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  1. Okay, so, in keeping with the spirit of simplicity, I've got one primary goal for this challenge. I'm going to walk 50 miles in August. This means that I probably have to do 5k, 4 days a week. That would put me at about 51 for the month. I might mix it up a little: throw some bike miles on there (once I have my repair kit) at the same 3 biking: 1 walking ratio that I used previously. There will probably be some dog hikes in there too. I went back and did the calcs: last month I put around 42 miles on the clock, which is good. That should make 50 a bit of a stretch, but an attainable goal. My long-term plan is still (in a few years) hiking one of the Highland Ways with my daughter, once she's old enough, so I'm going to have to throw in a few all-day hikes somewhere in the future to make sure I'm building the longer endurance as well. I figure kiddo should be at least 5-6 or so before we attempt something like that, so I've got some planning time. Plus, assuming we can get past the damn COVID thing, I've got a trip sketched out for next year anyway that is time-dependent, so it has to come first. Other than that, I've decided against actually tracking calories. I'm going to focus on keeping on what I'm doing, meals-wise. The high-fiber, non-meat lunches, two meals/day and just generally trying to cut back around the edges is the plan for this challenge. I'll re-examine at the end of this one and see if I really need to log calories, or whether I can manage this on my own. So: eat better and walk 50 miles. I think I can do it. Current Progress [❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚] 59.32/50 miles 118.64% complete
  2. ¸„.-•~¹°”ˆ˜¨ Health & Happiness Are Hard ¨˜ˆ”°¹~•-.„¸ Wherein the Cracked_Belle Un-Dies 𝔽𝕚𝕣𝕤𝕥 𝕒 𝕎𝕒𝕣𝕟𝕚𝕟𝕘, 𝕐'𝕒𝕝𝕝 I am diagnosed with a lot crap that makes life hard — manic depression, C-PTSD, OSFED (eating disorder), OCD, anxiety, some chronic pain, and other crap. these aspects of me and my life are going to come up in my journey to getting back on track with my health and happiness. I'll try to be sensitive to triggers, include warnings such as this where needed, and use spoilers when necessary. but this is my "cover my butt" warning. thanks in advance for you understand. life is difficult; but I find obtaining Health and Happiness is even harder. as aforementioned, I have some mental and physical ailments that complicate the normal struggles of life even further. recently, my depression and my eating disorder have been soul-consuming. it's time to end that. I used to be a rather active member of Nerd Fitness in its early days. the life happened and I left for a while. well, I'm back; and hopefully for even longer this time. I'd like to get my life and health in order, lol. as follows are my current Goals for this upcoming Challenge. I, of course, reserve the right to adjust them as time progresses and I see what's going to work for me and what isn't. Get Down to 125 Pounds (ideally by 08/24/2020) Do a Daily Workout weightlifting on MTWRFA everyday: warm-ups and cool-downs MR: upper body — push-up, bicep curl, bent-over row TF: lower body — squat, strait-leg deadlift, calf raise AW: mix/misc — mountain climber, tensor curl, flexor curl, donkey kick cycling everyday AMWR: ~5 mi (2 circuits) URF: ~2.5 mi (1 circuit) Adhere to Caloric Schedule [TW — Eating Disorders] TO BE UPDATED to a point wherein I'm not slowly starving myself gets tweaked and Friday before depending on plans for the week Goal Average Kcal/Day: <700 Sat: 1,200 Sun: 1,200 Mon: 0 Tue: 1,200 Wed: 0 Thu: 1,200 Fri: 0 Log Monthly Body Measurements take body measurements at start of every month Log Daily Metrics continue to complete the daily Metrics spreadsheet, filling it in as completely as possible Make Next Week's Food Plan every Friday, make the caloric and cooking food plan for the following week (as starts on then ext day of Sat) Manage My Mental Health Do Daily AM Prep complete morning preparations for the day, every day Do Daily PM Review complete evening review of the day, every day Complete Mood Form Daily complete the mood tracking form at least once every day Track Meds track all medications and (certain) supplements consumed every day Become a Professional Writer [to be tweaked soon] Find a Career Counselor/Coach solidify a working relationship with a career counselor/career Resume Being Creative Write for One Hour per Week work on any writing project for a total of at least one hour a week Be Artsy for One Hour per Week do any artistic work for a total of at least one hour each week
  3. In the two weeks leading up to this challenge I've been focused on sustaining my sobriety (12 days and counting) and my general health and well-being - finding better balance and growing in gratitude, humility and wisdom. I aim to cultivate a more balanced, fun, grateful, engaged/connected/present, and healthy life. I've titled this challenge "Back in the saddle" because I want to prioritize a few things I've neglected in recent months, biking among them. Here are my four goals: 1) Ride my bicycle 200 or more miles between July 1 and July 28 2) Pack a healthy, balanced lunch for work 5+ times between July 1 and July 26 3) Play my guitar (and sing) 3+ times a week between July 1 and July 28 4) Read 2 or more books before July 28 with at least one for enjoyment and one for personal/professional development. A few others I considered and will work on, but not the focus for this challenge: *) Go out with my wife on 2 or more dates in July - just the two of us. *) Complete 2 or more strength workouts every week in July *) Ride the bus 5+ times next month to be a better steward of the environment and secure some time for reading *) Continue my sobriety streak without interruption from 15 consecutive days to 46 days by the end of the month!
  4. I don’t have a lot of plot exposition this time around, as I’m just mildly adjusting my last challenge, The Secret Life, which I feel really speaks to my overarching goals at the moment. I really want to travel more (by ‘more’ I think I mean ‘all the time’) and showcase my travel writing and photography more, so this challenge is designed for those things. Also, my December is going to be nuts so a simple challenge is best I also have a big trip coming in late spring that I’ll talk about more next challenge, but this challenge will begin to lay the groundwork. (And the financing.) To the Goals: PUT OUT THE MAGAZINE: I had a really hard time with this last time around; I’m not sure if it’s that I never seem to have a large block of time to get editing/writing done, or if I just have terminal ADD, but I only got it done once. So editing/writing is a big priority this time. Goal: “publish” something once a week, and post to my blog twice. Travel Journal: work on an ebook. I have like 3-ebooks half written (all about travel, go figure) so I need to work on those. Sell the Piano: Travel may be the only thing you buy that makes you richer, but it still costs money. I need to find ways to make extra cash to pay for it. I used to have a little ebay business where I sold second-hand clothes and old props and whatever, so I am going to start that again and funnel all the money into my travel fund. I’ll also be looking into other ways to generate income (sell my plasma? dog walking? ladies wrestling?) that also goes to the travel kitty. Get it? It's a travel kitty. Bake the Cake: Last challenge I attempted to eat a different foreign cuisine every week, which was frighteningly easy, because I love to eat out. However, I spend a fortune eating out in general, probably 6-7 times a week. So this challenge I am limiting meals out to two per week (meals that someone else pays for, like when I’m traveling for work, do not count against this), and making myself cook/eat at home. Still going to attempt to eat as much ethnic cuisine as possible. This will make it easier for me to control my intake, as restaurants (especially Tex-Mex, my favorite) tend to go overboard with the food, and work on my nutrition. Adventure Waits for no one: Again, aiming for one adventure a week. Can be a band, a hike, camping, kayaking, becoming a hermit in a mountain fastness, something. Ungoverned Afganistan: My domestic rangering is in severe disarray. One whole section of our house is basically unusable due to mess (I live in one of those sprawling split-ranch houses, it’s way to big and falling apart around us). I need to work on cleaning the patio, den, and my office daily and get it under control. Test the Body and Mind: Workouts. I’ll list these later so they don’t bore everyone, because they haven’t changed a ton. Just harder I’m also going to add one brain puzzle per day to my regimen, because lately I feel like I’m getting stupider. I think it’s just a combination of too much on my mind and a lot of distraction, but I gotta work on it. By the way, in case it seems weird that I have so much travel stuff on a site devoted to workout challenges, I have to say that my whole “get in shape” journey was started because I got so out of condition that traveling was becoming difficult. One of the reasons I finally snapped to and started getting stuff under control was watching my parents age badly and realizing that if I wanted to continue traveling as I got older, I needed to maintain the machine. So the two things go very much hand-in-hand in my book. So that’s it! Join me on my very Mitty challenge if you’d be so kind.
  5. SirEarl

    earl rides on

    about me lover of cookies, bikes, music, llw, and lounging. liker of many other things. This is me cramping my way through the Santa Monica mountains at the inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Dough/Phil's Fondo. Would be nice to do more epic rides like this without my legs trying to kill me. about this challenge Focusing on 3 things. Doing more of what I love, improving my physical health, and improving the living part of life. Freewheel Burning Double my mileage and climbing from last year 2015 completed: 797mi + 5180ft climbed 2016 completed: 2240mi + 63533ft climbed 2017 goal: 4500mi + 128000ft climbed [500mi + 12.5k ft climbed this challenge] - 100mi + 2.5k ft climbed per week --> Week 1: 9/100mi[9/100] 184/2,500ft[184/2,500] --> Week 2: 51.4/100mi[60.4/200] 2,802/2,500ft[2,986/5,000] --> Week 3: 28.5/100mi[88.9/300] 351/2,500ft[3,337/7500] --> Week 4: 33.1/100mi[122/400] 1860/2,500ft[5,197/10,000] --> Week 5: 44.4/100mi[166.4/500] 2,622/2,500ft[7,819/12,500] 'Till I Collapse Go to gym 2x a week, core workout 3x a week - SS workout at the gym, Posture correction workout from Tom Danielson's Core Advantage ideally done before a ride but any time acceptable --> Week 1: 0/2 0/3 --> Week 2: 0/2 1/3 --> Week 3: 1/2 2/3 --> Week 4: 1/2 2/3 --> Week 5: 0/2 1/3 Ham N Eggs Eat more veggies - 3-5 cups of vegetables a day - 1 vegan/vegetarian meal a week --> Week 1: 2/7 1/1 --> Week 2: 3/7 1/1 --> Week 3: 4/7 2/1 --> Week 4: 5/7 2/1 --> Week 5: 4/7 3/1 Got to Give It Up Declutter enough to make cleaning room a non-issue - Pare down wardrobe - Get all books/DVDs/etc on shelves neatly - Get rid of unnecessary papers/letters/etc - Pare down random things - Vacuum & mop --> wardrobe: Complete! --> books/DVD/CD: In progress (Move from wire shelf, Bookshelf, Entertainment center, Bedside, Current reference) --> papers/letters: Complete! --> random: Not yet started --> clean: Bonus Do Yourself A Faver Read 12 books this year - Finish reading Land of Second Chances: The Impossible Rise of Rwanda's Cycling Team for the first book of the year --> 171/276
  6. This time around, like so many of my other challenges, I started out with one idea and it morphed into something totally other. I was planning to do a "Spartan Race" challenge because I'm attempting one in December (full disclosure: I'm probably going to die) and while I was looking for some good movie quotes I stumbled across "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" which I hadn't seen before, watched it, and I sort of latched on to it instead. It really seemed to speak to where I'm at right now. So instead of Gerard Butler's abs you get to look at Ben Stiller for a month. I am so sorry. On the bright side, there will be tacos. Anywaaaaay.... I did a lot of interesting stuff at the beginning of the year when I took a work break, to try to widen my horizons and sort of chase my dreams of traveling more and showcasing my travel photography and writing. I did a few things, but when I went back to work (sooner than planned, actually) those things kind of went on the back burner and I got sucked into day-to-day boringness again. Like Walter, I became a little gray piece of paper. (this is not technically accurate because I don't work in an office, but you get the idea.) So I want to revive some of those goals and start writing, adventuring, etc again. I really feel like I'm missing out on my last chance to be this person I want to be by getting bogged down in minutia. I'm getting really old - and I need to take the proverbial leap of faith. Fortunately I'm coming into a slower season for my job and I am going to work diligently at managing my time and not wasting hours futzing on the internets* obsessing over weird stuff, so I have more time for adventures. Also the weather is changing for the better finally (summer was like hell's vestibule this year) so I can re-incorporate some of the stuff I did for "Escape of the Zoo Human" like camping and suchlike without an oxygen tank and weapons-grade insect repellent. But enough plot exposition. To the GOALS! PUT OUT THE MAGAZINE: In the movie Walter works at LIFE magazine, just as it is supposedly shutting down. Ironically, the very "digital revolution" that wiped out the magazine enables goons like me to share their work online easily and reach an audience. So my goal is to work on my podcasts, photography, videos etc at least four days a week, and "publish" something once a week. TRAVEL JOURNAL: Walter has a travel journal in the film that serves as a talisman of his dreams. There's a great sequence where he looks at the journal and then the next time you see it he's writing in it in the Himalayas. It sort of symbolizes the moment Walter starts living his adventures for real, instead of just dreaming about them. I don't plan to go to Ungoverned Afganistan and the lower Himalayas**, but I my goal is to post to my travel blog 4 times a week. It can just be a "photo of the day" or something similar. SELL THE PIANO: Almost at the end of the film, Walter has to sell his mom's piano, which has been bogging everyone physically, emotionally, and financially down, all through the movie. It's a good symbol of letting go of "stuff". Goal: I want to streamline my possessions and get rid of 20% of my stuff. I plan to do this on a room-by-room basis, to make it more manageable. THE WORLD ON YOUR PLATE: There's a lot of food references in SLOWM, including a scene where Cheryl is bringing some sort of tasty noodle lunch back to the office, a bit where Walter almost chokes on some horrible dried-fish snack in a Greenland dive bar, and of course the recurring appearances of his mom's warlord-approved clementine cake. (bonus points for anyone who knows "Cake or Death") I am lucky that I live in a very "International" sort of city (albeit in the suburbs) and I have access to all kinds of ethnic restaurants, music, art etc. I used to have a "foreign food Friday" routine where I dragged one of my friends to a different foreign cuisine every week, to experiment. (I would pay for their meal in case it was disgusting). I want to re-instate that and also start going more musical, artsy things as well. This is especially good for me because the time is going to change soon and it will get dark at 6pm, at which point I will want to hibernate until spring, like a bear. I need serious motivation to get out of the house in winter. Goal: 2x a week. (Fortunately ethnic food is usually cheap) ADVENTURE WAITS FOR NO ONE: Goal: one small adventure a week - camping, kayaking, museum, rock climbing gym, attend a lecture, get waterboarded, something. Moment of serious: I had a lot of shocks in the last 12 months. I had a serious bike accident, I had a serious car accident, a giant tree fell almost on my house, my father died unexpectedly, I had two close friends lose best friends/spouses to illness... I don't know how many times the universe is going to warn me that life has a timer before I fucking get the message but it's the truth. I'm 48 years old, which means my life is more than half over by any rational statistical reckoning. Two-thirds, really. I NEED to have a midlife crisis. Because time runs out. Okay, enough serious. Look at this kitten until you feel better. TEST YOUR LIMITS: You thought I was going to get through this entire post without talking about Crossfit, didn't you? You did. hahahahaha, you sweet, foolish person. I will be preparing for my Spartan Race (December 4th! whooot!) so I will be training like a madwoman for that, and I'm toying with getting into adventure racing (where you run, kayak, parachute, whatever). There will be pullups, there will be ring work, there will be deadlifting and handstands, and I will babble about it constantly, because RANGERING, BITCHES. Ummmm okay I think that's it. I don't know how these things always get so long. I may have used up all my Walter Mitty pictures so it's back to cat gif's shortly, I'm afraid. Probably this is better for everyone. *not including NF, obviously. I mean, be reasonable. **never say never, though
  7. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES In keeping with tradition, when Jothra arrived at his hut back on Lodbrok, one of the Old Men of the Rebellion was already waiting for him. The novelty of their sudden visits had long since worn off, so Jothra hung his jacket on the Old Man's pointy-hatted head, and started installing the coffee maker he'd found in a cave, guarded by a gnome or a hobbit or something. After a few moments of flailing his way out from under the jacket, the Old Man spoke. "I hope you've had fun wasting your time on some ocean island, vacationing instead of seriously training--" "I've been training." "--but now you have some serious work to do. If you are going to defeat Ogrod, you must continue to train here, in the forest, with the Slurpasaurs and dromeosaurs and bird people and fish people and what-have-you, instead of gallivanting around wherever and whenever you choose." "Fine," Jothra mumbled. "But I've been doing just as well without you lately. Feel free to check up, but don't do a bunch of interfering." "No promises." The Old Man threw a small capsule on the ground, which exploded in a puff of smoke. When the smoke had cleared, Jothra furrowed his brow. "You're still here," pointed out. In the special, subtle way of all non-subtle people, the Old Man shuffled sideways to the door, shouted "Yoink!", and took off at a dead run. Jothra looked out the door after the Old Man. So, spend some time here, in a world eerily reminiscent of old cheesy science fiction serials? Okay. He'd done it before; he could do it again. They misuse the words "conquers" and "universe," and probably "the" for good measure, but I love it anyway. My entire "Jothra Conquers..." shtick is a reference to Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, and its predecessor Rocketship. I don't mind telling you that these are some cheesy serial motion picture atrocities, which is exactly why I love the awful things. They are both public domain these days, so finding them should be a breeze, if you have a few hours you don't want back. Incidentally, recognize this? It's okay. George Lucas was legitimately paying homage when he borrowed this. So, Ming the Merciless, who is totally not a white guy dressed up as an intergalactic not-Asian-no-really-I-swear despot, is trying to conquer the universe, which is apparently comprised entirely of Earth and the planet Mongo. There are flying people with fake looking wings. There are giant lizards played by regular lizards. There are rockets made of what I can only assume are cardboard tubes. It is glorious. Oh, and starring this guy: Oh, Buster Crabbe. You should have stuck to being an Olympian. I mean, honestly. 1.) Main Fitness Quest My three goal-achieving-type-little-goals-that-add-up-to-a-bigger-goal-goals. i.) Fly a cardboard tube spaceship! except on S Days (Saturdays, Sundays, and Special Days — unless I want to). Ride a bicycle daily for half an hour. It doesn't matter which bicycle: road, MTB, or stationary. It is of note that my vivid imagination means I can totally imagine my stationary bike is a cardboard tube spaceship. Yipes. __/20. [+2 STA | +2 DEX | +1 CHA] ii.) Wave that sword like you don't know which end is which! Also excluding S Days. One of the charms of this goofy show is the mix of science fiction and fantasy elements. Laser guns? Sure! Swords? Also keen! I will continue with my Shovelglove routine, currently at 24.3 lbs. As of March 29th, I've been at it for six straight months, with very few missed weekdays. In celebration, I re-taped the handle, which was looking pretty ratty. This time I went with hard-to-scuff-up black. I'm Canadian. Stick tape flows like water here. __/20. [+2 STR | +1 STA] iii.) Eat like a Slurpasaur! I mean, of course, food. A "slurpasaur" is a dinosaur (or, in Flash Gordon's case, monster) played by a decidedly non-dinosaurian lizard, often with spikes or fins glued on. The best use of Slurpasaurs ever was in Disney's old Journey to the Center of the Earth, in which they rather convincingly played giant a pack of hungry dimetrodon (a sail-backed reptile far predating dinosaurs). Anyway, Slurpasaurs will eat damn near anything, and so shall I, albeit in reasonable quantities. Since it worked well last challenge, I will be eating at approximately 500-1000 calories under maintenance. Thanks, MFP! Thanks, Fitbit! ADDITION: It probably doesn't fit here, but I just started the 30-day squat challenge from Uncaged Man. The idea isn't to do squats; it is to squat, and stay squatting for at least 10 minutes a day. Don't ask me why, but it sounds like something I can get behind, for the same reason I do all my work teleconferences standing up. Again, I know this doesn't really fit with the food part of the challenge, but to be fair Slurpasaurs (being lizards) look like they're squatting 100% of the time. __/28. [+1 STA | +2 CON | +2 WIS] 2.) LIFE SIDE QUEST Keep enemy soldiers out of the base...with electro-laser murder beams! Or, well, clean up after myself, I guess. Last challenge, I planned a minor apartment clean-up, followed by maintenance. Instead, I started the process of seriously overhauling everything. I have made incredible headway in every area but my bedroom, so that's next. I will also maintain the rest of the place, which is actually turning out to be pretty easy as long as I keep on it. Also: yes, I've read Marie Kondo, and no, I do not agree with her position on books. In a tangentially related story, one time I saw a home decorating show about "living naked " (minimalism) on which the host decided to wrap all her books with blank white paper covers to make the bookshelf more sleek. Her guest host looked at her like he wasn't sure if he should run away or not. __/28. [+2 CHA] As per normal, I'm going to determine scores based on percentage ranges, more or less like on my childhood report cards. A = 86-100% | B = 73-85% | C = 66-72% | D = 51-65% | F = 0-50% 3) MOTIVATION I may poke fun, and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe may be the cheesiest serial of all time, but there is something undeniably charming and naively exciting about it all the same. Besides, what posters!
  8. It is really hard to find GIFs of this show. After yet another harrowing adventure, Jothra heard tell of a tropical island nearby. It sounded like vacation time to him! He used his ever-growing prowess on the bike path through time and space to check the place out... ...only to find it in a permanent state of 1930s-ness. It was like being stuck in a TV adventure series. No rest for him! Donald P. Bellisario first proposed Tales of the Gold Monkey in the 1970s, telling networks that a 1930s adventure show would delight and thrill audiences. He was repeatedly turned down. Then Raiders came out, and he gave them a big fat I told you so. Anyway, after a multiple-Emmy-nominated first season (it won for art design), the show was unceremoniously cancelled. Tragedy! Many, many years later, it would be spiritually succeeded by Disney's Talespin. Also great. Abridged from Wikipedia: In 1938 in the South Pacific, ace combat pilot Jake Cutter operates an air cargo delivery service based on Bora Gora. He flies a Grumman Goose called Cutter's Goose. Jake's best friends are his mechanic Corky, and a one-eyed Jack Russell terrier named Jack. Jake's love interest, Sarah Stickney White, sings in the Monkey Bar as cover for her real job as an American spy. The Reverend Willie Tenboom is actuality a Nazi spy who often finds he has more in common with the other people of Bora Gora than with his own government. "Bon Chance" Louie owns the Monkey Bar and is the French magistrate for Bora Gora. Jake's nemesis is the half-Japanese princess Koji, who has eyes for Jake. Koji's devoted bodyguard, Todo, is a fierce practitioner of Bushido and is unwaveringly loyal to the princess. Enough gab. Challenge time! 1.) Main Fitness Quest My three goal-achieving-type-little-goals-that-add-up-to-a-bigger-goal-goals. i.) Fly the Goose! except on S Days (Saturdays, Sundays, and Special Days — unless I wanna). Cutter's Goose is Jake Cutter's Grumman Goose cargo plane. In lieu of a Grumman, I'll ride a bicycle. I have three choices here: the Blue Meanie (roadie), The Triceraton (MTB), or the Modified Thunderbolt Grease-Slapper (stationary.) Naturally, any other bicycles are fair game, but I don't own any more. __/20. [+2 STA | +2 DEX | +1 CHA] ii.) Swing my samurai sword! Also excluding S Days. Todo is Princess Koji's right-hand man. He is a well-trained and very...well...angry modern-day (well, in the 1930s) samurai. In lieu of swinging an actual sword around (though I have a nice foam Minecraft one from a couple of challenges ago), I'll keep shugging away with my Shovelglove. Swing that sledgehammer, Jothra! SWING IT! __/20. [+2 STR | +2 STA] iii.) Don't overdo it, Corky! I mean, of course, food. At some point before the show takes place, Jake's best friend and mechanic Corky drank waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much and too often. These days, he can still drink a beer now and then, as long as he doesn't overdo it. I will apply the same rules to eating too damn much. I'm aiming for a 500 calorie deficit a day, or 1 lb. a week. Ish. I will be focusing on this goal much more carefully than I did last challenge. __/27. [+2 CON | +2 WIS] 2.) LIFE SIDE QUEST Keep the Monkey Bar clean. You know — clean. The Monkey Bar is the main hangout on the island. The characters who don't actually work in the bar spend a lot of time there anyway. Sometimes there are brawls — after which they are expected to clean up and pay for damages. I spend a lot of time in my apartment, and let the mess get away from me during theatre season. I'm finishing the marathon clean this weekend. The challenge goal is to get in the habit of keeping it that way by cleaning up new messes as they arise instead of letting them build up. I admit, this will probably be the hardest of my challenge goals. __/27. [+2 CHA] As per normal, I'm going to determine scores based on percentage ranges, more or less like on my childhood report cards. A = 86-100% | B = 73-85% | C = 66-72% | D = 51-65% | F = 0-50% 3) MOTIVATION Who wouldn't want to be in this?
  9. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Seconds after Jothra had picked up the ratty old journal and re-entered his house, the rain started pouring in buckets. Damp and unfortunate, sure, but hardly foreboding. Jothra was a fairly skeptical person, despite having spent quite some time in a place with cardboard-winged flying people and extant dinosaurs in top hats. So when he found the journal full of descriptions of strange creatures, he was about to dismiss it outright. Until he found a page about a portal. According to the book, Jothra's Rebellion-provided home was located directly on top of the former site of a large dimensional rift, and a bunch of things had come through. Things too weird for this place? This was definitely a problem...the kind of problem Jothra intended to solve. So, I think it's rather telling that in a world in which almost every single person now carries a camera for almost 100% of their waking time, there is still an absolute dearth of evidence for Bigfoot. But mysterious creatures sure make for good television! It's too bad the next episode is the series finale, but at least it's ending before it has a chance to fizzle out or something. 1.) Main Fitness Quest My three goal-achieving-type-little-goals-that-add-up-to-a-bigger-goal-goals. i.) Mine, shovel, chop, and hoe except on S Days (Saturdays, Sundays, and Special Days). Shovelglove! Shugging is a good time. I have recently developed the ability to complete my whole routine in exactly 14 minutes. If I get it done faster, I'll add more reps. I am quite happy with the 22 lb. hammer. Easy scoring: __/20. [+2 STR | +2 STA] ii.) Ride the Getaway Golf Cart! Except it's actually a bicycle. I don't own any golf carts. Ride a bicycle for 30 minutes except, as above, on S Days. Unless I want to. No rule about intensity, and no upward time limit. I've been going to town on my Modified Thunderbolt Grease-Slapper of a stationary bike, and the mountain bike has been behaving. Also, the way the weather's behaving, I might be back on the road bike sooner than I thought. __/20. [+2 STA | +2 DEX | +1 CHA] iii.) Stick to an all-gnome diet. It's basically paleo, and also gnomes are gluten and lactose free. Actually, I'll just eat at a calorie deficit as if to lose 1 lb. per week. This is a deficit of 500 calories a day. It more or less worked last time, and wasn't terribly taxing. __/28. [+2 CON | +2 WIS] 2.) LIFE SIDE QUEST Read every day. With an important difference. I'm in a play. For the first half of the challenge, I'll be reading from that script a lot. After that, the play will be over, and I can go more free-form. __/28. [+2 CHA] As per normal, I'm going to determine scores based on percentage ranges, more or less like on my childhood report cards. A = 86-100% | B = 73-85% | C = 66-72% | D = 51-65% | F = 0-50% 3) MOTIVATION ... I absolutely could not think of a thematically appropriate way to include this image, so here it is anyway.
  10. Jothra opened his eyes, immediately regretted it, and closed them again. His head felt a pain unlike any known form of pain. He decided to just lie here and hope he didn't get eaten while he waited for the thudding headache to subside. He heard a weird snorting noise nearby. It didn't sound like any of the slurpasaurs or dromeosaurs he had been getting used to. Despite his aching everything, he took a look. He blinked once or twice to make sure he wasn't seeing things. "Oh, great," he moaned. "Just great." Was it some kind of zombie? It was green and disgusting, wearing tattered clothing, and grunting angrily. It walked towards Jothra with a surprisingly smooth gait, it's arms outstretched for either a hug or a face-rending. "Quick question!" Jothra asked groggily. "Hug or face-rending?" "Grunt!" "Friend or foe?" "Grunt!" "Fair enough. That's a false dichotomy. Can I count on your utter ambivalence?" "Grunt!" "Alright. I'll just run then," said Jothra, staggering to his feet. He wasn't very fast, but he managed to drop the zombie thing soon enough. "Great, then," he gasped for breath. "Hungry now." * * * * A short time later, Jothra found what he had been looking for: food. There was only one problem: zombies. Jothra could plainly see a pile of bread sitting on the ground, but it was, just as clearly, surrounded by zombies. What was an aspiring world-saving hero to do? Just then, a large hand clamped down on his shoulder. Jothra was roughly turned around to stare into an ugly, ogre-like face. It's owner had clearly never brushed its teeth, or its hair, or any of the weird bristles growing out of its nose, ears, and other nose. "You bin sent to work the mines," the creature growled. "Stay still while I tag ye 'nd scan ye." The creature took a small sevice from its belt, and scanned Jothra from top to bottom. From this it built a profile, and saved the information to the central Mine Escapee database, just in case Jothra was crazy enough to try to escape. "Now, ye belongs tuh me, Ye et when I say you et. Ye rest when I say ye rest. Ye..." He didn't finish the thought. It had taken the creature some time to realize that something was amiss, and some more time to realize that the amiss thing was that it no longer had a hold of Jothra. It took even longer to realize that Jothra had stolen its sword, taken care of the knot of zombies, taken the bread, made a torch from a handy branch and some charcoal, and taken off into the darkening night. "Aw well. The naight will finish 'im off," shrugged the creature, shuffling back to the safety of its evil mines. How will Jothra survive in the Far Lands? Well, by livin' the Minecraft life, of course! 1.) Main Fitness Quest My three goal-achieving-type-little-goals-that-add-up-to-a-bigger-goal-goals: i.) Mine, shovel, chop, and hoe except on S Days (Saturdays, Sundays, and Special Days). Shovelglove! I'll be mimicking most every Minecraft action at some point in the 14 minute daily Shovelglove routine. To keep myself from overdoing, I will also get a point for each S Day I rest, and lose one for each S Day I Shovelglove. Easy scoring: __/42. [+3 STR | +2 STA] ii.) Run everywhere because that's what I do in Minecraft. It means going through more food in-game, but it sure makes survival easier. Follow the Three Weeks to 30 Minutes running program. If I feel like I need to repeat some days, I will. When through the program, I will do a check-in to see how I'm faring, and decide how to continue the running part of the challenge from there. Again, points for taking my rest days, Easy scoring: __/42. [+2 STA | +2 DEX | +1 CHA] iii.) Don't just stand and get et, and don't starve to death, moron. No Adjective Dieting for me. I'll meet a Fitbit Charge HR-recorded 10,000 steps a day and maintain a calorie deficit. __/42. [+2 CON | +1 WIS] 2) LIFE SIDE QUEST Read every day. Internet doesn't count. [Reading at school still doesn't count.] __/42. [+1 WIS | +1 CHA] I'm going to determine scores based on percentage ranges, more or less like on my childhood report cards: A = 86-100% | B = 73-85% | C = 66-72% | D = 51-65% | F = 0-50% 3) MOTIVATION I know it isn't as Minecrafty as the rest of the challenge, but... Run. ...I do own a shocking number of Flash logo technical shirts. Good luck, everyone!
  11. Just respawned last Monday. (See my topic here in the Respawn Point.) Here be my training log, for better or worse. Current goal: Establish weekly routine of 30 minutes on bicycle, every MWF. (I'm starting very small.) Monday: 30 min. on bicycle Wednesday: 30 min. on bicycle
  12. Just wanted to have a place to start writing things down again. I've been away from NF for about five weeks. Spent most of the month of September either ramping up the school year where I work (CU Boulder), or on vacation in the Pacific Northwest (North WET!), or on a business trip to the greater DC area for work. Mind you I wasn't a couch potato during any of that, though the days with the 12-14 hour drives were pretty rough, non-moving-wise. But since there's a 6-week challenge currently underway, I thought I'd start posting what I've been up to here at least as a form of self-accountability. So, starting with today! 3.2 mile run in 28 min. Followed by a one hour yoga class. Breakfast was cereal and almond milk, morning snack was a banana and a tiny "nestle crunch" bar, and lunch was a half of a burger, leftover from our anniversary lunch on Saturday. Followed by an apple. This afternoon, I'm heading to the physical therapist so she can help me develop a plan to rehab my right leg (hamstring, peroneal tendon, achilles tendon) so I can safely and painlessly (OK, that's a relative concept) run longer distances than six miles. I'm assuming she's going to beat on my legs and stab them with needles, because that's her MO, but it usually works wonders. Also, I did five pull ups at the gym on my way to yoga class today. Which is kind of sad because two months ago I could do ten without a problem. And then a set of six, and another set of six. So I need to get back to work on that. And, I signed up for Trap 3/4 at the aerial gym, starting tomorrow night. And, I scheduled a Lasik evaluation in Denver tomorrow morning, because I'd like to have 20/20 vision for at least part of my life, and it's time to buy another pair of prescription sunglasses, since on our 3600 mile road trip, my glasses broke. I've glued them back together twice now, but when you live in Colorado at 5400' and need to wear glasses, you must have functioning sunglasses. Because UV and all that. So that's all that's fit to report. Oh, and I need guidance: Should I switch over to the Ranger camp? I always felt like a ranger, what with the archery and the distance running, but then there's the circus work. Which I might not want to do much of forever since I'm feeling like I'm old and not very flexible anymore, and being flexible is a BIG BIG DEAL in aerial work. Meanwhile, I'm still an assassin...
  13. One of my all-time favorite movie series was Peter Jackson's version of The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Such a rich story, brought to life in a way that was beautiful and amazing on so many levels. Not to mention shot in my favorite place, New Zealand. Anyway, what better way to frame my upcoming challenge than through the richness that is the fellowship of the ring. 1. The grace and beauty of the elves: Music We just got a piano! I used to play... and I want to get better. So I'm going to practice. Five days a week, I'll practice 20 min or more. Starting with some Hanon finger exercises and then working on reading music (I can read music, but I can't sight-read very well) and playing pieces from actual music, not fake books. Once the 20 min is up, I can move on to improv or fake books or whatnot... but the rigor needs to be there first. six weeks x 5 sessions = 30 sessions total. A= 27-30, B=23-26, C=19-22, D=16-19, F=15 or less +3 CHA Flexibility I need to keep at my flexibility regime. Hamstrings, calves and "splits", six days a week. six weeks x 5 sessions = 30 sessions total. A= 27-30, B=23-26, C=19-22, D=16-19, F=15 or less +3 DEX 2. The stubbornness of the dwarves: Keep at it, I say. The dwarves are nothing if not stubborn. I need to embody some of that stubbornness to increase the strength I've developed over that past nine months. I've been going to the same gym for a long time now, and my family and I just switched to a new one. So I need to keep going to the gym, even if I'm not used to it or it's not right next door to my house. I'll go to the new gym twice a week, and create a new habit. While there I'll either work out on the weights or take a class. One or the other. six weeks x 2 sessions = 12 session total. A=11-12, B=9-10, C=7-8, D=5-6, F=4 or less +3 STR 3. The simplicity of the hobbits: I'm going to eat a little more simply over the next few weeks (though it's hard to connect the idea of eating simply with hobbits...), so here goes. I'll eat paleolithically most of the time. Weekends I can take off, and "special occasions" (I'm thinking my birthday, and our forthcoming trip to the Colorado Renaissance Faire) too. But I will eat plants and meat and fats, and plenty of them, and that's it. Not grains (not even muesli, or oatmeal, except maybe on weekends), no dairy, and no processed stuff. six weeks x 2 days = 12 days of non-paleo eating. 12 or less = A, 13-14=B, 15-16=C, 17-18=D, 19+=F. As mentioned, I don't have to count my birthday. +3 CON 4. One does not simply walk into Mordor... One should ride! It's bike to work month, so I'll ride my bike to work three times per week, minimum. That's 300 calories extra per day and a half hour of good cardio. Not to mention I'll probably end up bringing the kiddo home in the trailer which is even more work. six weeks x three days = 18 days. 17+=A, 15-16=B, 14-15=C, 12-13=D, 11 or less = F +3 STA There it is. Rewards TBD.
  14. So, spring is coming to Minneapolis, probably, and with it I'll be hoping to break my trusty steed out of the shed and start riding it to work again. But there's a problem with that plan, I'm not ready for that physically. My mount is a XL Cannondale Quick5 and it really isn't meant for a rider over 200 lbs. I'm currently clocking in the 270 neighborhood, I'm also not ready from a cardio perspective. On the bright side, I doubt it's going to be warm enough for me to consider riding until the end of the challenge. I plan to see just how much weight I can reasonably healthily loose in 6 weeks and I want to be really intense about it. I'd guess that hitting 30 is about the limit of what I can do, so here we go. Challenge #1: Goodbye Eric Cartman. I will weigh in every Monday morning before breakfast. This is my primary aim for this challenge. A=30 lbs lost B=25 lbs lost C=20 lbs lost D=15 lbs lost Challenge #2: We all float down here... Hydration is key to keeping up my will power, keeping up my energy levels, and keeping my systems functioning at their peak, So I'm shooting for a gallon per day based on the rough 1 oz per kilo of body weight. A= 8 pints per day B= 7 pints per day C= 6 pints per day D= 5 pints per day Challenge #3: Ride off into the sunset We have an elliptical machine in the other room, it can be adjusted from Cross Country to Cycling. Cycling is much harder. I should be able to get on it every day right after work and twice a day on the weekends, so that would be 9 times a week, for 20 minutes each time, with a goal of 120 cal burned per the on board computer, just for a relatively consistent measure of the workout. I will start at full cross country skiing and move one notch closer to cycling each week. A= 9 runs per week B= 8 runs per week, C= 7 runs per week D= 6 runs per week Side Challenge: reshoe the steed. I'm pretty sure I have a couple of broken spokes on the back wheel of my bike right now, so that will need to be dealt with by the end of this challenge too. I also started lifting again in my last challenge, and I'm going to stick with that too, since it is a great way to burn some extra energy but I'm not setting specific goals around that this time around. Stick with it y'all, this is the challenge where we set ourselves apart from the New Years resolutioners.
  15. Ciao, Scouts! My name is Jess. I'm 22, and I'm on a quest to lose 100 pounds and get strong, fast, agile and healthy. I’ll be honest. I haven’t weighed myself in awhile. I have no idea how much I weigh, but if I had to guess I’m somewhere close to 210-215 maybe? I’m around around 35-40 pounds down from my highest weight. I’m moving out of the adventurer portion of my journey. I’m an assassin at heart, but I thought it was more appropriate to train with the scouts for this challenge. I’m completing a half marathon in January, and I need to learn from the finest endurance athletes the rebellion has to offer. So here are my goals. Half Marathon Training (+4 STA) I’ve taken to running on my lunch breaks at work. So I’m going to keep at it. I’m going to run 40 minutes per day on my break and work on increasing my speed. I’m averaging out at about 12:30 per mile right now. I want to get at the very least under 12 minutes per mile. Preferably 11:00. My ultimate goal is to finish the half marathon in 3 hours. I’m also doing an endurance run every weekend. My last one was 5 miles. I’m going to increase one mile each week until two weeks before the race, so I’ll have at least three 10m+ plus runs under my belt when the time comes. Run at least 5 days per week for 100% in this category. Bike to Work Every Day (+2 DEX, +2 WIS) I only work 4 miles away from where I live and I drive. Seems kind of silly to me. I bought a bike after I returned from Camp NF with the intention of biking to work every day, and I’ve been averaging out only like 2 times per week. I’m also doing it to save gas money. Bike to work 5 days a week for 100% in this category. Keep at 80% Paleo (+3 CON, +2 WIS) I’ve adapted a paleo diet for the most part. With the exception of 1 TBS of organic grass-fed butter in my coffee in the morning and the occasional serving of full-fat cheese. But grains are out. Spaghetti squash is now my staple. I’ve given up hummus and made the switch from peanut butter to cashew butter. Not a whole lot to say here, other than keep it up. Don’t miss two in a row to earn 100% in this category. Say NO to holiday junk food! (+2 CHA) It’s that time of year, guys. For the last few weeks, the staff lounge at work has been packed with all kinds of crazy sugar coma inducing treats. I’m not going to lie, I’ve slipped up on more than one occasion. Thanksgiving is in just a few weeks. Christmas shortly after that. Every year I say fuck it and let myself eat whatever I want for pretty much all of december. This is the year I say NO. Avoid junk holiday junk food like the plague, and make good choices at Thanksgiving and Christmas for 100% in this category. Motivational: My story I’m excited to be a Scout for 6 weeks. This is where it all started with me: With running. My first run came from a dark time in my life. A sort of quarter-life crisis, if you can imagine. Here’s my story. I was 20 years old. I was 250 pounds and living on a diet of mac and cheese and monster energy drinks. I was in college, a year away from completing my teaching degree and slowly realizing that it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. I was afraid to switch majors. I thought I was in too deep to throw it all away now. I was afraid to tell my parents that I wasted their money for my tuition. I remember one night, after a particularly stressful day, I was lying in bed at 2:30 in the morning, knowing I needed to be awake and ready to handle the day only 3 hours later. I was trying to resign myself to a lifetime of teaching. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t handle it. I didn’t know what else to do. And for some reason, to this day I still can’t put my finger on why or how, a really strange voice kept persisting in my head. It said: Go to sleep, wake up a half hour early tomorrow and go for a run. Go for ‘a run’? How do I even do that? WHY would I do that? But this idea kept persisting, saying that if I did, I would feel less stressed. If I did I could have time to clear my mind and refocus. I was uneasy, but I trusted that voice. I woke up two hours later, laced up my converse, put on my oversized university t-shirt and walked out my door. I jogged down my street in short, huffy 10 second intervals. I found out that I lived really close to the lake, so I thought, hey, let’s go to the lake. It started raining. I shuffled for 30 minutes in the rain that morning. I didn’t go to school that day. Decisions were made. Hard conversations were had. And dis-enrollment papers were drafted. I’m going back to school to study Kinesiology in January. Running, or biking, swimming, lifting, dancing, or whatever your fitness calling is, is exactly what I needed. I needed a little dose of selfishness. I needed time, every day, to be just for me. When I’m working out, I don’t care what is going on around me. That is time for me to reward my body for the awesome stuff it does every day, by making an active choice to make it stronger. We all are given one lifetime to live. To not make the most of it is completely disgraceful. Go get ‘em , rebels
  16. I came into the last challenge about halfway through and had goals that focused mostly on working towards lifestyle changes. In this challenge, I will have more numeric end goals now that I have more of an idea of what I am doing fitness- and diet-wise. I am halfway through a Whole30 and after that will experiment with different amounts of Paleo-ness (with a goal to basically just be as Paleo as I can without sacrificing my happiness, sanity, and relationships). I will not have any specific diet goals this challenge, but will continue to be very conscious about it (it's hard NOT to when you've gone full Paleo for a month!) While a main goal of mine is to lose weight, I also am just on path towards leading an overall healthy and active life so that I can feel as good as possible. Since changing my diet and being much more active, I have noticed definite increases in my energy and mood, which has kind of become an even more important perk than the weight loss for me. I have come to enjoy the various activities that I do and it doesn't just seem like exercise any more, I enjoy it! That being said, my fitness goals are based on three main activities that I have been working at most recently—yoga, strength training, and biking. Goal 1 I have been practicing yoga regularly since the beginning of the year and feel quite good with most of the basic poses and how my strength and flexibility has increased. I have not yet really been working to do any of the inversions or arm balance poses, so I would like to make that a focus for the next six weeks. My goal is to hold a crane pose for at least 5-10 seconds. (If I am able to do that with time left in the challenge, I will try for a side crane pose.) (+2 STR, +1 DEX) Goal 2 I started out weight training by doing Rippetoe's Starting Strength, which I plan to continue but in a modified way. I will also be mixing in some bodyweight workouts, including pushups, inverted rows, situps, etc. At this point I can do about 5 pushups with good form, and by the end of the challenge I want to do 20 regular pushups. (+3 STR, +1 STA) Goal 3 Now that the ridiculous Chicago weather is FINALLY starting to settle into spring (knock on wood) I have been able to ride my bike much more! I am interested in starting to do long rides (hopefully working up to a century and more), the longest that I have done at this point without stopping is about 10 miles. By the end of this challenge I want to complete a 20 mile bike ride without a rest. (+4 STA) Goal 4 I am a musician, both teacher and performer, but since I have been focusing on my teaching, my playing has fallen a bit by the wayside. My primary instrument is viola and I also play a little bit of guitar and piano, so I want to get back into playing all three on a regular basis. Having an end performance goal always helps motivate me, so, as terrifying as it is to broadcast my playing to the internet world, I will post a video/sound recording of myself playing . (If I am learning that one quickly enough, I will try for this piece as well.)(+3 WIS, +1 CHA - because let's face it, playing music only boosts your attractiveness!) My Plan I have been going the gym 5-6 days per week, switching off between yoga classes and strength training. I will continue with this schedule and will be keeping track of my strength workouts. For yoga, I will also do some position work at home, especially for the arm balances and inversions. For my pushups, I am doing modified pushups at about a 30 degree angle for now, and once I get that up to 20 I will then move onto regular pushups and work up to 20. My school teaching position for this school year ended last week, so now I am doing afterschool tutoring and recently got a dog walking job, both of which I bike a lot for. So I have biking worked into my daily schedule, and I hope to do one or two longer rides (10-20 miles) on the weekends. I am going to work on getting back into practicing my viola everyday and the other instruments most days of the week. I will probably try to do my practicing right when I get home from exercising. So here I go! I'm very excited about this challenge and my goals and cant wait to get started (which I am about to do right now with practicing). Cheers!
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