On the Path of Making Adjustments

Cap Kotz
4 min readApr 5, 2020

Joe selected Hulk for his online trek character. His walk around self, Bruce Banner, hopped onto the self-awareness path. He walked a short distance and came to a pothole. Joe had Bruce step left with his left foot to get around the hole, but the word contain popped up and he was restricted from moving further until he found something to contain. He had Bruce step right with his right foot, but the word empty came up, and he was prevented from continuing in that direction until he emptied whatever he contained. When he toggled Bruce’s feet, red and orange ghosties appeared from the hole, some labeled thoughts others judgment. Joe tapped the left arrow when a ghostie got to shoulder level and Bruce’s left foot tapped left, neatly containing the ghostie in a pot he found at the side of the path. Joe soon figured out that he couldn’t empty the pot until he had contained four ghosties, and that the ghosties couldn’t be contained until they reached shoulder level. Finally, he had contained and emptied enough that the pothole dried up and Bruce continued walking.

Another pothole showed up. Joe tapped the left forward arrow and Bruce stepped forward with his left foot only to meet massive resistance. When he stepped back with his right to get more room to jump, the words let go appeared. Toggling Bruce’s feet, more ghosties appeared, some named fear others anxiety. Joe grasped the action and set about resisting enough fear and anxiety ghosties until he could tap release. Not long after, that pothole disappeared also. Bruce kept walking. Joe’s making adjustments score was 45, and, eager to rack up more points, he tapped on a sign that showed a level up symbol. Bruce was instantly weighed down by a load of stress. Triggered off, Hulk hovered on the brink of exploding into a green fury. Joe knew enough of the game to know that if Hulk got too big, making adjustments became increasingly difficult. Joe looked around for something he could use to keep Hulk quiet and tapped on a weight room sign. Bruce’s staggering form was now weighed down by a heavy weight bar, and Joe helped him position his pelvic bowl so he was aligned properly to complete the squat. Joe had him do ten more squats to build up his strength score and appease the Hulk. Bruce continued along the path.

Suddenly, Bruce was prevented from moving forward. Held Back flashed on the screen. Joe couldn’t see what was holding him back, but Bruce fought forward, and the more he fought the more Hulk burned green under his skin. Tapping a sign with an illustration of a painter, Joe typed athletic sled and the painter painted an athletic sled and harness. Joe dragged the harness, tapped it onto Bruce and loaded up the sled with rocks he gathered. Once again, Hulk settled down, happy to focus on strengthening his legs instead of fighting to get away from being held back. Joe’s making adjustments score went up.

A hole opened up in the path and Bruce fell into the deep rut. It was a narrow rut and he huddled at the bottom, quivering and stuck. Joe noticed a bird on a tree limb and clicked on it. The bird flew to the ground and squawked at a baby bird that had fallen from the nest. The baby bird tentatively lifted its tiny wings. The older bird squawked again and the baby feebly lifted its wings in response. Joe tapped on an audio link so each time the bird squawked. Bruce heard it and he, too, responded with feeble arm lifts like trying out his own baby wings. His efforts got stronger, and he was able to dig small holes in the dirt with his elbows, eventually prying himself out of the rut and back to the path.

But then a huge boulder landed in the path. The jolt was sizeable and Hulk almost burst free. Joe tapped on a scrub brush and used it to scrub away some of the escalating emotion, then positioned directional arrow signs that Bruce followed to push the boulder from the right then from the left, loosening up the boulder obstacle. Finally, once Hulk was focused, and using an impressive making adjustments strength score, Bruce gave a mighty shove and the boulder smashed and scattered. Bruce tapped his feet and vibrated his hands overhead, victorious! Joe’s score was 350, enough to level up, and so he did.

Cap Kotz

Writer and Story Mapping Guide, I follow the life path no matter how challenging.