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  1. TL:DR version: This is my own adaptation on the "Walk to Mordor and Back Again" thread which can be found here: https://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/105502-walk-to-mordor-and-back-again-2018/. Major props to Charlomechfry for their hard work to and from Mordor. I'm following along. I'm going to run a lot. I'm going to track my progress and post random facts to motivate myself to exercise more. My rules / baselines are below. Long version: "Pokemon Red’s map isn’t based on present-day Tokyo, it’s based on the pre-sprawl Tokyo of the 1960s. The towns that are connected by forests and rivers in the Pokemon world are connected by concrete and bullet trains in our world." (Brad O'Farrell, https://www.polygon.com/2015/4/10/8339935/pokemon-new-york-tokyo-paris") I used to play the Pokemon games religiously as a child; but it wasn't until I was almost ready to graduate college for the first time that I realized every town in the Pokemon red, blue, and yellow series of games is based off of a real-world location in Japan. Take Pallet Town for example. Pallet Town is based off of Satoshi Taijri's hometown from the 1960's (see below). I then thought to myself "If every town in the video game is based off of a real-world location, and it takes a little more than two hours to complete the game, how long would it actually take walking from one town to the next in the real world?" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I put a couple of weeks worth of effort into studying Google Maps and Bulbapedia and deduced that it would take a person an approximate distance of 907 km (563.5 mi) to cover Pallet Town (Shizuoka City) all the way to Fuchsia City (Tateyama City) covering the same storyline (minus side quests) covered in the video game. More to come on how I calculated all of this. The official city wikipedia page states that Taijri based the fictional Pallet Town off of Machida City where he grew up as a child. On the same note, Bulbapedia.com states that Pallet Town corresponds to Shimoda City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan in the real world. Shimoda City Pallet Town 0 Hakone Town Viridian City 90.1 km Okuchichibu Mts. Viridian Forest 99.5 km Maebashi City Pewter City 99.8 km Mount Akagi Mt. Moon 19.6 km Tsuchiura City Cerulean City 125.0 km Yokohama City Vermilion City 96.3 km Tsuchiura City Cerulean City 96.3 km Mt. Fuji Rock Tunnel 38.2 km Narita City Lavender Town 78.8 km Shinjuku City Celadon City 62.9 km Marunouchi Saffron City 7.0 km Shinjuku City Celadon City 7.0 km Tateyama City Fuchsia City 86.5 km Oshima Island Cinnabar Island 0.0 ? Indigo Plateau 0.0 This journal is meant to keep me motivated to exercise. A blend of the old with the new. A new take on the video games I loved and left behind years ago.
  2. I know what I'm doing! Kicking it off with the first Nerd Fitness Challenge! I attempted a challenge last month in the midst of the holiday craziness, and it didn't turn out well. There was just too much going on at once, and attempting to juggle a challenge? I was driving myself insane. But I'm not giving up! I never want to give up and stop trying. I will continue to come back, push through challenges, ask for help and motivation, and keep my chin up until I have built a concrete and successful routine to better my lifestyle. I did a lot of reflecting on what I need to do in a Respawn Point post, and I plan to dutifully stick to everything as much as I can. I can say that, on an emotional/mental level, I've been doing pretty good! I have been doing things to keep a smile on my face. I'm still learning to accept that being a sensitive individual is NOT a bad thing. I'm no longer pushing myself into social situations that I absolutely do NOT want to be in. Would it be nice to have a few folks to hang out with outside my family? Maybe, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don't need to do that. The times I have gone out in an attempt to meet folks, I just didn't enjoy it. I tried to tell myself and others that I did, but I was trying to make my self-conscious believe it so that I would keep trying I guess. Our brain works in funny ways like that. I've also been fighting with a lot of past events that I still seem to fall back on at the oddest of times. Bad ex-roommate/friend situations, bad job situations, and just bad or sad things in general. I'm not sure why, but it happens every now and again. There were times when I felt guilty about the roommate/friend ordeal, but I have started down the path that I cannot and should not carry blame. I know, in my heart, that I did everything and anything I could for said group of people. I was there when they needed me, took care of them when they needed it, and gave far more than I should have. In the end, I was labeled as the bad friend, but I know the truth. I know what really happened, and that is what I'm going to remember. As for my work situation, I was not happy with my job. I didn't really like my job. It was stressful (probably too stressful for what I was getting into mentally) and just put a lot of pressure on me. I stayed there because it paid very well, offered me a lot of perks, and I was able to work remotely. I was able to visit family during holidays, and stay for a long period of time. In the end, I just couldn't handle it. Not in the state that I was. I am letting go of these things - these feelings and regrets - and not looking back. I am going to continue to look forward. I am going to learn from these lessons and work to be a better me! ALL OF THAT SAID: 2016? And now I move on! QUEST ONE: YOU BETTER WORK, WORK IT GIRL! I found three workouts that I wanted to do in order to start building up some stamina, muscle, endurance, and what not on Darebees. I plan on revisiting these three workouts as they are good for beginners. This quest is going to help me get back into a exercise routine while burning some calories, greasing up rusty muscles, and hopefully boosting my energy levels! I am also going to incorporate one day of yoga a week. This should help me work on my flexibility, maintain some good energy vibes, and possibly help with some lower back pain. THREE TIMES A WEEK: cardio inc workout | slow burn workout | mermaid workout ONCE A WEEK: various beginner yoga sequences QUEST TWO: MILLIONS OF PEACHES, PEACHES FOR ME! TRACK YO FOOD. That is literally what my second quest is going to be. When I was tracking my food, I was eating better. I was junk fooding less. I was just feeling better because I wasn't eating so much. I know that, in the past so many months, I have gained a lot of weight from overeating. Some of it has been stress eating. Some has been eating out of boredom (which is the WORST). There are a lot of things, but the most important thing is that I get back into tracking what I'm eating. Whether it's through My Fitness Pal, in a notebook, in a Google Doc; RECORD IT. Also, record how much water I'm drinking. I was drinking LOTS of water, but have been slacking. I also need to cut back on my soda drinking. It hasn't gotten out of hand, but I want to go down to one a week. I was down to drinking no soda, but I do enjoy Ginger Ale or Sprite every now and again. TRACK ALL FOOD. ONE SODA A WEEK. MORE WATER. QUEST THREE: OOH-OO CHILD, THINGS ARE GONNA GET EASIER! This one contains a WHOLE LOT of things that, I think, will make life EASIER and BRIGHTER. I may also have been watching Guardians of the Galaxy while writing this up. EITHER WAY? IT WORKS. I want to take time out to just make ME feel better. I want to make OTHERS feel better. I want to take better care of myself and not feel so G R O S S in so many words. Whether it's painting my nails, doing one of my Craftsy classes, working on crafts, or watching a silly movie that I love, I NEED TO DO THIS. I also want to do all of this with MY MOM. She needs lots of laughter and smiles right now and always. If I can keep my spirits up and keep myself in a good place, that will help HER be in a good place. See? IT WILL GET EASIER AND BRIGHTER! DO FUN THINGS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. (Once a day, a few times a week, WHATEVER! Just do it.) GET OUT OF YOUR JIMMYJAMS. (Even if it's to put on sweatpants or leggings or whatever! Brush your hair, take a few minutes to reflect, and smile!) YOU ARE IMPORTANT. (Take better care of yourself, girlfriend. You deserve it!) EXTRA: YOU CAN COLOR MY WORLD WITH HAPPINESS ALL THE WAY! As my extra, I keep picking up and putting down my sketch pads with little to nothing to show for it. My creativity and inspiration is very low almost like that weird snow you get on bad channels. STATIC! It's very frustrating because it use to be on HIGH ALERT for a long time. Apparently anti-depression medication (and medication that messes with your head in general) can cause this to happen. I don't want to force it because then it's not fun, but I want to get SOMETHING going. I've been poking around in my "ADULT" coloring books and working with color palettes. I need to find something to give me a bit of a jump start. There are a lot of challenges, inspirations, and what not on Pinterest and Instagram that I might look through. See what speaks to me and everything. I am ALSO trying to do a silly selfie a day through 2017 on Instagram! I just want to bring happiness and smiles to others, and remind myself not to take everything too seriously. I'm having a lot of fun with it so far. I'm even using some great Snapchat filters to add a little VA VA VOOM to them. It's great because the feeling of laughing just makes the day better. I'm very excited about really taking this challenge and owning it like a champ! I know I have a lot of great folks here to help me along the way, and to help me keep my rear in gear!
  3. So I've been thinking a lot about how I never think before I eat. Or rather, I never think about what I'm going to put into my mouth and how it will affect me. As a gamer, I'm aware of the idea of incremental progress. You gain your experience points, you slowly improve in your skills, you gradually master your attack rotation for your frikkin' Frost mage. Or, you know. Whatever. >.> The point is that food works the same way, with the added attraction of negative progress. Some foods are clearly good for humans. Some foods are clearly not good for humans. There's a lot of gray area, of course, where it comes down to moderation. Friends and neighbors, I suck at moderation. I've mentioned a few times that I hate to include cheat days on my diets because I know that one cheat lead to another, and suddenly I've eaten an entire bag of flour. I've been giving some thought to the idea that the best way for me to short-circuit the road to flourville is for me to actually think about what I'm going to eat before I eat it. I'm going to take the time to think about what the calories are like, what the ingredients are and how they've been prepared, and what a particular piece of food will do to my body. It's a simple concept, Spark, what of it? Sure, it's simple. All habits are simple on paper. The fact is that I've almost never taken the time to think about what I eat before I eat it. The last challenge had me counting calories, which was a hell of a big step in the right direction for this fat guy. Now I'm taking another step and thinking about the results of eating...well, everything. For six weeks. And just so I don't fudge (OMG fudge I make such good fudge no shut up shut up), I'm going to write it all down as well as think about it. Therefore, my goals for this six week challenge cycle! 1. A hero who thinks will win out over a villain who does not. Before I eat anything...anything, I will think about the results. I will consider calories, carbs, and protein. I will look at the micronutrients, and consider what I know of them. I will think about whether I am actually hungry, and whether I am considering a piece of food for the pleasure of it, or for its nutritional value. This will also involve me keeping track of my calories again (1800 seemed to be a reasonable daily thang) and cooking for myself more often. The goal is to make myself more mindful of what I'm eating rather than just stuffing in food by reflex. 2. I can't find anything in this damn Batcave. I got the clutters, folks. I have a lot of crap that I never see, never use, and will never need again. I have places to store things, but they're overflowing with the aforementioned crap. I need to clean my room, my truck, the back porch, and the shed outside. I need to box, sort, dust, vaccuum, wash, and tidy. I need to figure out what I have that I need and don't need, and send the stuff I don't need to the farm, which in this case is a local secondhand store. To that end, I hereby pledge to spend an hour cleaning every day except on the weekends. Cleaning encompasses tidying, moving, breaking down, dumping, and even actual cleaning. 3. The Never-Ending Battle. I lost about nine pounds during the last challenge cycle, bringing me down below 440 lbs for the first time since Hector was a pup. I honestly don't know how long it's been since I was that "light," since for a long time I couldn't find any scales that could weigh me. The goal, though, is 400 pounds by my birthday in late October. I'm at 438. Therefore, the battle rages onward. a. Work out. Weights on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Home workouts on Monday and Friday, including the sloshing and the kett'ling. Bare minimum: Walk a mile on those days. And that's if I'm bleeding from the ears. b. Stick to the Whole23.4. That's my version of the Whole30, which is basically "Whole30 with some cheese." Because dude, CHEESE. c. Check in here every day. Knowing that people are going to check in on me, even if it's a couple people, helps me a lot. 4. I should write my memoirs. During my last challenge, I wrote the first half of my second book, which came to about 81k words. This time? The second half. Oh, and I plan to join DarK_RaideR's Optional Ranger Mini-Challenge, both because I think it's awesome and because he was crazy enough to base it on a book that I wrote. Cheers!
  4. The Dragon is awake, but is often still sleepy. During this challenge, I will unlock the energy needed to just keep going, and going, and going... I know I am positing late again, but I actually started doing this challenge on time. I have already learned that consistently doing the challenge goals below helps enormously with my energy and mood. This is a bit of an "unchallenge" in that my goals might not seem overly specific below, though they are very specific in my mind. Goal 1: Physical Power and Control Improve strength, with a goal of reaching the minimum military fitness standard for women by 4th of July. (****Edit later to include actual stats****). I just turned 40, so I will be VERY happy when I do this. Improve aerobic capacity, with the goal of being able to sustain 20 minutes of aerobic activity without stepping down the intensity by the end of the challenge. Maintain and improve flexibility, balance and body control. This is the fun part. The Hobbit is supposed to get the kids to help him build an obstacle course in the back yard which will help with this a lot. Goal 2: Ideal Fuel Follow 70/30 Alkaline Paleo diet. I had a big increase in energy when I first went paleo, and now I am experimenting with alkaline paleo. The basic theory is this: the body has an ideal pH level of the blood that it needs to maintain. Foods tend to have either an acidifying or alkalizing effect on the body. Eating mostly (70-80%) alkalizing foods helps your body maintain optimal health by not needing to work so hard to keep the proper pH balance. So far, it seems to make a HUGE difference in how I feel. Hydrate! Drink about half my bodyweight in ounces each day of water, non-caffeinated teas, and vegetable juices. For me, the goal is 60-65 ounces. Breathe & lymphasize. Take breaks for deep or pranayamic breathing, and bounce on a rebounder for 20 minutes at least 5 times a week. Goal 3: Focus and Fun Meditate and/or visualize goals daily Daily gratitude Practice authenticity at least twice a week. This means I need to do something that makes me feel vulnerable, or like I am exposing a part of myself I prefer to hide. This will probably include finally posting a progress pic... Get social at least twice a week outside of the Geek gaming meetup. This is one of my biggest challenge areas - contacting and seeing friends. Be an involved parent. At least twice a week, spend quality time with the kids or get them involved in a household project with me. Also a big challenge (read: FEAR) area. I am also doing a lot of work on improving my time management, motivation, and my business, as well as the Hobbit's company. I will try to post progress on those fronts as well, at least if something interesting is happening.
  5. Trials, The Tribulations. Alliteration, as always, an abstract aptitude allows anyone awaiting an awesome acknowledgment at any altitude an absolute application acquired ages ago after acing all applicable areas. K...I think I am done now... Anywho, back to the challenges after a leave of absence; I had taken leave as I had lost my path to level 50 and searched for it again. I had found that I really do enjoy these challenges, and look forward to accomplishing life goals again. Listed below was my Level 50 Goals as a project in works: Main Quests: Work out to improve overall health Document and Improve PR's of weighted workouts Improve Running: 5k [3.27 miles 26:30-ish on 19 November 2014; 30:05 on 9 June 2014]; 10k, 1/2 marathon Ruck 20 miles in full battle weight Become proficient with weapons: Bow, Hand Gun, Long arms (rifle, shotgun, etc) Learn a martial Art; Learn a sword style Learn a second language Learn a third language Earn a Master's Degree Dive Florida Keys; Australia/Great Barrier Reef; Japan This past month, I realized finances are pretty darn important as most of those quests will cost money (through acquiring and instructions). I thought I had my finances under control, but I have recently reached my max credit on my credit card and it gave me the heebie-jeebies to make some adjustments A bit of backstory; I had a roommate who was supplying some income and was able to pay for himself (or so I considered). For one reason or another, lost the job and no longer had that income. Being the nice guy I am, I tried to continue affording our cost of living while he searched for another job. 30 days later, I know I couldn't bear the burden and had to kick him out (no hard feelings on either side; roommate is currently living with someone else while he continues looking for a job). I also purchased tickets to attend my college roommate's wedding (who invited me as his Best Man) and didn't really have the "emergency/slush fund" to pay for it. Between those two, I am sure I will be swinging my finances back on the right side of the track, but I want to actually take the nerd approach to my financial issues this challenge; and I also need to clean the house. With that, this six week challenge now comes into play 6 Week Quest Fitness: Gym Workouts 2x/week with Bodyweight workout 1x/week If failed, Bodyweight workout replacement Aerobic Workout 2x/week Life: Build budget spreadsheet of at least three months prior to analyze finances Pay off as much debt as possible [Credit Card > Student Loan > Car Loan > Personal Loan] Clean all rooms of house [2 bedrooms a complete mess; 1 bedroom, living/dining, kitchen, and 2.5 bath need maintenance] For this challenge I am willing to sacrifice my workouts for my life goals, as I am stressing too much over my finances. I am not comfortable reporting the minute details of my finances online, but I will say that the debt tier is in order of percent interest (Credit card with highest and Personal Loan with lowest interest rate). I have already made steps forward in controlling my finances [kicking out the roommate; unfortunate, but needed to be done; and I have also canceled my Satellite TV service as I no longer watch TV with the exception of Netflix (100/month > 11/month)] Big shoutout to anim07734! This first week will be entertaining as I will be traveling Wednesday to 7258 ft ASL and returning on Sunday. Due to elevation, I may not have the energy [or air] to complete my workouts, and my main mission is to support the wedding. I will get what I can accomplished, but I won't be terribly disappointed if things don't go as planned. I will at least have the analysis done on my finance and start cutting other money drains.
  6. If you have been following me for a few challenges, you may remember a few references to an upcoming Top Secret Mission (TSM). Well, it is getting down to the wire, and I need to have preparations more than 90% completed by the end of this challenge. The most logical thing for me to do is focus this challenge around preparing for the TSM! Here is the catch: the TSM is a surprise for hubby’s birthday – he is hitting one of the big round numbers this year. Even though he has not yet shown the inclination to come on Nerd Fitness (no matter how much I have encouraged him), I can’t post details in case he does. It is, after all, a Top Secret Mission. Not to worry, however, all will be revealed by the 7th of November on this thread, so you just need to endure a bit of suspense, and a bit of torturous clue-dropping. Here is the training and preparation plan devised: Goal 1: Agents Must Be Ready for Any Physical Challenge- Build greater fitness with well-rounded physical training. Parts of the TSM will be physically demanding, and I must be in the best shape I have been in for years to have the greatest success with the mission. I am going to devote a minimum of 20 minutes (30 minutes preferred), 6 days a week, to physical workouts. These will be at least 2 days of a bodyweight workout (a REAL BWW, not a mishmash of occasional sets throughout the day), 2 days of an aerobic workout, and 2 days of a long (at least 20 minutes) yoga routine. I will grade myself on frequency and duration of the workouts, keeping the appropriate types, and pushing myself. I have complete freedom to change the exact BWW, yoga routines, and kind of aerobic exercise. I am also free to change the days of the week on which I do different workouts, though I am going to try to stick with this routine: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Rest BWW Aerobic Yoga BWW Aerobic Yoga Since one of my problems in past challenges has been muscle fatigue after pushing myself on bodyweight workouts, I think this will help me have enough time in between to fully recover, while not having so many recovery days or needing to do such light workouts that I make little improvement. Possible Points: +2 STR, +2 STA, +2 DEX Goal 2: Agents Must Be Mentally Strong – Improve mental outlook and calm The demands of preparing for the TSM while still meeting the responsibilities of family, work, husband and friends, while ALSO keeping it all secret can be emotionally and mentally draining. I will continue the work I have been doing in positivity and meditation, with slight changes. -Ask myself 3 positive-focus questions at least once a day (2 or 3 times is better). I do not need to write or post them, just think about them. (I will still try to post some whenever I do make an update J ) -Spend at least 3 minutes in meditation daily. May be all at once, or broken into shorter chunks. Bonus: Complete the 7-day Positivity Challenge before the challenge ends. This means that for 7 consecutive days, I will have been successful at not engaging any negative thoughts. When a negative thought comes up, if I redirect my focus or attitude within 1 minute, that is still considered positive. (See the 16:30 minute mark in the video below) Possible Points: +1 CON, +2 CHA Goal 3: Defeat Enemies That Could Destroy the Mission- Weaken the evil Procrastinista & her Fear Machine There is SO much that has to happen for the TSM to be successful, and so many other things that have to happen before the Mission occurs, that procrastination could cause major failure. It is not quite ALL the things that need to happen, but it is a lot. For this goal, I am undertaking the “Conquering Fear†challenge. I can not remember where I first saw it (I thought it was in an NF email…), and both a search of my inbox and the internet did not locate it again. Essentially, the idea is to do something that scares you or that you have been putting off every day for 30 days. I am altering it a little to make room for a bad day here and there, and to make it last 6 weeks. My version: On at least 6 days each week during the challenge, I will do either something that I have been putting off, or something that I am afraid of. Some of these things may repeat (for instance, I can call a friend I have not contacted for a long time on 3 separate days and count it three times), but I may not count the same thing for consecutive days. The things may be long or short. It is the habit that is important. Possible Points: +1 CON, +1 CHA, +1 STA Life Goal: Complete Top Secret Mission Plans One cannot embark on a mission without plans – at least, not if one expects the mission to be successful. This goal will track the TSM plan progress on a progress bar in my sig file, with the goal being 90% completion or higher by the end of the challenge. I am in the process of making up a comprehensive list of everything left to do. As I check things off, I will update the progress bar and – if possible – give you a euphemistic (story-line) update on what I accomplished. Possible Points: +3 WIS Now, to launch this challenge:
  7. Does anyone here train CrossFit with a heart rate monitor? I believe that I have been training too hard at CrossFit (lingering fatigue, heightened soreness, moodiness.) In my spare time, I've been reading a lot about lactic acid production (in regards to ATP production by cells during aerobic versus anaerobic exercise) and am really starting to grasp why aerobic is better (in general) than anaerobic work. This morning, I wore a HR monitor to see how things went and I think it gave me a clear indication that I'm spending far too much time on the anaerobic side of things in the longer WODS. For example, this morning's WOD was a 30 minute EMOM. Minute 1: 4 back squats @ 75% 1RM Minute 2: 8 Burpees Minute 3: 12 Ab Mat Situps. My aerobic threshold (after VO2 max testing) is about 157. I was at 170 by the end of the first set of back squats. I only recovered back below 157 four times in 30 minutes (for less than 30 seconds each occurrence) My max HR was 182. Obviously, I have no control over programming at my box. I basically have two choices on the days I show up for a WOD - the regular WOD and either the Endurance WOD. I also have no control over the coaches "pushing" me to go harder/faster. But, am I doing more harm than good by spending extended periods of time at these higher heart rates? Ultimately, I'm responsible for myself and my overall fitness. So, those of you that wear a HR monitor... Do you stop/break if you're above your aerobic threshold during a longer WOD? (I am primarily talking about longer WODs here, since I do understand the benefit of some anaerobic work -- but that those should be quicker WODS, like Fran, Grace, etc.)
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