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Everything posted by Anno

  1. Just got started this week, which I admit to being an issue. Labour day got in the way, so today was my first run and Angry Birds. Not my best showing ever. Still, Angry birds is okay, and I did do the Eight Brocades as well today. A seconds Birds on the weekend should be easy enough to get in. Only downside is that I'll need to run tomorrow or twice on the weekend to get in all my sessions. I'll see what I can do there, but I may wind up taking a hit.
  2. It's been an odd ending to an odd week, but after considering it, I'm going to call this as having completed all the exercises I set out to do. As above, work's been fun this week and pushed back my Angry Birds workout. I got that done today after my run. I did the best so far with the inverted rows, getting a 2 star, but couldn't hold planks past 30 seconds after, so that got a 0 star. It took me five reps to hit 120, which hasn't happened in a while. The knee's still hurting off and on, so I can't push that, and let me just say that that's getting old. Sunday: Back: 2 star Leg lifts: 2 star Pushups: 1 star Squats: 0 star Planks: 0 star. I also got in my last run for the week for the C25K, but I can't consider it as complete. My parents are off on vacation, so I'm looking after their golden. He's come with me on hikes before, but he hasn't done too well. It's been warm and humid here this summer, and he burns out after about 5k in the wood. My runs are much more of the moment, so I haven't collected him to bring with me. I figured he'd be okay to bring today, and that was a mistake. Turns out that the different gait I need to use while holding his leash started putting a stitch in my right side after only a minute or two, but it didn't really matter because he went a bit nuts somewhere between the one-third and halfway mark trying to get his Halti off. I guess it was irritating him pretty badly. I took that off and put the leash on his collar, but I couldn't control him properly because he has a habit of trying to cross in front of whoever's walking him. I gave up after nearly taking a header over him. All told, made it about halfway, then gave up and walked back home. As I said, thought about it and decided to count this as having done the exercise since most of my challenge is about getting up and doing the exercise, but not going to count today as having done the C25K for the purposes of progressing through it.
  3. I've heard some very good things about Ingress. I know a guy who's fallen in love with the game, but I can't say I've actually played it, myself.
  4. This is turning into a very odd week for timings. Work has been nuts, so I'm more behind than I'd like to be. I had intended to be done with the Angry Birds exercises on Wednesday for these challenges, or Thursday at the latest. Last night was the first time I got one in this week, but that's also why I took only two per week since I know things like this can happen with my schedule. I'm still only doing ten squats because my knee is still bad. It's much, much better now, but I can still feel it so I don't want to wrench it. So: Thursday Back - 1 star Squats - 0 star Leg lifts - 2 star Planks - 1 star Pushups - 2 star I had Tai Chi on Wednesday, so that's two of the three sets of the Brocades done. I'll need to get that and my other Angry birds done on the weekend. Preferably Saturday. Unfortunately, Saturday looks like a little slice of sauna, so I probably won't get out on the trails yet again and Sunday's not looking much better. I'll probably wind up doing an early morning or late evening C25K session again. Speaking of the C25K, I did my second for the week last night. I was able to finish as presented this time, so I consider that a win. Not looking forward to the next increase, I have to say. I also need to scout out new running paths. My current is getting boring.
  5. I've read up on this before and did read the links. Personally, I think you're fine. That said, let me run down the main concerns. - Is a GMO. I don't want to start a war, but this doesn't even register for me. If you are uncomfortable with the idea, then that's a choice to be made by everyone on their own and to their own concerns. We live in a part of the world and in an age where we do have the choice of what we eat, for whatever reasons. Though asking for stricter controls on what enters the market for consumption is also a reasonable enough stance, I think. That said, I have never had the discussion where it didn't come back to "This one time, this guy fed potatoes to rats and they got sick." I've since looked, and it was raw potatoes (which are bad for rats on their own) from a strain not meant for human consumption. They were engineered to produce something else (lectin, which can be toxic) to be extracted. As an analogy: Someone puts a high dose of concentrated fertilizer into a jar of milk to see if it will grow better bacteria, and then leaves it on a shelf, unrefrigerated, for a month. Someone else comes by at the end of the month and drinks it. He gets sick and everyone is surprised, so they demand that all the dairy cows in Oregon get put down since that milk was found to have been produced there and this event proves that all Oregon milk is toxic. Again, your call and your choice, but I resoundingly don't care about this one. - Issues with processing and packaging. This is a utility concern and not a core concern. I'll admit that I'm seldom that worried. If you are, well, I know for a fact that I can get Kopi Luwac in an unroasted, still-as-poop format. I'm pretty sure you can get soy unprocessed. - Mineral binding, less absorption Grains do the same thing. If you're worried about it and you take supplements, take them well away from mealtime if you're going to have soy or grain. - Hormones The development of the male breast is a known phenomenon. That said, not counting one case of intentional hormone supplements, I have never once seen it. Realistically speaking, have you? There's a resounding 'if' here, but if there is an increased risk of it associated with soy, I've never actually seen a number. In my experience, articles not giving those numbers and their sources are generally trying to get shock value. As a rule, until I see two unrelated studies and their actual numbers (not percent increases without base values, which happens a lot), I assume extremely small. I wouldn't worry about it. Soy's also listed as maybe or maybe not lowering sperm count, maybe. If you read the abstracts referenced in the article you'll find that the one listing soy as lowering sperm count was taken among a sampling of men who were at infertility clinics and that the reduction happened not among those who ate soy, but those who ate a LOT of soy and moreso those who were already overweight. Only those with the highest drop were listed and I couldn't find the study itself to get actual numbers. Granted, I didn't look that hard. In short: are you actively trying to have a child? If no, I wouldn't worry about it. - Inflammation/allergy, omega-6 or other reasons Is this a concern for you? Do you suffer from discomfort or inflammation after eating soy or soy products. If Yes: I recommend not eating them. If no: This isn't a problem for you and, so, not a concern. - Several reasons not to feed soy to infants or very young children. This goes back to the hormone thing, but it's hardly the only thing with a warning like this. It's generally not advised to give honey to infants either. As an in-general, it's certainly something to look into. Are you an infant? No. Don't worry about it. - Cancer Soy's potentially linked to increased risk of cancers of the breast and uterus. Is this a concern, at least to be investigated to be sure? Absolutely, yes. Is this a problem for YOU? Not so much, no. Once again, though, all this said: If you're worried about soy, then don't eat it. That's your call and yours alone. Me? Meh.
  6. Thanks. I'll be heading to my next class tonight. I'm wondering how I'll feel after. Hi Emma. Goes okay, but not too much to report on. Sessions six and seven of the C25K happened Saturday and Last night respectively. I couldn't quite finish the last section of yesterday's run, but it was close and I made it up after. Unfortunately, it's been overcast and cloudy a lot lately, so a proper hike really hasn't been happening. Also had Tai Chi last night, so the first set of brocades are done. It sounds silly to say it, but I figure another month or two before I actually know the full form and can start really learning it. Past that, and I can't help but chuckle, been playing the ocarina every night except Sunday; but I am getting tired of Au Clair de la Lune.
  7. I had a little time to kill, so I did the Eight Brocades and decided to have a little fun prose-wise. I’m behind the main curve and will be for this and the next challenges no matter what I do, but this puts me in-line for my week 2. Looking at the weather, it’ll be another catch-a-C25K weekend rather than a hike, but I’ll take it. ------------ Anno dropped his cloth back into his little stream and ground it hard against a flat rock until all the yellow had either rubbed off into the water or turned to black. He let himself sigh as he pulled the cloth back out, rang out as much water as he could, and laid it on the blade of the sword balanced across his knees. He then carefully, very carefully, gathered cloth into one hand and folded it under one edge, pinching the cloth to the flats on either side. Only his fingertips applied any pressure; the rest of his hand was held as far from the blade as possible. He went back to scrubbing the blade as firmly as he dared. Nearby, an old book sat open. Anno had found it in his pack the day after he’d met the old man. The list of suspects for who put it there were pretty small. As for when? He suspected somewhere between when he’d passed out and when he’d woken up. This would have concerned him less if he hadn’t found it underneath his clothes. The book was an old, cheap thing that had been rebound at least once. The current cover had most likely started its career as pigskin. Inside, however, was a remarkably well preserved, if short, set of instructions for a basic form for the blade the old man had given him. What was not in the book, however, was a single line warning the owner not to use pine branches as a standin for a sparring partner. Or any note on how hard it is to get pine gum off steel without slicing your hand open. He’d narrowed down the reason for this oversight to three possibilities. One: It was an object lesson and was, in fact, a very sage secret of the art. His own mistake was actually an engineered right of passage every master faced. Two: The book and/or the old man were evil and plotting his demise. Or Three: That it was so painfully obvious that anyone who’d ever even seen a forest would know not to do that. Anno rather preferred option one. The last glob of resin finally snapped free of the steel and rolled up into a quickly blackening ball. Anno wiped the blade, flat-first, across his panted thigh to remove what water remained and then set the sword and sheath on a flat rock to dry in the sun. He held the cloth up. It was full of little, nearly parallel cuts that grew denser toward the middle. The rest was gummy mess made up of a mottling of black and yellow, and every shade between. He’d be discarding that as soon as the evening’s fire was started. A rather conspicuous pile of pine branches made the job easier. An hour later saw Anno sitting beside a roaring fire. Jerky and two handfuls of fresh fiddleheads sizzled lightly on hot rocks. Some foraged rested in an upturned hat near his foot. In the trees above, the birds still laughed at him. One even sat perched on an arrow that had lodged into a tree too high to be recovered. Anno considered trying again, but his quiver was already tied shut and the bowstring was already off. He finished disassembling the bow and put the pieces into his pack. He’d have poultry sooner or later, but it wasn’t going to be tonight. Past the birdsong, he could hear the steady hiss of water over rocks; more than just a valley wall stream, this was the start of a river. A fortnight in, and a fortnight’s worth of miles without seeing the landscape for the woods, he was finally approaching the lake. He might have fresh fish soon. He’d expected to be there sooner. He leaned back, grabbed the sword, sheath and book one by one. Sword and sheath were married and tied in their place along the side of the pack. The book he slid into one of the many pouches of his pack. Something brushed against his knuckle. He drew out an old flute he’d held onto for years, but never really learned to play. The food would be a while yet. The birds were going to laugh at him anyway. He figured he might as well give them a reason.
  8. Another loaded day. I did the Eight brocades on my own, the fifth session of the C25K, the angry birds routine and then went to Tai Chi. I'm pretty wiped right now. I had to load today because Thursday and Friday aren't really an option for me to have time free. We didn't do the Brocades in class again today, so I need to work two of those into the rest of the week, but they're pretty light and make a good warmup for other stuff. Shouldn't be a problem. Wednesday: Back - 1 star Pushups - 1 star Planks - 1 star Leg lifts - 2 star Squats - 0 star (knee still, but getting better)
  9. For pushups: I would recommend getting an adjustable pull-up bar and putting one of the bracket sets around waist-height. I did that for inverted rows and found it to be a great thing for incline pushups. As a note for doing knuckle pushups: don't rest on all four knuckles. Like when punching, use only the index and middle finger knuckles and brace the arm as best you can so the back of your hand runs straight from the forearm (or very slightly up). It'll straighten your arm and strengthen it. Those are also the knuckles that can take the pressure best.
  10. In my family we call what you've done 'blowing out a muscle.' I say it's different from DOMS in that DOMS makes you favour your arm; blowing it out makes you unable to lift a teacup. It's normal enough. I've gone through it a number of times when doing repetitive work (helping a friend finish a basement, etc) and once in my gut when I was playing with an Ab Roller and didn't know what I was doing. You learn to feel it coming after a while. When working you'll go from the soreness of 'I'll really feel this in the morning' to 'I can feel something about to give in there.' Hard to describe, but you'll get it. Best advice, and I hate suggesting drugs, is to take Robax or similar before bed. If you can, of course. There's a muscle relaxant in it that'll help you sleep and free up your muscles to help them heal since they're probably very tense. Also: eat more. Protein especially. From your description, you don't have much, or any, extra weight on you. The muscle repairs have to come from somewhere. In my experience, you're looking at a day or two without real use of the affected muscles, then slowly returning to normal over a week. Try not to over stress them for the first day or two, then force yourself to use them as you would in your normal day-to-day until they're okay.
  11. I forgot to mention, but I did last week's fear challenge and played some music while others were in the house. I decided to go with the ocarina. I think it went pretty well, all things considered. My hands cramped up after twenty minutes or so, but I'm taking that as normal for a beginner. People were also more understanding than I expected when I asked for space. I also feel the need to mention that my interest in the ocarina doesn't come from Zelda as I suspect most people will assume. It's actually from Pokémon's The Power of One and the song really has stuck with me for the last 15 years. Granted, I had no idea what she was playing until I finally got around to playing Ocarina of Time many years after.
  12. Been a few days, but holding to what I said with this. Losing Tuesday is making a few things a little close to too much, but holding on. Basically means that Monday, and likely Wednesday, are now stacked high with exercise. Monday, I did my Tai Chi class (we didn't do the eight brocades, so I'll need to do that another time this week), the fourth session of the C25K (not a huge change from the first three, but I sure felt it), and my angry birds routine. I figured out that putting my feet against a wall works my core better when doing planks since I'm not slipping at the toes anymore. I actually collapsed at the tail end of the pushups (last thing I did), so I think that's more or less my limit for right now. Angry birds for Monday was: Back - 1 star Pushups - 0 star Squats - 0 star (did ten. Knee's still hurting) Planks - 1 star Leg lifts - 1 star Went down from my normal, but I was more tired than usual. As I write this, I just got back from the archery class. It's a tournament/Olympic style rather than a hunting style (the instructor mentioned some differences, but I only took away the sighting methods) done with recurve bows. Worked places I didn't expect. Got the back more than the right arm on the pull and my left bicep, forearm and pec are feeling it. I also feel it in the lips, which makes me laugh. As a consistency thing in this style, the string is drawn into the nose and lips so you can feel that each shot is identical. Kinda have a buzz going in that spot right now. As to the music: First and foremost a thank you for the encouragement and the offer, Emma. For how it went: pretty well, but short lived. I tried playing the ocarina and it went pretty well, all things considered. My hands cramped up about twenty minutes in, which I'm taking as normal for a beginner. My hands go weird in seconds trying to play a piano (I have tried, albeit briefly) so I'm assuming it wasn't an actual issue that'd prevent me from playing. I went through the first three lessons in the book, for a total of 5 notes and some little ditties with them. I feel pretty good about it, really, and I should make a post in the mini challenges thread now that I think about it. For the offer, I really do appreciate it, but I can't think of what could be done to help aside from my getting the gumption and remembering to practice. There's a down-the-road issue I may hit when my left little finger comes into play (no pun intended) but there is a workaround for that. The place I got the ocarinas does two sizes: one in G and one in C. The C ocarinas have 9 holes for some reason rather than the more standard 10 with the lowest two notes being made with different breathing. It just so happens to take out the hole that'd be played by my worst finger. I have one of each since they were a package trainer set, but the C produces a strange buzz I don't like. I know it's due to the material and the company offers much better quality instruments for the advanced. When the time comes, I may need to upgrade and stick to the 9-hole, but we'll see what happens there. Again: thank you for the offer, though.
  13. Thanks, always nice to hear, and glad you enjoyed. If I get inspired, I may think about doing weekly updates or somesuch with prose. For now, however: Nothing done on Friday due to schedule. I was hoping to get out on the trail this weekend, but the weather said no. It threatened to rain, or was raining, pretty much the entire weekend and I wasn't keen on being over an hour from home on foot if it decided to come down. Found a time to do the C25K third session, though, so that's still on-track. Sat down with the Tai Chi Sword Form book for a while. I made a serious mistake getting that as an ePub copy rather than physical one. Movement principles, including their names, and the form itself are in two separate chapters. A little thing like a physical bookmark would have made it a whole lot easier. I am glad I'm taking Tai Chi, though, or I'd be completely lost. I made it the two hours I promised myself before I got really frustrated. Gave all the principles a dry-run as best as I could understand them and started in on the form. So far, it amounts to a curtsy, a right deflection and a turn to the left. Tai Chi tonight, then possibly a run and the angry birds. I lost my Tuesday nights for those due to the Archery class starting up tomorrow. I am looking forward to that.
  14. I decided to forgo the Brocades today and started in on the C25K part since it's got a warm up built in. Second session of that and it went okay. Getting some light pain across the front of my shins by the end, but not bad. I'll need to be careful, just in case. Did the angry birds on getting back. Still doing 10 squats to protect the knee, so 0-starred that. Knee's getting better, though. Besides that: Back - 1 star - 9,7,5 Planks - 1 star - 60,30,30 Pushups - 2 star - 14,6 Leg lifts - 2 star - 20,10
  15. My first mini challenge on the site but: Music. I know how that sounds. I've always wanted to play, but an issue with my hands prevents me from playing most things, so I only really looked into it recently. I have a guitar that I got when my brother cleaned up his place to move and opted to get rid of it, and I've got an inline ocarina I bought a few years ago, plus books on how to play them. Some chords will probably always elude me, but the simple I can play 3-fingered and the ocarina just works. Downside is that, whatever the reason (I have guesses), I'm hugely self-conscious about playing and I'm almost never really alone when at home. Neither are at all quiet, so someone will always hear, and the best (and most often) scenario is that I'll very suddenly have an audience. Trying to be supportive, I know, but really, really not helping. So, this weekend, I'll plan to pick one of them up and get through a few lessons, regardless, and maybe get past the barrier so I can really learn.
  16. We did the Eight Brocades in class last night, so I'm counting that as that part of Week One being completed. I'll probably do them again tonight just the same before I start into the C25K session and/or Angry Birds I have set for tonight. The knee popped last night, so it's finally starting to feel better. Still going to go light on it at least one more night, though.
  17. The first day, or rather last night, of this challenge went fairly well. I'm going to count Monday's Tai Chi class toward the Eight Brocades. I did them again last night as a warm up before starting my first session with the C25K. I'm surprised at how well that went, though it was remarkably humid last night so I got back more than a little damp. Moved onto the Angry Birds after before hitting the hay. Tuesday: Back - level 2 - 20 inverted rows: 1 star Planks - level 2 - 120 seconds (elbow): 0 star (four reps to complete) Leg lifts - level 2 - 30: 2 star (personal addition to the workout) Squats - level 2 - 50: 0 star (I hurt my left knee over the weekend. Only hurts when bent low, so running's not an issue. Intentionally only doing ten until it heals. I count it towards completion, but can't level up.) Pushups - level 2 - 20 (done on the knuckle): 2 star. Tai Chi tonight, so may have the Eight Brocades wrapped up early if we do them there.
  18. I'd recommend learning your pacing. There are two options and I've found them both pretty accurate. I actually use the second to spot check the first. When I was with the reserves, they had us learn this by counting the number of left footfalls per hundred meters. Mine was, and still is, 67. Round up with a pedometer to 135 paces per, or 1350 per kilometer for me. The other is to make a trip and plot out the directions on mapquest or Google maps. I'd recommend a longer trip since it only goes to one decimal place and a longer trip makes that less of an issue. Use that number along with what you get on the pedometer to sort out number of paces per unit distance. When I compare the two, I tend to have them agree within about 50 paces per klick, depending on terrain.
  19. Hello all, New here and just finished my first challenge, so coming into this one a little late. From the looks of it, I’ll be late to the next party too, but then I should be caught up. Also, my first time outside the Level 1s. The adventurers looked like a good fit for what I’m looking at, glad to meet everyone. I’ve seen a few people do up their challenges as prose, and I thought that would be a fun way to go about it since this is meant to be roleplaying. Please bear with. Hopefully, it doesn’t come across as obnoxious. --- Anno didn’t so much walk up the hill as progressed. Walking was a dignity that had withered and fallen off about a mile back. He’d been limping since near the base of the hill when someone had, apparently, staked his knees with rebar. Staggering had left him when that rebar turned to salt. Now, he held his walking stick like an oar and rowed himself up the hill. In the last few paces, he saw a new, green vale reveal itself beyond the crest. A bright river ran through the middle, opening into a blue lake down below. A village sat on the valley’s far shoulder. On the side of a mountain in the near distance, he saw the outline of a monastery. Standing there on the very top of the hill, looking down on the steep path to the valley floor, Anno threw up up his arms. He let out a loud, “Woo!†and promptly collapsed onto his side beside the path. He let himself roll, content to simply flop down onto his back. His pack, however, was happy where it was and saw no reason to make things easy on its owner. Anno quickly found himself with his head and left arm dangling, the world sitting at an odd angle and him not giving any part of a damn to correct it. “You’re late,†a voice said behind him. Anno tried to sit up, but the pack and worn muscles firmly declared that that wasn’t happening, allowing only a groan and a weak flop. He kicked, squirmed and he tried to shimmy. He finally found and loosened the straps to his pack. He slid off the thing and onto the grass. A pull of the pack later and he was propped up, almost a sit, looking at an old man who sat on a nearby boulder. “I said, you’re late.†The old man tilted his head up to listen to birdsong in the trees. “And the birds are laughing at you.†My first challenge was largely my doing a modified Angry Birds split between two days. I plan to continue with the Angry Birds workout, now condensed to a single day to allow for more flexibility but with the same amount of exercise. 2x per week. 1) Maintain A - All workouts done. Less a grade per 2 workouts missed. (+1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Sta, +1 Cha) The original called for me to reach level 3 in the workout within the six weeks. This didn’t happen. This time, I’ll aim to progress to at least the next level in each exercise of the first by the end of the challenge. Reducing weight on stats for this one, partly because the increases aren’t fast and partly because they’re fairly incidental. Going up a level is dne by hitting 3-star on a part twice consecutively. 2) Progress A - All five, B - 3-4, C - 2, D - 1, F - None. (+1 Str, +1 Sta) The old cleared his throat, looking back at Anno. “Have you decided where you’re going?†“Not yet.†The man’s shoulders sagged. “You know, people don’t usually start up this way without some idea. Rude to make an old man wait here for you if you haven’t got any ideas.†The old man grinned. “Or did you just figure out that you don’t live in assassin country?†“How…?†“You’re not the first, kid.†The old man snickered and pointed down into the valley. “But if you’re still here, I’m guessing you still want to make something of yourself. The village always needs people, strong backs and in the forest, and the monastery’s not far off. You ever worked any of that?†“I was in the militia once, and I trained with a monk, but that…†The old man poked Anno in the gut with a stick. “A long time ago?†“...yes.†“You’ve got a ways to go, son. The Monks won’t accept new students until the Harvest Moon, but you won’t get there before then anyway. And the town needs someone a little less flabby.†He held his hand to shade his eyes as he peered off into the distance. “Still, might just be ready before you get anywhere...†3) C25K The listed three times a week, with the option to trade one out for a hike once a week. A - All workouts done. Less a grade per two workouts missed. (+3 Sta, +1 Con) “...and, for pity’s sake, loosen up. You move like a pregnant yak.†4) Flexibility: Eight Brocades of Silk Stretch. Minimum 3x per week, in-class sessions during Tai Chi count. A - All done, less a grade for each two missed. (+2 Dex) Anno sagged back against his pack and glared at the old man. “Is there anything else, or can I die for a little while?†The man snickered again. “Just one more thing.†He reached behind him and pulled a very slight, straight sword from behind his rock. “It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this.†5) Weapon training. Minimum 2 hours per week. Something I’ve always wanted to get into. Since I’m in a class for Tai Chi, I’ve recently picked up a book on a tai chi sword form. I’ve also signed up for an archery class starting in two weeks. Either or, but a minimum of 2 hours every week. (+2 dex, +1 wis) Anno took the sword and drew it, looking at the blade shining. The old man was gone when he looked back up. He looked around, then down at the village. He looked at the blade again, sheathed it, and promptly flopped sideways onto the ground. He spent enough care to set teh scabbard down and bunch up an edge of his pack for a pillow before he passed out. Above, the birdsong played through the trees as the birds kept laughing, but right then, he was too tired to care. -- That’s my goal this time around. It looks like a lot, and is potentially biting off more than I can chew, but realistically, I’m looking at two days of exercise on my off days from Tai Chi using a modified warm up, plus one lesson/sword study session and one hike a week. Shouldn’t be too bad. And, why yes, I would like some salt with my foot.
  20. Been away for a little while, but I've kept this up. Putting this in largely as a final wrap up. Last Sunday I took my fourth trip out on the trail, trying a new path. All told, I walked 19.5 km that day, so I think I've more than succeeded on that challenge. For the bodyweight exercises, I've largely kept it up, though I've been under the weather this past week and missed an overall total of 2 sessions from my goal. From my original, that's a B, so a pass but without acing it. I did manage to reach level 2 with pushups. Realistically speaking, I haven't done very well on reaching my 'get to level 3' goal. I'm really at level 2 on ability to do squats, 2 on pushups and planks, level 1 on the other two. I don't feel too badly about that, really. I aimed a little too high for that short a time. All told, I think it was a successful first outing and I'll go up to level 2 as a character. I'm going to put up my second challenge tonight under the adventurers and continue on.
  21. They're doing no-touch techniques. In effect, chi attacks. I'm not going to get too into the debate, but I'll drop this here. Skip to about 1:10 for the guy explaining why he couldn't use it to knock out a skeptic who asked him to prove the technique works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM_qg5d1YGI First words out were "The guy was a non-believer."
  22. Seems odd to continue to update this seeing as the next challenge has started, but it'll work out. I'll be two weeks behind this round when my current is done and a week next time. So, this is my week four. Monday Planks - Level 2 - 1 star Squats - Level 3 - 0 star Tuesday Back - level 2 - 0 star Leg lifts - level 2 - 2 star Pushups - level 1 - 2 star Wednesday Planks - 1 star Squats - 1 star Thursday Back - 0 star Leg lifts - 2 star Pushups - 2 star Also took the dog out and about today. Just a light one of around 2.5 km. It's hot again, though, so he was wiped when I brought him back home.
  23. I'm no expert and no doctor, so please don't take this as more than a suggestion and certainly not as proper medical advice, but to check symptoms: Is the location in-line with the navel horizontally and roughly in-line with the end of one of your floating ribs going vertically? Is the pain a stabbing pain that'll make you stand up straighter rather than double over? I'd liken it to getting stabbed with a knife and then having the blade pull upward. Do the pains generally come within an hour or so of a meal? If yes, potentially gallstones. Apparently they can be hard to see on ultrasounds, or so I was told when I was checked out. Again, not a doctor. Pick your poison on how but, one way or another, try to lower your cholesterol. Avoid fatty foods (gets the gallbladder moving) and if you drink a lot of milk, switch to a lower percentage. Again, not saying it's what you have and very much do not take this as actual medical advice. The only reason I'm giving it is that this is probably good advice regardless.
  24. It was raining again all day yesterday, so the trails were out of the question again today. Humidity was high, around 85%, so I wouldn't have wanted to head into the woods anyway. Decided to go out on the roads again. Got talked into taking my parents' dog again, on the condition that they'd come pick him up when he was tired. So, I got him and headed out. About an hour later, I called and my dad came to get him and I continued on. I think it's the weather that's getting to him, especially with that fur, but he is getting better. At the end of the day, I'd gone 23887 paces and verified with google maps. Works out to a bit better than 17.5 km. My feet are sore, but with no new blisters, so either the conditioning or the proper socks did its job, or both. I'll be honest, I don't really care which it was. I am happy that, no matter how the rest goes, this actually marks an A on one of the goals. I didn't expect to get this far along until at least two more weeks in, but I was pushing the last two weeks due to weather issues. Either way, I call it a win.
  25. Thanks, I have to admit that I'm proud of how it's going so far. For the most part with changes, I'd say I've gained some definition. I haven't lost any noticeable weight, but then I never really expected to at this stage of the game. I am happy to say that I can do a small set of weak chin ups now (nose to the bar rather than chin) where I couldn't do more than one and a half before I started this. For the classes, sadly Parkour isn't really an option. I've scouted the area around where I live and there's nowhere I can reasonably go to practice. I may investigate further at some point, but I've shelved that for now. Karate is on hold due to attendance issues this summer. (It's held in a community center) Non-advanced belt adult classes aren't running until either late August or September, so that's past what I could put into the next challenge. Tai Chi is still running, though, and I've been with that for four or five months now. I can't think of what to put in there for the challenge, though, since it's already how I spend my evenings twice a week and that's all they offer. For the next challenge, I'm thinking I'll continue in the same vein as this one, but I'm looking into the Couch to 5K. I may do that with the modification that I can delay a workout in the schedule and do a hike instead. I've always enjoyed those.
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