Monday, February 16, 2015

I Love This Site: Nerd Fitness

In the sometimes seemingly ever constant journey toward a positive view of one's body, there are occasionally beacons of light. I found one such beacon for myself a little over three months ago. Granted, I didn't immediately take it for what it was because I'm a skeptic, like any good nerd, but I did finally decide to get on the wagon and at least see if it would get me in the direction I wanted to go. The site is called Nerd Fitness and is written by Steve Kamb with occasional guest posts by others. Steve Kamb is a self-professed fitness junkie who has traveled around the world and had such adventures as living like James Bond in Monaco. I admit to being a little jealous of that one. I’m putting it on my bucket list that I want to be a fabulous Bond girl in Monaco for a weekend. Preferably wearing an amazing well tailored dress.

The motto of the site is “Level up your life.” It’s a site geared toward nerds of all stripes. There’s a little something for everyone. You can get healthy like Mr. Spock, do a Lord of the Rings workout, take advice from Arrested Development, or work on becoming a real life Jason Bourne, all on the same site.

What I love about this site is the sheer simple honesty of telling people like it is. Steve doesn’t sugarcoat it. There will be hard work involved in getting what you want. One of the posts I found amusing was about being boring. The point is that being boring gets results. Doing the work, day in and day out, gets you where you want to go, but it’s not fancy or exciting. You simply have to keep showing up until you get where you’re going. That is not sexy, at all, but it’s true. If you want to see things happen, most of the time, you have to persistently work, not just show up one day and expect it to be right. Besides, most quests are moving from one place to another and taking on various monsters along the way. A lot of that, the unglamorous part, is walking or riding. That’s what’s in the between pages of every great fantasy novel, the miles and miles of travel required to get to the next adventure scene. It’s kinda like magical camping, no one really wants to spend a lot of time on that, now do they? If you’re like me, you want to get to the next ‘good’ part.

Another something that I think is critical to the site’s success is the community it has built. Called the Nerd Fitness Rebellion, this group of nerds has come together in support of one another in a big way. Just browsing through the forums you come across dozens of questions being asked, lots of support being given, advice everywhere, and even a bit of healthy competition (mostly against one’s self).

I joined the Nerd Fitness Rebellion, a little over two months ago and decided to take part in the Six Week Challenge which started on January 5th. For the challenge, you identify a few goals you want to work toward over the six weeks, and then you can post about your work toward those goals as the time goes on. I chose to post daily because that was the easiest way for me to keep my goals uppermost in my mind. If I had to come back to the site everyday and report in, then I would be more likely to make good choices. I did fairly well. I had three goals, and I achieved, a B and 2 A’s on those goals. You come up with your own scoring and grading system for the challenge, so it’s all about what you think is important. Here’s my challenge thread if you want to take a look.

Finally, there is the Epic Quest of Awesome which every nerd is invited to have. This is where you put together your big goals, your bucket list items, those things you want to do/see/experience before you die kind of things. Steve’s has taken him around the world to various countries and on amazing adventures. However, Steve points out, just as with the fitness goals, you have to put in the work to get to those things on your quest list. Making excuses won’t cut it. Simply daydreaming about it won’t cut it either. You have to put in the effort. That may meaning saving for and planning the big vacation or getting 20 seconds of Beast Mode to sign up for that class you’ve always wanted to take. No matter what you have to put in the work. I find that inspiring.

Overall, I intend to stick around. I had a good time on my first challenge and made a new friend along the way. I have a few goals I can see myself truly working toward with the support of a few thousand other rebels. It ought to be an interesting ride. I'll leave you with one of my favorite, recent, articles: Dodge This: How the Matrix can help you take control of your life.

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