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  1. Good day fellow Rebels. Last challenge, I made some observations about goals that were lacking, and I selected three: reading, breathing (specifically Wim Hof Method breathing) and journaling. The other goals have essentially become daily habits now because they have been part of my routine for quite some time. So if you have been following me for a while, assume that the rest of my usual daily habits and routines that have been mentioned in the past are now expected. And so I begin: Goal 1: Read Harder and More Often -- I love to read. I love books. I have all the traits of a bibliophile. However, I'm not very disciplined, and I struggle to focus and pay attention when I read. I know this is normal and nothing to be ashamed of, but it still bothers me. I'm also a very picky reader, like... picky to a fault. Yes, some of it is because I have standards, and because I value my time, so I struggle to read something that just... isn't very good. But, if I'm honest, much of this pickiness has led me to make unfair assumptions about various genres, authors, and forms of writing. So, I have decided to take on the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge, as well as to set an ambitious but doable reading goal of 50 books in 2021. I have a few strategies for helping meet this goal: read every day for at least 30 minutes put my phone on the charger on the other side of the room while reading select and read books from the Read Harder Challenge first audiobooks, children's books, and poetry collections totally count towards the 50 goal Goal 2: Breathe Harder and More Mindfully -- I have practiced the WHM in the past, and many of the elements have stuck like glue, specifically the cold showers and cold exposure (going outside shirtless and shoeless in the cold, taking long hikes in the snow with no shirt, etc.), but the breathing (which, if I'm not mistaken Wim himself said is the most important part of the method) has just been a struggle to fit into my daily routine. It's not that I don't want to; in fact, I really enjoy it and feel great every time. It's almost like my brain says, "Dude... It's breathing. We do that al the time. Just skip it." And so, I end up skipping it. However, I noticed last challenge that I was filling that gap of time normally reserved for WHM breathing with mindless scrolling of Instagram or Facebook. So, for this challenge I will work to fit WHM breathing into my morning routine, just as I was before. Below are my strategies for meeting this goal: schedule a time for breathwork, after prayer/devotional time but before workout and cold shower: 0445 Mon-Fri, Sat/Sun time varies use the app and/or music or a guided audio or video to make the experience more interactive at least three rotations; time is not as important as impact, so be mindful of the impact of each inhale and exhale, as well as how your body feels during and after each rotation Goal 3: Journal More -- In addition to loving to read, I also love to write (or at least I used to love it in that I used to write a lot because I wanted to, not because it was a requirement or a chore). I need to get back to that love, but in practical ways that don't make it feel like a task or just something else to check off on my daily to-do list. I used to keep a journal regularly, writing just a few paragraphs a day, recording my thoughts and my feelings and occasionally sharing favorite poems or song lyrics or lines from movies and TV shows. And sometimes I would draw (not very well, but it brought me joy). I need to get back to that less prescribed and more open journaling practice because if it feels to rigid or more like a "have to," I won't do it. Instead, it should be a "get to." I get to journal every day. So below are my strategies for meeting this goal: journal every morning before starting my day and at the end of the day: Mon-Fri right before leaving for work (0630) and before bed (2100); Sat/Sun times vary aesthetics matter; use a notebook that you want to write in and a utensil you want to write with in order to feel encouraged to do so make it brief but important and free flowing, not prescribed or stilted; just express yourself freely and openly without judgement keep it secret; keep it safe (you knew I wouldn't get out of this challenge without at least one LotR reference) And there you have it. My goals for this challenge. Sorry it doesn't have any creative theming or anything, but I knew these areas needed to be refined and strengthened, so that was my main purpose. And of course, you can expect plenty of nerdiness to arise in the form of cool gifs and memes and quotes.
  2. What is the OODA Loop? The OODA loop is the cycle observe–orient–decide–act, developed by military strategist and United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd. Boyd applied the concept to the combat operations process, often at the operational level during military campaigns. It is now also often applied to understand commercial operations and learning processes. The approach explains how agility can overcome raw power in dealing with human opponents. Hi. I'm Ryan or Wolfie to the OG's here on NF. I've been apart of the Rangers since 2014 and apart of NF since 2012. I've been consistent. I've been inconsistent. I've been encouraging. I've been a discouraging. I've risen and fallen with the best of them. Now, I'm back after a "short" hiatus and ready to kick things into gear. I realize that I'm jumping back in the last week of this particular challenge, but I didn't want to wait till next week to get things started, which, funny enough, the old me would of done. I'm also one of those people that tends to start things on Monday and not the middle of the week because I feel like I've lost a lot of time with the missed days. What can ya do? I'm also one for trying to make each and every challenge I do as EPICALLY AWESOME as possible. Sometimes, I put so much thought into a challenge that it stresses me out. Why you ask? I'm not 100% sure. I do know this, though. I go all out when I do something. It's literally a gift and a curse because I'm always dabbling in new ideas and new endeavors. Some that stick and I continue to hone that specific skill. Some I completely discard in my "filed away for a rainy day" pile that sometimes never see the light of day every again. My wife says it's because I'm very "passionate" lol. Well this time, I'm gonna stick to some basics. I'm going to have goals. I'm going to update as often as possible. I'm going to support my fellow nerds. And I'm going to do this all with a smile on my face. Quick Update: I've been keeping up with my workout regimen for the last month or so. I've seen quality results in not only strength, but size as well. I just completed the first phase of a 4-phase workout program which consists of 3-weeks per each phase. In this phase, we add two days a week of lower body work which falls on Monday and Fridays. Other than that, there's a Pull focused day, a Push focused day and then another day consisting of the other auxiliary muscles like forearms and delts. My eating has been on point... mostly. I would say my diet has been about 85% clean. I've also been sleeping WAY more than I used to. I was probably averaging close to 6 hours a night before COVID. Now, I'm averaging almost 8. which has done wonders for my mind and my overall mood. Life has been very good recently. It's also been busy. For anyone that knows me, knows I do a lot, and none of that has really changed all that much. I still work 2 jobs. But, I'm still working from home from my day job that seems to be more of a permanent thing...which is amazing. I love working from home! Because we already home school our children, working from home has allowed me to be apart of the teaching process and I love that! The Wolfpack is still healthy and thriving and Orin just turned 6 years old last week! It's pretty nutty, lol. I've also been listening to a LOT of audible books too. This isn't really something new, but it has been WAY more consistent the last month in a half. Not much else to report, so, let's get to the goals. Goal #1: Reading/Listening to Audible books Right now I'm listening to Leadership and Training for the Fight by MSG Paul R. Howe, U.S. Army Retired. This is where I first heard the concept of OODA aka Observe-Orient-Decide-Act. It's a really neat concept approach to not just war, but business and life itself. I honestly just started this book and looking forward to learning more about the OODA loop and how I can apply it to my own life. I'm also listening to Washington: A Life by Rob Chernow. The book is a deep dive look into the life of our nations first president, George Washington. I'm about 4 1/2 into that book and really enjoying this as I love history. And, for fun, I'm also listening to Meg: Hell's Aquarium by Steve Alten. This is the 4th book in the Meg series based off the discovery of the megaladon shark. I had previously listened to books 1-3 a couple years ago. My goal is to finish Leadership and Training for the Fight by the end of the challenge...or next challenge since I'm starting so late, as well as Hell's Aquarium. This shouldn't be all that difficult considering both books are a combined 21 hours give or take of audible book. The Washington book is a 44 hour total book and I'm only down to 37 hours and some change right now, lol. Goal #2: Help with Home School I have this prime opportunity to help Heather teach the kids since I'm working from home and I don't want to waste it. My main objective is to get them reading more. This will consist of me reading fun stories with them and having them read stuff to me out loud. I want them to be excited about reading and learning new things. I also want to do DIY projects with them and stuff like that. If you have any suggestions, I'm open to whatever honestly. I'm just excited about helping with home school . Goal #3: Finish Phase 2 of the new Workout Program Phase 1 was solid. I didn't miss a single day going 4x a week. Phase 2 adds another workout day for a total of 5, so, it'll be a little more challenging, but I'm pretty disciplined right now when it comes to lifting. I just don't want to lose steam and get lazy. I've done this way to many time in my life already. I also need to be tracking my workouts better and writing down sets and weights as well as taking pics after each phase so I can see the subtle changes in my body. And there you have it folks. A super "not sexy" version of my challenge that should prove to be a good one when it's all said and done. I just need to stick with it! Wolf
  3. Finance- Complete. Fitness- Attempt an aerial class. Jan 2015. Joined an aikido class. Great Big Backyard- Dinosaur Monument Glenwood Caverns Royal Gorge 2 14ers Great Sand Dunes 7/6/15 Cheyenne Zoo 10/9/15 Mesa Verde Red Rocks Pikes Peak Garden of the Gods Great Big Country- Evermore, Utah ECCC / Seattle Bourbon Street, New Orleans Boston Hawaii Aleutians, Alaska California Adventure at Disneyland, California 12/5/16 Zion National Park, Utah Disney World, Orlando, Florida Diagon Alley & Hogsmeade, Orlando, Florida Napa Valley, California Las Vegas, Nevada Yellowstone National Park Great Big World- Cruise the Caribbean. Dublin Greece Tokyo, including Disneyland and DisneySea 10/2018 Hong Kong, including Disneyland Shanghai, including Disneyland Perth Egypt Rome Venice Paris London Hobbies- 1 new cosplay item per Challenge. Work on poster cross stitch between projects. 1 new show per Challenge. Theatre/music/podcasts/comedy. QUARANTINE EDIT: online streams of theatre, music festivals (including ShakeItOut), Night Vale episodes, new Netflix stand up. 2 new books per Challenge. New/used shelf, graphic novels. Learn Japanese. 2018 Personal- Commit to alone time once per week. Take a joy ride, for more than 10 minutes, once per week. Get all desired/designed tattoos (3/6 to date). 12/2014, 3/2015, 11/2016.
  4. Good day, fellow Adventurers and any guests to our guild. I have no clever theme this challenge, but regardless I can promise it's going to be a lot of fun. As always, I plan to continue my usual morning routine, which if you're interested you can view in the spoiler below: For this challenge, I plan to focus on three goals: Burpees: At least 30 burpees per day -- This is based on a physical challenge I saw online. As most of you know, the burpee is one of the best bodyweight workouts, an excellent "bang for your buck" kind of workout that can be integrated into other movements and moments throughout the day. It is permissible to change these up and try a variety of burpee types. Books: Read any book for at least 20 minutes per day -- Seriously, I love to read, and I love books, but in the midst of my busy life I often neglect to make time to just sit still with a book. No more. Brainwork: Learn about/study something every day -- As a teacher, I should be setting the example of the importance of lifelong learning. Articles, podcasts, websites, NPR, documentaries, Youtube videos, TED Talks, apps, anything that teaches me something. This goal can include schoolwork but must be separate from goal #2. And that's it. Short and simple and to the point. I will also be participating in the Darebee Daily Dare PVP. And of course I'll continue my consistent running routine, visiting the fitness center on campus, and integrating a variety of other movements throughout the day.
  5. I just picked up a copy of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes. I'm still on the first chapter, but it looks like a chunk of the book will focus on mindfulness and how being more aware and more alert can keep your brain sharper. The book jacket says the author explores Sherlock's "unique methods of ever-present mindfulness, astute observation, and logical deduction." Has anyone read this book? If so, what did you think? Are you a Sherlock Holmes fan? Comment below.
  6. I've managed to get a stable pattern for challenges and hobbies over the winter months, so naturally, here comes a season change to shake things up. Goals: Crafting: Mjolnir, skirt, finish bracer, kenpo knife carrier. Exercise: keep it up. Languages: keep it up. Gardening: let the games begin. The main goal for this month is to finish Mjolnir, my first major EVA foam project, and the main focus of a female Thor cosplay (hence the possibly misleading title). Once/if I get that done, the next projects are: recreate a work skirt (two, if possible), finish the Worbla bracer (need warm weather to work outside), and throw together some sort of carrier for the practice kenpo knives I made last challenge. Exercise is the same: weights, cardio, kenpo, and PT. Languages are the same: maintain French, improve Russian. The troublemaker is gardening. Gardening takes a lot of time, and is entirely dependent on the weather, making it difficult to plan ahead. I have put several limitations on the garden this year: not starting seeds indoors, buying plants rather than seeds if I'll just have a few plants, a strict "follow the plan" policy to avoid last-minute additions and chaos, and outlining the projects I want to complete this year. Even with these efforts to cut chaos, there's still just a lot of work that goes into a garden. Fun, productive, and calming work, but still work that takes time. My preliminary plan is to only go out on weekends, since my days are pretty strictly scheduled with workouts. This might get tweaked as things progress. Another point to note, although I don't think it needs to go into goals, is that "reading" is no longer classified as "strictly leisure." My tastes have shifted in that I enjoy reading books that are useful to my long-term goals, so I don't need to feel guilty about devoting a couple hours to reading. It's not stealing time from goals, it's actually helping. All things in moderation.
  7. I can't find my old log, so I'm starting a new one!
  8. I picked this theme (not because of the TV show) but because the newest addition to this world is coming out the 23rd! I cannot wait to read it. Eeeeew! This is a book series which is very complicated, long, and was written/published out of order! So for more information on that. You can read in the second message if you're interested in the book series. Create a Different Path "She thought of it, and her stele began to move the way a dancer begins to move when the music starts." Goal: Create a 4 hour work day, finish my first original video, read a chapter of Harry Potter every night, and name my target buyers. (5 points) Bonus: For completion or extra hours of work. Train to Become Stronger "Shadowhunters: Looking Better in Black Than the Widows of Our Enemies Since 1234." Goal: Keep on progressing MWF (5 points) LINK Bonus: For leveling up Hunt the Demons "Nobody calls me 'blondie' and keeps their kneecaps." Goal: Stretch M-F (5 points) Bonus: For leveling up Learn New Things "Mark, looking beatific, took the dispenser of maple syrup off the table and upended it over his strawberries. He picked one up and put it in his mouth, stem and all." Goal: Learn and make 4 new healthy recipes. Bonus: If I eat a veggie, fruit, and only when I'm hungry. Listen to a Higher Power “No one is ever the villain of their own story.” Goal: Listen to each week's Church sermon. (10 points) Bonus: Extra reading, conversations with God, or copious notes. Read with Passion "It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them." Goal: Finish Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas and Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. (%) Thrill of the Game “The nod means 'I am a badass, and I recognise that you too, are a badass.” Goal: Work towards TLoU Plat and play through Borderlands (%) _.-*-._.-*-._ Trophy Goals: Azarath Metrion Zinthos | Don't You Two Read? | Better in Black Since 1234 *Art by Cassandra Jean on Tumblr
  9. Heyo. Once again, life conspired to keep me from starting a challenge in timely fashion - first week was a travel time (I went to Philadelphia, and might be the only person to ever accidentally end up at the NFL Draft), and then promptly got sick. So I'm still trying to get my life back to normal whilst coughing my lungs out. But, y'know, can't let that keep me down. Thus, a half-challenge, loosely inspired by none other than one of the greatest gaming sagas of all time (you know it's true!): Half-Life! I've been pretty bad at doing complicated goals when my habits and life are off-kilter after my travel times, so this one will be a little less so in the hopes of actually doing the things I said I was planning to do. Goals for the half-challenge: - Exercise five days out of the week, even if it's just a short walk. I can work with a short walk, but being sick has made me more likely to just act like a slug. - Run at least two, preferably three days of those times. Again, still training (or trying to train) for my upcoming Virginia Tough Mudder, and this will be most key to my survival. Some bodyweight training wouldn't go amiss either. - Go to sleep before 11:00pm. I've been coughing myself awake multiple times the last few nights and it's wreaking havoc on my sleep schedule. Just setting a normal bedtime will hopefully help get things back to the usual as I recover. Otherwise, I'll just try not to let the headcrabs get me down. Bonus goal: Book reports! - I'm reading a lot of fun books these days (currently a mix of non-fiction and sci-fi). Just for the heck of it, I think I'll include some random thoughts on anything fun that I get into.
  10. Hi! I am new, I am a nerd, and I need to lose a ton of weight and get into shape! I want to fit into more clothes and I want to be able to run around with my (so far yet-to-be-created) kids and match their energy levels. I am interested in routines or programs or skillsets that will put me in the fantasy bad ass mindset. For instance, I am super interested by shovelglove. People even post shovelglove scenarios on YouTube so that your routine is sort of like RPing! Also, the thought of me being a hammer wielding badass battle babe is really enticing. I'm also interested in doing archery but that requires a lot of money to get into so for now, it's a faraway dream. Oh and I'm super into the idea of dance, especially things like hula, bellydance, bhangra, Bollywood, o'tea, etc. If anyone has any suggestions about other cool types of exercise that will make me feel like I'm training right along with my favorite high fantasy characters, then please let me know!
  11. Hello! After over a year away from the forums, I'm back for my third challenge. I never should have left. I thought I would be able to sustain a consistent workout plan outside of here, but what I realized is that I work well with goals and structure. NF challenge = structure = good. I was able to find structure in some other health-related ways while I was gone - I completed a Whole30, which lead to the realization that dairy does not agree with me (after a lifelong love affair with cheese . That said, I feel so much better after cutting it out so it's worth it). I did the Couch to 5K program and ran a 5K without stopping for the first time ever on Thanksgiving (major goal for me). After C25K, I felt a bit lost. I need structure again! So here I am. Ultimately I need to create ingrained enough health (working out especially) habits that the structure is less necessary, but until then, here are my challenge goals: 1) Workout 3x/week I will run a 5K once a week and do strength training workouts (probably either NFA bodyweight 3 workouts or the BBWW) 2x/week. I want to maintain the cardiovascular fitness I gained from the C25K program, but I also want to make room for increasing strength. I'm hoping to get my 5K time under 30 min by the end of the challenge, but I'm not sure how much progress I can expect to make with a once/week run. Might change that time goal if I decide to start doing longer runs instead. 2) Stop. Snoozing. The. Alarm. Despite getting PLENTY of sleep, I'm still really bad at getting out of bed in the morning. I'll snooze incessantly, feeling less awake each time. I'm convinced that it is psychological. I struggle with snoozing no matter how much sleep I get, but if I have a legitimately important reason to be up early, I suddenly don't have trouble getting up. Part of it is subconscious calculation of how much time I need to minimally get my day started at a reasonable time (aka, if I sleep another 20 min, will I still have time to scarf down breakfast? yes? good, now go back to sleep.) So, I think I need to be mindful about setting my alarms for the time I really want to wake up. I also need a more aggressive strategy especially for starting out. I think I will start with putting my phone, which I use as my alarm, out of reach of my bed. Does anyone have a good strategy for dealing with this issue? 3) Read (a book) every day I go through phases of reading a lot and then phases of not reading at all, aside from what I read for work or on the internet (which don't count here). I am happier when I read more, and there are a lot of books on my reading list so I need to get cracking. My boyfriend and I are doing a little long-distance book club where we read the same book between visits, so I'm going to finish reading Invisible Man by February 10. I'm going to put these goals into Habitica as well to keep me accountable on a daily basis. Good luck everyone!
  12. For my next challenge, I have decided to break it up into four parts: Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit. These will probably extend past four weeks and hopefully form habits. Heart: Be the first to greet people when I encounter them (inspired by Gabby Reece: "I always say 'go first'....That means if I'm checking out at the store, I say hello first. If I'm coming across somebody and make eye contact, I'll smile first. I wish people would experiment with that in their lives a little bit: Be first because - not all times, but most times- it comes in your favor. The response is pretty amazing.") Start a Gratitude Journal (at least three things every day). Write a "Thank You" letter or send a "Thank You" message once/week to someone who deserves it. Call mother every day. Visit grandfather at least once/week. Body: Do at least 50 pushups/day. Do at least 50 dips/day. HIIT at least 3 days/week. Intermittent fasting to help with weight loss/muscle building Spend at least 30 minutes/day outside. Get to bed before 10:30 pm. Mind: Download Insight Timer (done). Find guided meditations that interest me. Use at least one guided meditation daily. Sit in still silence every day for at least five minutes. Start a daily reflection journal (for the end of the day). Read at least 5 pages of any book/day (I love to read, but my attention span is so short, this is seriously challenging for me). Schedule social media time (rather than randomly/obsessively checking it every few minutes): No more than 30 minutes in the morning and 1 hour in the evening. Spirit: Place a Bible Reading Plan in my Bible and/or download a Reading Plan via the YouVersion app. Read assigned chapters/verses in the morning before my day begins (or listen to audio version during commute to work). Integrate prayer throughout my day. Find and read a short daily devotional/meditations. Most of these are habits I have wanted to build for a while. It seems daunting, but some of these can be integrated, and I know strengthening these four pillars will help me become more balanced over time.
  13. This challenge is brought to you by . . . dragons! Specifically, Naomi Novik's alternate-history "Temeraire" fantasy series. Nothing motivates self-improvement like being an aviator in the Napoleonic wars. During my last challenge, I was tackling a few good habits I wanted to get into to improve my life overall (like stretching, cooking new recipes, getting out regularly to the gym). Some I succeeded at better than others... This challenge will be more or less along those same lines while I work on figuring out some new long-term goals - right now I really don't have anything big to work toward, which usually means I get lazy and bored. In the meantime, here are the four areas that I think will make my life a lot better if I make them regular habits: Sleep Like a Dragon Young dragons need a lot of sleep, and so do their crews. A lot of my good habits depend on my getting enough rest and having enough time set aside for them in the mornings. That means I'll need to be better about setting a deadline for my bedtime - we're going to shoot for 11:00pm lights out. I might give myself bonus draconic awards if I make it earlier than that. Formation Drills You'll never make a good part of His Majesty's air force if you don't put in the practice. I'm repeating my previous goal of trying to make it out to the gym for weight training/swimming at least twice, preferably three times per week. Calm Before the Storm Between battles, it's important to take advantage of some time for quiet contemplation. I'll be trying to set aside an extra time daily for meditation/prayer. This is important to improving everything else, so we'll make the ideal goal five days per week. Reading time! Any intelligent dragon enjoys reading with his aviator. I'll be aiming to *finish* one book per week, of any genre. Bonus points if I finish more than one . . . or if the book is about dragons. "It is very nice how many books there are, indeed. And on so many subjects!”
  14. Hey y'all, so glad to be here! I found this site after a post about the camp last week, and I feel like I've found my people. I'm a major book nerd. I have zero eye/hand coordination for gaming, and am not very good at the maths, but if you want to talk books/authors/cats, I'm your girl! I've already had two NF people friend me on FB, and I feel so loved! I've been leveling up with fitness for over a year, after leaving the comfort of my couch! I'm very attracted to the baby-steps philosophy that NF promotes, and I'm really having fun with the idea of going on quests! At the same time, I've found that weight loss, future health, yadayada means jack to me. I need immediate gratification! Bets with myself, points and rewards, and reduced stress are much more tangible, daily results and keep me going. I like to go sloooooow, but NF emails and workout challenges have been very helpful. I don't go as hard as I can when left to my own devices. Already starting to see increases in strength and flexibility in just the first few days! I tried to the body weight beginner video from the email. At first, I was like nope nope nope! BUT, I actually did it. Perfectly imperfect, but still, I was so proud of myself. Getting out of my own head (who I think I am versus who I can be) is my biggest challenge. As for more me: I LOVE swimming. Like crazy obsession LOVE. It's my go-to when (exercising, stressing, adulting) starts to get overwhelming. It's not fitness - it's life. I also enjoy yogas, and running is very efficient to shake all the anxiety out, although I still don't have as much endurance as I'd like. I hope to improve there. I also recently tried a strength training class, and it was awesome! I love feeling strong! Right now, I'd already challenged myself to a 30 day fitness bet. It's 30 days, 30 minutes, and $300 (bets: see above). It's actually the third time I've done this challenge, and I'm straight up rocking it! I'm all about getting guilt-free money to go purchase new gear. I've also found it helps reinforce my commitment to fitness, when I start to drift off with excuses. It was awesome fitness karma that I found NF during this cycle! So, that's my first part of the 4 week challenge, although I'm a little late to the party. Nutrish: I know nutrition is 80%, but I am so not into "diets" which usually mean restriction which always morphs into REBELLION! So, I have a very strict add, don't subtract philosophy. I love setting good, healthy goals. My goal is to drink a glass of water each morning, and carry my water bottle with me out the house. I have years of experience in ED recovery, so I'm not likely to discuss weight loss, numbers, or good/bad food (the idea of "clean"/dirty??? food is so messed up imo - to each their own). After years of practicing ED recovery, I am very experienced in mindful eating philosophies, if anyone is curious about it. Books recommendations too. LevelUP: I love the idea of meditation. My last little goal is to set aside 5 minutes each morning. I used to think I needed 45 minutes each day so I never stuck with it ( . . . Jon Kabat-Zinn, not helpful!) I can do 5 and get that habit solid. Anxiety/depression/stress are all real challenges for me, so this will actually help give me some grounding to rock all these other habits. So, that's me. I was thinking I wanted to join the Rangers (Tanis Half-Elven, amiright?!), but I'm not sure how I go about it. I'm all over the place when it comes to fitness, with a touch of the ADD, so I like the "jack of all trades" description. Plus, my hunnie told me that rangers in gaming usually are associated with animals, and I'm like Snow White with all the little animals flocking to me IRL, which works. I *really* don't want to CrossFit or Paleo though, since that sounds awful. No offense, just not my thing. I like to wander, I like a lot of different workouts, and am a bit of a loner, so I hope it'll work out. I hope I don't have to be an ogre! I'm also not quite sure how the points work. I've gotten some points from the emails, but I don't know where to put them. I don't have to start an excel spreadsheet, do I? Don't make me excel, I'll be lost tinkering with it for days! If anyone knows how it works, I'd appreciate help! With points, not excel. So, books, books, I promised books. Favorite fitness book: No Sweat, Michele Segar Favorite book about human endurance: Unbroken, Laura Hillenbran (audiobook is amazing) Favorite book, just because books: Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss (write faster dammit!) Currently reading: The Tsar of Love and Techno, Anthony Mara So nice meeting you!!!
  15. Alight, First Challenge Down and Successful! Let's step things up a bit. 0- I will continue and increase frequency and intensity of last challenge quests. 4 sets of BBW circuit 3 times a week (Mon, Wed, Sat) 15 Minute Walk Daily 4 Pose Yoga set twice daily or held for 2 times the duration Black Coffee 15 min meditation daily No to 2 or more food temptations 1- Climb 1 time per week (Fri) 2- Replace 1 Walk with a 15 min Jog 3- Draw and or Sketch 1 hr a week cumulative (I'm an artist who has fallen out of the habit) I'll be posting progress and will link it to deviant Art 4- Read 1 non-fiction Book Thinking of Level-up Your Life but I'm willing to take suggestions As a reward for last challenge success I'll be saving up to buy a new pair of climbing shoes. I've yet to come up with my reward for successful completion of this challenge cycle, any suggestions?
  16. I'm Back!!!!!! Oooookay, sooooo.....things happened........some bad, some good, some totally INSANE and I had absolutely no focus past week 1 of the last challenge. So I decided to just put my attention on what was going on and lurk NF. Because I never want to completely leave here, you guys are too important. And it was so awesome that you guys kept an eye out for me. Now hopefully......things are settling down, weather is getting nicer, and I can start making sense of the resulting chaos. Time for a new challenge! Harley's 1st Mission Mace work continues. I smashed my 416 rep goal and ended my streak at 428 before the flu incident. Last week I picked my mace back up regularly doing the original 140 rep start. This was to get things warmed up again since I had been away from it a couple of weeks. Starting this week I am back to my 428 count. My goal originally was to upgrade my mace to 10 lb, but I haven't been able to do that just yet. So, my goal here will be to put together a new routine starting with week two and start with half the current rep count and work up to the 428 until I hopefully can do the mace upgrade.My current plan is to purchase a 10lb mace in the next couple of weeks and restart my rep count from 140 with a revamped routine. Harley's 2nd Mission Again this mission includes two elements, c25k and GMB's Focused Flexibility Program. Though I have continued with the GMB sporadically both have suffered between the winter weather and my recent bout of the flu. So, my goal is to get both of these going regularly again. Weeek 1 I will pick the FF back up for three days out of the week alternately with the mace work. Then Week 2 I want to add in one C25k run in addition to the GMB , week 3 two runs, and week 4 three runs. Harley's 3rd Mission Food Tracking. In order to stop the mayhem being instigated in my eating my goal this round is to keep a daily journal tracking everything. This can either be through MFP (which I am terrible about) or most lIkely in my trusty spiral bound notebook. If I'm feeling particularly organized I will track it in the notebook AND then add it to MFP. Harley's Life Mission Adulting This will probably be an ongoing Life Goal for a few challenges as there is always a ton to do, and with a lot of recent life changes new routines need to be formed. My goal is a hefty one because I am intent on going through every square inch of my house and eliminating the clutter while getting those routines in order. I just do not function well in clutter and it seems there is a never ending supply to get caught up on. The price of living with seven other people. Bonus Goal To continue with reading/ listening through the Dresden Files. I'm currently midway through book 3 which I want to finish (and preferably be midway into book 4) by the end of this challenge. Grading again is going to be real simple here, each day is a pass or fail on each goal. I either got it or I didn't. At the end of the week if there are more passes than fails, I'm good and Harley has succeeded. If on the other hand, I have more fails than passes then some reevaluation needs to occur. And there you have it!Onwards and Upwards guys!
  17. In my last challenge, I finally found a motivation that *totally* worked for me: a points system where I could earn books for doing things right (instead of a negative system where I'd lose points for doing things wrong). I dropped four pounds, earned four books, and dropped two pants sizes--total win! So I'm going to keep the same basic principle and add a couple of tweaks. Food: +5 points if I'm under 1400 calories, +2 points if I'm under 1550. Alcohol: +5 points for now alcohol, +2 points for 2 drinks or less. Exercise: +5 points if I do 3 sets each of 2 different bodyweight exercises. +2 points for 3 sets of one exercise. Maximum 15 points per day. Because I've added more ways to get points, it will take 75 points to earn a book. Ideally I'll earn a book a week, but even the four books I earned last challenge got the job done. Looking forward to starting the challenge!
  18. I've been working on leveling up for a few years now - travel, running, better discipline for my business - but Level Up Your Life reminded me to apply leveling up to more areas, and to have more fun with it. I've always been a huge bookworm (and movie fan), and so it was natural to put together my quests around all the characters I want to be: Daniel-san (a wimp who got strong + mad skillz), Tony Stark and Pepper Potts (two sides of the same coin: mad scientist and businesswoman), Nathan Rahl (wise in lore), and a lot more. Thinking this way, and setting milestones and goals, has really helped me get it together. Right now I'm on my second four week challenge (but this is the first time I've posted here about it): Physical 30-45 minute workouts three times a week limit myself to 1 mile runs (I'm in my final weeks recovering from a hamstring injury) Food eat 100g protein, and 3 veg, per day limit myself to 3 servings of carbs / day (yes, that's an improvement) Languag Study Irish 10 minutes a day, 3 days a week So....hi. And, now what?
  19. For my 14th challenge, I'm going with The Mummy Returns theme because I love the character of Evie! She's an intelligent writer/librarian and scholar who is perfectly able to kick ass when necessary! Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. My motivation I've successfully dropped weight by counting calories so my diet will mostly be staying the same with 1200 calories per day M-F and then blow meals on the weekends. I've managed to put on some muscle in an effort to become stronger by weightlifting and I’ve discovered that I love lifting heavy things! Smaller Quests 1. The Scorpion King - Animal Flow I want to focus more on my movement and endurance by being more mobile and conscious of how my body moves. Plus, I enjoyed this when I’ve done it before. I'm going to try for at least twice a week of practicing animal flow poses at home. Scoring: x/8 weeks Reward: +4 to DEX 2. Run from Imhotep - Running In my 12th challenge, I worked on running and slowly building up to doing it longer. It was actually easier than I expected (or else I’m just that determined!). I don’t think I want a specific goal other than to simply run 2-3 times per week at the gym for more than 15 minutes. Scoring: /12 Reward: +3 to STA & +2 to CON 3. I Am A Librarian - Editing Now that I won NaNoWriMo, I need to edit my story before sending it off to a professional. I’m going to work on editing my story twice a week. Scoring: /8 Reward: +2 to WIS 4. The Mummy Returns - Weights No matter what else I do in my challenges here, I still always come back to lifting the heavy things. I like it, it makes me feel better about myself and it’s got practical, real-world purposes. However, since I’m concerned that my heavy lifting has somehow injured my neck and my left shoulder, I’m easing up on the weights. I’m going to try for endurance this time instead of increasing the poundage. I want to aim to do weightlifting 2-3 times per week. Scoring: /4 weeks (1 point for going 2-3 times per 2 weeks) Reward: +2 STR & +2 to CHA
  20. Ballad's Challenge [#1] “There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don't you?†Rumi 2016 Epic Quest: Develop mental fortitude, discipline, and kindness. My first challenge is dedicated to building a solid foundation of small, but extraordinarily important, habits that will support both my mental and physical health. Two quests (sleep and water) will be ongoing throughout the challenge. The third quest is a one-time achievement. Quest #1: Sleep for 7-8 hours per night. I need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night to be fully functional, thoughtful, and kind at work. Getting enough sleep gives me energy, is great for my skin, and allows me to exercise the willpower and discipline to make good, healthy decisions. It allows me maintain my perspective, particularly when stress rears its head, and helps me to be fully present in my relationships. A+: 26 days A: 22-25 days B: 18-21 days C: 14-17 days D: 13 days F: Less than 13 days Quest #2: Drink 1 glass of water each morning. The body is, what, 60% water? This shiz is clearly important. This is quest is intended to test (1) the effects of having a morning ritual, and (2) the energizing effects of drinking water right when I wake up. Future quests will include drinking 5-8 glasses of water per day, but I'm starting small for this challenge. Quick wins lead to momentum! A+: 26 days A: 22-25 days B: 18-21 days C: 14-17 days D: 13 days F: Less than 13 days Bonus: Bring a reusable water bottle to work. I don't drink enough water at work, so tearing down one of the barriers & bringing a water bottle to the office will make developing this habit much easier. Quest #3: Book a doctor's appointment. I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't seen my family doctor in almost 2 years. I feel & look healthy, but two years is much too long. I want to baseline my physical health for this challenge and make sure everything is good to go. Pass: Book an appointment. Fail: Don't book an appointment. Bonus: Book an appointment with a physiotherapist. I want to practice prevention, rather than rehabilitation. I'm a bit concerned about the future state of my knees, so I'd like to get a baseline from a physiotherapist to identify any problem areas & solutions. I've also included one life quest, based on my Goodreads goal of reading 35 books in 2016. (As a side note, please feel free to connect with me on GR!) Life Quest: Read 2 books between Jan. 4th - Jan. 29th. Pass: Read 2 books Fail: Read less than 2 books So, what happens when I succeed? I get access to the treasure pile, where treasures stack. Complete all 4 quests: Get a facial or sign up for a class (singing, improv, yoga, wine), + bragging rights Complete 3 quests: Buy a new workout top Complete 2 quests: Cook (and eat!) a delicious meal with friends, complete with wine Complete 1 quest: Guilt-free "me time" day Please feel free to follow along, cheer me on, and ask about my progress! Cheers, Meaghan
  21. So my backside is still killing me from how hard I've fallen off the band wagon starting in like, October. I had already lost a lot of consistency with my workouts before then but that's when my butt started being fused to the couch. I've been able to mostly avoid the "eat tons of crap" that comes with the holidays but between all this time off and the cold weather it seems I'm either staying with family(who DON'T workout..like ever) and lazing about with them, or snuggled up in my house trying to stay warm reading and/or binge watching Arrow and Flash..... unacceptable I haven't been walking or assassin training lately cause it's normally dark when I get home/get up and there's been some er...crimes against the female population in my neighborhood recently. (bastards ) I finally started working out a few times a week in my liv room as of a week and a half ago but still, I've lost a lot of my gains! ARGH! My push-up numbers are fairly pansy-ish and let's just not discuss pull-ups. So I'm trying to keep up the reboot and don't want to wait until the new challenge but I need motivation for un-fusing my bum from the bed/couch (which means taking my eyes off my kindle) and ideas on not being bored since normally my workouts were at the park - I have kind of contemplated working out to audio-books but didn't want to pay for a subscription for them if the stunk.... any ideas?
  22. Goal: 10 lbs lost. Chase Youma. I'm trying hard to mix it up this challenge. I'm bored of the BBWW. I'm not doing yoga when I said I would, because several of the poses don't seem to 'do' anything for me, and videos just confuse me because I don't have them memorized. However, I do have a treadmill now. And lots of podcasts. And running seems to shut off my brain, which can be nice. Goal: 3x/week, 20 mins minimum. .2 to STA for each day. 3.6 Keep Calm Kill Witches. I don't care how powerful her magic might be, Mami's got to be incredibly strong to lift her Spiro Finale gun. And ridiculously agile to turn and shoot like she does. So, this is a two-part target. Goal: 2x/week, 3 sets of dumbbell rows, interspersed with two sets of leg lifts, with starting and finishing stretches. .2 to DEX and STR for each day. 4.8 Take Time for Donuts! I'm pretty stoked to admit that I lost 13 lbs in the second half of the last challenge. I had a few more cheat days than intended, but that's ok. If I wanted to indulge, I was going to have fruit and expensive chocolate and fresh sourdough bread, and not 'cheap' or 'junk' food. Keto feels pretty simple, if a bit dull. But that's ok! I'm finding new things that I like all the time. I'm buying avocados on a rotation so that I always have some perfectly ripe ones in my crisper. I plan to keep doing this until I'm satisfied with the results, I guess. I have one planned bad day each week, being Wednesday, since it's the start of my weekend. Each day of sticking to my macros will be .1 to CON. 3.6 Read or Die. I've got no cons coming up soon and way too many books languishing on my shelf. I will finish 3 by the end of this challenge for WIS points. 3 The Sea of Despair. I'm in the de-clutter PVP for this round. I'm supposed to get rid of 1 thing on day 1. Then 2 things on day 2. And on, and on. I am honestly not sure how far I will make it, if there are really that many things to get rid of throughout my house, but I will try. Each day that I can't, however, I will put that same 'amount' into my piggy bank. I'd like to think that eliminating clutter will probably show me that I waste a lot of money on junk. So, if instead I make myself save money, I will avoid accumulating new junk. I solemnly swear I will set up nice things to get based on how much money I save overall. These numbers are for me to budget my pocket money for the week. 1: clear! 2: clear- 3: ~clear 4: clear. 5: 57 Rewards: purchased an additional dress and a petticoat for the trip.
  23. Last challenge of the year, I've been off track for most of the year it seems and its time to get going again. +2 WIS-Read 6 books +3 STR Benchpress max to 60lbs +4 STA 1 set of 25 knee push-ups +2 CON clean out the extra stuff +4 DEX +15% improvement on NF flexibility benchmarks My schedule at work is up in the air and has been since July when I applied for a new position with completely different hours. I can't allow this to continue to be an excuse, so I;m just going to move forward until I hear otherwise. CampNF was a blast, but I haven't stopped moving and traveling since and now that I'm back at home with no other upcoming travels, I need to get myself back into my normal groove. My goals this year have not really been met, but I am ok with that, other things have happened and I have adjusted. Even my goals for next year are starting to look pretty different.
  24. In my last challenge, I made some good progress on things but still managed to fail a couple goals--almost entirely because they were a) too scattershot, and constantly felt like penalizing myself. So this time I'm just going to focus on one big thing and knock it out of the park (I hope). FOOD! As our fearless leader says, food is 80% of the equation, and you can't outrun your fork. So while I hope to maintain good habits like cubicle exercising and meditation, here's the game for this challenge. -Tracking calories. Every day. If I stay under 1550 calories, +3 points for the day. If under 1400 calories, +5 points. If I avoid all alcohol, +5 points. For every 50 points, I get to purchase a new book from a particular group that I have my eye on. That's it! My simplest (but possibly hardest) challenge yet. I'm really just trying to lose the last 5-6 pounds of weight from my last pregnancy, 16 months ago... Ideally, I'll have bought at least 6 new books by the end of the challenge. That's 300 points for an A effort.
  25. There aren't many qualities common to all rangers. As a matter of fact, I can only think of one: the drive to constantly be improving at something. This thread is an attempt to collect a list of books, web-based references, and other learning materials about any topic of rangerly interest. There are just three rules: 1) Please include enough information (e.g. Title+author, Title+ISBN, a link) for another person to both locate the item, and be confident that what they found is the version referred to in this thread. 2) Please provide a description of what the resource covers, its intended audience, and what you think it is good/bad for. 3) Please don't repeat a previous mention, unless you have additions in terms of suggested uses or description (or you disagree with the description and would like to provide another point of view). Have at it! I'll post a few of mine soon. EDIT: There's also a Ranger Goodreads group. However, I'm continuing to maintain this thread as 1) the GR group requires separate registration and 2) the GR interface isn't very helpful for including non-book resources such as blogs and web pages.
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