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Wolfen Begins The Hero's Journey

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And so begins the hero's journey. Starting January 1st, for 60 days I will be participating in the Darebee Hero's Journey fitness program, a role-playing program that presents challenges, opportunities, and threats accompanied by exercises that must be completed in order to continue on the journey. This will serve as a prequel to an even greater challenge, Age of Pandora, an immersive post-apocalyptic fitness quest.


In addition, I have set some short-term and long-term goals.


Short-Term Goals:
* complete Roadwork 30 Day running program
* complete a Darebee daily dare every morning (goal: at least 50 in a row), as well as an Epic Five workout

* be able to complete 50 push-ups in one go
* complete the Hero's Journey followed by Age of Pandora
* continue Wim Hof breathing, exercises, and cold showers
* continue daily prayer/meditation
* post to Nerd Fitness and Darebee regularly (at least three days/week)
* work on Duolingo daily

Long-Term Goals:
* finish Educational Leadership Masters degree
* train in a martial art
* learn how to properly shoot a gun (possibly concealed carry training)
* run a Spartan race and/or a long trail race (at least 25k)

Edited by Wolfen
added Epic Five w/ daily dare
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6 hours ago, Arkania said:

Didn't know there was a prequel.


Oh, it's not actually the prequel. I'm just considering it as such because I'm doing it first and then moving on to Age of Pandora.

6 hours ago, SkyGirl said:

What is "Age of Pandora"???


It is also a Darebee fitness program but much more interactive and immersive.


6 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Following to watch you riddle your posts with bullet holes.


You won't be disappointed, my friend. 

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6 hours ago, Wolfen said:

Oh, it's not actually the prequel. I'm just considering it as such because I'm doing it first and then moving on to Age of Pandora.


Just looked into it and I might find it harder than AoP :D

But, thanks to you, I just planned Darebee Workouts for the whole next year :D:D:D and also may use the mealplans. (And I found out, they also have apps, wtf how long it's been that I was on that site?!)


(Yes, there's a mistake in it)

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9 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

What difficulty level are you playing for Hero's Journey?


I'm aiming for Level 2, but it will probably depend on the exercise.

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Today, our hero went about his everyday business, unaware of what awaits him at the dawn of the new year. As evening began and the sun set, he documented his daily tasks using a bulleted list that had inadvertently become his trademark. However, he felt as if something was amiss. Regardless, he continued:


It was a pretty good day.

  • 0715ish wakeup without alarm (last day sleeping in for a while)
  • took the dogs outside while not wearing a shirt or shoes; it was still raining, so my feet felt great squishing in the mud
  • completed the Daily Dare: 5 minutes of non-stop jab+cross punches


  • completed Epic Five workout: 1 min. bridges, 1 min. reverse plank leg raises, 1 min. knee hug hold (30 secs each leg), 1 min quad stretch hold (30 secs. each leg), 1 min. calf raise hold.
  • completed day 4 in the 30 day build-up to being able to do 50 push-ups in one go.
  • no running today because the weather was bad, and I did not have access to the gym; I will continue my Roadwork running challenge tomorrow
  • read a bit of Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza. So far it is informative and hopeful.
  • took the littlest princesses to see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. They loved it. I loved it. I would say it's the best Spider-Man movie so far. It made me uneasy, however, but in a good way, like I could feel an inspiring restlessness stirring inside me. What's that all about? Great soundtrack, too, by the way.
  • food intake has not been great; really need to ditch the junk food and be mindful of overeating as the new year begins
  • I still can't shake the feeling that some great change is about to happen; it could just be the change from one year to the next, but I don't know. It feels powerful and almost impossible to ignore. Even in my reading today, I came across this quote, like a challenge from the author:

"The fact is, there's no room for the unknown in a predictable life. But being predictable is not how the unknown works. The unknown is unfamiliar, uncertain--but it's also exciting because it occurs in ways you cannot expect or anticipate. So let me ask you: How much room in your routine, predictable life do you have for the unknown?"

  • need to get back to prayer and meditation in the mornings again before the chaos of my days begin.
  • one more late night tonight as I watch the ball drop on 2018 and welcome the beginning of 2019.


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Off-Topic Post:


One of the gifts my wife and I got for each other was a Duraflame Electric stove. I have wanted one for years. It's not a very big one, but it is still really neat and does an excellent job of keeping my living room warm.




After we installed it and switched it on, my wife said, "I really love it. The only downside is it doesn't have the fire sound."

Well, today I had an idea. I placed a bluetooth speaker next to the stove, safely away from the heater, and with my phone I looked up "wood-burning stove fire sounds" on Youtube. I was able to point the speaker towards the bottom of the stove, so now it sounds as if popping, cracking, and flame sounds can be heard coming from the stove. I also hid the bluetooth speaker behind a hydration pack I take on long hikes and trail runs. It's a little trick I learned from theme parks (especially Walt Disney World) in which the speakers that give off sounds that help immerse park-goers into a fictional world are often hidden or disguised as rocks.

I thought it was a cool idea. It adds another soothing and aesthetic element to the stove.

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Our hero Wolfen awoke with that same feeling of something new coming, something powerful and real enough that he could sense it in his soul. To shake out this feeling and perhaps to prepare for it, he set about accomplishing some challenges and breathed deeply, still feeling present and in control in spite of his unexpected restlessness. While outside with his furry companions Luna and Minnie, he found a note attached to his storage shed. The paper on which the note was written resembled aged parchment and it was wet from the recent rains. Written on it was one simple phrase: "You will never be the same after this." Confused, Wolfen chuckled and tossed the paper aside.


As usual, just after dusk he documented his day's accomplishments using bullet points:



  • 0445 wakeup with alarm
  • said the Lord's Prayer, as well as a more personal prayer of gratitude for another year and another day of life
  • To feel the cool air and connect with the earth, I went outside barefoot and shirtless with my dogs.
  • feeling like mixing things up, while outside (and in spite of the mud) I did 100 reps each of side leg raises, squats, toe tap hops, and mountain climbers
  • to strengthen my spirit, I listened to the daily prayer on the Pray As You Go app; today's prayer was a contemplative prayer that asked to imagine what it must have been like for Mary to look upon her newborn son, to touch him and care for him and yet know that he was the Son of God.
  • I also completed 2 minutes of jumping jacks while princess Gracelynn joined me.
  • Breakfast: I brewed a cup of coffee and dropped 2 tbsp. of butter into it; I also made a bowl of gluten-free oats with a dash of sugar, a dash of salt, apples, sunflower seeds, almonds, quinoa, amaranth, pepitas, and cinnamon.
  • In preparation for being able to do 50 push-ups in one go, I completed a brief exercise that included 3 sets of push-ups: 10, 4, and 4 with 20 seconds of rest between each.
  • also completed 1 min. elbow plank hold, 1 min. uneven plank hold (30 secs. each side), 1 min. side plank hold (30 secs. each side), 1 min. side plank rotations (30 secs. per side), and 1 min. side bridges (30 secs. per side).
  • Lunch: leftover crockpot meatballs cooked in chili sauce and grape jelly.
  • took my youngest princesses, Arabella and Gracelynn, to see Bumblebee. I was yet again inspired by the film as it depicted Bumblebee as a former warrior cut off from his home, stripped of his voice and his memory, made vulnerable again in spite of his obvious abilities and power. He is reborn, though, as he is forced to protect those he cares about and begins to remember his origin and his purpose. It is definitely the best Transformers movie so far.
  • Dinner: sauerkraut and Polish sausage mixed with sweet cornbread
  • strengthened by brain, as well, by reading a bit more of Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza and practicing Spanish using Duolingo
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56 minutes ago, annyshay said:

Funny typo of the night.:P


I'm not fixing it. 


58 minutes ago, annyshay said:

Strong work, sir!


Thank you, ma'am.

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It would seem our hero's feelings that something strange was about to happen were not crazy after all. Today, just after his run, Wolfen spotted a man being accosted by a shadowy figure. The man was crying out for help. Our hero hesitated but not for long as he sprinted to the helpless man. It took some time to fend off the shadowy figure as at first it dodged our hero's punches, its dark cloak making strange fluttering sounds as it moved. But it seemed to tire after a while, and our hero was able to land a few good blows before the shadowy figure backed up and then darted away with incredible speed. "Thank you." Wolfen had almost forgotten about the helpless man until he spoke. He was an elderly looking man with wisps of white hair on his scalp. He looked wounded but not as frail and helpless as our hero had thought as he now noticed rolls of muscle through his clothes. Our hero nodded and then turned back in the direction the shadowy figure had run. He turned back to the old man to say, "You're welcome," but the old man was gone. As our hero looked closer, he noticed a folded piece of paper that looked similar to the one he had found yesterday. He looked around but still no sign of the old man or the shadowy figure. Our hero opened the piece of paper and read: "We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." Wolfen folded the piece of paper and slid it into his pocket. As the remainder of his day continued on as if nothing happened, he sat down just before dusk and documented his accomplishments for the day:



  • 0445 wakeup
  • said the Lord's Prayer, as well as a more personal prayer of gratitude and for healing for my wife's chest congestion
  • listened to the daily prayer using the Pray As You Go app
  • took my dogs outside while shirtless and shoeless in spite of the 42F (5.5C) temperature
  • held a raised-leg elbow plank for 60 seconds (Daily Dare)
  • completed 5 minutes worth of side leg raises (2:30 per side) (Epic Five)
  • In preparation for being able to do 50 push-ups in one go, three times I held a push-up plank for 15 seconds.
  • ran today after a few days without it, and it felt great. Time: 25:25, distance: 2.6 miles, pace 9:26/mi (Roadwork day 16)
  • completed 7 sets of 60 high knees and 20 jab+jab+cross+squat combos (Hero's Journey Level II)
  • fasted until 11:15 am, and then made breakfast: four sausage patties, two duck eggs, spinach, and mushrooms topped with salsa
  • took a 20 minute binaural power nap using the Pzizz app.
  • dinner: leftover sauerkraut and Polish sausage and a chicken quesadilla
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Just as our hero thought the excitement was over, he returned from running some errands to find out he was wrong. As he reached the front step of his home he heard rustling and thumping sounds coming from inside. Then a familiar voice said, "Don't go in. They're waiting for you." The voice came from above him, and as Wolfen looked up he saw the old man leaning over the eave of his roof. Our hero peeked inside the window of his front door and could see several shadowy figures moving about in his home. He started to cry out, but the old man shushed him. "Your wife and children are safe, don't worry, but if you go in that house they will definitely kill you." Wolfen opened his mouth to say something but wasn't sure what to say. "Can you climb up here?" the old man asked. It had been a while since he had tried to climb onto the roof of his house, but Wolfen nodded. Our hero made several attempts, much to his embarrassment and to the old man's humor, but Wolfen finally managed to pull himself up. "Who are you?" our hero asked, feeling out of breath. "We'll discuss that later. Right now, though, you need to take this. You might need it." The old man reached beneath his absurdly large coat and pulled out a broad sword. "Where the hell did you get that?" Wolfen asked. "Too many questions," the old man said as he handed the sword to our hero. "Shush now. They won't stay forever, so for now we must wait quietly." The old man sat in a low squat near the edge of the roof, as our hero plopped down on his bottom to catch his breath and set the sword beside him, staring at it a moment as if expecting it to fade. He looked out at the vast field beyond his home and at the river, muddy from recent rains but still cold from the chilly nights. "I'll distract those things for you," the old man said. "Don't do anything stupid until I return for you. And keep that thing safe." He pointed to the sword. The old man leaned forward and dropped effortlessly from the roof to the porch, swung open Wolfen's front door, and ran inside. There were sounds of a struggle and just a few seconds later the back door flung open and the old man rushed out with several shadowy figures in pursuit. Wolfen felt both confused and frozen in shock as he looked down at the sword at his side. Beneath it was another piece of paper. Our hero sighed, picked it up, and read it: “The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, 'Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.' And so it starts.” Wolfen shook his head and sighed. He listened for sounds inside his home and did not hear anything. Maybe he was safe now. He wondered if he could successfully get down from his roof without killing himself. He maneuvered the sword at the edge of the roof with the blade facing away and then slid backwards on his stomach until he could safely drop down onto his front porch. Then he grabbed the sword and carefully walked into his home. It was empty. To ease his anxiety and the fear creeping up on him, our hero grabbed his notebook and before anything else insane could happen he documented his accomplishments for the day using his familiar bullet points:

  • overslept today: 0545 wakeup to wife's alarm
  • said the Lord's Prayer as well as a more personal prayer of gratitude and for healing of my wife's continued chest congestion
  • listened to the daily prayer using the Pray As you Go app
  • took the dogs outside while shirtless and shoeless; not as cold as yesterday but still a bit chilly and wet
  • took my little princesses to school and walked them to the door
  • stood in silence at tree pose for 60 seconds (Daily Dare)
  • completed 5 minutes of high knees with 2 jumping lunges every 30 seconds (Epic Five Day 11)
  • completed day 8 of progression to 50 Push-ups in One Go (3 sets: 12, 4, 4 with 60 sec. rest between each)
  • completed 3 sets of pull-ups to failure; I am ashamed to say I can only successfully do 3 before failure (Hero's Journey Day 3)
  • ran some modified intervals: 8 1/2 minute jog, 5 minute run at 80%, then 6 sets of 100% sprint for 1 minute followed by 30 seconds of rest (Roadwork)
  • helped my mother carry an electric fireplace from the 1970s that used to belong to my grandmother from her car to her house
  • took a 20 minute binaural power nap using Pzizz
  • completed the daily requirements on Duolingo
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3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I love the dialog you add in to the Hero's Journey stuff. It really makes a difference when the story details are filled in


Thank you. Yeah, I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but now I'm having fun with it.

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Wolfen returned from a run and sighed as he saw the old man waiting on his front step. "Where have you been?" the old man asked, sounding urgent. "Where's the sword?" Before Wolfen could answer, the old man held up his hand. "Nevermind, just get inside now." Our hero hurried to unlock his front door, and the old man almost knocked him down as he rushed past Wolfen into the front room. "This place is a mess," he said. "Oh, I'm sorry" Wolfen said, "I haven't had time to clean up after some random shadowy things that want to kill me ransacked the place, and then some weird old guy was on my roof. What did you expect?" "A little less sass from you," the old man said. "If it wasn't for me you'd be dead." "Really?" Wolfen said, "I seem to remember saving your and one of those things were on my property, and I had to save your ass." The old man smirked. "I woulda been fine," he said. "Now where's the sword?" "It's safe," Wolfen said. "Get it," the old man said, "you will need it." "No, I think I deserve some answers first. Who the hell are you, and what the hell are those things? Where are my wife and kids?" The old man sighed. "Look, I can only give you the short version because we don't have time, and you're not going to believe me anyway. But I will tell you believe it or not, you know those things are real, and they really do want to kill you. You just barely beat one of them, so imagine what an entire group of them could do to you." Wolfen sighed. "Yeah, so what are they? What the hell is going on?"  "Right now," the old man said, "you're stuck in a world that exists between the world of nightmares and the real world. You're asleep, but yet you're here. Your wife and kids are safe in their beds in the real world, but you're here. I can't explain why because I don't really know. But what I do know is you're somehow really important to both this world and your own, and if you die here it's all over for both worlds." "You're right," Wolfen said, "I don't believe you." Just then then old man grabbed our hero by the arm and squeezed it hard. As he did this, Wolfen could see a flash of himself in his bed, his wife next to him, both of them sleeping soundly. The old man loosened his grip and the image vanished. "That's all the proof you get. Now go get the damn sword. We have some prepping to do if you want to survive this." Our hero could feel beads of sweat dripping down his forehead and his head ached. "What... the... hell?" Wolfen said. "Just get the damn sword and lets get you trained." Wolfen did as the old man said and opened a nearby closet door, reached into the back corner, removed a panel from the closet wall, and took the sword out. "Clever," the old man said, "but they probably would have found it eventually. Or just burned your house down until the sword was the only thing left." Wolfen's eyes widened, but the old man did not smile. "Now," the old man said. "Let's get you trained." What followed was a series of calisthenics and cardio and exercises that at times felt ridiculous and at others had our hero grunting and sweating. The old man's words bounced from deprecating and insulting to encouraging and urgent. "Come on, you can do it. Oh, that was pathetic. You want to die, don't you? No? Then come on and try harder!" Wolfen worked through all of the exercises until the old man said, "Alright, that's enough for now." Our hero collapsed onto the floor, and as he lay there a loud bang erupted from his front door. It wasn't a knock. It was someone (or something) trying to get in. "They're here," the old man said. "Grab the sword and get out of here, now! I can't let them get to you! Go out the back and head for the forest!" There was another loud smash and the sound of splintering wood as the door buckled. "Go now!" the old man screamed. Wolfen grabbed the sword and headed for the back door. He saw that the scabbard had straps for wearing the sword on your back, so he slung it over his shoulders. Next to the back door, he saw his notepad and pen and without really understanding why he grabbed them. He yanked the back door open and ran out, running as hard and as fast as his legs would allow, slowed down a bit by the weight and awkwardness of the sword. He could just barely hear the sounds of struggle coming from his house, but they faded as he kept running and running until he reached the forest. Out of breath, he slowed down and paused next to a tree. Dusk was falling, so our hero relaxed next to a tree and took out his notepad to document the day's accomplishments:

  • 0445 wakeup
  • said the Lord's Prayer, as well as a more personal prayer of gratitude for life and for my wife and daughters
  • listened to the daily prayer using the Pray As You Go app
  • took the dogs outside while shirtless and shoeless; colder this morning at 33F (0.5C)
  • worked through some stretches and movements to work out muscle soreness and stiffness from sleep
  • helped get my little princesses ready for school, hugged and kissed my wife before she left for work, and drove my princesses to school and walked them to the door.
  • held a squat for 60 seconds (Daily Dare)
  • five sets of 30 seconds of push-ups followed by 30 seconds of shoulder taps (Epic Five day 12)
  • three sets of push-ups as part of progression to doing 50 in one go (14, 4, 4 with 60 seconds rest between each)
  • three sets of 8 reps of each: bridges, one-legged bridges, flutter kicks, leg raises, scissors, sitting twists (Hero's Journey Day 4 Part 1)
  • three sets of 10 reps of Superman stretches (Hero's Journey Day 4 Part 2)
  • 5k light run: Distance 3.15 miles, Time: 33:54, Pace: 10:46/mi, Elevation gain: 174 ft. (Roadwork)
  • made a few stops (Goodwill and the public library) where I found some great used books for only $1: Between the World and Me, Lonesome Dove, The Boys in the Boat, and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.
  • helped my mentor unload some lumber and a table saw from his truck and gave his chickens fresh food and water
  • took a 20 minute binaural power nap using Pzizz.
  • completed the daily requirements on Duolingo
  • read a few pages of Between the World and Me; it is without a doubt one of the most important books of the 21st century.
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