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  1. For whatever reason, this decided to faff off the first time I wrote it. Writing this up for the second time was not fun and it may have turned out sounding a little clipped. Sorry. I hate wasted effort. A Giant Conspiracy?? Could it be?? Stiens;Gate was an anime I was honestly convinced I'd hate. What with the classic harem dynamic, arbitrary fanservice and female troupes I dislike, it was pretty much a forgone conclusion. But, in the end, I'd had no choice. I'd just finished watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood AND Attack on Titan within weeks of each other (no break). There's a type of depression one sinks into after watching beautifully rendered anime--and I'd just gotten through two. I was sinking, like so many others before me and so I took a chance on this seemingly light hearted quickie. Stiens; Gate--the little gem--saved me from that "Good anime" funk and I was able to carry on to such tales as Hunter X Hunter and Hikaru no Go unscathed. I was lucky in this find and it seemed appropriate, given the "in-between"/recalibrating nature of this shorter challenge, to use this anime as a theme. Experiment 1: Fine Tuning +3 DEX, +2 WIS That hair flip tho Makise Kurisu is the first to join Rintarou in his work. She is definitely the details girl. Under her guidance, I will be experimenting with caloric intake. For the first week of this challenge, I will eat at the caloric level My fitness pal suggests for weight loss of 2lbs a week (Yes, this challenge will require a scale. Urgh). I just want to see what will happen, unaided by exercise. This will serve as a sort of base. Experiment 2: Double agent...make that a triple +3 DEX, +1 WIS Being...whatever Moeka turned out to be requires peculiar dexterity. And so do I! I will continue to work on my hip mobility, five minutes a day using exercises I've found on the web and through Stars. Doesn't seem like a lot, but it will keep me honest. Experiment 3: "And the 'Award for most BA' goes to..." +3 CON, +1 WIS Suzu, as we confirm towards the end, is the total package. Physically and mentally fit....perhaps the fittest? Under her wing, I will begin rucking three days a week during the second week (Mental fitness, here I come). Not sure what weight I'll start with (likely 15 lbs) and I definitely need to do more research into what this might involve (distance or time wise), so any guidance is appreciated! In week three, once I've adjusted calories from week one and two, I'll start Age of Pandora (maybe sooner). This will be a minimum of four days a week. I am trying to experiment with results (hence the tiered approach) so I am excited to see how much of a science I can make this process going forward! Challenge 4: Understanding +1 WIS, +1 CHA She annoyed me at first. A lot. But by the end she seemed sort of..profound? If anyone understood others deeply in this series, it was her. So, in this and only this I will emulate Mayuri. Once a week I will learn a new Japanese sentence so that I can more fluidly incorporate complicated grammar. I will also meet my daily Duolingo goal (30 xp total) in French and Russian. And that's all folks!
  2. Hi all! With the next challenge beginning tomorrow (at least in my time zone), I thought I'd turn to you, my comrades, for help. First thing's first: I'm Shrilaraune of Sage Mode acclaim Now, I'm trying to develop my next (third including my beginner's) challenge and I don't know enough about either of these programs to make a decision. I'm hoping, those of you who have had experience with either can advise me. First up: Hero's Journey- a classic. This is by Darebee's and I'm pretty sure just about every experienced bodyweight champ has heard of it. Now my goal is to lose inches/weight efficiently. Anything excessive and I tend to flee. In fact my last challenge (first as part of a guild) I had to bribe myself to workout (pretty intensely) 3 days a week. 3 DAYS. Hero's Journey is everyday. Read that, 毎日, Cada dias--e'erday. Frankly the idea terrifies me. Which probably means I should to it. But this close to the start of a permanent/long term thing, I don't want to overwhelm myself either. Which brings me to our second option: Age of Pandora--also by darebee. I know almost nothing about this, save that it looks like a video game version of Hero's Journey. Again, my goals are the same as above, but if Age of Pandora does seem to be what I think, then I think I could maybe manage everyday? At the end of the day, I want results I can see by the end of these 6 weeks. Something that will launch me into my next challenge. Thoughts?? I await your collective wisdom with baited breath
  3. What? Another turncloak assassin? Autumn is my favorite time of year, and I'm always looking for excuses to head outdoors for hiking, exploration, and other fun stuff. Plus, all of the parkour people seem to be here these days, so I'm going to Ranger it up for this challenge. A little about me: For each area, the goal is to reach 100 points over the course of the challenge. I'm expecting to do my usual parkour classes and climbing sessions during the challenge. But, I don't specifically get any points for any of them. Goal 1: Explore the area around the vault -hike on a trail that I've never done before (+20) (I love hiking, but I tend to go back to old favorites rather than try new things) -go climbing outdoors (+20) -attend an outdoor parkour meet up (+20) -go on parkour jogs of 2+ miles (+5 pts/jog) -go on a 2+ mile nature walk (+2 pts/walk) -go camping (+20) -go canoeing and fishing (+20) -collect new videos of doing parkour outdoors. (+5 pts/video) -do misc. outdoorsy stuff that seems to fit here (+? pts.) (new) -learn about the flora and fauna native to Shenandoah. Be respectful of the wildlife while camping. Try to identify plants and such while hiking (+5 pts) -learn to identify the local snakes, and learn about their behaviors (+5 pts) -learn about the native wildlife in Shenandoah 2. Avoid Rad Poisoning -only 1 alcoholic drink/week (mmm.. football booze) during the challenge (+5 pts/week with 0 or 1 drinks) -no soda at all (+5 pts/week) -try new recipes (+10 pts/recipe) (mmmm.. iguana on a stick) -do batch cooked meals in the crock pot (+5 pts/meal) -5 times/week, eat a serving of veggies first for evening snack (+5 pts/week) 3. Level up my game -be able to do Kong vaults with no hesitation (+20 pts) -learn a new yoga pose from the yogajournal.com Advanced Challenge poses (+20 pts) -30+ second rail balance or completely walk across the rails at the parkour school (maybe 25 feet long with turns). (+20 pts) -successfully land a lache that is far enough that I couldn't just reach and grab the next bar (+20 pts). -Climb a new route that is at least a 5.10+ (+20 pts) -Do something that absolutely terrifies me (probably from the parkour obstacle class). (+20 pts) -Weapon practice (+1 pts for each 15 minutes) -Progress through Age of Pandora. (+2 pts for every chapter finished) 4. Study the Big Book of Science: -swift or Xcode tutorials (+10 pts per non-trivial tutorial) -work through swift manual (+1 pt/10 pages) -complete non-trivial project Euler programs (+5 pts/program) (new) +1 point for project Euler program, but coding must be in Swift -resume Duolingo practice (+ 1 pts for every 50 XP on Duolingo). -make some sort of math education app for my kids to play with (+25 pts/finished app) -read (+5 pts/book) -do science experiments with the kids (+5 pts/experiment) 5. Keep the camp clean and comfortable: -Keep the house close enough to guest-ready that I never have to decline my kids' request to have friends over. (+5/week) -learn a new piano song (+20) -paint Russian doll minions (+5 pts/doll) - morning adulting before play - after getting kids on the bus, must take care of adulting tasks before hopping on the computer or relaxing (+5 pts/week) -uploading vacation photos and creating a vacation photo album for the kids (+10 pts). + ??? points for any other significant adulting, cleaning, or crafting related task. I'm sure things will come up during the course of the challenge, and I'll assign appropriate points to them.
  4. Because maths and me don’t really get along, and time slips. I did the research, and this is actually my 20th challenge. Name also spelled correctly in title? Check. — Challenge Theme: Wommens. I’m too scattered to coalesce all my disparate goals into just one theme. Plus, from the title & teaser alone, I’ve already got 2 fandoms representing. So: let’s just roll with Badass Women and see how far I can carry that loose thread. — Google image search for badass elf: While I picture my handle with a bow or a blade and somewhere up high, this is probably much more of an accurate depiction of my personality elf-ified. Fire. Combat boots. Urban. I’d go for purple hair over pink. Vaguely gothy. Tatts. Plus, this elf doesn’t have gigundous boobs, and her outfit at least looks comfortable. -- As summer wanes and race season slides into its slow decline, I can’t help but look forward to Winter and what the next chapter in my story may bring. I feel like all of 2015’s big hurdles are behind me (except TM; but I’m not focusing on TM, lest I freak myself out re: possible hypothermia and tear gas) and I’m trying not to languish in the post-race-season doldrums. What I Have Left 2 virtual 10ks in September Tough Mudder in November Probably the Turkey Trot 4-miler on Thanksgiving Maybe one of the hot chocolate runs in December Whatever other virtual runs or rucks I have to do to beat the DH’s number of medals for the year For the remainder of this season (I’m calling either my last official road race of the year or December 31 the end of season - it remains to be seen when this will actually be), I want to continue doing things that bring me joy and keep me engaged, while forcing myself out of my comfort zone so I’ll actually accomplish the things I want to accomplish instead of frolicking in easy mode all willy-nilly like, as I am wont to do. What I Like Real life rucking badasses Rucking. Who knew? I’m still shocked. Since I’m liking rucking so much, I plan on continuing to do that while the weather holds out. I’ll be stuck inside all winter with only the treadmill for comfort, why miss out on prime fun time when I don’t have to? Plus: Ranger street cred. Who doesn’t want more of that? Will this help with my overall goals? I don’t know, but weight + distance can’t be a bad thing. So, On Mondays, We Ruck. I can only dream of being this badass when I’m her age Yoga. Yoga is fun, and my body needs it in order to accomplish the things it wants to achieve. Without yoga, I’m a hot mess of injuries and hobbles. Yoga is definitely staying, and I’ll still continue to try adding cool new poses to my arsenal, while working on building rock solid fundamentals. And, because I have not yet used her and she’s the OG woman badass (at least to me - this is the first identifiably physically strong woman in a move or on TV I looked at as a kid and went ‘I want that!’) Bodyweight exercises. My body and I both prefer bodyweight exercises over lifting weights. I need to remember this, stick with this, and go back to HIIT workouts with a video so I actually HI of the IT. I love me some Darebee workouts, but I have a tendency to do them at *my* pace, which is not the pace I should actually be going at. I say I should switch back to videos, but Darebee has released a cool new semi-immersive semi-game thing - Age Of Pandora - which I've started and am totally digging. I can do these workouts, plus make upgrades to my Avatar on top of doing other things. Maybe if I choose shorter-length HasFit videos and combo them with AoP chapters. Not sure how this is going to look yet. What I Really Need To Be Doing A goddamn pull-up. I know, I know, I was so gung-ho about getting a pull-up this summer … but then I chose not to work very hard for it. And I found other things I loved. And I have exercise ADHD. Plus, I’m not overly fond of doing hard things until they’re no longer that hard. I need to STFU and f-o-c-u-s. This needs to happen. If it takes keeping the pull-up bar out 24/7, it takes keeping the pull-up bar out. I need to do this, as my ruck schedule allows. Enough Said Working On Specific Skills That Will Help In OCRs - like rope climbing, monkey bars, wall climbs, and bucket carries. Monkey bars I can do and I can practice - I need to work on grip strength and other types of bar crossings (like skipping a bar, or jumping from bar to bar)Rope climbs are going to be tricky, since I don’t have access to a rope. What I do have access to is the Internet, with many suggestions on other things to do to ensure I at least build the right muscles (Onnit has a good video for this)It’s likely that I will always need help over walls, but I can practice hoisting myself up over lower walls so maybe I don’t need a boost for every single damn one. Parkour fundamentals would help hereBucket carries are the worst thing ever. But, I can buy a bucket, the garden in my building has rocks in it, and I could practice carrying them around the garden area. Don’t wannaBurpees. Everyone hates burpees, but I need to be able to do more in a row without absolutely killing my hip flexors Ummmm. Yeah. Building Endurance. Also boo. This winter, I need to do some targeted speed building on the treadmill and work on inclines to tackle hills. Pouting. —— Goal 1: Continue Working Out 4-5 days a week + Bonus Monday Ruck Day Yoga 2x Dedicated cardio or endurance work 1x Wildcard 1x - maybe get that OCR game Eric reminded me of? Or, HasFit HIIT videos In September, this is going to pan out as follows: Mondays: Ruck Day (+AoP, +squat challenge) Tuesdays: Yoga or bodyweight videos or cardio class (+AoP, +squat challenge) Wednesdays: Yoga or bodyweight videos (+AoP, +squat challenge) Thursdays: Yoga (+AoP, +squat challenge) Fridays: AoP, squat challenge (+ try to do something else active one weekend day) Saturdays: AoP, squat challenge (+ try to do something else active one weekend day) Sundays: AoP, squat challenge (+ try to do something else active one weekend day) Goal 2: Metrics Metrics. Matrix. They both start with M. I haven’t really deviated from this metric plan in over a year, and don’t see any reason to start. For those of you that are new to me, my metrics are based on those outlined in the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. My metrics are as follows: 100 grams or under of carbs, 70 grams or over of protein, 100 grams or under of fat and around 1,500 calories. This plan seems to work for me, and if I stick to it, my weight stays where I want it and my body stays fueled without being sluggish. That said, I have recently begun carb loading for races and eat whatever my body is screaming at me it wants post races (generally a bigass steak and/or a face full of carbs). This seems to be working well, and I’ll be sticking with it. I also shoot for 64 ounces or so of water (2 refills of my water bottle + a coffee), and track my general activity and sleep with a Misfit Flash. I’m on My Fitness Pal and Fitbit. Goal 3: Biohacking This would be awesome, but I'm starting on a much smaller scale. I’ve already started my sleep biohacking - started September 1st. Gathered 1 week baseline readings: Check Week 1: Introduced white noise - Check Week 2: Introduced sleep mask - In Process Week 3: Add nightly meditation to the mix Week 4: Add melatonin 1 - 2 nights Week 5: Add daily magnesium supplements Week 6: Add fats right before bed (collagen or raw honey + krill oil + brain octane) Goal 4: The Minimalist Life It stands to reason that waking up in Raccoon City for the umpteenth time means you don't have a lot of crap you're worried about hauling around. I'm doubting Alice has a storage container somewhere. I have my wardrobe pretty dialed down for the summer season; I may need to do a little cold weather whittling here, and I may add a few pieces meant to replace less durable items. What I really need to focus on here is stuff in the ‘other shit’ category. I need to actually address the other shit taking up room on my shelves and in my closets. I need to reduce something (a closet or a shelving unit) by at least 20% per week here). To accomplish this goal, I’m taking part in a 30 Day Minimalist Game. Starting September 14, I will be getting rid of +1 item per day (Day 1: 1 item, Day 2: 2 items, Day 30: 30 items) to see how far I can take it. I may supplement with bigger purges as my impulses drag me. Gotta strike while the iron is hot. Goal 5: Arts & Crafts When I did a search for badass women who craft, for some reason Ripley came up in the results. I’ll take it! Finish the shawl and secret cross-stitch project I’m working onStart the baby blanket for my sisterAnd … since last challenge we were talking about wanting badges for adulting or Ranger Tasks, I think I’ll flex my graphic design skills and make some. The goal is to complete 1 digital version a week based on my fellow Rangers’ goals and/or accomplishments. If this turns out well, these may assume corporeal form some time down the road. Mini Challenge Feats Endurance Feat - 10k ruck with 20lbs in my pack if this week falls within September - if not, some other type of rucking - maybe a mileage total to hit for the week. Match Wolf for a little PvP action?Strength Feat - For this week, concentrate daily on pull-ups or upping the strength in my ankles/calves to increase my effectiveness in balance poses (depending on which side of my body has DOMs).Speed Feat - 10k for time if this week falls within September - if not, something else for time. Something for time. Combat Feat - Go have a climbing or archery date with the hubbs.Healing Feat - Work on my little fascia daily this week - my jaw connectors and head connectors are always tense; work on loosening these babies.
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