In his post, “How to Level Up in the Game of Life,” Steve Kamb asks: What does your level 50 look like? Steve is operating on an MMORPG model, which is why he refers to level 50, as it is the highest level attainable before expansion packs in most of those games, I think. Since I’m operating on a D&D model, I’m going to call it Epic Level instead.
So what does an epic level life look like for me?
In terms of fitness, I am able to go for long walks (3 miles or more) without getting winded or having joint pain. I can swim for an hour or more without getting tired. I can do the basket part of the NCOBS Table Rock Base Camp high ropes course without feeling incompetent or wanting to cry. (See video here.) I can go to an hour long dance class and leave feeling exhilarated rather than exhausted.
I live in a beautiful, well- organized home that is near every modern convenience but still feels secluded. I wake up without an alarm clock, take my thyroid meds, and go for a walk with my husband and our kid. We have a breakfast of scrambled eggs and smoothies.
Kid and I kiss husband goodbye, walk to the bus stop a third of a mile away from home (kid is between ages 3 and 6 at this point), and hop on the bus. We enjoy a relaxed bus ride together, getting off at a stop 500 feet from kid’s preschool. I drop kid off at preschool and then enjoy a leisurely half mile walk to work.
I get to work, where I have already selected my 3 most important tasks for today, knock those out early, and then spend the rest of the day on tasks that come up or finding new priorities. I interact cheerfully with my colleagues and eat a healthy lunch that I packed the night before.
At the end of the work day, I walk back to the kid’s school and we walk about a half mile to the bus stop, where we hop on the bus home. We’ve got another third of a mile walk from the bus stop to the house, where we cook a healthy dinner for the family made from a combination of local ingredients and stuff we grew ourselves.
After dinner, I can choose: go swimming either by myself or with the family with or without a mermaid tail on, craft, read, play a game, practice some music, take a dance or singing or improv lesson, go to rehearsal for a play, write, watch a show or movie. At some point in the evening, I read a book to kid before bedtime.
Then at bedtime I snuggle up with husband, and we do it all over again the next day. If it’s a weekend, it’s the same routine without the buses, school, or work. More time for crafts, playing outside, etc.
This exercise was especially good for me because it helped me realize the ways in which my life is already epic:
- I can walk a mile easily.
- I can swim for about twenty minutes without getting exhausted.
- I can finish the NCOBS Table Rock Base Camp High Ropes Course at all.
- I have a beautiful home.
- I wake up without an alarm clock.
- I go for a morning walk with my husband.
- I eat exactly the breakfast described.
- I take the bus to work.
- I love my job.
- I cook healthy dinners at least two or three nights a week.
- I have a few hours in the evening before bed to spend on leisure time.
- I take voice lessons.
- I am in at least one show a year.
Here are the elements that I still need to meet my epic level vision:
- Improve my endurance.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Increase my strength.
- Have a kid.
- Organize my home office, closets, and cabinets.
- Utilize my time at work even better than I do now.
- Go swimming more often.
- Make dinner at home more often.
- Make time for hobbies: crafting, singing, dancing, improv, sketch writing, any kind of writing really, playing games, reading.
It looks like a lot of stuff, but none of it seems impossible. I’m a halfling, and as such my aspirations are simple. Good food, a warm hearth, and all the comforts of home.
Steve asks us to pick one quest that we can do today. I went for a walk and I’m avoiding starches, so that moves me towards the first two bullet points nicely. So now let’s look at the third: increase my strength. Today, I’m going to look at the Nerd Fitness Beginner Body Weight Workout and the Primal Blueprint Fitness Progressions, and use the two of those to devise a strength training plan that I will implement beginning tomorrow.
What about you? What does your epic level life look like?