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Ballad

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About Ballad

  • Rank
    Newbie
    Newbie
  • Birthday 03/10/1990

Character Details

  • Location
    Toronto, Canada
  • Class
    druid
  1. My god am I late to this party. Your challenge looks awesome, and I am excitedly anticipating you telling us about how you killed the competition on March 12th! YES. Good call! I think you'll find this much more straightforward when the challenge ends. So, that song is fantastic. Thanks for linking! Any chance you'll be videotaping your final routine on the 12th? I would love to see how this turns out!
  2. Ballad

    Maegs Catches Up

    Speaking of catching up... I'm here! Super late, but I'm here! xx Ha! Yeah girl, I feel you.
  3. Ack! That sounds terrible. We'll definitely hold another meet-up - ideally one where you're not dying from the flu. Looking forward to meeting you next time!
  4. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments & support! It's lovely to know that you're rooting for me. I'm going to completely disregard my 11pm sleep challenge tonight because I feel great and want to give a long overdue update (sorry!!). Today was a really good day. I had lovely conversations with colleagues and friends, and the students & fellow volunteers I saw after work today made me laugh so hard that I may be able to count this as my Abs workout. I've been feeling a bit gray lately - meaning, really not feeling much on one end of the spectrum or the other. It's different than feeling calm - more like an absence of emotion rather than an ease of emotion. I don't like it. Today, though, I felt JOY. So much joy that I couldn't stop smiling when I came home. This feels good. Really, really good. ---- Challenge Update: And we're 1/3 of the way there! My 11pm sleep challenge is a bit of a hit and miss, but overall I've been going to sleep much earlier than last month. I've also been reading more & getting up earlier, which are awesome side effects. The other 3 challenges are going well. It's too early to tell if the meditation or gratitude lists are having a positive effect on stress, but I've been enjoying the practice and do feel more level-headed at work. What I know for sure is that exercise, while not part of my challenge, has definitely been having a positive impact. No surprise there. I'll be in the States for work next week, so my mini-goal is to make time for the gym while I'm there. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to catching up with all of your challenges! Cheers, Meaghan PS. maegs, you may be happy to know that I haven't touched caffeinated coffee this month! Not. A. Drop.
  5. Gym Log: February 7th Back & Biceps 1. Hammer Strength Lat Pull 40lb x 10 x 140lb x 7 x 140lb x 5 x 12. Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 60lb x 10 x 260lb x 7 x 13. Seated Narrow Grip Cable Pull 55lb x 10 x 255lb x 6 x 14. Back Extensions 10lb x 10 x 210lb x 8 x 15. Barbell Row 40lb x 10 x 36. Barbell Curl 20lb x 10 x 37. Alternate Hammer Curl 10lb x 10 x 38. Incline Dumbbell Curl 10lb x 10 x 39. Cardio (treadmill, 5.5 incline) 5 min warm-up @ 3.7 speed30 sec sprint at 6.0 speed / 1 min walk at 3.7 speed30 sec sprint at 6.5 speed / 1 min walk at 3.7 speed30 sec sprint at 7.0 speed / 1 min walk at 3.7 speed30 sec sprint at 7.5 speed / 1 min walk at 3.7 speed30 sec sprint at 8.0 speed / 1 min walk at 3.7 speed30 sec sprint at 9.0 speed / 1 min walk at 3.7 speed5 min 40 sec cool-downTotal distance: 1.3 miles
  6. Gym Log: February 5th Legs 1. Leg Extensions 65lb x 10 x 265lb x 7 x 12. Dumbbell Squats Body x 10 x 125lb x 10 x 33. Dumbbell Lunges 7.5lb x 10 x 110lb x 10 x 24. Single Leg Dumbbell Lunge 5lb x 10 x 25lb x 5 x 15. Lying Leg Curls 40lb x 10 x 150lb x 10 x 26. Standing Calf Lift 95lb x 10 x 2115lb x 10 x 17. Plank Body x 2 min 30 sec x 1
  7. Gym Log: February 1st Chest & Triceps 1. Assisted Push-Ups Body x 20 x 1Body x 8 x 1Body x 5 x 12. Bench Dips Body x 10 x 33. Dumbbell Bench Press 10lb x 10 x 34. Flat Bench Dumbbell Flyes 10lb x 10 x 35. Triceps Pulldown 17.5lb x 10 x 217.5lb x 5 x 16. Standing Triceps Extension 12.5lb x 10 x 112.5lb x 7 x 112.5lb x 6 x 1
  8. Gym Log: January 24th [A delayed entry] Back & Biceps 1. Hammer Strength Lat Pull 30lb x 10 x 240lb x 5 x 12. Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 60lb x 10 x 33. Seated Narrow Grip Cable Pull 55lb x 10 x 34. Back Extensions 10lb x 10 x 35. Barbell Row 40lb x 10 x 36. Barbell Curl 20lb x 10 x 37. Alternate Hammer Curl 10lb x 10 x 210lb x 7 x 18. Incline Dumbbell Curl 10lb x 10 x 110lb x 7 x 29. Plank Body x 1 min x 3
  9. Thank you, maegs & tei_, for coming out this afternoon! It was so lovely to meet you both in person. My whole body is a happy kind of sore from skating. Plazmotic and Twilight, I'm looking forward to meeting you both next time.
  10. Challenge Tracker Quest #1: Go to sleep by 11pm on weekdays (Sun-Thurs) and 2:30am on weekends/holidays (Fri-Sat). [6/26 Days] 23%23% Feb. 1st - 11pm [Complete] Feb. 2nd - 11pm [Complete] Feb. 3rd - 11:15pm [incomplete] Feb. 4th - 11pm [Complete] Feb 5th - 11:30pm [incomplete] Feb. 6th - 12:40am [Complete] Feb. 7th - 2:00am [Complete] Feb. 8th - 12:15am [incomplete] Feb. 9th - 11pm [Complete] Feb. 10th - 12:15am [incomplete] Feb. 11th - 11:40pm [incomplete] Feb. 12th - 11:45pm [incomplete] Quest #2: Make breakfast at home 3 times/week. Exceptions made for travel. [1/4 Weeks] 33%33% Feb. 1st - Incomplete [W1] Feb. 2nd - Complete [W1] Feb. 3rd - Incomplete [W1] Feb. 4th - Complete [W1] Feb. 5th - Incomplete [W1] Feb. 6th - Complete [W1] Feb. 7th - Complete [W1] Feb. 8th - Complete [W2] Feb. 9th - Incomplete [W2] Feb. 10th - Incomplete [W2] Feb. 11th - Incomplete [W2] Feb. 12th - Complete [W2] Quest #3: Do at least 5 minutes of meditation per day. [11/26 Days] 42%42% Feb. 1st - 5 min Feb. 2nd - 5 min Feb. 3rd - 5 min Feb. 4th - 6 min Feb. 5th - 5 min Feb. 6th - 10 min Feb. 7th - 10 min Feb. 8th - 5 min Feb. 9th - 5 min Feb. 10th - 5 min Feb. 11th - 5 min Life Quest: Write a daily gratitude list containing at least 3 items. [11/26 Days] 42%42% Feb. 1st - Complete Feb. 2nd - Complete Feb. 3rd - Complete Feb. 4th - Complete Feb. 5th - Complete Feb. 6th - Complete Feb. 7th - Complete Feb. 8th - Complete Feb. 9th - Complete Feb. 10th - Complete Feb. 11th - Complete
  11. Ballad's Challenge [#2] “And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?†― Rumi 2016 Epic Quest: Develop mental fortitude, discipline, and kindness. I'm very excited to officially join the Druids for my second challenge. For this challenge, I'll continue to focus on mental health and wellness - this time, with more of a focus on gratitude and being present. All of my challenges will be ongoing throughout February. I hope to continue to cement habits that I've been working on and build up new ones. For those of you who followed along on my first challenge, this format may look familiar (why mess with a good thing?). Quest #1: Go to sleep by 11pm on weekdays (Sun-Thurs) and 2:30am on weekends/holidays (Fri-Sat). I'm still working on the sleep thing. My last challenge took me out of the sleep deprivation cycle. This challenge, I intend to continue building better sleep habits by getting to bed before midnight on a regular basis. A+: 26 days A: 22-25 days B: 18-21 days C: 14-17 days D: 13 days F: Less than 13 days Quest #2: Make breakfast at home 3 times/week. [exceptions made for travel] Because breakfast at home means more energy right when I wake up and less money spent. Win/win. Week 1: Pass/Fail Week 2: Pass Fail Week 3: Pass/Fail Week 4: Pass/Fail Bonus: Remove caffeinated coffee from my diet for the month of February. Quest #3: Do at least 5 minutes of meditation per day. I want to build the habit of meditation into my life. The goal is less stress, more mindfulness, and increased mental resilience. A+: 26 days A: 22-25 days B: 18-21 days C: 14-17 days D: 13 days F: Less than 13 days I've also included one life quest. I plan to link this to my meditation quest by writing the list after I meditate. Life Quest: Write a daily gratitude list containing at least 3 items. Sometimes, I get so caught up in the negatives that I forget to stop and be thankful for all of the goodness in my life. I'm looking forward to this daily practice of gratitude. A+: 26 days A: 22-25 days B: 18-21 days C: 14-17 days D: 13 days F: Less than 13 days So, what happens when I succeed? I get access to the treasure pile, where treasures stack. Complete all 4 quests: Book a massage + bragging rights. Complete 3 quests: Purchase The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman. Complete 2 quests: Buy a new lipstick from MAC. Complete 1 quest: Watch a movie/documentary from my Netflix list. Please feel free to follow along, cheer me on, and ask about my progress! Cheers, Meaghan
  12. @Rihor - Thanks! I will say that I'm probably way too excited to spend my own money on the reward pile, haha.
  13. I'm looking forward to meeting you all! I'll be the girl in a black coat, purple infinity scarf, & black-rimmed glasses.
  14. January 2016: Challenge Wrap-Up And the January challenge comes to a close! So, how did I do? Quest #1: Sleep for 7-8 hours per night [26/26 Days] This quest alternated between being difficult and being straightforward. If I didn't set myself a minimum goal of 7 hours of sleep, I definitely would have seen a few 5 or 6-hour nights this month (and that's a bad habit spiral that I don't want to re-visit). Tracking the number of hours I slept each night encouraged me to be more conscious of how sleep affects my energy and health, and I've realized that hitting the minimum of 7 hours is not my ideal place to me. I'm much more functional with a good 8 hours of sleep each night. Another issue that came up for me was that I didn't have much time in the mornings if I went to bed at 12:30am or 1am, because I was letting myself sleep in to keep up with the 7 hour minimum. I'll be addressing this in my next challenge. Quest #2: Drink 1 glass of water each morning [26/26 Days] This was an awesome quest for me. I got into the water drinking habit pretty quickly, and it translated to me drinking much more water throughout the day. This helped my energy levels, my physical health, and my skin. I definitely plan to continue this habit throughout 2016. The positive effects were huge. Quest #3: Book a doctor's appointment [incomplete/Complete] It took be forever to book an appointment - but I did it (thank you to everyone who held me accountable)! I visited my doctor this week, and have a couple of follow-up appointments that I've already booked. Life Quest: Read 2 books between Jan. 4th - Jan. 29th [2/2 Books] I read two great books during this challenge: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I had some trouble building in the time to read, and definitely spent some time on Friday night finishing up Hemingway's book so that I could meet the challenge deadline. One of the benefits of this challenge is that it made me remember how much I love reading during long chunks of time. Another benefit is that it made me more conscious of how I'm spending my time. I adore books, but didn't prioritize them during 2015. I think I can change that during 2016. While I won't be including reading in my next challenge, I still plan to read 3 books during the month of February to keep myself on track for my Goodreads challenge. Not too shabby! This was an enjoyable challenge for me, and really helped to build a few keystone habits. There's still a long way to go (just bought a 32oz water bottle to bring to work on Monday!), but this was a great start. It feels good to be actively addressing stress and my mental health. I will say that my treasure pile was a huge motivator for this challenge. It forced me to put some time into finishing Hemingway before Friday came to an end, since I really wanted that facial. I've been planning to go with my best friend sometime in Feb, so I'm glad I made that push. Since treasures stack, I get the full load: Complete all 4 quests: Get a facial or sign up for a class (singing, improv, yoga, wine), + bragging rights Complete 3 quests: Buy a new workout top Complete 2 quests: Cook (and eat!) a delicious meal with friends, complete with wine Complete 1 quest: Guilt-free "me time" day Boo yah. Big thanks to everyone who followed along and supported me during this challenge! I didn't update too frequently, but your comments, likes, and encouragement were extremely helpful. I'm very grateful to you all! xx
  15. @tei_ - Thank you for the recommendation! I'll definitely have to check it out now that it has 2 recs. (Also, book that appointment!) @RMDC - That just solidifies me having to listen to Night Vale. Thanks for the rec!
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