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Solunaria

The Aikidoka of the Sun

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Hi there. I'm Solunaria!

 

 

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I am a new Monk!

 

I used to be an Assassin, because I was drawn to the joyous idea of all the world being one's playground. But Parkour and bodyweight workouts simply aren't a priority in my life. 

 

Since my goals didn't align with anyone else's, and I couldn't speak gif very well, I didn't have a strong place in the community. In fact, no one but my accountabilibuddy even commented my whole month.

 

This left me feeling alone and sad.

 

 

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So I realized that I did not belong with the Assassins. Though, of course, only now am I starting to understand the art of speaking in pictures.

 

Which means... this is me now!

 

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I thought through my priorities, and since I began Aikido last week (and was welcomed by 7FG so sincerely) I decided that this would be my new Guild.

 

However, I am yet to attend a single Aikido class since my sign up. Why?

 

Because shortly after, I began

TWO JOBS.

 

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...so I'm taking it a touch easy this month.

 

I believe this is acceptable.

 

 

 

Life Quest - I am the Captain of this Ship

I'm going to follow my Captain's Manual in terms of maintaining self care and habits built over the last few challenges - this includes diet choices, sleep schedule, sleep logging, being a regularly clean human being, and drinking lots of water, as well as psychological and environmental choices. Basically I'm going to keep doing the things I've allegedly learned to do and logging about it.

 

 

Quest #1 - Take it like a Girl

Get dressed with girl power, pose in the mirror with girl power, and subsequently make food/water/sleep choices with girl power.

 

Quest #2 - Walk it Off

I am going to walk/run/jog towards Mordor a total of 14 miles this month. That means five minutes of casual walking a day average.

 

Quest #3 - Do the Monk Thing

I am going to go to at least 5 Aikido Classes this month. 

 

 

 

So Hey You There!

 

So I could super use people telling me they're listening! One of the biggest reasons I switched guilds is that I was sad about feeling alone and ignored. So if you have the time, just a quick comment to say that I exist would make me very, very happy!

 

I want to be part of this community very much. And I also am a person who really needs to feel wanted as PART of that community! So even the smallest nod in my direction could go a long way.

 

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Best of luck to all of you out there.

 

Walk with light,

~ Sol

 
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Good simple goals.   You should enjoy the Aikido classes,  it's a good system.  Is this your first experience with marital arts or have you studied other systems before?

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Hi Solunaria!  Welcome to the Monks!

 

I am another one of the aikido people here, along with Sarakingdom and Risen Phoenix. I'm looking forward to hearing about all the things in your challenge.

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Hi Solunaria!  Welcome to the Monks!

 

I am another one of the aikido people here, along with Sarakingdom and Risen Phoenix. I'm looking forward to hearing about all the things in your challenge.

 

What up Sol? Solid goals for the challenge.

 

And man, my aikido army is growing a lot these days.  This pleases me.

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Welcome! We have many aikido folks here.

 

My style is much more aggressive, but the wonderful thing about the monks is that we all have the same common ground: no matter which it is, we all LOVE our arts!

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Well, hey there! Welcome! Always glad to see more people stopping by.

 

The goals look good and manageable. I get the feeling that the Life Goal and Goal #1 are probably going to intersect a bit, which is necessary and good.

 

All right, then. Let's get to work!

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Those last lines of your opening post reminded me of something I read last year from Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking and her TED talk:

 

"I painted myself white one day, stood on a box, put a hat or a can at my feet, and when someone came by and dropped in money, I handed them a flower -- and some intense eye contact. And if they didn't take the flower, I threw in a gesture of sadness and longing -- as they walked away. So I had the most profound encounters with people, especially lonely people who looked like they hadn't talked to anyone in weeks, and we would get this beautiful moment of prolonged eye contact being allowed in a city street, and we would sort of fall in love a little bit. And my eyes would say -- "Thank you. I see you." And their eyes would say -- "Nobody ever sees me. Thank you."

 

Maybe I'm being a bit cheesy, but hey! Welcome to the Monks. We see you. =D

 

Just remind me to get some sunglasses next time I come to read your challenge. 

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OH MY GOD, YOU'RE FROM MEXICO! WE CAN SPEAK SPANISH AND TALK ABOUT LATINO STUFF AND EAT SOME TAQUITOS AND HAVE OUR OWN PIÑATA PARTY WITH LOTS OF ÑSSSS

 

IT'LL BE SOMETHING LIKE THIS

 

 

 

 

 

* dies *

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Day 3

 

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Hey everyone.

 

First, I want to say how honored I am that you all came by to say hello.

 

I'm having some trouble this challenge, and I'm hoping maybe some of you have some experience or advice you can share.

 

The last couple weeks, it's been difficult to remember who I am.

 

This is partially due to starting about 51 hours of work and travel in a single sweep of employment, and my being very busy.

 

It's also partially due to the subsequent collapse of my eating habits into the candy, pizza, and chocolate balls my place of work offers me on display all day.

 

And the emotional collapse, depression, anxiety, general out-of-it-ness, and sense of purposelessness this collapse of eating habits has brought on.

 

I chose my challenge goals this time around semi-arbitrarily. I knew I needed to pick something. I knew I couldn't go too big, with all my stress in place. I also knew that the goals had to mean something.

 

I spent weeks before this challenge fluctuating across a large spectrum, from massive, spectacular, and dazzling goals with multiple categorical layers of meaning, and tiny changes that were just Normal, not because I wanted them or they meant anything to me.

 

And then it was the night before the challenge. And I needed to put SOMETHING.

 

So I made these.

 

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Who I Am and What I Need

 

So why am I still here, if none of this feels like it means anything to me and everything is hopeless?

 

Because I'm a Hufflepuff Primary. That means that I deeply and powerfully value people, and value communities, and can't drop something if I feel like it matters to other people. And so with you guys here and saying you were listening, I couldn't just walk away.

 

One of the ways this uniquely applies to me is my desire to feel seen and wanted as part of a group. It's what brought me here, what made choosing my guild so important, and what is keeping me here now.

 

But I'm also a Gryffindor Secondary.

 

This means I want to charge. And charging means I have to have a goal. A glimmering image or vision, a concept of where we're going, where we're headed, where our DESTINATION is. What are we working towards. Great, let's GO.

 

And all of the destinations I have in mind are ones that only are desirable to me on passing occasion. That's not enough for me. If I have an end goal that I want - not on whim, but at core - then nothing can stop my getting there. It's one of my most valued and successful traits.

 

But I don't know what I want. I don't know what I care about. I have talent in a hundred areas that I could pursue, but no urge to do so beyond a feeling of expectation and obligation. This has been my challenge for the last four years of my life.

 

The only thing I know I want is to know who or where I want to be. In a fiery, passionate, visionary type way. And I can't figure out how to charge towards that one.

 

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What *Does* Motivate Me

 

My desire to be part of and also to surge ahead with passion make for an ideal motivational situation.

 

To be part of a group that passionately identifies as an order or team,

Where I am seen, can feel like I belong, and am wanted just for being a new potential and an appreciator,

With clear rankings that designate status and reflect skill, dedication, effort, and achievement,

Whose focus I'm talented or gifted in,

Where the high ranking members have skills that I want to learn, and achievements that I respect,

And the community regularly and accessibly is a part of my life.

 

You can see where an how I was drawn to both this community, and to Martial Arts.

 

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Aikido

 

So, Aikido is perfect for this! Except... I can only go twice a week. So it doesn't seem like something I can charge towards. And it isn't constantly present in my life. And I haven't gone in two weeks - since my sign up session - so it feels distant. Still, it's the strongest contender I have.

 

 

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Where This Leaves Me

 

Longing to be inspired. Wanting to have a place to throw the juggernaut that is my passionate energy and devoted spirit towards a desired location. Wondering what Nerd Fitness really means anymore, and what it should mean to me.

 

Desiring to build a destination worth awe and respect within my valued community, that I truly desire to be.

 

Playing with designs of PVP competitions to create small-scale environments for my Charge energy to be utilized.

 

Hoping to gain some wisdom from here. I'm just... a little lost.

 

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Here's hoping your days have been a bit warmer and sunnier than mine,

::bow::

~ Sol

 

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Good simple goals.   You should enjoy the Aikido classes,  it's a good system.  Is this your first experience with marital arts or have you studied other systems before?

 

Hello Lady Lydia! Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate the company. ::bow::

 

I love it very much. I've had experience with various martial arts systems before, but never for a significant amount of time, due to moving quite regularly throughout my upbringing.

 

What do you study?

 

 

Hi Solunaria!  Welcome to the Monks!

 

I am another one of the aikido people here, along with Sarakingdom and Risen Phoenix. I'm looking forward to hearing about all the things in your challenge.

 

Hello Mistr! It's very good to be welcomed.

 

I was very glad that you had taken the time to update your profile summary! It was nice to read about you and who you are. I'd love to feel connected to my fellow Aikidoka. 

 

Thank you for following me. ::bow::

 

 

Welcome! We have many aikido folks here.

 

My style is much more aggressive, but the wonderful thing about the monks is that we all have the same common ground: no matter which it is, we all LOVE our arts!

 

So I've heard! And that's a very good common passion to have! 

 

What IS your style, Kyellan?

 

 

What up Sol? Solid goals for the challenge.

 

And man, my aikido army is growing a lot these days.  This pleases me.

 

Aaaaaaaah

 

 

 

AAAAAAAAAH

 

 

 

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UHM. AH. UH. ::attempts to bow to all three sensei at once::

 

Hello!! Thank you all for stopping by! I appreciate it very much!

 

I, uhm, was wondering, if any of you have time, if you could share what it is about Nerd Fitness that made you guys stay so long and want to become Guild Leaders and Moderators! That would be wonderful and perhaps encouraging.

 

 

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What up Sol? Solid goals for the challenge.

 

And man, my aikido army is growing a lot these days.  This pleases me.

 

Thank you! I'm thinking about modifying some of them slightly, to become competitive challenges - which I find to have more motivating values.

 

Yes, so I've seen! How long have YOU been studying Aikido?

 

 

Well, hey there! Welcome! Always glad to see more people stopping by.

 

 

Thank you! I feel very welcomed! I appreciate your approval of my goals! 

 

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OH MY GOD, YOU'RE FROM MEXICO! WE CAN SPEAK SPANISH AND TALK ABOUT LATINO STUFF AND EAT SOME TAQUITOS AND HAVE OUR OWN PIÑATA PARTY WITH LOTS OF ÑSSSS

 

Lo puedo hacer (probablamente no perfecto, no he hablado desde dejé de México, un mes pasado), pero - como yo hablé en tu pagina - no soy de México! Lo siento si por este estés triste. :(

 

(Aaah, ¡¡¡necesito recordar el ritmo de la idioma!!! Ay tanto problemas con mi gramática ahora. T.T)

 

But I gotta say. I love me some piñatas and ñs. :tongue:

 

 

I CAN WATCH YOU SPEAK SPANISH

 

AND ALSO EAT AREPAS WHILE I DO SO

 

YOU DO THAT. 

 

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Updates, Modifications, and Reports on my Challenge Quests!

 

 

Life Quest - I am the Captain of this Ship --> Domain Spellbook

I can't be the Captain of my Ship yet because I don't have the damn materials.

 

I am going to spend at least 5 minutes a day working on re-inspiring literature on finding meaning in my life and mission. I'm going to build my Spellbook.

 

 

Quest #1 - Take it Play like a Girl

Get dressed with girl power, pose in the mirror with girl power, and subsequently make food/water/sleep choices with girl power.

So this hasn't been working at all in the least bit. We're changing it.

 

I'm entering two different contests, both gauging the same basic successes.

 

The first is here, another PvP Challenge.

 

And the other is a PvP Challenge that I'll make a link to soon, but first I have to make it, because tomorrow morning I and a friend are starting a contest of our own. 

 

 

Quest #2 - Walk it Off

"I am going to walk/run/jog towards Mordor a total of 14 miles this month. That means five" TEN 10 TEN 10 WHAT WAS I THINKING, like, and maybe 15, that's NOT HOW SPEED WORKS "minutes of casual walking a day average."

 

Day 1 - .55 miles

Day 2 - .65 miles

Day 3 - 1.25 miles

 

And Mon-Wed are the hardest days of the week to walk! I get home between 9:30 pm and 10 pm! ::thumbs up::

 

ALSO, I am now tying this to a current PvP Challenge: Endor's I'm Walking Away.

 
 

Quest #3 - Do the Monk Thing

"I am going to go to at least 5 Aikido Classes this month."

 

No progress on this yet! The only days I can go are Thursday and Friday. So tomorrow is my first chance to shine!

 

 

 

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~ Sol

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Well, do you mind if I say first off that I'm really glad you feel like you can be honest with us about this? It sounds like you're in a bad place as far as being the kind of person that you're trying to be, and that can be just incredibly frustrating.

 

I think that's actually been part of my frustrations this week. Money's been tight, and in order to have enough healthy food to last until payday, I had to eat through some junk food in my house, and I'm going to spend the weekend eating junk food again because I'm going to be seeing family friends (one of whom may be dead soon) and when we get back it's the Super Bowl. I'm definitely getting that feeling of one step forward, two steps back this week, and I was super mad about it last night.

 

So I think I can appreciate where you're coming from with all this. You mind if I try to help you work through it a bit?

 

 

Aikido

 

So, Aikido is perfect for this! Except... I can only go twice a week. So it doesn't seem like something I can charge towards. And it isn't constantly present in my life. And I haven't gone in two weeks - since my sign up session - so it feels distant. Still, it's the strongest contender I have.

 

I'm going to let you in on a secret - most of us aren't going to our respective martial arts every single day. It's not possible for a lot of us, for a whole slew of reasons. Some of us don't have the money, and some of us don't have schools around us that teach an art we like. And even if we do have the money and can go to a class we like, that class might not be available but maybe once or twice a week.

 

Charging doesn't necessarily mean going to class every single day. It's about doing your best to make room for it so that you can do it well whenever you go to have the most fun and to reap the most benefit. And if that means twice a week, well, then, that's what you do. The rest of the charge, at this stage, would be focused on eating well and sleeping well, so that you create a vitality in your life that will make your practice better.

 

Now, let's get to the nitty-gritty.

 

 

Where Things Are Falling Apart (With NerdFitness)

 

To be part of a group that passionately identifies as an order or team: Check, done, we've got this in spades.

Where I am seen, can feel like I belong, and am wanted just for being a new potential and an appreciator: This was falling to pieces until I poked my head into your Courtyard, and 7FG made me feel welcome and seen. And now you guys are here and posting! That's so great!

 

I am so glad you think so. Truthfully, it always kind of surprises me whenever people tell me about how it is in the other Guilds. People think about leaving for a while, and they come back and they always say the same thing - they didn't feel like they were part of a community out there. Conversely, people come in here to this guild thinking they'll leave after a while and... somehow, they just never do.

 

I mean, I guess I can kind of see how it happens. As a GL, I feel like I have a huge responsibility to reach out and help as many people as I can. I volunteered for this position and the pursuit of that responsibility in as much as I felt I could. Nobody else has that responsibility - their responsibilities are to themselves and their challenges and being the best themselves they can possibly be. It's not up to them to encourage others. That's my job, or so I believe, although in fairness it's worth pointing out that people get out of this community what they put in - if they go out to engage with others, they tend to receive engagement in turn. Some people get that and some people don't; I guess that's just something we understand better here in this Guild than the others do in theirs.

 

 

With clear rankings that designate status and reflect skill, dedication, effort, and achievement: So this is where things get messy, and are starting to get despairing. There's no standard for what our quests/challenges are - and when we were using the solid RPG system, that was still okay, because it was still a reflection of PERSEVERANCE, how many challenges have you stuck through and held on and kept moving through, your CONSTITUTION OF SPIRIT! That was enough. It still felt like it was fair, like it measured something tangible, and that ranks of levels meant something.

 

But this Epic Character thing blows it to smithereens. It's completely personal. My Level 50 and Bob's Level 50 could be completely different, and massively different levels of difficulty. When everything is subjective, and "yeah, whatever, you do you, whatever it means to you, man", ranking and leveling and success doesn't MEAN anything anymore.

 

Well, technically, it's always been completely personal. The solid RPG system wasn't about having more levels than anyone else. It was always a reflection of how long one had been around and tried. It was entirely possible to have a high level and not have made any progress in one's life, or to say that one hadn't 'leveled up.' Which meant that none of the numbers we used ever reflected much beyond how we felt we'd done in terms of pursuing our own objectives.

 

I mean, like. Let's take two Nerds. Nerd A is morbidly obese and decides she wants to get to the point where she can walk a mile. Nerd B is maybe a little overweight, and wants to get to the point where she can run a mile. They both decide that it's a STAmina feat, so they both decide to assign 5 points to the completion of their goals by the time challenge is done. Who deserves those points? Should A take less because she's doing something that is ultimately easier? Who says it's easier?

 

In case it isn't clear, the Rebellion isn't about everyone playing one big game. It's hundreds of thousands of us playing hundreds of thousands of games. Those games are our lives, and we're trying to make them better. What's better for me isn't necessarily better for 7FG, and that's okay, because the overarching point remains that we're both trying to do something better with the time that's given to us.

 

Now, I'm not going to go out of my way to defend the new system. I don't use it, because I don't approach things in those terms. Still, given that your goals and Bob's goals were always different and were never purely objective, I think the new system is actually a more meaningful approach. You no longer have the option to say that you feel you did a certain thing a certain way - you either did it and you can check it off, or you didn't. (I suppose you could technically make an amorphous goal if you wanted to, but it would fail most of the criteria that are set in place there, and you wouldn't benefit as a result).

 

 

Whose focus I'm talented or gifted in: Again, because there is no standard in terms of leveling and challenges and skills, this doesn't feel like it means anything.

 

If you don't mind me saying so, it sounds like you want to be better than other people. That can be fun, from time to time. But, it doesn't seem like it would be a terribly joyous way to approach this long term.

 

Have you considered that maybe finding something that you enjoy and doing that better than you did it before is victory enough?

 

 

Where the high ranking members have skills that I want to learn, and achievements that I respect: I super hope I don't offend anyone in this part.

 

This is also a huge problem! I've checked out y'alls signatures and profiles, and it doesn't say who you are and what you do... and so I'm starting to feel like maybe the people who I'm currently seeing as superheroes are maybe superheroes, or maybe are just casual whatever type folk who don't really work out much and are just focusing on little health goals like me. This is probably not true - Assassin Guild Leaders all PROBABLY are boss at parkour, and the higher ranking monks are all probably at least black belts and maybe higher level kyus, but I don't technically know, and it's leaving me antsy.

 

Well, let me fix that for you. If you're into Aikido, the monks you want to talk to are RisenPhoenix, Mistr, and SarahKingdom. And Urgan. RisenPhoenix is a GL, but Mistr is the ranking black belt. Why isn't Mistr the GL? Because I haven't asked her, and because I don't think she wants to be. Why is RisenPhoenix the GL? Because he said yes when I asked him if he wanted to be.

 

As for me... well, what do you want to know? My name is Ryan Graczkowski. I'm a 29-year-old cab driver who's basically living in his parent's basement. I moved back home to help take care of my dad after he had a heart attack last year and my old job prior to cabbie didn't let me do that. I'm presently trying to build a pair of businesses, and it's not a smooth ride, but I've been figuring out what didn't work and winnowing out the bad practices to make things better.

 

I have a green belt in a very peculiar offshoot of Shotokan Karate that values sparring and mixed approaches to fighting rather than adherence to any one style, so I have elements of Judo and BJJ in my training too (though just so it's clear, I doubt I'd rank under those systems at this point). I have beaten black belts and knocked people out and been knocked out in turn.

 

At present, I can swing a 53 pound kettlebell a hundred times in five minutes. I can, after a minute's rest, take that same kettlebell and perform ten Turkish Get Ups in ten minutes. I can clean and press that same bell twice on each arm. I can do a pull up with one arm (although I still need the other arm to help). I'm working on a pistol squat and currently can go down on one leg to a step that is 7.5 inches high. I can do a handstand against the wall. I can run a mile in less than 7 minutes.

 

Shall I get video taken of me doing all these things? I can, if you like. Heck, I could probably stand to do so with some of this anyway, just to get some form checks. Though, having said that, even if I were lying to you, all that really means is that I'm not the person I say I am. And that doesn't hurt you. It hurts me to not be the person I say I am, and if any of us is being dishonorable or less than truthful... well, that's their problem and their loss. Their problem and their loss. Not yours.

 

 

And the community regularly and accessibly is a part of my life. Kinda? I've got some friends who are fairly regular, but I haven't bonded with / gotten to know the community quite yet - partially because I've been on the fence about my investment or faith in this concept as being solid enough to mean anything.

 

Well, like you say, this is on you. I said it earlier and I'll say it again - people have a tendency to get out of this community what they put in. I know you've had the experience before that you've reached out to other people and not gotten anything from it. That's inevitable. It happens. You can put in a lot, but if you're putting in a lot with a person who's not putting in a lot, then they won't reciprocate that investment.

 

It sucks, it really does. Frankly, we do that a whole lot better here in this Guild than it's done elsewhere, but even so we still get Monks who don't have a huge amount of interest in the community aspect. Which, you know, it's fine. They're just getting out what they put in. That's all it is.

 

Also, if I may push back on you a little bit, I'd like to point out that we as a Guild have done a lot more to reach out to you and to make you welcome than you've reciprocated with us. And I don't mean that to say that you owe us anything - you don't. I'm saying that there's only so much that we, the lot of us, can do for you, and at a certain point we're going to fail you. That's when you have to pick up the slack of the relationship yourself and reach out to us, to make it harder for us to fail you.

 

 

Where This Leaves Me

 

Longing to be inspired. Wanting to have a place to throw the juggernaut that is my passionate energy and devoted spirit towards a desired location. Wondering what Nerd Fitness really means anymore, and what it should mean to me.

 

Desiring to build a destination worth awe and respect within my valued community, that I truly desire to be.

 

Playing with designs of PVP competitions to create small-scale environments for my Charge energy to be utilized.

 

Hoping to gain some Wisdom from here, and hoping everyone can receive my negativity with the understanding that I'm out of it and frustrated. I think you're all wonderful for being here. I'm just... a little lost.

 

It's your game, girl. Why do you want us to tell you how to play it?

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Also, it looks like you're figuring some of that stuff I mentioned out on your own. Very good. :)

 

Also:

 

 

I, uhm, was wondering, if any of you have time, if you could share what it is about Nerd Fitness that made you guys stay so long and want to become Guild Leaders and Moderators! That would be wonderful and perhaps encouraging.

 

Hahahaha! It's a long story.

 

Basically, I found myself at a point in my life where I didn't have direction. I was working out on my own and training already, but I was badly out of step with everyone around me and it was really lonely.

 

What brought me here was Steve's idea of life as a game, and that I could play my game alongside everyone else, and I could maybe help them with theirs and they could help me with mine.

 

Eventually Shogun, our first GL, approached me about filling in for him a bit. I said yes (and then he disappeared, jerk), and I've just been running around trying to help people ever since. I honestly just enjoy everything, and I try to take it a day at a time.

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Coming Back From The End Note: This ended up being SUPER LONG. I'll try and add in some pictures to make it more accessible. 

 

 

 

 

Whew boy! There's so much to respond to in this! 

 

All of my feelings are appreciative, agreeing, and positive.

 

Well, do you mind if I say first off that I'm really glad you feel like you can be honest with us about this? It sounds like you're in a bad place as far as being the kind of person that you're trying to be, and that can be just incredibly frustrating.

 

I think that's actually been part of my frustrations this week. Money's been tight, and in order to have enough healthy food to last until payday, I had to eat through some junk food in my house, and I'm going to spend the weekend eating junk food again because I'm going to be seeing family friends (one of whom may be dead soon) and when we get back it's the Super Bowl. I'm definitely getting that feeling of one step forward, two steps back this week, and I was super mad about it last night.

 

So I think I can appreciate where you're coming from with all this. You mind if I try to help you work through it a bit?

 

Thank you so much for this. For all of it, but especially for starting it off with a validation of how I'm feeling, and a sense that you are a human who also is dealing with life and is a friend. It made it possible to hear all of the really powerful things that you said, many parts of which made a huge impact. Thank you for being willing to help me. Thank you for taking the time.

 

 

Charging doesn't necessarily mean going to class every single day. It's about doing your best to make room for it so that you can do it well whenever you go to have the most fun and to reap the most benefit. And if that means twice a week, well, then, that's what you do. The rest of the charge, at this stage, would be focused on eating well and sleeping well, so that you create a vitality in your life that will make your practice better.

 

This was an incredibly helpful re-frame, that also made doing the basics of health seem much higher and passionate in value. 

 

ookami-san-to-shichinin-no-nakama-tachi-

 

 

I am so glad you think so. Truthfully, it always kind of surprises me whenever people tell me about how it is in the other Guilds. People think about leaving for a while, and they come back and they always say the same thing - they didn't feel like they were part of a community out there. Conversely, people come in here to this guild thinking they'll leave after a while and... somehow, they just never do.

 

I mean, I guess I can kind of see how it happens. As a GL, I feel like I have a huge responsibility to reach out and help as many people as I can. I volunteered for this position and the pursuit of that responsibility in as much as I felt I could. Nobody else has that responsibility - their responsibilities are to themselves and their challenges and being the best themselves they can possibly be. It's not up to them to encourage others. That's my job, or so I believe, although in fairness it's worth pointing out that people get out of this community what they put in - if they go out to engage with others, they tend to receive engagement in turn. Some people get that and some people don't; I guess that's just something we understand better here in this Guild than the others do in theirs.

 

...Also, if I may push back on you a little bit, I'd like to point out that we as a Guild have done a lot more to reach out to you and to make you welcome than you've reciprocated with us. And I don't mean that to say that you owe us anything - you don't. I'm saying that there's only so much that we, the lot of us, can do for you, and at a certain point we're going to fail you. That's when you have to pick up the slack of the relationship yourself and reach out to us, to make it harder for us to fail you.

 

I agree with all of this 110%. (To the math nerds out there with issue with that sort of percentage - I agree ten percent more than the previously perceived possible maximum of agreement.)

 

My not connecting to you monks is ALL on me. I was NEVER expecting this kind of attention so quickly - and I've just barely had the wherewithal to update, let alone go and seriously read all of your challenges and extend similar support. I'm certainly feeling the gap. The yellow text was more commenting that my thus-far experience (before joining the monks) has not equipped me with the sort of inextricable friend group that would prevent a feeling of peeling from the community.

 

Again - I agree with the "you guys have reached out to me more than me to you" bit completely.

 

We're coming up on the big one. Let's see, what else can I talk about first?

 

original.jpg

 

Well, let me fix that for you....

 

All of this was incredible. The level of humanity and reality that was communicated was piercing. The response to this desires to be longer, and will be its own separate post, and also is deeply colored by the world-bender that I believe is the only remaining piece to respond to.

 

Well, technically, it's always been completely personal.... [all the way to]... (I suppose you could technically make an amorphous goal if you wanted to, but it would fail most of the criteria that are set in place there, and you wouldn't benefit as a result).

 

Was all just a lead-up to...

 

If you don't mind me saying so, it sounds like you want to be better than other people. That can be fun, from time to time. But, it doesn't seem like it would be a terribly joyous way to approach this long term.

 

Have you considered that maybe finding something that you enjoy and doing that better than you did it before is victory enough?

 

::pauses::

 

::re-reads::

 

...

 

::re-reads again::

 

Have you considered that maybe finding something that you enjoy and doing that better than you did it before is victory enough?

 

299679-bigthumbnail.jpg

 

... oh.

 

So first, I want to paint the proper picture, before cards hit the table.

 

457408_1359093723181_500_281.jpg

 

I love to lose, and when I do, am always cheerful, anime-cartoonishly "cross" with smiles on my face and funny expressions and challenges to go again, and deeply congratulatory and sincerely happy for whoever won. In any context - school, martial arts, board games, etc.

 

I LOVE it when people beat me at something I'm good at! LOVE it! I respect them with great esteem much higher than before!

 

339982_1326698132931_400_300.jpg

 

And when people are new, I make it a practice to convincingly lose in order to see the look in their eyes that happens when a person is truly enjoying a game or skill or activity. I want to give them the gift of that feeling of talent and promise and excitement. Because really, that feeling, that self-paradigm, is all they ever needed to really excel at it.

 

2085a616b48754f05a940e575f6aac7c13189660

1333001806620.jpg

 

If people are ever starting to feel grumpy about losing, my first goal is encouragement and re-inspiration, through purposefully losing, through changing the focus to being on "teaching secrets". I am not a cut-throat person. I take no pleasure in another player losing. I take no gain from feeling another feel sad, or less-good-at.

 

And now time for the cards on the table. The last card of which I hadn't really acknowledged or seen until those lines spun around in my head a few dozen turns.

 

I am frightened to be this honest. These are not things I would usually say. I perceive that it would be rather alienating to people for me to talk like this.

 

yama_no_susume_2-10-aoi-altitude_sicknes

 

::deep breath::

 

First card: Yes. I do like being better at things than other people.

 

I love it, and I'm used to it. I've never taken a subject, never started a martial art, never taken up a new instrument or language where the teacher's eyes didn't glitter in the awe of my learning curve within the span of the first class. Where it wasn't astoundingly clear to everyone (unless subtle measures were taken) by the end of the first week or two, that I needed to be given a separate lesson plan, and was a different kind of creature.

 

I came installed with a brain and body that had a much slower acquisition of casual social skills and subtle social graces, dramatically bad reactions to sweets, hypersensitive taste buds and nerve endings, intensely disruptive ADHD, random but intense OCD... and a genius level capacity in almost every subject or outlet. 

 

And now comes the spiral of realization.

 

spiral-stairs-2-23.jpg

 

In response to your question:

 

Have you considered that maybe finding something that you enjoy and doing that better than you did it before is victory enough?

 

... I *have* found something that I enjoy, and enjoy doing better than I could do before. I found it by the age of four. Maybe earlier. I never realized it, never put it in those terms, but very clearly have. And I've been doing it, pursuing it, waiting for it or doing it actively, living by it, and in many ways, living for it, for my whole life.

 

The activity of being prodigious at things.

 

In a class. In speech and debate. In dance. In singing, in musical theater, in memorization-capability, in AP english, in directing, in NaNoWriMo, I seek out competitions of skills, ranked societies, I get installed, and I beat it like a goddamn video game, hell. I go to Nationals. I get the highest rank possible to be given, at the highest level I can ascend to. I get the star role three times in a row at a big theater in the newest town I've moved to. As my unwitting hobby. As what I do.

 

When I found Nerd Fitness, I interpreted it as, I just gotta get the rules and rhythm down, and then I'll be Best At dedication to goals. I didn't REALIZED I had done this - but how could I? I interpret everything that way.

 

I've been exploring new hobbies recently. And immediately, they've all searched to find a way of fitting that framework. "I like dresses and beauty and cloth... maybe I'll learn how to sew a dress" turns, when I'm not looking, into "How can I become Best At dress-making in as short a time as possible and get awards and get ranked for it". Out of HABIT.

 

This was... a realization, to say the least.

 

tumblr_n7ybh4IgPo1s21mdyo1_500.gif

 

But the biggest impact was its framework for the biggest stun hit. The answer to your question that - in all likelihood - was probably meant to be rhetorical.

 

 

Have you considered that maybe finding something that you enjoy and doing that better than you did it before is victory enough?

 

another_09_4.png

 

... no.

 

I don't know that I ever have.

 

I don't know that I've ever thought about doing something that I legitimately enjoy doing, without any sort of Prodigious Trophy Recognition end-goal.

 

Do something... just because you enjoy doing it? Like, just the activity itself? And loving it when you get better?

 

14616928118_83220ff471_b.jpg

 

I can wrap my mind around it. I mean, I'm familiar with the concept in terms of other people. And I used to have that as a kid. With two things that come to mind.

 

The first was a video game - DDR, Dance Dance Revolution. I still feel the same way - when I can find it. I loved it. I loved doing it. I wanted to do it all the time. I wanted to get BETTER at it. Just because... I wanted to get better at it! It felt so good, it felt so rewarding, just in itself. It was a source of joy and fun and excitement. And while I got excited and grinningly expectant when others came over and I got to show off my skills... that wasn't why

 

fp_play_std_hvy1.jpg

 

The other was making dresses for my barbies out of cloth scraps and tissues. I got really extraordinarily good at that. It never occurred to me to take it anywhere.

 

There are many things I enjoy doing - many! But of the ones initially popping to mind, I wouldn't say that the very action of doing them, and seeing my skill grow, would alone be rewarding in the same light that you're talking about.

 

Anyway.

 

91c66e567ee249c72ee74bc7cac2fca6.jpg

 

The concept introduced - while surely elementary to most here - is a game changer for me. And the realization that my urge to excel and be a prodigy is because that is my only habitual framework for enjoying an activity calls a whole bunch of questions into play. And I'm going to be turning that around in my mind for a good long think. 

 

Do I enjoy Aikido? In itself? I think so - it's always been desirable to me, but man, I gotta really feel that through from a totally different angle. What about running? Or this, or that, or this other thing? There's a lot of ground to cover. And just in the initial thought process alone, my every thought has, within about 1.5 seconds (measurement) turned to the prodigy aspect. I am WIRED.

 

tumblr_n5tmnfs9qF1ta4qr4o1_500.gif

 

Thank you again for taking the time to respond so significantly and thoughtfully, Kishi. You did a lot of good, tonight. 

 

 

I'm feeling extra nervous to post this. I feel like this might be the perfect community to start coming at some new skills and lifestyle choices from the angle of legitimate connection that I hadn't even seen as a possibility before, and so now more than ever I want to be accepted - and I've laid out who I am in a much more bare and honest way than I'm even remotely used to doing. If I've alienated or insulted anyone reading this, I ask that you try and interpret it as social grace stupidity, not snootiness or malice or whatever else my text might sound like.

 

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All the best,

~ Sol

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Hi Sol,

 

Kishi is awesome, isn't he? That's why we love him.

 

I can actually relate to you. A lot. So, this turned into kind of a long ramble and I definitely don't want to talk down to anyone. I related to a lot of things in your post, and I thought that perhaps my experience might help you see a different way forward, coming from someone else who's been right where you are now. I hope it might be even a little helpful.
 
EDIT: Some hours later--I realized I didn't answer your question above. :D I practice Hung Gar Kuen, which is a Southern Chinese form of Kung Fu. Here is a video of my Sigung (my teacher's teacher) doing a good sample of our 'textbook' form, Gung Ji Fok Fu Kuen.

 

---------------------

 

My name is Kylen Wiggin. I'm an IT guy, a systems analyst. I also write books, under the name Christopher Kellen. I've been married for almost five years, and until 2010, I was a fat guy. I weighed almost 300 pounds at the highest. I was never any good at sports, or any kind of physical things growing up, but I am smart.

 

It sounds like ego, but it's not. I'm genuinely brighter than most people. I pick things up faster, I learn faster, I read faster, I can hold a zillion things in my head and recall them at will. When I was growing up, I felt just like you described. There was never anyone who wasn't impressed by my abilities. I left my teachers' mouths hanging open: used college words as spelling lists in 2nd grade, read adult books at the age of 6, participated in adult conversations at a young age, built my own computers at the age of 12... the list goes on and on.

 

The only time people weren't impressed with me was when it came to physical things. But that was okay, because I was smart, and I could think rings around them. I loved being smarter than everyone else. In 7th grade, the teacher would run the lesson, and then one by one more than half the class would come to my desk because I could explain it to them better. I was overweight and unattractive, but never unpopular, because even the popular kids enjoyed using my mind as their crutch.

 

The first time I wasn't good at an intellectual pursuit (chemistry), I shrugged it off because it wasn't that interesting anyway. Same thing for geometry. When I got out of school and into the working world, it was hard, because suddenly my intelligence didn't mean so much anymore. After some false starts and some big mistakes, I finally parlayed my mental abilities into a job that (mostly) makes me happy, but that took until 2010. I was 25 at that point.

 

Somewhere along the line, I finally realized that nobody cared that I was smarter than them, or that I could learn things faster. No one was providing that validation I was so used to. I still get the occasional comment when I do something without thinking about it, but it's no longer from an authority figure, astounded that I can reach their level. That outside validation was gone. Without a standard, without a bar to jump over, nobody knows or cares how much better you are. 

 

The only person who realizes it is you.

 

The sudden indifference was a big shock to me, when I no longer had anyone who cared how much better I was than the rest. Not only did the external validation go away, but suddenly the people I wanted to be involved with and talk to--my peers--were genuinely unhappy when I picked things up quickly.

 

Slowly, over time, I realized that I was going to have to provide that validation I wanted, because I was the only person who noticed anymore. I needed to drive myself, to reach goals set up by me for my own benefit. I had to branch out, to find things that genuinely challenged me (because they're out there) and prove that I could do them... but I still had no one else to compare to. At that point, everyone's experience levels were different. How could I be better at something than someone who'd been doing it twenty years? It just wasn't possible, or realistic. So instead, I had to take stock of where I was at, and then see how quickly I could get better.

 

Somewhere out there is a group or activity that you're not going to be that great at. You won't pick it up fast, you won't find it easy like everything else, but in one way or another, it's a worthy pursuit. That's the thing you need to do. For me, it's physical stuff. I'm not a great runner, but I'm getting better. I've been studying Kung Fu for over a year, and my Sifu hasn't deemed me fit to test for even my white belt. But I'm still working at it, fighting for every tiny improvement, because it's worthy. It makes you better in a way you've never been better before. The only person I'm improving against is myself.

 

Am I happy in those moments when I can remember a technique or form that the seven-year guys struggle with? You bet I am. But it doesn't matter. I've found a place where I struggle with the physical side, but I can use my mind to help make other people better, and use their experience to help me get better. It's a good trade.

 

Maybe aikido is the place where you can find something like that. Maybe it's somewhere else, another hobby or pursuit, but I've found that turning that urge to be better than others into an urge to better yourself, and use your gifts to help others is much more satisfying. 

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Dear Ender,

 

In 7th grade, the teacher would run the lesson, and then one by one more than half the class would come to my desk because I could explain it to them better. 

 

Hah! I felt this in my soul. (Alternative translation: You're like me! You're like me! I met a like-me!)

 

 

The sudden indifference was a big shock to me, when I no longer had anyone who cared how much better I was than the rest. Not only did the external validation go away, but suddenly the people I wanted to be involved with and talk to--my peers--were genuinely unhappy when I picked things up quickly.

 

I nearly began to cry when I read this.

 

 

 

Somewhere out there is a group or activity that you're not going to be that great at. You won't pick it up fast, you won't find it easy like everything else, but in one way or another, it's a worthy pursuit. That's the thing you need to do. 

 

Maybe aikido is the place where you can find something like that. Maybe it's somewhere else, another hobby or pursuit, but I've found that turning that urge to be better than others into an urge to better yourself, and use your gifts to help others is much more satisfying. 

 

This was the part that I stared blinking at the screen for a while. 

 

There are two blockades in my way between me understanding what you're saying and where I currently am.

 

1st: What to you and to my future few years self is wisdom, understanding, and realization, sounds to me like 'Motherhood and Apple Pie'. Yeah, yeah. "Do things just for you," or "find where your gifts help others". Which gifts. There's too many for me to visualize that, let alone do it.

 

This isn't to say that I think what you're saying is trite - I'm confident that they're a huge part of the answer I'm trying to move towards. I just feel too... "young", not yet wise-enough, to understand it. I haven't gotten there, and so right now it just feels like nonsense words.

 

Feel free to try and help explain, or to simply watch me venture my way towards a place where I can understand.

 

2nd: Haha, back to the part where we sound like ego-maniacs. Uhm. The smart thing.

 

But I want you to know me, I want to friendship with you, and I want to talk about who I am on an honest and eye-level conversation with you.

 

If I may, and this is actually me asking permission, please keep reading the blue.

 

Your mental score is undoubtably higher than mine. You're like a +5 human. I'm like a +2. My mental buff characteristics are mostly in the following main aspect:

 

MEMORY) I have a near-photographic / audio-playback memory in many areas, but

  • rather than being like a computer who can call things at will, my memory works like a book or a movie - I have to flip back through my memory to find the vague location, then narrow in, find the scene, and re-read/watch it to re-call the information

  • plus even then, the pages / film fades, and while I can read you back a good deal of the book I read a few years ago (if I flip back), I can't reliably read you the whole thing

    • Man, later note. Most of this was that all my life, SOMETHING (A.D.H.D.) has been messing with my mental space and messing up pages and fading stuff.

    • And that everything over the past couple weeks I've done on meds (I just finally started them. I had refused to out of parental conditioning) I can call back word for word, object for object like crystal. THAT'S certainly something to mention to my psychiatrist during our first check-in meeting today. 

  • sometimes a movie is so good or an experience so vivid that it gets, like, extra expensive ink / graphics. Those stay for much longer. There are many scenes in life or on movie screens that I could tell you every detail of to this day.

  • and some stuff doesn't fade and pages get bookended. Like when I was 13, and I finished a 30 minutes math test 20 minutes before everyone else (tests were always my favorite competition). And the math teacher had a banner up on top of the black board with the first 50 digits of pie. I was bored, so I read it a couple times, and after class found I could recite it. I found moments to challenge other nerds to Pi-offs, which effectively "bookmarked" it accidentally.

 

God, I've re-written the following part like two dozen times. But it's not even important. What important is just the thesis.

 

Somewhere out there is a group or activity that you're not going to be that great at. You won't pick it up fast, you won't find it easy like everything else, but in one way or another, it's a worthy pursuit. That's the thing you need to do. 

 

I'm not a super-genius.

 

I'm just naturally good at everything.

 

Everything.

 

There are lots of things I have such vehement distaste for (violence, violent first person shooter video games, lying / crime, things that interact with my phobia, etc.) that I avoid it deeply and thus have very little exposure to it.

 

There are LOTS of things I have barely any or even NO experience with yet! Just because I learn FAST doesn't mean I can suddenly have twenty years of experience. Talent take time, practice, energy, attentiveness - progress is just boosted by natural talent.

 

I've never found anything I wasn't good at. Not anything. I used to try and find one. No experience in / no one to explain how to do a thing? Totally. Didn't WANT to? Yeah, though I still would poke my nose in and do a little work on it just to make sure that I could excel at it if I chose to.

 

The things I'm not good at are the things that I hate, and it is only because I hate them. That, I'm sure, is not what you're telling me to pursue.

 

Separate from, yet also intwined with that complication, is the question Kishi asked that I'm STILL working with. And I'm going to post that in a separate post.

 

Thank you, Kyellan, for discussing this with me. Thank you for being like me. Thank you for your patience. I'm having Bean problems.

 

Can't wait to hear from you,

~ Sol

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Hi Solunaria,

 

You are brave to share so much of what you are feeling. Kishi and Kyellan have already made many good points. I agree with everything they've said. Rather than going over your posts point by point, I'm going to give some suggestions and answer a few of your questions.

 

1. Community in NF. Most people find it helpful to have a group of people who mutually agree to give one another support. The site helps newbies by setting up accountabilibuddy groups. A lot of the bigger guilds start off each challenge with a miniquest to introduce yourself to a guild member you don't know and to follow their challenge. The Monks are a smaller guild, so some people just read all the posts (Kishi, for one). Other Monks choose several people with similar interests to follow. With your work schedule you will probably have to pick just a few people's threads to read and comment on regularly. You don't want NF forum time to take away from actually implementing your goals. Over time you will meet more people and get a sense of who you enjoy trading notes with.

 

2. Stress, sleep and bad food choices. This tangled bundle of problems hits everyone from time to time. Brain chemistry is complex. Different people respond differently under the same circumstances (there is recent research proving that). You are going to have to do some trial and error to figure out what foods and meal times work for you.

 

You mentioned sugar sensitivity. One of my first NF accountabilibuddies showed me the system at http://radiantrecovery.com/. I have found several of the steps in this system to help me a lot. I don't follow all of it. You probably won't find a system that is perfect for you. All the plans out there were made by people who are not you. Lots of nerds discuss their food experiments here. Pick something to implement for 4-8 weeks and then assess how it worked - for you.

 

You know not to drink and drive. Alcohol slows your reaction time - it messes with your brain. Sleep deprivation and sugar also mess with your brain. You are going to have to figure out how to deal with your commitments so that you are in good mental shape most of the time. That not feeling motivated? Probably a side effect of being tired and overworked. Get a good nights sleep and eat a healthy breakfast and take a look at your concerns again. Some might become much smaller.

 

3. Aikido practice. Going to class two times a week is a good pace for someone working full time. Sure, it would be great if you could take a year to train at a big dojo and practice 4 hours a day. You could progress at lightning speed. That is not your situation.

 

There are plenty of things you can do to improve your aikido on your non-class days. Sit in seiza for a few minutes at a time when you are reading or eating meals at home. Work on core strength and lunges. Both will help your rolls. Spend a few minutes practicing movement exercises with good posture. Do yoga to improve your balance and flexibility. Work on your aerobic endurance. It will all help.

 

No one in your dojo really cares how fast you progress. Not to say they don't care about their students, I expect they care a lot. Aikido is explicitly non-competitive. You gain skills at your own pace. Some people take six months to get to their first test, others take two years. No one cares. The dojo does not get a prize for having more students reach black belt level. Train sincerely when you are there. Some things will be easy for you and some things will be hard. In the end you will value learning the hard things the most.

 

The person I admire most in my dojo has coordination difficulties. She has been practicing for four years and is still struggling with forward rolls. She has more dedication than anyone else I know. Most people get frustrated and give up when learning a physical skill turns out to be hard for them. Learning skills has been hard her whole life and she keeps working at it. Everyone in the dojo will cheer louder for her when she does her first real roll than they will when someone passes a black belt test.

 

4. People care more about how you make them feel than they do about what you can do. 

You have some great gifts. The real question is how you are going to use them. Who do you care about? What can you do to make the world a better place? What do you want to get out of working all those hours at your job?

 

NF is all about leveling up your life. We are here to support each other. You might find inspiration in the posts you read. Your motivation needs to be your own.

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Day 4

 

Welp. I'm sick.

 

BUT THIS WILL NOT STOP ME FROM COMPLETING MY GOALS.

 

I'm gonna get right one that, but first, I want to share the

 

​* EVOLUTION! *

 

9e41181aeb13fea9513514b10dd605d3-evoluti

 

 

...of my answer to Kishi's question.

 

 

 

To those of you who like lighter reading - here's a quick summary of the question and current conversation being had! In the long, long walls of text above.

 

I became frustrated that there weren't set bars for me to Ender Wiggin myself above. As soon as there was a lack of measurement in my achievement, all of my goals felt futile.

 

And then Kishi was like - lol, ever considered doing something because you want to do it and get better at it, rather than just wanting to be better than other people?

 
And I realized that, no, I had not. From a life of being a Mary Sue in terms of natural abilities, I had become a machine of winning.
 
In fact, just watch this.
You'll be all caught up on my life.
 
 
 

...so!

 

I'm going to spend the next few hours of my sick-day putting together my feelings about some possible subjects.

 

And it would mean a lot if you could take the time so share your feelings about them!

 

I... I don't know what I'm doing here, or how to look for things I enjoy without focusing on victory or over-achievement.

 

I'm determined to find the answer to this strange new question by my own light.

 

But as with all things, I could use teachers.

 

Thank you all for bearing with me.

 

Walk with light,

~ Sol

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We're not teachers. We're wanderers. We just all happen to wander together. Take your steps and walk, and we'll walk with you.

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We're not teachers. We're wanderers. We just all happen to wander together. Take your steps and walk, and we'll walk with you.

 

I think we are all teachers. That everyone and everything you will ever meet or have ever met is a teacher.

 

You are my teacher. And I am yours. And sometimes you will teach me things by asking piercing and beautiful questions, or sharing wisdom. And sometimes you will teach me things by showing me by accident how strongly I feel about some things. It will interesting to see what we learn.

 

And not all of us are wandering. Some explore. And some journey. If you are meandering, and that is what makes your feel safe, then you are welcome to wander around my world, too. I don't think that the same can be said for every soul here - though to be fair, I don't know what "we" you referred to.

 

(Perhaps the Royal We? Kishi, are you secretly an English Queen?)

 

I will still interpret our moments as teaching. And the stories you tell, and the experiences you share, and the challenges you face. It is a view very important to me. I hope that any lessons learned from me in return are ones that serve you well and give you strength on your own path. And whether it be a journey, exploration, or meander, I will be hoping for the best on every step you take.

 

::bow::

~ Sol

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¡Hola!

 

I want to share a bit of my story, only a bit, and once you read it, you'll see not everything it's as cool as it looks at this point. Actually, there are some funny contradictions in my story.

 

My name is Gabriel. I'm a 26 years old ESOL Teacher. If you had to use a tag to describe most of my interests, proclivities and hobbies. most people would use "gothic". I personally try to avoid the tag unless I engage in some meta-humour. At this point I should say that I'm an Elementary School teacher, which makes the whole dark and gothic thing... very funny sometimes. I mean, in my job I'm all rainbows and sunshine and after school I'm like...

 

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I started at NF in 2011, which makes me the oldest youngest monk. I was looking for a way to start working out and somehow I found NF. I don't quite remember it.There wasn't any Guilds at that point, just groups like accountabuddies squads. I think it was actually called "squads". Then, when they created the Guilds, I knew I was a Monk right away. I have practiced Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (Yes, I'm a ninja). since 2007, with some problems along the way that have affected my training, most of them related to my sensei living far, far away, When they started the reaping for Guild Leaders I wasn't all 

 

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I was actually sure that I wasn't worthy enough of the position. (A feeling that I've fought against to all my life) Surely there were other people more qualified, with more experience and training that me, so why bother? I did filled up the form just because in the last minute I got some moment of meh...ness that inspired me to put my name in the Monklet of Fire. (Did you see what I did there?). Imagine my joy and surprise when I got the news that I got selected. Now, imagine how brief that moment was because Spezzy confessed I was the only one who volunteered. Maybe I wasn't and still am not the best, the most wise and experienced or even the oldest among the Monks and specially among the Guild Leaders, but at that point, I was the first one to take and assume the mantle of Guild Leader, with the responsibility of devoting a big part of my time to help others in need. I was more active and involved in the forums then, things started to get harder and the guild started to get bigger, I was asking for another Guild Leader every day and pitching Kishi for the role as he was (is) very proactive and helpful and integral? (is that a word? I'm trying to say that his integrity called my attention) and when he got it, I threw my smoke bomb and disappeared. It was very difficult to me to log in at that moment and I was so relieved I could leave the Guild in his hands. This is just the beginning of my story in NF and in the Guild. Since then, the guild has seen some monks come and go, some new guild leaders and ambassadors and different styles of challenges. Now, a bunch of us a RL friends, we share some deep personal stories, travel across the whole continent to visit each other, and communicate and interact outside the forums. I facetime another guild leader while he's sleeping with the help of his roommate. And I believe what has made us a so close knitted group isn't how we began our stories or how much we knew each other back then, but how much we have shared, cheered, supported and followed each other throughout the challenges. We don't always participate in them, we can't always train (I'm actually not training martial arts right now, either Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu nor Wing Tzun Kung Fu), I had to put aside momentarily my martial arts training with a lot of pain, and at that moment, a Monk was there to support me in my decision. And I guess that's why rule number one of the rebellion is "we don’t care where you came from, only where you’re going". We all have different stories and battles of our own, the important part, the essence of the rebellion is that we are here for each other living life at the best of our ability, doing what with can, where we are with what we have and pushing each other to level up our lives.

 

Now, excuse me... I need to shed a tear of two in a wave-crashing beach cliff under a sunset with the wind on my (non-existent) hair. 

 

=D

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Hello Lady Lydia! Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate the company. ::bow::

 

I love it very much. I've had experience with various martial arts systems before, but never for a significant amount of time, due to moving quite regularly throughout my upbringing.

 

What do you study?

 

I know this was asked a while back, but it took me a bit to get caught up.

 

I have a black belt in MTA style Taekwondo, a brown belt in Tungsoodo, and a third green in Aiki-Jujitsu.  One of my main instructors is one of those mega grand-masters with black belts in a couple dozen arts, so I also have experience with Judo, Aikido, BJJ, Kempo and Savate, but no ranks in those systems.   My training has been off an on for the past thirteen years because I've moved around quite a bit and training hasn't always been available.

 

 

I understand your wanting to be better than everyone at everything.  I've gone through something similar.  I'm scary good at basically everything, or at least everything that holds my interest.  I was head and shoulder's above my peers until I hit college. My ego took a bit of hit there because I wasn't automatically the smartest person in every room anymore; but even still I often coasted on my ability to recall, and make up comprehensive arguments on the fly.  (My ego took an even greater hit in law school, because everyone is brilliant there and I couldn't just coast anymore).    My saving grace was my mother had been working on me since i was small, to refrain from comparing myself to others; everyone develops at different rates and has talents, skills and determination.   She always explained potential and talent as  "if one person has a very small cup but fills it with diamonds, and another person has a very large cup, but fills it with slime, the small cup is much more valuable." Her point of course being that natural talent can only take one so far, and just because someone has a greater potential doesn't mean they are actually better then someone who tries harder.

 

Comparison and competition can be very healthy if one uses the "better" person as a model for how to grow and improve; but it can quickly become self-destructive if one only desires to be better then the rest.   Aiming to simply be better then others is harmful because one of two things happens, either 1.) you find someone you can never beat and become discouraged and give up, or 2.) you become the best and stop growing because the aim was simply to be better then others.  The only way to always grow, is to never compare yourself to others, but to compare yourself instead to field itself.   A desire for proficiency is good, a desire for mastery is better, but the simple desire to grow and improve is actually the most admirable.

 

I still struggle with wanting to be a master at everything I do, but there is simply not enough time in the day to develop every skill at once.  Search your passions to discover your priorities. Being the best, may make you happy,  but it's not in itself a skill set.  I would encourage you to think about what brings you peace and fulfillment; what are you willing to work at even if you are not the best?   And remember, life is long, you don't have to do everything now.

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1st: What to you and to my future few years self is wisdom, understanding, and realization, sounds to me like 'Motherhood and Apple Pie'. Yeah, yeah. "Do things just for you," or "find where your gifts help others". Which gifts. There's too many for me to visualize that, let alone do it.

 

This isn't to say that I think what you're saying is trite - I'm confident that they're a huge part of the answer I'm trying to move towards. I just feel too... "young", not yet wise-enough, to understand it. I haven't gotten there, and so right now it just feels like nonsense words.

 

Feel free to try and help explain, or to simply watch me venture my way towards a place where I can understand.

 

2nd: Haha, back to the part where we sound like ego-maniacs. Uhm. The smart thing.

 

But I want you to know me, I want to friendship with you, and I want to talk about who I am on an honest and eye-level conversation with you.

 

If I may, and this is actually me asking permission, please keep reading the blue.

 

Your mental score is undoubtably higher than mine. You're like a +5 human. I'm like a +2. My mental buff characteristics are mostly in the following main aspect:

 

MEMORY) I have a near-photographic / audio-playback memory in many areas, but

  • rather than being like a computer who can call things at will, my memory works like a book or a movie - I have to flip back through my memory to find the vague location, then narrow in, find the scene, and re-read/watch it to re-call the information

  • plus even then, the pages / film fades, and while I can read you back a good deal of the book I read a few years ago (if I flip back), I can't reliably read you the whole thing

    • Man, later note. Most of this was that all my life, SOMETHING (A.D.H.D.) has been messing with my mental space and messing up pages and fading stuff.

    • And that everything over the past couple weeks I've done on meds (I just finally started them. I had refused to out of parental conditioning) I can call back word for word, object for object like crystal. THAT'S certainly something to mention to my psychiatrist during our first check-in meeting today. 

  • sometimes a movie is so good or an experience so vivid that it gets, like, extra expensive ink / graphics. Those stay for much longer. There are many scenes in life or on movie screens that I could tell you every detail of to this day.

  • and some stuff doesn't fade and pages get bookended. Like when I was 13, and I finished a 30 minutes math test 20 minutes before everyone else (tests were always my favorite competition). And the math teacher had a banner up on top of the black board with the first 50 digits of pie. I was bored, so I read it a couple times, and after class found I could recite it. I found moments to challenge other nerds to Pi-offs, which effectively "bookmarked" it accidentally.

 

God, I've re-written the following part like two dozen times. But it's not even important. What important is just the thesis.

 

 

I'm not a super-genius.

 

I'm just naturally good at everything.

 

Everything.

 

I feel like Professor X, bringing a new mutant into the school.

 

Professor-Charles-Xavier-professor-charl

 

Welcome to Kyellan's School for Gifted Youngsters, Sol. I think you'll like it here.

 

Sit down.

 

We have a lot to discuss, because your powers are out of control.

 

You're unfocused, you lack discipline. Your mind runs at a million miles a minute, you can think rings around anyone you come up against. You are homo superior, a mutant. 

 

There is an empty void inside you burning to be filled with understanding and knowledge, but instead you fill it with easy validation by comparing yourself to regular humans and thinking "Well, I'm better than them, so that's enough for me." 

 

I know this, because I was just like you.

 

You think you have a hundred, a thousand, a million gifts, because that's what it feels like. Everything comes easy, so everything's a gift, right?

 

Wrong.

 

You and I have one gift. Just one. Our minds acquire and retain information quickly, and file it appropriately for retrieval later.

 

That's it.

 

Admittedly, it's a pretty cool mutant power. It's got a wide variety of application. It can be used on just about anything, from mental to physical pursuits. Because we learn fast, it feels like we're just good at everything, but it's not really true.

 

We're good at learning. 

 

The problem is, this also has the potential to lead to a life of slacking on real effort. For me, I get the broad strokes of things so quickly that I get bored by fiddly detail. If I'm interested in something, I pick it up fast and do it until my work is acceptable, and then my brain flits on to something new. I know lots of things about lots of things, and boy can I learn something new really fast, but if I come up against a real expert, I get left in the dust because my interest didn't last that long.

 

How many things that you're good at have you pursued to real expertise? How many things have you devoted thousands of hours to? You're young, yes, but I guarantee that no matter how young you are, there's someone out there at your age who is a real expert at something. Young Olympic athletes, chess grandmasters, people who went to college three years early.

 

I don't mean this to sound harsh in any way, just honest. This is a question I asked myself many times over the years:

 

You're amazing at everything, right? How come you're not at the level of an Olympic athlete? Why aren't you a grandmaster at your favorite thing? Why aren't you famous yet?

 

How come you're not world class at EVERYTHING?

 

Unless I'm wildly off-base, and you are in fact a grand world champion/Olympic athlete/famous professional (in which case, video please! :D ), this is probably going to take some processing for you. 

 

You'll feel resistance to this idea. It will be uncomfortable. Don't respond right away... take some time to really think about it.

 

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong...

 

But I'm betting I'm not.

 

I'll be here waiting when you're ready.

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Solunaria!

I just wanted to drop in to root you on!! I like your (updated) goals and look forward to your progress. Happy to have you in the MAX Health Challenge!

 

Looks like you have your plate full already, but there is also a Walk to Mordor spreadsheet, if you wanted to track your miles there as well.

 

I really hope you find what you are looking for. Always strive for greatness! Personally, I seek simplicity in my endeavors in order to focus on the task at hand. 

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