Stop the Struggle

Stop the struggle

A few days ago, Lani Muelrath posted 5 steps you can take to stop the struggle and get going with your workouts on her web site. The inspiration for this piece was a discussion that came off her Facebook page. “Research suggests that 50% of people who start an exercise program will drop out within the first 6 months (Wilson & Brookfield, 2009).” Without knowing it, I have surpassed that 6 months barrier, as I now approach 8 months of eating healthy and exercising. I was able to “stop the struggle” and move forward with a healthy lifestyle. Yet, it wasn’t always like this time.

Lani cites “Motivation” being the key when it comes to exercise. I know, I made excuses before, “I don’t have time” or “I’ll do it tomorrow” were two of my favorites. She explains 4 steps to stop the struggle and get started with your workouts are

Find the why
Imagine success
Be specific
Set the date!

Each of us my find the why, I did. “Why is it that you want to get healthy, lose weight, get stronger?” Thanks to Dr. McDougall and the basis of a plant based diet I eating healthier than ever before. The results were evident in my weight loss (44 pounds to date), but more importantly in my blood tests that resulted in a decrease of total cholesterol (currently 88 points to 174). Now that my “diet” was under control and I wanted to look better.

In January I added exercise to the equation, I worked out 3 days a week using our Bowflex Revolution. When I started this way of eating, the only exercise was 20-30 minutes of walking 4-5 days a week. This allowed me to ease into weight lifting and getting basic movements down. After 5 months I decided to step up the exercise and joined the local sports club. It was my goal to work out 3-4 days a week, while adding a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio to my exercise regime. To date, I feel great. Coupled with the loss of weight, I am trying to fill out my physique. I have noticed an increase in strength and some arm muscles being defined.

As Lani says, find the why is closely related to imagine success. A day doesn’t go by I imagine how I will look and feel by the end of year (or other dates I set as goals). I can feel my body changing, I see it in the mirror, when I work out and when I sit down to eat a healthy starch based meal.

Thankfully I have a gym partner who is an experienced lifting weights. He has developed a good program that has us working specific body parts 4 days a week. The work outs vary in movement in order to strengthen and develop muscles in each muscle group. This is what Lani terms as “be specific” and being “connected to your why.” This is more evident in the cardio workout. While I do push myself with the weights, I know my limitation. I have seen further improvement while on the elliptical fitness crosstrainer as I move from 30 to 45 minute sessions.

Not sure why it’s taken 42 years to “stop the struggle” and take full control of my health. It has been challenging at time finding the motivation to stick with these eating habits or to commit to go to the gym. The rewards to date have been more than worth it! It has been a learning experience every step of the way. While I don’t look to change anyone’s specific habits or diet, hopefully people will take notice of the changes that are occurring. That at least opens the door for possible change.

Urban Terror: Close the Door

Since leaving the development team and Urban Terror, nearly 2 years ago I have yet to return to online gaming. The motivations for my departure and retirement were purely personal. For me, I had gone as far as I could with development as it was quite clear the game would never flourish as I had hoped for during the early years.

It’s quite rare I even bring the name, Urban Terror up because it’s a part of my past and I have moved on, leaving the community, the web sites and activities to others in order to cultivate. I still have an informal tie to the community as I continue to hold the rights to the domain name.

I happened upon a conversation today with an individual who is still around the community and as I understand it, the community and the game are not the same. I can’t speak to that, but can only surmise the problems plaguing the community/game now. While I never had a direct hand in any development, it was the community who drove the game to the success it had upon my departure.

Of course the development team was at the core of the community, with talented individuals leaving their mark and moving on. The early years were truly the “best of times” for me personally. Being courted by id Software, visiting their offices, participating in Quakecon, jet setting to Los Angeles for E3, being featured on Tech TV are just some of the highlights I take with me. Of course those days are all in the past and rarely do I even cast a glance at the newest PC games on the market because it’s “more of the same.”

With that said, there is still something to say about those individuals who continue to support the game after so many years. I have a few individuals in mind who, through thick and thin stuck it out with the development team. Not sure if I were on the outside looking in, like I was with Action Quake II if I could have continued for nearly 10 years even with a game I enjoyed

Being in the rare position I was, between the community and the game I had a unique perspective and seemed to get opinions from everyone. For many, I was the voice/face/name of Urban Terror, but never did I attempt to take credit. While I was involved, I left the real development/design to the talented individuals that knew how to code a feature, or create a model, uvwrap it and skin it. I was highly impressed with those who were level designers, but that was not my calling.
Unfortunately, it was “never quite good enough” for some. The worst place to be the day of a point release was on the community support forums. This was my domain, a place I controlled and supported and nurtured from the beginning. It was a unique feeling creating a community from virtually nothing to a strong community of supporters we had when I departed. I was amazed at the success and the ride I had been privy to.

Maybe my departure gave rise to someone with new ideas and new blood to bring something into the community to improve the game. While some may disagree I took a lot with me the day I left. Much of the unwritten history left with me. Many gigabytes of files continue to reside on my archived hard drives that will most likely never be accessed again.

Most of all I remember the people, behind every alias, either in game, via e-mail or on IRC there is a person. I was fortunate enough to meet a small percentage of these people over the years. The strongest bonds were between the long standing development team members. The same can be said for the long time supporters in the community, the people I entrusted files or hosting to. There were some great people behind the scenes who rarely got a mention. Maybe they hosted files or ran a web site or always put in a word of praise to the community, game or development team. While I will probably never communicate with these individuals again, they were a special part of the community and one of the things I held close though out my tenure.

Often times I was referred to as, “not a developer” because I did not provide any content for the game. While that is a true statement, it could not be further from the truth. I was a development team member and played an integral role that was often overlooked. Many individuals involved couldn’t or wouldn’t do what I did over the course of 10 years. While not the most important aspect of the game or community, I brought Urban Terror to life though the use of shoutcasting, when online gaming radio stations were still in their infancy.

My use of the radio medium introduced a new dimension to online gaming that was rarely seen previously. I attempted to stress the importance of the community, wanting feedback and information from supporters in order to strengthen the radio show on a weekly basis. By far, the most important portion of the show, aside from my bad, 80’s music was the development team update. This was sometimes a futile attempt to provide up to the minute information about development.

The second part of this new medium was acting as a commentator during online matches. I spent many hours a week dedicated to my radio shows and broadcasts. It would have been enough to just cover the match, but our community was something special and they deserved more. I had a pre and post game report, as well as commentary and sometimes guest casters on air.

This, to me was my calling for the game and it went a long way in the community. Yet some failed to see the connection. In the end I was burned out, tired. Maybe it was the years of abuse I took never really striking back or going off, unless completely necessary. A few examples spring to mind. When I initially got involved I wanted to see this development through to a defined end. For me, that will never happen as I dropped everything in a blink of an eye and walked away, never to return.

But, as I said early on the friendships you make will last a lifetime. The memories remain, but may fade as years go by. For the most part these were good times, never great, but good enough to keep you going for just a bit longer. Hopefully those involved now have an idea of where the game came from and of those who came before.