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Monday, 2 May 2016

May: Hero's Journey, Fitness Quest



   I'm quite excited about this month's workout. I used Darebee.com in March and it was great fun - a month of using workouts inspired by some of my favourite games and tv shows that were not only enjoyable, but effective. Well, this month - and next month, and most of July as well, in fact - I'm returning to Darebee, but not their online resources.
   At the start of the year, Darebee released pocket workout books, and one in particular caught my eye: Hero's Journey.
   I'd seen Age of Pandora on their website before, a post-apocalyptic roleplay workout - yes, a roleplay workout. Some of you might think that sounds immensely lame, but if that's the case, then you are lame. I'm sorry, but it's a truth you'll just have to face up to. Anyway, that caught my attention unfortunately a little too late. If I'd seen it as Fallout 4 had been released, I'd be all for it, but I'm a fantasy nutbag, so without something relevant of similar interest for it to relate to, it didn't appeal to me enough.
   Hero's Journey, however, is fantasy, and the moment I saw the book while browsing the website, I snatched it up from Amazon immediately. I pre-ordered Illidan at the same time; two birds, one stone.


   The idea behind a roleplay workout is that you're given a scenario, a part of a story that progresses with each workout, and you're usually given a choice of options for how to respond, just like in a roleplaying game. If you pass a situation along the road, you could walk by and ignore it, or get involved. In Skyrim, while running along the roads from one place to another - you know, as you do with roads - you would occasionally pass Imperial soldiers with a Nord prisoner, and in the game, these two factions are at war. You could either continue along past and ignore them, leaving the Nord to his fate if you decided to take the Empire's side in the war, or jump in and kill the soldiers to free the prisoner if you were taking Skyrim's side. The title of the game may have been Skyrim, but by no means were you bound to take that side. You could, in fact, take neither and stay out of it completely.
   Anyway, in a roleplay workout, the decision you make is carried out by the exercises. An encouter at the road might see you do walking lunges or high knees if you choose to not get involved and continue along your way, or some kickboxing combat moves if you decide to get involved. There's even a karma system which will affect you later in the workout. For example (I cheated and looked ahead, but only for a single example), if you choose to help the stranger at the crossroads on day 2, then they will turn up again later on day 7 and help you out, allowing you to do one set fewer on that allocated day. Alternatively, if you mind your own business and leave him to his fate, you're forced into doing an extra set on that future allocated day because there's no one there to help you. 
   There are weapons, too, but rather than getting an actual weapon (as much as I love using hammers), you choose your 'weapon' from a chart and refer to the back of the book for the bonus set/move for that weapon for that day. Choosing a heavy sword mans you'll be doing pull-ups, a hammer is free weights, a lasso is jump rope, and so on, and there is also body armour which involves adding ankle and wrist weights.

   So it's pretty high-level nerd stuff, to say the least, and since this book has been in my possession for the last two weeks I've tried really hard not to leaf through it. I want to see the workouts, but I don't want to spoil the story, so I'm afraid I'm going in blind.
   And it's a 60 day workout, and because I take 2 rest days a week, Wednesday and Sunday, I'll only use if 5 days a week, meaning it will take me from May 2nd to July 23rd to finish this thing.
   Now, because I've had only the briefest flick through, it seems to progress in difficulty and starts with shorter workouts. I don't know if this is actually going to be consistently the case, however, so rather than promise myself to add more on after each workout, I'm going to make a judgement call every day. If it was short and sweet, I'll do something else at the end or perhaps move on to the next day - but I don't want to rush through it, either. I'll see how it goes. Like I said: judgement call.

   So for now I'm going to say that this is this month's workout, and once I know if I'm adding anything more on afterwards, I'll know if I have to find something new for next month as a follow-on.
   I wish I had something awesome to wear while doing this. If it was sci-fi I'd be all set with my N7 racer back and space capris, but I don't have anything fantasyish at all. Clearly this is an area of the market that needs to be worked on. There must be a huge demand for fantasy-themed workout gear...

   I'm kidding, of course. I probably make up half of that demand myself.



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