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  1. @mu

    Fall wizardry

    I'm going to revamp my goals with a little bit of magic. Persian Well, magic comes from a Persian word (cf Magi), right, so it totally fits. I will focus on contemporary Persian: Read (literature / newspaper – social media do not count) – 7x/week Possible variations (I must at least have 5 reading sessions though, that's the primary focus): > Watch a movie or listen to a radio programme > Start a Persian diary/notebook? Work on calligraphy (or least a decent hand writing )? Copy and translate bits of texts? Maybe include some drawings too? Ok this might go somewhere else entirely but I'll have it as an option as long I read regularly enough. Levitation charms & anti-gravity spells Last challenge, I managed my very first press to HS (with love, to Gravity, gotcha!). It will still be the main focus of my parallettes practice because, well, it was my very first rep and it will take a while before I can manage those on a regular basis. I need to practice 2x/week and it's not going to be easy (cf next section). Mana mana-gement I'm starting 2 new circus classes next week and I will have to re-organize my personal practice around those. One of the classes is aerial - I know roughly what to expect but it has been a while! And the other one is cross-disciplinary (aerial / handstand / acrobatics / expression / juggling...), and I have no idea what it will be like in terms of intensity and impact. My current plan is to keep up with my usual parallettes and flexibility sessions. I will be super lenient though (ie if I need rest, I will take it). My first trick will be to reduce intensity, and remove items that will be covered in class. I could easily let go of one HS consistency session for instance and merge my 2 flexibility sessions in one. Since I have 2 days rest, I can also be flexible and swap days if I need it. What I will do is track > how fresh vs tired I am (make sure I sleep enough) > how motivated I am (having enough sleep can also help that one) > take note if any body part feels really cranky for too long, with a special attention to my rotator cuff and the love-hate relationship between my rhomboids and my traps. > track progress - or lack thereof, the usual wizard grind, that mostly means venting out my frustration here! That's it! I will take the first week easy, it's actually deload week. I will start tracking seriously from next week on.
  2. I need something new and shiny to kickstart 2018, so I got myself a brand new battle log! I have a whooole bunch of shinies to chase this year, it's going to be great. My plan is to screw the four week SMART goal framework and chase them on my own terms, i.e. inefficient and haphazard, but with gusto. Everyone keeps telling me you can't do everything at once - to that I say pfffft. Here are things you can expect from this log Handstands Climbing Aerial Pole Flow Acrobatics Flexy things Strengthy things ??? Oh and fooood! Goal thingies 2018 Because what's new year without setting way too ambitious goals? Fitness goals The big theme for the year is to improve my freedom of movement. Upside downness Handstands every day yo! Yup, the whole year. (2/365) Flooow I have a bunch of Marlo Fisken flow videos. I want to master them Scary stuff This is a big one, I'm such a scaredy cat and I've developed a bunch of weird mental hangups this past year Tuck and straddle jump to HS Forearm stand HS to bridge Back walkovers HS forward roll Honestly, pretty much any kind of tumbling Some kinds of pole HS Heel kips Topping out when climbing Stop hurting myself Less fun but oh so necessary. A little more focus on prehab won't hurt me. Other Some other more or less vague goals Climb 3 6cs Become strengthier (better push ups, moar pull ups) Run a little Play on my new toy - an indoor aerial rig Don't take things so seriously Other goals Cook 100 new recipes (0/100) Read 50 books (1/50) Travel somewhere cool To contradict the last goal I also want to increase my savings by €10000 Use my hands more Get a non-movement based hobby I really don't expect to nail many of these goals, but that's not what new year's is about right?
  3. My circus gym's student showcase is coming up at the end of January. (1/27) Here are the various deadlines/milestones associated with the show (as per the gym owner). 12/30 Music selected/act conceptualized (done) 1/13 Costume complete (mostly done) 1/22 Tech rehearsal 1/26 Dress rehearsal 1/27 Performance day! Performance music: Super strength-based routine with some playing to the audience and a bit of braggadocio. Goals of some kind will be added as I think of them... likely do do with getting my food intake back under control after all the holiday goodies and ensuring I get enough practice so as to not look like an idiot at the end of January.
  4. For the ones that already know me - OHAI! For the ones that don't - Yay, glad you're here! I'm a dabbler in all the shiny assassiny things like circus and pole and climbing. Some say I get easily distracted -SQUIRREL! Oh uhmm... yeah they're probably right. But that won't stop me from DOING ALL THE THINGS (badly). I'll add some more goal type thingies when I feel like it, but for now I want to take off the challenge pressure and just hang out here in this battle log. Hope you're cool with that.
  5. January 27th. That is the date of my circus gym's next student showcase. I've decided I'm going to perform. I have until December 30th if I decide to chicken out (not likely) so I need to really commit to getting this thing going. Choreography and costume decisions. I have some rough ideas for both, but it's time to get something more solidly in place. Costume deadline is 1/13. Endurance & Strength. The planned concept for my routine is a string of ridiculous athletic skills. I need to not pass out or fall from the apparatus while doing this. Circus endurance - Put together in-air sequences of >2 mins at least three times every open gym. General endurance - Cardio at least once/week. With the coming winter weather, this will likely often be treadmill based. Strength - Muggle workouts (1 x week lower body, 1 x week upper body 'push') Flexibility. Circus skills always look better with straight and extended limbs. My hip flexors are my current sticking point for most things, I think. Direct hip flexor work once per week and general splits things twice. (After lower body muggle workout, at end of open gym, after weekly circus class) Self care. I've always been a person who has wanted a skincare routine and have never taken the time to create one. We'll start simple: Wash, tone & moisturize face once per day, every day.
  6. Hypothetically speaking, in January, a friend and I are going to put together a ridiculous silks/rope routine that is going to be heavily focused around amazing feats of strength--straight arm/straight leg inverts, flag, front and back body balance, iron cross, etc. That means in the next couple months it's time to tighten up, get stronger, and generally stop faffing about so I don't make a fool of myself. I've just gotten back from a work conference during which there was tons of food and beer and I re-gained the 5 lbs I've lost over the past 6-8 weeks. Hopefully most of it is water and weirdness from being outside my normal dietary and sleep routine and I'll get back down quickly. In the mean time, let's make January as easy as possible by doing hard things now. Dietary Control No drinking - as mentioned last challenge, I am drifting toward a place I don't like with alcohol consumption. Fortunately, after 4-5 days straight filled with lots of beer, I'm ready to give my liver a break. No alcohol for the duration of this challenge. Stay within calories - Beer, crepes, fried everything--the last week has been a smorgasbord of poor food choices. Time to make some better ones and stay below my goal calories. Protein consumption is a secondary goal, but no stringent delineations on this one, more like assessing where my current intake lies in order to figure out where my diet needs tweaking. Strength and Endurance Squat - I love circus, but it's hugely upper body focused. I'm missing my squat booty. Time to address that. Lower body workout at least once a week with a glute focus. May bring back some Strong Curves workouts in order to focus here. Pull ups - Hugely important for circus, of course. Throwing in a few reps of chins/pull ups during my muggle workout (I think I'm realistically only going to get one per week) will help in a grease the groove kind of fashion. Sub-maximal sets, lots of rest between, no where near failure (I get some pretty good tendonitis in my elbow when I over work these, so I'm going to be super cautious) My Circus, My Monkeys Open gym - Every Monday. Work on dramatic feats of circus strength. Eventually, choreograph and plan routine with Circus buddy. Class - Every Wednesday. Go. Learn. Exhaust yourself. Splits - 2 minute split drills each open gym and after each muggle workout I think that about covers it...
  7. New challenge = new profile photo! Continuing down the PvP road with Hatter from last challenge, plus publicly available PvP ab/core torture videos this time around. Whee! Abs - PvP ridiculousness! +5 points for each completion of a weekly abs vid Inverts - I want a straight arm, straight leg invert on the silks or the rope SO BADLY. To that end, +5 points for focused practice around that. On apparatus or off, but not inclusive of the core PvP stuff above. This is dedicated hollow body work, pike reverse crunches, etc. Also (perhaps not intuitively) this is also some types of lat work--of the straight armed push down variety, so don't be weirded out when these get scored for points. Flexibility & PreHab - Flexibility is important for circus folk. So is staying healthy (shoulders in particular). To that end, I'll finally be taking my flexibility and prehab seriously. (For serious) All kinds of things count for points here--random 5-10 minute stretching at my desk because my shoulders are tight (and similar) +2 points. Actual stretching routine, such as Starting Stretching or What should stretching feel like +5 points. A real and actual prehab routine such as something from CirquePhysio or similar +8 points Choreo & Flow - Stringing together at least two skills in a clean and/or interesting fashion. Specific skill practice +2 points. If I happen to shoot a video of choreo or skill linking? +5 points. (Note: in-class stuff generally won't count for this as most things we do are at least two skills strung together) Diet - I've been hanging on to some extra fluff for way to long. I have about seven pounds to lose. From past experience, counting calories works well for me on this. Track every day, stay within calorie limits +2 points per day. Other things to know: Next week I'll be on staycation, which alters my schedule dramatically and puts a huge cramp on my ability to get to the circus gym, so lots of off-apparatus stuff going on next week. US Holiday, Labor Day is on 9/4. Circus gym will be closed (this is my usual open gym day, so boo) Destiny 2 releases on 9/6. I will be binge-playing this game for many days. Will not be attending circus class on 9/6 (Wednesday is my usual class day) I've also got some cardio work that I should be doing and at least one muggle workout per week (woman cannot live on circus alone, especially if said woman is trying to lean out a bit) Title, in case anyone is confused: tightens up = weight control; stretches out = flexy and prehab; turns over = inverts Official scoring start date TBD, but getting all this down in electrons will get it out of my brain.
  8. Okay! First, read this. I'll wait. http://www.laurawitwer.com/2017/06/29/post-laura-witwer-ego-smashed/ That blog post hit me preeeeetttty hard in the feels. When my circus gym reopened after >1 year, I somehow expected to pick up right where I left off. Amazingly, this did not happen. I spent a few months bootcamp-ing, aerial style and when i had some strength back, jumped back into a skills class. My ego did not take this well. I'm finally to the point where I'm feeling somewhat strong most classes, but I definitely have the "Comparing myself to myself" moments come back and bite me in the butt. So, it's time to focus on improvement from where I am now rather than comparison to where I was then. To help with keeping my focus in a forward direction, Hatter and I are going to do a PVP-ish challenge. Goals and scoring are below. Structured Circus – Class at least once per week (silks/rope) +5 points per class Stretchiness – At least 2 out-of-class stretching sessions (at least 10 mins each) per week. One of these can be body-maintenance type stuff (foam rolling, etc.) if desired. +5 points per session (additional sessions per week can count for additional points) Abs – Video Challenge at least once per week (alternating who chooses each week or we each choose one each week for both of us to do). +5 points per video completed (each video can count more than once if done in the week it is the Video Challenge) Life goal – Mindful eating. Cut the random snacking. Eat meals. Consider whether you're actually hungry or just bored. Don't eat just because it's time to eat if you aren't actually hungry. Unscored Bonus – Photo or video progress on crow pose. Eventually I'd like to get to firefly, but one thing at a time, here. Unscored Extra Double Bonus – Plan vacation. Huge work stresses mean our usual summer vacation plan has been pushed back. Something not terribly far away or stressful to get to and inclusion of some fun activity and forced relaxation all at the same time. Alrighty, aside from all that, work next week is going to be exhausting as we have a huge inspection/accreditation visit that will take up most of my working hours for the entire week. I'm hoping circus will help keep me sane. And on the fun side, the beta for Destiny 2 is out on July 18. yay! Right after hellish work week, some time to play. Is that it? I think that's it...
  9. More rehashing of old goals. Am I actually progressing or just managing to stand still? Impossible to tell, but this is my new normal. Most days I'm even okay with that. Circus-I'm really liking my combo silks/rope class. I've regained some strength and some confidence, gathered an interesting collection of bruises and am ready to keep going on this. Being in the air and/or upside-down is apparently pretty therapeutic for me. Also, I have a silks friend that's interested in doing some morning open gym before work so bonus points if I get a couple of those on the books. Muggle workouts-My goal last challenge was 4. This time? 6. Baby steps, y'all. Adult-Two recipes this challenge again. They don't have to be new, but they have to involve cooking rather than solely pulling frozen things from the freezer and putting them in the microwave. Booze-I'm going with no booze this challenge. Two freebies for special occasions if they come up this month, but no more drinking for no reason. I'm starting to get into a stress = drinking paradigm which is kind of terrifying. I don't want to go down that road. At all. Barebones and rudimentary, but if I can keep treading water for at least the summer (whimper), maybe in the fall I can look for some more interesting goals--I'd love to perform again and I think the rope would make a super interesting apparatus for this song: That's it! Will take the rest of this week to gear up and hit the ground running at challenge start. (May 27th? Saturday starts now? What is this nonsense?)
  10. As the video and title might suggest, this challenge is all about the spreadies!* Just as my last challenge I'll continue to do a bunch of circusy things like handstands and pole, but this time the challenge will be points based, and somewhat more focused. On the surface that is, mainly I just wanted to use the word spready a lot. My overall aim is to collect 200 points over the course of the challenge, which might be a tad ambitious. I’m feeling pretty good right now as I'm on a good streak, but we’ll see. I’ll use zero week to experiment, keeping in mind that my main focus has to be on my performance on Saturday! To even things out a little I’ll give myself 5 points per performance practice this week. *If you haven't watched the video yet, go watch it. I'll wait. #1 Spreadies to the gods My handstands are slowly coming back and I’ve started to get enough control to move around in them a little bit, yay! My kick ups are still far from consistent, but it’s fun to play around with different positions. 5 points for freestanding straddle/splits handstand work 3 points for work in headstand or wall drills #2 Ground dwelling spreadies I know I’ve complained about this about a million times, but miss feeling bendy! My middle splits are surprisingly good after a decent warmup, but my front splits are oh so sad, especially on the right. I’ve just been so scared of re-injury that I’ve simply neglected to stretch them. But now that I’m back in the air I can’t pretend it’s not a problem anymore. 5 points for active flex or deep passive stretching 2 points for extra post workout stretching 1 point for foam rolling or mobilising #3 Spreadies in space I really struggle with keeping my legs straight when inverting, and it’s not a micro bend either, it’s just fugly. I don’t think it’s so much a strength issue, but a control and maybe a flexibility issue as I’m quite tight behind the knees. Also it drives me crazy that I can’t always get into an outside leg hang cleanly. But it all starts from the invert. 5 points for each practice on the pole or other apparatus. 3 points for relevant conditioning exercises. #4 Orbiting spreadies Honestly I’m just adding this goal so I could write orbiting spreadies. But I would like to get more comfortable on spinny pole. At the moment it just feels like I’m going to get flung off the pole and die. 2 points for playing on spinny pole, even if it’s only for a few minutes. BONUS GOAL Tentacle spreadies I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS TITLE MEANS, except that this goal is reserved as a food goal. I just know that I really need to normalise my eating, but I'm not sure how yet. Ideas are welcome. If they fit the title even better.
  11. Hey! A challenge! I will make up goals as I go along, or something, but I am feeling the urge to get back to this... I have been terribly slack-y over the last *mumblemumble* months. And sick. Like once per month sick for the last three months. Ick. And stressed with some family stuff and some RIDICULOUS work things. So, yeah.. some fitness-y reset would be good. Goals.. you're supposed to have goals for these, yes? Okay. Let's do that... Vertical Apparatus. Starting 5/3 my circus gym will be offering a combined silks/corde lisse class. I will do this every week (except 5/10, which I will do open gym due to cancelled classes). Morning sun salutations. I have enjoyed this every time I've made it part of a challenge, but as soon as it's not a challenge goal, I don't do it. That's dumb, but at least I recognize the pattern. Do your fracking sun salutations, sylph! Other workouts. I have been NOT doing any workouts other than going to circus conditioning once/week. Previous challenges I've shot for 2 'other' workouts per week and done none of them. The bar is low. One workout per week on top of weekly circus class. Food. Cook, FFS! Or eat something other than toast and pre-prepared frozen meals. Again, the bar is low. Cook SOMETHING at least twice over this challenge. So, yeah. Low bar is low. But I could use a win right now, so hopefully this minimal threshold is something I can reach. Also, I leave tomorrow for a work conference and will be back next Thursday. Will attempt to keep up sun salutations and a workout or two in the hotel gym. Won't be able to cook or do circus while there, though.
  12. Ok maybe I'll expand a little. Truth is I'm a little lost and directionless, fitness and otherwise. So until inspiration strikes, and because I'm me, I'm simply going to do all the things and play around with whatever floats my boat, as long as it's vaguely circusy. Also climbing, but that's a given. The main goal is to do something circusy every day. And if I cannot manage every day then at least no break two days in a row. Ideally, I'd like to include pole 1-2x per week, climbing 1-2x/week, active flex training 3x/week and handstands as often as possible but at least 2x/week. But the more important thing is to show up, do something most days and have fun while doing it. Since my last challenges have been a ) failures and b ) embarrassingly devoid of fitness (considering this is a fitness forum) I want to keep this challenge really, really simple and fun. But I do have one little mini challenge and that is to learn the words for different body parts and other pole related vocab in Finnish so I can begin the process of understanding what the teacher is saying in class. (And to restart my Finnish learning which I've completely neglected since I moved here...) In summary, let's do weird things.
  13. Challenge 1, L sit Pull ups Week 1 goal attempt 3 days a week 5 shoulder shrugs in a row 10 knee tucks in a row 5 knee circus pushups in a row 5 sec L sit 10 scapula push ups in a row Week 2 attempt 3 days a week 10 shoulder shrugs in a row 15 knee tucks in a row 10 knee circus pushups in a row 10 sec L sit 15 scapula push ups in a row 5 cheater pull ups Week 3 attempt 3 days a week 10 shoulder shrugs in a row 15 knee tucks in a row 10 knee circus pushups in a row 10 sec L sit 15 scapula push ups in a row 5 cheater pull ups Week 4 attempt 3 days a week 10 shoulder shrugs in a row twice 15 knee tucks in a row twice 5 circus pushups in a row 10 sec L sit twice 15 scapula push ups in a row twice 5 cheater pull ups twice 1 full L sit pull ups Challenge 2, Handstand Endurance Week 1 15 seconds total handstand and elbowstand every day Week 2 30 seconds total handstand and elbowstand every day Week 3 45 seconds total handstand and elbow stand every day Week 4 1 minute total handstand and elbowstand every day Challenge 3, Range of Motion Do physio exercises every day (These are getting reviewed by my physio on monday, will update then) Challenge 4, Nutrition 3 meals every day, whole duration 1 meal aday must contain fruit or vegetebles
  14. I hope it's ok for me to post here as this is only my second challenge! I joined NF back in April, did my first challenge with the Rebels, and then kind of lost track of things. I've been active in the FB group, but not here, and I want to change that. Part of the problem was that I felt like I was wasting too much time messing about online, but I think posting here is actually useful and I love getting feedback and having a sense of community. I think I also got ridiculously over-ambitious with my first challenge and burned out by the end. I set myself 16 initial goals, and probably added a few things along the way (that were things I was doing anyway). I tracked everything using a Google Sheets spreadsheet, which worked well, but I ended up just feeling like I was checking boxes for the sake of checking boxes. Since then I switched to an analog tracking system for exercise, meditation, food, mood, time spent on Facebook, as well as my general calendar and work scheduling, which has been working much better for me. So, for this challenge, I'm drastically simplifying. My goals are: DIET: For the past few weeks I've been trying to reduce my spending on food due to some unexpected and expensive car repairs, as well as realizing that my financial situation isn't as healthy as I'd like. This has actually resulted in forcing me to be more creative and think of ways to use things that have been lurking in my pantry for a long time. I've also been eating healthier as I have only been buying essential items instead of empty snacks. I've also been more mindful of how much food I prepare for each meal, as well as making sure that I'm not throwing out leftovers just because I don't feel like eating them. My goal for this challenge is to continue being mindful about the food I purchase, prepare, and consume, and find new ways to be more cost-effective. EXERCISE: I have two upcoming aerials performances- next week I'll be performing ambient lyra at a fundraising event at a bar, and in October I'll be performing at a Harry Potter-themed event. I'm doing one act on static trapeze as a Dementor (yay I get another use out of my skeleton bodysuit!), and also a duo lyra act with a girl who is being Harry's stag Patronus. One part of my goal is to work on my Dementor trapeze act. I'm reworking my ongoing trapeze act which started as Pris from Blade Runner, and then was adapted last year for a Grim Reaper act for Halloween. Hopefully I'll get some good pictures to share! The other goal, which is more long term, is to focus on developing my split. I just turned 39, and although I am far away from having a full split, I want to have it by my 40th birthday. Some time ago I was actively working on improving my split flexibility and made definite progress, so I know I can do it if I really focus on it. LIFE: I am finally admitting that I have too much credit card debt and my financial habits have been disorganized and ineffective. It's not a huge amount of debt, and I've been sort of ignoring it, but it's not going to go away on its own. I am going to take stock of my expenses and make an actual budget, rein in unnecessary spending, start saving more, and pay down my credit card debt. I'm looking forward to being more active here! (The spreadsheet of doom): (New and improved analog tracking):
  15. Lifted 3 workouts/week I've got a good system going, I'd like to keep it up. Regular workout days are Saturday, Monday and Wednesday. Things may get squeezed to accommodate missed workouts but the goal is to have 12 workouts during the 'official' challenge timeline. Grounded Morning sun salutations 4/week This was my favorite task from two previous challenges. Perhaps it'll be a nice way to ease into some stretching prior to the re-opening of my circus gym. Fueled Cook 4 meals over the course of this challenge Seems like it would be manageable, but seriously guys, you have no idea what kind of a stretch this is for me. At 30 something, I still mostly eat like a college student. One-skillet meals and goulash-type recipes totally count for this. Refreshed Tackle 4 15-minute cleaning blocks over the course of this challenge My adulting is terrible and my house is a mess (again). I'd like to build a regular cleaning habit. Baby steps, yo.
  16. There is quite a sturdy rumor that my circus gym will be re-opening some time in July. I've been in and out of a fitness-funk for the last 8 months while they've been closed/relocating so it's time to see if I can be in some kind of decent shape once I can get back to class. Lift weights My old faithful push/pull/legs split 3x/week, please! 15 workouts total Core progressions So much about being in the air is reliant on core strength. I am sure mine is not where it was 8 months ago, so lets work on that. Hollow body holds, floor tucks (no idea what to call these, really, but it's mimicking an aerial inversion on the ground) and maybe the ab wheel will be the cornerstone of this work. 2x/week 10 core sessions Stretch When I don't have class, I am terrible at this. I think I can count on one hand the times I've had any kind of stretching session since November. Sigh. Setting the bar low, here. 1x/week 5 stretch sessions Sun salutations A few challenges back, I made an effort to start each day with a few (5-ish) sun salutations. I quite liked it, really and I'd like to get back to it. With a little room for error/forgetfulness. 5x/week 25 mornings of greeting the sun No theme, no fancy formatting, no distractions. Just work.
  17. am currently undergoing a preliminary test to see if I can qualify for rescue swimmer school (search and rescue SAR swimmer) in July. that means I have to attain at minimum the following: run 1.5 miles in under 12 minutes swim 400 meters in under 11 minutes pushups at least 30 situps at least 50 pullups at least 2 The qualifying test it THIS FRIDAY!!! So I better be on my a game this week! I proved a few weeks ago that I can accomplish these things, however it was a real kick in the teeth to realize how much I've lost in time on the run (or gained rather) and how the pushups didn't feel as easy as they used to. I am challenged most by the run. I can do it in the time required, however it is not easy and I really have to keep my pace and not get distracted! Here is my challenge summary and grading criteria! goal 1: Run faster: current run time is 11:50 for 1.5 miles. I want to shave that down to 9:30 someday, but just "better" for this challenge will satisfy this goal A = run 3 miles 3x per week aiming for a 7:30 pace (if this becomes easy to obtain this will drop) B = 2x per week C = 1x per week F = < 1x per week goal 2: I have very little control of my diet, so I'm going to put stretching in here as it will force me to moderate the quantity A = 7x a week B = 6x a week C = 5x a week D = 4x a week F = 3x a week goal 3: hand balance training = better/stronger upper body for pushups A = 7x a week (an hour minimum focused training session) B = 6x a week C = 5x a week D = 4x a week F = 3x a week Life goal: Circus performance means moar ROUE CYR spinning! A = spun 3x a week (one hour minimum can be cross trained with handbalancing) B = 2x C = 1x F = <1x my starting stats: age: 23 height: 5'3" weight: 141 May 20 I hope to update my page consistently at the very least weekly, however, thanks to my occupation, I will have trouble with contact for loads of weekdays so expect updates mostly on weekends. The best way to be encouraging to me is to simply post a little check up blurb should I be late in posting for a week. Also, ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU HAVE!!! I am a true introvert at heart but I love to push my limitations and I am in no way reserved about my love of circus so you can actually HELP me by expressing your curiosity about all the crazy apparatus and things I do! (what a great way to fulfill both objectives) this also will help me be more clear to begin with because all these terms and phrases have become so familiar I sometimes forget what "normal people" understand .
  18. I love Alice in Wonderland, the show I'm in is based on Alice in Wonderland, Alice in Wonderland is super gifable...perfect challenge theme! Admittedly I prefer the book to the film, and the animated is vastly better than the 2010 version, but book gifs don't work quite so well. I liked my points method in the last challenge so will probably repeat that. A google sheet means that I can update categories on the go so don't have to try to remember what I've done at the end of each day, and points are just fun. Down the rabbit hole we go... One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter As we all know, you can't outrun your diet (boo!). And my diet is...dubious. I seem to swing between eating really well and eating everything I can get my hands on. Add to this new meds which have appetite increase as a side effect (double boo!) and I really need to take a long hard look at my eating habits. I've started getting HelloFresh boxes, and whilst they're not the most cost efficient (it works out as ~£6.50 a meal, ouch!) but it's getting me cooking healthy food on a regular basis, and since the portions are actually massive I tend to end up with three meals instead of two from a lot of them. Plus they're really yummy (and I genuinely am a terrible cook). I also massively reduced my coke consumption in the last challenge so let's keep that up! This challenge I'm being harsher on myself for coke drinking and fast food, but also more rewarding for cooking and keeping on top of my calories. So points for this: Portion of fruit or veg +1 Bottle/glass of coke -2 Bottle of other fizzy drink -1 Take out/fast food -10 Home cooked meal +5 Daily calorie tracking +2 Under calorie target +1 We're all mad here Or at least I am. Last challenge I got a new diagnosis, a shiny new drug, and a shiny new therapist. This challenge ends two days before I'm due to go back to my PhD so excellent timing for finishing sorting my life out for that fun and exciting development (ohgodpleasekillmenow). This section is going to include specific mental health things as well as more general adult life things. Because realistically a lot of the issues with adult stuff are a result of being slightly mad. Psychiatrist appointment +5 Therapy session +5 Taking all meds +1 Daily thought record +1 Shower +1 Bath +2 Cleaning teeth +1 Hour of tidying +10 Completely sorted room +25 Completely sorted flat +100 Unnecessary spending -25 I say, you'll never get dry that way Get dry? Have to run with the others. First rule of a caucus race, you know. I'm doing a half mudder at the end of the month, so much training is needed. Run run run! Going for a run +5 Each km run +1 5km in one session +10 8km in one session +20 Twinkle twinkle little bat/ how I wonder what you're at/ up above the world you fly/ like a tea tray in the sky Can you stand on your head? Circus! Ciiirrrrccuuuuuuussssss Ahem. I like circus Much circus etc etc I've got moves to work on, rehearsals to get to, and I really need to get my flex work on again Aerial class +2 Rehearsal +1 Double skinner +10 Single toe hang +20 Heel hang +50 Forward belly spins/millwheels +10 New move/transition +1 Handstand work +5 Juggling practice +5 Hula hooping +1 Splits work +5 Backbend work +5 Doing less than 4 stretch sessions in a week -50
  19. Hi, I'm Mad Hatter, a dabbler and explorer of the circus arts as well as a climber and all-round messer-arounderer. And this is my battle log, where I'll be tracking some of the fun skills I'd like to learn this year (current level in brackets): Handbalancing 10s consistent freestanding handstand (extremely inconsistent handstand kickups, but can occasionally catch long holds 15+ seconds) Make shapes in forearm stand (need the wall to stabilise me) Flying crow (solid crow and ok flying pigeon) Crane (can sometimes hold it for a split second) Crocodile (can balance a finger tip supported variation for a short time) Acrobatics Back walkover (have all the prerequisites but have mental hangups) Front walkover (have all the prerequisites but have even more mental hangups) Flexibility Feet to head cobra DONE! New goal: Ankle grab (I'll add pictures for the flexibility goals these are hard to quantify) Left split (can do it with bad form) Right split *almost* as good as left split (I injured my hamstring a really long time ago and it's never been the same since) Middle split Contortion No hands cobra (as soon as I lift both arms I face plant) Cheststand (have the flexibility for it, but not the strength) Press from bridge to forearm stand Bouldering Climb 10 black problems (can climb most red problems, have climbed 1-3 easy black problems this year) Strength Nice push-ups (almost there) Dips (need heavy assist) 5 pull-ups (3 on a good day) Strict toes to bar (can kind of do ugly ones) Dragon flag (negatives are haaard)
  20. I'm sylph. Given my preferred choice of exercise, naming myself as an air elemental seemed appropriate. Been at this for a few challenges now, and into fitness/working out/health for quite a bit longer than that. Lately I've had the niggling feeling that the challenge format isn't doing me much good; my habits are well-ingrained and I'm generally happy where I am. I wind up creating some manufactured goals just to fit into the expected structure. As an experiment, I'll be backing off from the 6WCs for a bit and keeping everything here in one continuous place instead. As a bit of history for any that don't know me, I've been working out/lifting heavy things on the regular for about 10 years, now. It ebbs and flows, but I know my way around the weight room. Goals change from being super lean to lifting REALLY heavy things to doing awesome bodyweight things to building cardio endurance, but I'm usually getting some kind of workout in at least 3x/week (some times I go crazy with 6x/week but those moments of madness typically pass quickly). About two years ago I discovered aerial silks and love it <3 Upside down and 20 feet in the air? Yes, please. A bit odd for a woman afraid of heights. Since then, I've taken classes/lessons on the regular and performed twice: October 2014 August 2015 I'm at a bit of a crossroads at the moment in my silks work. My schedule doesn't fit for the class level I'm currently working at. I had 'solved' this by taking private lessons with my instructor. Well, she just moved 5+ hours away to go to circus school for the next 9 months (I hope she comes back when she's done!). I haven't quite figured out my plan going forward. I love the silks, but also feel a bit stagnant as to progress (it's not really something you can teach yourself!), so expect a bit of occasional whining/angsting on that topic. So yeah. Welcome aboard.
  21. So when you last saw me I was bailing out of a challenge because my mental health was going a bit squiffy. Since then I spent a month in Brazil doing circus training, lost a few of my older rats, obtained four new baby rats, got my second tattoo, aaannnd my mental health went SERIOUSLY squiffy. Like I'm currently on a three month interruption from my PhD because I stopped getting out of bed and going in for like three weeks squiffy. I am, however, starting to go a wee bit stir crazy on my own in the flat all day. So here I am. I don't have to worry about my PhD for the next little while so I can concentrate on getting my health together - both physically and mentally. In honour of the four new babies, and the fact that I am finally getting round to watching Ratatouille for the first time, I'm going to split this challenge into four segments, each based on one of the girls (who all have names from sci-fi/fantasy so it's totally still a nerd thing ). Plus cute rat photos. And Ratatouille gifs. Main Goals There are two main things I'm working towards. Half Mudder (June 26th). 8km run with mud and obstacles and general mayhem. The half doesn't include the most horrific things (ice bath, no thanks. Electrocution? Hahahahaha NOPE) but still has challenges. I'm actually not that worried about the obstacles, more about the whole running outside for that long thing... MCF Dreams (End of July/Early August). The company where I take my aerial classes is putting a show together for Glasgow's Merchant City Festival based loosely on Alice in Wonderland and I'm in it! Like all of it. The cast was meant to be 12 and has ended up as....six. Currently I am riding a bike in the intro, being a fairy briefly to rescue Alice from "bad dreams", in a group act with hula hoops and aerial hoops, some form of movement thing, an aerial hoop nymph in a group forest scene, doing some form of group act on a trampoline (lord help us all) and singing. Singing. FML. I have a really good ear and a really bad voice :'( I have a lot of work to do to be ready for both these things.... Fenchurch (Self Care) Named after the H2G2 chracter, Fenchurch is a special rat (that is her official vet diagnosis, seriously). She's got epilepsy, she's nervous and neurotic, and she's amazing. She reminds me daily of the importance of baby steps (I almost cried the first time I saw her tussle with the other babies like a normal rat), that two steps forward and one step back is still progress, and she's the inspiration for my self-care quest. To gain points in this quest (subject to change as I, hopefully, go through the mental health services) Take all my meds +1 Leave the flat (this is super vague and includes everything from going to the cinema to sitting on the balcony with a book to going for a run) +1 Socialising +2 Showering +1 Washing my hair +2 Cleaning my teeth +1 Proper face washing +1 Moisturising +1 Shaving legs +2 Face mask/hair mask/foot mask/some form of spoiling +2 Getting a massage +5 Having a bath +2 20 minutes of reading +1 One load of washing (washed and hung) +2 Emptying the washing basket +10 Changing bedding +5 15 minutes of tidying +2 One hour of tidying +10 One completely organised room +25 One completely organised flat +100 Sabetha (Circus) Sabetha is my crazy circus rat (and a total mummy's girl which I love but isn't really relevant here...). Named after Sabetha Belacoros of the Gentlemen Bastards (the only female member) who is a complete badass. Book!Sabetha would totally be an assassin. Rat!Sabetha...well she'll lick you to death When she's not pretending to be a tiny dog she's being generally mental - jumping, climbing, tightrope walking - nothing is beyond her (or so she thinks ) and she would be amazing in the circus, so is the inspiration for my circus-specific training. As well as progressing with my first love (trapeze), I want to improve my hoop, learn to juggle, improve my hula hooping and work on my handstands. We're doing quite a lot of handstand stamina work but my tendency is to take it into my lower back when I get tired which is not helpful to anyone so in my private practice I plan to work on quality rather than quantity by kicking up to a wall then getting myself into the proper position and holding there. This way I can work on technique and position without worrying about the initial balancing issue. I've also let my flex work slide since getting back to cooolllld Scotland so need to get back to that. To gain points in this quest Aerial class +2 10 minutes juggling practice +1 30 minutes juggling practice +5 Consistent two ball juggling +5 Five passes three ball juggling +5 Ten passes three ball juggling +10 Consistent three ball juggling +50 10 minutes hula hoop practice +1 30 minutes hula hoop practice +5 25 show condition throw/catches in a row +3 25 spin outs in a row +5 50 spin outs in a row +10 Aerial hoop session (can include rehearsals) +5 Getting my double skinner back +5 Single toe hang +10 Heel hang +20 Single heel hang +100 Multiple back belly spins +5 Forward belly spins +15 New move/transition (trapeze) +1 New move/transition (hoop) +2 Five handstand tries +1 Ten second freestanding handstand +10 Closed eye one leg balance training +1 Splits flex work +5 Back flex work +5 Eskarina (General fitness) Esk is a sturdy soul. By no means fat, she's strong and energetic. Named for Eskarina Smith in Equal Rites, she's got her character's feisty spirit and is usually not far behind Sabetha in causing mayhem so is an excellent example for my general fitness quest. To earn points in this quest Going for a run +5 Each km run +1 5km run in one session +10 5km run without stopping +15 8km run in one session +15 8km run without stopping +20 10 v sits +1 5 push ups +2 2 pull ups +1 10 leg raises +1 10 burpees +1 Inara (Diet) Inara is of course named after the beautiful Inara Serra of Firefly. Tbh I'm reaching here because there isn't really a specific reason to link her to diet but I've started this theme so I'll finish it... Inara looks extremely similar to Esk (like I struggle to tell them apart sometimes) but is a slightly leaner version so...diet? Eh whatever, I need a diet quest, she's cute as a button, pretend this bit makes some sort of sense Diet wise, well, you know how people in a depressive episode are super healthy with what they eat? No? Damn. So, that needs work. Main aims here are to reduce how much coke I'm drinking, reduce the take away/fast food consumption (I'm allowing myself one per week) and increase my fruit and veg intake. Baby steps all the way... Points for this quest Portion of fruit/veg +1 Fast food over the limit of once per week -5 No fast food in a week +5 Replacing bottle of coke with water based drink +1 Tracking calories (per day) +1 Scoring/Rewards My vague plan is to use week 0 to get an idea of what's realistic in terms of overall scoring then work out some form of reward scheme for myself. We shall see!
  22. GIANT LIST OF THINGS I like to check things off. I like spreadsheets. So, here's a giant list of things for which I can earn points this challenge. I have no idea how the points will work out, so can't make a weekly goal for # of points, but I will make a goal that each week is better than the last. So, here's the list. Now to figure out the best spreadsheet to do this. That should do for now. Spreadsheet here
  23. DAY 1. Joined NF. Still reading through things. Joined Assassin Guild as it fits the best with my circus background and goals (half of which are in service of being a better aerialist, and the other half are just general life-improvement things). GOALS 1. Develop a home fitness program that I enjoy and actually stick with. Belonging to a gym was not working for me (money, transportation difficulties, lack of space at free weight stations [bros!]) so I quit. But I don't want to quit exercising- I want to make it more regular. That's why I joined here- community and accountability will help a lot! 2. Improve stamina. Start running again. The weather is improving and there is no excuse! My cardio fitness sucks and I can tell after climbing a rope or silk a couple of times! 3. Get stronger. I feel that I have lost strength over the past couple of years. Although I do circus classes 2-3 times a week I no longer do regular strength training. I have been working on incorporating bodyweight exercises into my day [during small computer breaks, using Coach.me app and google sheets to track] and feel better already. Want to add in some free weight exercises too. I have a full set of free weights but probably need to get a bench. 4. Improve flexibility. I have already developed a morning routine including 15 minutes of stretching, but I could probably do more. Want to be able to do a full split on at least one side if not both by the time I turn 40 (1.3 years to go!). Would like to be able to do a full pancake straddle. I had a mysterious shoulder pain / RSI problem that lasted for about 5 months and has just begun to improve over the past month with a concerted effort at stretching regularly. Keep stretching and being mindful of potential injuries. 5. Keep meditating and focus on positive mental health. Since the new year I have been pretty good about meditating for at least 10 minutes every day. My morning routine now includes 15 minutes of sitting meditation, which I do right after the 15m stretching. It has definitely helped improve my mood and mental self-control. I have kept a daily journal for many years where I mostly just write what happened that day, but this year I started keeping another one where I specifically focus on listing 3 good things that happened each day. I think this has been very helpful to cultivating a positive outlook. I have struggled with depression in the past (mostly mild with occasional brief bad spells), and am always trying to find strategies to stay in a healthy place. (I took Zoloft for a couple of years in college but haven't done medication since then. I think regular exercise and other strategies such as meditation have helped me far more than medication ever did). 6. Work on improving my diet. I have been vegan for 15 years and I think I eat a fairly healthy and varied diet . I try to eat more whole foods and less processed foods, but there is always room for improvement. I tend to eat too much if I am eating something I enjoy. I probably eat too many simple carbs [pasta!]. I also plan to play around with eating smaller meals more frequently- I have done this in the past and it helped with keeping my energy level more consistent throughout the day. 7. Develop better sleep habits. I work from home and tend to be nocturnal, which can lead to difficulties. I tend to stay up too late, get up fairly early in the morning (7:30am), then take a nap in the afternoon, and then have difficulties falling asleep at night. Over the past week I have started working on cutting out naps (except for a once-a-week indulgence) using another Facebook habit group for accountability. The first two days I ended up feeling even more wired at night, but I'm starting to feel things settling down and actually have been tired at night so I think it is starting to help. TODAY'S VICTORIES (via Coach.me challenges) 15mins general stretching AM 15mins sitting meditation (music) AM Tricep dips- 30 (legs fully extended) Abs- 70 situps, 95 crunches, 42 leg raises, 60s plank Handstand- 1min wall hold, 1min wall hold alternating feet off wall every 15s, 10 (tiny) handstand pushups [can't get all the way to the ground yet, also I can feel this is too much for my "bad" shoulder so this is something I want to work on gradually improving]. Bodyweight squats- 130 [two sets of 65] Split stretching- 2m20s wall split stretch Pushups- 16 (didn't go as low as I could have)
  24. Space here for stuff... Silks gym still not open. This song still is crying out to be silks-ed to. Challenges for this, uh, challenge (mostly repeated from last time, since that was such a stellar success. ): Flexy workPullups and Toes-To-Bar stuffConditioning, because who KNOWS how much stamina I have lost?No alcohol, just to prove I can. Since challenges are now <4 weeks (like 24 days? Yeesh) I'm going to get away from the # x per week goals and do a tally system instead. Also, I apparently need scoring, otherwise I do nothing and fail. Flexy work 8 sessions. -Some kind of yoga or dedicated stretching, at least 10 minutes. Pullups and TTB 3 sessions each. -TTB can be actual TTB; ground progressions; or other core or hip flexor things -Pullps are pullups, though if my elbow is being creaky, neutral grip is acceptable. Conditioning/Cardio 6 sessions -Hang from the pull up bar with engaged shoulders until I drop. Do this twice in a workout and that counts as 1 session. -20 minutes on the treadmill counts. 40 minutes continuous does NOT count as 2. -If (heaven forbid) I have to shovel my driveway due to terrible weather, this also counts as 1 session. -If the silks studio opens up mid challenge, some silks things can count under this section, too. No alcohol Seems pretty straightforward, eh?
  25. As I crept into the Assassin's guild for the first time, I found myself nervous with anticipation. There was no way the Assassins would welcome me. With such poor strength and even poorer flexibility, how could I possibly hope to earn a position in such a noble guild? I knew I must take on a formidable quest in hopes of proving myself. Must I find the knight's sword and challenge a fierce dragon? No! Must I rally up my brave comrades to take down our tyrannical king? No! Must I overcome my fears to save our world from destruction? No! I must DANCE! No! I Must Dance! ~Rhyme's sixth challenge~ Hey nerds! I've always admired your sassy Assassinry from afar, and I think it's about time I hop in and get my poi quest rollin'! I just learned how to make fuzzy, poorly-saturated gifs... and well, if progress pics are a thing, why can't we have progress gifs? Needless to say I'm a complete noob at making gifs, though. If anyone has any tips, I'm all ears! Fitness goal: Learn Crossers! I recently learned crossers, and while I can technically do them, I either hit myself or destroy my planes within five seconds. Not to mention, it takes me lots of preparation to enter or exit! Here's where I'm at right now: Ohh myyyy. You see that pink light? That's supposed to be parallel to the red one. Crossers are in the wall plane, which means the lights shouldn't be pointing towards the camera at all -- they should be parallel to the wall in front/behind me. Also, they're not supposed to crash into each other when I try to exit. That too. By the end of this challenge, I want to be able to enter the move without pausing, sustain the move with proper form for at least 10 seconds, and exit the move smoothly! Fitness goal: Learn the Reverse Windmill! I made the poor life decision to learn the corkscrew before I learned to do the windmill both ways. For reference, here's the windmill in the direction I learned it: Pretty nice! The reverse direction, on the other hand.... Ohhh myyy. You can see it awkwardly morph towards a corkscrew, which is like a windmill but down in front of you instead of over your head. I learned the corkscrew in that direction before I learned the windmill, so my muscle memory is trying to fix it. You're not helping! I want to be able to perform the reverse windmill by the end of this challenge -- and the only way is to practice! Diet goal: Garden of Eatin’ I want to grow edible flowers so I can make some fancy pants salads like this! Or this! Oh, they’re all so adorable that I want to devour them. And I’m gonna make it happen. …The thing is, that’s what I said last year. And it never happened. I have a bad habit of getting awesome ideas, and then never actually trying to accomplish them? So, I want to set aside at least 30 minutes a week to working on garden stuff – be it researching, contacting nurseries, or starting seeds! Life goal: Chem Is Try! Oh, I’m very responsible. I always get my homework done. Usually at 2AM where I turn into a rabid, sleep-deprived gremlin. And then I wonder why studying stresses me out. But when I study early instead of all in one last-minute session, I actually like to read and practice the material! I just put it off because “studying stresses me out! (when I have all this crap due tomorrow and I want to go to bed)â€. So, for this challenge I’m going to study for ten minutes every day. Once that book’s open I typically either get on a roll, or I make slow progress in between finding a catchy playlist and petting my cat. Either option would be great! And if I reeeeally don’t want to study, It's ten minutes and I can go back to doing nothing useful as usual. Also, fair warning, I'll be posting obligatory kitty pics every week after my volunteer shift at the animal shelter! It's not related to my challenge this time, but it was a blast to share last challenge, so I'll keep doing it anyway!
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