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Posts posted by realbrickwall

  1. "Week"..."end"...I don't think weeks have ends, Elastigirl. Pretty sure that's something you're making up.

    Hypothetically, though, where can I find good things that I can prepare well in advance? Most food doesn't seem to last five days. Peas porridge in a pot especially.

  2. Hey, guys! I need to stop in more. Sorry!


    I've been doing a bit poorly again this challenge. I think I've got a bit of an idea why. My job has been putting ridiculous demands on my schedule. I basically get scheduled for overtime automatically, and it's at completely unpredictable hours, with as little as 12 hours advance warning on occasions. It's really ridiculous. It's so bad that it's even getting in the way of me finding another job.


    Now, of course, 50-odd hours a week is not enough time to keep a person from working out. That's obvious. But it's sapping my willpower, and my inability to make plans at all makes me fall apart when it comes to getting things done. Unreliable schedules DESTROY me, especially when they are both unreliable and fairly demanding.


    I'm not giving up. Not on anything. But I'm being patient with myself and just trying to take little victories. I went on a run today because I thought it was nice out (it wasn't as nice as I thought and my hands and ears and feet hurt but I did very well which I will talk about soon). I managed 10 one-arm push-ups in a row a bit back. I'm still maintaining some pull-up strength. Just tiny things. But they're there.


    Alright, some specifics.


    Soldier Skills - I haven't done a single strength training session since my last update. Sad? Yes. I think I'm starting to get a little afraid of facing my lack of progress. Gotta fix that.

    Cool Runnings - The process of bundling up and facing the cold is something I have trouble bringing myself to do. It's not just a half-hour run to me. It's over an hour of preparation, exercise, and recovery. It's so much harder to commit to because I can't just put on the ol' workout clothes and take off. But I manage occasionally. I started C25K week 5 (finally), and after I got to the end of the day's run, I barely felt winded. I even sprinted about a block and a half on the way home just because (also I wanted to get out of the cold). I'm feeling pretty good about tackling the rest of the week. I still can't wait for the cold to go away, though.

    Earn the Shirt - Guys, I have not been eating well. At all. Being forced to eat unhealthy food as part of my job probably tipped the balance a little, but the lack of energy to go shopping and make my own food has just destroyed me. I still fit in my nice clothes, but I haven't lost a millimeter off my waist. I may even be just a tad chubbier. And yet, every time I contemplate making a meal, I just can't bring myself to do it. Even though I'm a decent cook. Even though I kind of like cooking. I just turn right back to sitting on my butt.

    Efficientize - I made great rules. And I haven't followed them at all. I heard of a program that can limit your browsing for you. I just might have to do that.


    I'm stuck in this spot of not knowing whether I'm failing because I'm bad or if I'm failing because of outside forces, and both options just make me miserable.


    I think I could use some help, you guys.

  3. Lots of current assassins are dancers and aerialists, some almost exclusively. Manipulation (hooping, staff, poi, basically anything that involves the manipulation of a prop) doesn't really fall under our sway necessarily, but we would totally be interested and supporting in it! But, then, so would other groups.


    If you're a performer, the acrobatic stylings of the assassins are probably for you. But, if you find another guild to be a better fit, go for it!

  4. Hey hey hey.


    Just a quick update before I head into work today.


    I've been doing somewhat poorly this challenge, and I think I know why: I'm trying to do too much. Workout six days a week, eat better, AND give up almost all the stuff I do to slack off? It's really biting off more than I can chew to try to develop all those habits at once, especially with my job being as stressful as it is right now.


    So, I'm going to take some time to try to adjust things a little. I want to encourage my personal growth, not stifle it by setting my time expectations too high. I always think of myself as old, but I really do have some time to focus on the most important things first, and develop other things slowly.


    Right now, I really need to develop my professional skills more than anything, so that I can get to working in my chosen field. This means that exercise will have to take a slight backseat. I will be making myself a somewhat more relaxed workout plan, but try to make it more rigid. More to come on this matter.

  5. I don't really have the time to go and dig up the article, but on Cracked, they had a "5 Downsides of Exercise that Nobody Tells You About". The only one I remember is that the more fit you get, the sooner you start sweating. Your body's sweat response just becomes faster and more powerful. You're getting more accustomed to having to cool down a lot of generated heat at short notice, basically.


    If you're getting fatigued faster, then be concerned. But if it's just sweat, then, well, you've discovered the dirty secret. Be good about your laundry.


    Cool Runnings: I need to go back in Japan where you can buy mens' five-toed socks for a dollar(-ish) per pair. I only manage to grab a couple pairs when I was there, and boy do you need them when it's cold and you're in Vibrams! Other than that, though, this is going well. Ran a half-mile for the first time in my whole life yesterday. And at the end of my running workout, I didn't feel completely depleted. Pretty sure I'll be totally doing a 5K for my birthday.

    Soldier Skills: Full bodyweight fitness program is go! I finally ditched the last weight-based from my workout, and I feel fantastic! My workouts still challenge me (doing chinups in the middle of a circuit makes me feel like my heart is actually going to burn a hole in my chest), but I enjoy them more. I don't foresee anything stopping me from pushing my way to some serious strength. I think I might even manage a handstand push-up by the end of it all!

    Earn the Shirt: I finally got around to measuring my waist. It's 31 inches, which it's been hovering near for a while. Thus, I've set my goal: get AND MAINTAIN below 30. That means for the last week of my challenge, I want to be able to measure daily and never be 30 or over. I'm going to start looking into a good calorie counter.

    Efficientize: Starting tomorrow, I am going to start timing my showers. They are such long affairs...and they shouldn't be! If I can shower faster, I'll have more time for other stuff. Simple as that!

  7. Welcome back RBW! I'm looking forward to see the Soldier Skills work!



    I actually may re-tool this a bit, combining the special ops fitness routines with Nerd Fitness rebel workouts. The military book has me doing 6 days of body area focus, and I hate both of those, so I think 3 days of all-around workouts using the book as a guide will be a good idea. Also, the book reminds me that I should really try to pick up swimming skills. That's one area I do not look to Altair for inspiration in,

    Another thing the book reminded me to do is rucksack walks. Minimum 30 lbs backpack on a 30-minute walk over rough terrain is something I should train myself to do easily. But that is low on the list after strength training, running, and swimming, and there is much more to my life than fitness!


    RBW! Excellent to see you're back! :)


    First off, that shirt is awesome!  Second, perhaps for your 3rd goal (the t-shirt one) you could measure your existing waist line/pants size and shoot for decreasing it 2/3 sizes?  Just a thought on how to make it measureable.


    Also, MAJOR props for running in the cold!  Can't wait to see your progress!


    - Michael


    Yeah, I think 1-2 inches off the belly is a realistic goal. Lower grades will probably involve me not losing as much as I like but still sticking to my diet well.

    Running in the cold with proper equipment isn't as bad as I thought it would be! I even have a balaclava if I ever need it (I need to find it, though). I just need to find some place with clear sidewalks. Still, if you like running, you should totally do it!




    I got started with a program called Evernote which is basically a personal cloud. I'm hoping that keeping track of my creative ideas, projects, et cetera no matter where I am will help me lead a more efficient life.

    I hope to look at other Assassins' threads tomorrow and pick some padawans and some inspirations for me to Follow so I'm not tempted to come browse the forum multiple times per day. Once is enough, once I have threads tracked.

  8. Welp, I schlepped down to the athletic wear part of Target today and got some stuff! A compression shirt, long mesh pants, a long-sleeved undershirt, and long underpants. Just one of each, but on milder days like today, I only need to use one or the other for each body half. It cost a lot of dough for even that little!


    I tried myself on Week 3 of C25K today, and I made it. I actually made a mistake and didn't give myself as much rest time as I was supposed to. Oh, well! The only issue was that the sidewalks are covered in uneven 3-inch ice, slush, and snow. I was dodging icy areas and getting my feet wet the whole time, and wet feet in winter is bad! My toes were numb when I walked in the doot.


    But, all in all, I was just so happy after my run. I raised my hands in the air and walked with vigor. Then http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA0LbKipmRs'>this song came on. And now I'm hungry so I'm going to eat a ton of meat and also a clementine.


    lemongranita, a tip I found is to go out feeling like just one more layer will make you comfortable. Running works as the substitute for that one layer. Covering your ears and hands is important, though, since circulation won't get them well enough!

  9. In the Assassins' order, the only true failures are those who do not have the mettle to stay.


    Last challenge, I did not do well. Did I meet some goals? Yes. I did. And I am still doing better for myself than I did before NerdFitness. But I am not pushing myself as hard as I can. In my first two challenges, I defied the obstacles that made fitness difficult for me. In my third challenge, I let those obstacles control me. I can't let that happen again.


    In my first challenge, I taught myself to be better at fitness. I must re-learn this. I remember what needed to happen to get me there. And so, I am following my old path. Like Altair, I will become an even greater master by becoming a student once again.


    Goal 1: Cool Runnings - It's winter, and winter sucks for running. It really does. But I see people out running anyway. I have no REAL excuse. However, I understand that undertaking such an endeavor requires proper equipment. I can't just run in sub-freezing weather wearing my gym shorts and a t-shirt. I need a winter fitness wardrobe. And, since I'm employed again, I can buy one! I am planning to start with a NF hoodie and some sort of sweatpants from Target, but we'll see where this takes me. I will grade myself based on how well I stick to running after I go shopping this Wednesday or Thursday (I'm not sure which is my day off). I will be following C25K.


    Goal 2: Soldier Skills - For the holidays, my parents got me a book of military training regimens. It's 90% bodyweight stuff. I am going to pick a regimen that I can do, maybe mod it a little for strength (I would prefer to do 3 1-h push-ups than 30 push-ups, for example), and just do it. Having a program made my first challenge WORK, so I'm doing that. I will grade this by program stick-to-it-ness.


    Goal 3: Earn the Shirt - My friend, asshole that he is, got me a present too. I jokingly asked him for a t-rex (since I didn't want to do gift exchanges this year, having little opportunity to get gifts while unemployed and in a foreign country with limited bag space). He got me this shirt. Now, since using that shirt properly will require me to have a nice belly (though it's much nicer than it used to be, allowing me to wear pants that show off my backside, it's still a bit of a gut), I need to keep trimming down! Paleo worked for me once, and I think it just might work for me again. It might even be easier with my roommate also being paleo-ish. I will grade this by stomach size, though I can't say for sure I know what an A should be right now.


    Life Goal: Efficientize - A lot of what I have to get over when I want to do productive stuff is how LOOONG it will take. Yes, I know, it deserves the time, but the daunting task of packing it all in one day is scary! So...I'm learning to do that better. UFYH will help me with cleaning, but the rest is up to me! Much of my work will involve actually timing myself on things and learning from the experience. I carry a stopwatch in my pocket (and on my wrist) already, so what's stopping me? I'm also efficientizing my internet usage! I've already turned my webcomic experience into a single RSS feed. If I can get forum subscriptions on there, I'm basically going to cut my internet usage by like a quarter, but I'd be willing to settle for e-mail subscriptions. Not sure how to grade this yet.

  10. Okay, REAL UPDATE.


    My first goal, to lose enough fat that I was too skinny for my belt, was a rousing success. I gained a TEENY bit of weight back, but I'm still skinny enough that my belt can be tightened beyond its last hole around my waist. I bought myself new pants to celebrate, and let me tell you all, my butt looks great in them.


    I didn't make any progress on kip-ups. Lack of a clean house or usable outdoor space were demotivating, I think.


    I did not have any success in finding a fitness group. It is surprisingly difficult to research martial arts studios, I couldn't reach the campus parkour club, and I couldn't even find anything else. Blech. I'm not happy about that.


    Life direction...sort of. I'm getting into self-education. I'm working on programming and math skills, and I can use those in a lot of places. I'm still working towards what I originally wanted to do. I don't hate it yet, but then, I don't have a job in it yet. Entry-level language jobs are just not much of a thing. But, hey, if programming pans out, I might be able to use that as a foot-in-the-door to a company that might ALSO need someone who can speak Japanese (and also just make more money than freaking fast food).

  11. Man, I failed December.


    1 - Lose the belt: A - +3 CON, +1 CHA

    2 - Kip-up: F

    3 - Group fitness: F

    4 - Direction: C - +1.5 WIS

    More detail when I'm not thumb-typing.

    I think I'll be back on track next challenge, at least.

  12. I disappeared, but I'm BACK AGAIN.

    As soon as I touched down in the United States, I got sick. I thought I was back, but I wasn't. And then, a few days later, I got better, but I kept slacking off (except for the one day I went to the rock-climbing gym). It was AWFUL.

    I told myself I couldn't come back here until I got myself back in gear. Well, today, I worked out for the first time since Japan. I call that geared up.


    Diet: Uhhh...I think I might have reached my goal on this one. I may not have been exercising much, but my dieting habits seem to be keeping up well. I haven't gone back to paleo yet, but I'm working up to it. At the very least, I am watching what I eat!

    Also, the fat I lost in Japan seems to show. To the point where my friends could tell I lost weight in the dark without seeing anything but my face. Even looking at my progress photos, I can only tell by looking at my gut. Guess I'm just not that perceptive!

    Kip-ups: Haven't been able to do much, but I cleared out a space in my living room (finally). I hope this ointment I have will work for rug-burns, though...

    Group fitness: I've tried a couple avenues, but found nothing. Martial arts studio may be my only choice. Hope I can afford it...

    Getting my life on track: ...I'll get back to y'all on that one :(

  13. Wait. Sorry, pause please? Stop, stop.

    *checks shirt color*

    Yeah, okay, nevermind. We're good here. You can hit play again.

    Anyway, I'M BACK. And sick (life lesson: avoid spending over 24 hours in rooms, mostly airtight, full of an ever-changing parade of strangers). BUT MOSTLY BACK.

    Upon my return home, I totally hit up my pull-up bar. I wasn't feeling up to my max, but I pumped a few out anyway. Felt awesome. Not just because I could work without pinching my finger skin. Pads are awesome.

    I've been doing well on my diet, too! I can pull my belt to the point where there would be an eighth hole. I'm nearing my goal! Just gotta keep working.

    Speaking on that note, I'm getting to the point where things that are loose around my waist can barely go down an inch or three before things get too wide. My waist is shrinking more than my butt, I guess. Oddly enough, I checked with a measuring tape, and it's only a little bit down (like an inch, inch-and-a-half) from the end of August, even though all my clothes, even the ones I haven't been wearing, are a good deal looser. Me confused, but I'll continue to try and slim down.

    I hope to be more active in the community again once this damn airplane-cold goes away.
  14. In my videogame experience, when you're leveling up in a class, if you don't like it at lower levels, you're unlikely to enjoy it at higher levels unless there's some significant and unusual switch. Of course, I never managed to get a character to max level in WoW, even when that was level 60 (get off my lawn, crazy kids), so I guess I don't really have room to talk.

    All I know is that I'm leveling up in Japanese right now and I don't like the level progression that I'm looking at here. And I don't have the prereqs to start leveling in anything else.

    As bad as Funimation translations can be, believe it or not, you do need a certain level of fluency to get hired as a translator (or teacher, for that matter). And I just don't have it yet.

  15. Directly related to my challenge, but I bet most of the people viewing this haven't intensely browsed the Assassins challenge forum. So, here's the skinny.

    Five years ago, I entered university. After one year, I took a Japanese class, and I loved it so much that I changed my major. I spent a summer in Japan and really enjoyed it. Cool, right?

    Well, after I graduated, I couldn't find any jobs related to my field, so I ended up working at Chipotle. Then a year later, I finally managed to make it over to Japan in a volunteer program. And that's where I am now.

    And, after 80 highly unpleasant days, I'm pretty sure this isn't what I want to do with my life.

    Don't get me wrong: I know that my negative experience here has nothing to do with what country it is. But I've had a lot of reflection on my language acquisition and my career prospects, and spending time away from people I know, and having no deep personal connections that I can see with any frequency at all. I'm really not feeling it.

    So, I have no money and a low-paying job to go back to. I don't want to keep pursuing the career in the field I paid for an education in. And I have no idea what I do want to do.

    I really need help. And, unfortunately, the people who would be normally best-equipped to help me (my very intelligent and successful parents) would basically just suggest I get a "safe" career that would be soul-crushing for me. I understand their point, but I kind of like my soul. Thus, I turn to you, internet.

    Right now, I'm gathering up all the free education I can and trying to get back into academics (I miss studying). But I can't really get back into university without a lot more money. And I can't get a lot more money without a good-paying job. And I can't get a good-paying job without related education. But I think you've heard this all before.

    Oh, and FYI, going the soul-crushing route would also take a long, difficult time. Just without the reward of doing something I enjoy.

    And I guess it's important that I don't repeat the whole "welp, don't want to keep doing THIS thing I've invested years of my money and life into" thing.

  16. Blargh, I hate internet deprivation.

    The little exercise I've been able to get in the past couple days has at least kept me secure in the knowledge that I am successfully maintaining. I can still perform at the levels I barely reached a few weeks ago. But I'm really not advancing. Blech. Only a couple more days of this shit.

    Getting a little more comfortable at my 7th belt notch, but I did not eat healthily today, or get exercise. Big village festival means lazing around and eating horrible food. Honestly, I think I need to try intermittent fasting to break this diet plateau, because food choice is going to be impossible for another two weeks.

    Had a long talk today with a friend (one of the other volunteers, and the only one I really get along with) about life directions and philosophy and history and the human condition and shit. It didn't help me find direction much, but I'm really starting to realize that the way I'm going is just not satisfying, and may never be satisfying for me. Not any kind of epiphany, but baby steps are just as important in self-evaluation as they are in fitness.

    And, seriously, all those goddamn sweets and stuff are making me feel like crap. Tomorrow is meat and vegetable Monday.

  17. Strength training in early childhood (like infancy to about 7 or 8 years old) is problematic, but as a teenager? Puberty is a biological system designed to gear us up for athletic (and sexual) activity. You're meant to be training at this stage in your life. Yes, sports injuries can weaken you a bit in old age, but unhealthy habits will do you far worse.

  18. Taking a 1-week break from actual training to re-calibrate isn't a bad idea. Try to get in some light exercise during that time, but no pressure.

    Meantime, there are approximately a gazillion exercise programs for you to look into. I promise that there is SOMETHING fitness-related that you will enjoy. You just need to keep looking. It's true that doing calisthenics without a strong motivation is pretty unpleasant, but this forum alone has multiple guilds for stuff other than calisthenics. Warriors who do weights (and more), scouts who do running (and more), druids who do yoga (and more), monks who do martial arts (which I admit often involves calisthenics)...honestly, you've got a lot to try before you need to take a step back to re-think things. Keep on moving forward, brother.

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