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ChrisMcL, Novice Assassin


ChrisMcL

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Well, I find myself at the cavernous entrance of my first six-week challenge, and feel like I presume every adventurer does, after they are started out of their complacency. But I suppose every master has to start somewhere.

 

My name is Chris, I'm 18, and I am a novice assassin. I climbed everything when I was a child, which eventually led me to gymnastics, which I did for some years when I was young (maybe ages 7 through 11), though I wouldn't have called myself proficient by any means. After I stopped, I started putting on weight, and after years of misery, I decided to do something about it. That was about 2010. I tried various things, but nothing really stuck: they were all too complicated and I didn't have a clear goal in mind besides "healthy weight". I can't say exactly when I discovered Nerd Fitness, but its honesty and simplicity really got me thinking. Starting with rule #1.

 

"We don't care where you came from, only where you're going."

 

So there was no such thing as a "lost cause". I had a problem, and nobody but me could solve it. So, aided by a fitness class in 11th grade, I started training. Mostly weights, because my weight room partner benched like it was his job, but I always got a better rush when I could do something awesome with my own body weight. I fell off the wagon a bit, of course; but learning can't happen without failure. "Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up". I always wanted to be Batman, and now I had a chance to try.

 

So here I am:

 

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 155 lbs

Approximate BF% (by inspection): ~20-25%

 

 

My goals are nothing extravagant; I've chosen to start with the standard 4:

 

Diet: As paleo as possible, allowing 1 "cheat" day every week (my hobby is cooking/baking, so hopefully I'll come across some interesting paleo recipes along the way).

 

General Fitness:  At least 2 dead-hang pull-ups and at least 5 dead-hang chin-ups. To achieve this, I'm going to focus on upper body work, but mostly just practise both exercises, as I can currently do 1 d-h chin-up (but  it takes a while)  and almost 1 d-h pull-up. Ideally I'll be working on explosive power to speed these up.

 

Assassin-specific fitness: learn a proper roll technique (to break the many falls I am sure to have during my journey. Bonus if I can safely land a dive-roll by the end) Again, mostly this will be practise, hopefully aided by finding a parkour mentor.

 

Level-up-your-life goal: Get at least 80% as a final grade for Grade 12 Biology and Grade 12 Calculus/Vectors, as those are the most important courses for my University program choice.

 

Since every assassin begins a novice, I'm here to give Level 1 everything I've got.

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Hey Chris,

 

These sound like some awesome goals and I think they'll definitely put you well on your way to becoming a master assassin/batman!

 

 

With your paleo eating, have you checked out many paleo websites? I know that I tend to just throw some stuff together if it's not got grains or anything like that

Assassin Guild Leader  Trainee

 

STR: 2 | DEX: 2 | STA: 2 | CON: 3 | WIS: 3 | CHA: 3


Current Challenge: Vengefulpear Revives!

 

Level 1

 

 

High Score:

Level 7 STR: 14 | DEX: 10 | STA: 1 | CON: 12 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 4

 

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Vengefulpear,

 

So far, it really depends on the day. I've found some amazing website-based recipes that I'm dying to try, like these burgers and this beet salad:

http://everydaypaleo.com/moroccan-burgers-and-beet-salad/#more-5442

 

I'm also looking for a local place to get fresh, unprocessed meats etc. Apparently there's a farmer's market in my city that I never knew existed (But I confess, that's probably because I tend to sleep late on Sundays).

 

If I haven't bought any special ingredients, I've also just tried experimenting. Today it was a poached egg on some leftover tuna. Sounds pretty simple, but it was great. I've really rediscovered eggs recently. For years, it was just scrambled, but I've found so many awesome things I can do with them.

 

 

While I'm here, I might as well give a status report:

 

So far, only a few snags (my ancient enemy, the local scottish bakery, for one). But I think that once my roommates clear the tempting baked goods away, things will go much more smoothly.

 

I didn't really expect it, but Steve's konami code workout seriously laid me out yesterday. I'm looking forward to increasing my number of rounds pretty soon (so far I got to 8 before my arms refused to continue). I definitely need to step my cardio up if I'm going to escape those guards (and/or zombies), and I'm really hoping that my gym-class calluses come back swiftly, as my chin-up bar really did a number on my hands yesterday.

 

Haven't had any roll-practise, because I need space (but I've got my eye on a park about 10 minutes away) and it's rained constantly for the last 4 days. But it'll lighten up soon, and I can get some practise in.

 

Calculus test yesterday seemed to go pretty well, and as for biology we are seriously complicated creatures, but that only gives me more incentive to make as good a specimen out of myself as possible.

 

That's all I've got to say, except that I wish it was this easy to write so much about English Literature, rather than myself.

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Well I don't think anyone can blame you for sleeping in on Sundays!

 

I thoroughly agree with poached eggs, I love poached eggs with some sweet chilli sauce on top, they're amazing.

 

And I'd also recommend local butchers as well, at my local butcher you can get a kilo of bacon for £2 rather than the paying more for less slices at a supermarket, just because at the butchers it's 'Bacon Misshapes' so it's what they dont want to use in the proper ones. But I prefer them because sometimes you get a huge piece which is basically just gammon!
 

And well done on your Calculus and biology I'm sure you steamed through them!

Assassin Guild Leader  Trainee

 

STR: 2 | DEX: 2 | STA: 2 | CON: 3 | WIS: 3 | CHA: 3


Current Challenge: Vengefulpear Revives!

 

Level 1

 

 

High Score:

Level 7 STR: 14 | DEX: 10 | STA: 1 | CON: 12 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 4

 

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Whoa. Good call on the chili sauce, mate. Poached eggs, sweet chili sauce, and some black pepper were even better than I expected. And so incredibly simple.

 

Today I tried poaching eggs the old-fashioned way (in a pot of simmering water, stirred, etc.) instead of just in a plastic thing in the microwave. And they turned out beautifully. The eggs could have been fresher, so they kind of separated in the pot, but the yolks were perfect! My old egg-poacher was temperamental at the best of times, and had a tendency to overcook things – not to mention, it needed to be greased (and I'm happy to lose the margarine that required).

 

Looking online, I've also found a butcher about 20 minutes from my house, so I'll be dropping by sometime in the next little while. Huge pieces of gammon are definitely of interest, and low prices are always nice for a student.

 

I've been thinking recently about getting back into inline skating. I stopped because it was the early 2000s and all of the cool kids were skateboarding – something I never really learned how to do. But looking back, I wish I'd stuck with it, considering you can do just as many tricks on a proper set of blades as you can on a board.  When I had my old pair, I used to rocket around my local parks, feeling like Shadow from Sonic Adventure 2. It's a bit embarassing now, but I actually kind of miss the feeling. At any rate, it seems like kind of a cool way to get around, as long as you don't need to carry much, and the pros are practically Assassins-on-wheels with skills in vaulting, grinding, etc. It's also pretty good cardio, which I need more of. So I'm looking into that for the summer months.

 

I used to bake a lot, and one of my friends wanted a batch of the oatmeal-chocolate cookies I used to make. So I did, and I ate 1 or 2 (and they were amazing), but I didn't really feel like I used to, in that I only had a couple, but didn't really feel compelled to do more than that. Time was, I would have gone through 4 or 5 small ones before stopping, simply because I felt like I'd let myself down. I've actually started craving paleo foods – which is a new experience – instead of junk. My roommates brought home a store-bought chocolate cake 2 days ago, and I didn't really feel an urge to eat some. Actually, it made me want strawberries (which is lucky, because I had some fresh ones lying around). It was an incredible new experience for me, to be confronted with junk food, and genuinely not want it.

 

This challenge has been great so far, and just the knowledge that I have actual goals makes them much less daunting. I'm looking forward to what's ahead for me.

 

Well, I mostly just wanted to congratulate the poached-eggs-and-chili-sauce idea, but I've practically written half an essay by now, so I'll bring this to a close.

 

Happy Assassin training, folks.

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Awesome! I'm pleased you liked the chilli eggs!

 

And I think it's awesome you're thinking of doing skating again, but I dont think there's any reason to be embarrassed, to quote Simon Pegg! Being a Geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy! So if you enjoy it, go for it!

 

And well done on not craving/eating non-paleo foods. I have found that as well having eaten like that for a while I just can't imagine wanting to eat bread at all

 

And keep up the good work!

Assassin Guild Leader  Trainee

 

STR: 2 | DEX: 2 | STA: 2 | CON: 3 | WIS: 3 | CHA: 3


Current Challenge: Vengefulpear Revives!

 

Level 1

 

 

High Score:

Level 7 STR: 14 | DEX: 10 | STA: 1 | CON: 12 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 4

 

Link to comment

Well, it's been quite some time since I posted last, and I have good news and bad news.

 

Okay, bad news first:

-The paleo eating went great, and I was feeling amazing, alive, and well... until finals week... and the week after that. I started to slip from exam nerves, and started eating outside of my diet because of stress. After they were over, celebration was rampant, and – like an irresponsible teenager – pizza and pub food were pretty rampant. I stayed probably 50-60% paleo during this time, because I knew I was letting myself down. I'm nearly back on track now, but the lapse is regrettable and still rather painful.

-Due to the aforementioned stress/celebration, I went 2 whole weeks, only working out maybe once each, instead of my intended 3/week. Rest assured this has been remedied starting with this week. Because of this, I feel atrophied, and I doubt I'll be able to pull together the strength goal as well as I had hoped.

 

The good:

-The parkour roll is coming along nicely, and I'm hoping to try a dive-roll soon.

-According to my scale, I've apparently lost weight, though it certainly doesn't feel or look like it

-I recieved my final grades for high school and they're more than satisfactory for my University program; 88% in Calculus/Vectors, and 91% in Biology, so Academic goal fulfilled.

 

 

The last 2 and a half weeks feel pretty catastrophic, but writing down all the good/bad has put it in perspective. Though I'm unlikely to pull this together as well as I had hoped at the beginning of this challenge, I'll fight to the last to bring what I've got over the next week and a half. An Assassin who partially completes his mission may burden the brotherhood for a short time until he can recover, but he is still better than one who fails completely by giving up.

 

 

****Edit 30 minutes later******

I guess I'm not as atrophied as I thought. I still managed 5 circuits of the konami code workout before it got tough, but pushed it to 8 without too much effort. Then, probably because I had the Batman Begins soundtrack on, I grabbed some water and did 2 more before my muscles quit on me. Somehow, miraculously, I can still do the 10 circuits I could before, albeit with more effort, so I'm feeling a little better about that. My chin-ups aren't as strong as before, but I can still do 2 from a dead hang. It also turns out that I can actually do the 1 dead-hang pull-up I couldn't manage when I started the challenge, so I'm pretty pleased about that.

Perhaps there's a little Spartan in this novice Assassin, after all.

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Well I think if we take the bad and the good then it sounds overall like a success! Not a huge success (diet) but I think you should definitely be pleased with your pull-up progress and definitely exam results!

 

So it's all about getting back on the horse and pushing for even greater results! You're an assassin who's completed part of his mission and is still stronger than he was at the start and definitely smarter! Still winning in my book :)

Assassin Guild Leader  Trainee

 

STR: 2 | DEX: 2 | STA: 2 | CON: 3 | WIS: 3 | CHA: 3


Current Challenge: Vengefulpear Revives!

 

Level 1

 

 

High Score:

Level 7 STR: 14 | DEX: 10 | STA: 1 | CON: 12 | WIS: 6 | CHA: 4

 

Link to comment

Well, I suppose I've missed the deadline, being that this is technically the 15th, but I thought I'd grade myself anyway.

 

Diet: As paleo as possible, allowing 1 "cheat" day every week (my hobby is cooking/baking, so hopefully I'll come across some interesting paleo recipes along the way).

-C: I can't say this was a success, but I wouldn't call it a total wash either. Except for the regrettable lapse, I stayed pretty much to this format, and found it quite agreeable. Even though my six weeks are up, I'll be trying to stick to this as much as possible for the forseeable future, hopefully eliminating the "cheat" day when I no longer need it.

 

General Fitness:  At least 2 dead-hang pull-ups and at least 5 dead-hang chin-ups. To achieve this, I'm going to focus on upper body work, but mostly just practise both exercises, as I can currently do 1 d-h chin-up (but it takes a while)  and almost 1 d-h pull-up. Ideally I'll be working on explosive power to speed these up.

-B-minus: 5 minutes ago, I did my final tests and managed 3 dead-hang chin-ups and 1.5 dead-hang pull-ups (almost to the bar on the second one, but I didn't want to count it fully). The chin-ups are definitely faster than before, but the pull-ups are not measurably any faster. Not as much gain as I would have liked, but I'm still pleasantly impressed by the improvement I've made, considering the diet/exercise lapse.

 

Assassin-specific fitness: learn a proper roll technique (to break the many falls I am sure to have during my journey. (Bonus if I can safely land a dive-roll by the end.) Again, mostly this will be practise, hopefully aided by finding a parkour mentor.

-B-plus: My technique isn't perfect, but it's already landed me some falls I wouldn't have wanted to take without it. Dive-roll coming soon, I hope.

 

Level-up-your-life goal: Get at least 80% as a final grade for Grade 12 Biology and Grade 12 Calculus/Vectors, as those are the most important courses for my University program choice.

-A: After recieving my final marks –as stated before– I quite succeeded in this category, exceeding even my own expectations. As a bonus, I will be attending the University I've been hoping to get into (for quite some time) this September.

 

This challenge definitely had its ups and downs for me, but I still feel like it was a positive experience. If anything, the small defeat has encouraged me to come back stronger than ever, and I will absolutely be joining the Assassins again next time.

 

For the Brotherhood, and the Rebellion.

 

-ChrisMcL, Trainee Assassin

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