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  1. Welcome to my brand new, daily(ish) battle log! I’m your host, SkiBlue. I’m glad that you’re here; thank you for your support and interest in my quest to level up my life. This is where I’ll be sharing my progress on what I like to call my life improvements; things that I’d like to work toward, build habits around, and will level up my life. This won’t really be taking away from me participating in six week challenges; on the contrary, the challenges will allow me the chance to hone in on specific priorities and trouble areas, while this log will give me a central place to update my progress for accountability and pursue other things outside of the challenges. I’m greatly excited for this; I’ve always struggled with enjoying the process, and now that I do, that will be the focus of this log, since sharing it with the Rebellion in the first place allowed me to make that final leap. Here is the most recent, comprehensive list of life improvements that I’m either currently working toward or in the process of planning to: reach and maintain a healthy body composition improve my relationship with food develop a regular sleep routine to build a regular sleep cycle become more active; get stronger and more flexible improve posture and reverse sitting damage develop money management habits develop habitual home management (improve adulting skills) develop time management skills at work and home include more socialization and appreciation include more hobby-work and skill-building As I work down this list, I'll update the log with the specific steps I'll be taking to make these changes possible. I’m hoping that with the Rebellion’s help, I’ll make those habits transition from daily checks to ways of life. If you’re still curious, head over to my list of concrete goals for leveling up my life, the things that this log is working toward, slowly but surely.
  2. Miw-Sher looked up from her diary and scratched her head. Geez, this was hard. She had been training solo for about a month now, trying to build enough discipline to finally join the Academy. Past experiences in training with the Rebels had ended up with her getting distracted, or trying too much too soon in eagerness to be able to keep up with the group. So, after leaving her home in Riverock due to being unable to practice her trade and once her broken foot had healed, she had decided to train alone, one step at a time, until she was ready. Then the winter had taken its toll, she had fallen ill, and only managed to pull through thanks to a couple of Members of the Rebellion, who found her and helped her work her way back to health. Once again, going alone had proved to be a horrible idea. So when it came down to taking a decision on whether to hang around or go off solo again, Miw decided to stay put. There was one condition, however, that applied to all members who wanted to stay long-term in the Rebellion: Miw-Sher had to keep a battle log and report in every day. She had to keep track of her progress, her adventures and her achievements in her trade. And damn, was this hard. * * * I am starting a battle log to keep myself accountable on a day to day basis. The challenges as great for setting short-term, SMART goals, but they do not help me with my biggest issue: daily accountability and constancy. Thing is, while in life I am very successful at sprints, I fail at playing it like a marathon. This is also why I chose The Neverending Story as a title* - aside from it possibly being the book I hold dearest from my childhood - because it is a reminder that a story does not end just because a chapter is closed, and that one tale will spawn others that must be pursued as well. It is also a great metaphor in keeping what really matters in sight, and not getting lost or distracted by things that may make you happy now, but destroy you on the long term. Also, it provides me a great template for the Role Play/Real Life parallel. Hoping I got the colours right (I haven't opened to book in years): green is the colour Miw-Sher's story will be told in, red is my own daily update. I am hoping for this to not become a way of keeping accountability, but also a way to reflect on my day in a more distant, impartial way. How was Miw-Sher's day, in which ways did she act well, and in which ways should she have acted differently? There is obviously more to write in here, more details to put, an introduction to be made. Those will come. Consider this the "Front Page", "Prologue" or "Summary" that will be regularly updated as time passes. You can also find my current workout routine and a summary of my goals here. *hoping nobody picked it yet... * * * Goal: establishing a constant, daily rythm that balances work and fitness to attain mental and physical health. - Current Workout Routine (TBA)
  3. Behold, my adventure map! (roughly corresponding to my town) For more backstory visit my battle log. After hiking rangerously through Mt Moon I expected to emerge triumphant into the daylight but instead fell into the pit of Zero Week where family issues, comfort eating and travel got the best of me. All was not lost as I still fit in one workout and two walks and did some meal prep to get my diet back on track. This time I will be taking a tour around the Safari Zone (wildlife reserve visit/fitness goals) and looking for Mew on the docks by the S.S. Anne (visiting the coast/life goals). Fitness Goals in the Safari Zone Knee-doqueen Knee strengthening exercises every day. This is going to take a lot of discipline but I'm sick of not being able to trust my knees to be stable. I'm still refining the routine but I'm basing it off this site and some exercises from YouTube. Barefoot STOMPing One barefoot walk each day, at least to the end of the street and back but a little longer each day if my feet can take it. I used to be into barefooting but once I found thin-soled shoes I liked I gave up on conditioning and never had the patience to try again. Once I can walk to the shops and back it will be easy since my day-to-day errands will become my conditioning time. But that's a fair way off and in the meantime short walks outside will do me good. HM04 STRENGTH Continue strength training 3x a week at home but increase from one to TWO gym visits a week. I finally fixed my bike so now I don't have to worry about wasting petrol or paying parking. Life Goals on the S.S. Anne Captain's log 4-5 hours per week on Lynda.com courses, since I'm paying for a subscription and it is NOT cheap in AUD. This will allow me to complete 4 courses on vector illustration. Sightseeing Cruise Visit the wildlife reserve or a coastal area at least once a week to draw or paint. Bonus - Find Mew Under the Truck File my health insurance claims. Bonus - HM01 CUT Tidy up the lawn edges and various weedy corners.
  4. After planning comes... Action! Trigger warning: I post pictures of food and tempting stuff. @Naxius So yeah, I am going to start swimming this month and hopefully keep at it all summer. Since my knee is not showing any sign of getting better, I had to find and alternative to running and high impact sport, so obviously, like every recovering athlete in the making, I went for swimming. In addition, I have decided to start trying something new. NerdFitness might be a fitness-based website, but I don't think I am the only one that has found the community amazingly supporting in all areas for life. It is truly amazing to get to see the "behind-the-scenes" of people's progress, when normally you only get to hear the success stories. It really makes you realise that in the end, everyone is just doing their best to try and balance busy lives while staying healthy. Anyhow, I don't just want to level-up my fitness level, but level up all areas of my life - Emotional, Physical, Spiritual and Mental. Now as all Nerds know, it is not a good idea to try and do too many things at once, so every month I will focus mostly on one aspect, with one week . The last challenge was mostly a mental one - I focused mostly on self-discipline, study and overall setting the ground for what is coming now, which is the physical practice. Aside from the holistic approach, there is also a bit of non-formal learning theory applied here that I might get into a further post. So, what does this challenge concretely look like? Well - here it goes: Health - Physical 1) Get your cardio Go swimming 2x a week The number is dictated by my budget, unfortunately, as I have quite a few things to pay for this month. I am going back home for the holidays though so I will be able to go more often then. 2) Nourish your body I have started to suspect that one of the reasons my knee is not healing is that the time of injury (whatever it may be) also coincides with the time I decided to try and go on a diet because I had started spotting my abs. This period was, however, also combined with what I suspect is a real underestimation of my current physical activity, which lead to a cycle of binges as well as one week in between where I was constantly eating - but eating junk. Which in turn was followed by a week where I barely ate anything because I felt so sick... sooo... yeah... Because of this, I figured I should try eating instead. Eat between 1600 and 1800 calories Get at least 103g of protein 5x a week 3) Fight mindless snacking This has been a problem lately... it has always been, really, in my life. I had managed to curb it at the beginning of the year thanks to, um, having barely enough budget to eat, but it has come back with a vengeance lately. So, yeah, that needs to stop. No mindless snacking: if I want to snack, I need to take prepare the snack, like our moms and grandmothers did for us when we were children. So, let's say I feel like a slice of bread with nutella on it. This is what I would have to do: take out the bio-nutella equivalent and the orange juice and put it on the table together with cutlery, plates and glasses. Take out the bread, toast the bread, put it on a plate. Sit down, serve myself, then put everything back. I am pretty sure that should be too much effort 9/10. Once a week, fast till the 9th hour This is a fasting method I have found where you don't eat anything until 9 hours after you wake up, then break the fast with a light meal, and have a hearty meal later on for dinner. This is to teach myself to be patient with food - part of the snacking issue comes from just not being able to wait until the next meal. This should train it. This is also why I have a calorie range - I should be eating around 1650 calories a day form what I gathered, so going over on certain days will ensure I make up for the deficit I will certainly have on fasting days. So those are my health goals for the physical aspect of my life. Social - Emotional Blogging practice I really want a blog one day. Check in daily into NF Post a daily animation on my Tumblr (here, for those interested, though it's mostly a collection of mind blurbs and some of those are in French) Art - Spiritual Draw I haven't drawn anything in weeks and it's starting to get closer to months Set aside at least 1h per week to draw. Post progress picture. Learn - Mental Finish the edX Nutrition Course Nutrition and Health Part 1: Macronutrients and Overnutrition It's excellent, approaches the whole question of nutrition from a biological and medical standpoint while being very honest about the limitations of research. It anybody has the time to audit it or wish to get a certificate, they will re-run it this month. I have been on and off it for months, no thanks to the "self-paced" format. I really, really want to wrap it up over the next couple weeks and move on to Part 2. Work on the assignments of the course at least 4 hrs every week. That is it. I think you can see how this works - there is a "main area" for development, and then small goals for all the rest. They rotate. Side Quest: Monkey Level 2. I have not forgotten, no. ^^
  5. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Back again with my basic challenge structure and its Mando theme. Because I WANT TO BE A MANDO MERC! As previously mentioned, I will be adding a co-op element to this challenge. I’ve listed the ways in which I can earn points this challenge (the same way I was grading before in the same structure), but with the goal points already calculated, the co-op elements will help earn points toward the goal (like in @Wild Wolf's previous challenge). The co-op players’ goals will stem from whatever mercenary job is running that week. Four weeks, four jobs. See you around the galaxy! Main Goal: To decrease body fat percentage by 5% through good habits and to build up a Ranger attitude of self-love and confidence. Haili cetare (Eat Well): GOAL 100 POINTS Clean Meal Eat breakfast in the AM Stick to packed lunches during the week When eating office candy, break off ¼ to toss, eat rest; increase to ½ at 2 week mark Nuhoyir (Sleep Well) : GOAL 60 POINTS Bedtime window of 10pm to 10:15pm Do NOT return to bed after alarm is shut off Verd ori'shya beskar'gam (Move Daily): GOAL 80 POINTS Pomodoros movement during extended sitting periods Capoeira class Acrobatics class Stretching/Yoga Bodyweight REPs Weight lifting Shereshoy (Love Daily): GOAL 60 POINTS Mando kit work Self-love/Confidence Meditation Journal/Tracking Food/Sleep/Mood Spread the Love Open Gym/Instrument Practice There's still time to sign up! Name: Species: Appearance: Primary Skills: Weapons & Equipment: Going Rate: Short Bio:
  6. It's been sort of a whirlwind lately... And I've felt the need to tame the clutter and focus more narrowly. So, I will be concentrating on the Magician's Path this challenge, Instead of running in circles trying to do ALL THE THINGS! (ALL THE PATHS!) The Four Paths The Four Paths - as used in the epic fantasy novel that I have been writing, lo, these many years - is a system of training used by the members of a mysterious order. The paths are: Warrior Scholar Magician Healer Hmmm, sounds kind of like an RPG... I am continuing to use cards from the Tarot for focus and as visual aids and inspiration for my challenges. (Toga Party!) As established last challenge, I am working with the transforming the Fool's energy into that of the Magician. That overlaps nicely with the system of the Four Paths and thus, my challenge title. I like using the Tarot for my challenge themes so far. It helps me focus and to approach things in a more fun and intuitive way. That works well for me, especially since I simply haven't had the time to do the more imaginative gamified things I've wanted to do. I have come up with a multi-challenge sequence that should address all of the major areas I want to improve over the course of the year. It also provides a good framework for gamification and a storyline if I can make the time for that. We shall see. I am also continuing my years theme of "planting my stake in the ground" - commitment and persistence being qualities that I see as needed in my life right now. My Main Goal is to put more MAGIC and FUN into my life 1. MAINTAIN average sleep amount of 7 hours per night. IMPROVE the quality of my sleep through a wiser bedtime routine 2. AUTOMATE more of my systems: a revised set of daily routines, a system of modular "kits" for my more mobile lifestyle to help me organize the stuff I need to cart around for work, lessons, working out, and traveling. 3. GROW my creativity, making more time for fun in my life, things like juggling, drawing, Digital Storytellers group, fiddle. 45 minutes minimum per day. 4. INCREASE my physical fitness - Continue walking, stretching, working on posture. Move more at work - utilize standing desk, do quick bursts of exercise in small breaks to counteract the effects of so much sitting. Add in more bodyweight strength training and increase walking pace. 5. CONTINUE my cyber security training - 2+ half-day visits to the AZCWR (Arizona Cyber Warfare Range) for training; At least six hours of security study and training exercises the other two weeks. The above are a little vague on specific amounts. I plan is to make a spreadsheet with my current baselines and then just aim for hitting the goal numbers for #1 & #3; establish at the beginning of each week what kit I am going to make for #2, go for ~3% increases in mileage, reps, pace as appropriate for #4. #5 is already fairly specific. A few other goals that I am tracking: I will lose at least three pounds this challenge. I will continue my cleaning habits to keep clutter and home chaos at bay. And of course, cats...
  7. "A safari /səˈfɑːri/ is an overland journey, usually a trip by tourists to Africa. In the past, the trip was often a big-game hunt, but today, safari often refers to trips to observe and photograph wildlife—or hiking and sight-seeing as well." "Hatari! (pronounced [hɑtɑri], Swahili for "Danger!") is a 1962 American action/adventure romantic drama film directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne. It portrays a group of professional wildlife catchers in Africa. The film includes dramatic wildlife chases and the scenic backdrop of Mount Meru, a dormant volcano." [credits: wikipedia] Hatari! is one of my favorite John Wayne movies. In the movie, the wildlife catchers are collecting animals for zoos around the world, caring for the animals and having some pretty ingenious ways of capturing them. In this challenge, I'll be setting my sights on the "animals" I want to "collect" for my imaginary zoo. Each element of my challenge will have an associated animal to capture by the end of the challenge. But there's also another Safari in my life: a disc golf one. "Safari Golf – [slang term] This is when players create a new route through an established course. For example: instead of playing the holes in order, players may choose to use the tee from hole one to throw towards hole 6. (Reference: Gypsy Golf) [credit: disctroy] Here's the disc golf safari in my life: Allen (hubby) and I are running this tournament together and playing in the Mixed Doubles division. I have alot of responsibilities for helping organize, plan, and run the event, which is on the last day of the challenge. I also need to work on my game, which is a little rusty after not playing all winter. If you're unfamiliar with disc golf, here you go in a nutshell. It's one of the fastest growing pro/am sports worldwide. So onto my challenge goals, the animals I want to collect for my imaginary zoo: Main quest: Rhino My Rhino is the disc golf safari tournament. I have a lot to do: --Upload regular photos/updates to the Peoria Frisbee Club & Celebrate Recovery Facebook pages --Photograph and edit pics of all the donated raffle prizes and players' packs --Keep track of all event volunteers [and gain said volunteers in the first place] --Keep the CR leadership/PFC leadership up to date on all progress for the event --Produce handouts/fundraising packets/powerpoint slides for CR and keep them up to date and have plenty on hand of the consumables --work on my game (play as many rounds as possible, practice my putts on workout days, get in as much field work as I can) Second Quest: Zebra My Zebra is time management. I need to: --Work on all of my zoo animals in a timely manner and not procrastinate or the fast-moving horse-like thingy will get away from me. --Use a calendar to schedule when I work on things. --Practice the presence of "no". No new projects, no spur-of-the-moment side adventures. I have alot on my plate in April and don't have time to get distracted. Quest 3: Giraffe My Giraffe is my yard. April is when things spring into action and everything is tall and needs to be corralled. My trees, my bushes, my grass. --Get Trimline to either commit to mowing my grass or find someone else. I'm tired of their lackadaisical attitude. --Get out there today, do a review of the yard and what needs to get done, in what order and under what schedule. --Talk with Allen about where we're going with the landscaping and make it a joint effort (I'm tired of doing all the yardwork myself...) --Get the house perimeter sprayed Quest 4: Buffalo My Buffalo is continuing my strength training. I made tremendous noob gainz last month, and I'm going to continue working at it. But, somehow I messed up my right MCL, so I'm backing down on the weight until it heals. I.) work out 3x a week (disc golf is bonus) Each of these exercises is done between 3-5 sets per workout, depending on how I feel --Squats: bodyweight until MCL heals --Push Ups: Wall push ups, working on wrist strength and mobility --Lunges: bodyweight static lunges until MCL heals --Dumbbell Rows: currently 10|30# --Elbow Planks: currently 40 seconds --Disc Golf Putts: currently averaging 7|10 putts from 15 foot distance --Bicep Curls: currently 5|30#, 2|35#MR --Triceps Kick-Back: thinking of starting these again because I know my triceps are weak. I'd been able to do 3 x 7.5# a year ago. So I'll start there. 2.) Weight and measurement baseline for April: Age: 50. Height: 5'8" --Weight: 175.8 --Underbust measurement: 32" --Waist measurement: 30.8" --Hip measurement: 37.2" --Thigh measurement: 23.8" 3.) Track all my food, continuing a +/- 1700 calorie goal. Macro goals: --Protein: 106g --Fat: 76g --Carbs: 149g --Fiber: 25g Quest 5: Monkeys In the movie, they need to catch some Vervet monkeys, and because those monkeys bite, claw, scratch and otherwise cause mayhem, the team has to protect themselves while at the same time capturing the monkeys without harming them. My Monkeys are my social skills. --I will remember my slogan: 'not my monkeys.' As in, 'not my circus, not my monkeys'. I remind myself that other people's monkeys are their issues and their responsibility, not mine. I'm not responsible for fixing people or for being the peacemaker when that means being codependent. --I should keep my own monkeys in check and not let them fling poo at others, especially when I'm under alot of stress like April looks to be. In other words, I will use the relational tools available to me to respond appropriately to people and situations mindfully, rather than knee-jerk reacting. --I will remind myself to not take things personally, and I don't need to act as if every person I come across must like me. Sometimes personalities clash. Sometimes it my monkeys; sometimes it's theirs, sometimes it's both. Live at peace with one another as much as it depends on you; but sometimes it doesn't depend on you. --I will work on prayerfully saying the Serenity Prayer like I used to do, which was a good centering practice.
  8. ShadowLion keeps her stake planted in the ground... Shadow Lion Walks the Circle (Whaddya expect when you've tied your foot to a rope attached to a stake in the ground?) Transforming from the Fool... To the Magician... (This card I chose, rather than drew, to use as a meditation device in the coming weeks.) Last challenge - when I drew The Fool for my theme - was definitely an adventure, full of fresh starts, false starts, exploration, new ideas, taking chances and chasing dreams. A leap of faith. Now, it's time to focus that energy and balance it. To utilize will and discipline to become the Magician, specifically a Technomancer. This continues my year theme of "planting my stake in the ground" - focus, commitment, determination - in a general way. It is also directly linked to what I perceive as a great need to balance out the various "elemental energies" in my life, the very things that the Magician has mastered. I have have been out of balance with too much work and stress lately and need to correct that. From there, I am using the element of chance and drawing cards to guide my "walk around the circle" and determine my challenge goals. I thought it was pretty cool how there are circles in every card I drew, especially Wheel of Fortune, given the challenge title I chose a week ago! I used my Druidcraft Tarot deck to draw from, but used the internet for digital versions. Time is at a premium, these days. VII The Chariot Queen of Cups Oddly enough, I drew all female cards, though the deck is evenly balanced. And I am struggling as to how to fit a couple of these with my challenge goals. Challenge Focus & Schedule This is a transitional challenge, where the Fool begins to transform into the Magician. I want to keep and continue to enhance the positive qualities of the Fool - the creativity, joy, fresh outlook, and positivity - but mitigate some of the more chaotic ones with the discipline and focus of the Magician. I learned a lot from last challenge, where the Fool showed me that I have been over-emphasizing work at the expense of fun and just about everything else in life. I found out just how much I need more balance. It has taken me the first week of the challenge to get my act together enough to get my goals lined out, even with having the zero week this time. I expect to use the remaining 3 weeks, plus the next zero week, as transition time and pick up with a full-fledged Magician challenge in May. My focus will be in balancing out the various activities in my life as I clear some long-standing projects and create a (somewhat) less hectic schedule for myself. I have been over-working, under-playing, and neglecting relationships and personal growth in favor of getting my business off the ground. That only works for a short time and I have pushed it pretty far. This is the month where I get balance back, as symbolized by the circle motif in my challenge title, avatar, and mirrored in the cards. I am applying the cards to the weeks of the challenge: Week 1 is Two of Pentacles - I have been shifting my focus to the things I can control and where I can make a difference, rather than dwelling on those things that stress me out. Making plans as to how to better address the stressors and take concrete action over the next few weeks to make those more manageable. And, I have actually taken up juggling... It's a good break at work, works my hands and eyes and gets me away from the computer with something completely different. Staying foolish. Week 2 is The Chariot - Here is where I get down to earnest on the plans made in Week 1. Schedule changes. Drawing clearer boundaries on time and energy use. Adding new exercises. Dynamic balance. Week 3 is The Wheel of Fortune - Even more balancing and adjustment. More about internal balance, reflection on cycles of life, getting my inner house in order. Week 4 is the Queen of Cups - This is another card of internal adjustment, and of tapping into emotions and the unconscious. I expect that it will start to set the tone of the next challenge. A card with strong associations with nurturing home life, relationships and creativity. Goals 1. Ward Off the EVIL EYE My posture and my eyes are suffering from constantly being under the gaze of the EVIL EYE (being in front of a computer for so many hours of the day). Stretching, using my adjustable/standing desk, breaks, eye yoga are my defenses. The sedentary nature of my work is another concern. Daily stretch/squat/stand sessions and eye yoga. No more than 45 minutes without getting up and walking around or switching to at least 15 minutes of standing work. Eyes - 20 sec breaks every 20 minutes, a longer eye yoga session (5 mins) for every four hours on the computer. Specific checks of my posture, and especially head and neck positions on the same schedule as eyes and do a few quick stretches as needed at the same time. Hand/wrist stretches included, too. Daily (or more frequent) walks of at least 1K, to break up the sitting. 2. Create Sacred Space My minimalism progress from the fall has not held up to the chaos of the last few months. The Fool does not seem to do well with the structure required with home maintenance! Clear the clutter. The 15 minutes a day clutter patrol returns. I also have several short projects of: Rearranging furniture Office spring cleaning Work on a better setup for my drawing area, so I can sit down and do short sessions easily, without taking a bunch of time to set up each time 3. Make Time for Foolishness Last challenge's fun/relaxation/creativity goal helped me see how little time I was myself for play and recreation. It was a struggle most days to carve out 30 minutes for that. I am continuing that goal, but with upgrades this time. More art and writing, less reading and internet in that time. And more time overall. 45 minutes. 4. Sleep I need more sleep and a better sleep schedule. (And a lot of other things that aren't going to make it into this challenge.) I will start with sleep. 6 hours bare minimum, 7 hours goal. Log it, and see how I can make this work better. Once I have that in better shape, I plan to re-introduce lucid dreaming experiments again. 5. Whole Brain Balance I am experimenting with physical activities that will help me increase physical and mental balance in my life. Juggling on breaks at work, non-dominant hand mirror writing, using my non-dominant hand for everyday tasks, bi-lateral strength and agility training to increase muscle symmetry and help with Goal 1. I am using the parts of "Whole Brain Power" by Michael Lavery that make sense to me and ignoring what doesn't. I have a lot of other goals that I wanted to add, but I am restricting myself to the above to establish a stronger base to my balancing. I am leaving room for adjustments and possible additions upon each week's finish, as needed. Let the intuition and the cats (and the circles!) begin...
  9. Instead of challenges I'm switching to this method for a bit. That way I can have some kind of accountability and still be part of the forums. I have a respawn post I made if u want a back story. So let's just jump right in. Today I had coffee, heavy cream but no sugar. Keeping sugar out of my coffee is ONE good thing I have stuck with. As a hungry as I am now, I am fighting the urge for fast food and just eat the healthier lunch I brought. And I had a delicious breakfast of pecans, banana, and cottage cheese. Better than the sausage and biscuit I've been craving. A few good things today.
  10. The Story Greetings! I've been with the Rangers previously but always had a soft spot for the Druids and could use some magical wisdom right now. My previous challenges followed the story of a Pokemon trainer collecting 8 badges, beating the Elite 4 and challenging the Champion, but I was unable to defeat the Champion when I tore a ligament in my knee. It was a double whammy as being stuck inside and inactive made my previously well-managed anxiety and depression return with a vengeance. In the following month I watched my hopes for the year fall apart as I realised how long the rehabilitation process would be and how many of my regular activities are going to be too hard on my knees. In particular I had hoped to spend my last year in this city exploring its many beautiful nature reserves on long hikes and heavy rucks, using all of the cooler months (Southern hemisphere, so March-November) to push myself hard and build endurance. That's not going to pan out. But! I realised that there are other ways to experience nature, by sitting, birdwatching, meditating, listening and painting. I scribbled a map of all the places I still want to visit or re-visit. Then I thought, what the hell, why not chuck together a Pokemon-themed version. If I visit one or two places per challenge that gives me plenty of time to experience this place at my own pace and not risk re-injuring myself. This challenge I'm staying in Pallet Town, visiting my garden and Professor Oak's lab (the physiotherapist, gym and pool). This roughly corresponds to my actual town with completely arbitrary scale. It was fun to make, like playing with Lego. Okay, lots of the tiles don't match up, but I'm not made of patience. The Challenge Previously I've had good results with setting daily and weekly activity targets and being very strict about completing them 90% or more, keeping myself busy. Now, with physical limitations and depression roundhouse-kicking random days out of my schedule I need to learn a new approach. Such as not being a perfectionist, and slowing the hell down. So instead of being too SMART for my own good, I'm going to explore what I can do and aim to slowly increase it, showing myself compassion when I can't do as much as I'd like. Goal #1: Squirtle (Pool) Go to the pool, whether for aqua aerobics, some laps by myself, or even just a bit of paddling and stretching. I'd like to aim for three times a week, but I'll be content with once a week if I'm struggling. Goal #2: Charmander (Lights out) Keep up my new routine of getting off the computer/phone at 10pm, instead cleaning, drawing or reading. It doesn't have to be every night, but I don't want to start falling out of the habit. Also get up at a reasonable time even when I don't have to. Explore options for a morning routine. Goal #3: Bulbasaur (Drawing) Draw plants. Or anything really, but plants have been working for me lately. Maybe Pokemon too. Aiming for every day, but don't let 3 days go past without drawing. Edit: I've also challenged myself to draw 100 small portraits in April. This works out to 4-5 a day! It may be crazy, but that's what I need right now.
  11. *Mandokarla: having the *right stuff*; showing guts and spirit; the state of being the epitome of Mando virtue - a blend of aggression, tenacity, loyalty and a lust for life If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. This made such a huge difference in every aspect of leveling up my life last challenge, so it's here to stay. For good. I'm keeping the general format and grading scale the same for this challenge (grading will start next week). General goals will stay the same, but I'm upping the ante for a few of them. Hopefully, they're small enough changes that it won't push me back. Gotta keep that Rangerbrain in check. Oh, and in light of the recent development on my quest to become a member of the Mandalorian Mercs, I'm sure you can guess this challenge's theme. Main Goal: Reach 35% body fat through love and awesome. Haili cetare (lit: Fill your boots/Bon appetit): Eat well. Bring prepared lunches to work every day. Continue to minimize consumption of heavily processed foods and maximize consumption of whole foods. Nuhoyir (lit: slumber): Sleep well. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep and GET UP when the alarm goes off, not a half hour later. Verd ori'shya beskar'gam (proverb: A warrior is more than his armor): Move daily. Whenever I'm sitting still for longer periods of time, use movement Pomodoros (25:5). Don't forget to take care of problem areas (stretching hips and wrists). Train outside of regular classes. Shereshoy (lit: Lust for life - uniquely a Mandalorian word, meaning the enjoyment of each day and the determination to seek and grab every possible experience, as well as surviving to see the next day): Love daily, myself and others. Continue working through my sewing projects and begin work on my Mando kit pieces. Spend time with the Husband. And don't forget to reach out to friends and family every now and then. Haat, Ijaa, Haa'it (lit: Truth, Honor, Vision; said when sealing a pact)
  12. Slow down. Breathe. Take your time. Use discipline to make that time. While I succeeded the last challenge, I did so flying through it without a minute to reflect upon my process, my goals, my achievements. I was also never able to check in here because of how busy my days were. I can't say I was stressed, but I regret not making time to check in with the people supporting me here and my friends in real life. I also found myself falling into the old pattern again of not being able to sustain routines. Mostly because as I added building stones to my fitness, these became more and more complicated/ Then came the question of - I have a knee routine, but if my current daily challenge also includes a leg routine, do I do both? The solution then, was to sit down, break down my goals into even smaller pieces, until I could determine the single elements that were important to me, and from there, build a new challenge. I also want to make my life goals my priority over fitness, meaning that I won't add anything to my physical practice this month. I will just work on solidifying existing habits. Fitness Goal: Make fitness an integral part of my daily life to ensure better health and well-being. Goal 1: Morning routine: Wake up at 6h30 Meditate 5 Minute Mobility Drills 5 Minute Balancing Practice Intermediate Knee Routine + 1 of the following: Strength, Cardio, Yoga Do not start any daily task until scheduled. Use any leftover time for yourself. Goal 2: Evening routine: + 1 of the following: Foundation Work, Yoga Intermediate Knee Routine 30 Day Meditation Challenge Go to bed by 22h30 Goal 3: Lunch Break: +1 of the following: Walk, Foundation Work Life goal: Master self-discipline without neglecting the people I love Goal 1: Battling the Monkey Level 2 Goal 2: Do not isolate yourself Update Daily Log Check into challenge forums once a week Call home once a week Goal 3: Walk towards success Work on main project daily Apply to at least five internships and jobs Goal 4: Leisure One evening per week will be dedicated to reading only Sunday is a rest day.
  13. Get a helmet and strap yourself in. This will be a long and, hopefully, exciting journey, and I’m glad that you’re here along for the ride. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. Below is a living list of my goals in life; they are constantly adapting and evolving as I level up my life, complete these goals, discover more concrete steps for each, and find new goals to work toward. Fitness Goals reach 30% body fat live without added sugar do a full, dead-hang pull-up reverse my anterior pelvic tilt deadlift 250lb/bench press 200lb/row 150lb Hobby/Skill Goals re-learn and become fluent in Russian complete writing my (fictional) stories complete costumes (list in process) join the 501st Legion/Rebel Legion/Mandalorian Mercs re-learn and become proficient in Physics/concepts learn and become proficient in Electronics get involved in the local Makerspace learn to align and use my telescope Capoeira Goals attend first ten classes achieve first cord level Life Goals get married (currently engaged, need plan of action) live off last month’s income (budget goal) live without social media (except the Rebellion) minimalize clutter (physical and digital) host weekly/bi-weekly game nights with friends train the huskamute Travel Goals Camp Ranger Fitness 2017 take the husband to Otakon take the husband to GenCon Feel free to join me in my daily grind to reach these goals. However, you will know when significant progress has been made along these goals and when they have been completed.
  14. My Pokemon and I have journeyed far and wide through Kanto collecting 8 badges, honed our skills in preparation for the Elite 4, made our way to the Indigo Plateau to defeat four of the region's top trainers and finally stand before the ultimate challenge, the Champion of the Indigo League. Oops! Charizard knocked out all my Pokemon! (I tore a tendon in my knee during my first Krav Maga Class). Alternate challenge: Pidgeot - mobility every day, alternating between feet and shoulders. Maybe look up some videos of exercises for the neck and wrists, since I'll be spending a lot of time drawing in an armchair with a laptop on my lap rather than my ergonomic desk, which isn't as good for my knee. Writing up workouts tomorrow. Gyarados - 3x seated aerobics per week. I'll try out some videos until I find one I like. My workout buddy has agreed to join me for some of these so we'll connect a computer to the big TV screen and pretend we're in the gym. Otherwise I should be able to do them in my room in the morning. Rhydon - 2x strength workout per week. Once I can get someone to bring me a pair of 5kg dumbbells from the shed. I can do rows, overhead press, seated deadlifts (are apparently a thing), bench press, bicep curls. They'll be too heavy for rotator cuff exercises but I could use cans of soup - I got that idea from one of the low mobility workout videos "And now… I am the POKEMON LEAGUE CHAMPION! BITTEROYSTER! Do you know what that means? I'll tell you. I am the most powerful Trainer in the world!" I had this planned out from way back that the Champion's six Pokemon would correspond to six weeks of the challenge, but since it's four weeks now I'm upping the ante and taking them all on - each Pokemon represents a quest. This is more than recommended but I'm confident that they're achievable goals. To reflect the magnitude of the end of my Pokemon journey, I'll do this for two consecutive challenges, with a small increase in difficulty if I do well. Rhydon - Fitness #1, Strength Training Not going to mess with success - keeping up my routine of 2 Stronglifts workouts and one Pump class per week. Charizard - Fitness #2, Krav Maga I've paid for three trial classes and I'll do one per week with one free week in case I need a recovery. Gyarados - Fitness #3, Swimming/other Use the gym at least one other time per week, usually for swimming but can include Yoga or other classes. Pidgeot - Life #1, Drawing Draw at least two things every day - one drawing copied from a real life object (plant, cat, person, landscape etc) and one drawing out of my head. Sorry to say I won't be uploading these as I've found in the past this becomes a barrier to actually doing the drawing, but I might post one or two. Alakazam - Life #2, Light Screen No backlit screens for one hour before bed. Instead, tidy up, play with the cats, read a book or Kindle, draw on paper, anything without a backlit screen. Exeggutor - Life #3, Relaxation Relaxation meditation at least once a week before bed. Rather than trying to make a regular habit I'm curious to see what happens if I don't meditate daily, but put aside more time for it when I do. Quality over quantity. Bring it on!
  15. The journey continues as ShadowLion decides to keep her theme the same and her stake planted in the ground. Shadow Lion Keeps on Shufflin' She decides to draw again... (And gets a very interesting result.) The Fool In the Single-Card Draw position A card in this position illuminates the present moment or the question at hand. Meaning: This first Major Arcana card is an excellent illustration of someone who is following their bliss. This card often materializes in a reading when the querent is trying something new and completely different. They may be just beginning their spiritual journey or are exploring a new magickal tradition or path. Perhaps they are taking on a brand-new job or are considering an innovative business opportunity. The Fool encourages us to dare, be more open minded, and enjoy the ride. Do not let yourself be dragged down by worries. The Fool laughingly persuades you to trust and take a chance, and not fret too much about the future—instead, just enjoy the trip and take things one day at a time. This card is all about the proverbial leap of faith. Sure, it is possible that you might make a mistake or fall down, but hey! You can always get right back up, brush yourself off, and try again. Sometimes that is the best way to learn—by daring to do. At the end of the day, the Fool encourages you to be open to new prospects and ideas. Live on the edge; think outside of the box. Be confident and bold! There is a big, wide, magickal world out there...go explore it! Keywords: Follow your bliss. Adventure, fresh starts, exploration, a journey. New ideas; take a chance and chase your dreams. The beginning of a spiritual quest; exploring a new magickal path or tradition. A leap of faith. (Who knew there was an X-Men Tarot?) Cue Twilight Zone Theme Song... I have had some big challenges the last week and a half and spent considerable time considering how to best move forward. I have asked myself some tough questions and looked at what needs to change. I've been taking all of that into meditation on a regular basis and the image I kept getting was of "The Fool" card in the Tarot. I kept dismissing it as not relevant, too simplistic, etc. I really wanted to keep doing the "Queen of Swords/Strength/Justice" thing, as that is familiar and I can do that pretty well. (Maybe too well?) I decided Monday that, yes, I was going to do a challenge this time, and yes, I was going to continue my theme from last challenge, but I wasn't sure whether I was going to focus on one card for the challenge, one per week, or one per day. Tonight, when I finally made the time to write up my post, I decided to just draw one card for this challenge's theme. (I hadn't drawn any cards since the start of last challenge when I constructed the last one's theme.) I focused my mind on "What do I most need to focus on this challenge?" And quite against the odds, I drew the same card that had been popping into my meditation for days, the one I had been avoiding for days: This may be a rather interesting challenge... I haven't fully processed the implications of what just happened - and how I should respond to it - beyond acknowledging that there are some very powerful forces at work in my life and I need to pay attention. For now, I am reposting the same goals that I had last challenge. I expect to make changes, but am not sure yet exactly what. I have no idea how all this will fit in with the standard challenge format. I just know that I am here and I am still shufflin'! 1. Move Forward Increase my total walking distance by 3 to 5 % each week over the course of the challenge. Starting distance is 12.5 miles per week. 2. Find Equilibrium Squat for of 5 mins per day, every day of the challenge. Stand for a minimum 10 minutes of every hour I work at GP. 3. Rebuild My Strength There are many types of strength I could choose to work on - physical, mental, emotional, social, soul (intuition, imagination), and spiritual. I am choosing soul and spirit as being the most in need of restoration I will take a minimum of 30 minutes every single day of the challenge to tend to my spiritual and soul needs through meditation, relaxation, play, creativity and/or spending time out-of-doors. 4. CodeWarrior Learn - Complete the Git and DevOps courses I am taking. Practice - Participate in at least one exercise through the AZCWR (Arizona Cyber Warfare Range). Let the intuition (and the cats!) begin...
  16. No I don't mean cleaning my house. No actual dust bunnies will be harmed in the making of this film. Er, Challenge. Compared to the average Warrior, I'm starting small and lifting amounts that are very light, hence the dust bunnies!! I will be continuing what I started at the end of my 8th challenge: Fitness-- Doing a modified Weighted BBWW workout, Tue/Thu/Sat. Tracking my workouts in a spreadsheet and posting workout logs here in my challenge. Progressions in reps to 10, then increase weight. Goblet Squats: currently at 3 sets of 5, at 5 lbs. Incline Push Ups: currently at 3 sets of 10, at 60 degree angle. Goblet Lunges: currently at 3 sets of 16, at 5 lbs. Dumbbell rows: currently at 3 sets of 10, at 25 lbs. Planks: currently at 3 sets of 25 second elbow planks, with some side raise planks thrown inJumping Jacks: currently on hold, as plantar fasciitis flare up recedes -- So Disc Golf Putts in it's placeBicep Curls: currently at 3 sets of 8, at 30 lbs. Diet-- Track food daily with My Fitness Pal. 1700 calorie goal. Post food logs in challenge thread.Weigh and measure on Mondays, post stats and compare to beginning stats.Weight: 176.6Height: 5'8"Age: 50Underbust: 32.5Waist: 31.2Hip: 37.2Thigh: 24.5Life-- Keep up with customer orders so I don't get behind with workKeep up with dishes and laundryPrepare for disc golf tournament in April
  17. I won't lie; eating Good Food was REALLY difficult during the last challenge, even after a successful W30. I've been stewing on the role of mindset in my quest to get healthy for the past few weeks, and I believe that's where I need to improve in order to make these changes stick. Inspired by those Rangers who've been taking a flexible, minimalistic approach to goal-setting, I'm following suit, in a way. My goals are a return to regularly scheduled programming; the foundation of my healthy habits, but the means have changed. I will aim for a minimum instead of a maximum and be counting any and every effort in my goal areas. While aiming to do all four daily seems daunting, they encompass a lot of effort choices on their own, and in my tracking spreadsheet, I've edited my formulas and formatting to account for a 70/30 compliance rating. As long as I'm hitting 70% compliance, I'll be RANGERING. My main goals have also evolved into smarter, more manageable pieces. I'm hoping that these changes will allow me to start shifting my mental focus from being too hard on myself for failing (and not being perfect) to appreciating my efforts and progress. Main Goal: Reach a healthy body composition by taking care of myself and my health. My current target number is 35% body fat. Goal One: Eat well. Do the best I can. Minimize consumption of grains, sugars, and Big Fast Food. Maximize consumption of veggies, proteins, and good fats. Find ways of making a sub-par situation better. Every effort counts. Goal Two: Sleep well. Give myself 8 to 9 hours in bed to sleep daily. I'll also be working to improve the quality as well, continuing my use of the Sleep Cycle app, remembering to wear my orange glasses, calming down after late classes with a bath, and maybe investing in some Natural Calm, but those aren't requirements. Goal Three: Move daily. This can take the form of Capoeira training, heavy lifting, bodyweight & endurance training, stretching, or yoga (or anything else that shows up). I should also be stretching at work, using Pomodoros to remind myself not to sit constantly (when my work flow slows). Goal Four: Love daily. This includes loving myself AND other people. Doing things for myself, like meditating, journaling, sewing, reading, writing, coloring, etc. This also includes spending time with the husband; gaming, model building, and all the other stuff we like to do together. We both need a bit more love in our lives.
  18. I am typing this up in a rush since I need to be at a friend's in an hour for study purposes and likely won't be able to check in for the weekend. So, this will be my first guild challenge. Well, I hung out with the Adventurers two challenges ago, when it was still slightly less defined in its purposes, but that challenge was cut short by moving countries and never saw an end. So... I am really excited, this is a big step. Tags system based on: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/77949-incipient-order-of-taggers-lets-hack-the-tag-system-for-good/ I love the idea, go support htem. *SPACE SAVED FOR INTRODUCTORY BLURB* Overall Goal: Incorporate fitness in my daily life. Like many technomancers, I spend hours at a time sitting in front of a computer, a trait that is exacerbated by the fact that my particular trade involves 3D modeling and animation, which means hours at a time can easily mean 10-14 hours depending on the project I am currently working on. I have already started feeling the effects, and I don't think anything but daily exercise is going to counteract them. [Goal 1] : Balancing Include 10 minutes of handstand practice and support practice in my daily routine. I have been ignoring this part of the Reddit Recommended Routine that I am currently following. I had planned to include it in my daily routine rather than as a workout, but that has not happened yet. For handstand, I will start with crow practice. Moving on to handstand once I manage to hold a crow for 30 seconds or more. [Goal 2]: 30 Days of Change I have been focussing on bodyweight strength and building up a routine for the past couple of months, now I wish to incorporate running into it. I really love the feeling running gives me, and I have sorely missed it. To build this up, will be following Darebee's 30 Days of Change. POSTPONED: due to an excessively charged timetable, I will be waiting to finish Foundations before doing hits one. [Goal 3]: Eat Your Protein I eat realtively healthily thanks to a lifetime of conditioning in the form of my mom. However, due to family history, we don't consume much meat, and this combined with being tight on finances these months, means I am not getting nearly enough protein as I should. Since getting enough protein is something I find hard in first place (the idea of eating meat at every meal, which would be the easiest way, is just... really foreign to me... I don't even eat meat once a day, and red meat is even rarer) and i am not used to working meat, tofu and fish (which are luxury good here) in my budget, I will start with hitting a protein goal three days a week. In short: eat 103g of protein at least three days a week. [Life Goal]: Discipline Beat procrastination and distraction. I have come up with a reward system where I give myself points every time I get to work when I should and don't muck about or procrastinate my tasks. I can then spend these points to award myself time off, holiday, etc. (Aside from scheduled rest days and breaks that are already in my schedule - I DO have those, do not worry) The point system goes as follows: Points Gained: 1 pt: every hour I work on a scheduled task without distractions 0,5 pts: every hour I work on a scheduled task but have other stuff going on int he Background; e.g; Facebook or Better Call Saul. 5pts: waking up without snoozing. Rewards: 25pts: Small Reward (watch one episode of a favourite series/muck about for an hour) 100pts: Big Reward (Day off, Spa Treatment, etc.) 1000 pts: One Week Holiday. Easy enough, no? Ah! But there is a catch - every hour I procrastinate, my opponent; the Evil Monkey that is also harassing Briniel, gets 5 points. And if at the end of the week the Monkey has more points than I do - well, I haven't decided wet what will happen, but something will happen! That is all, see you all soon!
  19. Little steps have worked some, but I've decided no matter what I am jumping in with both feet and finishing everything this challenge. I keep hitting days where I don't feel like I care, and it's the wrong mentality. I know I can do 4 weeks... Right? Less than 100 days until the wedding. Super excited, but starting to get really stressed out with wedding+ work+ school. Fun stuff going on this challenge: This coming weekend doing the food tasting with the caterer wine tasting Belt test March 12 Ending the challenge with a long weekend camping trip in Death Valley! Now for the goals: Workouts: Bringing back the Kung Fu vitamins from a few challenges ago- at least 1 set/ 2 days a week outside class. Kung Fu Vitamins set 1: Kung Fu Vitamins set 2: Kung Fu Vitamins set 3: Kung Fu Vitamins set 4: want to come up with an additional strength routine. Will be mostly body weight, I don't have access to many weights (I think i have a 3, 5, and 12 lbs free weights, and a 7.5lbs kettle bell, and some bands) Biking: 2 days at least 20 mins, either on the trainer or outside Mobility: 2 sessions of NF yoga per week 5 mins of foam roller work 5 nights a week before bed Eating right Life is crazy, and it's only going to get worse. Eating bad is easy, and sometimes the only thing that sounds good, but that shouldn't be an excuse. Made a month long menu (see posts below) and I"m going to stick with it. Need to figure out breakfasts, but at least dinners are taken care of. Sleep: This should be way more of priority than I've been making it lately. Hoping stress at work will allow me to get to sleep earlier, but this should help electronics off by 10:00, lights out by 10:30
  20. Shadow Lion Shuffles the Cards... and Decides to Stack the Deck (for success) I have been on a strange and unexpected journey this past weekend as I pondered what to do for my challenge. I found myself wandering down paths I have not traveled in some time, and I realized that my life feels wildly out of balance. I am in need of the Queen of Swords decisiveness and discipline, while also bringing my inner and outer worlds into better alignment through intuition and quiet contemplation. This challenge is a continuation of the last one in many ways - of my year theme of planting my stake in the ground - but it also promises to add some new twists to that. I feel that in many ways I have come full circle (or perhaps it is a spiral?), back to face the very things that once led me away from software development. Now, however, I have the opportunity to deal with those in a different, healthier way, and I can enlist a wealth of life experience from the intervening years to become the ruler of my own well-being. In keeping with the lessons of challenges past - surprise, surprise - I need to further simplify and focus. My year theme of planting my stake in the ground continues. Commitment, discipline, perseverance. This past weekend I took stock of where I was and it wasn't pretty. Depression was creeping in around the edges; I felt exhausted physically, mentally, spiritually. I just wanted to sit down and cry. I'd been working so hard and such long hours that I was totally drained, battling a cold, and wondering how I was going to dredge up the energy to put a challenge together - something that I normally find very enjoyable. I tried to think up some grand idea (always a good plan, right?) and came up with nothing. Then I remembered the conversation on last challenge's thread with Xena about tarot cards. I had planned to save that for later in the year, but I needed an idea... Hmmm. Maybe the answers to my other dilemmas were similarly staring me in the face? It has been many years since I really surveyed what was out there in terms of decks. Between Google, Pinterest, and other sites, I was amazed at all the new decks there are. Traditional tarot, non-tarot "oracle" decks ranging from fairies to vikings to manga to angels, pop culture influenced decks...you name it. I spent several hours marveling at the artwork and imagination behind it all and getting inspired to do a very unusual challenge. Harry Potter... LOTR... (LOL! It's Rurik Harrgarth!) So, I decided to take the hint from the Universe and draw a card using the cosmic code of random electrons and got... And laughed. The lady and the lion, 8, and a sideways 8 - infinity... That is my card. Has been for years. My totem, my number. I drew several more cards, too, which will be revealed over the course of this challenge. Suffice to say, they painted a very interesting picture of what I need to do to resolve my dilemmas and reach my goals. They may look similar on the surface, but make no mistake, things are very, very different now. 1. Move Forward Increase my total walking distance by 3 to 5 % each week over the course of the challenge. Starting distance is 12.35 miles per week. 2. Find Equilibrium Squat for of 5 mins per day, every day of the challenge. Stand for a minimum 10 minutes of every hour I work at GP. 3. Rebuild My Strength There are many types of strength I could choose to work on - physical, mental, emotional, social, soul (intuition, imagination), and spiritual. I am choosing soul and spirit as being the most in need of restoration I will take a minimum of 30 minutes every single day of the challenge to tend to my spiritual and soul needs through meditation, relaxation, play, creativity and/or spending time out-of-doors. 4. CodeWarrior Learn - Complete the Git and DevOps courses I am taking. Practice - Participate in at least one exercise through the AZCWR (Arizona Cyber Warfare Range). Learn, Practice, Share - Participate in a "Mob Programming" workshop Let the intuition (and the cats!) begin...
  21. I feel like I've been drifting for quite awhile now. Keeping it simple to 2 things, so I can focus on them. Everything else I know I should be doing not going to take up challenge space for it right now. so taking inspiration from some of my new favorite shows over the next few challenges. This challenge- Lian Yu. Train 30 mins daily- this can take many forms. Stretching, core work, strength work, cardio, , practicing forms. Have quite time/meditation at least 5 mins at least 3 days a week
  22. Yeah Assassining isn't a word but whatever. I am so bad at Topic titles and it's better than Jonesy's 2nd Challenge. Haha. Sort of nervous to post here but here it goes. My name is Tiffany. My friends call me Tiff, Jonesy, Mrs. Bilbo Baggins, or Hobbit. This is my first big adventure outside of the Rebels or the Adventurer guild. Little backstory. I’ve been attempting to get healthy for the last 3 or 4 years. I have not been able to find something that makes me keep with it though and it’s starting to piss me off. I want to find something fitness related that makes me want to be active. I’m fitness shy and get incredibly self conscious when trying new things. I’d really like to be able to do a handstand or some of those fancy push ups and this “most of all we are determined to be the masters of our own bodies†is a huge reason why I gravitated towards the Assassins. Long Term Quest : Over the course of the next 2 years I want to lose 100-150lbs, become more flexibly and learn to do some awesome things with my body. Main Quest: For my second challenge, my main quest is to strengthen my body. I want to focus on doing bodyweight workouts, so hello Assassins! Exercise/Food Quests: 1. Go to the gym and do yoga at least 1 time each, each week. This is practically the same quest as last time but I’m adding in yoga as well. I want to start using my gym reimbursement for rewards so I need to keep at this. There is no good reason I should not be doing this!!! Gym : Elliptical + Stretching Yoga : Yoga For Beginners - 40 Minute Home Yoga Workout or something else if I find one I like better. Grading : A 4+, B 3, C 2, D 1, F 0 Character Points : 25 points (6.25 points each week) 2. Do 2 bodyweight or resistance band workouts each week. TRACKING I have not done bodyweight workouts in a long time so I feel I will struggle with this in the beginning. Warm Up: 2 songs jog in place, 8 Stretches Your Tight Hips Are Begging For Assassins Workout - In honor of moving over to the Assassins guild! Resistance Band Workout 5 min cool down/stretching Grading - How many days I did bodyweight workouts during the challenge : A 8+, B 5-7, C 2-4, D 1, F 0 Character Points : 30 points (7.5 points each week) 3. Track Food everyday. Either write it down or input into Myfitnesspal. I need to get back into the habit of knowing how much I actually eat. I bought a kitchen scale and I’m going to see if measuring some of my food helps will controlling my intake. Grading - How many days did I track : A 25+, B 18-24, C 13-17, D 10-13, F 0-9 Character Points : 35 points Life Quest: 1. Knit at least 50+ rows My main life goal is to read 4 books a month and that won’t change but I have some additional life quests that I’ve been slacking on. I’ve been working on this scarf for my friend for almost 2 years. I’m so horribly slow and have other things to do that it gets pushed to the back burner. I am committed to finishing this damn scarf within the next few challenges. I won’t be starting ANYTHING creative like knitting or painting until this scarf is done! I’m so close too. If I end up finishing this quests early, yippie! Possible books this challenge : Night Seeker, Blood Rites, Parasitology Series, The Diabolical Miss Hyde , Black Widow, Fifth Grave past the Light, & Written in Red Grading : A 50+ or F 0 Character Points : 10
  23. Yea no theme this time. SO BE IT. For those who may be new, I'm a graduate who works in the animation field (production side so far) and my former studio is in break mode, so I'm essentially unemployed atm though I'm looking at it as an extended overdue vacation or time to be spent organizing paperwork and stuff :/ Blargh. I've been poling since May 2014 and I currently do anywhere from 1-7 hours of classes a week depending on stuff (right now it's 2 nights a week, Mondays 3 classes and Thursdays are Jam (open gym I guess) and 3 hours of class). Goals right now is to get my splits and build up strength for more pole moves (that's a big block in my path right now). 10-A-Day 10-a-day of squats, pushups, dips, leg lifts/reverse crunch EACH They're working! So we're going to do ALL four of them EACH DAY. Building on this from last challenge Splits Focus on Splits, 3x week please! 1 session with the roller/yoga ball per week So there's been improvement since the beginning of last challenge! But I do feel that adding some time with the massage roller once a week should help (it's getting really tight). Art 5 hours on portfolio/art stuff per day 5 days a week (or 25 hours combined minimum) I'm off from work, now is the chance to update my portfolio and get into the art side of things. Or even work on my personal projects (which I think in my timelines I severely underestimated lol). Need to start building discipline on this so here it is! Routine Wash my face nightly with my homemade cleanser (esp if I put makeup on!) Brush teeth (I can't believe I have to do this...) It's been working well so I want to solidify this habit. Also since I've been off work I've been a wee bit lax on the tooth brushing.... MOTIVATION To feel better, more energetic and stronger. To reach that image of future me that I CAN SEE AND PRACTICALLY TASTE. To be ME. The best me EVER.
  24. TTZZAAPP!!! A PUFF OF SMOKE AND... Granny Nogg has turned herself into a little brown mouse. The first thought that enters her mouse brain is, "Cheese. .. I smell cheese!!" Lovely, golden, creamy, tangy cheese is going to help Granny Nogg gain some serious mouse muscles. That, and lifting heavy things to the Rocky theme song. Or Disco. Because Disco isn't Dead. Fitness: Do the BBWW 3x a week (Tue/Thu/Sat). Progression in squats, lunges, and dumbbell weight. Track workouts in spreadsheet. Track steps the other 4 days with my FitBit. Diet: Track my food daily with My Fitness Pal. 1600 calorie goal. Weigh and measure once per week. Track in MFP.weight:176.5underbust: 32.25waist: 32hip: 39thigh: 25Life: Keep up with work orders and don't get behind. Weekly Summaries: Week 1: Fitness: workouts 1/3 Did track in spreadsheet and tracked steps. Diet: Tracked 7/7. Went over goal twice. Weighed and measured. weight: 179.3 underbust: 32.75 waist: 31.5 hip: 38.75 thigh: 25 Life: orders still caught up. Week 2: Fitness: workouts 3/3. Did track in spreadsheet and tracked steps. Diet: tracked 7/7. Went over once. Weighed and measured. weight: 175.9 underbust: 32.5 waist: 31.25 hip: 37.25 thigh: 24.75 Life: orders still caught up. Week 3: Fitness: workouts 3/3, because I'm counting the Yard Work that gave me DOMS for 3 days. Wow. Did track in spreadsheet and tracked steps (Fitbit needs a new battery!) Diet: Tracked 6/7. Dunno what happened to Saturday's food log, I can't find it. Went over only one day, on Wednesday. I know I didn't go over on Saturday because I didn't eat much. Weighed and measured. Weight: 176.6 Underbust: 32.5 Waist: 31.2 Hip: 37.2 Thigh: 24.5 Life: orders still caught up, but I'm feeling a little bit pressured by the number of them on the board, so I need to step up my game and get more of them actually completed. sent from my tiny particle accelerator
  25. Actual video footage of the event from last year at my school. The guy wearing the bandana and doing flips is my instructor. >.< For this challenge, I’m going to shift focus temporarily from the standard and usual foundational quests to prioritizing my capoeira training. I’ve signed up for the Winter Games event; a three-day string of capoeira workshops and rodas, which also includes the batizado. In capoeira, the batizado is the initiation ceremony where a new student is tested on their basic knowledge (in the regional style). The prize is the first belt/cord ranking, which is solid green. Since I only started learning at the end of December, I’m going to need some supplemental training and practice to prepare for the belt test. This will be my focus, as I want to do my best. Changing things up, Ranger style! Main Quest: Do my best during the batizado test on February 20th and become proficient in the basic moves of capoeira. Goal One: Practice capoeira every day. Duh. I should be putting in practice time on non-class days (classes are on Monday and Wednesdays). Obviously, if you want to get better at something, then you should do more of it. Practice should consist of two of the three following parts: basic move practice, sequence practice, and movement drills. The sequences are going to be important; they are similar to katas in other martial arts and are what I will be tested on during the batizado. I’ll focus on the basic movements that are in those sequences (meia lua de frente, armada, queixada, martelo, bênção, aú, rolê, cocorinha, negativa, and rasteira) and practice some drills from class on my own. Goal Two: Do bodyweight training three times a week (specifically on non-class days). Capoeira is filled with bodyweight movements; the esquivas are akin to squats and lunges, there’s a lot of pushing yourself up off the floor (I foresee burpees in my future *groan*), and my back is always screaming after extended practice sessions during class. I’m going to be strengthening my weak points with this, combining capoeira movements with standard bodyweight exercises into a basic routine (following the NF exercise template). I believe this means that I'll be taking a break from my Olympic lifting, but once this test is over, I'll return to it and figure out a new training schedule. Capoeira-Inspired Bodyweight Routine: - 20x cocorinha - 10x push-ups - 20x esquiva de baixa (from ginga) - 10x inverted rows - 15sec. static cabeçada - 30 ginga Goal Three: Practice the songs and instruments at least once a week. This should be easy to achieve, but it’s necessary. I need to know one song and how to play one of the instruments at the batizado. I already know the basics of the pandeiro, atabaque, and agogô de castanha, I just need more practice. I have the opportunity to practice them after class and on open-gym Fridays. I will be taking them. Songs will be easy. We practice songs during the roda on class days, and I’ve got a collection of songs that we learned on Youtube; I need to make a CD so I can listen to them outside of class. That will definitely help me become more familiar with them. Goal Four: Eat Good Food. Ain’t givin’ up on this. I’m going to follow the W30 Good Food standards for the time being, so that I’m in peak condition for this training regimen. The only thing I plan to reintroduce during this time will be whey protein powder. I’ll gauge where my reaction is to it (positive or negative), and plan accordingly. This should also help keep my stress and Sugar Dragon in check, so I can focus on training. Even though the Winter Games/Batizado will take place during the third week of the challenge, I’ll keep this going for the full four weeks for simplicity and more practice. Can’t hurt, right? This challenge will start on Monday for me, the official start date, but it’ll roll in straight from the end of my Sugar Dragon quest, which I ain’t stoppin’ ‘til Sunday.
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