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QuirkyDM, sidekick for hire


QuirkyDM

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Elvish monk/scout with eyes set on ranger- I want to do it all.

 

Main goal: Become a super hero! What real nerd doesn't want that!

 

For now though, I’m just a lowly sidekick for hire. You know, when Batman has a wedding to go to and needs his tux but Robin is too busy “fighting crimeâ€. I’m the guy they call. But that’s how you get started in this job- there’s entry level positions in every profession and if it means spending three hours with a sandblaster in Avengers headquarters after the Hulk cleaned out the all-you-can-eat Hot Burrito and Clam Bake Buffet, that’s called paying your dues. Sure some of the other heroes decide to take the fast track, but that inevitably involves horrible scarring, watching your family being murdered or having the rest of your race killed and being stranded on an alien world. I don’t know if I could handle horrible scarring.

The real plan is to become a super hero. Well, at least the closest version I can be. All those cool things I see those guys do- I want to do that. Or at least the real world equivalents. Like running fast, lifting heavy, martial arts and whatever else looks like it would be cool to do. At least until I can figure out how to get an enchanted weapon, learn magic, come from another planet or be affected by lethal radiation without it being … lethal.

 

Goal A: Hit the weight room 3/week. (+1 STR) I've just started doing heavy lifting and I’m excited about the progression. I've never been strong; I’m skinny, fast and even good at body weight exercises due to only weighing 130 lbs. But not strong. I want to build a solid muscle base to work off of for future goals.

Grade:

A: No sessions missed

B: 1-2 sessions missed

C: 3-4 sessions missed

D: 5-6 sessions missed

F: More than 6 sessions missed

 

Goal B: 5 second handstand. (+1 DEX) This is one of those cool things I've always wanted to do. The day The Beginner’s Guide to Handstands came out, I started following the instructions and practicing. I'm not able to do a handstand now, but I've got 6 weeks to get my arm strength and balance up enough to figure it out.

 Grade:

A: 5 second handstand

B: 3 second handstand

C: 1 second handstand

D: kick up to wall

F: Still doing hand walk up wall

 

Goal C: Full front splits. (+1 DEX) This is another one of those "always wanted to do" tasks on my list. I'm 4 days into the 6 weeks to the splits program. My kicks in sparring have gone down over the years, and they used to be one of my strengths, so I want to bring some respect back to my kicks.

Grade:

A: Both legs full front splits

C: One leg full front splits

F:  Neither leg full front splits.

 

Life Quest: Take care of finances. (+1 WIS) Tony Stark and Batman afford all those cool toys with money. I like money and cool toys, so I need to take care of this.

I have a credit card that was cancelled in August because of a security leak, but I still haven’t switched all my automatic payments over. They’re all charitable donations, so my bills are getting paid, but I should still take care of it. My financial planner has been asking for more details on my accounts for over a year and I just keep shuffling it off. Finally, I’m overpaying income tax because I’m not having my RRSP contributions accounted for on my pay cheque, so I’m using my credit line until I end up getting bonuses or my annual, huge income tax return. I need to take care of all of these things.

A: Take care of all this junk.

B: Take care of all but 1.

C: Take care of all but 2.

D: Take care of all but 3. (the financial planner tasks count for 2 items)

F: Sat on my butt and got nothing done.

 

Alright, True Believers, time to start training ... right after I give Cyclops his annual eye exam.

Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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Hey Bro,

 

Awesome goals! Building the upper body strength is important to us Superhero types. I'm looking towards the same... except pullups for me... you just gave me the inspiration to start handstands. I figure... strength, balance, coordination: Sho nuff! If Spidey can do it, I should too. Remember lower body and core to balance it all and to reduce the chance of injury. You'd hate to have to be Robin as the Left Leg in Teen Titans Go! (you'd have to watch it, it's hilarious)

 

Keep it up and let us know how you're doing!

Level 0 Adventurer, Dunmer (Dark Elf)

STR: 0 | DEX: 0 | STA: 0 | CON: 0 | WIS: 0 | CHA: 0

 

"Your life is your own, Rise up and live it" - Lord Richard Rahl

 

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Teen Titans Go! is hilarious. I just watched the left leg clip. Good stuff!

 

I'm working on pull ups too in my gym routine. But there's only so many goals I can list at once right now. :) I need to save something for the second challenge after all. :)

Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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Time for a quick update so I have a record of where I'm starting out.

 

Current weights:

Going to the gym today. I'm trying for Monday, Wednesday, Saturday. I'm tracking my weights so I know these are where I'm at right now. (using a 2 day full body split, 3 sets of 8 for all exercises)

squat- 135

bench press- 65

bent over barbell rows- 70

 

deadlift- 100

pull ups- 3 sets of 8, 5, 5

overhead press- 40

 

The bench press is low because of a shoulder issue I'm working on. I'm going to work on low weights and good form for those to make sure I don't stress my shoulder at all. My back has some weak muscles that I need to increase to help compensate, so the other exercises will help a lot.

 

Handstand

Where I'm at right now. I can hold this for 50 seconds. I like to use the kitchen floor here because it's tiled, so I can easily track how close to the wall I'm getting. Though I do find if my hands get sweaty, it gets a little harder. :playful:

 

sml_gallery_23237_729_905022.jpg

 

 

Splits

I'll try to get a picture and add later. I'm starting week 2 of the 6 weeks split program today.

 

Finances

My wife insisted I add "submit outstanding medical insurance claims" to the list. So I'm now farther behind than when I started! Time to start working on these items. :redface:

Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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I see you mentioned sparring/martial arts. What discipline do you practice?

I'm in Chito-Ryu karate, second degree black belt. I mostly teach now, but I'm trying to get into sparring again. It's a little more fun when I'm not holding back and I'm facing opponents who aren't my students. :)

Do you take martial arts? Which one(s)?

Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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That pic is awesome! I wish I could do handstands maybe someday. Medical claims are a good idea. Just keep at it and you will do great! I hope the shoulder is feeling better

 

Good luck

StealingCovert

Soon to be hero Level 0 

STR 0 | DEX 0 | STA 0 | CON 0 | WIS 0 | CHA 0

 

--The Road--

 

You can't relate to a superhero, to a superman, but you can identify with a real man who in times of crisis draws forth some extraordinary quality from within himself and triumphs but only after a struggle. ~Timothy Dalton

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I'm in Chito-Ryu karate, second degree black belt. I mostly teach now, but I'm trying to get into sparring again. It's a little more fun when I'm not holding back and I'm facing opponents who aren't my students. :)

Do you take martial arts? Which one(s)?

I don't. I dabbled in TKD in college, but never anything long term.

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Awesome! The organisation of your goals and grading system is top notch. We should start a handstand support group! I fully understand the pain of splits though, already achieved my side splits, now working towards my front split. Few inches to go!

Haevyn Tathnae
Level 2
Half-elf Adventurer

STR: 4 DEX:3 STA: 1 CON: 2 WIS: 2 CHA: 2

 

Current Challenge:
Haevyn's First Challenge

 

Food/Exercise Log:

MyFitnessPal

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Awesome! The organisation of your goals and grading system is top notch. We should start a handstand support group! I fully understand the pain of splits though, already achieved my side splits, now working towards my front split. Few inches to go!

 

I thiink there's about 4 or 5 of us in the level 1 club working for them. We could give each other a "hand. A hand?! Get it? Ha. *sigh* <_< Maybe we can make a handstand Accountibuddies group or something.

 

I got inspired by the NF post on Luke Skywalker and started doing it that day. I've always wanted to do it, but I never had a plan before.

 

Side splits will be in the future. I can feel my hips opening up quite a bit on the front split stretches, so hopefully some of this work will transfer to my side splits as well.

Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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I thiink there's about 4 or 5 of us in the level 1 club working for them. We could give each other a "hand. A hand?! Get it? Ha. *sigh* <_< Maybe we can make a handstand Accountibuddies group or something.

 

I got inspired by the NF post on Luke Skywalker and started doing it that day. I've always wanted to do it, but I never had a plan before.

 

Side splits will be in the future. I can feel my hips opening up quite a bit on the front split stretches, so hopefully some of this work will transfer to my side splits as well.

 

I found side splits far far far easier than the front. But you seem to be doing really well, probably the most flexible guy (even compared to some of the yoga guys) I've seen yet. What stretches do you train with?

 

 I gotta post a handstand pic too soon! :)

Haevyn Tathnae
Level 2
Half-elf Adventurer

STR: 4 DEX:3 STA: 1 CON: 2 WIS: 2 CHA: 2

 

Current Challenge:
Haevyn's First Challenge

 

Food/Exercise Log:

MyFitnessPal

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I found side splits far far far easier than the front. But you seem to be doing really well, probably the most flexible guy (even compared to some of the yoga guys) I've seen yet. What stretches do you train with?

 

 I gotta post a handstand pic too soon! :)

Definitely post the handstand. Seeing other people do these things will keep my going. :)

 

As for flexibility, I've always been fairly flexible, likely due to being small and having little muscle to get in my way. Then I've been doing karate for quite a few years, which is mostly hamstring and side split stretches. Now I've just gotten serious since there's this whole 6 week challenge thing. I'm doing the 6 weeks to splits program, which right now is isometrics using 6 stretches:

toe touches

supine hamstring stretch

lunge stretch

straight leg lunge stretch (similar to a deep warrior 1 yoga pose)

standing quad stretch

front splits

 

If this works out, I'll be recommending it to all my students.

Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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Definitely post the handstand. Seeing other people do these things will keep my going. :)

 

As for flexibility, I've always been fairly flexible, likely due to being small and having little muscle to get in my way. Then I've been doing karate for quite a few years, which is mostly hamstring and side split stretches. Now I've just gotten serious since there's this whole 6 week challenge thing. I'm doing the 6 weeks to splits program, which right now is isometrics using 6 stretches:

toe touches

supine hamstring stretch

lunge stretch

straight leg lunge stretch (similar to a deep warrior 1 yoga pose)

standing quad stretch

front splits

 

If this works out, I'll be recommending it to all my students.

 

Awesome! I had to google a lot of the names just to see what stretch it was. Never knew the name before this.

 

One stretch that I found was really good for my quads was a lunge quad stretch. Gives a deeper stretch. I find that after a while I couldn't stretch any extra with the standing quad stretches.

 

I also do an extra deep lunge stretch to help open up the hips more. That particular stretch really helped me nail the final one or two inches of the side splits :)

Haevyn Tathnae
Level 2
Half-elf Adventurer

STR: 4 DEX:3 STA: 1 CON: 2 WIS: 2 CHA: 2

 

Current Challenge:
Haevyn's First Challenge

 

Food/Exercise Log:

MyFitnessPal

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Lessons I learnt today, one for each main quest:

 

1) Not wanting my shoulder to slow me down, I looked up proper bench press form. Squeeze your shoulder blades back and lock your shoulders? Ok, let's try tha ... Holy barbell, Batman! No shoulder issues at all. Not even a twinge. Now I can bench press again! I think this will actually be good for my shoulder- it'll teach my back to activate and support my shoulder when I push.

 

2) When dismounting from my wallstands, I have been letting my legs drop to the floor and landing in a crouch. But with how close I've been getting, my knees decided that is no longer an option as they decided to take on the floor in my dismount today. I may need some ice bags later. Maybe I forward roll out of it? Learn the pirouette bail early? Get my 50lbs daughter to break my fall? One of those will work, I'm sure.

 

3) For toe touches, I need to be able to place my palms on the floor to do the splits. Which I can do, but it requires me to actively push myself down and loosening my hamstrings don't seem to help out. But when I did isometrics on my calves and loosened those up, I hit the floor no problem. So that's one milestone for the splits achieved.

Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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More hand standing lessons today. I got to 12" from the wall today and it felt fine. So that was good!

 

Then the goal was to hold it for 1 minute.OK let's go!

45 seconds ... 30 seconds ...

20 seconds left

15 seconds left

 

*WARNING* TOTAL ARM FAILURE in 10 seconds

 

Wait... who said that? Uh oh.

 

*WARNING* TOTAL ARM FAILURE in 5 seconds

 

10 seconds left

That doesn't seem like good timing at all.

 

ARM SHUTDOWN COMMENCING in 4

Time to bail. How do I get down again?

3

OK, let's try walking the hands back out. 1 step

2

Another step ...

1

...

Well, crap.

 

ARM FAILURE...ABORT! ABORT! ABORT!

 

Crash.

 

 

At least this time I landed on my entire shin and foot instead of just my knees. :redface: And to my daughter's great relief, I didn't land on her. (though she'll be watching my progress from farther away from now on)

 

I might have to be a little less stubborn and get down BEFORE the emergency klaxons sound off.

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Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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Greetings,  fellow super-hero-in-training.  I had a similar experience today trying to push for a little longer on my handstand.  Fortunately, I made a safe landing.  

Also, I started a group in the accountabilibudies section for people learning to hand balance.  you are cordially invited to join the upside down club.

Better Living through Reckless* Experimentation


 


 


 


 


 


 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         *But well documented

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Time for the updates.

 

1) Hitting the weight room 3x a week and it feels great. Since I'm a beginner, the weight keeps going up at a nice moderate pace and I'm not overloaded and stalling out. So every trip to the gym is like "Boo yah! I rocked another one!" I fixed up my barbell row form today and again, what a huge difference it makes. I've now researched and fixed all my lifts and my body is thankful for it as nothing is feeling like it's being worked the wrong way, but everything is feeling worked. I also realize that when it comes to weight lifting "I know nussink!" Which is worth knowing in itself. Benchmarks:

Squats: 155lbs. x 3 sets of 8

Bench press: 70lbs. x 3 sets of 8

Bent over barbell rows: 80lbs. x 3 sets of 8

Deadlifts: 115lbs. x 3 sets of 8

Pull ups: 3 sets: 8, 8 and 6

Overhead press: 45lbs x 3 sets of 8

 

2) Handstand. I joined the PVP handstand and the upside down accountibuddies groups. I hit 12" from the wall and can hold for 50 seconds. I was only practicing my holds for 1 minute, but now I'm doing 5 minutes of practice at a time, and holding for 50 seconds and then 4 sets of 20 seconds. I've also got the pirouette bail down now, or at least close enough that I feel in control and not hurting myself. On the NF article, it says to wait until you can hold for 60 seconds before going on to the pirouette bail, but that's crazy! I need it to get down from my wall stand now, for the sake of my knees, my face and my sanity. So next step is to increase hold time to 60 seconds and start doing small push offs from the wall. Hopefully in a week, I can't start practicing kick ups to the wall.

sml_gallery_23237_729_50513.jpg

 

3) Splits. Starting in week 2, these are all isometric exercises. They are draining physically and mentally. I'm exhausted by the time I'm done. But they work! I've brought myself down pretty close to the floor- just a few more inches to go. Tomorrow starts week 3, which is just the same as week 2.

sml_gallery_23237_729_2614293.jpg

Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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Thanks for all the encouragement, Sylph and Haevyn. I'm still keepin' on keepin' on and pushing through it. I'm doing all the work I'm supposed to- daily stretching, daily handstands and weights 3x per week. You don't see much progress in those on a day to day basis, so I've been taking photos on the weekends only. Stretching is exhausting, but there's no doubt that it's working those muscles.

 

What I've really learnt to do now is enjoy the rest days! Man, I love my rest days. While my goal is weights 3x per week, I'm still running 3x per week, too. So when Friday rolls around (my rest day) I have no issue with not working out that day. (except handstands and stretching and it's also the day I teach my karate class) Even this morning, my schedule forced me to delay my run until 7:00, so I spent the first hour this morning watching "The Walking Dead" and catching up on that. It's a little piece of morning heaven.

 

Second thing happening is that I'm still adjusting my food. A few weeks ago, I started eating more to bulk up. I stuffed myself all the time to expand my stomach and that worked. About 5 days ago, my scale started getting crazy. Over 3 days, when weighed first thing in the morning each time, the scale went:

128lbs. 10.7% BF

126lbs  11.5% BF

130lbs  11.2% BF (note the scale is crazy when doing body fat - I'm not actually at 11%)

 

Before bulking, it was pretty consistent. So I figured I needed to be more consistent with my eating. Especially since it seemed like maybe I was gaining weight too fast. (more than 1lbs/week) I ended up cutting out too many carbs though, my energy dropped and I was starving. Tuesday night I ended up eating about 1.5lbs of a rice/cabbage/sausage casserole my wife made for supper and I could have doubled that amount no problem. Now I've been adding a lot more rice and oatmeal to my diet and making sure there are no supper leftovers. (it's like I'm a teenager again eating everything on the table) I'm not as hungry now, though I am constantly eating throughout the day. I'm just tracking it more and making sure I get more carbs. (protein is never a problem) The scale is more consistent the last few days as well so I think it's working.

 

Now off to handstand and then hit the road for my run! Thanks for the push, Haevyn.

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Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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