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Rurik, I was much the same when I was heavily involved in karate. The dojo was my social network. My only social network. At the time it was all I needed. I feel like things are different now. I am tempted to get back into a traditional martial art for that social aspect, but to be honest I'm just not all that fussed about the traditional martial arts anymore. All my fitness stuff is a solo venture (and probably best left as such, unless I can find some local people to parkour with - at the moment I am aware of no one). I am not a social guy by nature, or at least not in the traditional sense. I'm not into team sports (playing or watching), detest the idea of going out partying, and for the most part unlikely to ever run across people I consider to be "like minded" (NF being one of the few exceptions). But I do connect with the right kind of people if I can find them. Small groups only, though. Very small.

 

I'm willing to give this RPG thing a chance. I think this is one of the few settings where I would be more likely to find "like minded" people. I stopped by the shop this evening and talked to the owner about their gaming groups. Everything appears to be well organized, with group times clearly laid out on the shop's facebook page. No cost, other than when you decide to buy your own books and dice (which they sell of course - and I'd be happy to buy from them if I like gaming with them). So this is a good first step I think. And also a good step towards getting back in touch with my imaginative/ creative side.

 

Workouts went well today. Though I still need to do my meditation. I think I'm already adapting to the increased reps (except for the additional pull-up - that will take some time to get used to). Who knows, I may be adding more reps by the end of this challenge.

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So I had some medical stuff done today. Nothing serious, so don't worry.  :orange:

 

Seems I completely underestimated the toll the prep would take on me, though. In the aftermath, I am feeling quite poorly all around. So I think working out is out of the question for today. And maybe for tomorrow too.

 

Otherwise stuff has been going pretty well. Despite the setbacks, I'm still feeling positive about finishing the challenge strong, getting my level up, and getting my attribute points.

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Today should hopefully be the last day I take off following the medical procedure. That anesthesia had more of a hangover effect than I was expecting. And with 36 hours fasting (and possibly dehydration) on top of that...yeah, a break was in order.

 

Back at it tomorrow, because I at least have the benefit of my usual Friday off of workouts immediately after.

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It's been a busy weekend. Luckily, I am back on track towards my goals, for the most part. Last Thursday I still wasn't up to 100% following the medical stuff, so I only did a few token pull-ups and push-ups. Friday is normally a rest day, but I was feeling much better by then, so I went to the park with my daughter to do some parkour. Mind you, she is only 4, so I am holding her hand or otherwise have my hands on her for most of what she is doing. Still, she surprised me with a pretty good cat grab of the low stone wall in this park. I felt very good about my own practice, finally getting a feel for a cat grab and further working on tic tacs. I mainly focused on this kind of stuff, that involves getting foot traction on a vertical surface. And there was plenty of just running around the park and playing on swings. It is a park after all. Most remarkable about the trip was that we walked to the park this time, a mile there and a mile back, and my little one didn't seem fazed by this distance at all. Too busy having a good time. Needless to say, she slept well that night.

 

Saturday consisted of a yoga class in the morning, and my usual pull-ups and body weight exercises. Sunday was much the same, just without the yoga.

 

Where I really dropped the ball was the midnight bedtime on Friday and Saturday night. To be honest, I really didn't try. I stayed up late with my wife, just chatting away. I certainly wouldn't say it was a bad use of the time. I know she appreciates it when I take the time to just chat away the night with her. I enjoy it too. One of the reasons we are so good together is because we can do that. We talke about everything and nothing. So while I can't get too upset with myself for that reason, bottom line is that I didn't follow my own rules, and I paid for it the following mornings. On Saturday I was able to at least persevere through and accomplish everything I set out to do. But Sunday I did not, leaving lawn mowing and fixing the car for yet another day (after already having done this for several days).

 

I know what the solution is. It's simply sticking to my plan, setting my priorities (that is, how I spend my valuable time), and then following through. It means having the late night chats with my wife earlier in the evening, instead of pissing away the time on Assassin's Creed or similar. An easy thing to do in my head, but past behavior tells me it is so, so easy to sit down at the computer for "just a little" gaming. We all know where it goes from there.

 

Being that we still have one week to go in this challenge, I don't think I'm quite to the point where I'm going to start docking myself potential attribute points for failing to follow through on everything. For one, I like simplicity, and keeping track of which points I did or didn't get seems like a lot of extra work. I prefer to just do it as an "all or nothing" reward at the end of the challenge. Also, I know I will feel better about this if I can end strong and hit everything by the numbers during this final week of the challenge. However, I think it's only fair that if I miss these critical marks again during the final week, after seeing and experiencing just how critical they are, I would lose out on some points.

 

Also, I'm thinking that my next challenge is more or less going to be a repeat of the current challenge, simply because I think these are such important, fundamental goals for me, that I would like another six weeks to really nail them down. I'll make a few small changes, but overall I think the routine will be the same, with the same daily and weekly goals, the same focus on self-discipline and sticking to a routine.

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I know what the solution is. It's simply sticking to my plan, setting my priorities (that is, how I spend my valuable time), and then following through. It means having the late night chats with my wife earlier in the evening, instead of pissing away the time on Assassin's Creed or similar. An easy thing to do in my head, but past behavior tells me it is so, so easy to sit down at the computer for "just a little" gaming. We all know where it goes from there.

 

I've run into the same issue playing Marvel Heroes lately - time flies when you're having fun.  My solution is to keep a kitchen timer near the computer.  If my goal is to play for only 30 minutes, I set the timer and make sure to log off when the timer goes off.  We've also found that this works quite well with our son.  He enjoys playing Mario on the Wii but usually throws a fit when we turn it off.  If we set the timer, however, he has no problems stopping once he hears it ring.

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I've run into the same issue playing Marvel Heroes lately - time flies when you're having fun.  My solution is to keep a kitchen timer near the computer.  If my goal is to play for only 30 minutes, I set the timer and make sure to log off when the timer goes off.  We've also found that this works quite well with our son.  He enjoys playing Mario on the Wii but usually throws a fit when we turn it off.  If we set the timer, however, he has no problems stopping once he hears it ring.

 

I like it. I can easily set a timer on my phone.

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New picture. Tree. I like tree. :orange:

 

Anyway, it appears we are on the home stretch now for this challenge. I'll still going strong, feeling strong, determined to finish strong. It's basically down to three final pull-up/bodyweight workouts, and hitting all my daily benchmarks. I may also shoot for a walk to the park to do some parkour practice tomorrow, like I did Friday last week. Weather permitting of course. I don't seem myself attempting this if it's as hot and sticky out as it's been lately.

 

I'm still thinking the next challenge will more or less be a re-hash of the current challenge. Not because I have no new ideas. I have plenty of those. But because I think the focus of this challenge, the discipline and routine, is so important. I think I could gain much from other six weeks of it. But I will do a few thinks different. I might make a deliberate parkour day part of the weekly goals. Or a yoga class. Or both. And I am considering enrolling in a 4-week-long introduction to tai chi class through community ed. This also may be part of the complete package. We'll see. As always, I must be careful not to overload myself. The tai chi class is available in October or November, so I have some room there to play with my schedule and find what works.

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First the bad news. I missed my meditation and midnight bedtime last night. Got complacent and started playing strategy game late at night, and...yeah. I still got to bed within 10 minutes of midnight, so the overall affect on my sleep was minimal. But a miss is a miss, and as I have stated in previous posts, a miss during this final week will result in the loss of some attribute points. So that will be -1  for the bedtime catagory, and -1 for the meditation (as this is not the first time I have missed either task).

 

And now for the good news...three day weekend! And this challenge is nearly complete! I plan to be spending lots of time with the family (especially since my wife's mum is visiting). Possibly a yoga class in there somewhere. And my first real gaming session with a D&D group will be tomorrow! I went to the gaming shop last week to meet up with the group, barely anyone showed, so we didn't play, but I was able to at least role up my character. A rogue, of course. With assassin-like tendencies (of course). I'm really looking forward to nerding out with some other nerds. Who knows, maybe I will be able to turn some of them on to Nerd Fitness. I think the "Level up your Life" slogan might be a good sell.

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<----  Ninja cat. Been a bit preoccupied with the cat grab technique lately, so I thought I'd reintroduce the ninja cat assassin pic. But we all know it will change again within two days. Because that's how I roll.

 

Anyway, it's getting down to the end of the challenge. I'm not finished yet. I still have to finish my workouts for today. Tomorrow I will probably put up my challenge summary, along with a rough outline for the next challenge, because I intend to start with it right away, during the off week(s).

 

I feel like I've learned so much from this challenge: the importance of sleep, of rest days, of relaxation, as well as knowing when and how to push yourself to get results. All towards the ultimate goal of being the best you can be, of maintaining yourself in "mission ready" status.

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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.***

 

In short, I feel I have earned max points on goal 2 and 4, and max points -1 on goals 1 and 3. I wasn't perfect in any category, but it comes down to what I think are forgivable mistakes/omissions versus unforgivable. There were too many times when I missed my meditation or by midnight bedtime when I had no good reason for doing so. These were simply cases of not properly managing priorities. Still, it's a minor hit in the overall picture. I made my level 7, and gained a lot of knowledge and ability along the way. If any one goal was more important than the others, it was probably the bedtime goal. Because without that, my sleep suffers. When my sleep suffers, the other goals more easily fall apart (as do most things in my life). Sleep must not be compromised.

 

It definitely feels good to have succeeded where I failed in the previous challenge. The focus on discipline and consistency pays off. With it, the rest nearly falls into place.

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I'm putting up a rough outline of the next challenge, partly because it is a repeat of the last one with small additions, and partly because I want to get started right away, during the off week.

 

The daily bedtime, list making, meditation stays. As does the pull-up/body weight exercise routine (4x/wk). What I am also adding is yoga (1x/wk) and a dedicated parkour skills workout (1x/wk).

 

The weekly routine, which I plan to start tomorrow, will look something like this:

 

Monday: Make list, meditate, PU/BW exercise, midnight bedtime.

Tuesday: Make list, meditate, PU/BW exercise, midnight bedtime.

Wednesday: Make list, meditate, midnight bedtime. Rest day from exercise.

Thursday: Make list, meditate, PU/BW exercise, midnight bedtime.

Friday: Make list, meditate, parkour, midnight bedtime.

Saturday: Make list, meditate, midnight bedtime. Rest day from exercise. Sleep in day. DnD group day.

Sunday: Make list, meditate, PU/BW exercise, yoga class, midnight bedtime.

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...It definitely feels good to have succeeded where I failed in the previous challenge. The focus on discipline and consistency pays off. With it, the rest nearly falls into place.

 

Awesome job, and an awesome Challenge.  See you at the next one.

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