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Ok, so I'm not literally joining a cult. The title is simply a historical reference to the Roman deity Disciplina, worshiped by Roman soldiers as the personification of discipline through frugality, sternness, and faithfulness. Wikipedia has a brief entry on the topic here:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disciplina

 

The purpose of this quest is to go back to the absolute basics and establish a solid, disciplined daily routine from which I can progress. This is primarily going to focus on habits versus fitness routines, though fitness will still play somewhat of a role. A lot of what I will be doing is possibly more suited to other Nerd Fitness guilds, such as Adventurer or Druid. However, I have decided I am Assassin to the core, and with the Assassins I shall remain. Nothing is true; everything is permitted.  :playful:

 

Here is how it will all break down.

 

Goal 1: Sleep - Get to bed by 11:00 PM at the latest between 11:00 PM and 12:00 AM every night. I'm not going to get too excited by the occasional slip, especially when it's a situation where I am burning the midnight oil for a very good reason, such as catching up on stuff from work, which I do on occasion. However, such a thing should never become regular habit. The bad habit I am putting to rest here is staying up late, sacrificing good sleep (therefore sacrificing readiness to tackle the next day) for trivial matters such as video games, surfing the internet, or watching TV. The goal is discipline through respecting myself and the obligations I choose to fulfill the next day by being well rested and alert. +3 to Con, +1 to Sta

 

Goal 2: Priorities - Every day, make a list of priority tasks I wish to accomplish. I already do this at work. This goal is specifically to create a comparable daily list at home. By doing this I intend to be more mindful about how I spend my time and energy on any given day, therefore accomplishing things that bring me true fulfillment. +3 to Cha

 

Goal 3: Meditation - Every day, meditate at least once, for seven minutes or more. Simple as that. Take the time to do it, and feel better about everything in general. +4 Wis

 

Goal 4: Arm Strength - This is the only workout oriented goal of the quest. I simply wish to continue the gains I have made in the last six months in terms of upper body strength. Four times per week, I will do a minimum of 3 sets of 3 pull-ups. This is about my max ability right now. At week four of the challenge, I will increase to 3 sets of 4 pull-ups, minimum (or at least attempt to do so). I will of course increase beyond this as ability allows, but this is not required for the goal to be a success. In addition, I will do a basic body weight exercise routine four times per week. This will consist of air squats, decline push-ups, and decline bridges. +4 to Str

 

And there we have it. I will still be working an additional body weight exercises, parkour, and yoga. However, I simply want to focus on what's most important to me right now for this challenge. Right now what I need most is a return to a steady routine. Once I do that, the rest will fall into place with significantly less strain.

 

***Changes made to Goal 1 and Goal 4 on 07/26/2015.***

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Ok, so I'm not literally joining a cult. The title is simply a historical reference to the Roman deity Disciplina, worshiped by Roman soldiers as the personification of discipline through frugality, sternness, and faithfulness. Wikipedia has a brief entry on the topic here:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disciplina

 

Huh.  You learn something new every day!

 

Looks like some solid goals, and reasonable thought process behind them.  Looking forward to following along!

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Huh.  You learn something new every day!

 

Looks like some solid goals, and reasonable thought process behind them.  Looking forward to following along!

 

Thanks for the support. The tasks are overall quite simple, but something I desperately need to cement as routine. Hence the theme of the challenge.

 

I found the existence Disciplina quite interesting as well, especially when you consider the overtly masculine nature of the Roman military (or any military, really), and that here we see the deity associated with discipline among soldiers as female. Apparently the worship of Disciplina was more common among those soldiers serving in outer provinces and frontier areas (think Hadrian's wall and such). Perhaps on the lonely frontier it was more comforting to venerate a female, mother-like figure versus an overtly masculine guy such as Mars? I can't help but wonder.

 

In such an environment, I can see where frugality, sternness, and faithfulness might be infinitely more desirable traits in a soldier, as compared to a soldier stationed in the interior of the Empire, where one might be more lax in daily routine and prone "living it up" and spending money and energy freely. Not to mention political considerations in the intererior might mean more than good old-fashioned grit and determination.

 

I only wish I could easily find more material regarding Disciplina and the customs associated with her veneration by soldiers. It seems there isn't much out there readily available, other than a few blips of info here and there under "minor Roman deities."

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Nice! Establishing routines is always worth focusing on.

Too bad info is hard to find, she sounds like a great goddess for the whole Rebellion! You should start your own chapter of the cult. ^^

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Thanks for the support. The tasks are overall quite simple, but something I desperately need to cement as routine. Hence the theme of the challenge.

 

I found the existence Disciplina quite interesting as well, especially when you consider the overtly masculine nature of the Roman military (or any military, really), and that here we see the deity associated with discipline among soldiers as female. Apparently the worship of Disciplina was more common among those soldiers serving in outer provinces and frontier areas (think Hadrian's wall and such). Perhaps on the lonely frontier it was more comforting to venerate a female, mother-like figure versus an overtly masculine guy such as Mars? I can't help but wonder.

 

In such an environment, I can see where frugality, sternness, and faithfulness might be infinitely more desirable traits in a soldier, as compared to a soldier stationed in the interior of the Empire, where one might be more lax in daily routine and prone "living it up" and spending money and energy freely. Not to mention political considerations in the intererior might mean more than good old-fashioned grit and determination.

 

I only wish I could easily find more material regarding Disciplina and the customs associated with her veneration by soldiers. It seems there isn't much out there readily available, other than a few blips of info here and there under "minor Roman deities."

 

Definitely understand the need to cement routines all too well.  Some days it seems like I can't commit to anything that doesn't make its way into one of my 6 week challenges!  So I usually try to keep building upon the accomplishments I've already made by rolling them into the next challenge.

 

I've always been interested in female goddesses that embody masculine traits or associations.  I did a lot of study of Norse Mythology in university, and Greek to a lesser extent, and one topic I was always fascinated by was the relationship between Odin and Freya, specifically how they seemed to split the god of war archetype.  They even go so far as splitting the claim over the war-dead, each taking half to prepare for the end of times, Ragnarok.  During my studies, I always found Freyja to be the most interesting of the Norse pantheon.  Similar to my interest in Artemis and Athena of the Greek pantheon.  The female members of the divine often tend to embody more complex ideas, balancing the expected feminine attributes (poetry, fertility, romance and beauty, wisdom, etc) with those generally considered masculine (war, battle, wild beasts, the hunt, etc).

 

Now I miss my mythology courses!

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Definitely understand the need to cement routines all too well.  Some days it seems like I can't commit to anything that doesn't make its way into one of my 6 week challenges!  So I usually try to keep building upon the accomplishments I've already made by rolling them into the next challenge.

 

I've always been interested in female goddesses that embody masculine traits or associations.  I did a lot of study of Norse Mythology in university, and Greek to a lesser extent, and one topic I was always fascinated by was the relationship between Odin and Freya, specifically how they seemed to split the god of war archetype.  They even go so far as splitting the claim over the war-dead, each taking half to prepare for the end of times, Ragnarok.  During my studies, I always found Freyja to be the most interesting of the Norse pantheon.  Similar to my interest in Artemis and Athena of the Greek pantheon.  The female members of the divine often tend to embody more complex ideas, balancing the expected feminine attributes (poetry, fertility, romance and beauty, wisdom, etc) with those generally considered masculine (war, battle, wild beasts, the hunt, etc).

 

Now I miss my mythology courses!

 

I do wish I had taken the opportunity to study some of this stuff when I was still in the university. But then again, sometimes self-study, without having to follow someone else's agenda and curriculum, is more thorough and more fun.

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As we begin this challenge, I have made a few small changes to Goal 1 and Goal 4. I have spent the last week playing with the various aspects of this challenge, and have learned a few things that I think warrant the changes.

 

The most obvious change is the bedtime routine. Instead of a hard deadline at 11:00 PM, I have changed it to a looser "bedtime routine" which is to take place between 11:00 PM and 12:00 AM. So in effect, midnight is the new hard deadline. I realize that this makes the goal easier. My intention is not simply to make it easier (and therefore less meaningful), but to make it more flexible. In the last week I have come to realize that getting to bed by 11:00 PM doesn't necessarily equate to more or better sleep. I am a night owl by nature these days, and sometimes I am at my best, at my most productive and creative, in the waning hours of the evening. And sometimes, this is the only time I get some quiet, alone time relax and gather my thoughts. I've realized this time is invaluable to me. So I want to balance having a consistent bedtime habit with maintaining a bit of "me time" as well. I've also learned that even a midnight bedtime gives me more than enough sleep on a work night, as I am quite capable of waking at 7:00 AM and being out the door for work by 7:30 AM, ready to take on the day. Giving myself the flexibility to stay of until midnight if I so desire, to give myself that quiet time to relax and reflect, insures that when I do finally go to sleep, it is quality sleep, and when I wake I am ready to go, well rested, and mentally refreshed. What I must not let happen is to stay up any later than midnight, especially for dubious reasons. If I am awake any later than midnight, then I am sacrificing my readiness to tackle the next day effectively. This is why midnight is "the line in the sand" for this particular goal.

 

The other change is that I have simply added some basic body weight exercises to compliment the pull-ups. I had planned on doing something like this anyway, whether formally part of the challenge or not. However, I have decided to declare it as an essential competent for one simple reason: it helps me so much! These few simple exercises do my lower back so much good, to neglect them is almost as bad as staying up until 2:00 AM playing video games while drinking Mountain Dew on a work night. I still deal with the lower back injury from almost four years ago when I was over-training in karate and pulled the muscles. A number of things help the symptoms, but so far a very basic program of strengthening exercises have done the most to subside the discomfort and pain.

 

That and I figure if I'm making the first goal a bit easier, I may as well make one of the others a bit harder.  :playful:

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Weekend update:

 

Yesterday was awesome, as I made it to a yoga class, did my pull-ups, and did some basic parkour (mostly rolls). Today was even better, with a healthy cocktail of pull-ups, BW training, parkour rolls and tic tacs, and even a little martial arts practice by way of boxing on a heavy-bag and flinging and old pair of sai around at a tree stump in the back yard.

 

I'm not sure what prompted me to pick up the sai other than simply seeing them in the room. I bought them years ago when I was still very active in karate. I was never formally trained on how to use them, as my particular karate style tends not to mess with fun stuff like weapons. I simply bought them out of interest, with the assumption that I could apply what I know from unarmed karate and make them work. I was more or less right. I found a good instruction book for sai, and through the book learned how to grip and flip them correctly. I also learned that once you have the basic grips and flips down, the rest is essentially the same as unarmed karate, just with nasty-looking metal truncheons augmenting your technique. So while my skill with them would probably never be recognized by any formal martial arts entity, I had fun with them. Which was the point.

 

Today I applied the same formula of adapting the sai to what I know. But instead of restricting my movements to that of traditional karate, I adopted a boxing stance and guard. It actually seemed to work quite well. Covering up put the long "blades" of the sai over my forearms, creating what I think would be an effective shield against straight punches and elbows, and perhaps some weapon attacks as well. And the punching works more or less the same as with karate punches, using the butt end of the sai for a more damaging strike. I also practices the more fluid, karate style flipping strikes against a tall tree stump. Overall it was a lot of fun. And that was the main purpose of the practice, just to enjoy myself. As far as actual combat application, I realize I am making a number of assumptions as far as effectiveness. But that's ok. I don't look for fights.  :orange: So far I have been very successful avoiding them. This is the way I like it.  :orange:

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As we begin this challenge, I have made a few small changes to Goal 1 and Goal 4. I have spent the last week playing with the various aspects of this challenge, and have learned a few things that I think warrant the changes.

 

The most obvious change is the bedtime routine. Instead of a hard deadline at 11:00 PM, I have changed it to a looser "bedtime routine" which is to take place between 11:00 PM and 12:00 AM. So in effect, midnight is the new hard deadline. I realize that this makes the goal easier. My intention is not simply to make it easier (and therefore less meaningful), but to make it more flexible. In the last week I have come to realize that getting to bed by 11:00 PM doesn't necessarily equate to more or better sleep. I am a night owl by nature these days, and sometimes I am at my best, at my most productive and creative, in the waning hours of the evening. And sometimes, this is the only time I get some quiet, alone time relax and gather my thoughts. I've realized this time is invaluable to me. So I want to balance having a consistent bedtime habit with maintaining a bit of "me time" as well. I've also learned that even a midnight bedtime gives me more than enough sleep on a work night, as I am quite capable of waking at 7:00 AM and being out the door for work by 7:30 AM, ready to take on the day. Giving myself the flexibility to stay of until midnight if I so desire, to give myself that quiet time to relax and reflect, insures that when I do finally go to sleep, it is quality sleep, and when I wake I am ready to go, well rested, and mentally refreshed. What I must not let happen is to stay up any later than midnight, especially for dubious reasons. If I am awake any later than midnight, then I am sacrificing my readiness to tackle the next day effectively. This is why midnight is "the line in the sand" for this particular goal.

 

As a fellow sleep-sufferer, I completely understand this addition.  My flippant bedtime became so reliable that it was similarly a topic of a challenge goal a few back.  I still prefer to keep it flexible, but I'm much more cognizant of getting 7-8 of sleep whenever possible than I used to be.

 

Weekend update:

 

Yesterday was awesome, as I made it to a yoga class, did my pull-ups, and did some basic parkour (mostly rolls). Today was even better, with a healthy cocktail of pull-ups, BW training, parkour rolls and tic tacs, and even a little martial arts practice by way of boxing on a heavy-bag and flinging and old pair of sai around at a tree stump in the back yard.

 

I'm not sure what prompted me to pick up the sai other than simply seeing them in the room. I bought them years ago when I was still very active in karate. I was never formally trained on how to use them, as my particular karate style tends not to mess with fun stuff like weapons. I simply bought them out of interest, with the assumption that I could apply what I know from unarmed karate and make them work. I was more or less right. I found a good instruction book for sai, and through the book learned how to grip and flip them correctly. I also learned that once you have the basic grips and flips down, the rest is essentially the same as unarmed karate, just with nasty-looking metal truncheons augmenting your technique. So while my skill with them would probably never be recognized by any formal martial arts entity, I had fun with them. Which was the point.

 

Today I applied the same formula of adapting the sai to what I know. But instead of restricting my movements to that of traditional karate, I adopted a boxing stance and guard. It actually seemed to work quite well. Covering up put the long "blades" of the sai over my forearms, creating what I think would be an effective shield against straight punches and elbows, and perhaps some weapon attacks as well. And the punching works more or less the same as with karate punches, using the butt end of the sai for a more damaging strike. I also practices the more fluid, karate style flipping strikes against a tall tree stump. Overall it was a lot of fun. And that was the main purpose of the practice, just to enjoy myself. As far as actual combat application, I realize I am making a number of assumptions as far as effectiveness. But that's ok. I don't look for fights.  :orange: So far I have been very successful avoiding them. This is the way I like it.  :orange:

 

You're kind of a bad-ass.  I did about a year of Isshinryu Karate when I first moved to the city and the sai - along with the bo staff - were something I was really looking forward to learning.  Unfortunately the army sidelined those plans, but I still look at those traditional weapons with interest.  I watched Predators last night and really enjoy the scene with the Yakuza member squaring off against one of the Predators with a katana.  That moment was very well done!

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You're kind of a bad-ass.  I did about a year of Isshinryu Karate when I first moved to the city and the sai - along with the bo staff - were something I was really looking forward to learning.  Unfortunately the army sidelined those plans, but I still look at those traditional weapons with interest.  I watched Predators last night and really enjoy the scene with the Yakuza member squaring off against one of the Predators with a katana.  That moment was very well done!

 

Wow, that just might be the nicest thing anyone has said about me all week. Weapons training is something I would love to really dive into someday, with proper instruction and everything. At the moment, I am simply not willing to make the time and money commitment. Until then, I make do with occasionally playing Ninja Turtle in the backyard, as well as other "peasant" (that is, cheap) pastimes such as teaching myself parkour and BW training.

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I think training like a peasant fits right in with traditional karate weapons. ^^ I did the same thing years ago with tonfa for a stage fight I was involved in - my favorite thing about goonie-style weapon training is merging different styles just to see what happens... it's not always something good, but it IS always fun. ^^

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Today was a great parkour practice day in the park. I found a good section of retaining wall for working on the step vault and even some progression into a speed vault (or at least something resembling a speed vault). I was also a good exercise in tuning the fear of practicing such things in public. One tactic that is particularly effective when teenagers give me strange looks is just to think to myself, "yeah, you only hope you can be half this cool when you are 34." I'm sure just the thought of being 34 someday is enough to send many of them reeling.

 

So far I've been keeping up with daily routine goals: sleep, meditation, and making my daily list of tasks. Making that list is such a powerful tool in itself. Just that simple task alone is often what gets me doing  productive things during my day, things that are often above and beyond my challenge-specific goals (such as the weapons practice over the weekend, or today's parkour training).

 

Tomorrow I will be back at my pull-ups and BW exercises. My usual four training days per week has generally been Wed, Thurs, Sat, and Sun over the course of the last few months (since whenever it was I joined the Assassins). That routine seems to be working, so I won't mess with it.

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As much as I appriciate the theme of the mini-challenges, I think I'm going to have to opt out this time around and just focus on my modest goals. I think some of my struggles last time were partially due to early burnout from taking on too much.

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Today was a great parkour practice day in the park. I found a good section of retaining wall for working on the step vault and even some progression into a speed vault (or at least something resembling a speed vault). I was also a good exercise in tuning the fear of practicing such things in public. One tactic that is particularly effective when teenagers give me strange looks is just to think to myself, "yeah, you only hope you can be half this cool when you are 34." I'm sure just the thought of being 34 someday is enough to send many of them reeling.

 

I'm paying close attention to this because it's exactly what I'll be going through shortly.  The public aspect of Parkour is especially... nerve-wracking.

 

As much as I appriciate the theme of the mini-challenges, I think I'm going to have to opt out this time around and just focus on my modest goals. I think some of my struggles last time were partially due to early burnout from taking on too much.

 

I used to write up huge RP posts for both my challenges and the Ranger mini's and participate in every PvP I could get my hands on.  It just turned out to be too much going on at once so I had to scale things back a bit.  I find I'm much better off for it.

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Today was a great parkour practice day in the park. I found a good section of retaining wall for working on the step vault and even some progression into a speed vault (or at least something resembling a speed vault). I was also a good exercise in tuning the fear of practicing such things in public. One tactic that is particularly effective when teenagers give me strange looks is just to think to myself, "yeah, you only hope you can be half this cool when you are 34." I'm sure just the thought of being 34 someday is enough to send many of them reeling...

That right there makes me want to go play in the park :)

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Today was a great parkour practice day in the park. I found a good section of retaining wall for working on the step vault and even some progression into a speed vault (or at least something resembling a speed vault). I was also a good exercise in tuning the fear of practicing such things in public. One tactic that is particularly effective when teenagers give me strange looks is just to think to myself, "yeah, you only hope you can be half this cool when you are 34." I'm sure just the thought of being 34 someday is enough to send many of them reeling.

 

I think parkour is so neat to watch, but man, I'd be terrified to try it. How does one even get started? 

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I think parkour is so neat to watch, but man, I'd be terrified to try it. How does one even get started? 

 

I'm just starting Parkour basics this challenge.  For me, any new untaking begins with research, so I took to Youtube and clawed through mounds of videos to find what I considered were the most informative and interesting, and then I began following along with what seemed to be the most common basics across the board.  Mostly rolls and vaults.  So now I've made a curriculum for myself to follow and I'll work my way through it during this challenge.

 

Here's a link to my schedule and the videos I've gathered, if you're interested:  http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/68595-the-chronicles-of-rurik-a-survivor-is-born/?p=1564115

 

It's a start, if nothing else.

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I'm just starting Parkour basics this challenge.  For me, any new untaking begins with research, so I took to Youtube and clawed through mounds of videos to find what I considered were the most informative and interesting, and then I began following along with what seemed to be the most common basics across the board.  Mostly rolls and vaults.  So now I've made a curriculum for myself to follow and I'll work my way through it during this challenge.

 

Here's a link to my schedule and the videos I've gathered, if you're interested:  http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/68595-the-chronicles-of-rurik-a-survivor-is-born/?p=1564115

 

It's a start, if nothing else.

Whoa, cool, thanks! I'm right there with you -- I love some good research, myself. :)

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I'm just starting Parkour basics this challenge.  For me, any new untaking begins with research, so I took to Youtube and clawed through mounds of videos to find what I considered were the most informative and interesting, and then I began following along with what seemed to be the most common basics across the board.  Mostly rolls and vaults.  So now I've made a curriculum for myself to follow and I'll work my way through it during this challenge.

 

Here's a link to my schedule and the videos I've gathered, if you're interested:  http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/68595-the-chronicles-of-rurik-a-survivor-is-born/?p=1564115

 

It's a start, if nothing else.

 

I think one of the more appealing aspects of parkour is that one can get started without having a formal instructor or class. So far everything I have done has been self-training, drawing from multiple internet sources and one book I was recently given. Someday, I hope I can attend some classes, as I imagine having a dedicated instructor will help develop a higher level of skill in less time. But until then, it's very much a self-motivated, self-oriented endeavor. Progress may take more time, but there is something about self-training that is very liberating.

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So I haven't posted in a couple of days. Shame on me. The challenge has been going well so far. I've been hitting all my marks, getting to bed no later than midnight, meditating and making a to do list daily, and getting in my workouts. I've also managed to keep up attending yoga at the YMCA on Saturday mornings for 3 weeks straight now.

 

I have noticed that while I've been consistent about getting to bed before midnight, I have been a bit more tired than usual over these last couple days. We did have a storm come through in the early morning hours a few nights ago, which definitely disturbed by sleep, so it may be a knock-on effect from that. However, I may want to consider trying for an earlier bedtime. I won't change the challenge. Midnight still counts as a success. But it may just be helpful to exercise some discretion and take in an earlier bedtime from time to time.

 

I have no big plans for parkour-specific training on the near horizon. This morning's yoga class left me feeling a bit rough, though I am quite glad an persevered through it. Maybe in a few days I'll plan another evening in the park for some vaults, jumps, and landings. Cat climb/wall hang is also something I would like to start playing with, after studying a few tutorials.

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