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About Arrowan

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  • Birthday 12/16/1985

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  1. My goals for this challenge were to: 1. Stay on target with Rising Heroes missions 2. Eat more Paleo meals 3. Study Japanese 4. Work on my job hunt Side Quest: Meditate daily Results (A=100% B=75% C=50% D=25% F=0%): 1. I did well with this, probably in part because it was new and exciting, and also because I had two "wing women" to check in with and we kept each other on track. The most substantial, beneficial missions were working out 3x/week, walking 1 mile/day (during weeks 1 and 2), batch cooking for 3 meals (this has quickly become a regular habit), and doing a self-audit of all debts, putting all balances and interest rates in one spreadsheet. There were a lot of other more minor or temporary missions I won't get into, but the total count is 92 missions (many were simple, daily tasks). I missed only two -- I ate fast food on a day I was supposed to avoid it, and I missed doing a simple balance exercise on another day. This puts my success rate at 90/92 = 98%. B 2. This was largely successful. During week 1, I ate only Paleo foods on one day. For week 2, I did the same but also added three additional Paleo meals throughout the week. Week 3 was one full day of Paleo, plus 6 meals, and week 4 was one full day plus 9 meals. I did miss one of my "full" days but made it up on another day. However, this past week I was one meal short. This goal became easier and easier as the month went on. I learned some very easy and delicious ways to cook chicken and fish and veggies, and my mindset has really shifted away from even considering pasta and rice and bread as first options. I do have a serious candy addiction, which I need to work on. According to the points I set out, I earned 29/30 = 97%. B 3. I set out to study Japanese at least 10 minutes a day, and at least 30 minutes 3x/week. I did study every day but one, whether it was picking up new kanji, learning hiragana characters, or doing listening exercises. During weeks 2 and 4, I was shy one of the 30 minutes sessions. This puts my points at 47/52 = 90%. B 4. This was a hard fail. I started out well, putting in two applications in week 1. I was aiming to read a scientific article each week, but only did this for weeks 1 and 2. I have some other applications out there from before, and it's just about time for me to be hearing back about those...I'm just feeling a little paralyzed about what my next life move will be, so I'm reluctant to throw myself into pursuing any particular job. I am at the proverbial crossroads, trying to decide if I stick with temporary work that gives me a lot of freedom and an escape route if I decide I don't like it, or committing to something more stable and profitable, but also more boring / unpleasant. Points would be 4/12 = 33%. D (okay, so not an F technically, but still not a success). Side Quest: I did okay with daily meditation. I did sessions of 2-5 minutes, with the majority being 5 minutes. I did this on 20/28 days. In summary, I'm sticking with Rising Heroes, as it's fun and incorporating some great new habits into my life, and I like the community there -- very positive. I think this challenge was a great way to bring more Paleo into my life, and I feel confident I can continue with this trend. I'm thoroughly enjoying my Japanese study, though it's going at a slow pace. I think the key is to keep it daily, no matter how gradual the progress. The job hunt is my weak spot at the moment, but I'll get it together. The way forward will present itself to me, I'm sure of it. I'm going to try to keep up meditation, increasing the length of these sessions over time. The fact that it's so hard for me tells me I need to keep at it. I did learn that Rising Heroes AND an NF challenge is a bit too much for me to keep up with right now, but I'm going to try to stay in touch around here, because I truly value the advice and encouragement from the community. It's fun to see everyone's goals and progress, and cheer people on. As I go forward with aikido, I'm sure to have questions and I know this is a great place to get answers and opinions. Thanks all!
  2. Sorry you're sick! I have multiple friends who are down with colds. Ramp up the self-care and pamper yourself if possible. Finished my first Pratchett book, which ended up being The Time Thief. My library has a limited selection so I just picked one at random. It took me a while to get into it at first, but man did it pay off. Funny, smart, great characters, clever plot, and it makes you think deep thoughts...I was very pleased Looking forward to reading more Pratchett in the future. Thanks for turning me on to Discworld!
  3. The enemy had a lot of tricks up their sleeves for you this challenge! You did really well keeping to your goals in the face of these obstacles. You adapted as necessary. Sounds like the things you spent money on were good investments, so have no regrets there. Congrats on keeping to meal plans as well as possible, basket weaving, and expanding your 3x20 goal. Quite admirable. Good luck as the war continues!
  4. Just caching up on your challenge. It's excellent your wife decided to join you for some body-weight sessions, and co-workers are getting into boxing with you. You're having a great effect on those around you, so bravo! The drinking goal is difficult. I agree with Kishi that you will have to feel out the right line between pushing yourself to reach your goal and easing up to make that goal attainable. In the meantime, you have to find that mindset of being kind to yourself while still holding yourself accountable. But it sounds like you have a healthy grip on that.
  5. So glad you got a day off, with all that's happening at work! I like your confidence. This IS great training for your boss' position if/when he leaves. All your work will pay off one way or another.
  6. I'm rocking the RH missions, Paleo goals, and Japanese study. I am NOT keeping up with job applications...I'm definitely avoiding them. Meditation is going okay, though I've missed a few days here and there. It isn't a part of my challenge, but I'm still enjoying aikido classes. I am a bumbling beginner, but the other folks are so nice, and I really like what I'm learning. I'm not a verbal learner, so picking up terms for techniques during class is extremely difficult for me. I have to do a lot of extra study on my own to learn the names for things. Rising Heroes has been tremendous fun. We just began the second campaign (second month), so a bunch of new recruits have joined. I admit it hasn't been easy to do both RH and a NF challenge at the same time...there are just a few too many places to track goals and do check-ins. But I'd say I've still benefited overall from both.
  7. Park Ranger = Super Hero I just caught up on your whole flea saga! What an epic battle you are fighting! Never give up, never surrender. You will overcome those dirty little buggers. Good job on all you've been keeping up with, sounds like you are still dominating despite the setbacks. Keep up the good work!
  8. I've been completely remiss in updates this week, but here's a quick one, just to get me over the inertia of not posting for a while. RH missions going well: making the bed every morning; working out 3x/week (body weight); avoiding social media for 48hrs; practicing balancing on one foot every day; batch cooking. RH missions that are more difficult: Avoiding fast food. This week we're trying to stay away from any form of "fast food" altogether. I don't have any problem not eating out, but I'm a candy fiend. I tend to stop into gas stations and convenience stores for chocolate bars and the like. Terrible habit. Especially when I'm on the road, which happened early this week as I was coming back from a trip to NYC to visit a friend. Definitely failed this mission on that day. Paleo-- I was supposed to go ALL paleo last Saturday but completely forgot (I was in New York...). BUT I made it up on Wednesday. AND I've gotten in my six additional paleo meals for this week, plus tomorrow will be completely paleo as well. It's not all healthy -- I'm still eating a ton of fruit, which I should be trying to scale back, but for now I'm using all my will power just to keep away from the carbs and cheese and such for a day (or a meal, as the case may be). So that's still a win. Japanese study -- mostly going well. I get in at LEAST some listening every day, plus picking up a couple of hiragana characters. The study sessions were a little light last week but picking up this week. Anyone have suggestions for books, comics, or shows in Japanese that would be good for culture / language immersion? I've never been into anime but would give something a try if someone had a good pitch for it. Job hunt -- I'm sucking at this one. Hopefully I'll have better news over the next couple of days. I did read another article, this one on the decline of dusky salamanders in Acadia National Park. It's old, but of interest to me. Missed meditation on Saturday and Sunday, but have done 5 minutes a day otherwise.
  9. And now you have opened my imagination up to the idea that there is a secret forum where the GL's gossip about guild members...like the teacher's lounge, where they talk about all the problem students. Of course, you could never admit to us that this is true...
  10. The encouragement is very much appreciated! Saturday went well in the Paleo department. When I was craving sweets in the evening, I ate a mango and it was heaven. Had a paleo lunch on Monday as well -- chicken stir fry leftovers. RH missions are on track! Working in a little elevation into the daily walks; keeping up with workouts. The positive posts on the Facebook (which end up DOMINATING my news feed as well, are tremendously inspiring. Applied to that job I mentioned before (not the most fun in the world, but it would be steady and good pay, and a potential launching off point for other things). I did end up reading a scholarly wildlife article (here, if anyone is interested in Hellbender genetics). It's out of the lab I was in during graduate school -- I figured I would be more motivated to read it, knowing the authors. Whenever I look at the literature, I start to think I'm so far out of the game that I will never catch up...I have to forcibly remind myself that reading even just one article will put me father ahead than I was before. The temptation is to get overwhelmed and say why bother? But no matter how slow you run, you are still faster than you would be sitting on the couch. Keeping up the Japanese study, minimum of ten minutes a day. Did 30 minutes on Sunday, and that's all in addition to any listening I do during work (to podcasts and the like). Still meditating 5 minutes a day. Wish I were better at focusing during each session, but the only way to get there is practice. Second Aikido practice tonight! Just as fun as the first--just a tiny bit faster-paced, in a good way. I can already tell that getting to know my fellow students on the mat is going to make each session more and more productive. I feel terrible for not checking in on more people on the challenge forum, I've just been so busy logging in and keeping up with Rising Heroes, my two wing women, and various charts and programs. It's all good stuff, but I'm going to try to be more supportive here as well.
  11. Things are still going pretty well. Still getting in the daily mile-long walk. Did a workout yesterday. Keeping up with the other Rising Hero missions (and still having a lot of fun with that). Prepped some food for tomorrow, since my goal is to make ALL of tomorrow Paleo. I have breakfast and lunch ready to go, and cut up meat and veg to cook for dinner. Made sure I have fruit and nuts on hand for snacks. I think since it's just one isolated day, there will be a novelty effect and it won't seem like a chore to avoid other foods. Plus, dinner will be all unprocessed foods, which checks off another RH mission for the week. Japanese practice is fun. I'm coming at it from a few different angles. I have books on writing, and I've found a useful website to clarify stroke order and pronunciation. Plus I signed up on this site AJATT, and now I get daily emails with instructions for using certain online resources to pick up kanji...the guy who writes them is pretty funny. The pace is slow so far, though I think I jumped the gun because I think it assumes I already have hiragana and katakana under control (which I definitely don't). But honestly, the emails are so entertaining that even if it gets ahead of me, it's still fun to read. I've also been delving into podcasts and found some instructional ones for speaking. I'll be looking for other podcasts in all Japanese, to do a little immersion. I get to listen to headphones at work all day, so I may as well take advantage. Found another job to which I can apply, but I haven't done so yet. And I still need to read a wildlife article this week. Failed to meditate yesterday, but did 5 minutes today. Almost forgot to mention: I participated in my first Aikido class last night! It was great. Six other students besides me, plus the sensei. All were welcoming, and it was a basics class, so most were pretty new like me. I was awkward in my movements, but had a lot of fun. Looking forward to more
  12. I second this. Use the "never two in a row" rule and keep going. You got this.
  13. Just a quick check-in for today, as it's way past my bedtime. RH missions: Walked a mile; did a workout (the muscles are getting used to the new movements now); got rid of a dead plant that's been in my room taking up space forever. Checked in with my buddies and made some progress on a code we're supposed to be breaking. Japanese: Did just about 10 minutes of reviewing what I did yesterday. Got busy doing a lot of other stuff today, but I figure every bit helps. Meditated 5 minutes. The biggest accomplishment of the day: observed an Aikido class at a local dojo! I have MAJOR anxiety about doing new things with strangers, all by myself, so this was extremely difficult, but once I was there it was excellent. The people were friendly and eager to share their experiences. They let me watch an hour-long practice, which was really fun. I've been trying to get myself to do this for months. I've had many excuses, but really I have just been too chicken. Now I'm psyched about signing up for a trial month, to see if I like it. Even if in the end I decide I don't like the school or the style (though right now I see no reason why I wouldn't), I'm glad I finally got the courage to make the initial visit. If it weren't for the encouragement I've gotten on Nerd Fitness, I probably never would have gone. So thanks, all
  14. It was a pretty decent day. RH missions: walked a mile; made one meal with all unprocessed ingredients (veggie omelette, no cheese, + green salad with walnuts, and a banana -- and yes, this was dinner); picked one useless thing to get rid of in my house; and checked in with wing women. The omelette meal was also Paleo, so bonus points there (metaphorically--I'm not keeping points). Japanese: studied some hiragana, and 14 of the essential characters. This included the symbols for 1-10, which I kind of knew already, but I picked up this book from the library that goes over stroke order. Of course, I'm slapping my forehead when I get the book home and notice the copyright year is 1959!! So I won't put TOO much stock in this book, because the first thing the author explains is how much the official characters are being changed. But it IS useful for some basics. And I'm going to pick up some beginner practice books for hiragana and katakana as well. I almost got those from the library, but realized I will want them to keep, and write in for practice. Did 4 minutes of meditation.
  15. I bet that would be really helpful, but I'm one of the last weirdos out there without a smart phone (curse my stubbornness!). But I will look into computer applications for my PC. I've heard there are a few available. Thanks!
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