Questing is an essential part of any computer adventure game. In a quest the hero receives a mission from the bland like “fetch 10 tree bark samples” to the extravagant “find your lost son that was taken from your wife while you were in cryo sleep.” The longer quests are  the more steps involved. Fetch wood bark is simple – find trees and collect the bark. To find your son in the Wasteland from Fallout 4 you start out with no idea who took your son, where they went, or any clues. You start out surviving and eventually you gather enough information to follow the breadcrumbs of a trail.

When trying to make healthy choices I like to think of new habits not as chores or “work,” but as quests. When you master one quest you get the reward and the ability to take on more challenging quests.

Today I took on the quest of walking. This is a fairly simple quest. But let me take you through the steps:

  1. I chose a time to walk
  2. I chose how long to walk – about 20 minutes
  3. I chose the right sneakers and clothes to wear
  4. I got a partner to walk with me
  5. I decided on a route
  6. We actually took our walk
  7. After the walk I drank some water and rewarded myself with some TV time

Sure, this is a very beginner quest, but without the beginner quests here isn’t the opportunity to take on the more advanced quests – like running a 5k.

Walking is a daily quest. A set of walks is called a weekly quest. Maybe the reward for completing a weekly quest is something greater than TV. A string of weekly quests is an adventure.

It starts with the one daily quest.


New Adventure Calls

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” -Leonardo da Vinci

Adventure starts when the hero receives a call to action. Today I learned the 10 pound throwdown starts this week and decided to answer the call. If you would like to answer the call too, please click the link below and enter the code 23465 to join Team James. A free WellSpan Health Account is needed to enter.

New Adventure – 10 pound Throw Down

There is support, competition, and a sense of working together to accomplish a goal.

The Hero’s Journey

“In the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek” ~ Joseph Campbell

Key Events in the Hero’s Journey

Status Quo: This is where we start

  1. Call to Adventure: An invitation to begin
  2. Assistance: Help or advice from someone older or wiser
  3. Departure: The hero goes from normal and safe and enters the adventure
  4. Trials: The hero solves a riddle, slays a monster, or does some heroic deed
  5. Approach: The hero face off against their greatest fear
  6. Crisis: The darkest hour
  7. Treasure: The hero wins and claims the reward
  8. Result: Varies between stories
  9. Return: The hero returns to the ordinary world
  10. New Life: The quest has changed the hero
  11. Resolution: All the plotlines get sorted out
  12. Status Quo: The new normal

We are all on the Hero’s Journey. When it comes to health sometimes the call to adventure is an invitation from a friend, a subtle reminder by your spouse, or a visit to the doctors with some negative test results. To go on the journey you must answer the call.

No Excuses

“If it’s important you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.” ~ Ryan Blair

What keeps you from working out? If you are like me, you have plenty of good reasons why you don’t work out. It’s winter now and I don’t like the cold. So I am not walking or running. Fresh fruits and vegetables cost more. I needed to finish the last episode of Sherlock so I stayed up an extra 45 minutes. People are extremely good at rationalizing the reasons why they continue to use bad habits.

In reality, the reason people live unhealthy lifestyles is because they choose to live that way. Here is an example of someone who could have given up, but didn’t. Last week driving to work in sub-30 degree weather I saw a man in a jogging suit running in the dawn sunlight. At first the person did not register as a jogger because the running style was unorthodox. I realised this man had some sort of condition that impacted either his bones or muscles which caused his arms and legs to move in a jerky motion. He wasn’t moving very fast. He wasn’t moving very smooth.

Yet he was out there. He was running. He was taking care of the body God gave him. He had no excuses. He did not give up and say health was out of his reach. He persevered and struggled and beat down the excuses.

The power of will this man possessed is available to everyone. I might not be an olympic runner, but I can run. If he can do it with his condition I can do it to, and so can you.

Emotional Power

“What does it take to make you angry?” This was said to Oliver Queen in the show Arrow (season 2, episode 2) by the copycat vigilante Roy. They were in the police station after Roy tried to stop a robbery of medical supplies. The hospital in the Glades (the bad side of town) was in danger of closing. Roy needed to take action. His anger propelled him to fight against the thugs stealing the supplies.

Most of us don’t have the problems of a comic book crime fighter, but we do have enemies stealing our health and happiness. Yet instead of anger towards the enemies we make excuses and rationalize their existence.

What are the elements in your life you should be angry about but you just live with? Is it late night snacking? Is is your sleeping habits what prevent you from being active? What about those extra 5, 10, or 15 pounds that keep you from looking and feeling your best? What does it take to make you angry? Answer that question and you will be on your way to actually making life changes to defeat those enemies.