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  1. Last challenge was about surviving a hectic April and May. While I survived, I managed to raise a lot of questions. This challenge will be the first steps towards getting those questions answered. Question #1: Reducing carbs has been great for my blood sugars. Could a ketogenic diet be even better? I've read numerous studies on the subject now. All of them seem to suggest that keto is a great way for folks with diabetes (and everyone in general) to control their blood sugar. The downside as I see it, is trying to stay on such a diet in the Western world while everyone around is no where close to it...including your own family. So, my goal is to begin transitioning to keto and see how it goes. If it goes well, I will continue down this path as long as things continue to go well. The first step, will be to watch net carbs and work on getting them lower. I will most likely be eating too much protein and not enough fat to get to ketosis. It will likely look very Paleo. There are a couple of apps I'm going to try out on my phone to see if they are more helpful than MyFitnessPal has been. Not that it hasn't been helpful, but it is lacking in this regard. My goal is to be under 60 net carbs by challenge end. Question #2: I love running, so I don't want to give it up. I also really like lifting heavy things. Notice the difference? Guess which one wins out when time gets short? Lifting heavy things has a better long term effect on my blood sugar numbers. Can I figure out a way to make it a habit as much as running is? Another case for technology perhaps? Well, maybe not quite like that. There are a couple of apps I'm looking at trying out this/future challenge(s). The first one is going to be an app called FitBod. I've always done my own lifting routines. I'm going to try to follow someone else's. I like how this app takes into account your goals and recent progress and comes up with the next workout in the progression for you. Kinda feels like having a personal trainer. My goal is to get 3 strength building workouts in per week (and however many miles I can fit in between, last week was 12 the week before was 6.5) Question #3: Quiet time and stress relief seem hard to come by. Can I come up with a way/schedule to allow for the time? I should probably turn to technology for this as well. We'll see. But, for now, I'm going to work on giving myself 15-30 minutes a day of time to just reflect. That's it. That's the whole goal. 15-30 minutes a day. Question #4: I've had a lot of people asking me questions over the last few months, thanks to my appearance change. There are a lot more people with diabetes than I ever knew, and a lot of them have no idea where to start or begin to make lifestyle changes. Is there something I can do to help them out? I've been toying with the idea of a blog specifically for this. The problem is there are a lot of blogs out there. To the point that they seem to add to the confusion. When everyone seems to have an opinion that runs counter to everyone else, who do you trust? I think my best answer to that is to simply answer the questions people have been asking me in person. What do you eat now? What does your exercise regimen look like? How did you find something that works for you so well? In truth, these are questions I got from both of the doctors as well. So, I'm going to start something and see if it has any legs.
  2. In 2017, I saw my country implode and someone close to me unexpectedly die. The stench of this year may never come out of my hair. 2018, however, is going to be a Year Without Steaming Garbage. I declare it so. The obvious opposite of trash? Recycling! Let's follow this metaphor into concrete plans! Reduce - bad dietary choices! - hide junk food & rum in cupboards so they're annoying to access; do not buy any replacements for these items - drink 1-2 days week/max - keep the house full of fruits & yogurt instead Re-use - items I already have! - no online shopping unless something is genuinely needed! (think carefully: do I actually require this thing, or will a similar thing suffice?) - if I feel like getting something new to me, hit up a library, thrift store or independently-owned business! - whittle down 4 books from my in-person TBR pile; then give to charity/sell to used bookstore (see below) Recycle - "let it go" - literally: go through clothes & other items I own, donate/trash what I don't use - figuratively: meditation. Download a meditation app & really give it a go. I've always failed catastrophically at meditation. This will be my final attempt before abandoning it for life. I will be sure to mark each failing with an Oscar the Grouch GIF so you can clearly, easily locate them. Though I imagine you'll be able to smell them from a mile away. JOIN ME!
  3. Spring is in full bloom! It's warm outside, the grass is getting greener, the trees are getting shoots, and I feel ready to also warm up and start blooming. Part of that entails learning to overcome my social anxiety and become more comfortable with talking with random people. Another important part is learning to ground myself and take in rest and nourishment when needed, so that I remain centered on what is important and don't become distracted or obsessed with the wrong things. My Current State I'm 33 years old, 5'4", married with a daughter and two dogs. Measurements as of 3/14/2016: Weight: 125 lbs Neck: 13" Chest: 34" Biceps: 11" Waist (at smallest): 28" Stomach (at biggest): 32" Hips (at smallest): 32" Butt (at biggest): 38.5" Thighs: 21" Calves: 14" Habits to continue: Prepare meals ahead of time on Sundays Maintain an exercise log Maintain a mostly Paleo diet Continue working out two or three times a week Eventual goals: 10 full push-ups, 10 full chin-ups, 10 full pull-ups Continue walking, doing yoga, and occasionally jogging Challenges and Goals I had started a new job at the beginning of April, and now I feel that I'm starting to get comfortable there. Getting used to that routine, along with trying to meet my exercise and nutrition goals, I find that the following are my biggest challenges at the moment: 1. Energy and time management. During the week, I want to reduce the feeling of getting increasingly tired and needing to artificially manage my energy with coffee or tea. I want to feel relaxed in the morning and not feel rushed. I want to feel happy and energetic in the evening and present and available for my family. Start the food log again (I find that more and more non-Paleo food is slipping in) Prepare lunch bag the night before and get breakfast as lined up as possible Start bedtime routine by 9:30 pm, in bed by 10:00 pm Wake up at 6:00 am or earlier, choosing any of the following: workout, yoga, walk, run, meditation, journal Do short bursts of activity at work at least twice a day (brisk walk, run up flights of stairs, warm-up exercises) Prepare a two-minute stretching cheat sheet and do stretches several times a day Have tea instead of coffee (have caffeine-free options available), and have dairy substitute instead of dairy Keep a log at work that tracks when I avoid temptation and when I give in 2. Procrastination and avoidance. I have a growing list of things to take care of that I'm putting off, and I'm feeling like I'm stuck in a bog. A part of this has to do with my social anxiety, because some of the tasks involve making phone calls, which I dislike doing. Make a list of what needs to be done, prioritize them, set deadlines, and schedule them Include things I would really like to do but never get around to doing Write down the benefits of doing these things Plan to do three things every week (unless real-life deadlines require a higher frequency) Plan some positive and negative reinforcement to help with this 3. Parenting and quality family time. My 10-year-old daughter needs more attention, things to do (besides Minecraft), training in real-life skills, and responsibility. My hubby needs more attention, time together, and date nights / weekends. Technically these fall into the category of things I'm putting off, but they're important enough to get their own focus. Plan family outings and dates Read about allowances and make an allowance and chore plan Develop a weekly checklist for chores and personal care Set limits on daily device time and follow through Plan and schedule times to hang out with friends Forward articles about puberty, mood swings, depression, stress management, and meditation Identify a skill to develop and explore it together Decide on summer camps (if any) Make some meals together 4. Lack of balance and inner peace. I've been feeling the swings of anxiety, depression, and the effects of my coping, numbing, and distraction mechanisms. I want to develop a priority to focus on inner orientation, centering, and grounding. Maintain a daily journal practice Log when I am acting compulsively or in avoidance and journal my thoughts and feelings at the time Make a conscious effort to look at people and smile when I go for a walk When feeling busy or anxious, take some time to just sit and be, without devices Go barefoot whenever possible, and try walking barefoot outside At the moment, I'm deliberately avoiding being overly specific with goals, in terms of frequency and deadlines, because an important part of this challenge is finding balance and calm, which I'd like to try and explore with a "listen to what is going on for me right now" kind of an approach. For example, last weekend, my family went on a trip to the cabin, and we went right into the week from there, and I felt like I started out tired and just got more and more fatigued as the week progressed. This weekend, I haven't done a lot of anything. I took my daughter to meet a friend at the science museum, but aside from that, I've been hanging out at home and not accomplishing much. As guilty as I feel about that, it also feels like I'm really getting some rest that I need (any my hubby says that Mother's Day is the perfect excuse to take it easy). :-) On another note, I found today that the NF Academy site still has the old workouts posted in a side link on the main page, and so I think I'm going to graduate to the old Level 3 Bodyweight workout and use the progressions from the newer site until I can do the full exercise, so I'm excited to try that.
  4. I'm back! And I'm trying to be more regular on the boards again. I have a lot going on with my life at the moment: the move, Camp NaNo, finishing my re-write (or trying to), exercising, trying not to be overwhelmed, finishing financial aid, sisters wedding, blah blah blah So I'm keeping this as simple as possible. That means no theme, no frills, just 3 measurable goals I can do every day. I want to get more momentum behind me. Goal 1: Meditation Meditate for 1 minute every day That's it. Just take a minute to be mindfully aware. Who can't spare a minute? Goal 2: Post every day I want to be more active here again, so what better way than to make it a goal? Visit one friend's thread and my own every day Goal 3: Something for myself Do one thing to make myself happy every day. Can be a walk, painting my nails, making art, making music, writing, playing with a cat. Anything. As long as it's done mindfully, and with an awareness that it is for me. And then post it in the day's update. That's it! I'm still cleaning and going through my house, I'll be writing for all of April and updating those numbers here too, but short, simple, sweet, and attainable. That's what I want right now Now to find everyone's threads Goal 4: Mindful Eating Refer to this post when I'm feeling snacky
  5. PROJECT: B.R.E.A.T.H.E. Balance Restore Energize Accomplish Transform Humor Engage With the new year come the hope that we can keep a good handle on whatever life throws at us. We're pretty good at it, but there is always something out there that puts a wrench into our plan. Especially when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Thus, I introduce Project: B.R.E.A.T.H.E. As we work through our quests and adventures to happiness, it's important to have a reminder to take that needed breath. That is my hope for this group. While we work to help each other succeed in our fitness quests, we can also assist each other in conquering life's road bumps. Each day, a calming quote or image will be shared with the group. Take a few minutes (5 minutes minimum) to reflect on it. Can you relate to it? Can it help you find peace after a stressful day? Can it help you remind yourself that it's okay if you find yourself not meeting a goal? At the end of each week, I would like to review any negative events that may have impacted us. Rather than focus on the negative, though, I would like to put a positive spin on them. How can we make the bad into good? How can we fall asleep with a smile rather than with a stress-filled brain? All are welcomed and encouraged to follow each other, though the latter is purely optional! Enjoy and remember to breathe.
  6. GRAVITY FALLS THEMED CHALLENGE, YO! Format: week to week challenge goals (thanks deftona!) in categories of: NutritionCreativeLife GoalPreparationMaintenance Here's what I'm starting with. I'll see how the first week goes and then if I need to I can edit/ re-evaluate from there. Quest 1: Smile Dip Days in deficit! Action: Goal is for 6 days in deficit for the week Grading A= 6 days in deficit B=5 days in deficit C= 3-4 days in deficit D=1-3 days in deficit F= 0 days in deficit Quest 2: "Grunkle Stan, I’m an arts and crafts master. Why do you think I always have this glue gun stuck to my arm?†Action: A creative thing! Drawing, guitar, writing etc. 5x per week. Grading A= 5x per week B=4x per week C=3x per week D=2x per week F=0x per week Quest 3: The Bunker -Preparation Action: Prepare for the next day with a to-do list. OR 2 hour blocks 7x per week Listing my intentions/goals for the day seems to help. So I'm going.... Grading: A= 5-7 to do lists/ 2 hour blocks B-3-5 to do lists/ 2 hour blocks C=1-3 to do lists/2 hour blocks F= 0 to do lists/2 hour blocks Quest 4: Maintaining the Mystery Shack I've been slacking on meditation. And meditation is super important for my mental health. So I am re-dedicating myself to it, in a challenge goal. Action: morning meditation 7x per week Grading A= 5-7 morning meditations B-= 4-5 morning meditations C= 2-4 morning meditations D= 1-2 morning meditations F= 0 morning meditations Other ungraded stuff I will be doing: Gratitude: 7x per week Inspiration: 7x per week Exercise: same as usual, now with after meal walks! Really just wanted to use this gif Former Quests: Quest 2: Working at the Mystery Shack Action: job applications 2x per week Grading A= 2/2 B=1/2 F=0/2 Grade A since I got a job MOAR GRAVITY FALLS GIFS: AND I'M OUTTA HERE:
  7. Main Quest Run my second 50k on Nov 1 Goal Rational I need to work on increasing my long runs since my longest run of the year is around half marathon distance. I planned to get further distance in last challenge but could never have a long enough block of time to run longer distances during. I am already planning on taking a vacation day during this challenge to get in my 40k in early October. I want to get two 30k-ish runs before that though. I also plan on getting a bike during this challenge so I will count that for normal runs. So I will make a goal for long runs and another goal for lots of regular running to keep my running base. I want to lose some more weight before I haul it for 50k, and for me the best way to do that is logging my food every day. The actual goal will be easy so only 2 stat points, but the point is to keep the calories in a good range. I tend to over react on the small stuff (like literally crying over spilled milk). So I need to work on that. Though for the bigger stuff I am usually the calm in the storm. And with fall and winter approaching, I need to play some more with the kids outside before the warm weather escapes. I won't make these goals specific on purpose (they also won't have as much stats assigned to it). Goals 1) One long run each week. +5 STA 2) 3.5 hours of exercise each week not including long run. +2 STR +2 DEX 3) Log all food (MyFitnessPal) +2 CON 4) Don't sweat the small stuff +2 WIS 5) Play outside with the boys +2 CHA Stats LVL: 17, STR: 18, DEX: 21.5, STA: 37.25, CON: 13, WIS: 13.25, CHA: 8.25
  8. CLIFFS NOTES: Main Quest: One armed handstand Supporting goal 1: Improve strength and balance Supporting goal 2: Weigh less Supporting goal 3: Be flexible to avoid injury Life goal: Jedi Calm it was absurd, I thought as I wove my way through the spaceport like an invisible phantom. Three short years ago, I had been planted in an earth suburb, eating pizza and watching telly, the oddest thing in my life being a cousin who had died her hair blue. Now I was brushing against beings with blue teeth, blue fur, blue from head to toe, I’d even met a creature that was nothing more than a shade of blue that had to be refracted into a holding crystal to keep from dispersing everywhere. Everything was blasted wonko, and if I stopped to think about it for any length of time, my brain went sliding out my ear and I had to lie still for a while. This wasn’t to say that, apart from the nearly constant imminent death that had stalked me since leaving earth, it wasn’t the best thing that had ever happened to me. It was a rip-roaring ride, and I wouldn’t go back even if I could. But it was also a massive distraction just to keep one’s head above water, and I couldn’t shake the feeling creeping up my neck that I needed to DO something. That my new powers were for a reason, I couldn’t just scurry about aimlessly. To that effect, in my duffle bag, beneath a sweatshirt, a deck of cards, and a pack of pre-cooked bacon (for bacon, it seems, is a universal food group found on nearly all planets, at least the fashionable ones worth mentioning), was a book. A training manual. It said directly in the front that it was meant to be a part of an intense program of training, starting from early childhood and including many teachers and mentors. But I had none of those available to me; not only did I not know where to find them, being on the run from a band of murderous pirates made staying in one location to complete schooling rather inconvenient. But I could work through the book, doing my best, as I hopped ship after ship. I knew I could find the time- I would make the time- to do the excercises, to do my best until I could find a mentor. Maybe somewhere along the way I would find out why this path felt so important, and why I had the dark, pressing feeling that the pirates were the least of my problems.... Ok so I'm going through another chaotic move during this challenge, and last time that derailed me for a YEAR. I refuse to let that happen again. This time I'm making my challenge flexible to see how it works to keep me healthy and working my way towards my goals, allowing for all kinds of mess to break out and not ruin it haha. To that effect... POINTS! Stealing the points idea from RedCedar. I love this, and it should allow me to work towards my goals every day by doing at least SOMETHING that improves my health. Goal one: Increase my balance and strength: There is no chaos, only harmony 1 point for every two minutes spent actively trying to balance not touching the wall 1 point for every minute of planking 1 point for every “level up†in less fingers on supporting hand during strength work (balancing on one hand with 5 fingertips, 4 finger tips, 3 ect until I’m only on one arm) Why it's a challenge: Finding time to practice every day, finding a good place to be upside down in the house i'm house-sitting for the first two weeks of the challenge, and keeping it up when I'm on the road for the third and fourth week of the challge. Why I want to do it anyway: This is arguable the most important part of the progression towards one armed handstands: actually doing them. GOAL TWO: Weigh less: There is no death, only the force Ie I won't die if I force myself to eat right LOL Carbs over 30: -1 point for each carb. I am trying to stay keto here, for more than one reason. The big one being that I feel a lot better brain-wise on keto. When I get higher up in the carb universe, I can feel my ADHD going “WHAAAAA†Now I need some ways to gain food points. Also stealing from RedCedar, 1 point for every serving of veggies. and a whopping 5 points every time I try a new veggie that I’ve never tried before. 1 point for every 10 minutes of “extra activity†on my fitbit. This will encourage me to run in and out of stores and up and down stairs and generally just be more energetic throughout the day. Why it's a challenge: Carbs are freaking everywhere. I ate a chorizo the other day and I found it had 6 carbs per link becuase of added sugar (And I had way to many of them and was feeling sick, which was why I thought to look at the package.) I have to be more diligent about reading packages to look for not only hidden carbs but also preservatives and food dyes which also lurk in unsuspected foods. Why I want to do it anyway: iIn the interest of handstands, I will be able to support myself on my arms better if there is less of me to support. Also I was keto for 7 months this past year and I have literally never felt better, my ADHD symptoms were still there but SO managable. Like I didn't even know my brain could work like that. GOAL THREE: Stretching: There is no passion, there is serenity 1 point for every 15 minutes spent stretchingAutomatic 25 point bonus if I actuallly reach the floor in any of my splits, as that will be a first in my life. Why it's a challenge: I am very inflexible, and I keep losing track of stretching as something that is important. Why I want to do it anyway: Stretching helps prevent injuries and I feel better when I'm more bendy. Also splits and shoulder/uper back mobility are very important in ballet which I'm keeping up with, and I found that HOLY COW my upper back and shoulders are tight, like bending backwards at the barre I can't even see the wall behind me, only the ceiling, and everyone else is like folded in half haha. Life Goal: Jedi Calm:There is no emotion, there is peace 1 point for every ten minutes practicing stances and breathing1 point for every ten minutes of sitting still reading/listening to an audiobook Why this is a challenge: ADHD. Stuff to do. Distractions. Stress. Waking up too late. Why I want to do it anyway: 1. I want to continue rehabilitating my ADHD by adding moments of calm into my day-to-day life2. Time to find a center and figure out what the heck is going on today, better able to make desicions if I can see the big picture without a thousand little screaming voices in my head. 3. I'm headed into what I see being a fairly overwhelming situation up in the frozen tundra, and I'm going to need to find a way to be at peace.
  9. Name: Hammlin "Hammi" Race: Wood Elf | Class: Footpath Ranger Leader Level: 16 (STR):38.25 (DEX):34.25 (STA):25 (CON):28.25 (WIS):28.5 (CHA):24.25 Motivation: Searching for peace, honing lost skills. Calm, Cool, Collected. Hammi’s Main Quest: Purpose of Peace (June 9 to July 20) Missions: 1. Maps. I am working towards some items on my epic quest, and one of them involves Search and Rescue. Having submitted my application, I want to spend this summer and fall outdoors getting myself reacquainted with nature and the things in it. My intention is to spend time with some topographical maps. Yay! Step 1: Purchase or download at least 2 topo maps Step 2: Study through library books or online materials how to intentionally use them Step 3: Decide on 2 destinations Step 4: Use and draw a route on my maps and grade myself on my proficiency Step 5: Grade on the challenge is a direct correlation to proficiency grade ***Note: If I notice in my research that the hours needed to do 2 full map studies extends beyond what is reasonable for the challenge, doing 1 at full Pass or Fail proficiency is ok. Reward: (+2 STA +2 STR) 2. Hikes. Part of the application process indicated 3 hikes that are good for physical fitness testing for a SAR team. I want to find the peace of nature in the calm of not being on a mission, so I will complete 2 of these hikes. A detailed write up on my blog will seal the full credit for each hike, 2 Hikes with 2 blogs= A 2 Hikes with 1 blog= B 1 Hike with 1 blog = C 1 Hike with 0 blogs= D No Hikes with No Blogs= F Reward: (+2 STA +2 WIS) 3. Peace. In all of my craziness of goal seeking, I want to keep at the forefront of my mind why I want to do this in the first place. To help, to not be a hindrance etc. In order to serve out of the overflow of your own heart and peace, you need to actually have overflow. I am going to take 6 peace walks- one a week that specifically focuses on breathing, praying, thinking, etcs 6 Walks = A 5 Walks = B 4 Walks = C 3 Walks = D 0-2 Walks = F Reward: (+2 DEX, +1 CON) Life Quest: 4. Actions. I have a lofty goal of joining a SAR team. It’s a lot of work and tons of pre-reqs. So, I am doing a ton of research. I am going to have my life goal be to identify 6 next steps and write actionable, doable things 6 Action steps = A 5 Action steps = B 4 Action steps = C 3 Action steps = D 0-2 Action steps = F Reward: (+1 CON, +3 STR) TRACKING My Story (challenge history): 1. Wandering across the mountain ranges of the west, I came upon another wood elf, who was running through the tree lined forest. I tried to keep up, because I knew he was waiting for me, but nothing I did would keep me at pace with him. Eventually I slowed, to catch my breath and I lost him. Dejected and worn out, I decided to dedicate my life to keeping up with this other elf... 2. Sneaking through the woods I can feel my senses getting sharper and I begin to wonder if the elf that I'm following, is actually following me... 3. Catching my breath I slow my run as I approach a clearing. Did I get lost? I don't know where I am and the elf I had been following has picked up the pace. My mind... it's jumbled up... my thoughts are foggy... I need to focus. I'll stay here for a while, find my center, and then continue on... 4. After pausing in the clearing to refocus, I see what looks like a beaten down path off to my right. Have I been here before? Walking up to the path, it looks familiar, but overgrown. I take out my sword and slowly start hacking away the brush that seems to have grown in over the years. Yes. THIS is my path. 5. Following the path for what seems like a lifetime I suddenly find myself at the tree lined edge of a beautiful meadow. The sun in the sky that is glaring down on me makes me realize something glorious- I have made it through the woods! Over the hill I see the elf that I have been tracking this whole time. He is napping… This is my chance!!! 6. Running up to the elf that I have been following for what seems like forever, I find myself out of breath. As I slow down and approach him, I see him slow down and turn to me. I don't know if he knows that I have been following him, but I can tell by the look in his eye that he's ok with this. As we start to wander the forest together we notice that things aren't quite as bright and cheery as they were months ago... something is wrong... 7. As we continue to approach the edge of the forest we can feel something bearing down on us. Picking up the pace we stay laser focused on getting out of here. The night has grown darker and the forest is eerily quiet. The wood elf and I look at each other and begin to run. I can tell that the time where we have to battle is near and we really need to stay focused... 8. Standing on the front line, victorious, I wonder "Now what?" I ponder with wise words of a foreigner who taught my people to stay motivated when they feel like they have arrived. The skills I have learned in the past keep me pushing forward. I move confidently north, to find new lands. And that other pesky elf can come with me… 9. On the north side of the valley I see something far away that I can’t take my eyes off of. It almost looks like the mountain side is glistening and the sun is dancing with the peaks. I fall into a trance, staring off into the distance, as if I'm under a spell. A few minutes later I am able to snap out of it, but the lingering desire to see who, or what, had a hold on me begins to push me forward. Is some powerful mage up in the hills, drawing people to him? Or is someone sending out a distress signal, begging for help. All I know is the allure of finding out what is in those hills is forcing me onward. We have mountains like these back home, but I am far from that place, and out of practice. It will take some time to traverse these mighty giants, but I have no choice but to start… 10. From the top of the mountain I can see everything. I have a level of clarity that I've not experienced before and it makes me take notice to my surroundings. I have an epiphany and realize that I need to race home to my family. They have no idea what’s in store! As quickly as I can I need to make my way back down the hill and back to my village… Part of the way down the hill I trip. When I catch myself I see that the sign in front of me has directions. I’m tired of being a follower in my own life. I need to go my own way. I turn on my heels and walk south. 11. Down in the city to the south I find myself in the camp and company of strangers. Although I’m not entirely sure that I can trust them, they seem safe enough. Maybe, I’ll hang back and just observe them and mind their ways. Something inside of me says that these people have information that may be valuable to me and my quest, and I am determined to get my hands on it. Knowledge is oddly alluring and very appealing to my senses… 12. As I spend weeks on end with these people, I start to sense a power coming over me. I am being changed from the inside out- is it sorcery? Magic? Am I evolving? All I know is that I need to stay the course. Over time, my memories start to fade. The days of running through the wilderness with the other elves feel miles away- as if they occurred a lifetime ago. Only the here and now makes sense. I have my plan. 13. The strangers have become less strange and more like family. It feels like I have finally returned to a place where I feel at home and at peace. When I look down I start to notice that my slender Elven legs have begun to take a form of something more resembling tree trunks. When I stand, I can't move quite as nimbly but I feel stronger than I ever was before. In the back of my mind I still remember that I am following something- the dragon... 14. As I wake with a start I feel strange. My heart is pounding out of my chest, and I can’t seem to calm myself down. I am in no condition to face the dragon. I need peace. 15. Relaxed and recharged I pull out my map. I haven’t looked at it in quite some time and it’s almost foreign to me. Over my shoulder I see that elf that I had chased so long. He’s back and there is a stranger comfort in knowing that. I turn back to the map and start down the trail. There is a point in the road where it splits off into three. I see on the map that all three get where I need to go, but one seems most logical. I start down that path… I must find the thing that haunts me. I run until I can't feel my legs and I burn all over. 16. The fire that consumed me begins to subside, but I am still feeling the after burn. I pull a map out of my pack and examine it for water. I tilt my head trying to make sense of the nearest body of water, but the letters suddenly look foreign to my elven eyes. I take some time to sit and focus- after a while it will come to me and I can find the cool liquid that will cool my legs and quench my thirst. I pick up my pack again and though it’s very heavy, I make towards my intended destination, swiftly and confidently.
  10. I am capable of calm. That's what this challenge is going to be all about. That and fixing my hip. And writing. And getting a bunch of other... Ok stop! 1. I can handle new job stress. Because my new job is going to be awesome. I'm starting on the Ides of March. Ok, that's a Saturday, but it's still my official start. In practical terms, that will be St. Patrick's Day. I haven't figured out what exactly this needs to entail, so I need to fill in some details before the challenge starts on Monday! Maybe I'll try some meditation? It'll almost certainly involve some sort of writing/reflection. 2. I can heal my long standing evil hip injury. Keep tellin' yourself that apike. Maybe you'll start to believe it. This has been a huge source of anxiety and frustration for me recently. Because it's been an issue for the last EIGHTEEN MONTHS. And it doesn't seem to want to go away, and I'm having trouble finding professional intervention. My plan is to focus on mobility work. Since I have only the vaguest clue what I actually mean by that: Each weekend (including the one prior to the challenge), I'll go find a useful looking hip mobility exercise. Each weekday I will do the chosen thing. Keep trying to gain strength, do stuff at gym. Finish using personal trainer pre-paid sessions, then start going by myself (worst case - do body weight at home). No specific goals there as long as I keep trying. In addition, I'm trying physical therapy again. I'm scared, because I haven't had good luck with it in the past. I'm going to have to be a bitch and refuse to do any of the BS I don't believe will help me. Because I've done enough to know some things which I find useless, and I'm not inclined to waste my time on them again. So the goal there, I guess: don't waste time on stuff that isn't going to work for me. If I'm not learning something new, they're not helping me. P.S. Also stop feeling so anxious and like my hip will never be a proper hip again. BecauseI refuse to accept that. 3. Keep on keeping on. Keep writing. Pretty simple there - do something daily. Work on old project at least once per week. Work on new project at least once per week. All other writing can be whatever I feel like - just aim for every day. I'm getting a one week break between challenges. Keep working on painting that study (the one that hasn't seen any progress during the last challenge). Once per week should get me back on track. Keep doing plant stuff (those hundreds of seeds won't plant themselves, unfortunately). Once per week, and it should get done without too much fuss. Keep working on that mental health thing. I have a new medication to try and for once I actually feel hopeful that it will make a difference! My new psychiatrist is actually listening to me, which is a nice novel feeling. I don't know... I think I just need to aggressively track how I'm reacting to meds, because I tend to lose track of what hasn't worked and why. I have a notebook set aside, so I just need to use it. It probably doesn't even matter what I write down, just that I write something about how my brain is functioning. 4. I really want to try snowshoeing. So do! I just want to sign up for a class. Or rent some gear and just try to figure it out, since it's probably not that hard. The snow in the mountains has been great from what I hear, so it's probably a nice time to work on it. I want to try this once before winter winds down. Seems so simple, but very hard for me. So I want to try and squeeze this in during this challenge (at least the official planning - the event itself doesn't have to be). I started a group for mobility support: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/44578-team-mobility-work/. I don't think I'm going to put any specific grading criteria up. It wasn't very useful during my first challenge. So basically everything is pass/fail, based on if I feel like I'm making progress towards my overall goals. Naturally, the exact details of my goals may have to shift around during the course of the six weeks, because Life. And while ideally I won't miss a single one of my daily activities, as long as I keep picking myself back up and forging ahead, I think I'll be doing ok.
  11. Intro I’ve been in Judo since 2005 but have backed off for the last year for various reasons (scheduling conflict with another commitment, work eats my life, not really feeling it, etc.). I’ve still been there and teaching in our Kids class once a week and going to one of the Adult classes but again, was not really feeling it in the Adult class. It feels like the right time to get back to serious training. That being said, work will trump if I’m needed there. Goal 1 - Judo The primary goal is to be back at Judo at least once per week. Notably, not just physically there but mentally there. We have two adult classes per week but there will be some off nights and work will prevent me from making class sometimes (possibly frequently), but when I am there I want to be focused and fighting. Goal 2 - Supplemental bodyweight strength training (and possibly cardio) To support Judo and top up whatever I don’t do there. Sensei may or may not add conditioning to any given class. Also, my chin-ups are improving and I have a new power tower. I can’t abandon them now. Try to workout at least once per week. Goal 3 - Technique/Compatible Skills Study outside of class. Work on my copy of Mind Over Muscle: Writings From the founder of Judo, study Kodokan Judo, watch kata training videos, read in-depth technique guides on throws, ethics training for coaching, or watch shiai and kata tournament videos. Resource recommendations are welcome, including non-Judo resources that could potentially be adapted! Grading for Judo, strength training, and technique goals: A - At least once per week each week of the challenge - extra sessions do not make up for missed weeks. Drop a grade for each week I miss. Note: I’m expecting work and year end stuff to interfere with this challenge so the grading is set up to be fairly light. Which leads to…... Life Goal - Mind Keep my stress level down and get everything finished on time. Year end is a very hectic and stressful time at work and I will be pulling a lot of overtime. It could fizzle but I doubt it. In addition, there is the year-end gauntlet of holiday food events. First order of business is to try to space out everything that needs to be done before Christmas or year end so I’m not as overloaded at any given time. When I need to, take time off. Spend some time reading, tidying the apartment (environmental chaos aggravates mental chaos), watching something funny, or cooking a nice meal and enjoying it, or whatever else I need to do to settle. The loss in time will be acceptable compared to the improved mental state and efficiency after. In addition, I’ve been reading off and on about mindfulness techniques and meditation for the last few months. I should try to properly get into that too. Also, it seems to be going around so there are lots of people who likely know more than I do and may answer questions. Grading: I will grade this depending on how well I handle everything by Dec 22nd.
  12. So last challenge was a bit of a flunk lets be honest and I could have done a LOT better but now I have proper motivation! I am currently somewhere between 6-8 weeks pregnant and I need to set a healthy and active foundation to my pregnancy, that doesn't allow for a 70 sodding pound gain this time! So that is my main goal! My the mini goals will be to continue to lose a little weight but in a sensible and controlled manner that helps my pregnancy progress at a healthy rate. To eat a healthy paleo diet, but be mindful of morning sickness and cravings and try to find alternatives to appease the cheese and chocolate Gods. To de-stress as much as possible with daily quiet time which allows for mediation/ quiet reading or just chillaxing X
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