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  1. Greeting, friends. This challenge sees me returning to an older ethic of diet and exercise while continuing to cultivate musical skills. In many ways, it represents a return to the things that surrounded me in childhood -- music, imagination, natural exercise and my grandmother's garden. Like one or two others, I've chosen to also renew an interest in the elements to frame the work: Earth: Body. Focus on Nutrition Following the best advice I've ever seen via 'In Defense of Food' - eat (real) food, not too much, mostly plants - my goals are: 1. Plant-based food in every meal, eaten first. 2. Smaller portions, eaten slowly. Slowly. Not like a starving warthog. 3. More water, less caffeine and alcohol. One large Nalgene per day of water; smaller cups for caffeine and alcohol. Air: Mind. Focus on Imagination For MANY years, a friend and I have threatened to unleash a fantasy novel upon the hordes of nerdy readers we love so dearly. This year, we agreed to a structure: 1. One page or 15 minutes per day. Make-ups are allowed, since not every day is conducive to writing, but the norm should be one 15-minute writing block (using pomodoro method). Fire: Action. Focus on Fitness This April, 11 of my friends and I will tackle Ragnar SoCal. I'm leg 4 (5k, 10k, 10k), which is well within my comfort zone. Still, we need to prepare and I need to do some two-a-days eventually. Also, I've discovered a love of the ergometer (aka rowing machine). Also also, I accepted a 1000 mile challenge for the year and a 'streaking' paradigm of 20-mile weeks. So... 1. Run 20 miles per week in any configuration, at least 4 runs per week. No make-ups. 2. Row at least twice a week for 30 minutes. Water: Heart. Focus on Music I've been learning bass guitar for several challenges now, and will just continue: 1. Two lessons per week on Scott's Bass Academy, 2. 15 minutes of practice every day. Again, make-ups are permitted. So there's my outline. I have accountability for every goal except music, but that one is the easiest to want to do. With the new format, I'm hoping to step up/tweak/continue on the next couple of challenges as well. Points: no. Pass/fail per week. Reward: um....not sure. I'll think on this one.
  2. Greetings, Druids (and other welcome guests)! This is my fourth challenge, I think...though I'm not really keeping track. It's been a little over a year since I joined NF, and it's been a good one, so I'm focusing more on enjoying this community. Welcome to my little thread. This focus is threefold: maintenance, mindfulness, and music. Maintenance: I'm aiming to maintain the workout regimen that has been pretty successful to date, so that I continue to grow in strength, toughness, and flexibility. Workout 6x per week: 3x strength (M-W-F) 3x cardio (T-Th-Sa) Rest and recover: Daily evening restorative yoga (M-Sa) Sunday as a day of complete rest Proper sleep (in bed 7.5 hours per night) Mindful Eating: I eat like a starving wolf. And it's a little disconcerting, because I strive to be a gentleman in the truest sense, but when I sit down to eat all that goes away. I'm face down in the plate, elbows up, bare hands scrabbling for sustenance, until the plate is cleared in about 3 minutes. That's all well and good, except that I am absolutely convinced that the way I eat is the primary contributor to my challenges with body composition. I'm at a decent weight for a 43 year old (6' 1" and 190 pounds), but those last few inches of excess fat on my torso (some is ok) are persistent. I think it's because I eat so fast that I overeat, and I don't pick my foods carefully enough. So I want to start working on slowing down, stopping when satisfied, and choosing better. Practice the '5Ws and an H' of mindful eating as best I can in an institutional dining environment: Who: I'll choose who to eat with when I enter the dining space, or eat alone. What: I'll choose the most nutritious options that I'll enjoy eating. Where: I'll pick a seat away from distractions (like the TV and loud talkers). When: I'll eat at a set time each day. Why: I'll remind myself before entering the dining hall that I'm eating for optimum health. How: I'll take smaller bites, chew thoroughly, and swallow completely before the next bite. Musical Growth: I've recently re-discovered music (I used to sing in a band and played tuba for years), and have newly discovered that I f***ing love the bass guitar. I've been stifled creatively for a while, always putting some form of writing on challenge after challenge but never actually doing it. So I'm going to focus on musical growth this challenge, embracing my love of the bass and stoking the flame of creativity within me. Daily practice: AT LEAST 15 minutes daily on bass basics. PREFERABLY 30 minutes or more of basics + actual music Weekly song: I'll try to learn one actual song per week. Points? Can suck it. I'll report in daily but I'm not doing math. Success will be defined by doing better than not, seeing some body comp improvement, and knowing some songs at the end of this. I think this one will be lots of fun! There you have it, friends. Let's get it on!
  3. We all die alone. But we don’t have to live that way. Space is lonely enough, and without the support of a good crew, you may just end up crazy as the gorram Reavers. But even they don’t go it alone. For the next six weeks, I will be revamping and revitalizing my relationships with my crew members. I have four specific missions to get me to that point (technically, to follow the new guidelines, 3 goals and a side mission). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Mission 1: Become a “stronger†captain. Do the 100 Pushup challenge Right now I can do 30 at a time, although I can do more if I rest in between sets of 10. I want to be able to do 100 all at a time. This is my solo goal. (3 STR, 1 STA) Mission 2: “Refresher†flight training with co-pilot. Complete the Marriage Fitness Program I have a good marriage, but you know the saying, good is the enemy of great. I want to be more intentional in my marriage, so I will be doing a 6-week marriage enrichment program I designed. This goal will be done with TornadoAllie. (3 CHA, 1 WIS) Mission 3: “Coordinate†actions plans with co-pilot and gunner. Learn 3 songs on bass guitar. I have taken a few lessons, but want to do more with it. My wife is in the dame boat with her guitar. My dad just got an electronic drum set and wants to learn to play. So we will be picking three beginner songs and working on them individually so we can al play together in six weeks. This goal will be done with TornadoAllie and NoMoreBull. (3 DEX) Mission 4: Keep “on the run†with my whole crew: copilot, gunner, and mechanic. Run 5K under 30min. We all have different goals for time, but we all will be working on running a 5k by the end of the challenge. I will be training with TornadoAllie, but this goal is also with NoMoreBull and TombRayder. (3 STA, 1 STR) “When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl, you find someone to carry you."
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