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  1. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Episode IV BALANCE Stronger, yet exhausted from their battle with the Sith, Starstuff and the other Jedi Initiates return to the Jedi temple on CORUSCANT to continue their training. Starstuff has learned much, but the call of the Dark Side - old habits, cutting corners, and a tendency to try to do too much at once - can be hard to resist... Main Quest: Prepare for the Initiate Trials I have passed one of the Trials: a full push-up! Four more to go. You can see the goals I'm working toward on my Epic Quests list under The Initiate Trials. I've got a half marathon coming up on 5/7, and I'm hoping to have that Trial knocked off by the time the next challenge starts, but I want to make sure I'm keeping on top of my other goals, too. Goal 1: A mind and body at peace My sleeping habits are kind of terrible. "Kind of" in the sense that Jabba the Hutt is "kind of" awful. I usually get a full 7-8 hours in any given 24 hour period, but usually only through sleeping in and taking afternoon naps. My mornings are generally pretty tired and cranky, which isn't good for me physically or mentally. So, I'm setting myself a sleep goal for this challenge: in bed by midnight every night, with lights out by 12:30. Goal 2: Harmony in movement It's important for a Jedi to keep in good physical condition, because you never know when you're going to find yourself running from blaster fire or needing to pull yourself up from hanging off a ledge. My goal here is to keep up with the last few weeks of my half marathon training and keep working on my strength training, which means running five times a week and strength training two times a week. Goal 3: Find balance in the Force More handstand practice! For this goal, I'm going to work on inversion and hand-balancing three times a week, with five minutes one day a week spent on each of the following: freestanding headstands, wall handstands, and crow pose progression. Life Goal: Roughing it, NaNoWriMo-style Camp NaNoWriMo runs throughout the month of April, and I've set myself a goal of 15 hours of editing my novel during that time. Things have been pretty crazy on the personal front the last few days, so I'm starting this challenge with a grand total of zero minutes editing so far, so that means I need to do 15 hours of editing before the end of the challenge.
  2. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Episode III THE JEDI PATH With the help of the Assassins, Starstuff has begun her Jedi training. Little does she know, there are agents of the DARK SIDE among the Assassins, as well. While Starstuff and her fellow Jedi Initiates strive to master the THREE PILLARS OF THE JEDI, the Sith are training, too... Main Quest: Prepare for the Initiate Trials Having gotten my basic fitness habits established, it's time to work on getting stronger, faster, and more agile. Because I've got a bunch of little things I'd like to get better at, I've combined them all in a theme-appropriate Initiate Trials quest list over on my character page. For anyone too lazy to click, I'm working toward milestones in upper body strength, flow staff, handstands, and my half marathon time. Speaking of half marathons, I might have said something crazy about not running any again until the Fall. Seven and a half months without a race? Who did I think I was kidding? I'll be running the El Sobrante Mother's Day Run Half Marathon in May. The First Pillar: The Force Goal 1: Keep up with my Force training I've got a pretty good thing going with my running and strength training schedule, and I want to maintain that, so here's what I need to do to meet this goal. Run five days a week, according to my half marathon training planAcademy Bodyweight Level 2 workouts three times a week, with 5 minutes of handstand practice for the "Bonus Level" portion15/30 50%50% The Second Pillar: Knowledge Life Goal: Add to the Jedi Archives I've been making a lot of progress lately in my fitness and flute playing, but I've also been neglecting my writing in a serious way. The first draft of this novel has just been sitting here, gathering dust for a couple months now, and that's no good at all. So, my life goal this time around is to spend 15 minutes every day editing my novel. They don't even have to be consecutive minutes, as long as I get them all in. 13/26 50%50% The Third Pillar: Self-Discipline Goal 2: Master my diet I've built a great foundation for my nutrition, and now it's time to bump it up to the next level. For this goal, I need to have a protein source and a vegetable in every meal. 13/26 50%50% Goal 3: Lightsaber practice I spent a little bit of last challenge playing with my staff, but now it's time to get serious learning some moves. For this goal, I need to spend fifteen minutes every day practicing moves from the beginner staff lessons on Home of Poi. As with my editing, these minutes do not need to be consecutive. A couple minutes here and there is fine as long as it's quality, focused practice for those couple minutes. 12/26 46%46%
  3. 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...
  4. ...and decided to share it outside my blob of close friends. It's a few months old, now, but remains the first thing (as far as poetry) I've written in a long time. Don't actually have a reason for posting it, especially considering it's probably cringe-worthy having only been edited twice. *Shudders* _____________________________________________________________________________________ ~ One Day ~ Oh, you who weep for a past full of dreams, watching your young love grow old; days drag on, wretched, made slow by your pain, but even so, there's a faith you can win. Sleep, though dark storm clouds blanket the moon, rest while cold rain beats the window. Thunder might shake you, trapped deep in your bones, but even so, you will come to no harm. One day, one day, your woes will all fade; lift up your eyes to this small, feathered hope. One day, your grief will melt in the air: suffer to cry for now without shame. Offer your tears to the One Who will keep them, Who knows you and won't let you go. Hold fast to courage; there's a light on the water, and it's a good light that ever will glow. Oh, you who weep for old pleasures fled, lost in a world of regrets and despair. Peace can be fickle, and joy can be vain, but even so, there are things that remain. You stumble blindly through shards of stained glass, heartsick from a lifetime of unending care. Your feet bleed rivers, your body is spent, but even so, your spirit goes on. One day, one day, your woes will all fade; lift up your eyes to this small, feathered hope. One day, your grief will melt in the air: suffer to cry for now without shame. Offer your tears to the One Who will keep them, Who knows you and won't let you go. Hold fast to courage; there's a light on the water, and it's a good light that ever will glow. Oh, you who weep for a corrupted embrace, clear vision tainted by thick crimson mist. Poor innocence, it never was meant to last, but even so, there's a little bit left. There is a pathway that's guarded by giants, stretching narrow and steep across a bleak land. All the flowers are dead, no birds can sing there, but even so, paradise waits at the end. Sorrow will pass as a harsh winter snow, as famine-swept fields or fire on a green meadow. Take heart, take heart, for ghosts linger long, but in time, they'll grow kinder, and one day, will be gone. One day, one day, your woes will all fade; lift up your eyes to this small, feathered hope. One day, your grief will melt in the air: suffer to cry for now without shame. Offer your tears to the One Who will keep them, Who knows you and won't let you go. Hold fast to courage, there's a light on the water and it's a good light that ever will glow. And it's a good light that ever will glow. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ If parts of this sound familiar, ("Oh you who weep for a past full of dreams", "grief...melt in the air", "offer your tears...") that's because they come from the character Aramis in Alexandre Dumas' "The Three Musketeers"...for some reason, I decided to have a go at expanding it, and this was the result. I think the original intention was to use it in a fanfiction, but haven't actually got around to it yet.
  5. 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...
  6. Hello everyone!! Last challenge I came back from a little break and rocked it the first three weeks. Then I got a cold. A big, bad cold, which tried to throw me off my path with bone-rattling cough-attacks and and make me lose my breath by stuffing my raspiratory system with evil, clingy balls of snot. But, no more!!! I'm recovering, gaining back my strength and will continue on the path I have chosen, no matter what kind of bacteria and viruses nature throws at me. Mwaahahahaha!!! ... sorry... got a bit distracted there. Anyways, the thing is, last challenge went great and I think I will continue doing what I've been doing. I've tweaked my goals just a little bit, but all in all, I'll just keep swimming. Here's what I'm up to: Goals and motivation I want to get fit and healthy and strong. Not necessarily in that order. But I'm on a quest to become a better me and part of that is sorting out my diet, using my body in other ways than sitting in front of the computer and getting my life in order. One of my long(ish)-term goals is to finally be able to do a real push-up (I'm at 4-5 knee push-ups right now), another is to find a (second) job. I also want to fit into some clothes I bought back then. I want to be able to run again without getting knee pain and/or out of breath too easily. I want to have the energy to do the things I love and the money to afford them. So, without further ado, here's my challenge No. 5 Quest 1: healthy dieting habits I've made a habit of drinking enough water/tea and avoiding refined sugar and white flour. I won't track the latter anymore (got that down), but I'll try to improve the drinking even more. Last challenge I added "more veggies" to the list, which I'll continue this time. I have noticed that on some days I eat only musli and sandwiches (whole-grain, but still) so this challenge I'll try to eat at least one "proper" meal everyday. Proper means: I cooked it (not necessarily on the same day) and it is not a simple thing like fruit salad, porridge, a sandwich or something like that. Just a regular meal like my mom would have put on the dinner table. drink at least 2,5l of water or tea every day (+1 bonus point for every extra 2,5l/week, -1 bonus points for every day I drink less)have one "proper" meal each day (+1 bonus point for every extra meal, -1 bonus point for every day I forget)eat more (cups of) vegetables than the week before (+1 bonus point for every 2 extra cups/week, -2 bonus point for each week I fail)eat some sort of veggies with two meals every day (snacking counts as a meal) (+1 bonus point if I eat veggies with every meal, +1 bonus point for each day I forget) Quest 2: get moving, get strong I do enjoy physical activity, just not all kinds. Last challenge I got very far by aiming for 3 sessions of some sort of sports (running, swimming, rowing, badminton, workout, whatever), depending on what I feel like. I will continue playing badminton once a week and will try to get back into running (my knees have been acting up the last time I tried, so I'll take it slow). I will also try to get in bodyweight workouts regularly. I will track my progress in a seperate spreadsheet. Yoga didn't go too well last challenge but I know it's something I enjoy once I get into it, so I'll aim to do some sort of practice every day. And I finally want to reach that "one real, proper push-up" goal, so I'll try myself at knee and/or incline push-ups everyday. I like the idea of doing AMRAP, so I see where that'll lead. I don't know yet if that's too much, so I'll adjust accordingly. do some sort of fitness activity 3 times a week (+1 bonus point for every extra session, -1 bonus for every one I forget)do at least 15 minutes of yoga every day (+1 bonus point for every extra hour, -1 bonus point for every day I forget)do knee/incline push-ups every day and track how many reps I can do (+2 bonus points for each week with consecutive better reps, -1 bonus point every day I forget) Quest 3: getting my life sorted out There's a lot (read: A LOT) of stuff I could put on here, but I'm going to focus on the things I want and need to do the most. Top of the list is getting a job. I currently work 2 days a week and while that pays the bill as long as nothing unforseen happens, it's really not a reliable option for the future. I've finally, after a lot of struggling, started sending out applications last challenge and I'll continue with that in the current one. I will also continue reading up background information for my current job and doing office work for my father's business (whenever there is things to do... I might have to adjust the target there). And since I continue to put some of my money into singing lessons, I will make the most of them by practicing in addition to the weekly lessons. send out 2 applications every week (+2 bonus points for every additional application, -3 bonus points every week I send less)take time for singing 4 times a week (this includes lessons) (+1 bonus point if all of these are at least 40 minutes, -1 bonus point if I do less than 4 times)read for work longer than the week before, measured in minutes (+1 bonus point for every extra hour, -1 bonus point if I do less than last week)do office work for 6 (?) hours every week (no bonus points here, since this depends so much on the workload)kitchen counter zero every night before going to sleep (+1 bonus point if I do this perfectly for a whole week, -0,5 bonus points if I do it first thing the next morning, -1 bonus point for every day I don't do it at all) Okay, now to the thing we all know you've been waiting for: my new and fancy pretty purple spreadsheet!!!! *sparkles* (now with automated progress percentages, automated ratings, automated gradings and automated color coding) Phew!! There's still the whole "making my home comfortable" business, so I have another huge printed spreadsheet on the wall next to my computer with all the household chores. No grading here, I just want to check off when I do something to get a feel for how often I do stuff and eventually figure out how often I should do stuff. I've neglecting this a little bit, so I'll try to get to it daily. As well as my financing spreadsheet where I write down what I spend. I'll also try to follow the 52 weeks home organising challenge as loosely or closely as my timetable allows. Aaaand I'll update a list of one-time things that I want to do during the next 4 weeks. Like my taxes. Or throwing a birthday party. So, there's lots to do, but last challenge showed me that I'm well up for it, if I set my mind to it. Which I have! I'm pumped, I'm on point, I'll rock this, I'll... Have a successfull challenge, everyone
  7. 2016 has been consistently kicking my ass since day 1. If you need any more proof, look no further than this thread. My uncanny ability to keep up with everything on these boards (known in Crossfit lingo as "ThreadCon™") is gone and I haven't posted my challenge thread already a day into the challenge. Things aren't looking pretty up ahead, so let's get to the point. Upcoming Events: 11km Trail Race on Feb. 7th Crossfit Open, kicking off on Feb. 25th for the following 5 weeks Masters' Exams on March. 8th and 15th.Simply put, I need to get back in line both physically and mentally Goals: 1. Nutrition: After checking with the SRLF™ I'm allowing myself the following Sugar: 1 day meal per week, to be used wisely while having a good time out and not stupidly stuffing things in my mouth at homeCheese: Allowed 2 days meals per weekComplex Carbs: Allowed only on workout days, from breakfast to 1 hour after the workout2. Workouts: 3 per week, preferrably straightforward Crossfit WODs instead of Oly Lifting, Gymnastics or other specialised classes 3. Study: I need to be ready for my exams. So far I've managed to lose interest in the lessons and not study any of the book or notes. This needs to change, drastically. 4. Animal Companion: A few days back, I picked up a stray cat. This goal is twofold. One, take care of it, take it to the vet, buy the necessary equipment and make the adjustments required to this new situation. Two is defend my decision against the family who is bound to go bananas once they hear of it. I am not giving way. The cat stays. 5. Peace of Mind: Special thanks to zenLara for inspiring this one. As mentioned, my ThreadCon™ has become terrible and instead of trying to fight it, I must come to terms with it. I can't keep up with everything and it's no use trying to do it or feeling bad for not being able to. 6. Daily Quests: This worked wonders during my previous challenge so I'm keeping it up for this one as well.
  8. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Episode II ESCAPE FROM JAKKU Learning basic survival skills was a good start, but Starstuff knows there's more to this galaxy than she can find scavenging on Jakku. With the help of her new friends, the mysterious ASSASSINS, Starstuff plans her escape... Main Quest: Build fundamental fitness habits My partner in crime and I have recently gotten serious about having kids, so I want to build healthy habits that will be beneficial to me when I get pregnant and that I can pass on to our kids. That means cleaning up my diet (working toward NFA Diet Level 6), establishing regular workout habits, and making sure I have fun doing it! Quest 1: Fend off your enemies Whether it's thugs trying to abduct your friend or more insidious villains like poor muscle tone, klutziness, and generally feeling unfit and crummy, it takes strength and agility to defeat your enemies. And, of course, competence with your weapons (or flow tools) of choice. To complete this goal, I must complete 2 Academy workouts and 1 Darebee staff workout every week. I'm only allowed to count workouts if I warm up before and cool down after. 11/12 92%92% Quest 2: Run like hell Sometimes you're outgunned, and when that happens, running is your best course of action. I'm usually pretty good about running regularly when I'm training for a race, but when I'm not actively prepping for a race, and even more so when I've just completed one (like, say, right now), I start to let other things get in the way of my running schedule. Not only does this slow my progress toward my running goals, but it makes everyday life much harder, since running is one of the most effective ways I've found to deal with my anxiety. Not this time. To complete this goal, I must run 5 days a week. I have a base-building schedule I plan to keep to, but I'm more concerned with just making sure I get my sessions in, since getting my butt out the door is always my biggest stumbling block. 16/18 89%89% Quest 3: Prime the fuel pump If you don't prime your ship's fuel pump, you're not going anywhere. Human bodies are thankfully a little more resilient than a jury-rigged Corellian freighter, but they still work best if you start out your day with a good fuel source, so to complete this goal, I need to eat a healthy breakfast every day. For the purposes of this challenge, I'm defining a healthy breakfast as one that contains a good source of protein and at least one serving of fruits or veggies. Six days a week, it also needs to be grain-free, but I want to be sure to include some complex carbs on long run day, which can (but do not have to) be grain-based. 25/26 96%96% Life Quest: Stretch those musical muscles Last challenge, I got back into practicing my flute regularly. Now that my fingers and chops have built up some endurance, it's time to get in a little more practice. To complete this goal, I must practice my flute for at least 45 minutes, 6 days a week. 16/22 73%73%
  9. Hi everybody, I've thought of coming with the druids many times, and this new challenge feels like the kind of challenge a druid would take, because it is about inner change. So here I am! I've been at NF for two years now, trying to build a better and healthier version of myself. I've tried small steps, motivation, rewards, routines... I got results and I won't undervalue them (I especially appreciate the clearer thoughts I have since I decided to focus on lowering my anxiety), and I'll keep those ideas that worked, but I am kind of tired of my on and off pattern with exercise and food. Recently I've been reading about willpower and I've found some ideas I want to try in the long run (for those interested, there is a more detailed thread on those ideas here), so I've designed a challenge with this thought in mind. I want to be strong, agile, flexible, have a calmer mind and a controlled metabolism. But right now, I need to become the kind of person that takes action everyday towards those goals. I need to become the kind of person that finds the time for the things she enjoys, the kind of person that looks for ways to achieve her goals. I've been thinking about: if I don't do this now, when? If I don't take those steps, who will take them for me? There are no chances than in a near or far future it will be easier to change my health. If I want to change I need to commit and take the responsibility of my own health. And I have to do it now. Ways to start my mindset shift: 1) Remember my why · Take a moment everyday to remember my why and to picture it. Remember that the more I work towards my goals, the more easier it will be. 2) Pause and think · Be mindful of my decisions regarding food, exercise, meditation and so, and notice my feelings and sensations: before, during, after, and when giving in and going against my goals. No judging allowed. 3) Stop the inner debate · Be respectful of both my two selves: hedonistic and smartypants. “The part of you that wants to give in isn't bad, it simply has a different point of view about what matters most “. 4) Never leave the table feeling hungry · Maintain steady energy and blood sugar levels. "When sugar blood lowers, brain shifts to a more impulsive state". 5) Moral licensing · Think and write about the concept of moral licensing. Commit to my goals and think of my why, instead of feeling good or bad about my actions. · Think and write about the concept of progress. What counts is building my healthy identity. I hope this ideas will help me to have my goals more present and to start a change I feel I need. Points I can win: Remember my why. 1 WIS Pause and think. 2 WIS Stop the inner debate. 1 WIS Never leave the table feeling hungry. 2 CON Moral licensing. 1 WIS I reserve 3 points to divide between STR, STA, DEX, depending on the amount and type of exercise I'll do during the challenge.
  10. 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.
  11. As I crept into the Assassin's guild for the first time, I found myself nervous with anticipation. There was no way the Assassins would welcome me. With such poor strength and even poorer flexibility, how could I possibly hope to earn a position in such a noble guild? I knew I must take on a formidable quest in hopes of proving myself. Must I find the knight's sword and challenge a fierce dragon? No! Must I rally up my brave comrades to take down our tyrannical king? No! Must I overcome my fears to save our world from destruction? No! I must DANCE! No! I Must Dance! ~Rhyme's sixth challenge~ Hey nerds! I've always admired your sassy Assassinry from afar, and I think it's about time I hop in and get my poi quest rollin'! I just learned how to make fuzzy, poorly-saturated gifs... and well, if progress pics are a thing, why can't we have progress gifs? Needless to say I'm a complete noob at making gifs, though. If anyone has any tips, I'm all ears! Fitness goal: Learn Crossers! I recently learned crossers, and while I can technically do them, I either hit myself or destroy my planes within five seconds. Not to mention, it takes me lots of preparation to enter or exit! Here's where I'm at right now: Ohh myyyy. You see that pink light? That's supposed to be parallel to the red one. Crossers are in the wall plane, which means the lights shouldn't be pointing towards the camera at all -- they should be parallel to the wall in front/behind me. Also, they're not supposed to crash into each other when I try to exit. That too. By the end of this challenge, I want to be able to enter the move without pausing, sustain the move with proper form for at least 10 seconds, and exit the move smoothly! Fitness goal: Learn the Reverse Windmill! I made the poor life decision to learn the corkscrew before I learned to do the windmill both ways. For reference, here's the windmill in the direction I learned it: Pretty nice! The reverse direction, on the other hand.... Ohhh myyy. You can see it awkwardly morph towards a corkscrew, which is like a windmill but down in front of you instead of over your head. I learned the corkscrew in that direction before I learned the windmill, so my muscle memory is trying to fix it. You're not helping! I want to be able to perform the reverse windmill by the end of this challenge -- and the only way is to practice! Diet goal: Garden of Eatin’ I want to grow edible flowers so I can make some fancy pants salads like this! Or this! Oh, they’re all so adorable that I want to devour them. And I’m gonna make it happen. …The thing is, that’s what I said last year. And it never happened. I have a bad habit of getting awesome ideas, and then never actually trying to accomplish them? So, I want to set aside at least 30 minutes a week to working on garden stuff – be it researching, contacting nurseries, or starting seeds! Life goal: Chem Is Try! Oh, I’m very responsible. I always get my homework done. Usually at 2AM where I turn into a rabid, sleep-deprived gremlin. And then I wonder why studying stresses me out. But when I study early instead of all in one last-minute session, I actually like to read and practice the material! I just put it off because “studying stresses me out! (when I have all this crap due tomorrow and I want to go to bed)â€. So, for this challenge I’m going to study for ten minutes every day. Once that book’s open I typically either get on a roll, or I make slow progress in between finding a catchy playlist and petting my cat. Either option would be great! And if I reeeeally don’t want to study, It's ten minutes and I can go back to doing nothing useful as usual. Also, fair warning, I'll be posting obligatory kitty pics every week after my volunteer shift at the animal shelter! It's not related to my challenge this time, but it was a blast to share last challenge, so I'll keep doing it anyway!
  12. PKMN JOURNEY, part 1 I don't need to be the very best, but who hasn't wanted to go on an epic journey of self-development, forming relationships and overcoming challenges along the way? Grab your ball-related puns and let's get moving! Now, I don't live in Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, or Sinnoh, and I have little interest in visiting Unova or Kalos. Looks like I'll have to challenge the fictional PKMN league of New York. If you're unfamiliar with the Pokemon series, that means I have to defeat the leaders of eight type-based gyms, then take on the Elite Four, finally facing the Champion. Each gym in this challenge will be based on a New York location I've visited or called home. Every trainer can carry a party of up to six critters. Three is a good number to have by the first gym, so that's how many will be hanging from my belt to start with. Of course, since this is NF, I'll choose my companions based on how they demonstrate the sort of strength, dexterity, stamina, constitution, wisdom, and charisma I'd like to emulate. STARTING PARTY: Beacon the Litwick - WIS Legato the Ralts - CHA THE CHALLENGES: tl;dr: Six pages of writing per week; Only water or occasional milk or unsweetened tea; Wheat products restricted to a maximum of three per week; Meditation of at least 5 minutes daily; Interval walking for a total of four hours. GRADING THE CHALLENGE Unfortunately, I had to drop bodyweight exercise from this challenge because of my living circumstances. Hopefully I'll be able to add it back in for March's challenge. I'll still look for opportunities for strength training this month, but they'll be off the books, so to speak. FC: 4124-6365-8699 IGN: Aranie
  13. ALL ABOUT MY BASE, BOUT MY BASE NO ALLIES FOR THE HORDE! I've got lots of goals for 2016 already planned, but I want to start small and gain momentum on the fitness side since I already do lots in my Pole classes And I'm starting with a BANG on the personal side with a project that'll eat up a lot of my free time and I have a tentative end date to my job on the 22nd (no idea when the next project is coming, but I'll be working on my portfolio to change positions or I'll go back in Production. I like both ) BUILDINGS 10-a-day of squats, pushups, dips, leg lifts, etc. Pick one that day and do 10 reps. I've managed to do this while a work the last few weeks (take a break from the pc and do that), so let's make it every day! The squats, leg lifts and push-ups have helped so far I want this in my default routine, even if I'm sick lol. BLUEPRINTS Focus on Splits, 3x week please! This is the major fitness focus. I KNOW deep down, that I can get this. My problem is not buckling down on it. So this is the biggie and this is where I need to buckle down FINALLY. MISSIONS Continue logging So last challenge I did a new thing. I kept a written log. So let's continue this and cement it further (also gives me more focus on splits ). INVASIONS Wash my face nightly with my homemade cleanser (esp if I put makeup on!) Self explanatory and I'm pretty forgetful about it! 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.
  14. “Ugh” For some reason, the first thing I could feel was the inside of my mouth. My tongue felt like it was made of sawdust and tar. My throat was equally dry and coarse, then a stinging pain across my spine made every nerve explode, flooding me with a sudden rush of adrenaline as the rest of my senses returned to me. The pain retreated, much like a quick stab, letting the sensory information fall into place slowly. Everything about my back told me I was lying on cold hard rock. “Cursed Pandemonium, I was washed down the tunnels again, wasn’t I?” I said to no one in particular. “This isn’t Pandemonium. And you are no longer who you thought you were” no one in particular answered back. A female voice, soft with the sound of age-old wisdom. “Externally, at least”. I tried to jump up and face whoever was talking to me, but my body felt way heavier than I remembered. Probably from the shock, I thought. It’s ok, I’ll make it less spectacular. Rolling over and hopping up was so instinctive, it happened faster than my brain could process what was going on. At first I wondered if my shoulders were wider than I thought, then I caught sight of my two hands planted on the ground. Meaty and dark skinned, they propelled me to a standing position albeit not as gracefully as I had hoped. I could literally feel time expand on my upward flight as I was stunned in amazement. Taking a moment to inspect my form before facing the origin of that voice, I found myself wide and muscular. “Not that I’m complaining for the upgrade, but what exactly is going on here?” “There is no way to easy way to explain this” the voice began. I looked around. I was in some sort of cave, lit by some otherworldly source that balanced perfectly between eerie and indifferent. A woman in a long white dress stood nearby, her silver hair held in two long pigtails hanging behind her head. She would have looked girlish, if not for the elongated canines on her lower jaw. Plus, she was partly transparent. “No, you’re not dead” she answered the obvious question that was beginning to form on the back of my mind. “What do you remember about yourself?” I scratched the back of my head, remarking how both my finger and skull felt thicker. “I am a Planeswalker, a githzerai. My name feels old and unpronounceable now, but I remember it meant something about a wanderer or a raider. Uhm, I used to wield a flaming bastard sword. And the last place I visited was the Howling Madness of Pandemonium. It’s all black from there”. The ghostly figure listened with genuine care and perhaps a hint of surprise. “That is… way more than most usually remember. You are a strong soul indeed. I do not know those things you speak of, but I know that somehow you have passed into our world, reborn. Reincarnation, us shamans call it, although yours is a unique case. Plus, you came out as a mag’har, the Uncorrupted of our race. This is how we originally were. I cannot say the same for this place. Alas, once beautiful Draenor is now the shattered dimension of the Outlands.” “Draenor?” I exclaimed. “I’ve read about this place. Well, us Planeswalkers are about going to places and learning from experience, but it never hurts to go somewhere prepared. Right. Draenor. Uhm, used to be full of Orcs and Draenei, until the former slew the latter and invaded human lands through some portal, right?” The woman gave me a sad smile. “That’s part of it, yes. We used to exist together until sometime after my death under the hooves of a clefthoof. I was a shaman and leader of the Frostwolf clan, then my apprentice Drek’Thar took over. He was tricked by some demon impersonating me into joining the Draenei purge, but when the demon and its lackeys asked him to abandon shamanism for the ways of the demon-worshipping warlock, he wisely refused. Our clan was exiled while the others drank the blood of demons and became their enraged slaves, invading the human lands twice as their vanguard. By the time of the Third War, Warchief Thrall sought our clan once more as he tried to bring our race back to its shamanistic roots. Thanks to that and the heroic sacrifice of Grom Hellscream, the orcs were freed from their demonic chains and fought back the demonic invasion alongside their former enemies. Most settled in their new home of Durotan, but our clan retreated elsewhere.” “I see…” were my only words as I tried to take in all the information and sort it out. “Well, of all the places I could exist as an Orc, looks like I landed in the best” I said sarcastically, receiving a raised eyebrow from the spectral woman. Clearly she had no idea that in most worlds I knew existed, Orcs are savage brutes at best. “So what now?” “Patience, young one” the woman said and held out a hand. “There is still much to learn. I will tell you most of it in time and some of it you’ll find out yourself. What’s important right now is strengthening that soul of yours first. It made it through its journey with remarkable resilience. You should cherish and protect it, lest you forget who you really are. Once that is done, you need to get around and learn about your new home. From experience, just the way you like it". The tone of her voice told the story of how she enjoyed the jest, playfully devoid of any irony. "That, and a wolf. No orc can call himself a Raider until he’s got a dire wolf to ride. We call the local variety Frostwolf Howlers.” “What a charming name” I snapped with pure irony instead. “We should also work on your attitude” the woman struck back without batting an eyelid. “The proper ork response would be ‘Lok'tar Ogar!’ That’s ‘For Victory or Death” in our language. That’s our battlecry.” Apparently, the comments about eating and snoring like an Orc were turned into inspiration for my new RPG NF alter ego since I thought "why not also train, fight and face challenges like an Orc?". Warcraft was an easy pick with it's epic take on the noble savagery of Orcs, plus there's plenty of inspiring lore I intend to integrate into the story along with a few surprises. This is not a respawn but rather a reincarnation, hence the link to my githzerai character from my first few NF challenges. Now, onto the TL;DR version good stuff! Soul Power: A Link to the Past Never forget what you've been through, because it made you who you are. In less fancy wording, stick with what's worked so far. Don't eat like a dickhead and do at least 3 crossfit workouts every week. Anything beyond that is a bonus. Frostwolf Howler No Orc can call itself a Raider until it has a Dire Wolf upon which to ride. I used to be in the junior leagues with a 125cc motorcycle license and a scooter to go with it. 2+ years later, the scooter is sold and the license ready to be upgraded. My quest is to acquire information on the necessary process, do what has to be done, upgrade said license and buy a motorcycle of at least 400cc. Also, get a full-face helmet. For the Horde! Keeping goals simple, this is a catch-all quest in which to keep track of guild mini progress, PvPs and any other weird stuff you folks get me dragged into...
  15. I'd like to get back into the challenge thing, but goals are amorphous/nearly nonexistent at the moment. This'll get filled with something at some point, probably? A silks routine to this song must be created. If my silks gym ever opens back up again. Things: Get stronger for return to the silksPull upsToes to Bar progressions Get bendier Straddle drills (on the ground for now, in the air some magical day)Backbends Have some fun HandbalancesPartner acro stuffClimbing gym Eat better MOAR proteinFEWER junky snacksMOAR water
  16. Theme for 2016 During a Solstice ritual with a couple of friends, I had a very clear image of a driving a stake into the ground. Attached was a leather thong that bound my ankle to the stake. I knew the image referred to a story I read many years ago of a Native American warrior, but I could not remember the details, only that it was an act of total commitment. Once again, the internet delivers: Attached to each dog rope was a picket-pin [used to tether horses]. The pin was driven into the ground as a mark of resolve in combat. When a Dog Soldier was staked to the ground in order to cover the retreat of his companions, he was required to remain there even if death was the consequence. The Dog Man could pull the pin from the ground only if his companions reached safety or another Dog Soldier released him from his duty. From "Cheyenne Dog Soldiers," by Richard Grimes I'm kind of glad I didn't remember the details of the story! The more I read about the Dog Soldiers the more respect I have and the more intimidated I become. Nevertheless, I am holding to my intuitive vision and planting my stake into the ground.Focus and Motivation No doubt this will be a challenging year. To in some small way embody the ideals and values of warriors of that caliber will be a tremendous stretch, one in which I hope I can use them as inspiration and example without faltering or giving any disrespect. I see my primary focus this year as being COMMITMENT. My primary motivation to get healthier (on all levels) and stay that way, is to be present for my family, friends, and associates. With the above in mind, and knowing that there are many changes coming to Nerd Fitness, I am keeping my goals simple and succint. I suspect that many of what would normally have been side quests will fit better into the coming "Epic Quest" system, and I am sure that DarK_Raider and Rurik are hatching mini-challenge plans and any number of other surprises for the future... Challenge Goals1. Go the Distance Average of 15 miles per week, for a total of at least 60 miles for the challenge. Going for easy level of difficulty still, just focused on increasing mileage for now. Carefully, steadily. 2. Wait and Watch for the Enemy; Stand Your Ground Squat 10 mins per day, 6 days per week, 6 hours for the challenge. This is to stretch and release tight muscles from sitting at a computer for so much of the day. Stand for increasing times each day I work at GP, starting with 10 minutes of every hour. This one is a tracking goal, not a total time goal for this challenge, at least until I know how much my bum leg will take per day. I purchased a new stand for my computer that lets me easily turn my regular desk into a standing desk. I plan to install that as soon as I return to work and add standing to my daily routine for the last 5 weeks of the challenge. 3. Eat to Win Lose 4 pounds during the January Challenge Do this by eating healthy foods - lots of fruits and veggies, moderate amounts of whole grains, small amounts of meat, and very little processed food, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of sleep, fresh air, and relaxation. 4. CyberWarrior Learn - Complete the cyber security course I am taking. Practice - Participate in at least one exercise through the AZCWR (Arizona Cyber Warfare Range). Share - Organize and promote the upcoming Code Sisters Cyber-Security Workshop. Not sure if I am going to build a story around this or not. I think I will wait until after the 4th to decide that, once I see the new features on Nerd Fitness. Hoka hey! (Yes, I know that's Lakota/Dakota, not Cheyenne, and it doesn't mean what Hollywood thinks it does... But it makes a pretty good war cry.) Let's go kill this challenge!
  17. Many heroes have a history or family legacy that they must overcome. The Skywalker family seems destined to flirt with the Dark Side. Spiderman had to live with the guilt he felt after his uncle died. Natasha Romanov was taken from her family and raised to be an assassin. Few heroes seem born from easy circumstances. They all - we all - have things we need to overcome before we can be the heroes we dream of being. Me??? At my daughter's wedding, I was reminded of my family's destiny. As my last living aunt looked at the unfortunately overweight bride, she commented that every woman in our family ends up being fat. With a knowing look and resigned sigh, she looked at me and said, "Just wait." And I shook my head and replied, "Not happening." But it is a fact that my family of origin had terrible health habits, and I sometimes slide into them. This year's goal really is to continue with the progress I've made so far here at Nerd Fitness and accelerate it .... hitting some milestones and enjoying a lighter, stronger body by doing some of those fun runs and obstacle races. Frankly, committing to doing a race where I have to climb over things is scary. I hate heights. I am not very strong in my upper body. And I'm not very graceful. This is going to take some work over a year or two. Goals for THIS CHALLENGE 1) Tame the Sweet Tooth I generally know how to eat well, but I have a hard time stopping once I start eating refined sugars, refined carbs, or wine. For this challenge, I will be intentional and enjoy (in moderation) one evening when I can have dessert and a glass of wine or two. But 6 days out of 7 will be focused on whole grains, proteins, vegetables, some fruit, and avoiding sugar in all kinds of things (like so-called energy bars). 2) Get Over That Wall I'm still working on regaining the ability to do a pull-up. At the moment, I'm doing lat pull-downs and want to get strong enough to do 10x70, 10x75, 10x70 by the end of the challenge. I can currently do 65 pounds for most of three sets, but I'll need to work on my hand strength as well as arms and shoulders. How to get there .... by strength training 3 times each week and trying to increase weights each week. 3) Find Balance Last year, I was literally dreaming of doing a crow pose. Why? No clue. But I also want to be able to do a handstand. So, I'll be working on these two progressions through the year. For now - I need to work on wrist flexibility!!! How? Working it daily with the GMB folks. 4) Keep Moving Finish Season 2 of Zombies Run 5) Push Boundaries In college, I very much wanted to go to Greece during a January interim. But I didn't have the money. 34 years later, I have saved up enough to go on an alumni trip (organized by the same professor!!) - probably in January or June 2017. But I like to be able to understand the local language and read road signs. So .... my goal this year is to learn modern Greek!!! I had studied ancient Greek in college; so the alphabet isn't completely foreign, but I have a lot of learning to do. I got a book and audio set for Christmas and will do a lesson per week for each challenge. At 46 lessons, that should work out about right with the challenge schedule. Theme??? I'm kinda waiting to find out more about the new epic quests and such. I'm tempted to go back to a Star Wars theme. That's where I stared with Nerd Fitness, and I have a lot of history in Star Wars RPGs as Chris-Tien Jinn, the Jedi Master. Stay tuned.
  18. I've been in the adventurers forum for a while, but now, with the excuse that it changes and becomes what looks like an outdoors guild, I thought it could be a good moment to come back with the assassins. Here is a short list of what I've accomplished while hanging with the adventurers in 2015: first push-up first chin-up 20 minutes run stopped worrying about putting on weight and focused on things I can control (exercise, food, rest) uploaded a piece to soundcloud performed in many concerts reduced anxiety level, by increasing the time I devote to myself: breathing pauses, meditation, relaxation, walks in the country, hikes, spending time in the sun... This year, what do I want? I want a cartwheel and a handstand and a crow (skills) I want a pancake and a butterfly (flexibility) I want better lung capacity (endurance, stamina) I want more push-ups and chin-ups and I want an L-sit (strength) I want calm and serenity (meditation, rest) I want sun (outdoors) My first steps to achieve these things will be to focus on basics: Goal 1. Move. i) Walk, bike, hike, run ii) Work on GMB programs (bodyweight) Goal 2. Eat. i) Take a tablespoon of coconut oil everyday. ii) Take supplements as needed. iii) Increase the amount of vegetables. Goal 3. Sleep. This goal refers not only to sleep but to general well-being. i) Meditate regularly. ii) Take the time to rest after meals. iii) Take valerian or other infusions to help sleep whenever is needed. Will sleep in a room alone if I have several bad nights in a row. iv) Write about things to be thankful to or positive things that happened during the day. Life quest. Break the routine and have fun. I am a fan of routines, because they really help me in day-to-day life, but I've found that I can be too strict sometimes about them, so I will keep in mind that there can be reasons strong enough to break routines and get off the path for a while. Voluntary quest. I won't keep track nor force myself to take care of this, but it would be nice to do it those days I'll have the time or when it doesn't generate stress: 15 minutes of chores everyday (excluded those that must be done everyday, like keeping the kitchen clean and ranged, cooking and so). *Stats and points: waiting for the new system to start working to decide. Ok, I don't specially like the new system, so I'll stick to the old one. For goal 1, I will receive 1 STA point and 2 STR, for goal 2, 3 CON points, for goal 3, 3 WIS points, and 1 CHA for my life quest. Only 10 points, but I think it can fit better with these 4 week challenges.
  19. Way back in days of old there was a legend told about a hero known as Galvant. Square jaw and perfect hair, Cajones out to there, There was no hero quite like Galavant! Tough, plus every other manly value Mess with him he'll disembowel you! Yea, he ruled in every way, a fairytale cliché, an people called him Gaaalaaavaaaaant! Yep that's my theme this challenge. If you don't know what Galavant is, it is a comedy on ABC featuring a lot of singing and set in a medieval fairytale setting. So pretty much everything I ever wanted in a show. Anyway, I have been away for a while doing my own thing and making progress. That is, until the holidays hit. Now I need a little extra motivation to get back on track and lucky me I happen to come back just in time for the shiny new challenge system. As for my challenge, it is somewhat inspired by Galavant's return to questing shape toward the beginning of season 1. My lift workouts involve bench, Military, Deadlift, and Cleans. As for my diet, I have the most difficulty on the weekends, so for now I am going to focus more on what I eat when I am at home rather than how much. Anyway, down to it: Q1: Isabella's Training: Lift 3 times a week, Arrow workout 2 days a week Q2: Sid's Cooking: Stay paleo on weekends, stay under 1800 calories on weekdays ( I am on a cut right now) Q3: Fit in My Armor: drop to 20% body fat (if I can't do it this challenge I will roll it over to the next) SQ: Xanax's Laboratory: 95% completion of my work goals (kinda shoehorned this one into the theme, I work in a lab so it's the best I could come up with) That's it for now, I haven't decided if I am going to do anything fun with the updates yet. It will depend on how busy I get and, of course, how well I am sticking to my challenge. 'Till next time, TALLY HO! I'm off on a hero's journey Out where adventure lies On a quest the Poet's will sing about! With destiny at my shoulder, An ego of massive size, And a face most chicks have a thing about. So what if I'm still hung over? So what if I smell like slop? So what if I've got this pesky muffin top? I'm off on a hero's journey A champion through and through (More or less) Doing what other hero's do. Update: Epic Quest page here
  20. Heads up: In case the title wasn't a tip-off, this challenge is The Force Awakened themed. I'll put any major spoilers behind spoiler tags, but I'm not going to bother hiding non-spoilery stills from the film or minor world spoilers, so if you're avoiding even minor spoilers, best to avoid this thread until you've seen the movie. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Starstuff has been running for a long time. Running from rakghouls. Running toward the next adventure. But now she finds herself facing a new challenge. One she can't run away from. Stranded on the remote desert planet of JAKKU, Starstuff must develop the skills to survive in this harsh new environment... I've been away from Nerd Fitness for a while (if you want the long story, you can take a look at my respawn post), and it's time for me to get back into the game. Because this challenge is all about getting back to the basics, I'm spending it with the Rebels. I'll still be running (I'm actually running the Disney Star Wars Half Marathon halfway through this challenge), and I'm sure I'll be poking my head into the Scout forum from time to time, but that's not my main focus this time around. Main Quest: Build fundamental fitness habits My partner in crime and I have recently gotten serious about having kids, so I want to build healthy habits that will be beneficial to me when I get pregnant and that I can pass on to our kids. Specifically, I want to make the following things ingrained habits. Eat at NFA diet Level 6 90% of the time. This was pretty much where my eating habits were before everything went off the rails last year, and hopefully it will be easier getting there the second time around.Run ~25 miles a week. This was what my running base was for nearly a year before I started slacking, and I know it's a comfortable amount for me.Academy bodyweight workouts 3 times a week. In addition to just being all around good for me, it turns out that a consistent strength routine that focuses on functional and core strength can make labor easier.Yoga or other balance-focused fitness 3 times a week. I have both dyspraxia and loose ligaments, which means that my balance sucks and I'm at a higher risk of randomly spraining or dislocating joints out of nowhere. During pregnancy, the body releases a hormone that makes joints even softer (which is important for being able to give birth, but not so great if your joints are already over-soft), which means I'll be at an even higher risk of falling over at a time when falling over could be really dangerous. So, I want to get some serious balance and stabilizing muscle work in beforehand in the hopes of mitigating that risk. Quest 1: Balance practice You've got to have a good sense of balance if you're going to scavenge any of the good stuff! To complete this quest, I need to do three yoga sessions every week for the duration of the challenge (except for the second week, when I will only do two sessions due to traveling and running a half marathon). 10/10 100%100% Quest 2: Do the boring-but-necessary stuff Sometimes, you've got to do the boring stuff before you can get to the good stuff, like cleaning your haul before you can get paid for it. In the past, I've been a terrible slacker when it comes to warming up and cooling down, which probably contributed to not sticking with my strength training programs. So, before I jump back into strength training proper, I'm going to focus just on warming up and cooling down for a few weeks. To complete this quest, I need do my NFA warm up and cool down three times a week (except for the second week of the challenge, when I will do only two sessions due to traveling and running a half marathon). 11/11 100%100% Quest 3: Eat less Overeating isn't an option when you're working with less than one half portion a day. I've spent the last week tracking my food intake, and it's no wonder I've put on some weight recently. To complete this quest, I need to keep my caloric intake within the budget set by Fitbit an average of six days a week. 25/23 109%109% Life Quest: Spend some time rockin' it at the cantina I've really been wanting to get back into playing my flute, and it's time to work on making regular practice a habit. I even bought myself a book of Star Wars sheet music to encourage myself. To complete this quest, I need to practice my flute for at least 30 minutes, five times a week (except for the second week of the challenge, when I will only practice three times due to traveling and running a half marathon). 15/16 94%94%
  21. Happy new year everyone!! This is my 4th official challenge and my first one with the rangers *waves* I hung out with the adventurers June through October last year and had great success with getting fitter and healthier. Then there was a huge gap due to a bad cold, a bad challenge concept and a resulting lack of motivation. Then christmas happened. Now I'm back and I plan on rocking it! I decided to join the rangers since the new adventurers description doesn't fit me anymore and I thought it's time for something new. My quests this challenge sound a lot like jack-of-all-trades so I hope I'll fit right in My overall goal/motivation This whole thing started last June when I saw a photograph of me that did not at all match up with my inner sense of what I feel/look like. I don't have a lot of weight to lose (I don't need to lose anything, but it wouldn't hurt, either) but I want to be fitter and slimmer and replace some of my fat with muscle. It's not only about how I look, though; I've realized during the last challenges that I feel better (physically and mentally) when I eat and act healthy. I want to feel that way again and I want to create habits that I can actually stick with. There's also stuff that I want to be able to do simply because it bugs me that I can't, but more on that later. If that's not tangible enough yet: I want to fit into several pairs of jeans I bought a few years ago and grew out of in a manner of months. I want to climb the stairs to my appartment without catching my breath. I want to be able to run to catch the bus without feeling completely winded afterwards (I'm getting there!). My quests for this challenge Get healthy again! - drink at least 2l of water a day (tea counts, too) - avoid industrial sugar and white flour - eat more servings of vegetables than the week before I have had good experiences with the first two during the last challenges to the point where they were second nature. I will use this challenge to get there again and gradually focus more on what I eat (instead of what I do not want to eat). The third quest is a step in that direction and will gradually get more difficult. I'm usually good on fruits, but my veggie consumption is something I can improve on. I'll track the liters of fluid-intake, the number of meals that were healthy to my standards and the servings of vegetables each day. Get moving again! - do some sort of fitness activity 3 times a week (running, swimming, badminton, rowing or workout) - do more yoga than the week before - do more push-ups than the week before I've had trouble with my knees recently so I'm not sure what kind of fitness I can manage and made the first quest here very flexible. I used to go running two times a week during the last challenges but my attempts to get back into this habit in December were not to my knees' liking. I'll see what I can do there (and get help from the doctor if I must). I'm not really in the mood for yoga right now but I know that it felt great during the last challenges when I made it a daily routine. I also think it might help with the knees, so it's in there. I'll try to find routines that fit into my daily routine, maybe post-running or before bed or something. The last quest here is something that's been bugging me for a while: I can not do one proper real push-up. I've tried many times, I've worked my way to knee push-ups last challenge but that progress is probably undone by now. I really really want to be able to do at least one, so I'll gradually do more and more knee push-ups each week until I get there. I'll keep in mind to do some pulling exercises, too (hence the rowing) and plenty of planks, but I didn't put up individual quests for that. I'll track the number of fitness activities, the minutes of yoga practiced and the number of knee push-ups each day. Life-Quests (since I haven't had enough, apparently) There are several things that I want to work on in the new year. I've already made a plan for all the household work I've been neglecting, but it's not gonna be part of this challenge (I tried to incorporate it all, it's just too much). There are some things I really need to focus on, though, and some things that I've been wanting to prioritize for a long while so that's what I'll do. - send out more job-applications than the week before - do office work at least 6 hours a week These are things I have to do. I currently work a 2-day-job that gets the bills paid and an office job (the second quest) that goes into paying back my student loans. There's not much left for me and I don't want to live on my boyfriend's money. I'll either find a second part-time job or a full-time job this year so I can finally be financially independent and have money left over at the end of the month. - take time for singing 4 times a week - read for work more than the week before I sing in a jazz-choir and take singing lessons, these both count for the first one. Additionally, I want to take more time to practice, learn new songs, learn ALL the lyrics of songs I know and so on. The reading for work is for my part-time job where I need some more background knowledge for some new areas I will work on in the future. I've been wanting to do this for ages but never got around to it. So here goes. I'll track the number of applications sent, the minutes of office work completed, the number of singing-sessions and the minutes of reading accomplished each day. I know this sounds like a lot, but I've already slimmed it down considerably and some of my quests will allow me to ease into it gradually. Plus, my goal is to reach a solid 80% instead aiming for perfect and giving up the first instance something goes wrong. I know I can do it if I prioritize right (and stop wasting lots of hours on facebook and the likes) and I want to do it, if only to prove to myself that I can get my shit together Fancy spreadsheet incoming!! I haven't thought about stat points yet (I've heard there'll be a new system which might make them redundant?) so I may or may not add these later. I added the stat points to the spreadsheet. I think I'm going to stick with this system for now. I also added a new statpoint category called "Willpower" because I realized I need one. It's like stamina for the mind *wooh* I have thought about what to do in case of sickness or other unforseen circumstances. I will allow myself to make some adjustments if I really need to, for example - reduce the number of fitness-activities if my knees give me too much trouble (e.g. if the only thing I can do is swimming, I will only manage to do that once or twice a week) - change the "do more than last week" quests to "do at least as much as last week" if I struggle a lot, get sick or find it unrealistic (this might happen in the job-application quest) - reduce the number of office work hours if there's not as much workload as expected I will stick to my water and food quests (the first two) in any case. I know this is something I can do even when sick (in case of the water, especially when sick) and something that became a habit in the past, so these are non-negotiable. That's all for now. I hope you all have an awesome start into 2016 and great success with everything you've set out to do. I'm looking forward to sharing part of the journey with you ) Edit: Mini-Feats!! Strength Feat: Complete a full body-weight workout, like I used to do; try my hardest to reach my old PRsAgility Feat: do at least one NF yoga mobility video each dayStamina Feat: go to the local pool again and see how many (all-out) lanes I can complete in a row without taking a restRanger Class Feat: Animal Companions: have two clicker-training-sessions with my cats
  22. Volki The Demon Queller… Yay first challenge of 2K16!!! So for my first challenge of this year I want to throw in a mix of weight lifting, running, language learning and writing my own story. The quests are split with 25XP for each to match up with my character and leveling up. Goal 1: Armor of the Goddess +25XP\week I must gain the strength to fight the beasts of Duat and bring down the Seraphim. I plan on following this Dumbbell routine 3Xs a week for the coming month I do not have access to any weights other than a DB rack in the gym of my apartment complex Day 1: Chest, triceps, biceps, forearms Dumbbell bench presses 3 x 10 Incline dumbbell presses 3 x 10 Flyes 3 x 10 Skull crushers 3 x 12 Seated one-arm extensions 3 x 10 Bench dips 3 x 12 Seated alternate dumbbell curls 3 x 10 One-arm preacher curls 3 x 10 Day 2: Abs, thighs, calves Bicycle crunches 3 x 30 Lying leg raises 3 x 30 Dumbbell squats (dumbbells at shoulders) 3 x 12 Dumbbell lunges (alternating legs) 3 x 12 Dumbbell leg curls (dumbbell in between feet) 3 x 12 Dumbbell stiff-legged deadlifts 3 x 10 Seated calf raises (dumbbells on knees) 3 x 15 Standing one-leg calf raises 3 x 12 Day 3: Shoulders, back, calves DB military presses 3 x 10 Lateral raises 3 x 10 Rear-delt raises 3 x 10 Dumbbell shrugs 3 x 10 Dumbbell pullovers 3 x 15 One-arm dumbbell rows 3 x 10 Two-arm dumbbell rows 3 x 10 Standing one-leg calf raises 3 x 12 Dumbbell reverse wrist curls 3 x 12 Goal 2: Shadow Foot +25XP\week I must increase my endurance in order to make the vast journey that lies before me. I want to run for 30 minutes 2Xs a Week with the side goal of increasing the distance I am able to run within that 30 minute time frame. I will post my distance for the first run and will have that as the distance to beat for the following 7 runs. Goal 3: Demon Tongue +25XP\week If I am to become one of the ShadowGuard then I must know the language of the demons and be able to communicate with the people from the different lands. Spanish Practice >20 mins 5X a Week: My goal is to practice my Spanish. My wife speaks Spanish and we are trying to teach the kids to be more fluent. At the moment because I do not know that much, I am setting a bad example for the need to learn it. So I will be using Duolingo and Pimsleur’s Spanish to practice on my own. I will also speak as much as I can with my wife and kids when I am home. The main goal is to become more comfortable speaking Spanish and to set up the habit of practicing at least a little bit every day. Goal 4: Apprentice Scribe +25XP\week I must practice writing the ancient texts and learning their stories. Complete a weekly addition to the story I will be trying to work out the story that I am writing. This is the first story that I have tried to write that hasn't been a microfiction story. I have added in this challenge the origin story of the character that I am writing about in my Battlelog. I would like to add at least a little to the origin story in this 4WC every week as well as finish the direction I am going in Chapter 1 of the larger story. If all goes well I will end up combining the two in order to make a more complete story. So no real goal here just practice and figure out where I want the story to go by the end of the challenge. The link to my other story is listed below: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/75954-volki-demon-queller/
  23. OOOOH YEAH BABYYYY, LET'S GET THIS PARTY ROLLIN'! Stats: F/21/5'8" Starting weight: 226 Current weight: 203 Goal weight: Hella jacked Main Quest: Aesthetic-wise, I've been obese my entire life... now I want to be muscular! I'm sure this will require lots of heavy lifting! Fitness-wise, I have two things: one, I want to be a skilled poi dancer. This will require a lot of practice, endurance, flexibility, and hitting myself! Two, I want to have mastery of my body. "Mastery of my body" has a lot of interpretations, but to me, it means I have the strength and flexibility to actually do things-- pull ups, spontaneous handstands, sprinting away from aliens, climbing on stuff, etc... Fun, skill-oriented things my body has prevented me from being able to do! ALRIGHT ALRIGHT, ENOUGH EXPOSITION! LET'S DO THIS THING! RHYME AND FITNESS FOREVER 100 YEARS! ~Rhyme gets schwifty~ Goal 1: This is a court order, it says you can't eat shit anymore So, I haven't been logging my food. Also, my grocery store now has peanut butter Woppers in the bulk foods section. It's needless to say I've been eating tons of metaphorical shit. For this challenge I need to log my food into MFP every day (add me!). To clarify, I'm not outlawing the eating of shit -- I just have to log it in if I do, which often deters me from eating it in the first place! Goal 2: Join the Council I'm a pretty independent person (and a self-proclaimed hermit), but my fitness goals go really well whenever I'm on NF! People are always supportive and have tons of great advice! However... I'm an awkward lurker who isn't very good at joining groups. What happens is, I get skittish, I stop logging in, and then my goals fall by the wayside. Hanging around people is the motivation I need, but I'm too shy to hang around with people. Gaah! So, this goal is simple: keep in touch with my fitness council. This includes NF and, more excitingly, my new real-life fitness buddies!! I've never had people in real life to keep me accountable, so this could change everything for the better -- if I don't run back to my hidey-hole! Goal 3: It's the Rick Dance! I love poi and I've always dreamed of being a good dancer with them. That's gonna be pretty tough to achieve if I keep up my current schedule of no practice whatsoever. For this challenge, I'm going to practice poi at least three times a week! Life Quest: If I die in a cage, I lose a bet I've been spending a disproportionate amount of time in my room lately. As in, every moment of my free time is spent hiding on my computer. I need to get out more! For this challenge, I need to get out of the house (excluding work/school) 5 days a week, even if it's just going on a walk or heading to the library. Going to the gym/track does count, and if I'm brave enough to do poi outside, then it would also count towards goal 2! AHEM! Before we get started, I'd like to give a motivational speech, an ode to success this challenge: I’m sorry, Fitness, it’s a bummer. In reality, I'm as sedentary as they come. And I needed those squats real bad, and I had to give them up just to get that time commitment off my back. So now we’re gonna have to go get more. And then we’re gonna go on even more adventures after that, Fitness. And you’re gonna keep your mouth shut about it, Fitness! Because the world is full of idiots that don’t understand what’s important, and they’ll tear us apart, Fitness. But if you stick with me, I’m gonna accomplish great things, Fitness, and you’re gonna be part of 'em. And together we’re gonna run around, Fitness, we’re gonna- do all kinds of wonderful things, Fitness. Just you and me, Fitness. The outside world is our enemy, Fitness! We’re the only f-friends we’ve got, Fitness! It’s just Rhyme and Fitness. Rhyme and Fitness and their adventures, Fitness. Rhyme and Fitness forever and forever, 100 years, Rhyme and Fitness's things. Me and Rhyme and Fitness running around, and- Rhyme and Fitness time. All... day long forever, all- a hundred days, Rhyme and Fitness forever a hundred times. Over and over Rhyme and Fitness, adventures dot com. W W W dot Rhyme and Fitness, dot com. wwwrhymeandfitnessadventures. All 100 years, every minute, Rhyme and Fitness dot com. www100timesrhymeandfitness.com. AND AWAAAAAAYYY WE GO!
  24. I've been looking forward to the rollover into the new challenge since I joined a few weeks ago. I'm going to keep it simple for my first go, especially since I'll be relocating during the second week. Sorry, no exciting bells and whistles here! My goals for this challenge: 1 - No more than four sugary and/or acidic beverages over the course of each week. I've fallen off the water wagon recently. Especially after I relocate in a couple of weeks, I'll have easy access soda and juice. It's easier to maintain willpower when I've got a water bottle I keep filled and at the ready. I honestly think I can knock this one out of the park for three quarters of the challenge month, but my long drive during week 2 will by necessity involve a certain amount of caffeine. 2 - No more than four processed snacks over the course of each week. I enjoy nuts, fruits, and vegetables more than chips and crackers anyway, but they're not always handy, and I'll be living around people who won't share my resolve to keep bagged snacks out of reach. I'll be going the extra mile to make sure that alternatives are available. Again, a little padding is necessary for the long drive and for occasions out with family, but I'll be doing my best to not justify cheat days. 3 - Exercise four days per week. The StartBodyweight.com workout has been good for me so far, though I've been off-and-on about it. What I like about Start Bodyweight is that several progressions are listed for each exercise, giving lots of different sliders to customize the workout. Every time I move a slider up to the next level, I get the same satisfying *ding* that used to keep me sucked into Farmville. >.> I'll be alternating strength training days with interval walking. My wonky knees and ankle don't like me running for sustained periods, at least for the time being, but I can crank out a pretty good walk. This has the added bonus of giving me a space where I have nothing distracting me from writing in my head, which ties into my life goal for this challenge: 4 - Write at least four days per week with a minimum output of eight pages. One-inch margins, double-spaced, header included, Times New Roman 12-point - standard manuscript format. That's about 330 words per page in my case. I should be about 10,500 words closer to finishing a book, or just over 10% done, by the end of the challenge. I've got about that much written already. If I can maintain this pacing, I could have a first draft out by the end of September and be ready for second-pass editing by the end of the year. I'd really like to discover that I can exceed the goal once I get into the flow of it. Measuring Each Goal, or The Mathematical Justification for Those Nifty Progress Bars in My Signature; spoilered for your convenience.
  25. It's good to have a list of successes. It helps to look back to gain courage to move forward. Today .... minor ..... But I finished BBWW 2! Some exercises are still modified.
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