CheshireCrab

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About CheshireCrab

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    Malcontent

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    ranger
  1. calisthenics

    So my fiancee has expressed interest in taking the two day wilderness survival class with me. However, she couldn't really get time off for dates I initially signed up for. Fortunately, the instructor moved me to the October class allowing her and I to take it together. But... This does mean I cannot complete one of the challenges on my list. Being the "completionist" that I am, I decided I am going to alternate this challenge with another, one that I can still do in the time remaining for this 4-week challenge. Mental Athletics During my excursion throughout South Dakota I spent some time reading the book Deep Work by Cal Newport. The book has a lot of interesting ideas to make you more productive more efficiently. One of the chapters I thought was the most fascinating was a piece about professional Mental Athlete, Daniel Kilov. Daniel specializes in memorization. He is so good at this that if you give him 5 minutes he can memorize the order of a randomly shuffled deck of 52-playing cards. The thing about Daniel though, was that his memory use to no where be near this good. When he was in high school he had horrible memory and did really bad in his academic studies. It wasn't until he started to take a year to intensely train himself in mental athletics did he manage to improve upon his memorization and become a professional mental athlete. His training not only resulted in him having a better memory, but it also had the unintentional side effect of improving his grades. This is due to the fact that he, like most mental athletes, build on an ability non mental athletes typically don't train. In which, "The biggest differences between memory athletes and the rest of us is in a cognitive ability that's not a direct measure of memory at all but of attention". Which basically means that Daniel is able to concentrate and focus on essential information much better than the typical person. Cal goes into more detail on how someone can become a mental athlete and learn to do card memorization, but at the end of the chapter he states that card memorization is not the only way to get into mental athletics. Instead, Cal says the same effect can be achieved by doing activities like productive meditation, practicing guitar, or anything that requires unwavering attention. New Challenge This chapter inspired me to go back and take up guitar and piano. I use to practice these back in my late highschool/early college years but stopped because I started to prioritize other activities in my life ahead of them. Although, it seems that spending a bit of time each day would have a significant long-term benefit towards being more productive. And so, my new challenge is to practice Guitar/Piano 30-45 minutes a day for 10 days. I feel like that block of time would be just enough for me to get it in without it being a significant strain on my schedule.
  2. calisthenics

    That sounds awesome Jedeiah! Do you have any hiking adventures/areas in mind?
  3. calisthenics

    Just got back from our multi-day excursion through South Dakota! Our prime focus for this trip was to climb up the state's highest peak: Black Elk Peak. Given that the trip to the Black Hills takes a couple of days, we didn't get around to starting our hike until midway through our camping trip. When we arrived to the Black Hills we did some research on the possible trails to get to the Peak. We found out that the most popular route to the Peak involved going into Custer State Park, which had a $20 entrance fee to get into. To our luck, we found out that the campground we were staying at, Willow Creek Horse Camp, also had a trail head that leads to the peak. On one hand, it means it will be an extra mile to get to the Peak on a more difficult terrain than the one via Custer. On the other, we'll save a couple of bucks! By early morning my fiancee and I loaded up our hiking backs with plenty of food and water water and food then hit the trail. The trail was approximately a 4.7 mile trek on mostly uphill terrain with extremely beautiful surroundings all around. The entire pathway was abundant with different types of quartz valued at the hills. My fiancee, the rock lover, couldn't help but stop every now and then to admire them. After a couple of hours of hiking we reached the halfway point and found the end point within eye sight. The 2-3 mile marker The latter half of the trail upward ended up being high up in the mountains, which meant we were cooled off with a nice breeze the rest of the way. Good thing too! With the high temperatures and sunny skies, the entire hike has already caused me to already be down 1 of 2 water bottles. After a few more miles of hiking we finally reached the high point of our venture. Giving us plenty of time to take pictures, eat some snacks, and get some rest. Black Elk Peak Lookout Tower Ascending the Tower Getting a nice rest Once we were rested up we made the descent down, which was admittedly a lot easier to do. After we got back to the car we rejoiced for completing our 9.4-mile hike and crossing off another high point off the list. Just one step closer to getting all 50 of them completed! Also managed to meet a Fito Quest requirement for completing a 8+ mile hike!
  4. I would still call myself a newbie to Krav Maga, but isn't Krav one of those Martial Arts you can't really do without another individual? It doesn't really focus on action rather it focuses on reaction. I remember asking my instructor about how I can train Krav at home and she informed me the best way is to focus on basic techniques(i.e. Palm strikes, punches, kicks) in order to retain familiarity of the movement, which in turn, will make you naturally faster at doing them. Otherwise working on improving your stamina, strength,and endurance becomes vital for being a better Krav Maga practitioner.
  5. calisthenics

    July 15th, 2017 - Today was the day of my first Tough Mudder! After hearing from several of my OCR friends that Tough Mudder is suppose to be a challenging and fun experience, I immediately signed up for the first upcoming one. I have to say that it was quite... the experience. *Couldn't really find any pictures of me during the race, instead opted to use photos found online Pre-Race A week prior to the race I was sent and e-mail with my designated start time. I was scheduled to run at 11 A.M., I arrived to the location about 10 minutes prior. The closest parking spot I could get was at least a 15-minute walk, and registration ended up taking a bit of a time. I ended up getting to the waiting zone at 11:20 A.M. I was put in the tardy party lane and needed to wait for the next available wave time to start running. I took advantage of this time to do a little warming up before I start running. Not too much, though, as it was above 90 degrees with high humidity, so just walking from the car ended up causing quite the sweat. After half an hour we were moved to a second waiting zone, then moved to a third and final waiting zone. As we waited, the hype-man started to get us energized for the race as well as explain some quick details about the race. It was about 12:30 P.M. and we were off. Running Start The race had a course map sent to us about a week prior to the race. It was going to be about eleven miles long with a water station set-up at every 2-mile marker. Being in the waiting zones for a good while made me really hot and dehydrated, so my main focus was to get to the first water station. I took a light jog through the course going through the first two obstacles. That first water station was a blessing, finally clenching my thirst since arriving at the first wait zone. As I progressed I started to get why the words "Community" and "Team Work" were thrown out a lot by the volunteers. A majority of these obstacles could not be completed individually. Obstacles like the Hero Carry(Carry another racer X distance) and Log Carry(Carry a 7-10 foot log up and down a hill) totally made sense for requiring at least 2-people to complete. Although, they also built several of them pretty subtly. Such as a few water obstacles that are slippery and high enough from the ground that you need a lift or pull to complete. A lot of these obstacles ended up being quite enjoyable. There were A LOT of water-based obstacles making almost every obstacle a nice cool-down from the hot sun. With the help of being caked in mud and rinsed off with water, I was quite cool for the majority of the race and could keep up a moderately paced run. Fallen Comrades Midway through the race I noticed an increased amount of races starting to slow down. With the temperature rising there were a lot more racers walking the course, and saw a total of 3-people needing to be carried off the course from heat exhaustion. I noticed one racer in particular ended up collapsing on the ground pretty close to a water station. I saw his team mates putting their arms in an overhead X position(The Tough Mudder signal that a racer needs help), but the volunteers didn't notice. I, being closer to the water station, did the same and managed to catch a volunteer's attention who immediately went towards the race to help. After running for 6-miles straight I started to notice I was experiencing early symptoms of heat exhaustion and started to slow down to a fast walking position. The latter half of the obstacles started to get backed up with people. Nearly every obstacle now had a line that would take about 5-15 minutes before being able to start doing. Some people started to also collapse during the middle of an obstacle. It became common practice among racers to finish an obstacle and then wait until the next person attempts it to see if they need any help. Home Stretch As I reached the 2nd to last water station I found, to my dismay, that the water station seemed to have been abandoned with a table flipped over and plastic cups scattered all over the place. To be honest, this was the point when I started to just walk the rest of the course. What encouraged me to keep at a faster-than-walking pace were the water stations, and seeing this just demotivated me from continuing that pace. Needless to say, the lines, post-obstacle waiting, and walking started to make the end of the race feel like it was dragging on. They didn't have any mileage markers so it was impossible to know how long we've been going unless you asked a volunteer. I also started to feel kind of bored. Comparing this race to a Spartan race, I found that these obstacles weren't challenging. If you were able to do a pull-up or hang on some monkey bars, then you were able to complete any of the non-team work required obstacles very easily. Plus having the option to skip any of the obstacles without being penalized(Like doing 30 burpees) just added to the feeling of not being challenged. When I crossed the finish line I can't say I was feeling all that proud I completed it. The Finish Line Once I crossed the finish line I was rewarded with a cup of water, a t-shirt, and a small baggy of pretzels. I went to the showers and waited in line for 15 minutes before washing up. I tried to eat my pretzels but I found that I was way too dehydrated to be able to swallow them. I left off to my car and drove to a nearby gas station to get a banana and a Powerade. I then sat in the shade and took a sip of the Powerade. I soon learned I was so dehydrated that my throat burned after taking a couple of sips from my drink. I slowly nursed my Powerade and ate my banana and pretzels before going home to wash-up. ___ Overall, I thought the race was a pretty fun experience. I can see why Tough Mudders are so popular with people with how much the course encourages the ideas of team work and endurance. However, I do not feel like it is the race for me. I don't believe I will ever do another Tough Mudder again but I am at least glad I got to experience running one.
  6. calisthenics

    Heya Jedeiah, thanks for checking in! Actually just got back from my trip in South Dakota last night. Will be posting more details soon Sure! The Fitocracy App works similar to the NF Academy App, in that you use gamification for working out. At its core it's a workout tracker where players gain Experience Points to Level Up with every workout tracked. Fitocracy has some Quests and Achievements that require you to do certain kind of workouts to gain bonus Experience Points. I like it A LOT! They have different workout groups that are extremely supportive and challenges that allow you to compete against others. Feel free to check it out: Fitocracy Website Just Googled each of those highpoints, they look absolutely beautiful! Congrats on completing Mt. Washington and good luck on doing Maine's High Point! If you have any pictures of your hiking experiences, I would love to see them!
  7. calisthenics

    What is that you say? Another 4-Week Challenge on the way? Last Challenge I ended up doing quite a few races and learned that my running... Could use some work. So for this challenge I will be more focused on earning some miles. Luckily for me, there is a PVP challenge happening that helps me accomplish just that! Looking ahead in July it looks like I'll be pre-occupied with a lot of hiking and camping, so I'll be taking a break from my Parkour and Martial Arts classes to save money for the trips. So for this month I'll be focused more on running, swimming, and calisthenics. I also found that I have been neglecting my photo journal and decided to spend a little bit of time on that. The past two challenges I found that working towards completing Nerd Fitness Quests was great motivation for sticking to a routine, so this challenge, I'll be doing the same! Quest Challenges Finish a Tough Mudder[POST] Run the 5K Bubble Run Run at least 10 miles a week[PVP] Swim 2 miles in Open Water Hike South Dakota's highest peak[POST] Non-Quest Related Challenges Completed 2 major programming projects Make 10 Posts for Personal Blog Make 30 Posts on Daily Photo Journal Complete 4 Fitocracy Quests[3/4] Practice Guitar/Piano 30-45 minutes a day ___________________ I think out of all of these Quests my biggest challenge will be swimming in open water. Last week I realized I have a fear of swimming alone in open water(I have an irrational fear that something is going to attack me in the water) and am concerned it'll be a problem for swimming long distances. I am going to try to battle my fear of swimming and see if I can push on through. I feel if I can swim 2-miles in Open Water I would have overcome my fear. Other than that, my non-Quest related challenges are mostly skills I have wanted to learn for a while but have never gotten around to doing it. I am hoping this would be a good way to encourage me to get started.