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  1. Previous Episodes Level 6 - Q&A Back in Aldenton, Whiteghost was putting together a plan to track down Muscles, they tall guy in the seersucker suit he first saw meeting with Demerara, the big wig deal broker from Pentadin. “If I were a stacked & jacked white collar criminal with impeccable fashion sense where would I be hanging out” whiteGhost mumbled to himself as he was scanning ‘Like a Local’ for possible places the guy might be. “I’m guessing he’s not going to be at any book clubs or poetry slams… Let’s see… Maybe I could check the Crossfit Box” “Yeah, I bet this guy is one of those crossfitters – the perfect place for vain fitness nuts” he thought to himself absently as he continued scrolling “Hold on, this is it” WhiteGhost blurted out, then looked around to see if anyone noticed. He was sitting at a bus stop bench as he scrolled through the app, keeping one eye on his phone and one eye on the busy street ahead of him. After making sure no one was watching him he looked back down at his phone, and the announcement lighting up his screen. Objective 1: Get into the event Obtain a ticket - Have full challenge plan finished No ticket, have to sneak in - Have enough of a plan to get started on workouts Can't get in - Challenge still not ready to go Objective timeline: end of day Sunday Result: Sneak in WhiteGhost grunted quietly as he struggled to fit into the jacket he just happened to find lying around in a locked closet in the staff changing room in the hotel basement. It hadn’t taken long to pick the lock, but it would have been even faster if it had been a key padlock. Combination locks were never his strong suite. Looking down at the nametag a smile came to his face. “Tonight, I am Juan Dominguez” he laughed as he looked at his blond hair slicked back behind his ears. “If anyone asks I’ll just tell them my family comes from the colonies at Juarez” “If my Spanish were better, I may actually get someone to believe that…” His thoughts trickled off as he checked his watch; 30 minutes to show time. When he first saw the announcement the other night, he knew getting tickets to this event was going to be hard. “It isn’t every day that the world’s fastest growing beverage company teams up with the world’s largest lingerie brand and the hottest company in athletic fashion for a one night only fashion show to launch their newest product” he mused. He had tried getting a ticket, but this was an exclusive party and only the only people getting into this event are the rich or well connected. “And the serving staff, of course” he thought with a smirk. There would of course be media present, but those credentials were getting extra scrutiny tonight. With an event this hot, every fashion blogger and Youtube celebrity trainer was trying to get in. Unless you were on the specific invite list, though, you might as well be James O’Keefe trying to get into a Planned Parenthood board meeting. Buttoning up the jacket and straightening his tie, WhiteGhost headed up to the hotel catering center to grab some hors d’oeuvres. “I need to get there a little early to get the first choice of trays” he thought to himself “they guys with the champagne and caviar get the most attention but the least scrutiny” WhiteGhost took advantage of both the anonymity and the broad access afforded him by the service jacket and tray of expensive champagne and he wandered about the event keeping an eye out for his quarry. “You’d think a guy of hi size would be easy to spot” he though, frustrated that he had not seen him yet. “He’s got to be here, I can’t imagine he would miss an event like this” Still unable to find the guy he was searching for, WhiteGhost made his way towards the catwalk to see if he could find a spot where could watch the show. It was then he spotted him. On the front row along one side of the low T-shaped stage he saw a huge man, wearing a bespoke white tuxedo with a mandarin collar over a burgundy vest, his black, shoulder-length hair combed back behind his ears. “There you are” WhiteGhost whispered to himself. “now, let’s see what kind of information I can get out of you about those transactions” The plan came to him immediately, but it would take some preparation. Heading back into the service area, WhiteGhost ditched his service jacket, grabbed a tool belt and made his way to the booth. In the confusion as the show began, he was able to pass himself off as a backup lighting technician and set himself up behind a backup spotlight on the left lighting truss. From there he had a good view of both the stage and the large man filling a prime seat just to the side of it. “And now, the game is afoot” WhiteGhost thought to himself as a smile spread across his face
  2. I don't know where to start. 2017 has been one of the toughest years I've experienced and I have finally realized that I can't do it alone. Over the last two months I went from testing the waters with a part-time job to going full-time while still homeschooling my son. That was a self-imposed stressor but, I love working at the library and never imagined what Life had in store. Within days of my promotion to full-time I got the news that my Dad had Cancer. Days later I got sick and contracted Bells Palsy. With BP one side of your face becomes paralyzed. It lasts a few weeks and brings with it a lovely, constant headache. During this time my Dad had some more tests done and we got the good news that his Cancer was slow-growing. A week later he was gone. Sudden cardiac arrest, past away while napping on a lazy Sunday. I haven't been the same since. I have put on weight and have zero motivation to exercise. I'm struggling to figure out how to "do it all" now that I'm working full-time. This challenge is my attempt to re-install some healthy habits back into my life. Its also an attempt to lean on the NF community for accountability. Challenge Goals: Goal 1: Lose the stress-weight by meal planning, food prep, and tracking with MFP. I'm not to make any food off limits at this point. I know which foods make me feel good and which foods, although tasty, make me feel lousy. I will do my best to eat well but right now I just want to focus on tracking food and food prep because I don't want to try to focus on too many things right now. Goal 2: Lose inches and feel better by doing an Animal Flow workout 3 times a week. Not exactly pushing myself here, but my exercise has dropped off completely so even 3 times a week sounds like a lot right now. My plan is to do the routine once on the weekend and again on Mondays or Tuesdays mornings and one more time on Thursday morning. Also want to spend 10 minutes 5x a week doing some hip and shoulder stretches. I will likely do this after work while I'm spending time with the family. Goal 3: Water! I've been leaning heavily on coffee to keep me going, but I'm sure that increasing my water will actually make me feel fresher. I'm going to start with 4 glasses a day.
  3. Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. My motivation I've successfully dropped weight by counting calories so my diet will mostly be staying the same with 1200 calories per day M-F and then blow meals on the weekends. I've managed to put on some muscle in an effort to become stronger by weightlifting and I’ve discovered that I love lifting heavy things! 1. Running One of the Doctor’s most important, and necessary, skills is his ability to run from danger. Run away and live to fight another day! I am still not a runner by nature. I’m of the mind that I shouldn’t have to run unless something is chasing me (t-rex, zombies, Daleks, otters). But in the case of this challenge and in an effort to be a True Hero, I am going to practice this hated exercise since it apparently is good for me and works towards weight loss/toning. Plus, if I’m going to keep up with the Doctor I need to be in decent running shape: don’t want those pesky Daleks to catch up to us! Run 2-3 times per week at the gym for more than 15 minutes. I’m aiming for the following time breakdown: Week #1: 20 minutes Week #2: 20 minutes Week #3: 25 minutes Week #4: 30 minutes Scoring: /4 Reward: +3 to STA 2. Sweet Treats Even though in the episodes I’ve seen the Doctor rarely eats, when he does, it’s something healthy like a banana. I actually like most fruits (unlike veggies!), and bananas are yummy. I’ve mostly got this one down, but since it works and is something I should be doing anyway, particularly after the holidays, I’m adding it back in for this challenge. I want to cut down the sweet treats to 2-3 times Monday through Friday because processed sugar is evil. Scoring: /15 days Reward: +5 to CON & +5 to CHA 3. Animal Flow As a Time Lord, Doctor Who encounters many strange, beautiful and amazing creatures in his travels. And I know he appreciates other cultures and perspectives, even if they’re different than his own. I’m sure he’d love all sorts of animals too! Since it’s been a few challenges, and I enjoyed it when I’ve done it before, I’m going back to practicing Animal Flow poses at least twice a week. Scoring: /8 Reward: +2 to DEX Hopefully I can keep up with the Doctor! Alonsy!
  4. For my 14th challenge, I'm going with The Mummy Returns theme because I love the character of Evie! She's an intelligent writer/librarian and scholar who is perfectly able to kick ass when necessary! Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. My motivation I've successfully dropped weight by counting calories so my diet will mostly be staying the same with 1200 calories per day M-F and then blow meals on the weekends. I've managed to put on some muscle in an effort to become stronger by weightlifting and I’ve discovered that I love lifting heavy things! Smaller Quests 1. The Scorpion King - Animal Flow I want to focus more on my movement and endurance by being more mobile and conscious of how my body moves. Plus, I enjoyed this when I’ve done it before. I'm going to try for at least twice a week of practicing animal flow poses at home. Scoring: x/8 weeks Reward: +4 to DEX 2. Run from Imhotep - Running In my 12th challenge, I worked on running and slowly building up to doing it longer. It was actually easier than I expected (or else I’m just that determined!). I don’t think I want a specific goal other than to simply run 2-3 times per week at the gym for more than 15 minutes. Scoring: /12 Reward: +3 to STA & +2 to CON 3. I Am A Librarian - Editing Now that I won NaNoWriMo, I need to edit my story before sending it off to a professional. I’m going to work on editing my story twice a week. Scoring: /8 Reward: +2 to WIS 4. The Mummy Returns - Weights No matter what else I do in my challenges here, I still always come back to lifting the heavy things. I like it, it makes me feel better about myself and it’s got practical, real-world purposes. However, since I’m concerned that my heavy lifting has somehow injured my neck and my left shoulder, I’m easing up on the weights. I’m going to try for endurance this time instead of increasing the poundage. I want to aim to do weightlifting 2-3 times per week. Scoring: /4 weeks (1 point for going 2-3 times per 2 weeks) Reward: +2 STR & +2 to CHA
  5. Tenth Challenge is a go! Due to my work schedule being extremely unpredictable the later in June it gets, I don't know how much gym-time I will actually be able to have, so I am joining the Druid Guild again and focusing on meditation, wisdom and balance. Inspired by Polgara19's SG1-themed challenge, and because Murphy of the Dresden Files doesn't particularly fit as a Druid, my challenge theme this time is Farscape! While Aeryn Sun will always be my favorite character, I've always liked Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan as well for her calm demeanor, intelligence, kindness and quiet stillness. And since I'm in the Druid Guild this challenge, a Delvian Pa'u is the perfect choice for me to try to mimic. Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. My motivation I've successfully dropped weight by counting calories so my diet will mostly be staying the same with 1200 calories per day M-F and then blow meals on the weekends. I've managed to put on some muscle in an effort to become stronger by weightlifting and so when I am able, that will continue this challenge along with my smaller quests. But due to my work schedule, I will be focusing on the more peaceful side of health this time. Smaller Quests 1. Through the Looking Glass Continue practicing Spanish Monday-Friday for at least 20-30 minutes. I really enjoyed this in my last challenge so I want to continue with it for my 10th challenge. As the diplomat for the group on Moya, Zhaan likely studied and understood many other cultures. Although due to the translator microbes, she probably didn't actually speak any other languages, she still appreciates other races and enjoys learning about them. Scoring: /30 days Reward: +4 to WIS 2. Rhapsody in Blue I really enjoyed in past challenges when I focused on mediation, yoga poses and doing Animal Flow movements so I want this to be part of my challenge too. Zhaan is the most spiritual member of Moya's crew, in-tune with her Goddess as a 9th, and then 10th level, Pa'u Priest. Finding inner peace was a major point of her character's journey and I think we could all benefit from being more spiritual too. a. Practice yoga poses or Animal Flow movements twice a week. Scoring: x/12 Reward: +2 to STA b. Practice meditation once a week. Scoring: x/6 weeks Reward: +4 to DEX 3. Crackers Don't Matter I have a sweet tooth and I find that when I eat less processed junk food, I feel better overall. However, curbing the craving for sugar is hard so I will continue to work towards it this challenge. I know less processed sugar is good for me health-wise, even if I still crave chocolate junk food. As a sentient plant, Zhaan's dietary habits are never explored in depth. However, in one episode she does eat meat so it appears that she has a mostly balanced diet. I need a more balanced diet too, but more importantly, I need less sugary sweets. Cut down on processed junk food by only having sugary snacks on the weekends with my blow means. Scoring: /30 days Reward: +2 to CHA & +2 to CON 4. Unrealized Reality Continue working towards that elusive first pull-up. I will be striving to use the assisted pull-up machine, along with doing other pull-up exercises like rows, 2-3 times per week, during my normal weight lifting exercises. Zhaan always exudes a sense of gentleness many characters mistake for weakness. However, she does possess a wild, beastial and physically strong side as well. While finding inner peace is very important, not forgetting to work on my physical body to stay strong is important too. Scoring: /12 days Reward: +1 to STR
  6. Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. For my fourth challenge, I want to focus more on movement. While I still intend to do weightlifting at the gym during the week (yay warriors!), I want to try focusing on my mobility and toning this go 'round so I'm giving the Assassins Guild a try. Motivation I've successfully dropped weight by counting calories so my diet will be staying the same with 1200 calories per day M-F and then blow meals on the weekends. I've managed to put on some muscle in an effort to become stronger by weight lifting and that will continue this challenge along with my other quests. After learning about Animal Flow and movement I am really excited to give that sort of workout a try! I think it's something I'll really enjoy. Quests 1. Become stronger by doing one of these: a. bar squat 115lbs b. barbell curl 25lbs each arm Scoring: x/2 Reward: +4 to STR (+2 to each) 2. Practice Animal Flow/Workout: this is the new thing I’m trying for this challenge. I’ve never done bodyweight workouts before but moving like an animal is something I am very interested in so I think starting with exercises from the Animal Workout book would really benefit me. I'm going to try for at least once a week. Scoring: x/6 weeks Reward: +6 to DEX 3. Cut down on processed junk food by only having sugary snacks on the weekends with my blow means. I did this last challenge but I think I can do better this time. Scoring: x/25 days Reward: +2 to CON & +2 to CHA 4. Continue working towards 1 pull-up or 1 chin up. Scoring: x/1 Reward: +1 to STA Stats Age: 32 Gender: female Height: 5'3" Weight: 137lbs “Come, hunt with me, the invitation whispers in my heart. Leave the pain behind and let your life be your own again. There is a place where all time is now, and the choices are simple and always your own. Wolves have no kings.†-Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb Accountabillibuddy: Currently undecided
  7. Has anyone gotten into animal flow workouts? I just downloaded the video and wanted to know if anyone has tried it and what its like?
  8. 1. Lower-body emphasis in strength training: 3-4 days/week 2. Stability and mobility work from Wild Geese Fitness: Daily 3. PCC-inspired recovery days (20 minutes animal flows, rolling, stretches): 2+ times/week 4. Read (For pleasure and edX class): Minimum 10 minutes/day
  9. While my overall main quest is to become a better climber and start bouldering higher grades, I'm a little burned out from focusing too much on climbing related skills. So, I'm doing a very small, 6 week main quest before I reanalyze my climbing goals. I'll still climb 2-3x per week, and I'll still do plenty of climbing and pull-up related stuff at the playground as well as on my home climbing wall, but I'm ready to chase a few shiny objects this challenge. 6 week Main Quest: Improve my movement fluidity to the point where I'm comfortable with making my own animal flow/prasara yoga sequence, or freestyling it and not feeling awkward in the transitions. The plan is to structure my workouts (on non-climbing days) such that I do 10+ minutes of work on movement fluidity, 10+ minutes on skill work, 10+ minutes on targeted flexibility, and optionally end with strength exercises. The movement fluidity would include working on animal flow, prasara, regular yoga if I'm focused on movement and precise placement, rail QM at the playground, or even martial art katas, if I'm in the mood. Skill work includes: flying crow, side crow and progressions, double arm lever/peacock, scissor pose, jumping into crow, forearm stand, toe stand, stand-from bridge, and whatever other neat things I come across. The flexibility work will target either getting closer to the full splits (since many moves look more elegant with a better splits) or a good pike (since mine is holding me back from some handstand/forearm stand stuff). So, the goals are: Goal 1 - New tricks: Learn at least 3 new tricks from the skill list above. Since I already have some groundwork for many of these, the requirements to "count" as a new trick are: For flying crow and side crow, I would need to get the legs fully extended. For forearm stand, I need a freestanding 15 second hold. For double arm lever, toe stand, or scissor pose, I would need a 10 second hold. If I come across anything cool that isn't listed, I can add it to the list. Grading: 3+ = A; 2 = B; 1=C; Half points can be awarded if I'm close but not quite there, but I'm only allowed to score the best 3 moves. Current stats: Side crow and flying crow: 10 seconds, minimal leg extension. Double arm lever, scissor, and toe stand: Can't fully get off of the ground or balanced. Forearm stand: 20 sec. if starting from a wall support. 7 sec. freestanding. Stand from bridge: Need hands elevated 6"; Jump into crow: Can't even lightly hop into it. Goal 2 - Become bendy: I've created a 15 minute splits flexibility program and a 15 minute pike/down dog/calf and hamstring focused one. Do each of these 15 times over the course of the challenge. Grading is X/15 for each workout. Starting stats for splits (all measurements from groin to floor/wall) Side, left in front: 7"; Side, right in front 9"; Straddle while sitting: 12" I have no idea how to measure pike. For down dog, my heels are an inch up from the ground with both legs down, but I can get the heel touching if I do 3 legged dog. Goal 3- Lean out: Continue getting leaner through healthier eating. This time around, I'm not going to restrict any whole, unprocessed foods or healthy dairy. Any alcohol, juice, processed carbs, sweets, junk food, or restaurant food (yeah, I'm assuming it's all more or less unhealthy) will cost a point/serving. I get 10 points per week. Grading: 60 points or less of crap = A; 61-70 = B; 71-80=C; 81+ = F. Current stats: 5'6.5"; 150(?) lbs; waist: 29"; hips: 40" Side quests: Fitness side quest- Autoregulation. One of the issues with the last challenge is that I forced workouts when I really didn't feel up to them, just so I could be closer to meeting my goal. This time, I'd rather listen to my body and adjust my workouts as appropriate. I never take full rest days, but if I'm really sore, sick, tired, whatever, or if the workout is just not working out for me at all, I need to simply do some low intensity, restorative yoga or some foam rolling as my workout. If I'm having a day where I feel great, I need to add on higher intensity flow, skill, or strength work. This will be graded as a daily pass/fail as to whether I'm listening to my body and constructing an appropriate workout. Life side quest - Cleaning: I don't feel like the flylady/cleaning thing has fully become a habit, so I'm doing it for one more round. This time, while I still plan to follow the flylady daily missions, I'm giving myself much more leeway to substitute a different 15 minute task for the one listed. The missions haven't been hitting some areas of my house, like the basement, utility/laundry room, kid rooms, etc. Grading will be 1 point for doing the flylady mission or doing 15 minutes of cleaning each day.
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