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Jothra

Jothra Conquers the Underlying Symbolism of Everything!

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     The door opened for the first time in months. Years? It was hard to keep track in the darkness of the cell. Well, maybe cell. For all he knew, it could be a wine cellar, a regular cellar, or even an underground phone booth. It really was awfully dark.

     As the bright sunlight seared into his squinting eyes, his hand slipped slowly to the jagged, broken piece of 1x4 he had broken from the floor ages ago. It had taken a long time to sharpen it to a point by rubbing it on the rough stone walls, but time had never been at a premium in the darkness.
     Stone walls? That should have tipped me off, he thought. Not a phone booth. Dummy. He prepared himself for a leap, though he was almost completely certain he wasn't up to fighting his way past anyone more dangerous than a punch-drunk mallard.
     “Oh, put that away,†said a thin, creaky voice above him. In the glare, the voice was far more defined than the silhouetted body from which it issued. “I know you've been down there ages, and you've never known who or what was eventually going to open this door, but how much damage do you think a sun-blinded man in a hole can do to a person standing four metres above him? Besides...you have been here before.â€
     “Fair point,†said the man in the hole.

     Then, to the voice's surprise, the former captive pounced.

     The voice's training kicked in, and in seconds, the man known as Daikaiju Jothra was laid out on the ground, gasping for breath, and wondering how his makeshift weapon had ended up the in the hands of an old man. Once he regained his composure — not to mention his wind — Jothra practiced his shouting.

     “I'll eventually care who you are, but I think first I'd like to know why I've been trapped in a big hole in the ground, and who's going to pay for it!â€
     The shape at the top of the pit had slowly been forming itself into a bearded old man. His robes were old and worn, but immaculately maintained. His dim grey eyes seemed ages younger than the rest of his face, flashing from under the floppy brim of his cartoonishly pointy hat. His left hand held a familiar-looking brown sling pack. After a pause, conveniently long enough to allow even the slowest of readers a chance to finish reading this paragraph, he finally spoke.
     “I am here...from the Rebellion.â€
     “That's great, but I told you--â€
     “My fellow elders and I have been seeking you for a long time. You have disappointed us, and let yourself fall into your old ways. But we still need you to complete our mission.â€
     The old man made a strange, strained expression, and the man in the pit suddenly found himself rising, as the floor below him moved improbably up to ground level.
     “You were lured here by Ogrod the Dreaded, the dictator and ruler of all Lodbrok. Again. The way I understand it, he had an easier go of it than he did the first time he locked you in a hole.â€
     The man in the no-longer-a-pit stared a seething stare. The old man sighed.
     “Do you care nothing for the planet Lodbrok? What of the time and resources we spent rescuing you one year ago? What about the training? What of all of our hopes and dreams? You have failed us all, as much as you have failed yourself!â€
     “Have I, now?†the former pit dweller sneered. “Who do you think you are? And just who do you think I am?â€
     “Your name is Jothra! You were once a strong scout on your native world, before Ogrod managed to snare you in this trans-dimensional interplanetary trap! When you were once freed, you showed potential, but you spurned it for a life of sloth and ignorance, and became ensnared in exactly the same net again! Now you are free — again — and this time, we are not sure how to proceed. Are we to drag you, kicking and screaming, to a training prison? What say you?.â€

     The old man handed Jothra the sling pack. “This is your satchel, of course. It is the same one we rescued from Ogrod's vaults last time. It is mere luck that lives weren't lost in its recapture. It is empty at present, just as you...â€
     Jothra did not try to hide his scornful sneering as the old man's words trailed off. The old man's brow creased in worried confusion.
     “Your timepiece is on your right wrist.†He pointed a bony finger to Jothra's wristwatch. “You...you are right handed.†He looked down at Jothra's left shin. “...And

where is your scar...the one from the bicycle crash? It should not have faded so soon, unless...â€
     “Good job, Holmes,†Jothra sneered. His right fist connected with the old man's right eye. Jothra grabbed the bag, since it seemed like a waste to leave it with a future dusty corpse, and strode shakily away. He would need to regain his strength to do what must be done.
     “You're forgetting! There is one other thing!†shouted the old man
     A piercing, animal scream came from somewhere much too close to Jothra's left ear. He dropped the satchel, and turned just in time to see a dark black maw with jagged white teeth around its edges. Then he was done seeing things for more or less ever, with the exception of the inside of a giant carnivorous lizard.
     “Run,†said the old man, grabbing the bag, and fading from sight.

 

*           *           *

 

     “You are sure?†asked another old man.

     “Yes,†replied the old man, addressing all seven of his bearded, old man colleagues. In the middle of the round table sat Jothra's satchel.

     “But how is this possible?†queried another old man.

     A throat cleared. All eyes swivelled to the most ragged but robustly healthy of them all.

     “We know that it is possible, because that is what we have before us,†said the haggard old man. “The evidence is clear. The man we found and released today was not Jothra. He was the Evil Jothra that Ogrod created shortly after we first found the real Jothra last year. Somehow, Ogrod was fooled into burying his own minion in a deep, dark prison, and throwing away the key.â€

     There was silence around the Rebellion Old Men Council's planning table. This situation was not one for which they had prepared. Never in their wildest dreams had they imagined that the man they had found in the prison could be anyone but Jothra. Now they all shared one question, and they dared not voice it, because they knew that no-one at the table had an answer.

     Where the hell was the actual Jothra?

 

bikecykle_zpsb9ylopyo.jpg

 

msQlEXY_zpszw2mu4ve.gif

 

bikecykle_zpsb9ylopyo.jpg

 

     I disappeared from NF a year-ish ago, but I've been busy since. I've lost 25 lbs., and increased my leg strength and stamina an awful lot. I've earned my Alberta Permanent Teaching Certificate. I've gone on an Alberta and B.C. National and Provincial Parks crawl. I've scrambled a moderate peak. Most recently, I cycled 95 km from Vulcan to Lethbridge for a pizza. Now I am back because I want to keep working.

     Ride bicycle. Complete Darebee's Hero's Journey bodyweight strength program. Read books.

     "Conquers the Underlying Symbolism of Everything" is a reference to every exercise in the Hero's Journey program representing a fictional action in a continuing story. Also, it gave me an excuse to use a clip from the old Muppet promo reel.

 

bikecykle_zpsb9ylopyo.jpg

 

1.) Main Quest

I've lost weight, and increased my stamina. Everything is easier now. I want more.

 

My three goal-achieving-type-little-goals-that-add-up-to-a-bigger-goal-goals:

 

i.) Ride a bicycle three days a week. My road cadence has moved from generally-high-60s to generally-low-80s, and it's made life better. Road bike until snow, then winterized MTB or stationary bike (I call it the Modified Thunderbolt Grease-Slapper, because it has been modified to hell and back). Easy scoring: __/18. [+3 STA | +2 DEX]

 

ii.) Run the Hero's Journey workout from Darebee every day. I should be able to do this during my lunch break while the kids are gone. If this goes well, I may try the Pandora workouts when my 60 days of Hero's Journey are up. Easy scoring here, too: __/42. [+3 STR | +1 DEX | +1 CHA]

 

iii.) Maintain a minimum activity level, and watch how much I stuff down my food receptacle. No Adjective Dieting for me. I'll meet a Fitbit Charge HR-recorded 12,000 steps a day (a step up from my previous base at 10,000) maintain a calorie deficit. __/42. [+2 CON | +1 WIS]

 

bikecykle_zpsb9ylopyo.jpg

 

2) LIFE SIDE QUEST

Read every day. Internet doesn't count. [EDIT: reading at school doesn't count either.] __/42. [+1 WIS | +1 CHA]

 

I'm going to determine scores based on percentage ranges, more or less like on my childhood report cards:

 

A = 86-100% | B = 73-85% | C = 66-72% | D = 51-65% | F = 0-50%

 

3) MOTIVATION

doitanyway_zpsd4eed7b3.jpg

 

This same post-it is still on my door. It's been there since I very first found the NF forums.

 

I will post today's results later on tonight.

 

Good luck, everyone!

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     One of the Old Bearded Men walked into Jothra's cabin -- the small cabin the Rebellion had created for him a year ago -- and immediately saw the signs that Jothra had left in a hurry. Several of his books were missing, as were his e-reader and mp3 Walkman. Naturally, his bicycle and accompanying gear were also gone.

     Something else was amiss, however. The Old Man scrunched his eyes as he noticed telltale signs on the wall in the front hall.

     The marks on the wall were nearly indistinguishable to the untrained eye, but the Old Man recognized them instantly. Jothra had discovered the secret to stepping sideways through space to follow a training path throughout the land, to ultimately culminate in a meeting with the evil Ogrod. Jothra had found the lost manual of adventurers -- The Hero's Journey.

     This meant trouble. Jumping from place to place, Jothra would be hard to track, and even harder to catch. The Rebellion was also having trouble understanding the readings from his wrist tracker; it was still reporting his activity, but with accuracy their scientists hadn't programmed into it. Had he received a new tracker from some other source?

     Now that Jothra had started this journey, all the Old Men could do was follow in his trail, and piece together his story as they discovered it...

 

bikecykle_zpsb9ylopyo.jpg

 

     Day 1:

     i.) Ride a Bicycle: x

     ii.) Hero's Journey: Day 1 Complete. Press "Start" to Play. I went with the Level 1 option (60 reps of each)

     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: Yes and yes.

     iv.) Read: Chapters 10 and 11, The Long Utopia by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

 

     With this challenge in mind, I've printed the entire Hero's Journey workout in digest format, and am keeping it at my school, where those workouts are going to take place. I won't be bicycling tonight, but tomorrow is a new day!

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     "Yes, I met him," said the tumbledown drifter over a steaming plate of noodles. He didn't really like noodles, but times were tough and he liked starving even less. Besides, some kooky Old Man was paying.
     "You are sure?" asked the Old Man.
     "Sure I'm sure. He was wearing some kind of foam yarmulke and riding a couple of wheels not attached by much of anything at all. Dumb clothes, too." The man shuddered. "I think they were some kind of plastic."
     "What did he do?" the Old Man pressed. The drifter shrugged as he noisily slurped a fork filled past mouth capacity with noodles. The Old Man could swear the drifter was unlocking his jaw and horking back his food via paristalsis, like a snake.
     After an impossible feat of swallowing, the drifter grinned strangely.
     "I was being robbed by some morons who think people dressed in mildewed rags make prime targets. This guy you're looking for helped me defend myself."
     The Old Man thought for a moment, then stood to leave.
     "Thank you for the information."
     "Hey, the guy saved my life, and you got me noodles. If I ever get the chance, I'm going to help him out in return. It's the least I can do for the Gets Me Noodles Man."
 


bikecykle_zpsb9ylopyo.jpg

 
     Day 2:
     i.) Ride a Bicycle: Yes. Only 20 minutes before work, but it felt nice.
     ii.) Hero's Journey: Day 2 Complete. Stranger at the crossroads. Either "get involved"  or "mind your own business." Gee.
     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: No and yes, in that order. Long story. Much meeting. Many construction. Better planning could have mitigated the situation. No score.
     iv.) Read: Chapter 13, The Long Utopia by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
 
     I still got 7,543 steps today, so it wasn't a total loss. At least I contribute a bit more to the Assassins mini. Go Team Hoo-Man!
     I can't miss too many goal days, though. My point total can't handle it.

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     "Nothing but footprints!" moaned the Old Old Man. "How has he stayed ahead of us?"

     "If he truly has discovered the Hero's Journey, he may have chosen to hone his speed and endurance," said the Younger Old Man.

     "Yes," agreed the Younger-Than-The-OId-Old-Man-But-Older-Than-The-Younger-Old-Man Man, nodding. "If he has chosen the Way of Bow and Arrow, he may have gained a substantial lead. His powers are already growing."

     All three Old Men gazed into the distance, each deep in solemn thought about the inexorable upcoming conflict: the oncoming storm from which the entire world might meet its doom. They longingly hoped for the return of the one man, the chosen one, who might be able to save a world. The younger men looked to their senior member for guidance — a word of sage wisdom, a light in the darkness to guide them — anything to assuage their tormented spirits.

     At length, the wisest of the three spoke.

 

 

 

     "This is balls."
 

bikecykle_zpsb9ylopyo.jpg

 
     Day 3:
     i.) Ride a Bicycle: x
     ii.) Hero's Journey: Day 3 Complete. Weapons practice! I choose bow and arrow, which matches my already-extant cycling and walking challenge goals. Today: walk, run, cycle, whatever for 30 minutes. Um...yes. See item iii.
     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: In a word: yes. In two words: yes, yes. More than 17,000 steps today. I feel vindicated.
     iv.) Read: The first 136 pages of The Eye of Heaven by Clive Cussler and Russell Blake. I'm absolutely not a Cussler fan, but his (ghostwritten?) Fargo Adventures are a guilty pleasure.

 

    17,421 steps. Now I'm feeling better about the Assassins mini. Go Team Dirty Humanlings!

     [Edit: the mini means getting "Human Assassin" over my avatar? Bonza!]

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To be honest, the answer is kind of disappointing. In the "Hero's Journey" 60-day fitness thingy I'm doing, "Bow and Arrow" is just RPG-speak for walking and running-related challenges. There are no bows and arrows involved.

 

Though I wouldn't mind being able to do this:

robbo_zps7vxypq3t.gif

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     Though hard to spot, the remains of a campfire stood out to the well-trained Old Man who studied them now. Jothra had camped here, rather than travelling back to his comfortable house in the woods. He hadn't been idle in his camp, either; there were also signs that he had been training here in the peaceful solitude of the night.

     The Old Man pondered the situation. Jothra was still training. Maybe the fact that the Old Men weren't overseeing this training wasn't important. After all, wasn't Jothra's purpose the same? Wasn't he out to destroy Ogrod, just as the Old Men were? In their overzealous Jothra hunt, were the Old Men forgetting what was really important?

     A small piece of paper fluttered in the slight wind, landing at the Old Man's feet. He picked it up, uncrumpled it, and read:

 

Too slow, Old Guy.

--Jothra

 

     "Forget it," said the Old Man to himself. "Let's catch the bugger."

 

bikecykle_zpsb9ylopyo.jpg

 
     Day 4:
     i.) Ride a Bicycle: Yes. 36.04 km.
     ii.) Hero's Journey: Day 4 Complete. "Under the Stars." Relatively low-key, which is alright, since I've been punishing my legs lately..
     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: 14,117 steps, and food is yes.
     iv.) Read: Another 96 pages of The Eye of Heaven by Clive Cussler and Russell Blake, much of it while walking during lunch.

 

    At this point, I'm the second-highest scorer in the Assassins mini. The first-highest is also on Team Human Meat Popsicle, so life is pretty good on that front. It may not last, but for now I likes it.

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     Finally! After five days of dogged pursuit, an Old Man was finally about to catch up to Jothra!

     Jothra was on his bicycle, but the Old Man could reach a nearly superhuman speed, and keep it up for almost half an hour. Jothra was barely maintaining 21 km/h, so the Old Man was bound to catch him!

     ...

     ...

     ...

     An hour later, just as the Old Man was about to catch him, Jothra disappeared with a loud bang!

     The Old Man stopped, puzzled.

     Then, realizing he had run too hard and too far even for his body's spectacular abilities, he immediately lost his Old Man cookies.

*     *     *

     "The bang you heard was air filling the vacuum left by Jothra's sudden disappearance," said the chief Old Man scientist, who was, naturally, wearing a lab coat and pointing to a dotted outline of a bicycle on a large whiteboard. "And the cookie-losing sound you heard was the sound of you losing your cookies. You shouldn't push yourself so hard."

     The still-recovering Old Man scowled. "But where did he go? He can't have simply vanished!"

     The wisest and Oldest Old Man, seated casually yet sagely in the back of the room, cleared his throat. "Jothra has figured out the true secret of bicycling. He has figured out how to use an ordinary bicycle and his own abilities to travel the corridors of space and dimension."

     "You mean?.."

     "Yes," said the Oldest Man gravely. "He has discovered...Cyclomathics."

bikecykle_zpsb9ylopyo.jpg

 
     Day 5:
     i.) Ride a Bicycle: Yes. 101.98 km. Much tired. So good.
     ii.) Hero's Journey: I can't. I just can't. I rode a bicycle from Vulcan to the south side of Lethbridge today. I think I can do days 5 and six together tomorrow. If I can do that, I'll give myself today's point. If not, it'll cost me a point for each of those two days I don't complete.
     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: 25,212 steps. I had a very busy day today. No wonder I'm doing HJ day 5 tomorrow.
     iv.) Read: Finished The Eye of Heaven by Clive Cussler and Russell Blake. Spoiler alert:

Snape kills Trinity with Rosebud.

 

     I misinterpreted the Assassins mini. I should not have included Monday. I took off my 8.6 km from Monday. Of course, when I added my 17.6 km for today, it kind of worked out anyway.

 

     Also, the "Cyclomathics" thing was something I'd always planned to write in here, somehow, in no small part because I love the word "cyclomathics."

ezgif-3104040581_zpsh9egnqni.gif

 
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I don't think you should be so harsh. You are not missing those workouts (in case you don't do them during the weekend), the thing is your body needs rest after so much biking.

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     "There!" shouted an Old Man, pointing. There, on a hill in the far distance, was a figure on a blue bicycle.

     Jothra had clearly made some modifications to the vehicle. Instead of blue and black, the main colour pairing on the machine was now blue and white. This may have been a result of his dabbling in Cyclomathics, the ancient science of space travel using bicycles, which until now most of the Old Men had been 67% sure was made up by pro cyclists to scare children.

     Jothra himself appeared to have changed. It was hard to see at this distance, but he had clearly lost some weight, and his legs appeared more muscular. He wore an unfamiliar black uniform jacket of some kind.

     Suddenly, the Old Men saw Jothra turn his head towards them. He quickly mounted his bicycle, and disappeared with a bang.

     The Old Men sighed collectively. They were getting weary of this cat-and-mouse game, chiefly because they couldn't tell who was the cat and who was the mouse.

 

bikecykle_zpsb9ylopyo.jpg

 

     Day 6:
     i.) Ride a Bicycle: Yes. No distance recording, but 98 minutes of it in all, spread throughout a day on the town (the town being Lethbridge.)
     ii.) Hero's Journey: Day 5 Complete. "Journey Through the Woods." It wasn't super easy, and I hate lunges, but the knee strikes and the jumps happened as part of the voice workshop I went to today anyway, so I didn't have to do them later with the lunges.
     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: 12,373 steps. Food is under.
     iv.) Read: More of The Long Utopia by Pratchett and Baxter. "The Next" may be working on the empathy thing, which is exactly what I didn't like about them in The Long Mars. I don't care how hyperintelligent you are, there isn't really any excuse for some of their behaviour in the previous book.

 

     As I've already mentioned, I lost a chunk of weight. It was enough that I had to replace just about my whole wardrobe. My work clothes were all much, much too large to even consider wearing, and most of my workout clothes were the same. It was a pain in the ass, but it was worth it anyway. Besides, clothes look better on me now that they're more fitted again. My shoulders still make shirt shopping a pain, though. In today's short bit of story, Jothra's wearing my black and brown Addidas athletic jacket, because why not?

 

     I'm (probably temporarily) out front in the Assassins mini. Not by much, and if I don't out-distance my minimum walking goal again, I'll probably drop back. That's alright, though, because it's pretty cool to have hit the top for at least a night, and it's a fun mini no matter where I sit.

 

    zenLara is probably right about the Hero's Journey goal and the Long Cycle from Friday. I'll do Day 6 tomorrow, and continue on from there. If I find a really good set of complementary days, I'll try to squeeze an extra day in later. If not, I have six days of wiggle room; as long as I don't miss five more days, it won't affect my "letter grade" (A=86%). I just can't hit fewer than 36 out of 42 days.

 

     [EDIT: I just realized that if I click on my little separator bicycle icon, drag it to the far left of my browser window, then let go, I can watch it bike back to the centre of the page. Looks like I have a new hobby.]

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     Finally, after days of running, the Old Man had finally caught up with Jothra. Though  his quarry was still at least half a kilometre away, the Old Man was certain of his success. The wind was horrendous, and Jothra was unlikely to make for home over such a distance with this serious a headwind.

     The Old Man closed his eyes and smiled as he ran closer, imagining the praise he would get from his compatriots upon his return.

     When he opened his eyes, his happy thoughts evaporated in a heartbeat. Jothra had just thrown his bicycle into the back of a small haycart pulled by a Lernaean Mega-Ostrich, and, with a smile on his face, was obviously thanking the driver for offering him a ride back home.

     "No!" shouted the Old Man as the cart peeled away. "No! You can't do something clever and efficient! What about me?! What about my needs?!"

 

bikecykle_zpsb9ylopyo.jpg

 

     Day 7:
     i.) Ride a Bicycle: No. Totally made my quota this week, though. And then some.
     ii.) Hero's Journey: Day 6 Complete. "Blocked Path." It turns out push-ups to failure isn't very many push-ups for me at this present time. I know it sounds wimpy, but I ended up doing 10, 10, 5, 5, 5 for my five sets.
     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: 15,744 steps. Food is just a hair under maintenance, which will do for the purposes of this challenge.
     iv.) Read: There are two things, both read from beginning to end.The first is Dragons Beware!, the sequel to Giants Beware! by Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre, which was hilarious and adventuresome (although probably meant for younger readers). Also, lovely, fun, bouncy artwork. The second is Step Aside, Pops, the new Hark! A Vagrant collection by Kate Beaton. Beaton is very good at what she does, which is being funny and very literate at the same time.

 

     There was an ill wind, by which I mean a wind that would have been a 60 km/h headwind for 25 km and a 60 km/h direct crosswind for another 75 km before becoming a 60 km/h headwind again for the last 1 km, so I did not bike back to Vulcan. I could have, but it would have taken extra hours, and it just would not have been fun. Good thing I have friends who like to drive. Incidentally, the ride was offered to me before I could ask for it, so maybe that tells you how cool my friends are.

 

     In unrelated news, us human assassins didn't quite win the Assassins mini, but of course winning was never really the point. Good job, hobbits!

 

     In other, unimportant news, I got bored and made an animation:

onaride_zpsdul0mfys.gif

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     It was on the eighth day of chasing that one of the Old Men finally caught up to Jothra. Of all the Old Men around, it had to be...The Oracle.

     The Oracle was something of a black sheep among the Old Men of the Rebellion. Instead of the usual ludicrously pointed hat and flowing Beard of Beardly Wisdom, the oracle shrouded himself in a dark, flowing cloak, his face never visible. Some said it was because his face was scarred by acid. Others said it was because his face was scarred by a rampaging dromeosaur. Yet others said it was because his face was missing altogether after a serious scarring accident. A few said it was because he was just too dashing and handsome to be revealed.

     Mostly people said one of the scar ones, though.

     Jothra was walking. He had set up camp for the night, and was out for a short walk to a nearby shoppe (he always wondered why all the shops around here had extra letters in them) for something to drink, when a cold pair of glowing green eyes glared out almost immediately in front of him.

     "You are not and will never be a hero," said a terrible, grating voice. Jothra felt a cold hand slap him bodily across the face; it didn't hurt, as such, but it carried a horrid chill that left him with a deep dread sinking deep into the marrow of his bones.

     "I have never believed you were the chosen one," the voice gravelled again. It sounded, Jothra thought, like someone throwing cinder blocks into a wood chipper. "I have never believed you could defeat Ogrod."

     This time, Jothra saw the insulting slap coming. He ducked down, and rolled quickly to his side to put some distance between himself and the Oracle.

     "You fool!" the voice ground on. "You cannot defeat me alone!"

     Suddenly, another voice chimed in from behind the surprised Oracle.

     "He isn't alone," said the Drifter that Jothra had saved several days ago. Jothra smiled. This was going to be interesting.

*          *          *

     "You blithering idiot," said the Oldest Old Man, as two of the younger Old Men helped the semi-conscious Oracle to his feet. "We were trying to capture him, not kill him. And now you've let him best you!"

     "He wafn't awone!" spat the Oracle bitterly. "He had hewp fwom thum kind of dwifter!"

     "A person with friends willing to fight by his side is a more worthy opponent than many a strong loner," said the Oldest Old Man, pleased with himself for sounding so sage and wise. Then he paused, a puzzled look on his face, before he continued.

     "Wh...why are you speaking like that?" he asked.

     "My wip!" shouted the Oracle. "That dwifter punched me in the fwace!"

 

onaride_zpsdul0mfys.gif

 

     Day 8:
     i.) Ride a Bicycle: Yes. Only about four kilometres, but it was a nice leg-loosener after a heavy weekend.
     ii.) Hero's Journey: Day 7 Complete. "The Oracle." The "You are not and will never be a hero" line comes straight from the HJ program. Because I picked the "get involved" option on Day 2, the man I helped returned the favour, and removed a full set from each exercise. Also, a quote from the game book: "As an added bonus - the stranger punches the Oracle in the face on your behalf."

     I also did Day 8, "A Night to Remember," and am now caught up on my Hero's Journey schedule. Bomber!
     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: 13,803 steps. Food is yes.
     iv.) Read: Another chapter of The Long Utopia.

 

     There is a new push-up and squat-based Assassins mini. This should fit in nicely with my Hero's Journey stuff. If I go to town on extra squats, I may substitute into the HJ program as necessary.

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Loving your story :)

 

Also love the program you are doing, looks liek it keeps it interesting

It's fun. It might be a little too structured for long-term use, but at 60 days, it's a good way to make some habits and try some new things.

 

Also, thanks! Not many of the people I hung around with here before are still around. Hopefully they're just too busy doing awesome things out there somewhere.

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     Jothra's footprints suddenly turned into a run...and then ended right at the edge of the chasm. The Old Man could see the deep imprints where Jothra had landed on the other side. While not superhuman, the leap was solid. Jothra was improving on his own, whether the Old Men of the Rebellion would admit it or not.
     "Let's take the bridge!" barked the Oracle, who, though healed, was clearly very much still angry about the trashing Jothra and the unknown drifter had given him.
     Before his companion could say anything about the rickety, shambling appearance of the ancient walkway, the impatient Oracle stepped onto the bridge.
     Suddenly, with a series of loud rumblings, the bridge was gone, rapidly plummeting to the bottom of the chasm.

 

"JOTHRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

 

...shouted the Oracle as he fell to, most likely, his doom.
     The other Old Man watched as the Oracle disappeared.
     "Well, I don't think I'm going to miss that guy."


 

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     Day 9:
     i.) Ride a Bicycle: x
     ii.) Hero's Journey: Day 9 Complete. "Collapsing Bridge." I had two choices this time: either five sets of several relatively easy exercises (hopping carefully, bit by bit, across the bridge), or 200 jump squats ("clear the bridge with a single jump.") Because it matches up with the new Assassins mini, I went with the squats, which I'm positive were harder. So, what "karma" did the game give me for doing the hard thing? "You can bask in your awesomeness." Ah well. It was worth it.
     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: 12,001 steps. The 12,001st step was at just about exactly 11:59 p.m. I sure cut it close! Food is yes.
     iv.) Read: Chapters 3 and 4 of Joyful Literacy Interventions. So, I'm an English major as well as an education major, and have worked as a newspaper reporter and a cartoonist. I love language in a way that sometimes makes people uncomfortable. My best friend and I often text each other with weird language questions, just because we're that kind of nerd. So when I say that books about education are almost universally too wordy, you know it's serious.

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     Day 10:
     i.) Ride a Bicycle: x
     ii.) Hero's Journey: Day 10 Complete. "Into the Storm." The punches were, of course, easy, but the to-failure push-ups were murder...though I admit that's because I did 200 of them to catch up in the Assassins mini. I'm typing this on the evening of day 11, and my shoulders are still feeling it.
     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: Only 9,649 steps. My permanent teaching certificate arrived in the mail, so I decided to sacrifice one of my wiggle-room days so I could watch Sahara to celebrate. Sahara is a very fun movie. Food is yes.
     iv.) Read: More Long Utopia.

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     "He is getting lazy," an Old Man. "He stayed in this camp longer than any of the others. He may still be recovering from that jump across the chasm, or that terrible storm last night."

     "It doesn't matter, as long as we can finally catch up to the git," said his companion.

 

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     Day 11:
     i.) Ride a Bicycle: x
     ii.) Hero's Journey: I'm still getting over Day 9 and 10's squat-and-push-up-fest. Day 12 looks super low-stress, so I'll do them both tomorrow.
     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: About the same as yesterday. I fell asleep at 6 p.m., and woke up at about 10 p.m. I did what I could, but wasn't able to walk far enough in my limited remaining time. My bad. Food is yes.
     iv.) Read: More The Long Utopia. A new character just gave one of "The Next" a verbal beatdown for more or less the same reasons I've never liked them. Yay!

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     "Who is he?" said a strange voice. "Is he dead?"

     "CAN WE EAT HIM," said a voice like thunder.

     "No, we cannot eat him," said a third, more authoritative voice. "He must have been caught out in the storm. And see those holes in his bag? I think he might have been attacked by a slurpasaur. Or maybe a larger dromeosaur. He won't survive out here on his own. We should take him inside."

     "Yes. That would be best," said Jothra. "Sorry I can't see you. I think I was hit by lightning. Or a mountain. It feels like a mountain hit me. Or a lightning mountain? I'm not going to do a very good job making sense or shutting up for awhile. I think I--"

     He continued to babble as a strong group of hands picked him up, and carried him inside...somewhere.

 

onaride_zpsdul0mfys.gif

 

     Day 12:
     i.) Ride a Bicycle: Grocery store and back, first thing, 3 km. Another short ride — but then, really, all rides are good rides.
     ii.) Hero's Journey: Day 11 Complete. "Close call." The high knees and stuff were easy enough, but I cranked out 210 squats in one set of 60 and three sets of 50, with two-minute breaks in between. It was cool. Since it was the middle difficulty of the three workout options today, the "karma" in the game's story said I lost my sight for half an hour. So, for the next half-hour, I closed my eyes and kept listening to my Walkman (new Metric album! Yay!) Afterwards, I worked it all out with nice stretching for the Day 12 goals. All caught up now! Also: 210 more squats for the Assassins mini!
     iii.) 12K Steps and Food: Only 13,615 steps. That's pretty bad.

     Ha ha! Just kidding. That's cool. Made goal. Food good also.
     iv.) Read: More Long Utopia. It's heating up! Aliens that aren't bugs! Sad robot! Dimension-hopping dirigible! Action! Intrigue! Mostly intrigue as this juncture! Woo-hoo!

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