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  1. Okay, so, uh. First off: Happy Holidays y'all! Whatever it is you celebrate this time of year, I hope it rocks socks. Y'all probably noticed I disappeared from the forums for a while. Kind of related to the heart thing, but not on account of anything that actually happened. Kind of got in my head about it for a while, and the last month's been a pretty transitionary period with return to the office and new school and... just a lot. With everything going on I found myself just rolling with it; I didn't make a conscious decision to step away, but it happened anyway. OTOH, I got stress-tested. (it was stressful! But I passed! Cardiologist isn't worried about me and I'm due for another appointment in April). I've had to return to the office, where I found that I can really neatly do all the things I struggled to do at home in terms of writing and napping and meditating. All that time spent out there, however, has made balancing all the disparate elements of my training a little hairy. That's not anything new. It's been a lot, really. And taking care of all that caused me to neglect the forums here instead. I don't think that's fair of me to have done, but I also think it's arrogant of me to assume that I'm really that necessary to the goings-on around here. Either way, done is done. I'm back. I'll try not to drift again. As far as goals go, a lot of it is down to schedule and time-management. Stuff I tried to work on but didn't stick. I'm paying a price for that now. I'm also trying to figure out what effective balance looks like, mostly because I don't want to fall into that martial artist's trap where I live to train and neglect everything else that needs to be done. So, in the spirit of the holidays, just gonna take it easy and make a goal of getting down to bed by midnight. That's it. That's my one goal. I'm not saying that everything else will manage itself necessarily, but I feel like the earlier I get to bed, the more time I have, and the more time I have, the more opportunities I can take to get done what I want to. It's also the one thing that's really challenging me right now. Like I said, the office structure takes all the challenge out of the other stuff. It presents its own challenges in turn, but an early-to-bed, early-to-rise challenge probably will do more to address that than anything else. And if it won't, well, the only I know to find that out is to try. I'll be around to y'all as I can. Wish you well.
  2. Sorry for the late arrival. I knew what I wanted to do, but I'm kind of having a hard time squaring it with the general mode of daily practice and new habit formation and stuff like that. But whatever. If I wind up in a better place because of what I do here, it almost seems like de facto I had to overcome something, right? So a challenge it is. For those of you who were around last time, hi! Welcome back! For those just tuning in for the first time, I'm Kishi, sole surviving Guild Leader of the Monks. We don't talk about what happened to the other two. Sadly, I'm not some sage figure, so I can't give you much in the way of answers, but I like to think I help with asking different questions. Things last challenge took a turn for the dramatic. I got diagnosed with heart disease, the striking program I was going to got shut down, I had some tumult occur at work, and the training program - so meticulously programmed - collapsed on contact with the real world. Much of last challenge was spent picking up the pieces and carrying on, and I'd like to think I did so relatively well. And the situation has changed. Since then, I've started on a low carb Mediterranean diet, but it's low carb enough to really be a Keto Mediterranean diet. Interesting results so far - my waistline is shrinking (probably water weight) and I've got a lot of slow burn energy as documented by rolling for about an hour and a half without any dip in energy or performance. Which is interesting, but for all I know could just as easily be chalked up to more technical rolling and generous rest. I have designs on veganizing this at some point, because it sounds like a challenge, and vegan diets are tied to good outcomes for the heart also, so this sounds like a real possibility, but given all the everything that's getting thrown at me this round, that's more likely something that's gonna phase in over time. Because a lot's happening, y'all! I'm going back to the office; I misspoke when I said last challenge it'd be 11/8; it's actually going to be 11/15. And it's a phased re-entry, so over the course of three weeks, I'll be adding a day, so first week will be one day, second week two, and so on until the 4th week, when I just go back to fulltime. Why's that complicated? Because one, the holidays will be starting around that time, and two, I'll be starting up at a new school, meaning new logistical challenges to overcome. The theme this time is about balancing the books, because I've decided I want to upgrade my computer. I took a look at the new school and I realized that there's only one no-gi day there, so I'm basically done as far as no-gi grappling attire is concerned. But before I start putting away for a new computer, I want to make sure that my finances are in good order. I think I've got some expenses coming out that I don't need to, and there's no reason to keep throwing money away. I also want to go further in my meditation and to make time/space for my writing - hence, balancing the books. Goal 1: Meditate Bumping up to 9 minutes. Goal 2: Balance the Books Might wind up being something of a gimme. Ideally, find one thing a day and do something about it in my finances, whether that's regular savings or finding and disposing of an extra bill I don't need to pay anymore. I really don't think I've got that much to do, but honestly, if this makes the challenge easier for once I'll take it. Goal 3: Write Gotta get back to butt in chair time. It's worth doing. Just gotta do it. At this point, just gonna focus on getting to my writing; no word count goals just yet, just carving out space. And, uh, yeah. That's really it this time. Let's get to work.
  3. Oh look, I'm doing this thing during 0-week. Most excellent! It's almost like my life is falling into some semblance of order. Almost. Y'all what been around a while should know that it never lasts. The big thing that's causing me to change is that I'm dealing with some ongoing gluteal pain that's responding to stretches and home treatment, which is why I'm not going in for PT just yet. It's mostly okay, but there have been some times where it's got to be a bit much. Like, on my recent drive to Gatlinburg, I basically spent 5.5 hours sitting in the car and it got pretty painful, to the point that it actually impacted my mobility until I was able to stretch out some. Also, I'm a little dissatisfied with my current training regimen. For those just tuning in, I've been using Pavel's strength-endurance program The Quick and the Dead for my base and been doing that 3 times a week. For the other four days of the week, I've been rolling 4D20 and scheduling random work and rest days based on the results. Work days have morphed to mean the GMB vitamin program (15 minutes) plus another thing, generally skipping rope or Turkish Get Ups. There are some other minor add-ons based on my specific situation, but even so, everything's done rather remarkably fast and I'm glad. Believe it or not, I actually really like this way of doing things. I think my prior drive to "work every day" was based on old programming principles or else were based in some unaddressed insecurities that I've been working to meet and manage, and I feel like compliance is super-easy and I'm totally not burnt out. But it's not perfect. My dice, it turns out, are very generous to me, and I tend to roll a lot of rest days. (oh no, what a nightmare. 🙄) And based on both recommendations and prior experience, I tend to give skipping rope priority, because if I'm only getting one work day a week, it feels right to give it there. What that's working out to is less time with TGUs. And why does that matter? Well, in the short term, TGUs are to grappling what skipping rope is to striking: a kind of fundamental full body movement with a ton of carryover and benefit to the sport. I don't want to leave that benefit on the table. In the long term, I'm going to want to get strong in TGUs because one day I'm going to want to try to build some muscle with kettlebells and pretty much every source I can find on the matter aims for low reps and heavy weight. Enter the Kettlebell, the Ur-program in such matters, requires a 32kg swing and a 32kg TGU before allowing adherents to begin. What's a boy to do? Well, I feel like the answer to this problem lies in this program here, which I've referenced before. You might notice that he combines Quick and the Dead (QD) with another program, Simple and Sinister (SS), which is a swing-TGU focused program. His setup involves two SS sessions and one QD session per week of training. I think there's something to this for me, so that's what I'm gonna do. As to the other 4 days of the week? Well, there's GMB like I said, which at this point is mostly about movement quality and skipping rope. I did, however, buy their recovery programs, and I feel like I could be using those rest days to actually dig into recovery work and also work on flexibility and stretching. So. Enough navel-gazing. Let's get to the brass tacks. Goal 1: Training Seems appropriate to make a training goal again since I'm switching things around. Also, I have come pretty close to some compliance issues recently, and I want to smooth that out if I can. Goal 2: Meditation This was a struggle last time. I got toward getting better at it, but I really feel like I do better with a meditation habit, and I want to cement this in place. So. We will remain at 8 minutes this time. Goal 3: Clean Goal remains because I've still got a serious lack of floor space and a serious surplus of dirty surfaces. I'm getting better at both, but that's breeding some complacency, and I know me too well to let myself off the hook on this just yet. The prior arrangement of cleaning and moving a box per week (as a boss) worked good. No reason to mess with it now, beyond expanding what surfaces I clean. And that's that. Should be good.
  4. I'm closing in on 4 years in the forum now, having done my NF Introduction back right before leaving The North. I've finally been able to catch-up on updating my original training log, Third World Warrior: The Eight-Year Training Log (after some technical difficulties deleting like 2 years of logs) and I'll be using the Daily Battle Logs to both track my training and consolidate my challenges. I have been all over the place most of my life, hence many challenges with Rangers, but my issue is that I feed my training ADD and just ride the tides, making hay when the sun's out. Because of this I've gained proficiency in many things, but I'm having trouble tracking if I'm actually getting better in any of them. Hence, a long-term log. I've always been a fan of public training logs (for myself). I was never worried about how my competition was training, I was always focused on what I was doing. However because of this I tend to buy my own BS. A long term training log tracks progress, and allows others to call me out whenever I'm becoming too full of myself. (Perhaps having an Epic Quest might be of use as well, to keep the goal the goal.) I've always been very stubborn and secretive, even to my coaches. This can also cover training while I use 4-week challenges to work on life.
  5. Hey everyone! Getting on late at night because somehow it worked out to being the best time to do the thing. Big changes happened in the past week. I had originally meant to reward myself with rash guards for BJJ, but midway through, I 1) had the chance to change to earlier hours, and 2) saw a cool gi design go up that I wanted more. I still feel quite rewarded for my efforts last challenge; it's just that I had a last-minute chance to take a deal that turned out to be closer to what I wanted. This has the neat side effect of allowing me to use rash guards as a reward again. How fortuitous. Um, also, accidentally got the chance to show some character growth. Saturday I went to a party with my friend group. One of us got a little too drunk for my liking and I slipped and got a little too harsh calling him on it. We didn't come to shouting at each other or blows or anything, but I really hurt him in a way I didn't think I could. I had the chance to talk it over with him this morning, though, and we were able to patch things up. I say it was a growth thing because the last time I wound up in a situation like this was with my Ex and I botched it. I didn't botch this time. I grant you, it's not trying to salvage a romantic relationship, but I think it's got enough in common to count. Hence the title of the challenge. Everything's crazy and up in the air and I'm going back to the office in about a month and some change and just... yeah. It's a lot right now. So we're rolling with it. Goal 1: Meditate I'm up to 8 minutes now, which is great, but I'm not sitting consistently, and that's not great. Need to fix that. Goal 2: Clean Car troubles are managed enough that I can get after getting boxes o' stuff out of my place. But I need to clean the car first. This is going to go alongside my old cleaning goal from before, because now that my sinks are reliably clean, I want to start expanding out onto regularly cleaning other surfaces too. So, the way this will work is that it'll have a daily component build up over the course of the week. However, in order for a given week's total to count, I have to defeat a mini-boss, defined as one seat-section of the car (first couple weeks) and then a box a week for the rest of the challenge. Goal 3: Eating So, I've basically crept over into obesity per my body fat percentage as run via the Navy formula. I know for a fact that my macros are fine and even my daily expenditures are fine, but I'm letting social eating be an excuse to indulge and it's getting in the way of the results I want. While I'll be tracking this as a daily, the real goal is to focus on "leaving things behind" - in other words, if I go out to eat, I come back home and drink a protein shake for my vitamins instead of picking up 'healthy' indulgences at the grocery store. With that in mind, as I'm posting early Monday morning: Goal 1: 0/1 Goal 2: 1/1 Bosses: 0/5 Goal 3: 0/1 Aw, look, it's not as bad as it was last time. I can only imagine how well it'll go!
  6. A day late, but not a dollar short. Yet. Howdy, everyone, hope it's been well with you! I'm sorry I'm late coming in. I had a hard time coming up with a challenge because, well, if I'm honest, I'm content with where I am right now. I'm well-healed, back on the mats, I'm engaging with friends and asserting my boundaries when I need to, and... well, I mean. Life is pretty good! I mean, beyond all the ways in which it isn't, but, you know, that's life. Still, there are advancements to be made. I'm keeping some spaces clean, but I want to clean out more, and I know what I gotta do next from there. And, I need to get moving on my writing again. TBH, that was just two things, and I had a really hard time coming up with a third. And then my dear sweet sci-fi friend decided to fill the hole in his soul with a Tough Mudder in Baltimore in a few months. He needs a team, and I wasn't going to let him go alone. Or at least, that's how I'm operating right now, because he's not sounding too terribly committed to it right now. Either way, I figure if I'm careful about it, putting on some miles won't hurt me any. But that's something I have to do, which means I lose one of my days for rolling dice. Boooo. But OTOH, the dice-rolling mechanic is really nice for a way to randomize my off-days, and I've liked it a lot. So. I have three goals. Goal 1: Clean. Keep my sink clear and expand it to cleaning the sink surfaces themselves. They're kinda grody. Get 'em clean and keep 'em that way. Goal 2: Write. Surgery and recovery in the last month really knocked me off my course. I'm itching to get back to this. I'm cleaning up some planning stuff and restructuring the story a bit, which I think is going to clean things up rather nicely, actually. Goal 3: Train. Almost seems like a gimme, but, well, I got something on the horizon now, and that needs to be met. At this point, the constants are Quick and the Dead sessions 3 times a week, and on one day a week I'm going to go for a ruck. Tough Mudder recommends being able to run/walk 7 miles, so I figure if I can clear that under load, I'll be good to go. Truthfully, this goal could be called "Ruck," but I want to go keep it consistent in terms of scoring with the other goals. Why, you ask? Because I want to try my hand at rewarding myself again this time. I may have just cursed myself with this, but doggonnit, everyone else gets to have rewards and stuff, and I want some too. Since I'm not realistically going to get around to getting boxes moved any time soon (having to get my car troubles managed still, although they're coming along very well), I want to look into doing something else that'll help my training. Looking at my school's schedule, I see that they do no-gi training in addition to gi training for grappling. But in order to do that, you have to have a rash guard, for hygiene and safety purposes. So. If I manage an 80% success rate overall, I will reward myself with not one, but two freaking rash guards. Because that's what my schedule works out to having time for right now. So this means that out of a 105 total possible points, I need to score 84 or better. And how'd I start off? 1: 0/1 2: 0/1 3: 0/1 Yeah, it ain't exactly auspicious. I blame the holiday. Went home to see my folks and ate good food and spent the day chilling out rather than getting after my goals. Oh well. It's not about the start; it's about the finish.
  7. I know where I am at. I know where I want to be. I know what I need to do to get there. So why don't I make the choices I need to make to get to where I want to be? I have been learning about decision fatigue. I make great choices earlier in the day but by the evening, I'm tired and mentally exhausted. I don't make the best choices in the evenings. I think that I need more encouragement to make better choices and build those habits that I want to have. Can you send me your favorite quotes, memes or other motivation media to help me through this challenge?!?! Thank you in advance. This challenge will be another simple one. Keep tracking using Noom I want to see my weight go down. I want to keep tracking food on a regular basis Keep up with the Noom lessons - they help! Eat better veggies and fruit filling foods with lower calorie density less added sugars Do physical therapy as much as possible. I have 4 months to get back into shape before I get released to do BJJ again. Build strength and flexibility back Increase stamina by walking or riding the stationary bike Here are some initial motivation thoughts from me:
  8. Is challenge time, yes? Very well, then. So this looks like another clean up challenge, and I've not done those very well in the past, so it's worth asking why I came back to this. I would answer that things are different this time and that I've got more investment in cleaning things up. After completing the GMB Elements program, I got into Vitamin because I wanted to focus more on bodily control versus some of the other stuff. Vitamin is best understood, really, as a 'intro to tumbling' course. I like it a lot. But it requires a lot of room, and a lot of my space is taken up with useless objects that have really been needing to be disposed of for a while now. In order to facilitate this, I'm allowing myself a reward if I get the thing done: a double-end bag. Astute observers will note that this is not the double-end bag I linked to last time I mentioned anything about this; the reason is that I found a local outfitter who does this kind of thing. I've bought from them in the past. They have good-quality product and I like to keep the money local if/when I can. Only catch is, a double-end bag requires a lot of space to work because of the way it bounces and moves, and I'm going to need room to move around it, so. The only way the reward makes sense is if I complete the challenge, but it's also something that I want. So... yeah. So, I'm going to have to clean things up. But there's more to cleanliness than just the physical thing itself. There's also cleanliness in sleep and cleanliness of mind, among other things, and these are things I need to work on too. The set-up, then, is as follows: 1) One Box Of Stuff A Week Exactly what it says on the tin. I think I could probably do more than this - and I may have to, even - but I want to make compliance as clear and as simple as I can. In service to this, there's a sub-goal - keep my kitchen sink clear of dishes. I can do this on the daily, and have been for about a week or so, and I'm surprised at the itch it builds to actually get things done. I say, as I do absolutely nothing else. 2) Bedtime by 01:00 This is a longer-term goal. With 1/2 vaccinations done for me and with my loved ones being vaccinated or else exposed to the point that they're apathetic, I'm going to be able to return to the mats in a meaningful way sooner rather than later. I'm going to be returning to the MMA place I was going to before. They've changed their schedule somewhat and they're allowing for no-gi grappling in addition to the gi stuff and the striking stuff. Only catch is, it's early - like, 18:00 as opposed to 19:00 or 19:30. I don't get out of work now until 18:00, and I won't be able to do anything about that for a while yet. But, I can get to bed earlier, and I can get used to being up earlier too. Worst case, I just get some extra sleep. 3) Meditate 6 Minutes A Night 5 minutes was dope. 6 will be doper. And, that should do it. I'll log training here as well, because why not? I've been keeping up with the Apple A Day kettlebell program, and in order to keep my sanity, I've allowed myself to start rolling a D8 to figure if I'm doing 1 or 2-arm swings that day. My longer-term approach is to eventually work in kettlebell snatches and Dan John's Armor Building Complex, but the hold-up right now is that I haven't got the point in Simple and Sinister where I'm doing TGUs with the 8-kg bell yet. That's the neat thing about Simple and Sinister - you get a good base of GPP and also get good at the fundamentals of kettlebells, so it can be used to limit yourself to stuff you can actually reasonably handle. This is something I need help with too. And, uh. Yeah. I think that should actually do it. In life news, I'm looking at trying to do the work of building a Tenant's Union around here after my landlord decided to get rid of my (admittedly shitty) neighbor under sketchy pretenses. Because she doesn't deserve that, and also, it's a gatdang pandemic. Should be interesting.
  9. The strong little powerhouse rises again! My body has been ravaged by injury (hip), illness (covid) and peri-menopause. It is time to take back my body and my life. The first steps are to find peace, strength and vitality. Peace in my heart, mind and soul. Strength in my body (that I have lost over time) Vitality in all that I do, health and a love for life are key here. I'll be filling in the blanks and build towards something amazing.
  10. Ideas have been rattling around in my head since December 2015 about what I want to do when I grow up... Its about time I got all that stuff out of my head and into a 2016 Quest format. 2016 is the year of Terra! Terra is a Superhero and Goddess and NF Ranger!!! So what does this mean? It means that I will try to to all the things (as Rangers are apt to do!) but with purpose and working towards a healthy and happy me! I will pay homage one superhero or goddess every month with my fitness, health and life goals. My fitness goals will be adjusted for every month as needed but will include the following and maybe more: Brazillian Jui-Jitsu (I'm surprised how much I love it!) Conditioning/core/strength class at the BJJ gym. Foot care - because its needed after my Oct 2015 surgery! Yoga Rucking (Go Ruck Lite event???) Running - (evaluate>> is it still something I want to do? what about shorter distances??) And more??? My health related goals are simple: Eat mostly Paleo, always GF! Sleep enough Minimize/release stress Take care of me in other ways! Other life related goals: declutter the house Sewing phone clutches for June cruise gifts complete work projects do more crafting with my girls continue working on total self-acceptance set the example for my girls encourage my hubby to be healthier This list isn't inclusive and I'm sure Ranger Braintm will kick in with something new along the way.... But its at least a start! I'm not sure who I'll choose each month for my avatar/theme but here are my initial ideas: January>> I'm letting my namesake, the Goddess Terra (aka: Mother Earth or Gaia) take over to get me started out in 2016!! February>> Rogue March>> Jean Grey/Phoenix April>>Bat Girl/Oracle May>> She-Hulk June>> Minnie Mouse/Daisy Duck/Some other Disney themed lady? We are cruising on the Disney Wonder to Alaska this month > Disney Princesses! July>> Lady Sif August>> Raven September>> October>> November>> December>> I have a running list of strong ladies for me to choose this year.... Any other suggestions? Freya Elastica Girl - for that really crazy month (likely July/August) Scarlet Witch She-Hulk Jean Grey Super Girl Storm Wonder Woman Lady Sif - Sif is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics, in particular those featuring Thor. Based on the Norse goddess Sif, she was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #102. And maybe a few of the guys Odin, Thor, Loki, Spiderman, Hulk, Iron Man, Bacchus
  11. I started last month's challenge accepting that when it comes down to it, I am my own boss in life. And I am a shitty boss, so I need to start running a tight ship. I've pretty much narrowed down what needs to happen within the next six months in another post. So my goals will be based on those priorities and what must be done right now, or what would help in doing the others later. 1. Training I have been seriously slacking. I already missed 2 weeks of my program, and can't afford to miss any more. It's 4 weeks to IBJJF, which will be my last competition for this year. I really need to commit to the program. Strength maintenance, cardio, bodyweight movements, solo drills, and mat time. 2. Education My CrossFit Level 1 credential was due to expire this September. I was going to let it go, but just last week my old gym had an opening for a coach. I love that gym and the people over there, and my manager at my current one happens to be okay with me covering some classes, so it was perfect. There happens to be a CF1 course to be held in my city on August 10-11. Everything just seemed to fall in the right time and place. I'll need to save money and register for the course before the last day of the challenge. 3. Adulting Last challenge also pointed out (in cells) how I am barely an adult. I will be doing this again, making myself perform personal hygiene, do chores, and establish a bedtime. So I'll be updating the hygiene and chores, and checking-in every night when I'm in bed, which should be no later than 12. (The reading and creative stuff, maybe later.) I'll also need to write weekly and daily to-do lists. Zero Week: Friday > jiu-jitsu, cardio > 20 minutes of cleaning > dishes Saturday > sprints, jiu-jitsu > video and drills > Sunday > Budget > groceries > lift
  12. Hello guys, it's nice to be here I have bought Steve's book some weeks ago and I have finished it last week. What can I say, it's definitely inspiring, and in many ways is a story similar to mine. The difference is that I still have those problems. I won't hide, I have always been alone through my whole life, very little friends, not that many girlfriends and a very unforgiving metabolism. Personally I have to say that my lack of friends was justified in my childhood and in my teens by the fact that I was very fat and I was a very unpleasant person to be around. The one who doesn't accept jokes, who blame everyone for everything, the one that doesn't fit well in society. This was in my teens. Since I was 18 I started a big journey, physical and psychological, that changed who I was, how I thought and how people perceived me. Also, I have changed my body. From being a big fat kid I become a powerful and tall individual, somehow even intimidating at times. I learned how to look at people in the eyes, I learned a lot of things on body language and so on. I become a very avid reader and I got into self development. But I still have problems with people. Don't get me wrong, I'm a positive and a nice to have person to hang out with but there is always a catch, I do not understand why people like me but never truly gets close with me. I have read several books on how to make friends and things like that, but still nothing. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong. Maybe i need to redifine my social habits. I don't really know. However, I like being a hardworking person and I always try to pursue some kind of goal, because without it I feels like I might die without having lived to my potential, alone. And I always try to envolve my few friends to help me with my goals, but they are kinda disengaged with this kind of mentality. Or maybe they just don't like me xD It's irrelevant, I have seen that here there are tons of people with my same mentality and I really want to connect with them, and perhaps even find some friend. The challenge system is awesome, I will be definitely doing it. I recently started bjj (brasilian jiu jitsu) and it was a life changer for me. I'm have a new "feats of strength" goal: became a black belt in less than 15 years. If you don't know what bjj is, check this out. Is a very physically challenging martial art I have Discord as well, if someone want to chat
  13. Terra: Part 1 - Changes in Attitudes I am going to go back to the basics of life. I have gotten away from the things that I know work best for me and it isn’t a good thing. So lets get back to the building blocks of life and enjoy! I find that in times of change or upheaval I turn my radio to Jimmy Buffet. Jimmy has decades of wisdom in his lyrics and so I will celebrate life and hope to live life to the fullest. That is my warning to you, there will be lots of Jimmy quotes and songs in my challenges over the next several months!!! I found NerdFitness through Mark's Daily Apple blog years ago and now I'm going to return to the basics! https://www.marksdailyapple.com/ I have gotten me a Primal Blueprint 90-day journal. I know I’ll miss days so it should work out perfectly for the next three challenges. I’ve started and will be trying to focus on the the daily worksheets to keep me on track. I have come up with 5 goals after looking back at the last several months as part of my baseline evaluations. Goals: 1- Reduce excess body fat 2 - Declutter my home 3 - Improve endurance 4 - Continue my Brazilian Jui-jitsu practice and the strength/conditioning classes 5 - Find ways to improve my work environment That seems like a lot of stuff but I don’t have to focus on every goal every week. I can focus on one thing at a time if I want. Not to mention goal #4 is just maintenance of my habits that are already part of my life. I’m writing up each goal on the experimental pages of my workbook and I will post to my Instagram account for accountability. I’ve also been in a mode of thinking more, doing less however, getting stuck in my head is keeping me from being accomplished in all areas of my life. I must do more, even if I am not confident or tired I must do something to move towards my goals!!! I am considering treating myself to some pampering (massage or pedi) if I can put my books down and be more productive. My updates might be more sporadic but I hope more content filled and I am going to try to Instagram more so you can see my efforts. Visual proof of my efforts is the goal!
  14. Okay I am kinda new to the low-poo life but with 3 feet of hair it is just so much better. However! I do jiu-jitsu and habe to fight all of the weird body fauna that comes with wrestling with a bunch of dudes 4 days a week. Anyone have good antibacterial ideas about that?
  15. Well, am not Milo but am generally a big fan of progressive training philosophies. Super quick intro: am currently 39yo/M. Was in very good shape in my early years, where I competed in judo thru my high school days, and went to Officer School in the military after. In college though, started to deteriorate but still had good metabolism then. Subsequently spent 10 years in a cut-throat business where I flourished professionally and financially, but at the expense of my health. An insurance health check turned up so many red flags it wasn't funny, and I decided to take drastic steps to change my focus in life. Today, I generally eat well, drink very sensible amounts of alcohol, sleep alright (though I suspect I could do better here). I have rediscovered grappling, and had moderate success in competition at my age, and also run/lift on a regular training program. I have a roadmap to become (even more) kickass, and this is that story (hopefully). Objectives for May 2017 Starting Stats: 71kg, 15.1% bf, 53 RHR. <interesting how quickly it fell apart with just a cheat fortnight! I was 68kg, 14.3%, 49RHR just 2 weeks ago...> Fitness: Strength Focus. 2-3 days weights. A: SQT, OHP, Pullups. B: Bench Press, Deadlifts, Loaded Carries. BJJ Focus: X/SLX/Shin on Shin. Spiderman-type passes. Brabo/Darce chokes + Nearside Armbar. Endurance: None for this month except for weekly badminton + weekly 5km slow run. Injury Rehab: No pushups until wonky left wrist is fixed. No squats and deadlifts on same day to keep my piriformis syndrome at bay. Others: Get back to my Duolingo min 1x daily on Portuguese. Read the Stoic Meditations daily. Diet: Eat normally. 3rd May 2017 Shifting things around due to a fund-raiser dinner tonight. Fitness: Did my 1hr of badminton, doubles today. was in pretty good form though my service sucks hard. warm up with that next week. Weights: Bench Press 65kg x 3 x 7. Just doing the program. Wasn't tough. Pullups 13, followed by 11 after 3 min rest. Next session > 14 followed by AMRAP after 3 min. Others: Did 2x duolingo. Read 1 chapter of stoic med. Verdict: Done!
  16. With my injury, I wasn't sure of what to do for this challenge. The official diagnosis after what my primary predicted, my MRI confirmed, and my orthopedist also confirmed is that I have a torn posterior crucial ligament or PCL. I'm waiting on a my referral to an orthopedic surgeon to confirm that I won't need surgery. I may opt for surgery if my insurance covers it because I've been dealing with this for a few years and just re-injured it. Anyway, I thought of some challenges that I could do: 1. Take notes in class. I've read about the benefits of taking notes during a martial arts class. I think that this would be especially beneficial during the technique portion. I tried this a little bit but it was usually what I could remember after class. If I could take notes during the actual technique portion it'll of course be a lot more fresh than after I roll with 3-5 guys. I plan to train 5-7 times a week, bring a notebook with me and take notes during the technique portion and at the end of class, after rolling, I'll write down a reflection of how it went and what I feel I need to work on. 2. Study Jiu-Jitsu I'll focus on studying my notes, watching film, and reading the three Jiu-Jitsu books I have. I have a few Jiu-Jitsu instructional videos from Reilly Bodycomb. My no gi coach taught me leg locks, but he left our gym to go start his own gym and I'm kind of locked in at my current gym until 2019. His replacement doesn't do leg locks. Given I chose the name Leglocker (Heelhooker might not have been approved.) I really enjoy leg locks, so this should help me retain the information and perhaps gain inspiration in trying other moves. There is also Youtube where I can study the positioning and setups of some of the elite competitors. Finally, I've had Submit Everyone by Dave Camarillo, JiuJitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro, and The Grappler's Handbook by Jean Jaques Machado. I'm looking to read and understand their concepts. 3. Kettlebells and more Kettlebells I did the Simple and Sinister and felt a lot more athletic after the last challenge. I got away from it a bit towards the end after my doctor told me about my injury and we started doing class a little bit earlier, but I'm not going to make that an excuse anymore. If class starts at 5:30, I'll be there at 5 to get my kettlebells in. So, I plan to do Simple and Sinister again minus the goblet squats. I can't really do a squatting motion without pain. I'm also thinking of maybe once a week trying one of the fancy kettlebell routines that Eric Lejia (Instagram: @primal.swoldier) features. Just so to break up any uhh can't think of the word right now so, I'll go with boredom. Meal Prep In a continuing effort to lose weight, I'm going to get back to meal prepping. I'd like to do the prep on Sunday and Wednesday, but I get home so late that if I did prep on Wednesday, there goes my whole day. So I'm going to shoot for prepping my meals on Sunday. Hopefully I'll see some weight loss doing this. And I'd probably save a bunch from not getting lazy and eating out all the time. Clean Doing the dishes everyday helped keep the sink clear and clean, but now it's time to focus on the rest of the house. I plan to clean my bathroom every Saturday. I'll then clean two rooms on Saturday and another two rooms on Sunday. Hopefully this will lead to a clean house. I'm tired of living in a messy home.
  17. I wasn't sure if a new challenge made sense because I'll be on travel for two of the four weeks. But the challenges help and if all I do here is vent when I need to, its still valuable! But I'd rather celebrate the good things so here is my goals! ROCKY MOUNTAINS The first two weeks of this challenge will be spent in Denver and the last two at home. Both places are in the Rocky Mountains and are places that I love. I miss playing outside in my mountains. This needs to change and it will. It means getting outside. It means taking walks and hiking when I can. BONUS if I get in a ruck! DOUBLE BONUS if I signup for the April 22nd 5k and actually try to train for it. (Image is a trail near the Flatirons out side of Boulder, CO and its a trail I'd like to hike) HYGGE Hygge is such a lovely concept that I want to incorporate more of into my life and home. So what am I going to do here… Well not much the first two weeks. But I do have some reading on decluttering, organization and hygge that I want to do while we are out of town. Once I get back I am going to build a bed frame for Baby Black Widow and implement some of the hygge ideas I have. Side note: I did a google search of images with the term hygge and wow! Out popped my design aesthetic, rustic modern. It only makes me love hygge even more!!! PROGRESS Progress, progress, progress!!! So many things I can do here to stop the back slide of my health, weight and strength loss. I will show progress with a measuring tape and my jeans! But progress will be made by my choices in the kitchen (or restaurant). I will make good choices and eat smaller portion sizes. (Titanium Mickey and I have already talked about our food ideas while on travel in Denver) I will do yoga and/or mobility work. I will pick up my KBs or other weights. I will get back into the habit of BJJ class.
  18. Going to start my daily log here tomorrow. This post is a place holder.
  19. Here is a short video on the origin of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a Brazilian martial art that can trace its roots back to Japanese Judo. It is predominantly a grappling martial art. Supposedly self-defense Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu includes striking and disarms, but I've only practiced what would be considered sport bjj. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was popularized by the Gracie family and most people often think of all BJJ practitioners to tracing their lineage back to the Gracies, but this is untrue. Another influential line would be the Luiz Franca line, whose standout student was Oswaldo Fadda. BJJ reached world wide recognition when Royce Gracie won the first Ultimate Fighting Championship defeating larger opponents. It has since become pretty much a pre-requisite for those looking to compete in Mixed Martial Arts.
  20. I have doubts about whether I'm actually equipped to handle life as an adult. It just so happens that it's a start of a challenge. Me vs. Life I'll figure this one out eventually. But nothing to worry about, the only way now is up, so I'm looking to ride this out until I'm able to respawn. In the meantime I'll redirect my focus. DISTRACT ONESELF I have my next 4 weeks of kettlebell training planned out. 12 training sessions total; nothing too crazy. If I can afford it, I'll see how I do at the next NAGA in March. I haven't competed in a while. Plan 801A: 10/12 Because my schedule has opened up, I have time for Jiu-jitsu. I'm looking to get at least 12 BJJ training sessions in this challenge period. BJJ Training: 9/12 Some time ago I signed-up for the Online Trainer Academy. (I also started taking on a few trainees online--ones I didn't have to convince of my worth). It seems like a better choice than just collecting more certs that I wouldn't be able to use because my marketing skills, sales skills, and social skills are abysmal (the troubles of playing a low-charisma character). I have 16 chapters left on the texbook, then I'll start on the online modules. I realize I'm procrastinating, but I want to finish it first because I have no idea what I'm doing and a lot of it is still going over my head. OTA: 30/41
  21. Strength and Stamina These are the the simple goals that I have for 2018. I have a few others but these are my two big physical goals. And the path to eternal glory is paved with habits. So creating the habits that lead me to increased strength and stamina are key to my success. But first, who am I??? I am strong. I have stamina to do all that I want. I hike and ruck. I know French. I have a clean and de-cluttered house. I am proactive. I eat paleo. I learn (re-learn) new things. I am grateful. I love life. I will not rely on the scale for anything more that a single data point. As an engineer (who should have had a stastitics minor or two) I know that there is not enough information in a single data point to make any conclusions. So I will use other forms of measurement to assess my progress. I will take the dreaded photos and take measurements too. I may not share them at this time but it will be my starting point! I will be focused on habit building for a core set of activities that just need to be part of me. I exercise regularly! BJJ --> 3-4 days a week Simple and Sinister KB workouts -->twice a week Hike and Ruck with the dogs on the weekend I will eat paleo most of the time. - I'm going to do a quasi whole 30 in January. There are a few sources of sugar that I don't worry about that just don't fit into the whole 30 rules. So I am going to do it my way. Year long goals for 2018 include: Re-learn French with my kids Declutter our messy home Procrastinate less Be grateful Re-learn to shoot a bow I'm not going to focus on the 2018 goals in January too much. I want to focus on the food and exercise habits first. Anything more than that is a bonus! I have a workout schedule in my planner for the month already. And once I get home I will create a meal plan and pick out some new recipes to try this month. This month is about habit building, cooking new yummy foods and taking care of me and mine!
  22. It is day -2, things are really going to kick off on Monday, and if I said I was anxious to get my research started, it’d be the understatement of the year. Oh, who am I? I’m The Scientist, and a good thing, too! The world is being over run by disease, a pandemic we have never seen in our time or any other. It’s up to me to find the 4 cures and stop the spread, before it’s too late! If there are 4 Infections, or 2 Outbreaks, all is lost, and it’s really getting down to the wire. The only way to win is to stick to my scientific guns, buckle down, and do whatever is necessary to prevent the infection from spreading while my research is in progress. In 4 weeks, I will have all the pieces I need to put together the cures and end this madness once and for all. I am the only hope humanity has. God help us all. A lot has happened lately! I got married a week ago Saturday to the love of my life, and yesterday he went back home to Ireland, where I will be moving in March. We have a fun year ahead of us, including a Spartan Super, a probably a couple more BJJ tournaments, a lot of international travel (all our friends are also with foreign people and getting married throughout Europe, yay!), and lots of board games, including my current favorite, Pandemic! Role: The Scientist Special Ability: I only need 4 cards of each color to cure disease (aka: 4 weeks) Event Card: One Quiet night: Play at any time to skip an Infection or prevent and Outbreak. Objectives: Western World Hit macros 7/7 days Southern Hemisphere Lift 3/3 days, BJJ 2/2 days Mid-East Budget: make a budget, comply with it, check it every week to stay on target to save for Irish car and insurance. Name change: work each week towards changing all official documents to new name, complete process if possible by end of month. Start with SS, go from there. Minimize: 10 minutes, 5/5 days, get rid of stuff I preparation for move. Bonus points if I donate stuff. Far East Journal: 7/7 days, a line or a novel, whatever. Guitar: Practice 5/5 Days, bonus for 6/5, includes music theory practice. Roleplay: Work on roleplay post 10 minutes 5/5 days. Bonus (Complete one or more to earn extra Event Cards): 1. Sodium <2500 4/5 days 2. Steps >8K 3. Finished and sent roleplay post How To Lose: As in the game, there are a lot more ways to lose than to win! Missing one goal for the week causes an Infection cycle, missing more than one in a single week causes an Outbreak. There can 4 Infections or 2 Outbreaks before it’s game over. I have one free Event Card, “One Quiet Night” to prevent an Infection cycle or Outbreak(instead of an Outbreak it would downgrade to only an Infection cycle), and I can earn more Event Cards by completing my bonus actions above. Event cards can be used at any time. How to Win: Make it to the end of 4 weeks without losing via methods above. Each week my “research” progresses and I will fill in a line on each vial, after 4 weeks they will be full and the cures will be completed! I just need to keep the world alive long enough for that to happen.
  23. My foundational habits have cracked and so its time for some maintenance! self-pity rant What are the basic things I know that I must do??? I have 5 basic goals. 1 – Eat paleo! 2 – BJJ and condition classes (3-4 days per week) 3 – get enough sleep (7-8 hours is best) 4 – Do stuff for myself (get outside and hike, spend time with friends) 5 – Keep supporting the family and help them to make healthy choices. I'm going to spend a bit more time considering how to reenforce good habits, find and sustain motivation and strengthen willpower. All hard things to do...
  24. Valkyrie approaches Trinity College, a beautiful establishment of scholarship and the quiet pursuit of knowle- what is that sound? It comes again: thud! Whomp! “Oof!” Valkyrie hastens, drawn by the sounds of people engaged in combat of some sort. She steps inside a building whose door is just ajar, and is confronted by many people in pajamas, rolling around on the ground! How silly, what are they thinking- Oh! Not pajamas! Gis! And they’re not rolling around without purpose, they’re grappling, playing the human chess game of Brazilian jiu jitsu. The Irish Winter Open for gi BJJ is commencing! Valkyrie steps up to the scale to weigh in, she’s a solid middleweight, scraping by just under 69 kg with her gi on. She can’t help a flutter of excitement at the prospect of testing her skills against other women, and reviews her game plan: take down to full guard or take the back, which decide whether she plays a full guard game or goes straight for the submission via rear naked choke. Of course, she thinks wryly, things never go to plan. Adaptability and fluidity is the key! She who can think on her feet will prevail! —————— Sunday, October 22nd, is my first tournament in Brazilian jiu jitsu! All my efforts the past month have been to prepare for the tournament and make weight (didn’t cut any calories, but boy do I miss salt!), and Sunday I finally get to play! After that, it’ll be my last couple of weeks in Ireland, before I return home to the next adventure and my goal is to just continue what I’ve been doing and have a little more flexibility once the tournament is over. Goals for this challenge: 1. The Weigh In -I will make weight at under 69 kg (or 152 lbs), in my gi, on the morning of the tournament. I will accomplish this by keeping sodium low, water, sleep and steps high. - Sodium: <2000-2500 - Water: >100 oz - Sleep: 8 hours - Steps: >8k 2. Focus On Flowers, Not Weeds - I will write 3 things for which I am grateful every day. If attitude is everything, then mine should be positive and resilient. 3. For Fitness - I will run or perform some other form of conditioning on Tuesdays, and perform 3 sets of ab exercises every day I don’t train BJJ.
  25. Hello! I am Valkyrie, a Ranger! I began my journey with the Rebellion a year ago August (wow!), but have been hit or miss with my activity since February. I began as a Ranger, because I was a lifter and a OCR-training person. I completed a Sprint and a Super this year, and I had plans to complete the Beast this coming Saturday, however, funds being what they are, that isn't a possibility, unfortunately. However, May 22nd, my life changed. I discovered Brazilian jiu jitsu, and truly, my life will never be the same. As is the case with most young love, I was enamored and, yes, obsessed with BJJ. I thought about it all the time. I shrimped in my sleep. I dreamt of drills, and looked forward all day to class. I could say that the love has tempered in the last few months, cooled with time...but it hasn't. I still shrimp in my sleep and wonder if BJJ thinks about me too. In July, I received my first stripe and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. I was so honored! Then, in August, I went to Ireland to be with my fiancee for 3 months, and within a week I had found a new BJJ club and had talked the future husfriend into trying it out with me. Hey Mikey, he likes it! (Because, duh. It's awesome! And if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!) So, now I'm training 3-4x a week, going to 2 morning classes on Weds/Fri, because why not? I have the time and freedom, an opportunity I may not have again! Now enters the Irish Winter Open. The opportunity for men and women of variously colored belts to pit their skills and cunning against their similarly sized competitors. In short? A tournament! And I am going to fight! October 22nd is the fateful day, and I cannot wait to test my mettle against fellow women...my usual rolling partners are men with 20 to 30 lbs on me. It will be extremely interesting to play the game with another girl who is close to my size! So, this brings me to the goals for the remainder of this challenge cycle: 1. Maintain weight at 143-146 lbs (my weight class is -152 lbs in the gi, and my gi weighs 3.6 lbs, I'd like not to be worried about that for weigh ins) - This will be accomplished by sticking to my Eat To Perform macros, minding sodium* and added sugar**, drinking lots of water***, going to bed on time****, and getting 8-10k steps a day/comparable bicycling distance. 2. Train minimum of 3x a week (Mon/Wed/Fri) - attend 7 and 11 am classes 2x/week (Wed/Fri), and add in or swap a day for an evening class 1x/week or every other week (more people at the evening class to roll with) 3. Write down drills after each class to aid in retention of steps and sequence (this is invaluable and I wish I'd been doing it for months instead of a week! How much could I have remembered!?) So, that's all I've got for now. Looking forward to boring anyone who will read it with my ecstatic description of drills and free rolls, because I get all kinds of excited about this stuff! *Sodium between 2000-2800 mg **Sugar 75-100 mg (my usual is like...130 g, so....baby steps, people) ***100 oz H20 ****making 8 hours of sleep a priority, in bed by 9 pm the night before class.
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