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  1. All right. Let's get this party started. So, in case any of you didn't get the chance to see, I've been working on new goals. I've desired to grow stronger and fight better, and my goals to that end have helped me with that a lot. But at the same time, I've been exposed to my limits. I've done manual labor and found that strength training has its limits in terms of what it can do to save you. And I've seen what it's like to wake up in the morning and not feel pain. I like those things. I like them very much. The overarching mission of this year is twofold - one, to make my body move better, and two, to make martial arts indelibly part of my life. No one challenge is going to be enough to make that happen, anymore than any one goal can make those things happen. As such, I'm ultimately going to spend this year focusing on building and maintaining systems that put me in a better place than I was before. GOAL 1: Hip Flexibility System This is something I've heard a lot of good things about. I'll be in the second week of the program by the time the challenge officially starts, and my challenge for myself is to not miss a single workout here. I have no real excuse to - at this point, it's mostly just a couple minutes added onto my warm up, and I've seen some good come of it already in my hill sprinting exploits. But at the same time, I feel so impatient with this, and it's implausible. I don't know why it's that way. But having the public accountability to all y'all is gonna help me with that. I don't quite know what the exact number of sessions is going to translate to, but we'll grade this as: +2 CON, +1 STR, +1 STA. GOAL 2: Active Recovery This has two opportunities to happen. Strength training that acknowledges martial artists tends to say that technical work - being in class and training, etc. - is a form of active recovery. Since I'm seeing my sensei on a semi-regular basis, that's one way that this can happen. The other way is to use the active recovery routine that I have on hand. I've also begun to slip on my morning mobility, so I'm going to go ahead and throw that in for this goal too, so that I can rebuild that habit and put some new stuff with it. +1 CON, +2 STA, +1 DEX GOAL 3: Solo Practice I still can't believe that the last challenge was too ambitious for this. But I'm gonna shake it off and learn from it. We're going to focus on just ten combos and ten uchikomi. Feels pathetic, but the seed has to be planted somewhere. +2 DEX LIFE GOAL: Finances So, this is going to be interesting. The job situation has gone chaotic, and without going into a full-blown rant, I stand to lose both the writing gig and the UPS gig. I don't know how any of this is going to shake out, although I do have a personal training interview to go see to on the tenth of January. As usual, no guarantees. I've begun to take a look at my finances to see what I can cut that I don't really need anymore. Unfortunately, she's pretty much been cut to the bone. I managed to drop out of some training communities that were charging me that weren't benefiting me, which was a win. I still need to find a way to drop out of the gym membership, given that I'm not going to be there any time soon. This one is really, really vague. The clearest form of success would be to cut that gym membership, but as for the rest, I honestly don't know how I'm going to define success. Survival? Bleak, maybe, but that suits me rather well. ; Maybe I'll know at the end of it. +3 WIS, +2 CHA We'll see how this all goes. I'm genuinely excited to have a new mission for 2014, an overarching focus to drive me. It's nice. We'll see what happens.
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