It’s almost time for my second NF Challenge. I know I fell off posting updates here, but I have some supportive strategies in the works for this challenge that I hope will foster more regular posting. Without further ado, here is the narrative and goal breakdown for the upcoming challenge (challenge dates 9/24/12 – 11/5/12).
“You’re trying too hard, you know.”
I stood up from my crouched position over the rock borderwall and wiped a sheen of sweat off my face. “Yeah?”
The Claver shifted out of his squat and stood up.
“Yup. Trying too hard. You’ve been coming here, what, 8 weeks? You think piling a few rocks along the Wall or bringing down our nutri rations is going to make us trust you?”
Who knows how long he’d been there, watching. I’m out here on the borderwall alone, attempting to patch up the gaps where the earth has been trying to reclaim the rocks. That’s been my strategy so far – pitch in and hope the Clavers eventually start to trust me. Sure, I could continue to bring them their nutri rations and their sanctioned moss and then just make my way home, but for some reason I can’t. Maybe it’s the Gelfling blood in my veins, but I feel invested in this dungheap of a community. There are plenty of Gelflings and halfies here, along with all the other social refuse, but my Gelfling blood alone hasn’t been the ace I’d hoped it would be. They still don’t trust me.
An exasperated sigh escapes my lips. “So what am I supposed to do?”
He leaned over and plucked a long stem of sweetgrass and turned back to face me, his eyes pale green where they should have been white, a sure sign of his history as a moss druggie.
“You need to chill the h*ll out. Stop trying to fix everything.”
I realized I’d been holding one of the borderwall rocks this whole time, and now I was irritated and tired and the rock was heavy. I heaved it against the crumbling gap with a curse. “I’m just trying to help. You do realize I’m the only person who gives enough of a s**t to take this job voluntarily, right? I’m the only one who gives a crap about you people.”
He looked at me out of those greenish eyes and gnawed on the end of his grass stem. “That’s where you’re wrong. We give a crap about each other.”
“I know that, but I’m just trying to…”
“Gods, shut up!” he interrupted. He flung the grass stem away. “You think you can just come in here, claim Gelfling blood, get a little dirty in the daily runnings of this place, and we’re gonna just open our arms and thank the gods the Staties finally sent us a good one?”
I just looked at him, my face not belying that that’s exactly what I’d thought.
“Take some advice from me. Why don’t you hang out around here because you actually want to be here, not because you feel sorry for us? If you’re so proud of that Gelfling blood you hide from the Statie ‘crats, then why don’t you actually do something for yourself out here. Until you claim a piece of the Clave as your own, ain’t nobody here going to trust you the way you want us to, not really. So far, all they know is you get involved in their business every day and then drive your SUV back into City Proper, away from us and our problems, every night.”
That was 3 days ago, and I haven’t been able to get that conversation out of my head. Maybe I’ve been going about this all wrong. Maybe I assumed too much. Sure, being a halfie and being willing to get dirty with the Clavers was helpful at the beginning, but it only got me so far. It only told them that I’m not quite as bad as the other Social Service Unit workers who’ve been sent out here, most of whom refused to go beyond the loading dock. While it ensured that the Clavers don’t hate my guts, it sure didn’t make them trust me. And who can blame them? If I were them, I wouldn’t trust me either. Maybe I haven’t made it clear on which side of the line in the sand I fall: on the side with Clavers’ right to exist, or with the City Proper Staties who would like nothing more than to blot the Enclave out of City memory. Right now I’m the only link between the Clave and the City, the conduit for information to pass both ways. Trusting me is a risk that, so far, none of the Clave has been willing to take.
So, Jenko tells me I need to lay claim to the Clave if I really want them to trust me. Gods! I don’t even know why I want it so bad, but all right then. I’ll start by finishing this wall repair, and then I’m headed to Gridley’s storehouse to sign up for one of the upcoming Clave games. Only Clavers participate, but there’s no rule saying outsiders can’t be contenders. It’s just that, so far, no one from the outside has dared.
Sambie’s Challenge – Level 2: Claiming the Clave
If I’m going to participate in the Clave games –a series of underground endurance and strength challenges– I have to continue getting lean, strong, and fast. I also have to take a different approach to getting my head on straight. Idealist views and Gelfling blood aren’t enough here; I’m going to be up against Clavers who can run, lift, and move like they’ve got nothing to lose. Because they don’t. Gods know why, but I want to fit here. I will lay my claim, and this is how I’m going to do it.
Goal 1: Core/Strength – Handstand Progression – Master the 1st level in the hollow-body progression (legs bent, 1 minute mastery) +4 STR
Practice the hollow body progression 3x/wk.
Continue my beginner bodyweight circuit 3x/wk (weighted squats and lunges, incline pushups, assisted pullups, rows, plank, and jacks)
Goal 2: Endurance – Running – Increase distance; achieve a 7-mile distance at any speed +5 STA
Run (indoor/outdoor) 2x/wk minimum, preferably 3x/wk
Put intention into working on good barefoot/minimalist form
Goal 3: Flexibility- Yoga – Learn one new pose to mastery +2 DEX
Practice yoga 2x/wk.
Practice GMB handstand wrist prep every day.
Goal 4: Getcha Head in the Game (for reals this time) +2 WIS +2 CHA
Meditate every day – Any length of time, but no timer. Come up with some way to log this. The point is, get on the dang cushion.
Sunday October 7 – Mountain RAID Obstacle 4-miler
Sunday November 4 – Mt Diablo Trail Adventure 10k
Misc Dates – Weekend Berserker Mini-Challenges