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  1. There is only one thing worse than respawning, and that is not respawning. Things sort of fell apart in the last half of my last challenge, so I am dusting myself off and re-lacing my boots for another round. I am sticking with Zer0 from Borderlands 2 as my inspiration, and, like last time, I will be pulling a quest from each of his skill trees. More focus on running and bodyweight training. But, most importantly, just more focus on a whole. First Quest: B0re - Not much to this one. If I want to get better at OCRs, I need to get better at running. The best way to do that is just to grind it out and do more of it. I want to start getting more acclimated to the cold and dark, so I am aiming for three morning runs before work each week. No excuses. Just get up, get out, and get after it. Second Quest: Tw0 Fang - I did a push-up quest last challenge, and I liked the idea of it, but I put them off too long and ended up doing most of them in the last week of the challenge. This time, I'm modifying the goal. I will do 30 push-ups and 30 burpees every day of the challenge. That way, if I do absolutely nothing else that day, I will still have that under my belt. Third Quest: Be Like Water - I started working on some yoga poses last time, and I found an article on various poses to work on to develop for OCR racers. I liked what I read, so I will practice these poses three times a week. There are six areas that the article focuses on: balance, core strength, upper body strength, breath control, endurance, and flexibility. I am looking forward to this challenge as a way to end this year strong and swing right into the new one. Striking from nowhere / Killing with accuracy / This is who I am.
  2. For my second challenge with the Assassins, I want to base my quests this turn on one of my favorite assassins - Zer0 from Borderlands 2. I've been playing this game a lot recently, and it's tough to find better inspiration than this badass. Each separate quest will be drawn from one skill per each of his skill trees. I'm placing a lot of emphasis on running and bodyweight training to keep me working towards my OCR goals for next year: a couple Tough Mudders and a Spartan Trifecta. So, let's get to it. First Quest: Vel0city - With autumn moving into winter, I need to keep my running up. However, I want to try to balance it with working with my wife (the ally) while still keeping my own mileage high. I want to push for at least 40 miles, which I know is lower than the last challenge, but I want to put some focus on working with her, as well. She can't quite yet run as far as I can on a single session, and I want to do something so that she doesn't feel completely excluded. So, I will run with her at least once per week. Second Quest: Innervate - This quest is a little different than normal, and longtime listeners will recognize the throwback. I used to play in a band quite frequently, but we dissolved about a year ago. However, the opportunity has arisen that I could be playing in a throw-together group for a fundraiser that is taking place on the last day of the challenge. I play the bass guitar fairly competently, but, for the event, I might also need to fill in on rhythm guitar, which I do fairly incompetently. My goal will be to passably play better by the event, so I will practice every day in some form to get better at the guitar. Third Quest: Ir0n Hand - I want to be doing more with bodyweight training this challenge, so I will keep it simple. I will do at least 500 push-ups in the next four weeks. Also, I want to start greasing the groove with my pull-ups, so I will do at least one rep each time I walk under my pull-up bar that is in the door to my bedroom. Finally, they've been pushing the handstands a lot on NF, and I'd like to do their progressions so that I can perform a decent one by the end of the challenge. I've enjoyed my time here with the Assassins, and I look forward to continuing my progression. I will leave you with a haiku that Zer0 gives during the game: The true world revealed / Weaknesses now known to me / Time to go to work.
  3. WARNING: MASSIVE HUGE BRAIN VOMIT AHEAD. FEEL FREE TO SCROLL DOWN TO THE OTHER SHTUFF (labeled as such for your convenience) Heads up: my wordsplosion below, while it obviously has impacted what I chose as my goals, doesn’t really have a ton to do with my challenge, and aside from the mega nerd love and life leveling up description to follow, it’s not really nerd related either. I just felt the need to get this stuff out there, kind of as a re-intro for me, or updated Raxie background… or something. This challenge happens to fall upon a very meaningful/kind of emotion heavy time of year for me, for a ton of reasons. So take it as you will. Or, like I said, skip it. I won’t be offended I promise . Especially because I am not filling it with gifs. So… without further ado, here goes: FIRSTLY, this marks (ever so slightly late) my second Nerdversary! I glossed over my first nerdversary last year because I hadn’t quite grasped what this place would grow to mean to me at that point. It still had had its impact… but in the last year more than ever NF has influenced and changed my life in ways I couldn’t possibly have imagined at that point. Since I joined NF 2 years ago, I’ve gone from having to do WALL PUSH UPS because I couldn’t even do knee push ups, to benching 70+lb. From getting sore with 20 reps of BW squats in the Angry Birds workouts to squatting triple digits! I’ve lost 20-ish pounds, dropped a size, been eating much healthier, I am cooking more often, and generally feeling overall more awesome, more like a real human. I’ve also found this wonderful group of people that I know will help me out through thick and thin, offer amazing fitness and life advice, and just generally be lovely humans and provide good cheer and gifs when all else fails. This is the most supportive, ridiculously crazy community I have ever encountered and I really truly seriously love you guys. Even people’s threads I may not visit, you too, just because you’re a part of this community and therefore you’re part of all the general awesome that is this crazy place. Then this year I went to Camp Nerd Fitness. I crossed the boundary between fun acquaintances on the internet to real people, real faces, and real friends. I made the promise to myself going there that I would fake it til I make it with my social skills. Even though I have social anxiety, I made myself walk up to every person I made eye contact with, say hi, introduce myself, and get chatting. Since I’ve gotten back having this success under my belt, it has made a HUGE noticeable difference in my interactions with people in my everyday life, people have actually commented on it! CNF also taught me how much I need to focus on my mobility, my primal movements, and my overall view of fitness. I know people say this all the time, but I really truly get it now - fitness isn’t just going to the gym and eating healthy ‘til the weekend so you can look good. It’s about being good to yourself and embracing a beneficial healthy lifestyle, it’s primal squatting when I’m waiting for the bus, it’s choosing to not eat cheese because I know it makes me feel like crap and not because it’s high in fat which supposedly means “not healthyâ€, it’s taking the arms off my work chair so I can more easily sit in more natural and varied positions, it’s foam rolling my shoulders out and doing mobility drills so I can move them the way they are supposed to move, it’s buying new shoes that let my feet be feet, it’s BEING WEIRD, and yes, it’s going to the gym going beast mode and deadlifting the hell out of stuff. It’s everything, it’s life. And I am SO SO grateful to this place for allowing me to discover this side of myself. For real, I wish I could say this differently or better, but I’m not that great with words. So HERE HAVE ALL OF THE INTERNET HUGS FROM ME TO YOU <3 <3 <3 SECONDLY, my eating habits have also changed profoundly. I’ve been a vegetarian/borderline vegan for 8 years. Being on NF and interacting with people with all different backgrounds and eating habits made me really examine why I choose to put what I do into my body. My issue with meat has always been factory farming and the treatment of animals during their lives and how they are slaughtered. I really have no problem with the food chain, and have always eaten hunted meat, I am just very against unnecessary suffering. So starting about 3 months ago, in secret IRL, I have been on a quest to really investigate the best course of action to make the biggest impact on the heart of the things I take issue with, and (drumroll, please) I’ve decided to start eating beef again. To clarify, if anyone cares, only humane certified beef. This is not only because I selfishly need more protein for all my lifting (which yes is true), but also because I nerded out, took responsibility for my decisions, did the research, and realized that the farmers who are doing it right NEED support - they are getting pushed around by the bigger companies who are doing it so very wrong for profit. I don’t want to just shut everyone out, I want to vote with my dollar to the people who are doing good things. I also decided to completely cut dairy out, as it hurts my belly and it creates the veal industry which I just can’t be OK with, and I won’t be eating pork or poultry because after investigating the “humane certified†standards for them I still don’t feel comfortable supporting what those standards are. And PLEASE DON’T GET ME WRONG any vegetarians reading this. I think you are awesomely awesome, for real, and your food choices I still think are completely valid and what is right for you, but I know this is the right choice for me. My whole family is vegetarian and I’ve been one for so long that I’ve been kind of scared to explore other options for fear of being judged. This community has given me the courage to really do the research, figure out what I’m about, and do what I truly think is the right course of action for me personally not for anyone else, and for the impact I want to have on the world, as tiny as that may be. So, I’ve been behind the scenes eating beef behind since I got back from camp… but starting this challenge I’m going to do it in public. I’m sure people are going to comment/question/nag but I WILL DEAL WITH IT. It annoys the hell out of me how much people think what you eat is their business, and I know I am going to be basically harassed about this once I start doing it, but… I am a big girl and I will calmly deal with the people at large. And finally, anyone who doesn’t really care about the environmental/ethical impacts of meat eating, please please please don’t take this as me trying to be preachy. I’m not trying to influence anyone here, and I definitely am not judging anyone in any way, I am getting out everything I’ve been going through this past year which has been a very serious and profound change for me. I really had to share because I’m excited and honestly really nervous about it, in fact it might require some support, especially for when I tell my family. I also might need advice on cooking because I have never cooked beef before in my life so that should be interesting. Oh, and for those of you concerned for my lack of pork which means no bacon, don’t worry. I’ve already found beef bacon and it’s AMAZING. THIRDLY, and this is really personal for me so I’m going out on a limb sharing it with like, the whole freaking internet, but it goes along with my “NF has really changed my life†theme of this giant wall of text, so here goes…This also marks the second anniversary of my grandfathers death. This was the first truly hard loss of my adult life, not in the least because he wasn’t just my grandfather, but was my only father figure growing up. I lived with him for many years and he had a huge hand in raising me. Those of you paying attention will notice that this lines up with my second nerdversary. In fact, I wasn’t even though my first challenge when he passed. I did say I had a death in the family, but I never really shared who it was or what he meant to me, and I don’t know why. It was just too hard I guess. But I was very depressed for ~8 months after this, and I didn’t realize it at the time but in retrospect NF had a huge impact on me during that time, and helped pull me out of what could have been a lot worse by helping me focus on myself, and giving me a community to kind of escape to. I know everyone has lost someone, and I know some have lost parents and parental figures and shared it on here so I don’t know why I felt so shut off about it, I think it was a symptom of my depression to be honest. So with the second anniversary rolling around it’s obviously a struggle for me and my family. Because of this, this challenge might be a bit hard for me to stay focused on at times, so please feel free to poke me/yell at me/gif me if you see me retreating. FOURTHLY, it’s ma birthday in a few days (Nov. 6)! And I am rapidly approaching 30 (I’m turning 28). Honestly, I’m not feeling like I’m going to hit a quarter life crisis or start freaking out about getting old or anything, I don’t care about getting older per say… but I’m stressed about it because I feel like people still think of me as a kid since I’m in my 20s. But now that I’m in my “late†twenties, and definitely once I turn 30, I might be seen as someone who is an actual adult, whatever the heck that is. I feel like people are going to start asking me when I’m going to start popping out babies left and right, or think for some reason that I 100% know what I want out of life. And I don’t. And I’m not stressed about the fact that I don’t, in fact I like that I don’t. Honestly I don’t really ever want to know 100% what I want out of life, aside from knowing that I want to be happy, help people, and see the world. But I don’t have a be all end all goal in mind, because that implies I can be finished, and I don’t think that’s possible, I don’t want to ever be finished until I’m dead. But people are going to start expecting me to justify this to them, not that I should have to, but that’s the way society is and it kinda blows. This is challenge relevant because 1) stressors suck and affect my fitness life and 2) I am going to very much not be doing anything challenge related on my birthday and I’m accounting for that right up front. There will be beer, there will be scotch, and there will be gin. There will also be mass amounts of not paleo food. NO GUILT. ------------------------------------------------------------------ *deep breath* Okay Okay. So that’s it for my worldsplosion brain vomit of headstuffs. If you made it this far… in all sincerity, seriously thank you for caring enough to read that, it got quite a bit longer than I intended. If not, no worries, here you go: tldr; This is an interesting/emotional time of year for me for a lot of reasons, and this challenge will be tough because of it. I have also gone through a lot of positive changes in the past 2 years, a lot of it because of NF, and to celebrate that I’m going to go hard this challenge. And, most importantly, I LOVE YOU NERDS!
  4. After graduating into a Permabeast last challenge, it’s time to move onto something even bigger. For starters, that means expanding this challenge to 8 weeks. This summer has been insane, both on a personal level as well as with all the political developments, so I’m willing to go with the flow and ride the wave of madness. Also, the end of this challenge coincides with my first ever Obstacle Course Race, the Athens Legion Run. Or at least it used to, before the 2 week break was cut down to one week. Like I said, madness and unpredictability. Either way, I'm stretching things a bit, starting from today, July 20th until a week after the official end of the challenge and day of the race. With all that said, the checklist for this challenge theme says I need a role model that’s Strong Agile Unstoppable Looking badass without a shirt on Completely insane We also share the exact same level of social skills around attractive females. Especially those with hair dyed in unusual, vivid colours Abandon any pretense of sanity and let’s head out to the BADASS CRATER OF BADASSITUDE! Come to think of it, I could have gone with Torgue instead, but he is partly sane and not into fighting. Unless we’re talking about suplexing sharks, but that’s another story. Goals are pass/fail mostly, some just require to keep track of certain things. What was that other thing they needed to be…Oh yeah, SMART NEVER STOP THE KILLING! NEVER! Simply put, keep doing what I’ve been doing as far as Nutrition, 3 Crossfit Workouts/week and Rest are concerned. This is a habit by now, so I’m allowing myself to wrap it up into one goal and allow for some special exceptions due to August holidays that might get in the way. Providing the Rangers’ Guild Mini Challenge is also gonna be a thing and I expect the mini’s theme to work nicely with my challenge theme. Finally, I’m gonna keep a daily count of spam accounts destroyed, just because I get a kick doing it while bored at work. FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL, I STAB AT THEE, SPAMBOT! SALT THE WOUND! Do pushups and plank every day, preferably every morning. The trick here is that every day, I have to do at least 1 extra pushup and 1 second more than the previous, so it’s a ladder thing. YOU WOKE THE WRONG DOG! Cold shower every morning, first thing in the morning. Unless I start with the workout, in which case the shower goes right after. Been feeling lethargic for a while, tried it during the last week of my previous challenge and it did wonders to start my day full of energy. I’ve also tried shouting Krieg quotes to get me out of the occasional haze (surprisingly enough, it worked) which leads us to our next goal... BUZZ AXE RAMPAGE Krieg’s special ability is to go bezerk and do insane amounts of melee damage with his custom made “buzz axe”. He can also throw it, but who bothers with that. Oh yeah, I sometimes do that while charging closer for the melee kill. Also useful in taking out aeroplanes. YES, I THROW A SAWBLADE AXE TO THOSE FLYING BUZZARD THINGIES AND THEY EXPLODE AND DIE BECAUSE BORDERLANDS! In similar fashion, my goal is to summon my 20 seconds of berzerker mode at least once a week. Shouting Krieg quotes before, during or after is optional. Turns out other people do that as well LOOK AT ALL THE DEATH TRINKETS! Make a list of all the necessary gear for the Legion Run, then acquire and prepare it for the actual race. NO BRAKES ON THE POOP TRAIN! First time I played Borderlands 2, I stopped a little before the end. Actually, moments before meeting Angel in person. I’ve been re-playing lately and made it back up to the point where Sanctuary took off. My least stressful goal in this challenge is to finally complete the game. If that’s done before the end of the challenge, that means more time for extra DLC content. EXPLOSIONS? Looking forward to playing Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage and Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. Pffft… Math… Hope we don’t pop a blood vessel Might add various quests presented as guest appearances by various BL2 characters, just to keep things interesting and myself excited. Disclaimer: Don’t expect me to make any sense this challenge round. Cautious, educated Beast was last challenge, this one I’m cutting loose. "Before you can enter the tournament, you must digitally sign our legal waiver." TL;DR breakdown Keep batch cooking and eating according to the plan laid last challenge 3 Crossfit workouts per week Get enough sleep every night Do my NF part (Write up Guild mini and slay spambots) Increase pushups and plank time every day Cold shower every day Berzerker mode at least once a week Prepare my gear for the OCR Finish Borderlands 2 Go insane
  5. He's baaaaaaaaaack! Yes, the Psycho Madness will continue for another challenge!!! Muahahaha (And yes I started working on this on Halloween night ) So, The awesome Lupus came up with a great idea for his challenge (Shameless Plug - Follow his adventures here: <Link>) using a custom hex gaming map. So I made my own for Krieg to follow on a new adventure. Which begins with this.... When we last left our.... "hero," he had made it to Sanctuary and of course, Moxxi's. Several rough mornings later Krieg began to realize that staying in this city was not a viable option for long. It would provide rest and resupply for sure, but he wasn't like the others around. Not only did everyone give him funny looks, he just wasn't happy being cooped up in a flying city... Looking down off the edge one day he decided to get his few belongings and go back out to explore. There were parts of Pandora he had never made it to, and wanted to see. Not to mention there were talks going around town that there were other vaults on other planets. Maybe he would make it to one of them one day. No, he was determined to make it to one, he would become a Vault Hunter like the other eight.... the ones that everyone talked about. But first he had to learn exploration. Well the best way to do that would be picking a starting place and going wherever his adventure took him. So the next morning Krieg packed up and went to the Fast-Travel depot. He closed his eyes and pressed a random destination on the list. The lights flashed and in a blink he was standing on the edge of sand dunes, looking at... Wait. that can't be right. Badlands don't exist on Pandora... At least none that look like this. Turning around Krieg saw two run down looking vending machines and a broken Fast-Travel. "This is gonna be interesting." Okay. So I'm not sorry at all for the long intro, I think this time I'm going to make an effort to write the story of Krieg's adventure. So taking Lupus' idea of the map, here is my map so you can follow along with Kreig! (Check out Lupus' thread! http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/38973-lupus-challenge-mkiii-the-spice-of-life/#entry758930) And now for the goals: Main Goal: Get back on the fitness wagon after my hiatus. My last challenge was a break from the stats, a break from working out with structure, and a chance to settle in to my new town and life. Goal 1: "Ready Already?!" - EMOM workouts 2x a week (EMOM = Every Minute On the Minute) I'm going to start with 10 minute workouts my first week, then bump up to 15 mins, and then 20 mins by the third week. I plan on staying at the 20 minute mark, unless I get the crazy idea in week 4 to go on to 25 minutes. But that will be played by ear. Exercises to be use will include situps, V-ups, tricep pushups, wide stance pushups, diamond pushups, leg-high pushups, air squats, and more! Successful completion will be 2 EMOM's a week every week. I'm keeping it low key for now because I need to get back into working out and my schedule at work is constantly up in the air. I know that I can do 2 a week for now. I may bump the requirement up to 3 later in the challenge. We'll see Goal 2: "Revive" - Actually do the Physical Therapy workouts to make my knees less pained... In addition to working out, I really need to do my physical therapy workouts to help with my knee pain. It came back with a vengeance this past weekend at work. Like bad enough that I had to grab some scrap pipe laying around the construction site and roll out my muscles for it to be tolerable. So I'm changing up what I was going to do for this goal in favor of PT and getting rid of my knee pain Success for this will be doing my PT workout 3x a week, including icing my knees after the workout. Goal 3: "Like the Wind" - Start doing Tai Chi again I took Tai Chi in college and loved it. Felt better every day that I practiced. So I think I'm going to pick it up again. I am going to have to learn it again though... So I found youtube videos of the form set I learned. It's the Beijing Short Form: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGge5fUihjI Successful completion of this goal will be re-learning the form and practicing 3x a week until I have it down pat, then I want to continue doing it at least 3x a week. Shouldn't be too difficult as the whole form takes only about 10 minutes and is WORTH it. Life Goal: "Prize Fighter" - Stop spending nonessential money After moving, and still trying to settle into my new lifestyle, money is kinda tight. I'm having to break old spending habits to accommodate new bills, etc. And after reading http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/38965-the-great-wholetexalypse-of-2014/'>LorenWade's WholeTexalypse goals, I decided to borrow one of them, and set up a check method with several of my friends. Essential spending obviously needs no checking. This includes food, gas, bills, hygiene stuff. Non essential spending must be approved by two friends, and I have to justify my purchase. Now I'll throw a catch on to this. Sometimes I can entirely afford something and want it but then I'll get to the store and realize that I shouldn't spend the money on said item and then I don't buy it. If I end up doing this I'm going to see about shuffling the money I would have spent into my savings account. I'm saving up to buy a Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll Trainer sometime soon Success on this goal is hard to define, moreover I'm hoping to change my spending habits and save up in the bank! Unable to turn back, Krieg hiked up his pack, pulled out his buzz axe and set off trudging down the dunes towards the badlands. "Wish I had a bicycle..."
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