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  1. Winter is passing at last. There might be still some cold days and frost coated windscreens ahead, but there are hints that spring is ready. There are small patches of snowdrops appearing, and they are making my heart happy. Winter has worn me down. I don’t know if it’s the prolonged cold, the grey, bleak days, the stress of my Dad’s declining health, the stress over my Masters degree or a combination of those and all the other commitments I somehow acquired, but I have been yearning for Spring more so than I remember doing any other year. I want to wander green forest trails, take long walks over green fields. Sit and read a book with my back against a tree. I want to go outside and feel warmth. I also finally had to concede that I am burning out fast. The TD;LR is that the emotional stress of my Dad’s Illness, trying to plan his 60th on a very limited budget and time constraints, some gastric issues entirely my own fault, keeping up with D&D now 3 times a week, one of which I DM, and trying to focus on my Masters amid this stress has not gone well. The full version if anyone is interested is spoilered below: Edit: It appears I did not, in fact, spoiler the above on my first posting! So, I had to make some changes. For one thing, some hobby goals have had to be put to one side for now. It was ambitious to try and pick up new skills when I already had so much on my plate. Ah, hindsight. You beautiful, frustrating thing. My revised Winter Goals, running from the Winter Solstice to the Spring Equinox, are: Winter Goals: Read by candlelight 10 times (7/10) – Keeping this goal, it is comforting and cozy and a good way to mentally unwind. Read The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1 and Book 2 Had to reluctantly say I’m unlikely to have time for this. But next set of challenge goals, perhaps. Re-read The Fellowship of the Ring , The Two Towers and The Return of the King – Finished reading the Fellowship, am currently on the Two Towers. Keeping this goal as it is very much a relaxing goal. Watch all 3 Hobbit films (1/3) – Unsure if I will get to these. Watch all 3 LOTR films (1/3) – This is how I knew I was burned out. I couldn’t bring myself to watch the second film even when I had time the other day. I ended up watching the Repair Shop instead… See doc about leg pain – Calling it complete. I still have odd bouts of the cramping pain and I still need to do some work to strengthen the calf, but that’s a long term thing. I have the solution now and I’m hoping to run again soon. See doc about sinuses – Nope, one thing at a time. Still a goal, though. Be able to run 1 mile without pain – soooon. I hope. Finish knitting cardigan, repair jeans, plan and sew one project to completion: All of these goals have been reluctantly put to one side. I just do not have it in me to do them all at the moment. Finish Masters chapter 2: I got a extension for this, so the pressure is off somewhat, but I still want to make good progress for this. Read stock book: Haven’t even touched the book, but I want to. Goal stays. Plan Spring/Summer Adventures 2023: I really need to get booking! Priorities include finding accommodation in the Netherlands ( @Jarric we should probably get on this!), flights to Scotland for one adventure I have planned in the beginning of May and I also need to think about the second half of the year at some point… Start writing again: Ambitious. But no. Not yet. Reach at least 77kg by March 20 – um, we’ll see. The goal stays, but I can’t make it a priority just yet. Feels like an awful lot of compromise and paring back. But looking back, that was a long list, and rather ambitious. I know I get overwhelmed by many things happening at once, and I know it is best to only focus on a few things. I also underestimated the emotional impact of my Dad’s diagnosis. Together, these have left me with the following (slightly smarter) goals for this challenge: 1. Consume as little dairy as possible. A weekend of indulgence when I met up with my D&D group led to two days of pain and bloating. Cutting lactose will help me feel better physically. And no chocolate is worth that acute gut pain. I know, not a smart goal. But essentially, whilst I won't be reading every single packet to see if it contains milk, I will avoid milky coffees, tea with regular milk, milkshakes and hot chocolate (nooooo!) and stuff like yoghurt, cheese (again, whhhhhyyy!) and other things I know will cause symptoms. 2. Get up with my alarm. It goes off at 5.30am. There is a back-up at 5.40am for those times the cat decides he needs a cuddle. But the catch is that I now place it where I must physically get out of bed to turn it off. I get up on time, the day is likely to go better. I get to the gym, I manage to prep lunch, or simply handle a chore or two. Or I could go to the sofa and read if I’m really feeling low or run down. Either way, the alarm is the linchpin to those good habits that will get my goals got. This has been a gloomy intro. I apologise. Let's go!
  2. Hi, I'm J3NN. I'm recovering from covid and have a vacation planned this challenge so I'm probably going to be quiet and slow this time. But I want to keep on keeping on, so I have set up a challenge and tried to dial it back, or make the recovery and fun more of a focus. So here's what I came up with this time... Bring elements of adventure into life in big ways and small Gish scavenger hunt 1 shared experience per wk of Craft Lunch, Book Club, SF, etc. Complete a monthly travel multi-day adventure - Alaskan Cruise Become a creator of shared, adventurous experiences of craftiness, creativity, learning, and community Newsletter Hobby Hunter series activity Become a person who practices self-care daily Molding Mobility 3x/wk Daily steps (avg 4000) Add 1 self-care practice to my journal per week Read in Kindle Become a person who believes in the vision of my future and makes my story come true 1 item from list to in my home office Complete Will and share For the above, this is what my actually commitments will look like. Bring elements of adventure into life in big ways and small GISH - 7 days Participate in a shared experience - 6 Complete a monthly travel multi-day adventure - 8 Become a creator of shared, adventurous experiences of craftiness, creativity, learning, and community Send Newsletter - 6 Complete Hobby Hunter series activity - 5 Become a person who believes in the vision of my future and makes my story come true Complete item from the list to clean home office - 1 Complete Will and share - 2 Become a person who practices self-care daily Molding Mobility 3x/wk - 18 Daily steps (avg 4000) - 4,000 Add self-care practice to my journal - 6 Read in Kindle daily - 42
  3. Over the past few years I've seen my life slide further and further into a horrific trash fire and with the ongoing nonsense that is Covid-19 I'm finally hitting my limit for what I can and can't handle. I can handle being pretty much broke all of the time, being a little bit tired all of the time, doing the work of two people, and being two inches away from screaming at two specific co-workers all the time. What I can't handle is the lack of mobility in my right hip when doing basic tasks, overheating and getting out of breath when climbing stairs at the train station, my chronically painful feet, the deep feeling of just wanting to give up and die that I deal with on a daily basis, and the disgusting disaster my home has become over the past year as isolation, demotivation and depression have settled into my family. So I'm going to do something about it, or you know, give up and feel like dying for a few weeks or so. I have a deep love of Star Wars but "Do or do not, there is no try" is bullshit most of the time. Things I need to do: See a doctor about my feet, and about issue #2, which I'm not going to talk about just yet Get a pair of cheap winter boots to last me until the end of March (mine died a sad horrible unfixable death yesterday afternoon and the place that makes new ones are sold out of my size in all colours until further notice) Drag my yoga matt out of my closet and use it at least one a week, ideally three times a week Do some research into low impact cardio that I don't totally hate that I can also do in my very limited floor space at home Clean my apartment. Just because I'm a trash can doesn't mean I need to live in one too Steal a little bit of Teros' Whole30 plans and make more meals that are real and less that are not Things I want to do: Learn how to make decent waffles Make something cool for a friend's birthday Get a little more involved in my WoW guild, because it's an easy way for me to be social and happy at the same time Plans and Expectations: Attempt one thing per week from the needs list starting with boots Attempt to deep clean one personal or common area of my home each week Attempt all three of wants list items by the end of the Challenge Accept that getting checking off one of the items from the needs list is a frankly huge accomplishment based on past experience Accept that I will not accomplish all three of the wants by the end of the Challenge Accept that I will continue to want to give up and/or scream at my family because they are not willing and/or able to do any of this with me an that I do not have at home support for anything Also this feels fairly on point for how I've been doing lately.
  4. I am currently challenged with working out on a daily basis. I have a long drive to work, so waking up to early can limit my sleep and effect my health. I want to work out when I get home, but I always end up just sitting on the couch. Even worse, some days I can get so tired from work, I pick up food instead of making a healthy meal for my family. My challenge is to work out 6 out of the 7 days of the week and limit eating out to once a week. From looking at other posts, I have decided that logging my journey is the best way to be accountable. Today's goal 1/11 Walk the dog a mile Run for 30 minutes on the tread mill ( Did 1 hour of Zumba instead) Cook a healthy meal for the family. Time to begin..... 1/12 Walk the dog a mile Yoga Healthy meal I ran into a hiccup today, binged on unhealthy snacks on the way home. Tomorrow, try to take water with lime in the car to enjoy on the ride.
  5. I'm trying something different this time and having some fun with a themed challenge. I'm really excited about finally rolling this one out. Before we begin, though, a few things to get out of the way. You can skip straight to the challenge if you'd like: Without further ado, let's begin: While conducting research in the university library, Wolfen uncovered a letter, yellowed with age but pressed and preserved in the pages of Man Makes Himself by Gordon Childe. Wolfen's eyes widened as he read the header at the top: Dr. Henry Walton Jones, Jr. Barnette College Hamilton Hall Grove Avenue Fairfield, NY The letter was dated May 13, 1960 Surely this was a joke, or some fake letter forged by a creative university student. Regardless, Wolfen read on. To Whom it May Concern: If you're discovering this letter in the pages of the book in which I left it, your curiosities might be exactly what I need. With the help of some colleagues who will remain anonymous for reasons you may come to learn later, I have uncovered a secret war going on in our world of which only a few are aware. A group of scientists has discovered the existence of exotic matter (henceforth abbreviated XM). XM is a very powerful energy whose origin and potential are still in question, but it is believed it has existed for centuries. There are stories of Roman soothsayers who encouraged the construction of important buildings upon sites they claimed were "charmed" with mysterious energy. Indeed, mysterious and "magical" portals that channel XM from an unknown location have been discovered near iconic and influential locations whose history and origins are also shrouded in mystery, the types of places my colleagues and I frequent as researchers (temples, monuments, places of worship, etc.). Scientists are allegedly researching ways to capture and harness the energy of these portals. Unfortunately, because of an accident in which members of the research team were exposed to XM, the secret of XM has not remained a secret. I'm not certain how, but word of this mysterious and potentially dangerous powerful energy has reached people with greater influence than you or me, people whose names you would probably recognize but which I will not reprint here for security reasons. You may be wondering what this has to do with you. Because you are even aware of the existence of this book, it is clear you are an intelligent and open-minded person. Wolfen tightened his lips. He had just pulled the book of the shelf because the title caught his attention. He read on: In the time since word has spread of XM, two groups have formed with the goal of capturing and harnessing this energy. The first faction, known as The Enlightened, is an elite group of very powerful people who believe XM is the secret to the evolution and progress of mankind. The Enlightened wish to take control of XM and harness its powers to take humankind to the next level (whatever that means). The details of how and what that would entail are still shady, which is why it is so concerning. In addition, several known members of The Enlightened have a reputation for taking and abusing power and their intent may be the same for XM. The second faction is The Resistance. Their intent is to capture XM in order to keep it out of the hands of The Enlightened because they fear the power of XM would be used to manipulate and control all of humanity. Like many "resistance" movements, however, this faction doesn't seem to have as much influence as The Enlightened (both financially and culturally) but this may change over time. In addition, Resistance members tend to be wreckless in their endeavor to keep XM out of the hands of The Enlightened. As an archaeologist, I can attest to the presence of "energies" at many of the sites I have visited. This is why I have fought to obtain and protect treasures that are located at these sites. Unfortunately, at my age I may not be able to protect these sites much longer, unless I can recruit some new explorers willing to research portal locations in their area and travel to these "portals". I won't tell you which faction you should join (but anyone who knows my reputation could probably guess which I prefer) because you have a will of your own, and I don't have the resources to force you to choose. In fact, you might not have even finished this letter. If you're still reading, though, I am grateful. I encourage you to do a few things before you begin: Do some research: read up on everything you can about "Ingress," including the two factions I mentioned; there may be information about possible portals in your area. If you uncover the location of nearby portals, research these sites, as well and visit them. My hope is that by the time you find this letter, researchers have come up with a way to extract and store the XM quickly and efficiently. Research this, as well. You guessed it: I need you to explore these sites and extract as much XM as you can. But be cautious and aware of your surroundings. This could be dangerous since there are others who also want XM for their own purposes. See if you can ascertain why or how the places you visit are capable of drawing XM; is there some history behind the place or object that makes it "worthy" of such energy? I don't know what kind of shape you are in at the moment, but true explorers need to be fit for a lot of physically demanding activities: hiking, climbing, crawling, fighting, running, and lots of walking. So much walking. And you need to have a keen eye to both find what you're looking for and to make sure you aren't being followed. I will let you "work out" the details based on your own physical needs. If you're still with me, I know you are exactly what I need. Don't write back because I would rather not know who you are. Good Luck, Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr. Wolfen immediately left the campus library and straight to a private place on campus to start his research. A search for "Ingress" uncovered an app designed by Niantic Labs, a "game" in which "players" join a faction, seek and capture portals and extract XM. It couldn't be a coincidence that this app seemed to match nearly everything the letter described. More research uncovered information about XM, the Niantic project, each faction, and much more. Wolfen also discovered that there were several portals nearby, some glowing white, some blue, and some green and fields of bright "energy" of either blue or green passing between portals. He couldn't resist. Wolfen downloaded the app to his phone. Based on what his heart and head were saying, he joined The Resistance. His adventure was just beginning. Goals: Explore: walk at least 12,000 steps/day M-F. Get Fit: continue the #100for100 challenge: at least 100 bodyweight movements per day 3 sets 3 days/week that includes the following: Avoid traps: 15 hi-steps Sword-fight: 15 side-to-side arm swings Duck-and-dive: 5 burpees Fist-fight: vary jabs, punches, hooks, and uppercuts (Boxtastic app?) Explore caves: low crawl for 10 "steps". Climb cliffs: 5 pullups Run: continue running schedule, but include 3x100 yard sprints at least 2 days/week Research: continue research for school (first priority) look up information on various portal locations before exploring them. The purpose of this challenge is to become more connected to "place" using an app that both encourages you to walk and explore more and calls your attention to places you might otherwise have just passed by or glanced at without thinking. Therefore, when you visit these "portals" really look at them, study them, all while being mindful of what you learned from your research. Document these findings. Read at least one article/week from National Geographic or similar publication Read at least one book-length work of history/archeology/anthropology (i.e. something Indiana Jones might read). Historical fiction is acceptable, as long as it is rooted in truth.
  6. I have been MIA on NerdFitness for quite some time. A few days ago I got a random bug to plan an introvert adventure. Some where nature like. Alone. As I've fleshed this idea out I'm leaning towards a rustic (hike in!) cabin, or maybe camping + hiking. This kind of trip would require some training and planning. I'm kind of out of shape and have never done anything like this before. A four week challenge is perfect for getting me started on prepping for my adventure. Move your feet I will go on a walk once a day. It can be long or short - just so long as I do it. Condition/Endurance Twice a week I will do some combination of: run/walk intervals, hiking, or rucking (bad weather sub: rowing machine) Strength Training Twice a week I will strength train: weights at gym, body weight at home, or rucking. I can't count the same rucking session for both Condition/Endurance and Strength Training. Life Goal: Plan the Adventure Pick a date and location, make a plan of what to do while I'm out adventuring, figure out what gear and supplies I'll need & make a packing and shopping list. Let the adventure prep begin! Edited to Add: I have some on going self improvement projects that I didn't include as part of this challenge, but still want to update on! 100 days of Fiddle/Violin Practice Any length practice so long as I do it, can be fiddle music or classical music. Sick and travel day contingency plan: listen to pieces currently working on, or use a music theory app to do some music theory study. Read 24 books in 2018 Pretty self explanatory! I'm going to at least partially work through Book Riot's Read Harder challenge to help expand my reading choices.
  7. I am back! I need to work on follow through for this sort of thing! I've fizzled out on my last challenges, but travel had a bit to do with that. Travel exploded my world in the most delightful of ways. What are my goals for this challenge? Be vegan for a month. I've done it off and on, and I just want to try it, actively, for 4 weeks. I rarely do dairy, so it's not too far a jump, but being vegan forces me to focus on what I am eating, and I often am making my food anyway. Tonight starts 4 weeks of meal prep! In the Japanese bento style! I'm going to make little bento for my lunches each week, see how that works. Why Japanese? BECAUSE I AM GOING BACK, MOTHERFATHERS! I got a scholarship to go study Kuruma Ningyo puppetry there, attend a giant international puppet festival, and teach my own workshop in Tokyo! I am literally vibrating with excitement... but I don't speak Japanese so hot. I mean... I do alright, but not "hot". I have a subscription to a learning website (multiples, really), a tutor, and rampant ambition. I want to clock 10 hours of study a week, at minimum. This is not so much, but also a lot. I need to find where it fits in my routine. I joined a Doctor Who themed mini challenge which is about running around looking for The Tardis (oh, my hearts) and that will keep me physically active. Though on dreary winter days I am going to stay in a do yoga. Anyone have a suggestion for a good yoga class app? Or youtube video series? I had Yoga Studio, I bought it any everything, but they clawed it back and now want more money via subscription, which makes me want to watch it all burn. Not very enlightened of me, I know. So I am open to suggestions. Alright, a day late to the party, and I must dash, but I am in! What are you doing?
  8. This discrete and select social club serves to not only promote illumination with regard to the eclectic, obscure and esoteric but also endeavors to promote the development of physical skills required of adventurers. We have skill development workshops that range from true torch making (in case one find themselves in a cave) to LandNav (for Orienteering events) to grappling hook use. Think Teddy Roosevelt meets Edward Gorey meets Indiana Jones meets Sherlock Holmes meet Amelia Earhart. Feel free to respond if interested. J.P. Jason Keith Secretary Arkham Community College ~ Expeditionary Society
  9. I'm the most overweight I've ever been. I'm embarrassed. But I'm going to put my measurements on here for my start and every check in. I think it will help me immensely. Weight: 246 lbs Neck: 15" Waist: 50.5" Bicep: 14" Hips: 51" Thigh: 25" Bust: 50" This is going to be a battle log for me to get my health and my finances in order. My first goal is to get below 200 lbs. When I reach that target, I'm going to reward myself by going to a rock climbing class. The gym is 3 hours away, and my sister says she'll go with me. It'll be a ton of fun.
  10. New Challenge! Or rather a series of challenges because I am trying to do multi-challenge character arc and it will span the course of 12 months. So, in case I have not mentioned it, tomorrow is my birthday! And also Thanksgiving if you're one of us Yanks. Which means I plan to get some extra stuffing and NOT feel bad about it. I turn 49 tomorrow, which is a weird combination of WHOOOT WHOOOT and holy fuck. I want to make my next few challenges all about getting out of my comfort zone, trying new things, and basically revving the engine so I come screeching up to the starting line of 50 with my tires smoking and my helmet on and some other racing cliche that I cannot in this moment think of. Half a century, baby! Bring me the bifocals and the comfortable shoes BECAUSE IT IS ON. I used my ongoing obsession with the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty as a framework. In the course of the movie, Walter takes on a whole series of challenges that lead him to the prize and leave him a different person. Or... does it? There's a scene in the movie where Walter, after all his adventures, is sitting in a coffee shop and trying to write his resume - because while he was out having his grand quest, the magazine he worked for folded and he lost his job. It's almost a throwaway scene, but it's always stuck with me, because I watch it and wonder what happened to him after the movie ended. Like, did he get another boring job, and Cheryl get another boring job, and they just went back to being little gray pieces of paper again? I hate that thought. I refuse to believe it. I think - I like to think - that having gotten a taste of life outside his comfort zone, Walter and Cheryl bought an RV, and traveled across country with her kid and her three-legged dog, rock climbing and surfing and selling cupcakes at music festivals, with Walter's mom baking clementine-infused weed brownies whenever they traveled somewhere with legal marijuana. I am 90% sure that Walter's mom makes kick-ass weed brownies. My last couple of years have taken me waaaaay outside my comfort zone, or what I thought was my comfort zone, and I want to build on that and really start to stretch. Think about this: - I started weight training with a 40-pound back squat and a zero-pound deadlift, because I didn't know what the fuck a deadlift was. I now squat 175 for reps (or did, and will again when my knee is back) and my 1RM deadlift is 225. I'm still considering getting that printed on t-shirt, by the way. - I went from 42% body fat to 31%, and I gained 18 pounds of lean mass. I'm heavier, but a smaller size, so I guess I got denser. I'm weirdly proud of this. - I started riding my bike with a 3-mile loop around my neighborhood that was almost enough to kill me. This February I attempted the 52-mile "Brushy Tunnel" ride for the first time (a rite of passage for local cyclists) and was shaking in my shoes because I was sure I couldn't do it. I've since done it 8 times. I've ridden 6 metric centuries (100 kilometers) in the past two years and I have Tyrannasaur quads like Usain Bolt. I never want to wear long pants again. - I planned and did my "Keys Loop" Adventure, I went diving in Hondouras and was not kidnapped by drug lords, and I toured California and spent a week in Yosemite and ate every taco in Los Angeles. I took a sailing class and got certified as a keelboat operator. I bought a decent car. It doesn't seem like much taken individually (just like my resume!) but as a whole it's actually a lot. Now it's time to look ahead and really start to stretch. I made a wish list of everything I wanted to do in the next year, and I'm going to attack a couple of items each month until I get them all. Some will span a few challenges and some will be one-and-done things, and a few can overlap which is good because I am all about efficiency. A few things are goals about accepting my own self, like stopping dying my hair and being embarrassed about my love of nature movies and how much I adore things that are fried. A few are athletic goals that I've been wanting to do but chickened out because I was afraid to fail at them. Some are professional to make my job and my life easier. And some are just things that would give me enjoyment, like starting an instagram for my obsession with street art. But they are all things that have unique meaning to me and will allow me to grow. I'll post a copy of the list on my challenge periodically and cross things off as I accomplish them. I'd put it in my signature but I can't figure out how to make a pretty multi-colored signature with editable items and different fonts like some people have, and godamnit if I can't have the My Little Pony version than I'll just make my own. Given, then, that the challenge starts right after my birthday (I will plug this shamelessly, I am a complete attention whore), here are my items for this month: - 250 pound 1RM deadlift: The Mantis is convinced I can do this, though I find it slightly terrifying. The one good thing about my knee being janked so I can't do squats is that I am really focused on my deadlift and I am frankly kicking some ass there. My most recent workouts were 165 pounds for 3 sets of four reps. - Find a uniform: Like Steve jobs and his turtleneck, or Diane Von Furstenburg with her wrap dresses. I want to have a go-to look that always looks decent so I can stop thinking about what I'm wearing. So far it looks like my winter look is a pencil skirt with knee boots and a long sleeved top, or jeans (actually jeggings; there is no getting my quadzilla thighs in jeans anymore) with the same boots and top. I also promised myself I'd buy a decent pair of winter boots this year; Atlanta is not that cold but it's constantly wet in the winter and I'm always miserable. I want something with traction because I have a phobia of falling. - Revise the side hustle: I had a little ebay business that I ran on the side of my regular job, but it takes a ton of time for some reason and even at it's peak it only made about a hundred bucks a month. I'd be better off finding a different side hustle or just putting in more hours at my regular job. So this month I am going to give myself permission not to think about it or try to work on it. Bonus: more time for gym! Enter a powerlifting meet: I won't actually accomplish this goal over this challenge, but I'm going to attend a powerlifting meet so I can get a feel for it on the 9th, unless I have to work. I want to see how they run and what the competition is like. My gym workouts will continue on the strength end of things because I've discovered that 80 miles a week on the bike and three to four crossfit-style workouts make me want to become one with the carpet. I'm going to be working on my pull-ups a lot because I can't enter the Crossfit Open unless I can do a pull-up (even in the Master's division, where I totally am) and getting back to squatting. I did a couple bodyweight squats at the gym Monday for the first time in 5 weeks and they worked pretty well, just stiff. I'm also going to give myself permission to drop out of the online video bike training program I was using because a) it was killing me and b ) I hate riding the trainer five days a week. I'm going to mix up the trainer and outside. okay this has totally gone on long enough, you're all very patient. Go eat turkey.
  11. Vincent van Bro, formerly known as Curl Brogo, is an American painter, powerlifter, and Adonis with bat wing lats and biceps big as your head. Partly a renaissance man, he paints meditative, impressionistic still life and landscape, surrealistic allegorical depictions of small animals, and abstract expressionist paintings and drawings depicting musical ideas. He lives and works in Indianapolis. There's my Wikipedia intro paragraph. I've made up my mind to go back to school and study art in the spring, end goal being an MFA. So this challenge will be centered on preparing for that, while improving my health and fitness... and lats and biceps. Goal 1: Hunger. Carrying over from previous challenges. Eat only when the thought of steamed broccoli and fish makes me drool. Goal 2: Pickup the barbell 6 days a week. Pretty straightforward. I'll do whatever feels right. As long as I do a set of something. Expect bear complexes. Goal 3: one morning walk each weekend. I just want to put a couple miles on my shoes each weekend to avoid stagnating over the weekend. LUYL goals: Art school prep Basically a list Sidequests to prepare for school. Assemble a portfolio: I need 18-25 works for the MFA application. 10 to start the undergrad/transition. -- Create new works -- gather old work -- Take photos Complete application steps: -- meeting with art school admissions (Sept. 19) -- complete school application -- browse courses Roommate search: I want to stay put, but I'll need some financial relief. I have an empty second bedroom, might as well get a roommate and cut the rent in half. -- talk to leasing office -- make an ad -- spread ad on various media/networks
  12. I'm just redoing my last challenge, but raising the bar a bit on some goals. Goal 1: Stay hungry. Not eating much is for me the most effective way to actually lose weight. Step one: Eat only small, healthy snacks until dinner time. <200 cals, has some damn protein, fiber, and vitamins. My schedule at work makes it so I can have 4 of these. Step two: meat and veggies for dinner first, then carbs till I'm no longer hungry. Weight goal: 245 lbs. Goal 2: One adventure a week Go visit or see a new thing each week. Hiking in parks, go to a new store, new restaurant, visit the damn at museum already. Just gotta get outta the apartment and do something new. Goal 3: Sweat three times a week. Workout. Doesn't matter where or what. Just break a sweat at least. Goal 4: Paint I want to complete a dozen works for my painting/drawing portfolio. My goal is to do three this challenge. The only limitation of that I must paint or draw from life. Sidequest: Assemble a plein aire painting adventure kit. Boom! Challenge!
  13. After falling off mid-challenge back in Feb, and going through some life issues that ultimately ended in falling on my face. See re-spawn if you care to read the novel: At the heart of a the worst storm the lands had seen in generations, Ruby-wan found her dolphin-pulled dingy spiraling out of control. The sole survivor of her once mighty crew, she struggled to take the reigns. Up to this point, her life had been one endless struggle after another, and fortune didn't seem to be turning. This storm would not break, but neither would she. As a nearby barrier gave way Ruby-wan freed the dolphins from her reigns, and found herself torn from her ship moments before hearing it shatter against the exposed craggy rocks. She was instantly swallowed by the rampaging sea and sucked through the newly opened way that flung her to the far side of the strange islands. She suddenly remembered why she was in this situation -- an idol. However important it was rumoured to be, it certainly didn't seem worth it now. There would be a huge pain-in-the-ass fee slapped on its price tag if she managed to live through this and haul it home. Focusing on the score got her through a lot, but before she could really distract herself with monetary qualms, she found herself thrown onto shore of an even stranger, more sinister island apart from the rest. Though the other isles in the collection were technically uncharted, they were at least known of in some of the world's archives and old tales, all thirty-five in one account or another. This one made thirty-six. No one mentioned a thirty-sixth island, in record or rumour, nor did it match the description of any. Shrouded in fog and mist, the odd nature of the island was hidden from passersby -- it was completely detached from the sea looming over a bottomless crater. Horrified by the sight of the sea falling abruptly off the edge into oblivion, Ruby-wan wondered what the hell she had gotten herself into, and how was she going to get herself out? Ranger Challenge: Surviving the Island Of Lost Souls Life Challenge: get out of bed by 9 am everyday. The island is awake at night in the worst of ways, and shielded by a perpetual fog sunlight is scarce. Make the most of your waking hours, particularly in the daylight. Fit Challenge: workout in some form everyday. Time is of the essence, and no one alive can afford to linger on this island. If you wish to escape, you'll have to survive long enough to find a way off. Diet Challenge: eat cleaner protein (no fatty, greasy stuff, fried junk, etc.). Food sources are scarce, but you have seen a few birds and the occasional rabbit. Make it count. Diet Challenge: eat whole grains and complex carbs (no processed, bleached carbs). Several strange species of grasses and root-vegetables grow on this island. They seem safe enough.
  14. I have been trying to opt for outside activities. Thinking of new fun things such as hiking in the woods fishing climbing and beachcombing. Feeling fatter than ever but choosing to ignore that voice. I've been trying to eat healthy. I had a great breakfast option of veggie omelet while on vacation. But need to focus on packing healthy snacks and eating at home more. But....I am meeting my goals of exercise, eating veggies everyday. Still need to work on the pray/meditate time. We get ourselves so busy in this world. Must slow down. We went jetty fishing and lots of hikes across the rocky beaches. Even walking on windy, sandy beaches is more exercise than you notice! Going to try to focus more on food intake. Do hard things!!
  15. So, hi! This might come out a bit jumbled. I didn't really get much sleep last night. And while I know what I want to do this challenge, I'm having trouble putting it into words. I guess you could call me a traveling assassin, and I'm spending some time with the rangers because it felt like a good idea. For this challenge I'm drawing inspiration from the elements: fire, water, earth, air, and spirit. One of the things fire represents is change. A big change that I have to work through is finding a new job. This is something I need to do. My current job really sucks for many reasons. It's not all bad, but the bad definitely outweighs the good. However, anxiety and depression inevitably stand in my way. To give myself an extra push, I've picked my "last" day at this job, June 20th, the day before summer solstice. If I haven't actually found a job by then, I can't actually afford to quit. I don't really get any hours during the summer, so I usually rely on unemployment benefits, which I can't get if I quit. But it's never enough to cover everything (I barely make enough to cover rent with my regular hours), so the pressure will still be on to find a new job. So, I have nine weeks to get a new job (which is why this is a two part challenge). But if I throw everything I have at it, I'll burn out. I need to give myself time for fun. I need a work/play balance. Well, I did a bunch of math, because why not, and I came up with 50 hours a week dedicated towards work, 35 towards self-care, and 5 towards training (the remaining hours go toward sleep and meal breaks). So basically, I need to count up all the hours I work for the week at my current job (it varies a lot), and subtract that from 50. The rest goes toward the job hunt. I'll need to sit down and schedule specific times to work on it. I usually get my schedule for the next week on Thursday or Friday, so I need to have everything scheduled by the end of Saturday. If I miss a job hunting session, I can only make it up in the same week that I miss it. Given time, water will carve a path through stone. In this, water shows us patience. So, I need to patiently and consistently follow the steps that will help me reach my long term goals. I'm going to keep it simple and focus on working towards my "adventure" goals, which are hiking, parkour, and snowboarding. The things that I've decided to focus on improving right now are pushing, pulling, jumping, endurance, and grip. Luckily, there is a playground about a mile from me where I can work on this. And I can find ways to work on this at home if the weather is bad. I have 5 hours a week for this. I'll schedule training "slots" where I can use up to that amount of time, but if I don't end up using the full time for the slot, it won't count against me. Grounding oneself. Building a strong foundation to stand on. Self-care is a necessity. So let's give it the attention that it deserves. I have 35 hours in the week to take care of myself. I'm not going to actively schedule self care. Rather, I'll make some lists of self care activities based on how much time it takes. Probably 5 minutes, 30 minutes, and an hour+. Then when I have some spare time, and don't know what to do, instead of just sitting around doing nothing, I can pick whatever activity is the most appealing at that moment. Go where the wind takes you. Go outside. Go somewhere. Do something new. Once a week I will go on an adventure. I'm a bit limited in where I can go because I rely on public transportation. But, I have a monthly pass, so I can hop on the bus, train, or light rail any time I want. I'm also very tight on money. But, I can find things to do that don't cost anything. Obviously hiking. And I'm sure there's other stuff, especially if I get imaginative. Everything is connected. I'm going to try working on turning negative thinking into positive thinking. And accepting without judging. But the first step is to be honest about my thoughts, and learning to recognize when I'm being mean to myself. And to not jump to the defensive if someone calls me out on it. --- As far as grading this challenge, some of it is objective, and some of it is subjective. I'll need to figure this out before the start of the challenge, so tomorrow. I'm still going to use my battle log. But it'll be more for my life things that aren't challenge related.
  16. Welcome do Dungeons and Dragons, the Doodlie version. Everyone is welcome to participate By participating you DON'T become a Doodlie, it's just that this game in this form has been invented by the doodlies. We still need a DM, who wants to be our master? You are qualified if you have played at least one challenge with us. A short recap of how we play You start by copying the character sheet and fill it in (see rule book for details on this). After this you put a link to it in your signature, and put the link on the sign in sheet. The name of your character is the same as your name on the forums! This makes it so much easier for the DM's You've got 4 primary abilities. You can level these up infinitive by doing stuff in real life like doing cardio, strength training, meditate or learn stuff. Besides that you've got extra ability's you can choose to your liking, to shape your character. By choosing a specific race or class you gain bonuses for certain abilities, but you're not limited to them. The DM (doodlie master) tells a story. You tell the DM how you wish to react to the circumstances the DM described. He or she will determine, by rolling a dice and comparing the result with the ability that's applicable in that situation, if you're successful or not. For example: You wish to talk to a cute guy in a bar. Since you're a beautiful elf, the DM decides this shouldn't be too hard for you, so she uses a D4 (a dice with 4 sides). (Or the DM decides that this is very hard since you're an ugly ogre and she uses a D100 (a dice with 100 sides)). She looks at your psyche level, say you're level 3. With the D4 you'll succeed by a roll of 2, 3 or 4. (With the D100 by 98, 99 or 100.) The DM rolls the D4 and you get a 3. The cute guy is willing to talk to you. Say you roll a 4, since that is the highest role the cute guy comes to you and tells you everything you wan to know. Or you get a 1, and the cute guy slaps you in the face and leaves. We play from February 13 until March 10 If you want you can post a short introduction in this thread. If you have any questions, let me know. Previous adventurers beware: there have been a few changes in the rulebook. The most important one is that you have health points now. Everyone starts with 6 HP, basic armor will add 2 HP to that. The magic skill has changed a lot The Psyche skill has changed Links Rule book Character Sheet (copy it and fill it out, don't forget to alter the share settings so everyone can see it) Sign in sheet
  17. I'm PinkNinja. I've been a monk since 2013, when Adventurer was a little less literal. I've not done martial arts regularly since, well, 2012. But It seemed like a good fit. When they changed the classes, I started to swap, but to be honest, new people are scary, and at the time, I put a foot in the door, but decided I wasn't up for it. Sorry! I'm sure you guys are GREAT, I just was having a weird moment. I'm a park ranger, and I love my job. I get to share the outdoors with people. I worked on a mountain for 6 years, but this past year, I was in a different position where I moved to a different park every 6-9 weeks. Now, I'm more permanent at a lake park. There's quite a bit of office work, but I get to lead hikes & kayak tours, too. Pretty much all of my challenges have been centered around losing weight and going on adventures.I love to backpack, and have even gotten to teach college courses on backpacking (paid to hike in not one, but TWO different jobs, how do I get so lucky?!) I camp, hike, kayak, I used to work in the park that was our state's highpoint, so I caught the highpointer bug and am trying for at least 40 of them. I've only got 3 under my belt, but I'm planning #4 soon, like probably next challenge. No, I haven't thru-hiked any of the cool trails. I have to work too much for that. I'm planning a thru-hike on the Buffalo River trail. It's shorter, and I'm even considering a hike upstream and a float downstream, but we'll see. Tell me about yourselves, please! I've been stalking your challenges, and it sounds fun. Are you up for taking in a nomadic monk? Challenge 1 of 2017 Health 1. Eat Better: Plan, plan, plan! I need to get back on track with planning my food for the week. I'm aiming for level 4 of the NF diet, so I'll keep that in mind. But I know if I planned ahead and went to a real store for groceries, it would help my nutrition and my budget, instead of the store here with their apocalyptic produce section and frightening supply of meat (seriously, I can't find a real lemon in this town, but I can get every part of the pig from the pickled lip to the salted foot) Each week, have my level 4 meals planned by Wednesday for the next week= 5 pts per week (20 total) 2. Sleep Better Go to bed before 10:35. I'm going to set reminders to shower and get ready for bed, and then another reminder to go to bed. I'll use my UP and my phone. I work on waking up earlier later. Hopefully just getting to bed at a decent hour will naturally help with that. Be in bed every night by 10:35= 1 pt (28) Wealth (or lack of) 1. Stop buying stuff! Seriously. STOP. Not going into my financial past, but I just consolidated a lot of debt off of some credit cards. I was doing well at not using them, then Christmas happened. And now I haven't stopped. I got a K-cup type coffee pot as a gift, so I bought a stand with drawers for it and enough to tea pods to more than fill said stand. Crap like that. I'm already moving into a smaller house and trying to downsize. WHAT is wrong with me?! So I'm uninstalling wish.com, amazon shopping app, and ebay from my phone. I don't have internet at home, so whew, safe on the laptop and Kindle. I will delete all my credit cards from online storage, so no more "Buy it Now- 1-click" If I don't want it badly enough to get up and go get my card, I don't want it enough to spend the money. Don't buy anything that isn't fuel for me or the Escape. Every dollar spent on something that is not fuel = -1pt 2. Get my Side Hustle On I have 3 classes approved at a local university to teach Beginner's Basket Weaving Workshops, one each in Feb, March, and April. I need to figure up my costs, write proposals for at least 3 more classes on either basket weaving, soap making, or something outdoors & fun, I'm thinking a camp cooking one or maybe an alternative fire starting or a combo, or something like that. But I haven't used a bow drill in at least 2 years.. Also, now that I'm not a pseudo homeless park gypsy, I need to get my Etsy store stocked again. If I stick to my Happiness #1 goal, I'll start producing things. But I've got to weave my mom's coasters. Though, since she doesn't know which color she wants, I'll get two sets finished. She can pick one and I can post the other for sale. But she likes fringe. Ugh. Prepare materials & handouts for first class, research & plan 3 classes for next quarter, and find out when proposals for next quarter are due. =10 pts Sanity 1. Get back on track with my 20/20/20. A few challenges ago, I was working on balance and so I started dedicating 20 minutes to cleaning (short term stuff, like dishes), 20 minutes of organizing(long term-like one day finish unpacking), and 20 minutes of creating. That got all thrown off in December because it got a little crazy, holidays, then had to help sister with an emergency move. So I need to get back to finding that balance. The rest of my evening is spent however I see fit, but I have to do AT LEAST 20 minutes of each, except for Tuesdays, when I wear Batman jammies and snuggle with my couch cause it's my Friday. Every day I am home that is not Tuesday, I will stick to the 20/20/20 rule. =1 pt per day (22 ish total) 2. Inventory & Organize Or at least start on it. I still haven't finished moving in and stuff. keeps. happening. Like holidays and company and travel for work, and then I'm ARGH! and I run away and play in the woods (ok, so that last one is all me). I'm going to pick a home inventory app and start filling it up. I'm going to start with my camping gear because that'll make me happy and because I need to reorganize it. I had some of it in long term storage, and then as soon as I started moving, mom needed some to "decorate her classroom". I got it all back (I THINK) But my DOTH bag is all scattered, and I'm feeling an itch to use it soon. Plus, I got a couple of cool new toys for Christmas and I have to give them their home. (Like a really cool collapsible solar lantern, A BOWCASE! & NEW ARROWS!, and a manufactured underquilt! I can retire my butchered wal-mart sleeping bag!) Inventory and organize all of my backpacking & camping gear by Feb. 4th. Make sure it is mostly all added into KnowYourStuff- = 20pts *Adventure Bonus* I have everything I need to kayak in colder weather. It's not top of the line, but it's adequate. I have put off using it for at least a couple of years. That's going to stop. I WANT to do it, I just talk myself out of it. I'll go kayaking between now and Feb. 2nd (to clarify, on flat water)
  18. Guess who's back?! (No, not Slim Shady....) It's been at least 6 months since I last took part in a proper challenge (holy crap, it's been so long!). I realize this one is coming a few days late, but I've had all kinds of shit going down lately and I'm slowly catching up. There's a lot to fill you all in on, but I'll do my best to give you as brief of a synopsis as possible before moving forward with my challenge goals. For those who don't know or remember me - HI! I'm your friendly neighbourhood Ranger-Cyborg who has a hankering for adventure, crafting, video games, and overall badassness. Last you guys really saw from me was a month or two after my second ICL surgery, where I had my contact lens implants replaced (hence the cyborg bit). Thankfully, everything is going great on that front! At the time, I was getting back into the crossfit game, doing some urbexing, and had recently purchased my replacement car after hit and run totaled my previous one. My boyfriend and I were living on the Massachusetts coast line and trying to get our collective 'stuff' together - sorting our individual mental health problems, improving the living situation, and doing general growing up/adulting. The present... I am continuing to go to therapy for depression and anxiety after starting last spring; it has been incredibly helpful, but opened up a lot of old wounds that never properly healed. Long term, this is good, but it has made me question a lot of things in my life. I became (and still am to some degree) unsure of my surroundings, priorities, and, most disturbingly, myself. It's brought about A LOT of introspective thought and having to figure out what's really important to me. I'm still working on it, it's not a done deal, but pieces are coming into place. I have a better idea of what path I need to be on. As for my car, I'm still loving the hell out of it, and she runs and drives like a dream. Even with the snow, ice, and low temps we've had recently, she's been swell! Now, onto some major changes. For starters, my job has been sucking the life out of me, and I've been looking to move on for a few months now. It's gotten to the point where I am just so apathetic about my work and it takes all of my effort to even get out of bed in the morning (granted, depression doesn't help with that). Luckily, a friend knew of a position that was opening at her company and offered to pass on my resume. Long story short, I should be receiving an offer letter in my inbox any day now Received the offer today - JOB ACCEPTED!! Time for the next steps Secondly, Shaun and I are no longer together. I came to the realization during my introspection that I wasn't happy in my relationship and hadn’t been for a long time. There were a number of factors involved - some had been there since the beginning, and others had come up over the last year. Ultimately, I ended it, but it's turned into a bit of a nasty situation. In any case, I have moved in with my college friend for the foreseeable future. Even with this big bad thing slowly settling itself in the background, it's brought about some good things too - I'll be closer to my new job, I have unlimited access to my friend-turned-roommate's 3 kitties (Max, Momo, and Goober), and I've made new friends and am working on strengthening my pre-existing relationships. I've also started seeing someone else, which has been an adventure in and of itself (especially since I was not expecting to get into anything new for a while, nor was I looking for it. It just kinda...happened). Lastly, due to my move, I am no longer participating in crossfit. It’s not something I want to give up completely, but I’m going to have to hold off for a bit because of the way my finances are right now. I’m bummed about it, but I gotta do what I gotta do. I think that’s all the big, or at least the most prevalent, stuff that tends to show up in my posts. So, shall we move along to the goals?
  19. So, back in July or August I messed up my left shoulder. Learned my shoulder structure will tend to inflame my rotator cuff if I'm not careful. Lost a lot of mountain biking time, and gained about 15 pounds. Some big-picture goals I am working on: rebuilding overall strength, making time for fun, and eventually losing weight. Fitness Goals: Workout at least 3 days per week, minimum workout: 3 rounds of: 25 jumping jacks 15-second samson stretch(both sides) 10 squats 10 sit-ups 10 ring rows (scaled) 5 ring pushups (scaled) Go snowboarding 2 or more times per week (gotta get my money's worth for the season pass, plus getting to have fun with my kids) Drink 4 or more glasses of water per day Level Up Goals: Record at least one video each week for my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/superbrewers/ While weight-loss isn't my main goal, I am currently 6'8"(203.2 dm) and 247.5 pounds(112.3 kg). I would like to get below 230 pounds(104 kg). I will post measurements soon.
  20. This time around, like so many of my other challenges, I started out with one idea and it morphed into something totally other. I was planning to do a "Spartan Race" challenge because I'm attempting one in December (full disclosure: I'm probably going to die) and while I was looking for some good movie quotes I stumbled across "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" which I hadn't seen before, watched it, and I sort of latched on to it instead. It really seemed to speak to where I'm at right now. So instead of Gerard Butler's abs you get to look at Ben Stiller for a month. I am so sorry. On the bright side, there will be tacos. Anywaaaaay.... I did a lot of interesting stuff at the beginning of the year when I took a work break, to try to widen my horizons and sort of chase my dreams of traveling more and showcasing my travel photography and writing. I did a few things, but when I went back to work (sooner than planned, actually) those things kind of went on the back burner and I got sucked into day-to-day boringness again. Like Walter, I became a little gray piece of paper. (this is not technically accurate because I don't work in an office, but you get the idea.) So I want to revive some of those goals and start writing, adventuring, etc again. I really feel like I'm missing out on my last chance to be this person I want to be by getting bogged down in minutia. I'm getting really old - and I need to take the proverbial leap of faith. Fortunately I'm coming into a slower season for my job and I am going to work diligently at managing my time and not wasting hours futzing on the internets* obsessing over weird stuff, so I have more time for adventures. Also the weather is changing for the better finally (summer was like hell's vestibule this year) so I can re-incorporate some of the stuff I did for "Escape of the Zoo Human" like camping and suchlike without an oxygen tank and weapons-grade insect repellent. But enough plot exposition. To the GOALS! PUT OUT THE MAGAZINE: In the movie Walter works at LIFE magazine, just as it is supposedly shutting down. Ironically, the very "digital revolution" that wiped out the magazine enables goons like me to share their work online easily and reach an audience. So my goal is to work on my podcasts, photography, videos etc at least four days a week, and "publish" something once a week. TRAVEL JOURNAL: Walter has a travel journal in the film that serves as a talisman of his dreams. There's a great sequence where he looks at the journal and then the next time you see it he's writing in it in the Himalayas. It sort of symbolizes the moment Walter starts living his adventures for real, instead of just dreaming about them. I don't plan to go to Ungoverned Afganistan and the lower Himalayas**, but I my goal is to post to my travel blog 4 times a week. It can just be a "photo of the day" or something similar. SELL THE PIANO: Almost at the end of the film, Walter has to sell his mom's piano, which has been bogging everyone physically, emotionally, and financially down, all through the movie. It's a good symbol of letting go of "stuff". Goal: I want to streamline my possessions and get rid of 20% of my stuff. I plan to do this on a room-by-room basis, to make it more manageable. THE WORLD ON YOUR PLATE: There's a lot of food references in SLOWM, including a scene where Cheryl is bringing some sort of tasty noodle lunch back to the office, a bit where Walter almost chokes on some horrible dried-fish snack in a Greenland dive bar, and of course the recurring appearances of his mom's warlord-approved clementine cake. (bonus points for anyone who knows "Cake or Death") I am lucky that I live in a very "International" sort of city (albeit in the suburbs) and I have access to all kinds of ethnic restaurants, music, art etc. I used to have a "foreign food Friday" routine where I dragged one of my friends to a different foreign cuisine every week, to experiment. (I would pay for their meal in case it was disgusting). I want to re-instate that and also start going more musical, artsy things as well. This is especially good for me because the time is going to change soon and it will get dark at 6pm, at which point I will want to hibernate until spring, like a bear. I need serious motivation to get out of the house in winter. Goal: 2x a week. (Fortunately ethnic food is usually cheap) ADVENTURE WAITS FOR NO ONE: Goal: one small adventure a week - camping, kayaking, museum, rock climbing gym, attend a lecture, get waterboarded, something. Moment of serious: I had a lot of shocks in the last 12 months. I had a serious bike accident, I had a serious car accident, a giant tree fell almost on my house, my father died unexpectedly, I had two close friends lose best friends/spouses to illness... I don't know how many times the universe is going to warn me that life has a timer before I fucking get the message but it's the truth. I'm 48 years old, which means my life is more than half over by any rational statistical reckoning. Two-thirds, really. I NEED to have a midlife crisis. Because time runs out. Okay, enough serious. Look at this kitten until you feel better. TEST YOUR LIMITS: You thought I was going to get through this entire post without talking about Crossfit, didn't you? You did. hahahahaha, you sweet, foolish person. I will be preparing for my Spartan Race (December 4th! whooot!) so I will be training like a madwoman for that, and I'm toying with getting into adventure racing (where you run, kayak, parachute, whatever). There will be pullups, there will be ring work, there will be deadlifting and handstands, and I will babble about it constantly, because RANGERING, BITCHES. Ummmm okay I think that's it. I don't know how these things always get so long. I may have used up all my Walter Mitty pictures so it's back to cat gif's shortly, I'm afraid. Probably this is better for everyone. *not including NF, obviously. I mean, be reasonable. **never say never, though
  21. Superhero Challenge is here at last! I've had this one in the back of my mind for a minute, so this should be fun. It's also influenced by some things I've seen @Tanktimus the Encourager, @Sloth the Enduring and @Atrytone do over the summer, and credit for the title goes to @deftona So I wanted to do a very serious superhero challenge, and I spent a lot of time pondering who the right superhero to model on. Superman? Wonderwoman? The Flash? So many choices... I needed someone who hit all the points and inspired me and suited my personality. And then I figured it out.... Yes, it's THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO!!!! Now, I know what you are thinking. Wasn't Ralph Hinkley, the Greatest American Hero, kind of a doofus? Wasn't he constantly screwing up and flailing? Didn't he lose his own instruction book? Did he have any idea what he was doing at any given time? All these things are true. But isn't that all of us? I have a constant, ongoing conversation with my training partner, the Mantis, about what I am training for. He helps design my programming, and when we are working on it he's always asking me "what do you want to do? Triathalon? Power Lift? Crossfit? You have to tell me why you're doing this so I can figure out what you need to do." And I'm always like, Fuck, I don't know. I want to do everything. I keep thinking, there has to be more to this. It can't just be about trying look good naked and be less fat and show off in the gym. I would have given up long ago if that was it. (Especially the be less fat bit. Sigh.) There has to be something pushing me other than utter vanity. And a few weeks ago, one of the trainers at my gym happened to be asking me, "so what are you training for? Why are you here?" - the eternal question - and just as we were chatting I happened to look up at the TV in the gym and the news was showing the flooding in Virginia (Louisiana would come a few weeks later) and the shot was of people taking their little shitty johnboats and canoes and whatever they could find, and going BACK into the flooded areas to rescue other people, sometimes people they didn't even know, from the flooding. And in that moment it crystalized for me and I pointed at the TV and said "because I want to be that guy." Look, it would be awesome to be an invincible beast that never got hurt, helped the helpless, did the right thing, showed up at the right time, saved the world, AND remembered to file their taxes quarterly. I would love that. But I'm not. Especially the taxes part. But I can be Ralph. I can be as fit as possible to be as useful as possible, as best as I can. And until I am called upon to save the world, I can be an everyday hero, and I can rescue cats and help the neighbor with her groceries and whatever. It's what Ralph would do. Okay, on to the actual challenge training and goals: Everyday Hero: Be Kind: give one random compliment or helpful thing per day. Be Useful: learn one thing useful in emergencies per week. CPR, emergency first aid, change a tire & jump a battery, evacuation techniques for injured people, etc. Make it better: make one donation or volunteer one hour per week to a good cause. Let yourself fly: Ralph, famously, could fly but never figured out how to land. I have some ideas for stuff that I want to do that I keep shrinking from because I'm scared to fail at them. I need to take those risks and let the landing sort itself out. Strong like Hero: I have three gym workouts per week. They are: PHT A: 10 mins rower then 4 circuits: 1 arm rows glute bridge bench press leg extension delt raise jump rope incline press KB swing tricep extension prowler push pull-up (still working on these) PHT B: 10 min rower 4 circuits: deadlift t-bar row step-up bench press hamstring curl military press jump rope push up kb swing sled pull walking lunge inverted row HIIT/Cardio: I do three rounds of this, with 5 min rest between rounds. I do the rower first, then 3x of the moves in italics, then finish with the sandbag run. Rest and Repeat. 250 meter row 10 kb swings 10 wall balls 30 sec battle ropes 200 meter sandbag run Non - Gym workouts: Bike 2-3x week, plus skate, jog, kayak, whatever, as it fits in the schedule. So that's it! Should be a fun challenge; these are cool workouts and I'm looking forward to them. Let's do this Edited to add: Have to shout out to @Phoenix Burning for introducing me to the book Natural Born Heroes and Georges Hebert and the concept of "be fit to be useful" several challenges back. I stand on the shoulders of giants. (or at least their reading reccomendations)
  22. I'm really just starting this thread because I like to have a home to hang out in. Battle logs are just not the same. This is going to be a bit of a weird challenge. In 10 days I'm flying out to San Francisco to go to Burning Man! For anyone unfamiliar with BM here's a nice little video: After BM I'm flying down to LA for a few days, then back to Sweden, then BACK to the US for a conference in Boston 10 days laters. I'll stay there for about 10 days (hey look at that) then another 10ish days before traveling down to my parents' place in Sweden for a GMB workshop. PHEW! I'm tired just typing that out! I've already lost any semblance of a routine in the last month or two, first because of injury, then because of visiting friends, and now because I'm deep into preparations for Burning Man. This challenge is going to be a token effort to at least not mess up my body more than necessary. Goal #1: Hydrate! This is going to be super important in the desert. I'm a terrible drinker of water, I forget to drink very easily and while most times it's ok (even though I do tend to slip into light dehydration mode on a semi-regular basis to be honest) it's going to be CRUCIAL to drink enough in the desert. So I need to start getting used to it now. I'm going to aim to drink 2.5 liters of water per day until I leave and then drink even more in the desert. Since I know I'll be doing a lot of flying (and boozing) even after BM I'm going to keep the goal when I get back but with a new baseline. Goal #2: Move! This is going to be lamest training goal ever. Move for at least 15 minutes every day. Any type of movement or maintenance work is ok. But max one lying on the floor passive stretch. Plus points if it's a GMB friendly activity. Go for at least one long walk per week. Do strengthy work 3x/week (ish). It doesn't even have to be all in one day. But 3 sets of pull, push, legs, core and some kind of armbalance or inversion. Except when I'm at Burning man, then the "goal" is to explore, mess around on the artwork, play and dance. Goal #3: Don't get fat With all the travel my eating is going to get weird. That's ok. But getting fatter is not ok, I'm already at the very high end of comfortable. This is a very vague goal, but basically: Don't eat like a jerk. Eat more veggies and fruit. WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  23. My to-do list. To be completed, in no particular order, between now and estimated date of expiry sometime around the year 2070. - Become light enough to fit a wetsuit designed for a 5ft 3 woman - Snorkel in the sea - See a basking shark - Build something useful out of beach litter - Build something beautiful out of beach litter - Learn to SCUBA dive - Get a dry suit - Train for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue team - Go to another country, at all - Deadlift your own body weight - Hold a plank for two minutes - See the Christmas market in Munich - Visit the Medieval market in Turku like I promised a friend way back in 2008 - Sell a painting - Paint a stormy sea from life instead of my imagination - Finish reading Moby Dick - Build a weaving loom - Learn to weave wool - Knit a sock - Knit two socks that just about match - Give socks to someone who needs socks - Squat your own body weight - Build a canoe - Learn how to paddle a canoe - Do something useful with your ability to SCUBA dive - Teach someone else how to knit - Dive somewhere in Cornwall - Snorkel somewhere along the North West Highland snorkel trail - Go to another continent, at all - Do something useful with your ability to lift your own body weight - Learn how to paint realistic rain - Go to a marine science conference - Plant an apple tree, and keep it safe - Work out a way to turn non-recyclable takeaway cups into something actually useful, instead of pencil holders - Go north of Aviemore - See the fairy pools on Skye - Walk the West Highland Way - Go back to Breachacha bay armed with gardening gloves and a trailer; remove all of that washed up fishing gear - Make Christmas chutney from apples grown on my apple tree - Cook Christmas dinner for my family - Take out life insurance.
  24. Sora.2

    Sora's Shot

    Hello all! It's been quite some time since I was last part of the scouts or the NF community. You may remember me from my previous account, username "Sora". I made a post HERE yesterday detailing my absence and change of account. Regardless, I'm back, and that's what's important! Part of the reason I'm starting this challenge a few days late is my account troubles, but I figure better late than never. So Let's Go! This Summer, I'm completing an internship in Japan, near Kyoto. Some of you may remember my challenges from the past that led up to my first trip to Japan, and I'm really happy to be back in this amazing place. However, I have found that I haven't been living a very productive life while I have been here. It's been almost a month, and I'm sick of being unproductive and wasting this amazing opportunity to improve myself. So, for this challenge, I have decided to channel Saitama from One Punch Man and work towards a better me through aggressive repetition. Goal 1: Workout! Rather than taking Saitama's workout directly (100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats, and 10 k of running everyday for three years), I'll be adapting it so fit my my current fitness level and timetable: Run 5 days a week, and incorporate body weight exercises... week 1: 2 days / week 2: 3 days / week 3: 4 days / week 4: 5 days The idea is to get back into running consistently again, while adding in some other moves to make myself more well rounded. I'm hoping to try out some types of fitness in the next year, so the body weight work (primarily push ups, squats, and sit ups) should help me gain some strength outside of distance running and improve my overall fitness level. There is also a good chance that I'll be climbing Mr. Fuji in July during my trip to Tokyo, so I'll need all the strength I can get! Goal 2: Cook! Cook 1 meal a day at least six days a week. At least one recipe must be new each week. This is my first time living and cooking 100% on my own for an extended period of time, and I've been wasting a lot of money the last few weeks eating out. The food here is AMAZING, but I need to start eating a little healthier and economically. My Goal here is to expand my cooking ability through consistently cooking and trying new recipes. One of my ideas for the next four week challenge is to work towards a paleo diet, but I think the first step towards this goal should be simply cooking in general. Goal 3: Hydrate! Drink 100 Ounces of Water a day, and limit soft drinks to once a day. At home in Michigan, I'm usually much better about staying hydrated. However, since my lifestyle changed significantly when I moved here, I have found myself drinking less. It's also much hotter and humid here than I am used to (yay rainy season!), so it's even more important that I am intentional about my hydration. I also need to try to avoid the many options that the plethora of vending machines here have to offer (Japan has the highest ratio of vending machines to landmass of any nation worldwide). I have downloaded the "iHydrate" app to track my progress. Life Goal: Daily Routine Complete at least three of the following each day, and complete all of them at least: Week 1: 1 time Week 2: 2 times Week 3: 3 times Week 4: 4 times Tasks: Read (20 minutes), Vlog (Film one video OR Edit one video), Study Japanese ( 1.5 hours), Clean (including laundry, dishes, etc. Basically anything in my apartment), Adventure (go somewhere I have never been before), Draw (1 completed sketch of 30 minutes working on full drawing) I have a lot of things I want to accomplish while I'm here, and the only way I'm going to be able to do that is by consistently practicing all of them. I've been doing fine doing them individually, but the problem for me has been giving attention to all of these things at once and finding the proper balance. So, through this goal, I'm hoping to slowly add more on to my plate and adjust to the balance gradually. IN SUMMARY: I'm hoping to slowly add more onto my plate as the challenge progresses. Through repeating everything consistently, I'm hoping to become a hero like Saitama! I'm super excited to be back among the NF community, especially the scouts. I'd love to talk more with you all, and I hope we can all reach our goals together! Let's go!
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