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  1. I was torn about doing a challenge this round because my mom is getting worse and I'm struggling to care about much besides how I can help my dad out. Yet, I found that writing down what I plan to do helps me care a little bit about caring for myself. It's also nice to see that despite the chaos that surrounds me I'm still making progress on my goals. So here's my challenge for the next four weeks. Maintain my daily yoga streak. Today is day 371. I meant to post a celebratory post in the Woot Room section for my 365 days in a row milestone but I didn't get to it because of other things going on. Eat 5 fruits or veggies a day. I've been pretty lax with what I'm consuming because of emotions so I figure I'll start making small steps to cleaning up my eating. I've been keeping track in my head, but I'll log it on my phone so I have documented progress. A simple yes or no is my logging method. Continue rehab for my ankle and knee daily. I met with a surgeon last Friday for my foot. Even though my progress is slow he thinks the physical therapy is helping. I'm weaning myself out of the lovely walking boot into an ankle brace that is reminiscent of old fashioned leather boots with lots of eyelets and laces (I put a picture of it in the post). It is not comfortable but if I understand correctly this is what I get to wear for a long while (it may be for the rest of my life, I can't remember and made a note to ask at my next appointment). I'm still trying to wrap my head around the list of what I can't do ever again. It's quite lengthy. At the moment, I'll be happy if I can walk around my house with nothing besides regular shoes and orthotics. Writing five days a week or five hours. I have a romantic comedy novel draft that is waiting for me to edit it. Despite the things going on, I'd like to make time to work on it because it's a nice distraction. I put the hour goal also because I don't know what each day holds for me. I inherited my mom's clients (she's a web programmer) so I have extra work to sort through to figure out what I can do and what I need to hire out. My writing time may be done more in chunks of time instead of daily depending on what her clients need. Thank you so much for following and reading what I post. It means a lot.
  2. This round my challenge is going to be fewer so I stop beating myself up for what I don't get done and can be more adaptable to the needs of family as Christmas approaches. My main challenge for this round: Continue my yoga streak. Today is day 331. Since January 4, 2016, I have been doing yoga every day without missing a single day. While this is quite an accomplishment on its own, I managed to do it through ACL surgery and ankle troubles. Since April I have had no use to very limited use of my left leg. Yesterday, I almost tossed the streak out the window because I found out that there is a strong possibility that I may need foot surgery (PTTD and "rearrangement of my foot"). As I type, I'm on crutches and can't put any weight on my foot because I have a torn tendon in my ankle. What's the point in continuing my yoga streak if I'm bored with the few videos I have found and feel extremely discouraged about what the future holds? This evening, I had a EUREKA! moment thanks to a guy who continued his yoga practice with a broken femur. https://youtu.be/OBNPAEQ2Kak The video showed me how to adapt some of my favorite yoga sequences without putting weight on my leg. I did a test run this evening and couldn't keep from grinning. So my yoga streak continues. My goal is to get 365 days of not missing a single day of practice. Care to join me for the last stretch? My side challenges: Swim when I can. At this point, if I can get once a week I'll be happy. My mom is dying of an incurable form of ovarian cancer and I find pool time is hard to squeeze in because I'm at my parents' house a lot more frequently these days. Edit my novel. Since I can't walk without crutches I may as well take advantage of the sitting around time and continue to edit my novel. I'm about halfway done. If I can get at least 3 hours a week logged my goal is a success. I would be super happy if I could have it completed by December 31, but because of the other things happening in my life I don't need any more pressure. Keep up with other NF threads. I'm bummed I've fallen behind the past few rounds. Yes, I know I have good reasons, but I really enjoy the community. So this round, I'll give myself permission to be more social.
  3. I'm a bit behind on my activity on the forum because of craziness. I'm finding myself yearning for a peaceful spot, which means I'm not making things that are important to me a priority. With that in mind, my goals for this challenge are: Maintain my yoga streak. I'm totally amazing myself with this one. I've done yoga for 303 days straight. It's the only thing I've stayed consistent with despite intense schedules, ACL replacement (knee surgery), ankle tendinitis, travel, and juggling family needs. At the moment, it's probably one of the best things for my mind and I plan to keep it going. Resume my knee rehab and improve my swimming. My knee rehab hasn't been happening due to ankle tendinitis and not being able to stand for long periods or walk very far. My ankle is doing better, so I'm hoping that soon I'll be able to actually do the exercises that will get me back to my old sports (climbing, taekwondo, advanced yoga poses, hiking in the woods). In the mean time, swimming seems to be a good alternative. My goal is to get to the pool at least 3 times a week. I'm not a super huge fan of swimming because I find it boring. However, it is one of the few activities I can do without pain at the moment. I figure I can either complain - boo! Or learn how to make it fun - yeah! My first goal is to master the front crawl. My coordination needs improvement. I found a site that gives some suggested drills to master the technique (http://www.enjoy-swimming.com/learn-how-to-swim.html). I figure I'll see how it goes. Right now, if I push myself, I can get one length of the pool (25 yards) in 27 seconds. I think if I can get all limbs, head, and breathing sorted out I'll be able to go much faster. Edit my novel. I've had much angst over the last few weeks about whether or not to participate in NanoWriMo (write 50,000 words in a month). It's been a tradition, but because of some major things going on in life I decided not to subject myself to the pressure. Instead, I want to finish editing my novel draft so that it is ready to send out by the end of the year. This round I'd like to do a minimum of 15 minutes 5 days a week editing my novel. Because of unpredictability, if I get 2 hours and 15 minutes in per week it counts as meeting my minimum even if it is done in a day versus 5. Paint Painting is my outlet for relaxation and I've dropped it the last few rounds. However, after having a migraine that wiped me out for a week, I figure I better work in a little relaxation. At least two times a week, I'd like to paint. In order for it to count, I need to post it here. I think I'll schedule a couple times on my calendar so that I don't forget. That's my plan until something hits the fan...
  4. PARTY TIME!!!! Hooray! I'm in the party zone for the next 100 days. I know 100 days of partying could be a bit excessive in the real world, but in my imagination parties can happen for the next 100 days. In truth, I created the title because my other idea, "Jayniana Jones, her final 100 days," sounded too depressing. Anyways, the party zone is because today is day 265 of my daily yoga streak which means I'm only 100 days from reaching 365 days in a row. Some of the obstacles I overcame in my first 265 days included an ACL repair knee surgery (I actually woke at 4:00am to do yoga the day of my surgery), family emergencies, tendonitis in my ankle bad enough I wasn't able to stand on my foot for 8 weeks without immense pain (it's almost better), and a very jammed pack schedule, which a few times I had almost forgotten the yoga streak and pulled myself out of bed to do a yoga session. This is the longest I've stuck with any fitness related goal and I feel compelled to continue to see how long I can keep it going. Day 365 is my next reward milestone. For this challenge here are my goals: Keep my yoga streak going. I'm worried about messing up because my crazy schedule is going to get worst. My mom has an incurable form of ovarian cancer and sadly every few weeks she is unable to do more and more things. I'm on call whenever my parents need help and, of course, bringing the teens over on a regular basis to visit. Resume ACL rehab. I had to put the rehab on hold until I could get my ankle/foot pain under control. As of Friday, I got permission to slowly increase my activity. I managed a mile walk today with minimal inflammation so, hopefully, in a few more days I'll be normal. Normal activity level is 5 days per week. Review Nerd Academy. Since the Nerd Academy updates wiped out my quests, I decided it was a good time to review the course material and make some tweaks on my eating habits. I've been eating junk in response to emotions and stressors and I need to stop. I'm not sure of the best way to evaluate this or what kind of goal to place on it. I'm thinking it may be a daily review or somehow trying to catch myself in the act. Writing fiction 10 minutes a day. This one is to rebuild the habit. I've been avoiding my rewrite and figure since the streak goal is working for yoga, I may be able to apply it to my writing. Once I'm actually at the computer working on my writing I don't often move away for at least an hour. It's the starting that I struggle with. I set things up so that I can work on my writing from my computer, iPad, or good ol' fashioned notebook. Add to my art journal. Sadly, last round my art journal didn't get as much attention as I wanted it too. I'm teaching myself watercolor, but my art journal doesn't need to be limited to watercolor. The point is to do a fun activity just for me. This round I'd like to make an entry at least three times a week. Anything from a tiny painting to a full page will be fine. At least I took my paints out to practice. So that's the plan this round. Hopefully, life doesn't get too out of control. I would love it if every day felt like a party this time so that I don't have to stumble through things.
  5. Right now I'm on a rollercoaster that I can't get off of. There are really great days and some not so great days. What I'd like to do is give myself a steady, predictable routine to carry me through the low parts. I'm not fond of schedules where I have to do things at certain times of the day, however, I think experimenting with a routine that covers the things I want to do may be a good idea because I'm getting tired of feeling disappointed with myself for not getting the things that matter to me done. My responsibilities are shifting over the next few weeks with homeschooling resuming full-time and my teens' activities restarting in September. I figure it's a good time to start carving out time for my items. I plan to carry this challenge through the next 12 weeks. I'd like to focus on the areas below. Maintain my yoga streak I've been doing yoga every day since Jan. 5. Today is day 229 with no break. Goal: Keep it going. Rehab my knee At the start of this round, my rehab was placed on hold thanks to an inflamed tendon (or two) in my ankle. I think I'll be safe to resume knee rehab exercises by the end of the week. Goal: Focus on my rehab exercises 6 out of 7 days per week. Add to my art journal I have an art journal that I've been adding to regularly to practice drawing and painting techniques. What I love is that it's portable (meaning it fits in my purse) and meditative. I'm working my way through a watercolor book for beginners and I'd like to continue doing this. Goal: Add a picture 5 out of 7 days per week. Work through the Artist's Way I picked up the book as a recommendation from a friend. The book is a 12-week course and I'm curious about the outcomes if I completed it. This one I'll confess I'm a bit worried about how much time it will take, but I figure I'll try it out and see what I think. Goal: Work on it daily. Although I won't stress if I miss a day here and there. Train Buddy Buddy (my mini-australian shepherd) is afraid of people, dogs, and new things. Originally, I wanted to train him for agility, but, because of his fears, I can't get him to perform reliably. So my first step is to get him to the point where he can pass his good canine citizen test. I've learned some techniques that I can teach him to build his confidence. He has an obedience class once a week until September. Goal: Ideally daily, but some days I won't be home. 5 out of 7 days per week will be fine. Ideally, I'd like to have the above items (except for training Buddy) completed before lunch. There are doctor appointments, work related projects, helping my parents, and other scheduled items I'll need to work around so having some flexibility will be necessary. My reward for reaching my goals for the next 12 weeks is a weekend trip by myself in late November. No teens, no hubby, no dog, and no responsibility except to relax... that makes me wish I could hurry the time up a bit.
  6. I'm hopping back to the druid guild for this round because I'm not sure what to do next and sometimes moving forward requires going back to where I started. My life is completely nutty at the moment and I find that I can't look beyond the current day on the family calendar without feeling immense panic about how I'm going to survive the week. So I've been living one day at a time and letting things play out as they may. Normally, I feel compelled to up the ante for the next challenge. This time around I feel mentally exhausted and I don't think I'm up for making my challenge any more challenging than it already is. So for this round, I want to continue what has worked for me in the last few months. Continue my daily yoga challenge. It started on a whim with my daughter back in January to see how many days in a row we could keep doing yoga. As I type this we are on day 196. I think it is safe to say that this is the longest I have stuck with anything (besides being married) and haven't missed a single day. Because I didn't want to ruin our yoga streak I even did my yoga through recovering from ACL surgery back on April 8th. Over the weekend, my daughter and I did our yoga practice on our camping trip. Day 200 (which is Friday, July 22) will give us a reward of going to Madison, WI to tour the capitol and do a girl's day in the city. It's about a four-hour drive from here and I'm looking forward to it. I haven't planned the trip yet just in case we mess up. Continue my rehab. My physical therapy schedule shifted to once a week every other week. I'm cleared for many exercises so I'll be figuring out a routine that will give me some variety and challenge in the exercises. My main goal is to get my left leg (the one that had surgery on it) to have the same strength as my right leg. There are a few exercises I have to do nearly every day. Edit my novel. My novel draft is done and now it's time to edit. My deadline for having the manuscript ready to send to publishers is August 30. I'd like to spend 10 hours a week working on my novel. Create. Art is my escape from some of the not so fun things I have to deal with right now. I have a painting on a large canvas that needs finishing. This round if I can get to it at least two times in the next four weeks I'll be happy. I also have an art journal that I'd like to keep adding to daily. The daily entries are small and simple but are designed to maintain the habit of letting myself play. This round I really want to stay steady and moving forward on things that are important to me.
  7. For this challenge, I'm going to back to my roots. In the days before raising a family, I was passionate about rock climbing. At the moment, I can't actually go rock climbing because I'm rehabbing my knee after ACL surgery. However, there are skills I can build while I wait for the all clear to resume climbing. Be Flexible Every climber needs to have the ability to shift and bend in sometimes unexpected ways. I'm by far a contortionist, however, I can definitely continue to increase the little flexibility I have. Goal: Continue my daily yoga streak. As of today, the streak count is at 159. Build Strength and Endurance To get to the top of a climb, a strong body and the ability to hang on to the wall for awhile are necessities. Goal: To continue my 6 days a week knee rehab exercises as instructed (I'm going to PT once a week now and by the end of the month will be on an every other week schedule). As soon I as I have my new brace I'd like to resume my upper bodyweight exercises and do them twice a week. Lighten Up The more weight a climber has (both emotionally and physically) the harder it is to climb. I need to find more humor in the moments (when I can). At the moment, I feel like I'm a tree branch that is bending to the point where I might break because of the juggling I need to do to help support and care for my parents in addition to caring for my immediate family. Usually, I deal with the stress and pressure by sabotaging my normally good eating habits. The sudden overdose of sugary sweets messes with my motivation and mood. Goal: This round, I want to take a daily inventory to see if I resisted the temptation of emotional eating by answering these two questions: Was I tempted to eat crappy or binge? If so, did I resist temptation? Right now, I don't want to make any adjustments, I just want to see how I'm holding up. A bonus to this one is seeking out things that make me smile or laugh as frequently as possible. Strengthen My Focus and Discipline To be a great climber, focus and discipline are other handy skills. My deadline for my first novel draft is coming up on July 15. Finishing a novel and using my handy to-do list is an excellent way to build the skills I need for climbing. Goal: Write 6,500 words per week on my novel. Use my daily to-do list Monday - Friday (I tied it to a game which makes it more fun). Enhance Creativity There are always more ways to the top than a straight path. The ability to look at things from a different perspective can be the determining factor on whether the top is reached. To build this skill I'd like to start painting my idea for my large canvas (40" x 30"). Goal: Work on it once a minimum of once a week. I'll post small pictures to track my progress.
  8. Hi, I'm Nymeria, and I generally suffer from do-too-much-itis. I've been rock climbing for a few years, I do a lot of yoga hand balancing and animal flow stuff, I still fool around a lot with martial arts and martial arts weapons (I'm kind of an ex practitioner. It's complicated), and I recently started taking parkour classes twice/week. This has also led to a struggle not to keep my body healthy, functioning, and keep my life in balance. For this challenge, I'm going to turn to one of my favorite anime characters and a fellow hot-headed, nerdy, often physically busted, do-too-much-er, Edward Elric, for some inspiration. This time, my physical schedule is pretty set, with climbing/bouldering twice/week, parkour classes twice/week, and hot vinyasa yoga once/week. (Realistically, I'll make it to 4/5 of these on average, just because between kids, life obligations, and such, that's how it seems to work). I also expect to do some playground workouts, hiking trips, and other things like that. For this challenge, all of the physical goals will be accessories to help me get stronger and prevent me from falling apart. Goal 1. Proper maintenance (fitness) My shoulders are constantly tight from the climbing and yoga. My surgically repaired knee is also starting to become irritated by the jumpings and landings in parkour (ACL reconstruction in Jan 2014 - I didn't rehab things with the expectation of this much high impact work). If I don't want my leg and arms to get busted, the way Ed's auto mail often is, I need to focus on some prehab and ROM work. So... a.) Get cozy with the foam roller and stretches: 5x/week - roll out ITB, calves, and quads. Roll out shoulder blade area. Do shoulder dislocates. Do the following yoga stretches: Extended puppy (shoulders), cross legged forward fold (ITB), hands clasping behind the back pose, reclined cow face pose (ITB-gluteus). b.) Build better foundations for jumping: whenever my muscles permit, do weighted squats, deep squats, more jumps, and calf raises. Revisit some of the physical therapy knee exercises that I haven't touched in the last 6 months. Goal 2 - Decrease the numbers (diet) Edward Elric: "Water, 35 litres. Carbon, 20kg. Ammonia, 4 litres. Lime, 1.5kg. Phosperus, 800g. Salt, 250 g. Niter, 100g. Sulphur, 80g. Fluorine, 7.5g. Iron, 5g. Silicon 3g. And fifteen other elements. Those are the elements to make an average adult human body." This goal is simple.. I want to decrease my numbers, meaning lose a little weight. Realistically, I only could lose 5-ish lbs, but those 5 lbs can mean a lot when you're hanging on to rock holds by your fingertips or trying to jump even higher. I loathe actively cutting and tracking my diet, so I'm going to keep things small and simple. Goal is Only 3 drinks bearing any liquid calories at all per week. Otherwise, all other drinking is to just be water. I train a lot and I have a lot of muscle, so I really do need to eat. The juice/alcohol/soda stuff is purely empty calories and is the easiest to trim from the diet. Goal 3 - Become less lopsided (fitness) Like Edward, I feel pretty lopsided. In part it's due to the messed up knee. Some of it is simple right-handedness. Some of it is muscle imbalances. Still, the result is that in parkour, I have preferred sides for every vault or wall technique. In yoga, I have a lot of hand balances that I can only perform well on one side (like 8 angle, flying lizard, side crow extensions). I also have a lot of standing balances that have a strong side and a weak side. Yes, I know that's normal. Still, in parkour, the side I use is somewhat dictated by the nature of the obstacle, and I really need to be proficient at both sides. For the yoga stuff, I just enjoy the warm fuzzy glow of doing things well, so I tend to do my strong side first and more often than my weak one. For this challenge, I am changing my mindset and making sure I give my weak side more attention than my strong one. Goal is to have 90% of my exercise sessions address my weak side at least equally as much as my strong side. Goal 4 - Hit the books (life) I used to read all of the time. But then I became addicted to my phone and waste my time rather than doing productive things like reading or learning. It's time for this to change. a.) Read at least 15 minutes/day. Aim for also reading at night before going to bed. b.) Continue with my DuoLingo German studies. I'm currently at 2300 XP, so the goal is to reach 3800 by the end of the challenge. 5. Daily Reflection (life) Last challenge, I had a goal of coming up with something positive or something for which I am grateful every day. While that was rewarding, I'm broadening things, such that this challenge, I just need to spend a few minutes meditating and reflecting on the day. I may or may not post the reflections depending on how relevant I think they are. I will edit later with more specific grading criteria. Let's do this!
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