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  1. This is my first challenge on my journey to become the best ranger (larper) of them all (in my area). I hope you enjoy reading. Leitmotif: Falling leafs I have started to declutter my home, but also my routines and habits. Everything that does not serve a purpose, makes me happy or helps me grow, everything that holds me back, I will let go of. A look out of my window shows, that there can be beauty in it, too. When you have a generalist approach to fitness, I think it's easy to fall in to the trap of trying to practice everything at once. At some points this summer, I lost focus and track of progress, sometimes, things fell off the wagon, because I was tired at the end of training. I need a clearer separation between my training focus (+3x per week) and the maintenance work (occasionally at my own leisure once every week or two). “...you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.” lotr Body Running After a failed first attempt and some form and posture correction training afterwords, I started CT5K again last winter and build up to a fourth day of weekly running in spring. In August, I turned one of these into a long run by increasing the time gradually to an hour and above. That quite revealed my weak spots: It's not the aerobic endurance that is lacking behind but my legs, knees, and hip flexors especially. I think, I need to strengthen them before pushing for longer runs again. I will skip the long run until further notice and introduce some strength exercises instead. I started to add strides (now 4×100m, 1min recovery) to my easy runs twice a week, as a non-taxing way to work on speed. The forest runs are where the fun starts. I run alongside, across or through a small creek in a nearby forest, jumping from stone to stone, vaulting over fallen logs, balancing and crawling. It's not so much about speed yet, but about the integration of techniques into a run as well as the adaptability and fluidity of movement. I will continue those as long as the weather allows and before winter is coming. Easy Run: 3x per week, 35 min each, split between a soft track (dt:„Finnenbahn“ fin: „Pururata“) and a forest trail. Pulse < 130 bpm Leg strength: 2x per week, on the evenings after the ERs Forest Run: 1x per week, 30 min My final goal is to be able to run the 5km in 24min on the trail if I need to, without hurting myself. (That's one of the benchmarks in my epic quest log. But this is still far of.) Climbing When a ranger is not stalking, crouching or running away from something (s)he is hiding in a tree munching apples and watching the surrounding countryside. But You need to get up there first. After learning swing ups, tuck pop-ups and different traversing techniques, it's time to master … well to manage the muscle up. At the moment, I can get to one kick muscle up, but only on a bar from standing. Mayor weaknesses being the height and explosiveness of the pull as well as the transition. Goal: Get to a couple of muscle up reps on a branch, starting from a jump, then reduce kicking gradually. Muscle up with kick: 3x per week, starting on a bar For height: seated L-sit pull-ups, get from sternum height to the halfway point between it and the naval. Supportive strength training: My strength routine so far was quite cluttered with exercises and I saw not much improvement in the last couple of months. For the next five weeks, I want to go minimalist here as well and reduce the volume to something more manageable. Performed after the muscle ups. Inclined one-handed push-ups, one-handed pull up progression, dragon flag progression Three exercises, in a rep range of 3-5, three sets each. (For those interested, I'm using the operator template from the book „Tactical Barbell“, as far as that is possible with body weight only.) strength training: 3x per week Heart „How much higher, then, is the pluck of the single scout who goes on some risky enterprise alone, on his own account, taking his life in his hand, when it is quite possible for him to go back without anybody being the wiser (...)“ Aids to Scouting Without getting into too much detail, the psychological aspect is probably my greatest weakness. (Among other things, I'm a chronic ruminator.) I am quite good at researching different models (e.g.: CBT) and exercises, less so at implementing them. In what is left of week zero, I will go through my old notes and decide on two or three practices to implement, then make an update to this section. (WIP Otherwise, I would postpone this post even longer. ) Note to myself: Can not be replaced with more pull-ups. Goal: Finally get a habit going 3x a week Wits Meditation Reflecting on my sessions in the past months, they were infrequent, long and of low quality. Let's see, if doing the opposite will help my practice. Anapanasati: 5x per week, in the morning, for a minimum of 10 min, expandable to 20min. Woodcraft Well I wanted to practice my bow drilling skills again and guess who just got volunteered to teach a few people at my community how to start a fire. The date is not set yet, but will be somewhere in November. This means, I need to collect quite a bit of material (tinder, kindling, wood) make some bows, boards and spindels, maybe get a tarp in case of rain. Goal: every one of my pupils gets a fire going Preparing the event 1x per week Practicing bow drill 1x per week Wish me luck!
  2. So what's going on now. I just got back from a monk challenge and the bottom dropped out of that. I did however learn that if we call it 'roadwork' instead of 'running' or 'jogging' it makes it permissible to do cardio once in a while. This summer, I had/have been looking for jobs in data analysis, and relearning some programming, and thinking about getting back into biology. I applied and interviewed for a job recently as a data analyst for a nonprofit that does clinical trial research... but didn't get it. That got me down a little bit, and I started thinking about things. 1) The main reason I want(ed) to switch back to this type of work is the money. Really. That's it. Granted I like the work of programming and analysis, and there's some value in the biological research (if it went that way) but I'd do (almost) anything else in a heartbeat. 2) Why do I want more money? Simply to pay down/off my debts and buy a home. And to make ends meet where I live. 3) If I do buy a home, no matter where it is I'd be doing the homestead thing, urban or rural. Then earlier this week I found out about USDA rural home loans. This might start sounding like an ad. They are no money down, they give them to people with bad to mediocre credit, and they are insured by the government (this, I believe, negates the need to purchase mortgage insurance. The only catch is you can't use them for city properties... though many single family homes (even within city limits) qualify... in case you're interested. Those of you who have been following the Brogo saga for a while might remember a few years ago I had this idea of starting a farm/homestead kind of thing. I was raised out in the country. I like being outdoors. I like gardening. I like building things with my hands. I'd like to get a piece of land (5-10 acres) and just live off of it as much as possible (gardening, hunting/fishing, farming etc), take care of it, and do it all off the grid with as few external inputs and leave as small a footprint as possible. Basically, having some land will give me resources to take control of my environment and rebuild my life. Right now, the way I live is the exact opposite. I'm in the city, surrounded by man made noise, and I'm completely dependent on my ability to make money to buy stuff or services. And I'm flushing my money down the toilet with each months rent. I'm lazing around staring at screens. Blah, yadda, etc. These USDA loans might make it possible to change all this. Here's how: A little ways south of here (Indy) are some really pretty farm and country lands. I've been looking and I can find 5-10 acre properties that are cheap... mostly wooded lots etc. I can get a mortgage for one and since I'm willing to rough it for a while and build, I can live on it either in a tiny house, or possibly a yurt (google it)... for a start at least. I'd either expand or just save up and plan out building a more permanent structure. The mortgage would probably be less than the rent I'm paying now. With no utilities comes no bills. If I can grow my own food I save on groceries (one of my biggest monthly expenses). So the move should cut down on my living costs. Anyway. I need to get to sleep. My challenge will be focused figuring this out, and researching and preparing myself for a home brosteading lifestyle. Goals: Work Exercise Cooking Camping Finance/Research
  3. Hi there! My name is Wren. I’m 25 and married with pets. I live in the desert of the Southwestern US, and am in school full-time working toward a BS in Elementary Education. I'm training with the rangers this challenge because it seemed to fit best with my goals. I’ve been on NF since the end of August this year, and completed about half of my goals in the last challenge. Hence, level 1.5 instead of 2! However, in that time I did manage to lose and keep off about 5lbs and 5% body fat. So that’s something. Anyway, I’m back again with some new goals and new ideas for my crazy busy schedule. This time around I want to make my goals more well-rounded in the direction of a healthy, balanced life. Instead of only focusing on exercise related things. I’m also changing the way I grade myself. I’m setting the exact numbers out now and will be grading based on total points at the end. Something new with this will be bonus points - real life extra credit! I will keep tally on this post for easy reference. One thing I am keeping from last time is prizes for myself. I didn’t earn any last time, and that’s ok. I like having a tangible reward for completing specific goals. Measurements related progress and/or reward are just too subtle to motivate me well. I’m also trying to focus more on habit-building, rather than measurements. I’ll be working these things into my schedule before the official start of the challenge to make sure they are do-able. (Separate tally sheet for that here.) If they need tweaking, they shall be tweaked! Motivation The zombie apocalypse! Ok, maybe not literally, but I am obsessed with zombie movies and tv, as well as camping and bushcraft type stuff. So it fits! I mainly just want to get stronger, and feel better. I can tell a huge difference in my energy levels and mood when I eat right and exercise often. I also want to tackle the Continental Divide Trail one day, bow-hunt, and generally be up for intense physical activity. Challenge I'm a Zombie Outbreak Survivor this challenge. Our group spreadsheet is here. Diet I was doing great in this department, at first… Then I fell off the paleo wagon completely and have not managed to really get back on since. So I’m going to start with something that is not too strict, and that I hope is manageable with my limited free time to plan and cook. I chose to set this goal up by meal, because I’m bad about skipping meals. So it should have the added bonus of encouraging me to start eating enough, as well as eat right. 2 paleo meals per day [+ 3 CON, + 1 CHA] 1 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 1/2, 0/2, 3/2 (14/14) 2 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2 (14/14) 3 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2 (14/14) 4 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2 (14/14) 5 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2 (14/14) 6 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2 (14/14) Bonus points for remembering to log food for each day in my battle log! Awarded weekly. BP – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (6/6) 75-84/84 = A 67-74/84 = B 58-66/84 = C 50-65/84 = D <50/84 = F Prize: Any outcome within an A range gets me a potato ricer. Flexibility I love me some pilates and yoga, even if I’ve been flaking out on it a lot lately. Time to change that! This time I’m including at-home routines, as long as they reach at least an hour in length, in case I just can’t get to scheduled classes. 2 stretching routines per week [+ 2 DEX, + 1 STA, + 1 CHA] 1 – 1/2 2 – 2/2 3 – 2/2 4 – 2/2 5 – 2/2 6 – 2/2 Bonus points for walking to and from class! Or the equivalent distance if doing them at home, for each routine, awarded weekly. BP – 0/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (6/6) 11-12/12 = A 9-10/12 = B 7-8/12 = C 5-6/12 = D >5/12 = F Prize: Any outcome within an A range earns me a new fancy, full-support sports bra. Strength This is a difficult area for me, so I’m going to be pretty loose with it. A workout = a run of a mile or more, a 3-circuit BBWW, or an equivalent combination of other things yet to be determined. 2 workouts per week [+ 2 STR, + 1 STA, + 1 CHA] 1 – 1/2 2 – 2/2 3 – 2/2 4 – 2/2 5 – 2/2 6 – 2/2 Bonus points for remembering to walk the dog too! At least 5/7 days per week, awarded weekly. making time for homework and keeping up with my study schedule. (Mental strength!!!) At least an hour per day and 4/7 days per week, awarded weekly. BP – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (6/6) 11-12/12 = A 9-10/12 = B 7-8/12 = C 5-6/12 = D >5/12 = F Prize: Any outcome within an A range and I will buy myself an NF t-shirt. Life Goal I did pretty well in this category last time, when my goal was selling and/or getting rid of stuff. To the point where I don’t think I have enough stuff left to repeat it over a six-week time period again. So I’m going to go in a different direction. I’m going to go with house chores and maintenance, woohoo! It really needs to be done, and is the only “extra†thing I want to think about making room for right now. Especially with finals' cram-time and Thanksgiving falling into this challenge. It's going to sound like a lot, I know, but most of this stuff I’m actually pretty good about. I’d just like to get some structure in there and make sure not to forget anything. 1 vacuuming, mopping, laundry cycle, appliance dusting, bathroom/kitchen scrubbing, and garden check per week (7 items total, hypothetically 1 each day) [+ 2 WIS, + 1 CON] 1 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 0/1, 2/1 (7/7) 2 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (7/7) 3 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (7/7) 4 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (7/7) 5 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (7/7) 6 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (7/7) Bonus points for remembering to completely dump the litter boxes each week! BP – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (6/6) 37-42/42 = A 33-36/42 = B 29-32/42 = C 25-28/42 = D <25/42 = F Prize: Any outcome within an A range and I’ll buy myself this camp water filter. Grand Prize Lastly, if I manage to pull off an overall A from the final tally, I will get a NF hoodie. I’ve been chasing this hoodie since last challenge. I’m determined to earn the damned thing eventually! 135-150/150 = A 120-134/150 = B 105-119/150 = C 90-104/150 = D <90/150 = F Looking forward to meeting the rangers and watching everyone's progress over the next few weeks!
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