it's worth, the kid to my right was up there a long time, too, which probably didn't help my brain.

 

 

Wow --- I could probably do it into a pool .... but I'd have trust issues at that point.  

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Some sort of Jedi .....

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On 5/25/2018 at 6:57 PM, EricMN said:

I was thinking about you all as I was sitting there like a trembling chihuahua, trying to muster up the courage to jump off. It wasn't even as high as yours.

When I do things that scare me, and I am afraid of heights, I have saying. "Don't think about it, just do it." If I stop to argue with myself, then I've already lost. 

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2019 Roadmap

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" Always aim for something stupidly crazy." - Charlie Quinn

2019 Races: Cliveden MTR 06/01 | Nuts Challenge 02/03 | Reading Half Marathon 17/03 | W.A.R 27/04 | RRDW 11/05 | Nuclear Oblivion 19/05 | Man vs Lakes 20/07 | Spartan Trifecta Weekend 05-06/10 | OCRWC 11-13/10

 

Current Challenge: First Steps

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Late, but following!

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On 5/25/2018 at 1:57 PM, EricMN said:

the kid to my right was up there a long time, too, which probably didn't help my brain.

 

The guy behind you and to the left looks pretty skeptical too.

 

I don't generally jump off things. For me the terror and anxiety is not sufficiently balanced by any kind of adrenaline rush. I've decided that I'm ok with that.

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January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

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Weekend Zero Update

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Last week ended on a low note. I woke up Thursday morning after my trail 10K and my back had seized up, painful to the point where I took down my standing desk and sat in a chair for the remainder of the work week. A visit to the chiropractor, plenty of ice and my heating pad and lots - LOTS - of stretching and foam rolling got me back on the trail on Saturday morning...

 

This is why I love trail running.

 

... for the worst five miles I have run, ever. It was hot - 90 degrees and humid when I started - and even though I had my hydration belt with me and 12 ounces of electrolytes, I bonked - HARD - at about Mile 3 and wound up walking the last mile back to my car. It was only a workout, but it was a terrible, disheartening result and gave me some serious pause to examine my rest, nutrition and hydration strategies for upcoming races. I'll experiment with some changes this Saturday on my ten-miler; my normal routine will likely look markedly different on June 9 when I Spartan.

 

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Also, the trail looked like it was covered in snow from the Cottonwood down. Allergies for the win.

 

Spent the rest of the weekend doing Family Stuff while trying to avoid temps between 92degF and 100degF:

  • Hanging out with my grandson
    Spoiler

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  • Seeing Solo with my kidmonsties
    Spoiler

    Okay, this was pretty damn awesome. I loved the new story intertwined with the old characters. If you're a hater, you're wrong. End of story.

     

  • Seeing Deadpool 2 with my GF
    Spoiler

    Also amazing. The amount of unsubtle stuff that might not even get noticed at the time was cool. The battle opera soundtrack? Choral "Holy Shitballs". I wish I was a worse youth leader, I would teach this to my kids.

     

It was a Good Weekend. I'm feeling pretty healthy. I'm ready to try to get some goals met.

 

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13 minutes ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

Are you sure it was a nutrition issue and not the aftermath of the bad back?

As well as an allergy and weather issue?

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"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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1 hour ago, EricMN said:

for the worst five miles I have run, ever.

 

Well, I think those kind of workouts are sort of good for you. Good for the soul as long as you don't let them beat you down too much.

 

Solo:



I liked it but I didn't love it. I loved all the back stories on various characters. I loved pretty much every part involving anything Wookie. I liked L3...the robot revolt, and her conversation about her relationship with Lando ("oh, it works..."). The plot wasn't super compelling for me. It was simpler movie than some of the others. I didn't think the relation ship between Han and Kira (I know it's not spelled that way) wasn't very convincing.

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Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

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14 hours ago, EricMN said:
  • Seeing Solo with my kidmonsties
      Reveal hidden contents

     

  • Seeing Deadpool 2 with my GF
      Reveal hidden contents

 

Anyone else expecting pictures of him sleeping in these spoilers? :D 

 

FWIW (because you know, different parts of the country), I've definitely been feeling allergy symptoms over the past week and I'm not an allergy sufferer. They've just been that bad. 

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15 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

 


Which would have been even worse if he was running in San Antonio. ;)

 

Image result for earth texas sun

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"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Tuesday

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Contacts? I didn't think Jabba even wore glasses...

 

Goal: Speed

Plan:  Run a minimum of 3x per week.

Result: Nothing Tuesday; we're working on making sure the kids pass their respective grades, and we're down to a week of useful class time.

 

Goal: Strength

Plan: Lift on Tuesday.

Result: My back is still in recovery mode. Hoping to lift on Thursday.

 

Goal: Sustenance

Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros.

macros.jpg

Result:

KCal: 2,342

Protein: 161g

Fiber: 28g

Sodium: 5,009mG

 

Goal: Skill

Plan: Nothing scheduled.

 

Goal: Sanity

It was Homework Night at the homestead. The kids have each had a major project that they have been working on. Last night was hopefully the end of both.

Spoiler

 

We finally got one of The Boy's major assignments submitted last night. He's on the autism spectrum and interpretive assignments are extremely difficult for him. This particular assignment called for him to write an essay comparing Romeo and Juliet to a story of his choosing (he chose Monster by Walter Dean Myers), calling out similarities in theme, movement and tone. Even with me helping him, what was submitted was a low C assignment at best, and that would have been if it were received on time. It probably would have helped if I was familiar with Monster in the slightest so I could give him insight as to how to address the rubric. Crossing my fingers. He's not out of the woods, he's got at least two more classes that I'm not convinced he will pass.

 

The Girl has a large group project that she has to present on this week. She had to come up with a non-profit cause, hire employees, assign work, create a logo, a social media site, record a PSA and an informational poster, conduct an interview pertinent to her cause, and must present on her assignment this week. She made the mistake of hiring her friends, who have thus far contributed exactly jack shit to the project; all artifacts so far are created by her, with some assistance from me and my GF.

 

The Girl chose school shootings and gun control as her cause. We got her to narrow her focus to school safety and school shootings so her message can be refined. She's doing an awesome job; she asked for - and we bought - rubber wristbands to raise awareness, she's interviewed the school's assistant principal and resource officer regarding the school's safety plan in the case of an active shooter, and she the beginnings of a fully-functioning website that just needs more content. This could become a fully-realized student organization if she cares enough to make it one.

 

When the hell did homework come to mean "family project"?

 

Not a picture of me sleeping.

 

16 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

Are you sure it was a nutrition issue and not the aftermath of the bad back?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure. My back was actually feeling good throughout and I was running pretty loosely between 0.5 miles and 1.5, but I felt like I was running uphill the whole time. This was a major bonk. It's a lesson well-learned.

 

16 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

As well as an allergy and weather issue?

2 hours ago, Sylvaa said:

FWIW (because you know, different parts of the country), I've definitely been feeling allergy symptoms over the past week and I'm not an allergy sufferer. They've just been that bad. 

The heat was bad, and allergies were also an issue, but the pollens were just as bad on Wednesday when I did a trail 10k in the same location and I felt really good that evening. I'll be better overall when things get more normal around here. Whatever that is.

Image result for star wars a new hope quotes

 

16 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

Which would have been even worse if he was running in San Antonio. ;)

It was 100degF in both places on Monday, and our humidity was higher. 

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15 hours ago, Xena said:

Well, I think those kind of workouts are sort of good for you. Good for the soul as long as you don't let them beat you down too much.

Thanks for the reassurance. I'm working on not letting it get to me, although it's a bit tough when I'm already bottom-20% slow and only really seeing tiny incremental progress over years while fighting the inevitable decline of age and infirmity, but I'll keep on working because I am actually starting to enjoy it.

 

16 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

I’m glad to hear about Solo. I don’t think I’ll get a chance to see it until after school ‘s out though.

You'll enjoy it, but you're not going to be far outside the major Nerd loops waiting. If it wasn't Star Wars I don't think I'd call it required viewing.

 

15 hours ago, Xena said:

Solo:

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 


I liked it but I didn't love it. I loved all the back stories on various characters. I loved pretty much every part involving anything Wookie. I liked L3...the robot revolt, and her conversation about her relationship with Lando ("oh, it works..."). The plot wasn't super compelling for me. It was simpler movie than some of the others. I didn't think the relation ship between Han and Kira (I know it's not spelled that way) wasn't very convincing.
 

 

 

Okay, I usually live completely spoiler-free so that people can't walk into anything by accident, but I figure this sentence is long enough of a spoiler warning.

 

Spoiler

I agree with pretty much everything you said. I loved specific moments of the movie: 

  • The Chewie and Han backstory left me smiling the whole time.
  • The reveal of the Falcon was cool.
  • Donald Glover as Lando was a master stroke of casting.
  • Everything about L3 was awesome.
  • The Hologram was a great tease for a new thread to be followed.
  • L3's droid revolt forces the audience to face the fact that droids are essentially slaves in the Star Wars universe. 

I think the fact that the story was tangental to the Star Wars canon is what left me feeling disconnected. Tonally it was fine, I enjoyed myself, and it had plenty of Star Wars-iness about it, but - unlike Rogue One - it's tangental to the Skywalker story that we know and that keeps the Star Wars story going. Fun, cool, really enjoyed it, doubt I'll pay to see it in the theater more than once.

This is a spoiler and contains spoiler content. Don't read this.

 

2 hours ago, Sylvaa said:

Anyone else expecting pictures of him sleeping in these spoilers? :D 

Not during a Star Wars movie, dahling.

 

darths1539b.jpg

  • Like 6

Jedi Knight - Current ChallengeBattle Log - Epic Quest

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Big school projects can be a challenge for the whole family for sure. Both of those projects sound hard for different reasons, but it's really great that you were able to support your kids.

 

4 hours ago, EricMN said:

I'm working on not letting it get to me, although it's a bit tough when I'm already bottom-20% slow and only really seeing tiny incremental progress over years while fighting the inevitable decline of age and infirmity, but I'll keep on working because I am actually starting to enjoy it.

 

Yeah, I know how frustrating that is. Not sure if you experience this too, but I can also be extremely variable in running performance, and I tend to really break down when it's hot. One thing that sometimes helps me is to wear a HR monitor. It helps me mentally because it proves to me that I'm working as hard as I can. I'm not being weak or giving up by slowing down or walking, I'm just doing what I literally need to do. I usually do that just a few times early in the summer to remind myself that temperature really does matter.

  • Like 1

Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

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