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  1. Here I am for another comeback! One of these has to stick eventually... I have no idea how I left things in my last challenge, or even how long ago that was, and I'm way too lazy to check, so some updates which may or may not be known: I got a new job with a Real Adult Paycheque™. This has allowed me to get a shiny new computer, which makes these forums much less of an onerous task (my 13 year old Mac would get me there eventually, but it left me lots of time for idle contemplation and getting distracted). It has also allowed me to indulge just a bit in my Ranger Brain and join a HEMA class. Between work, holidays, and events being held by, or attended by, the class organizers, it's been a while since I've gone, so this might take a bit to really settle in, but I've enjoyed what I've done and plan to keep with it if I can. It has also allowed me to try a new program for weight management, so hopefully I can shed a few. Alas, the Real Adult Paycheque™ has not yet allowed me to move out of my parents' basement, but hopefully that'll come some day... Along with the new job and the new-found financial security (ish), my mood has taken a definite upswing. Though the job is more stressful than my previous one, mainly because I care about it and want to do the best job I can do, rather than that I find it overly stressful in and of itself, so my sleep (already not great) has suffered a bit. I still have my down days and struggle to get my arse off the couch, but I'm feeling like I'm in a place where I can move forward, albeit slowly. So, my goals: Goal 1 ~ The Dude Abides By the macro goals, that is. The group I joined is called the Focused Adipose Reduction Team (yes, that spells FART, and yes, that was on purpose, apparently), and among other things, the person running things gives you macro goals to abide by. This is nothing new to me, but it's the same goal every day, unlike previous programs I've tried, which is nice and simple. It also requires periodic check-ins, daily weigh-ins, and participation in a dedicated Facebook group (not usually my thing), so this goal is mainly about the macros but also about Doing the Other Things Too. Goal 2 ~ Run, Forest, Run! So apparently my goals have a movie theme going on...? I used to run regularly, and hated every second of it. I do, however, feel much better just in general when my cardiovascular health is better, and running is the least of all evils when it comes to cardio. Also, while gyms are open again, there's nothing stopping The Unvaccinated Masses from spewing their germs everywhere while Dancing to the Oldies, or whatever, so I'm not real cool about going, so running outdoors is about all I've got (home workouts will not work, I've given up trying and just accepted that's how it is). My physio suggested trail running, since trails are rugged and require more focus than sidewalks, and are also softer on the ol' joints, and I didn't hate the idea. I've been working through an injury that was aggravated by running, so it's been a while, and I need to take it slow. So the goal is to go for some kind of run 3x/week. I went today on a trail that I've walked my dogs on many times and am familiar with, and it wasn't horrible, so this will be my starter trail (plus ample doggos means ample excuses for a short break, cuz you can't not say hi to the good bois and girls). I'd like to be able to do the whole trail without stopping by the end of the challenge (breaks for pats notwithstanding). I'd also like to walk on my off days. I've never preferred to run 2 days in a row, and usually the other days would be gym days. I'm not gymming at the moment, though, so walking will get me a bit of activity without being overly taxing. In a perfect world I'll run Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then walk Tuesday and Thursday with swords on Saturday and rest on Sunday. On the weekend where I have to work, I won't make it to swords so I'll do an extra walk that week. Goal 3 ~ Goodnight, Sweet Prince I'm sure Kenneth Branagh has made a movie of Hamlet at some point in time, if nothing else... Stick to my bedtimes. This has long been a contentious issue for me, and one I struggle with constantly. Right now, in a sort of ideal world, my bedtime is 10:30pm on work nights and 11pm on non-work nights. I rarely meet this, but I'mma try again to be diligent about it. Goal 4 ~ Moving 'Boxes' I'm sure there's a movie quote somewhere using a box as a metaphor, but I've not seen that movie, so just imagine your own reference here. My boxes are metaphorical (though there are a few actual boxes kicking around), and are related to a clean room. My room is habitually a disaster (I hate putting things away and I don't know why!), and actually I'm ok with it. What I'm not ok with is being ok with it (this has been a lifelong internal conflict), so I really need to clean (I've been ignoring this directive for some time now and reading Kishi's goals made my brain go ping, so I'm adding this goal). I'm going to try to 'move' one 'box' per week. My boxes consist of the following: The Floordrobe, The Office Corner, The Carpet, and The Other Random Detritus. I'm only listing 4 despite it being a 5 week challenge (it is a 5 week challenge, right?) because The Office Corner in particular, but also possibly The Other Random Detritus, might actually end up being a box consisting of 2 or more sub-boxes that must be split between weeks, because all work and no play makes obax a cranky human (this is a surprisingly recent realization, believe it or not). And that's it! Some other things I'd like to work on is reading more and vegging in front of the tv/my phone less, and picking away at the writing course I signed up for (it's free, and has no set due dates, which is good because I can work at it whenever, but also bad, because I can procrastinate forever with no consequences...). No formal goals for those, though, just some things for me to keep in mind.
  2. Assault on the Gloom Monster! - again I am quite literally, copying and pasting a challenge from October 2018, lol. Why? Autumn into winter is my most difficult time of year because the shortening days, the degrading weather and grey skies all weigh on me heavily. While I've never been clinically diagnosed with S.A.D. I would be surprised if they said I didn't suffer from it. Autumn and winter is brutal for me, yo. I cannot let the Gloom Monster derail me every year, so we are doubling the efforts to avoid the trap that will turn me into one of the Gloomfallen. RULE #1 - Consistency, not Perfection will damage the Gloom Monster! I've spent the last 4-6 weeks getting into a very good routine with strength workouts. I work out so that I am strong and physically fit enough to move through life in a way that allows me to enjoy a lot of things. I also know it is great for aiding the mood and guarding the emotions against attacks from the Gloom. Exercise at least 5x a week. Continue strength training 2-3x, fill in other days with any kind of non-laziness. Basically, anything 20m or more that has me up and about, can count for this. RULE #2 - To keep the soul healthy, the body must be nourished. I'm on a good streak with tracking my calories, and it is currently not causing me any rage, stress or tantrums. I have taken a couple months off of tracking. I've held the line with my weight during that time, but I would like to shrug off at least half of the pounds I put back on after hitting my all time low. I am going to start off this challenge with tracking again. Both because I think I need the refresher, and also because my sister will be tracking food again after meeting with a doctor about her weight gain. I'm hoping that I can help her by doing this along side her. If not, it's always a good re-focus for myself. Track Food in MFP 7x / week. Plan for 1 Fun meal / week. RULE #3 - A sharp mind keeps a sharp sword. So, this was mostly about art back in 2018. I've not done that hardly at all for the past year and it shows. As I had always wanted art to be a means of practicing "a thing I am not super good at, but will continue even thought it doesn't come fast or perfect" - I would like to get this going again. I almost always get re-inspired during Inktober. So I just need to make time for this. It will also include other creative outlets and anything that makes me put down the video games. Sketch a few times a week! 3x / week Reconfigure desk to set up an EASY tablet access point. D&D Prep 1x / week RULE #4 - Face fear, conquer lies. I don't even know how to quantify this, and that typically marks for a bad goal - but this is so dang important right now. Any ideas you all have on it, I am open eared. Some ideas floating to work on this are: Gratitude Note Daily Positive Body remark Daily Change 'doom' What If's to be a what if 'best case scenario'. Continue Devotions Find a small group / even if it's online to help me with faith side things. Side Goals for the journey: Really hone in on the budget app. Use it for every single thing purchased. Get outside, even when it gets cold and bleh. "Man's heart away from nature becomes hard." ~ Standing Bear (Read this at a N.P. once and loved it.) Recreate 1 movie inspired gif per week! See at least 4 houses to start getting ideas of what works and what doesn't taste wise.
  3. I am now officially post-hike and post-holidays after my awesome hiking (and campervan) holiday (see my Progress Woot thread). A tricky time here as we are back in lockdown and will be for more weeks and I am conscious of how post-hike blues can put me in a hole. So I need to focus on the 'things I learnt on the trail' and try and keep just a bit of that trail fitness. So what is it that is so enjoyable about an extended hike? The simplicity of each day. You know what you have to do (get to the next campsite) even if you may have obsticles in the way - that ridge walk, those very large boulders that you have to haul yourself and pack up and over etc). Also, always being a little out of your comfort zone (see aforementioned boulder field with no clear path to progress) So it is really a 'back to basics' type challenge. Fitness - running. I noticed that my running was much improved after 3 weeks on the trail - so I figure that I should take advantage of this and increase the amount and distance that I'm running. I am kind of thinking of doing a half marathon next year. I haven't really put it out in the world until now. I need to progress from 10k on my 'long run' days. 3 x 5k runs during the week 10k+ run on the weekend Food - I have officially reached my goal weight (whoo hoo) - the hike got me down those pesky last 2kg so I am now offically only just not overweight (ie the top of the normal weight). My real aim is to not put any back on with post-holiday eating, but since we are back in lockdown I have had a 'no junk food lockdown' policy. I'd love to drop another 5kg in the next 12 months, so not bothered about doing anything radical. I am going to log food for at least this challenge (maybe for 3 months) which is an interesting decision as I barely logged when I lost the weight. (I went as low carb as I could - maybe sometimes keto and did a small amount of fasting). i do feel that logging will be good from a maintenance perspective. Log food daily - if miss a day - add in an estimation. Environment - Another lockdown 'habit' is to improve my environment. You wouldn't think so as I am sitting in a room full of miscellanious extra furniture etc, but the real sanity project is in the garden. I've started a gardening journal in Evernote, have a stack of projects I'd like to complete but the goal will just be: 10 Minutes of gardening a day (more if in the mood / have the time (who am i kidding, I always have time) Life outside the comfort zone this is a little more challenging while in lockdown - some ideas that I have need a little more freedom of movement. I guess at this stage I'm just looking for things that are outside of the zone. Here are a few that I am thinking of: Before work run - make two of those weekday runs before work. This doesn't sound very challenging but I am sooo not a morning person. Of course on the trail I could get up around 5 each day becuase we needed to get going at daybreak due to distances/terrain/heat considerations and I did it each day with no issue. I also had accountability from my hiking buddy. Learn something - I was really big into the 'life long learning' thing, but I've dropped off completely. Find something that I can do online and commit some time to doing it. Really vague. Basically consider if there is someting that could form part of my next challenge. Watch out for uncomfortable opportunities - and report back here.
  4. So for those that are new, I'm moving, sometime in the near future...my wife was offered an amazing position in Atlanta to away we go!! I realized this is the 10th state I will have lived in. We will be moving back to Florida once we retire. There is a lot to do to prepare to sell the house...this challenge will be focused on that. After zero week it will be me and the animals here, hopefully I can get most of the big things done and be able to focus on maintaining after that. The Plan... Cardio - I'm going to plan on and hold myself to 20 minutes on the treadmill 3-4x a week and one strength training a week. This is doable in the time before work and still allows me time to get ready without having to sacrifice sleep. Treadmill has been sold, C is now Cleaning (and with that, packing up the house) once this is done I will use the Fiton app for workouts (because D won't be here and I can use the living room space ) Update - Post in thread three times a week. Track - Sleep (at least 7 hours a night) Food (eat when hungry, stop when full, track to be mindful) Extra - Rides, 5k's, events, and any other random stuff goes here Done - 🌈 Not Done - ❄️ While all of this is exciting I really thought this part of my life was done...picking up and relocating to a different state is not as easy as it used to be for me, I was looking forward to not ever having to do this again.
  5. So for my challenges I believe I have the consistency part down as far as planning ( have used the same acronym for almost a year now)…but my execution needs work! To continue with the acronym… Spoilered the backstory and no longer relevant parts. I've been having some knee issues, when I bend my right knee it feels like a tearing on the outside of the kneecap, doesn't hurt all the time but boy when it does!! This has made working out difficult. It's been better since I've discussed it with my chiropractor and tried something called "stretch zone", still taking it easy because I don't want it to get worse again. Updates need to happen to hold me accountable. Sleep...oh how I miss thee... The Plan... Cardio - I'm going to plan on and hold myself to 20 minutes on the treadmill 3-4x a week and one strength training a week. This is doable in the time before work and still allows me time to get ready without having to sacrifice sleep. Update - Post in thread three times a week. Track - Sleep (at least 7 hours a night) Food (eat when hungry, stop when full, track to be mindful) Extra - Rides, 5k's, events, and any other random stuff goes here Done - 🌈 Not Done - ❄️
  6. Hi, my name is Ayman, I am 17 years old, I live in Bangladesh and I am in high school at the moment and I am very new to nerd fitness. I am here to focus on some of my short term and long term goals and make some friends and find some partners to hold me accountable because inconsistency is an issue I always dealt with in the fitness department of my life, and I'd love to make some new friends too. Cheers to everyone on their journeys and I'll list some of my goals and I will be updating this post hopefully on a daily basis. Long-term goals: 1. lose weight, become lean (particularly around the chest and stomach area) 2. Increase strength (concentrating on arms and legs) 3. Get ripped up! Short-term goals: 1. Workout 4 times a week, building up a habit so that I maintain consistency 2. Eat more healthy (cut down sugar, dairy and snack foods) 3. Be able to do 10 push ups without fidgeting 4. Meditate after my workout and before sleeping, everyday 5. Regularly update this post
  7. **Warning: There will be an excessive amount of quotations, parenthesis and ALL CAPS throughout this message** It's no secret. My last two challenges have sucked butt. I have the time to hop on NF, update, and check in with folks, I just don't. This doesn't have anything to do with mood. Depression. Or being to busy, it's just, that I make time for other things. Mostly "non-important" things. My gym has been open since the beginning of June, and, this has been a VERY good thing. I was getting SUPER bored at home with my push-up/pull-up routine. And the funny thing... is I actually saw some really good strength gains from doing it. My bench press numbers leaped significantly since being back in the gym. My weighted pull-up jumped as well. Overall, I'm maintaining a healthy weight (sitting around 195-198 on a given day) and feeling all around "pretty damn good". So what's the issue here? Me. I am my own worst enemy and my greatest ally. Last Saturday, the 6th, I strained my back at Jamison's bday party and ended up having to go get a steroid pack and muscle relaxers. It was THAT bad. And it all happened on the silliest of things. I had been running around all day: dancing, having a fun water balloon fight and doing my normal, "wild" stuff. Granted, I was drinking whiskey and coke most of the day, so I was slightly dehydrated, but I was chasing Racer around, my oldest son, and being a goofball. I sat down on the couch and stood up really quick and that's when the "pull" happened. Instantly, I was like, "EFF THIS!" because I knew it was bad. I even said something to my dad on the lines of "I think I just fuckin pulled my back doing that." I laid down for a bit to let the intensity of things settled and tried to do some light stretching but I was pretty incapacitated. So, I told Heather that I probably needed to go to a Care-Now or something and get a steroid shot. 2 hours later and making a last ditch effort to get to Walmart before their pharmacy closed, I got a steroid pack and some muscle relaxers. The next week was slightly rough. I had to take 3-days off from Costco, I barely worked my day job (which I'm still working from home) and just tried to continually stretch throughout the day as well as take my meds. My closer friends on here probably no my stance on marajuana. I don't see it as a bad thing. I used to be a pot head...BIG TIME. But, since Trixie was born, I've been clean nearly 15-months. The muscle relaxers knocked me on my ass and I found myself wanting more of them because I was essentially getting high off them. The steroid pack made me SUPER irritable and short tempered. I found myself wanting to be done with those ASAP. I'm glad I'm finished up with both of them, tbh, cuz I can have an addicted personality and I don't want or need that stuff in my life. Sunday, yesterday, was the first day I was off light duty since hurting my back and I felt really good. I asked to be put on carts because the day was absolutely beautiful and lo and behold, it was a BUSY day when it came to heavy purchases. Couches, tool cases, 300lb grills seemed to be in rotation. I was initially shying away from the lifting because the last thing I wanted was to reset my injury. I started small, and before I knew it, I was lifting all the things (with help of course) from my co-workers. Yesterday was a really good day. I felt like myself for the first time in a while and it felt amazing. 2020 has been.....less than stellar for the most part. The only thing good coming from all the Covid-19 stuff is I could potentially be working from home with my day-job indefinitely, which would be AWESOME! And I want to try a different approach to training. I wanted to sweat. I wanted to be challenged. And, I wanted to build a lot of muscle and hit a goal I've been shooting for for as long as I can remember. I wanna be 200+ pounds, and I want to be shredded. I'm talking, 6% BF shredded with veins-on-my-lower-abdomen-type-shredded. I've been there before....but I was smaller. MAYBE 180-183 pounds. 2020 is halfway done already, which blows my mind. So, there's roughly six months left of the year. Come Christmas of this year, I WILL be 200+ pounds. And I WILL be close to that 6% BF goal. But.... let's start with the small goals, first. I have a tendency to get WAY ahead of myself. Small Goal #1: Consistency It's been quite the bitch to grasp each and every day. Week in and week out. Month in and month out. This all boils down to mindset and "how bad do I really want this?". The answer is: pretty damn bad. The low BF is gonna boil down to clean eating. There's just 10000% NO WAY I can get low BF without eating clean. Life isn't that fair, lol. The extra 5-7# of muscle I want to gain and maintain boils down to the right exercise program coupled with the right amount of calories. I know this. I've studied it. I've lived it....but half assed it. I'm starting a new 6-week program that started TODAY. Dear Lord, please keep me healthy and let me keep up the protocol! Small Goal #2: Better Dental Hygiene I see people have this goal, like @Jarric and @Yasha92 and think, "That's a great goal. I should add that." But I never do. I get lazy with my dental hygiene and think I'll be ok, but this is the only set of teeth I'll get and I'll be damned if I let them rot away because "accidentally" forget to brush my teeth. OR Floss. Flossing is CRAZY important! NO! Not that kind of flossing! Muuuuuuch better. 2x daily for brushing and flossing! Bonus points for dancing at the same time. Small Goal #3: Make time for the IMPORTANT things I'm a gamer. But here recently I've become a GAMER. Like, I actually make time for it by staying up late, or using my lunch hour or, hell, even just "hey, I'm feeling like playing CoD at 10:47 AM" type of deal. This isn't neccessarily a bad thing...except I wear a lot of hats in my house. I'm Dad. I'm baby (or babe, or sexy beast, or handsome fuck depending on the day). I'm also provider. I'm chef. I'm workaholic (and not by choice but by necessity). These are the things that are important. Being there for my kids and being PRESENT is what matters. Making sure my wife knows I love her and care for her is what's important. Gaming days will be limited to no more than 4x a week. The only exception is if the wolfpack is gone for the day and I'm not shirking my responsibilities. Small Goal #4: Checking-In NF is a valuable part of my life. The friends I've made and progress I've achieved has been world changing for me and I want to give back more than I take. But we all know this isn't the "wolf thing" to do. Ok, maybe not strippers and cocaine. Sorry @Mr_Willes... The goal is to update at least once a week and check in with 5 others 2-3x a week. This is my "challenge". The goals are set. Mindset and discipline meters engaged. Hype thrusters set to MAXIMUM EFFORT...let's do this! Wolf
  8. The journey continues... Last we saw our hero, Wild Wolf aka The Wolfitrator take on demons of unknown origins. The challenge was steep, and while not perfect, Wolf crawled out of the fire more battle hardened then before. Where there was magic and swords before, what lays before you is gun powder and frag grenades. This new journey is unforgiving. One simple mistake, one slip up can mean the difference between a look at your kill cam and a victory dance while tea bagging the enemy squad. Wild Wolf will need to dig deep and become a wraith on the battlefield, something more than mere human. He must become a tactical human. Not only in body but in mind and spirit, too. He must hear the rifle report before the 7.62x39mm round lands home. He must see the enemy before they see him. He must infiltrate the spawn points and take up every power position he can get his grubby hands on. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing is promised. But success is there for the taking. Stay tuned as our tattooed hero checks his magwell and gets down to brass tax! *Click Click BOOM* Goal 1: Firing on all Cylinders Workouts. Diet. I started a perfect trend the last two weeks of the last challenge and want to keep up the momentum. I still haven't established the discipline I want and so the journey continues here. 3x a week workouts. At least 2 meals with veggies in them. Ready-set-GO! Possible Stat Points: +1 STR, +2 DEX, +2 CON Goal 2: Safeties Off Truth Time: I've been avoiding HIIT style workouts because they suck. They're hard. I sweat a shit ton.... but these are just whiny excuses that the old me would be ok with. NOT. ANY. MORE. On top of the 3x a week strength training, 1x a week (bare minimum) will be dedicated to a HIIT workout. These can be quick too. 10, 15, or even just 20 min will get me so much bang for my buck, it's unreal. Utilize my 35# and 45# KB's as well as the gyms array of KB's to get in a sick metcon that melts the fat and explodes the metabolism into overdrive. Possible Stat Points: +3 END, +2 DEX Goal 3: House Hunting April 1st marks the end of our tenure at the apartments we are in. And so begins a new chapter for the Wolfpack™. We're going to do everything we can to ensure we get into a house! WOOT WOOT! My mom is a real estate agent and has been sending us various houses to look at and the time is NOW to get things rolling. We are about 45 days away before we need to have something nailed down so when I say it's crunch time, it truly is CRUNCH TIME! I don't work 2 jobs for the hell of it. I've had my site set on getting us into a house every since I started working at Costco back in late-July of last year. Heather and I and our kids are soooooooooooooooo looking forward to this new chapter. We need to be diligent. First things first, we need to get our income tax filed. We should have that done in the next 2 weeks. Then... we start house hunting! Possible Stat Points: +2 WIS, +3 CHA Is there a word that exceeds being focused? If so, that's what I am right now. I'm BEYOND focused right now! Thank you for taking the time to support me during this crazy and exciting time in my life right now . Let's rock n roll! Wolf
  9. RES

    RES: FEeD me

    Obligatory RES challenge disclaimer: So, the NF challenges are turning 10 years old, my time here just passed the 6 year mark...My first two years and 14 challenges were spent with the Adventurers where I was made an ambassador, then the guilds were reconfigured and the Rangers were a better fit for my goals and the leaders graciously accepted me as one of their own and I've been here ever since. During this time I've learned a lot, about myself and what works for me, and as I've stated previously the more important item of what doesn't work for me...There are many goals that I had previously that I did not achieve, and that's okay, and looking back now I couldn't even tell you why they were important enough for me to make them a goal I wanted to reach. That's where my 'disclaimer' (see above) comes in...I will never need saving, I will adjust, adapt, and ranger on! I used to spend a lot more time on here...it seems like goals were easier to reach then when I held myself more accountable (aka not wanting to post that I hadn't reached my goals) somewhere along the way I started doing weekly instead of almost daily updates...I think it was around the time I started working for an MiLB team, I still work there but life in general has calmed down a bit. I won't make this an actual 'goal' but may in the future if I find myself falling into recent patterns. I love using acronyms when and where I can, my basic challenge theme is not changing because it's working The Plan.... Food: Make 24 hour plan, eat on plan when hungry, stop when full. Exercise: Continue Bodyweight365, do intervals on Sunday and 'stretching' days (Tuesday and Thursday currently) extra: This may be more detailed as time goes on but for now it will be accomplishing anything I didn't have planned (aka not sitting on the couch from the time I get home till bedtime scrolling social media) Down Time: Three times a week (at least) take time for me, this can be journaling, crocheting, or time to read. This also includes excursions with friends since I tend to be a hermit at times. Going to add getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night to this as well. 2/15 - Mud Girl Run 5/16 - Blacklight Run Financial considerations are limiting my participation in 5k's, I'm not as upset about that as I normally would be since so many other plans are in the works! I've decided that while my clothes getting looser and the number on the scale going down are good, they are not reason enough for me to do this, it's too easy for me to make an excuse not to do it. I get to do it because it makes me feel better when I do, I'm not giving out 1/2 way through what I'm doing, so I can drink coffee because I want to, not because I need it to get through the day. I have a whole bucket list of things that I want to do and most involve me being in shape to do them. That is my new goal, my new reason (that, and the beautiful granddaughter I have) to get in the kind of shape I need to be to do whatever I set my mind to.
  10. I don't pay much attention to new years (my most hated holiday) but I do love me some Nat 20's, and at least this new year brings that to the table. Hah! Table... love it when it happens on accident. Anyway. One of the best chances to get a Natural 20 in gaming, is if you roll with advantage. You get to roll with advantage if you have a certain skill set, or strong proficiency, or if the situation you're in presents you with a reason to make the task easier. It's never just a random thing. In other words, you have to do something to set yourself up for the advantage. For me, my single biggest factor in rolling with advantage, is the arcane school of "Consistency." We're starting this new campaign off with a goal of becoming proficient in consistency once more. The goal for January is to start building consistent habits. Key word. Build. I'm not looking to pour the cement on Monday the 6th, and immediately have The Sears Tower (er Willis Tower... whatever it is now.) I realize that habits are built over time, and that there will be missed days and slips and slides. So I am going to be tracking a LOT of things to start; but also not worrying about a set number of doing them each week. Active abilities: Exercise, broken into the following - strength, cardio, stretching, active recovery, other. Self Care abilities: Night time routine, consisting of the following - teeth brush, teeth floss, wash face, mud masks, 11pm lights out time. Creative abilities: Sketching, tablet art, art lessons, D&D prep, other. Food abilities: Tracking calories, or, on occasions I cannot - intuitive eat in place of tracking, planned indulgences. Some of these, I will start off with setting goals to do them so often because without that, I might get lazy. But we're also going to focus on flexibility. Move 5x a week, sure! Maybe I really want 3x to be strength but I end up with my hip nagging me, or a sinus infection that makes heavy lifting really unappealing and perhaps not the right choice for my body? Fine, but don't let good reasons turn into cheap excuses. I still get credit on 'moving' if I opt for stretching or yoga that day instead of the lift. Things like that... In August, I was doing really well with my pull up program, and I set a goal of being able to do Tom Holland diagonal walking pull ups... I will have to work hard to get back to that but I think I can still make it for the goal date of End Game's Anniversary. (April 26th) That's basically 4 months. If I lose the weight I've gained and get back into the strength routine, that should be plenty of time. I have everything plotted out in my new, bigger, better 8x10 Bullet Journal, so my check in's here will be either a snapped pic of the bujo, or a quick 'alls well' and some deets on anything that came up. Once we get through this first challenge, we'll see how things are lined up for #2.
  11. LIGHTBEARER: THE PROTECTOR RISES Chapter 1: Integration I was walking home through the crowded streets from work, my hood pulled up over my head to shield me from the light rain. The town was loud with rattling wagons, people shouting to each other over the rain, doors slamming and gleeful children running out to get wet. In the last few months I had developed a kind of dance to get through the streets quickly without colliding with anyone - now in the middle of the dusty path, now twisting between taller people to duck into the shadow of a building, now weaving between wagons and keeping my step light as I danced homeward. Today I was watching for rainbows in the half-lit sky when I heard pounding footsteps approaching in the distance. The town was busy and I assumed it was someone late for an appointment; but as I continued to wend my way off the busy streets and toward the side paths that led to my home, the footsteps did not slow and they were closing in rapidly. Without breaking stride I turned abruptly off the path and back toward the market. I doubted the person was chasing me, but it never hurt to be cautious. This time, however, I was wrong. The person came over the crest of a small hill, paused and lifted his hand to his brow to stare in my direction, and when our eyes met, he flung his arms down and broke into a dead run, straight toward me. Fear shot through my system and I ran for the nearest building, a blacksmith's shop closed for the day. Deftly I slid through a gap in the shaky wooden gate and paused briefly behind the wall, but just as quickly slipped out the back and ran back toward the heart of the market street. I needed to be back with other people and lose myself in the crowd. "Silver Archer!" The man's shout slowed my steps. Was it someone I knew? "Silver Archer! Please wait! I need to talk to you!" I hesitated, and turned to look. I only caught a glimpse of the man's red, bulgy-eyed face before he pounded the last two steps down the hill and threw himself at my feet, his body heaving with gasps for breath. "Silver Archer, I need your help," he cried, his voice a half-sob. "I've come to you - because no one - no one else would - help me. I -" he sat back on his heels and looked desperately toward the sky, his shaved head and face glistening with pouring sweat. "I didn't know who else to ask!" I took a step backward and kept my hand on my Bow, but didn't leave. "Who are you, and what do you want?" "I've come on behalf of the families that live outside the village," he gasped. "The government has ruled that we can't live in this district anymore and we have to leave. But we've built our homes here and we have nowhere to go. We've asked over and over for them to give us help, give us time, but they won't listen. They say we're a danger to the citizens and we have to leave in two days." He lunged forward as if to grab me and I dodged backward in alarm, but he prostrated himself on the ground at my feet. "Please, Silver Archer, won't you please come and fight for us?" I froze completely still and stared at the stranger as a dozen emotions leaped up inside me like competing flames. I had heard about the forced evictions - everyone in town had. "Such a shame," we said, and continued on about our business. It wasn't right to force families to leave their homes just because they were different from the majority population of Temple Island. But it was the government's decision and there didn't seem to be anything we could do. Certainly, a few other archers had discussed looking for better lawyers or ambassadors to make a stronger case for the families. But no one was serious about doing anything. We liked our government jobs and didn't want to waste our efforts on a hopeless cause. But reading about an injustice happening in the evening bulletins was quite a different story from finding someone in need of help just a short distance from my own front door. This wasn't a nebulous member of a distant group in writing. This was a human being who needed a voice. Who needed justice. "I can't get involved in this," my logic spoke first. I took another half-step backwards. "One archer fighting for you won't do you any good. And I'm not important enough for my voice to make a difference." "But you're the Silver Archer!" The man sat up and looked at me, his small eyes red and weary in his face, which was quickly losing its redness and becoming pale. He lifted his hands imploringly. "We heard rumors that you're really the Dark Elf - that you can kill and destroy with ice powers. If that's true, you could come to our camp and fight for us when the guards come!" I flushed deeply and automatically reached behind me to pull my hood back up around my face. The last thing I wanted in the whole world was to put myself in a situation where I could lose control of my ice powers and hurt someone. "That's not true," I said gruffly. "Even if it isn't, you've taken out whole squads of dark elves with your Silver Bow. With your help, we could fight back and protect ourselves." This wasn't my problem. I had no responsibility to this man. If I got involved in this, no matter my own feelings that it was unjust and wrong, I could lose control and risk everyone seeing that I was the Dark Elf deep down. What would become of my job and my place in the Movement then? "I'm sorry," I said, and hurriedly backed away. "I have to go." I nearly stumbled as I pounded back up the hill, away from the strange man, back toward the safe bustle and anonymity of the crowded market. "Won't you at least tell others about what's happening to us?" the man's voice floated behind me. A pang struck me in the stomach but I kept running, and soon he was out of sight and I was back amongst the stalls and buildings of the city. I realized I was crying as I blindly followed my feet back toward my office, the small building behind the Chief Scientist's office that I shared with the other writers and spokespeople. No one was there and I collapsed on my stool, pressing my hands against my eyes, wondering what about this felt so wrong. It wasn't my fault that he was homeless. It wasn't my place to go out of my way to help him. I couldn't risk everything I had worked so hard for to start criticizing and pushing back against the Temple government. This was foolish and unfair. And yet you don't believe any of that, a tiny voice whispered deep within my heart. You're the Silver Archer - you were brought here to be a voice for the voiceless and a healer of the hurting. If you find someone hurting and voiceless on your own doorstep, how can you say you have no responsibility for him? "Sky! Are you crying?" I jumped and gasped as Irwin stood frozen in the doorway, his black eyebrows raised high over his concerned black eyes. "What's wrong? What happened?" I gulped and quickly scrubbed the tears off my cheeks, trying to laugh. "It's okay, I'm all right," I quavered, and jumped up and began brushing imaginary dust off my skirt. "I just - had a long day, and I'm tired." "No, really. Sit down." Irwin grabbed another stool and slung a leg over it, plopping to a seat and drilling my eyes with his piercing, knowing gaze. "Talk to me. What happened?" I slowly sat back down and put my face in my hands, and told Irwin about the strange encounter. He was quiet for a long moment, and when I looked up, his bearded jaw was working back and forth and his brows were knitted tightly. Twice he looked like he was about to speak, but he still sat quietly. "I don't know what to do," I finally broke the silence. Irwin pressed his lips together and looked up at me out of one eye. "What if Katherine and I went with you?" he asked gently. I clasped my hands at my chest. "You don't mean to go fight those guards?" I gasped in horror. "I mean ..." He shrugged. "We'd go with you if you thought that was the right thing to do. But I think you can do something even more powerful than that." "What do you mean?" Irwin stared pointedly at my hands, which were resting on my knees with the runes on my wrists clearly showing. "You were only telling that man half the truth. Maybe you don't kill and hurt people, but you are the Dark Elf, and you do have ice powers." He lifted his eyes to my face. "What if now is the time you finally see what happens when you integrate your two sides together? What if now is the time you figure out how to be afraid and courageous at the same time?" A strange feeling began to rise in my stomach - something familiar, and yet unexpected. It was neither the icy chill of fear and shame nor the confident warmth of the healing powers, but something that brought them together. Anger. Conviction. Focus. "Yeah. That." Irwin looked a bit fearfully at my wrists, which were beginning to glow a bright white. "What if you don't use that to fight, though. Look how bright that is. What if we use that to help others see what's happening to these families? What if you use that light to call the people who can make a difference for these people?" I stared down at my wrists as understanding washed over me. Of course. How clear it was - how foolish I had been. This rushing feeling like a strong summer wind was nothing new at all - I knew it as well as I knew my own name; I had just never felt it inside myself before. My ice powers and my healing powers came together to form the Bow's white light of clarity. This had been my power all along. The icy emotions of anger, fear, rage, and the warm emotions of compassion and empathy could exist together. I snapped my gaze to Irwin's face. "Every time I fire my Bow using these powers together, the arrow can go further than I can see," I blurted. "What if I could send it out like a beacon? Signal others in other regions who can come and see for themselves what's happening?" Irwin's eyes lit with eagerness. "We can find the other archers with powers to join you. By lighting the way together, your beacon will be brighter." I held the Silver Bow out in front of me, watching as the white light trickled through its carvings and lit it like a lamp. By firing an arrow - no; by firing two arrows, one white and one black - toward the sky, I could generate a burst of light like the ones I created with the Bow. Adding the light of other powered archers would alert people for miles around. Yet I hesitated. If I did this - if I raised my voice and started letting others see what I really thought, who I really was, that I did have anger and conviction and discord inside me, not just healing and warmth - things would begin to change. The way people thought of me would change. By embracing the powers of the Dark Elf, I would no longer be loved for my unwavering happy smile and agreeable benevolence. But if I were going to integrate my ice and my warmth, my compassion and my anger, my hope and my determination, my courage and my fear - then I needed to begin. I looked at Irwin, who had gotten to his feet and was watching me. "You promise you guys will be with me?" For the first time, his face creased in a brotherly, affectionate smile. "You know you can't get rid of us." "Then let's do this. It's time to show the world who the Silver Archer really is."
  12. Hey everyone! Welcome to the first challenge for the artist formerly known as Wolfpool!! SheriffWolfpool is more akin to the life I've been living over the last 7-8 months (and it's my Xbox gamer tag name too ) so it only made sense to change it. Life for me has been....busy to say the least. My wife, the lovely Mrs. @PrincessMononoke, is only a mere 2 months away from giving birth to our 6th child! And before you say anything....Yes, I understand what causes kids... and I LIKE IT. We are very excited to meet our little one but we don't know the gender yet-we won't find out until birth. It's funny how this drives some people bonkers, lol! My guess is a girl, but maybe that's cuz I want a girl? I'll be just as excited if we have a boy, though. Shoot, we already have 4 of them lol. What's one more? . The names we have picked out are: Girl: Beatrix Viola aka Trixie Boy: Phineas Ryan aka Phin And if you've known me for any length of time, you know my love for unique names. My 4 boys are: Racer, Declan, Orin and Jamison. I'm a long time NF vet and have been a Rebel since 2012. Loooooooong time! September of this year will be my 7th Nerdversary lol. I've had a lot of ups and down over these last 7 years but I haven't lost sight of who I am and what I'd like to become. Mostly, I just want to be a great dad and husband and continue to lead my family along the narrow path God has set out for us. But, I also want to be fit and limited by very few things. I'd like to think I've grown wiser over the years and have a better understanding of "how to do things", but every day brings a new challenge and every day I'll be ready. I want to start as basic as possible. This means: no fluff and no overdoing it. I tend to have this innate desire to make my challenges "shiny" and chalked full of pics, gifs and everything else in between. Oh, don't worry, there will still be all that...just with less intensity. And, speaking of intensity...that is my goal: INTENSITY + CONSISTENCY = RESULTS! This simple formula is the key to all my diet and fitness goals. Actually, this could be the formula for life goals as well! However, just because the formula is simple doesn't mean the implementation is. You can be intense in your workouts...but if you're not consistent, then the intensity is wasted. If you're consistent but don't ever push yourself, then the consistency is wasted. This has been me...basically since I injured myself in 2016. I'm tired of it, honestly. I'm tired of being inconsistent. THE PLAN CONSISTENTLY workout 4x a week. Focus on: Ground Based Compound Movements (i.e deadlifts, power clean, power snatch) Unilateral Training (i.e one arm press, one arm row, pistol squats) Calisthenics (i.e pull-ups, static holds such as handstands, push-ups) Isometric Training (tension) Training vs Exercise TRACK all workouts. Log EVERYTHING. DRINK a metric ton of water MOAR emphasis on sleep Total Stat Points to Earn: +4 STR +3 DEX +3 END +2 CON +2 WIS +1 CHA I'll still dabble in other things, but I want his RESPAWN challenge to focus solely on getting back into shape. I'm hoping that by focusing on one primary goal that I can also focus on other's threads. I want to be there to support you guys and gals like you've always supported me . #StrongAlone #StrongerTogether Wolf
  13. [Everything that happens in Dragon Age happens in Thedas, though there are some realms beyond it. It's basically like Middle-Earth in Lord of the Rings, or Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls. Fun fact: Thedas was originally shorthand for “The Dragon Age Setting,” and the nickname stuck.] And now you know where the name Thestas came from! "THE STArpuck Setting" see? (pronounced Thess-tiss) I'm super struggling to come up with a theme right now, though I feel pulled strongly to a D&D angle again. No doubt because this weeks art practice led to a sort of new subrace idea, which has me super juiced for all things creatively D&D-ish. I also am bored with my current 4 week/day/habit tracking method in my BuJo, so I think I might do a map tracker again. That was pretty fun. There are a few things I feel no longer need tracking, and that's hecka cool. There are also things that while I don't need to track, the visualization will keep me encouraged to keep at it. When it comes down to it, I just like coloring in little dots in my journal. This next bit of 4 weeks is going to be a challenge because, I am attempting to up my calories one more time (to true and proper maintenance) before I hop back onto the cut program starting in March. *GULP* I KNOW my weight might tick up a few pounds, but I should will NOT worry about that. So what am I doing here then? Exercise - 5x / week (No less than 2 lifting sessions per week.) Art - 5x / week (Going to try being less rigid on what TYPE of art happens, whether it be pencil sketching or tablet time... either counts.) Sleep Moar Better - 5x / week (Lights out, in bed, no screen on, by 11:20 on MTWFS - This allows me wiggle room on the two D&D nights per week that RUN until 11pm.) Self Care - 1x / week (Here's a new one! While I maintain myself fine, I don't ever get to pampering. This could be a night of fun sister mani/pedis, or a massage, or a bubble bath with candles and a book... something that focuses on luxury treatment for the Puck.) Selfie Sharing - 1x / week {An old one returned. In creative terms, I'm going to call this "Shattering the Mirror" because I see myself inaccurately right now. I've lost almost 20 pounds, I've trimmed and toned and strengthened, and I still see myself as really thick and fluffy in all my spots. I *feel* much better, but I can't break the visual hang ups. So I am going to force myself to look and see.) (Guys, what is the alt code for boxes, the ones below I stole from Rurik, and they make weird formatting!) Exercise ☐☐☐☐☐ Art ☐☐☐☐☐ Sleep ☐☐☐☐☐ Pamper ☐ Selfie☐ So, let's just get going then shall we? First thing we need is ... a character! Oh hello! What a cutie! Now... a name... (always harder) Sebastienne Delarieux (Tienne for short, Sebi to her closest friends.) And, finally ... an adventure... To the recipient of this note, whoever you may be, There is at your disposal, the opportunity to earn coin, prestige, even fame, should you oblige the offer herein provided. Take this signet ring to the city of Peramth, discreetly find entrance to the Gilded Cage, and present it to one Lady Nighthawk. She shall reimburse you kindly, and offer you your next task if you so desire. -V
  14. Hey Everyone! Things got slightly out of control last challenge. Not terrible, just out of control: Recently, I have received one of those signs from the universe - you know, when your wife, your counselor, your friends, some random people off the street, and small children say the same thing: YOU NEED TO GET SOME HELP FOR THINGS. So, my theme is about asking for help, and giving help to others. So, my fitness goals are pretty much unchanged, except that I will be on the forums more to give support when I can, and be a little less coy about my own stuff. Currently, I am really struggling with recording my food. I get a few days of recording in, then it all blows up. It's pretty clear that I have a lot more emotions about food than I would like to admit. Since food is 80% of the battle at Nerd Fitness, this is something I really need to work on. I also need to check in more often, so that I am accountable to everyone and myself. Details of the challenge are below the fold.
  15. More of the same. Despite dropping off here, I continued with middling success through the end of the last challenge, but don't yet feel like I'm making real progress. The goals aren't much different this time 'round, I'm still making my way along this long road. Goal 1 ~ Run 3x/week. 2.4k route at least 1x/week and 4.1k route at least 1x/week, with an eye to increasing distance. Bonus goal: map out and run a route of at least 5k. Goal 2 ~ Physio and Stretching Simply do it daily. I'm going to finally have some more space to do this in, hopefully by the end of week 1. Bonus goal: Try out the first week of GMB Elements, with the intention to fully integrate this into my routine at some point Goal 3 ~ FitPin Test Components Pushups and back extensions, at least 3x/week. Testing the actual FitPin counts towards both of these (though I do need to do multiple sets of pushups to really be able to call it training). I'm not sure I'll be able to make the back extensions work, I don't currently have the space to do them in, I'm hoping I'll be able to make something work once I have more space in the basement. If I can't, I'll need to figure out an alternative for this. Goal 4 ~ Bedtime Different times on different nights, depending on how early a day I have the next day. Before an early morning: 10pm; before a normal morning: 11pm; before a day off: 12am. Goal 5 ~ Meal Prep At least twice a week. I still need to do a better job of planning ahead on this, but I definitely do a good job of eating what I've prepare instead of takeout, for example, when it's there for me to eat. Goal 6 ~ FitPin Test I've decided that I'll do the other components of the FitPin Test every time I run my 2.4k route, since I have to test it at least weekly for the OPP's fitness logs. They don't actually take very long to do, so there's no reason not to, and more is better than less on this. Other Things I've got my journal set up, it needs a little tweaking for next time but it'll do for now. I'm hoping having a hard copy right there in front of me will help me keep on track (and help me when I report on here, since I often don't remember how things went after a couple of days). I'll post pics once I figure out how to do so. I also want to figure out how to be more active here, I dropped off because I barely had time to update my own thread, let alone keep caught up on others' threads. I've come to realize that I have to sacrifice bedtime in order to keep properly caught up around here, which is obviously less than ideal. I need to pull some extra time out of a hat somewhere, I think.... Some other one-off's I'd like to get done in the near future (for some of them, not necessarily before the end of the challenge, but I should get them done sooner rather than later): ~ Request an ROE from the government ~ Sign up for a course on CPKN (and actually do it) ~ Clean my room (this needs to be done soonish, ideally by the end of Week 1) ~ Purge books etc (they're in a box, I just need to get them out the door) ~ Purge papers etc (it's really a whole bunch of accumulated detritus from nearly 38 years of life, and a serious purge is long over due)
  16. I'm trying to look at these challenges as parts of a larger journey, rather than discrete units of success or failure, so despite falling off the wagon a bit in my last challenge, I'm still moving along the same long road heading towards the same distant goal. I've climbed out of the ditch where I lazed about for a while, and am moseying along once again. The Long Road continues, and so will I. Goal #1 ~ Running Run 3x/week. At least one run per week should be 2.4k, and be part of a FitPin test (more on that later). Bonus goal: map out a few routes that won't suck too much in the hill department but will allow me to increase distance. Pick one route of 5k or longer and run it at least once during the challenge. Goal #2 ~ Pushups and Other Things So, the OPP has changed their fitness requirements. I no longer have to do the PREP test (though I still need to if I want to apply anywhere other than the OPP), but I do have to pass the FitPin test within 1 week of being hired, so I want to know I can pass it relatively easily before I even apply (and, if I can pass the FitPin easily, I should have the fitness to pass the PREP with just a bit of practice, so it helps if I decide I want to branch out at all). There are 4 components: pushups, a forward fold stretch, a 2.4k run, and a weird posterior chain/core thing that I can't adequately describe. The running is being taken care of in Goal #1, and the stretch in Goal #4. That means this goal is about the pushups and the Other Thing (which is what I'm calling it now, I think the OPP call it the trunk extension). So I will work on pushups every other day. One session of pushups will be a single max set, and will be part of a FitPin test (more on that later). Bonus goal: figure out some way to practice the Other Thing on the regular....... it's an awkward thing to do (I mean, the exercise itself is awkward to perform), but I may have to summon up my 20 seconds of courage and ask the coaches at the gym, they were all more than happy to help with the shuttle run, so... Goal #3 ~ Meal Prep This is an on again/off again thing with me. Partly it's because I don't think ahead quite as much as I should, and run out of food with no real plan to make more, and partly because I get tired and/or lazy and put it off to the next day, and then the next day I get tired and/or lazy and put it off to the next day, and on and on until I have nothing in my fridge but 30g of moldy cheese, a couple wrinkly apples, and a single stale tortilla. This isn't the most concrete of goals, at least not at the moment. I think for now I'm going to tackle this by making a plan for my next meal prep as soon as the current one is done (eg. if I cook on a Sunday, once the cooking is done, I'll sit down and think about what I want to make next, make a grocery list, estimate how long my food will last, and then pick a day to shop that will give me some overlap, but not lead to spoiled food). Obviously the shopping day is flexible, if I badly over- or underestimate how long my current batch of meals will last me, I'll have to shop sooner or later, but I'd like to have an idea in my head of when I next need to head to the store. I think having a plan about what I want to make and what I need to get to make it will go a long way by itself, so that's my main focus for now. Bonus goal: simple crockpot recipes will be helpful here, I think, since I can just chop some things, throw it in the pot, and then go to bed/to the gym/to work/to whatever, and come back to a tasty meal. Even if I don't have time/energy to do a full meal prep, at least I'll have a crockpot full of food for the next day to give me some wiggle room. So I will find some new crock pot recipes, and try at least one during the challenge (suggestions welcome). Goal #4 ~ Stretching and Other Things My perpetual goal of physio and stretching. Daily, because if I give myself an inch and say 5/7 days per week or something, I'll take a mile and do it once and never again. Bare minimum: 4x physio exercises (3 for my posterior chain, 1 for my thoracic spine), plus quad stretch and calf stretch. In a perfect world it will also include butt/hips, hip flexors, extra hamstrings, feet and pecs. Bonus goal: find a way to work GMB's Elements program into things. It's not logistically possible at the moment, and getting this done during the challenge is a very long shot due to things out of my control, but I want to work towards this (more on this later). Goal #5 ~ Bedtime I often watch TV to wind down before bed, and occasionally play video games, and often come on here. This won't change, when I say bedtime I mean TV/computer off and I start reading a magazine. Usually I'm off to sleep within less than a page. So, on nights when I have to get up early, I'll do this by 10pm. On nights when I have to work but not until later, it'll be 11pm, and on nights when I have the day off, it'll be midnight. Most often this will mean Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday will be 10pm; Sunday and Wednesday will be 11pm; and Saturday will be midnight. Goal #6 ~ The FitPin Test As part of the new fitness requirements, I should be practicing the entire FitPin Test at least once per week. I asked the recruiters if I could practice each element separately (an ideal situation), but alas, they told me I should not (they didn't say 'cannot', but I want to try my best to do as they suggest). So, I need to figure out how to do this. Three of the elements are easy enough to do, I go for a run, then do a stretch, then do some pushups. It's the Other Thing that will be the difficult thing to fit in. I have an idea of for how to do it (ie. I have worked out the theoretical logistics), but it requires a helper, and I will not always have access to a helper on the day I will be doing this test. The most logical day to do this test would be my full day off, which is almost always a Sunday, but Tuesday afternoon would work as well, depending on appointments/other commitments, so we'll see how this one goes... No bonus goal for this one, just doing it is going to be hard enough. Other Things ~ Move forward with preparing the basement for my Imminent Arrival (my mom wants to make my current room a spare room for her to go to when she has a bad night, and I want to move to the basement so I have more room to contain me and my life). If I can get this done it's a win/win, but I might have to be the motivator on this one, which means I may have to learn how to paint a wall, since I don't think my parents will pay for that but want it done before I move down there, as well as the carpet being redone, but I think that one is beyond me. Being in the basement will also give me the space to practice the Elements program whenever I want and in privacy, which will make the bonus part of Goal #4 a lot easier to achieve. ~ Explore options for courses to take to help make my resume look better than it does. This could be in person or online. One resource is CPKN, which is a site that offers police-related online courses (sadly, none are free), but another thing to look at is improving my mental health intervention skills, or conflict resolution, or something like that. ~ Clean my g-d room! I've stopped making this a goal, obviously, but it'll need to be done if I'm going to move to the basement, so a head start on that wouldn't be a bad idea. At the very least, I can try to purge some old magazines and other junk that's accumulated here and there.
  17. Hi All! I'm gonna try and get things rolling again...because I've been out of it for a while it seems. I haven't been working out consistently. I haven't been eating clean or drinking enough water. And I've just been struck with a general cloud of laziness with a mixture of undisciplined motivation. But, that's just on the fitness side of my life. Other than that, I've been really busy. I mentioned briefly before about my involvement with a discord community called Your Anthem. It's ran by a good buddy of mine, William, and since discovering his YouTube channel covering content for Anthem over the summer, I've been heavily involved with the growth of the community. So much so, that I became the servers first moderator. It's a great community that reminds me a lot of NF, just more chat room structured than forum. Work has been busy too. I now have MORE responsibility because I took over another process on top of my other daily tasks and we recently moved back to the building I used to be in, so, I have the esteemed pleasure of walking 6 flights of stairs multiple times a day! I really missed the stairs when we moved the last time-it's a great little form of cardio. Aaannnnnddd...Heather is 9-weeks pregnant!! Yep, you read that right! The only downside is that she is severely nauseous. This puts a bigger strain on me because she's basically bed ridden most of the day and the cooking/cleaning also falls on my shoulders. We are keeping the pregnancy "hush hush" for the time being. We've made a lot of announcements the last year and don't want to make any more sad ones if we don't have too. We're just going to take this new pregnancy one day at a time. So, in a nut shell, that's whats been going on with me. Busy but still needing accountability from my NF fam. I'm going themeless for this challenge except for anything Anthem related. I'm SOOOOOO excited about the release of this game. I've never been obsessed with a game like I am with Anthem. If you were around for Watch Dogs 2 and thought that was bad, then you haven't seen NOTHIN' yet, lol. Goal 1: Consistency Get back to strength training 3x a week: 1 lower body, 1 upper body and 1 full body day. Nothing fancy just good ole fashion strength basics. Possible Points: +4 STR Goal 2: Hot Sauce Metcons are like hot sauce-a little goes a long way! Perform 2x metcons a week. Preferably after your workout. This can range from a kettlebell complex to sprints. Spend 10-20 min spiking the heart rate and activating the sweat glands. Possible Points: +2 DEX, +2 END Goal 3: The Fat Freelancer Fact #1: A fat Freelancer pilot can't fly. Whereas I've never been fat...I am losing my leanness and getting into more "dad bod" shape than "wolflean" shape. I'm up over 200# now and my abs are almost non existent. Time to focus on my diet and getting in plenty of H20. Possible Points: +4 CON Goal 4: Spead the Grabbit Love What is a grabbit? This "little" creature is a grabbit. Our Anthem discord started a community wide event that involves two warring factions: The PETG aka People for the Ethical Treatment of Grabbits lead my none other than muah. And the TRA aka The Tarsis Rifle Association. The PETG are out to defend the grabbits from extermination and the TRA is out to destroy them. It started out as an inside joke within the community and then William decided to turn it into a full-blown community wide event involving all the Anthem content creators out there and take to Twitter for a mud-slinging good time. I got tasked to run the PETG twitter handle with a good buddy of mine and so far, it's been a funtastic time! We even have Anthem's devs and designers involved in on the fun! It's cool because I'm getting to use all the skills I've learned from my years on NF, and that's knowing a good gif game goes a LOOOONG way :D. The goal is to see who has the most followers by the end of the month long challenge as well as who talked the best trash. Winner gets some professional artwork drawn for them. Like I've said, I'm having a blast with this! If you guys would like to support my side of the war (and ALL grabbits alike), then please go to @AnthemPetg on Twitter and follow me :). Like and retweet posts if you're feeling froggy ;). Possible Points: +3 CHA OK, so, there you have it folks. Short. Sweet. And too the point. I apologize for not being around as much and I'll do my best to keep up with other threads moving forward. I've missed you all! P.S. And @Raxie and @darkfoxx I'm sorry about our scheduled call the other day. I was having major phone issues. I hope we can try that again soon?! Wolf
  18. A dungeon crawl is a type of scenario in fantasy role-playing games in which heroes navigate a labyrinthine environment, battling monsters, solving puzzles, evading traps, and looting any treasure they may find. I thought this an appropriate theme for this challenge because I often struggle in Sept/Oct as the sun vanishes, the days get shorter and the schedule gets busier. I have pinpointed my trouble areas, now it's just a matter of navigating them. And to quote one of the Twitter folks I follow: The goal of DnD is not to level up in order to overcome a challenge. Its to solve challenges in front of you with the tools you have in place. I will conquer this dungeon with the tools I have in place, and by doing so, gain experience and level up as a side effect! Goal 1: Battle Monsters In order to handle the monsters I will face in this dungeon, I need to be well trained. That said, too many battles in a row will leave an adventurer exhausted, so I need to plan smart. Lift 2-3x / week Move 2-3x / week With hockey starting, I will not have a static schedule. I would love to get into 3 lift days a week, but it's really hard to juggle when I might end up with 2-3 hockey nights on one weekend. (Not likely, but could happen.) I also know that getting to the gym for a lift session on the weekends fails 80% of the time, so I cannot count on it. Therefore, the strategy on this monster is this. Non hockey Friday = Lifting on MWF If hockey on Friday, then lift TTH. Bike, run or dance on the days that do not include lifting. Goal 2: Solving Puzzles The biggest puzzle in this dungeon is to figure out how to stay consistent so I can lower my BF% some. This means tracking calories, and playing with the numbers - even when the data I collect doesn't immediately shout out the answer to the problem. Sometimes you get info from several chambers before you get the answer to the riddle. Track calories daily, even if they are grossly over. 7x/ week Cook at friends house for two meals there a week. 2x/ week Goal 3: Evading Traps This is about evading the weakend trap! The subgoals here may change from week to week as I find out what works best, but here is the starting plan. Avoid the honeybadger polymorph trap on game nights. 2-3x/week -- Above accomplished by the following. 1) Have sandwich makings and healthy snacks at Q's house for game nights. 2) Plan meals by Wed, so I know what I am eating, at what time on Sat/Sun. 3) Allow and plan for, one 'fun' meal per week. Limit fast food Iced Coffee's to 2x/week. Goal 4: Document the Journey for the Archives This is added in to account for the art goals and habits, as well learning to juggle the various commitments I've set up for myself. Sketch daily. 7x/ week Practice on tablet. 4x/ week Art lesson. 1x/ week D&D Prep. As needed, but at least 2x/ week Church Group. 1x/ week (Mondays.) Additional goals, that I don't want to make weekly due to stress inducement! Keep at the nightly teeth routine. Get the budget sorted, for real. Use Good Budget - limit money spent, track where it goes. Weekly plan out the weeks events, schedule and plans for food so it is not tossed aside due to 'last-minute-itis'.
  19. STARPUCK JOINS UA ACADEMY This anime is full of wisdom and motivation in all the right areas for me. It's also been a while since I plotted out a challenge where the goals are meshed into a theme, and I am feeling like this could give me an extra boost in getting back into the routine of it. A recurring theme for me (came up in the anime's I've watched, and now our church sermons too) is Endure. If I were to take a moment to be completely honest with myself -in an eye opening, epiphany kind of way- I've been kind of a quitter lately. And by lately, I mean the last couple years. So here are some quotes that I am going to be embracing, and building upon through this challenge. Midoriya once said, "I'll have to work harder than anyone else to make it. I'll never catch up otherwise!" He has to work harder to do things that come easy for other students. This hits so close to home for me because I have often said that I need to work so much harder to be fit/not overweight/healthy, etc than 'the normal person'. I watch my hockey teammates chug beers and Doritos after games and not gain a pound, whereas I can gain an inch from just smelling a pizza. It might in fact be harder for me. The options remain the same: do it anyway, or give up. Which leads to the next quote, by my all time favorite character. I want to become healthy, strong and fit. I want to do active things my whole life. I want to be a bad ass chick! Well then - I need to stand up and remember that, and push forward and never give up. This is a hard one to admit. I am the ultimate planner -/ dreamer -- but I fail at being a doer. My dreams end midway because I go through all the trouble of dreaming them up, but leave them on the shelf as 'dreams' rather than goals that I am working to. This is usually because I end up being too afraid to pursue stuff. Fear is a problem that needs facing and as All Might has said, "I smile to show the pressure of heroes and to trick the fear inside of me." So this first post I suppose is mostly just me sorting out my feelings on the challenge and what I need to tackle. Unfortunately, a lot of the things in THIS post aren't very quantifiable, so the next post is going be specifically about what I feel I need to do, to train myself, and to keep going without giving up, and yet still do this in a way that is sustainable for the long haul. (This one ties right in to the single most profound comment I heard in yesterday's sermon: God's best for us, comes through our times of moving through fear.)
  20. A very busy April through May made challenging, and even hanging out here with any regularity or focus, a pretty daunting task. So I sort of loosely hung out, updating my own thread just to keep somewhat in the habit- but otherwise fell off the NF boat! But I think I am ready to return. There's nothing too out of the ordinary planned until mid to end of July so I think I can get back into a good routine. Which actually - is not to say that my past weeks have been terrible. I weighed 5lbs on Thursday of last week, than I did on the Friday before my vacation started in April. And I did this without tracking cals in or out, just getting outside to walk and run whenever I could, and eating normal work foods and snacks and not pigging out when I ate out. So I think I am kinda doing the Intuitive Eating thing (though I never did finish the book and at this point, can't really see myself cranking out the last 80 pages or so.) Anyway! ON TO NEW AND BRIGHTER THINGS! I just finished Acen weekend, so my anime mood is very high! But my D&D floon never leaves. However, it is also summer-ish and so ALL OF TEH OUTSIDE GLORIOUSNESS! First ... a message from our sponsor, the 3 H's of Full Metal Alchemist. Hohenheim, Hughes and Hawkeye. So yeah that turned out awesome and fun! One of my all time favorite characters from one of only a handful of anime's that have earned a 10/10 rating from me! Now onto what the heck we're doing here this challenge. Step 1) Do the Challenge! * Like, make up some goals. Track the goals. Show up and post about it. And follow your herd! Step 2) Do things that make you gooder! * Don't stress about perfection. Do the little things every day that add up. Step 3) Profit. Goal #1 Exercise and Body Goodness I love the feeling I have when I am not being a lazy poof. The trouble is, I am not super good at talking myself up and into action, when the poofness has hit ultra levels. Basically, suns out guns out is quite accurate for me, and I am often motivated to get outside, walk, run, bike, do something! But when it rains or is cold and cloudy? So Goal #1 is to NOT be like Mustang on a rainy day. Be like Hawkeye. My strength training has really slacked off - to the point that I am going to have to start from scratch. Rather than do the things I was doing and likely feel terrible about lost progress... AND because I will want to be able to be outside in the sun even if it's a "strength day" - I am going to get into some full on body weight, calisthenics, yoga, etc training for my strength. That's where you peeps come in. I need some suggestions on what where who and why. Overall Goal: 5x a week, do stuff. Be move-y, bend-y, lift-y, pull-y, push-y. Just get out there, with intention and do things that keep the body in a state of progressing, rather than regressing. Goal #2 Food are friends, not fish. Wait... what? Keep up with the UN-war on food. I've been doing really well with just being a person who eats because that's what persons do, and not going bonkers. I still have the places and times and moments that are super hurdles. (Do not bring Jewel brand soft baked cookies near me. Just.. don't.) There's not a great way to track this because as soon as you start reporting in with any detail on what you did or didn't eat... well you're back to treating food like a THINGUS, instead of just a thing. So this goal is more just me admitting up front, that I am working on this, and the updates likely won't be more than 'Food was on fleek' or 'Had a hang up at this moment, will adjust next time by <insert ideas>.' Goal #3 Keep learning. Never stop playing. Be silly. Art and D&D and other avenues of creativity and brain happy activities. Do them. As often as you can, and want to. But don't force them past the healthy level of routine building insistence. I am really still enjoying art, and want to continue to get better. I've gotten and have always been, lazy in regard to taking next steps on educating myself in this. I mean, Raxie loves to dance, and can do a lot of dancing on her own, and she's glorious at it ... but she seeks lessons and instruction to improve her technique- which will allow her to be better even still on her own! So I need to start poking at resources that will REALLY REALLY show me how to do what I'd like to do. That might even involve finding a class at a community college, or an online course that I ACTUALLY SIT THROUGH AND DO! Art 4x a week - because that's not a crazy goal, and because sometimes I can talk myself out of it easily, even if I would super enjoy it once I settle down. If I absolutely have a brain day that sucks, and feel no creative juice... don't force it. D&D prep will be a thing to, but more of an: Eh, when the ideas strike roll with it. But don't over burden yourself with prep so that it becomes unfun. Reading. Do it. You have come to really enjoy it. Don't fall out of this new habit. Goal #4 Get super serious about Finances. Goal : Become a Home Owner This is terrifying and exciting. But the thing I can do right now, that won't induce stress comas, is get the finances into a pseudo mortgage situation and see what becomes feasible livable and where my monies are going. This task will have side tasks that are mostly one and done, but will be tracked here. Basically... get ready to jump the nest. Hopefully, less dramatically than this. ^
  21. AND DEADLIFTS!!! A new challenge is upon us, and I have decided to not go so crazy on themes and stuff this time around. Ok, I lie a little... there's still gonna be lots of D&D talk, and references to Critical Role, and general badassery that's often inspired by games and stuff, and of course gifs! Something I have struggled with since- ...forever, is consistency. And for serious, just tonight, it dawned on me; "Starpuck... you can't have an epic character, if you keep changing campaigns. You'll just keep hitting level 5 and then starting over." So this challenge is going to be about grinding out some starter mobs and figuring out which quests are worth digging in on, and which ones are are pulling me away from the end boss. Goal #1 - Nom like Nott "I find the pitcher of cucumber water, I dump it on the floor, and I eat all the cucumbers." ~Nott Goal: 5 servings of produce per day, every day. I'm going to be delving into Intuitive Eating this challenge, but something I want to work on is getting my produce in. I've improved HUGELY over the past few years, but I'd like to really get a solid habit of reaching for fruits and veggies first. I'm fond of veggies, but I haven't found too much I like in the way of fruit. Suggestions will be welcome! Goal #2 - Train for Adventure "I'm a Ranger; we don't min-max, we just kick ass." ~Starpuck Goal: 5 workouts per week; aiming for 3 lifts. Strength training is important for a bunch of reasons, but also because I think it really gives me a boost of confidence. I'd like to focus my workout efforts on the lifts, but if a schedule comes up that it makes sense to have only 2 lifts, but 3 other workouts I'm gonna just roll with it. Goal #3 - Hone skills, keep the mind sharp. Goal: Plot time for artwork (4x/week) and D&D prep (2-4 hours/week). I would like to take my art hobby to the next level. That means I need to keep the practice up weekly, as well as push myself out of my comfort zone. I'll be looking for books or tutorials, and possibly, look into purchasing a more "grown up" program. Art 4x a week needs to be maintained. Sketching practice counts. D&D work I'd like to put in 2 hours on off weeks, and probably by necessity a bit more on weeks I have a game to run. Goal #4 - Study my Spellbooks Goal: Read through Intuitive Eating Because, let's be honest guys... 2+ years of counting calories isn't actually getting me anywhere. Is it too much, too little, the wrong kinds? Who knows! Clearly, ancient mankind did not need such formulas, so the body must know how to do this on its own. If nothing else, I am confident the book will help me address where my poor connections to food are, and give me insight into fixing that. I am going to try to read 15-30 minutes before bed on weekdays, and see if that also doubles up and helps me sleep better. That's it. Keeping it simple and not too crazy. These are all things I've been mostly doing. But this time it's about doing them with consistency and conviction. So, let's get rolling!
  22. Hi, I'm still new to the druids. I posted one challenge as a druid, and I wasn't successful. I'm returning again. Trying hard to be successful, so I'm keeping it simple. I have one goal for this challenge and it is to be true to my meal plan for 5 out of 7 days of the week. Ideally this will be seven days. That is my hope. I know its not much, but I need success more than I need lofty goals right now. I struggle with depression and things have been very hard recently. That's why I need to be successful. Hoping for some encouragement.
  23. In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. My inspiration for the month of October starts with the gentle hobbit folk of the shire, and then makes a gentle tour through the copyright protection of the generic halfling people, before tumbling over the cliff that is Belkar Bitterleaf. This pint-sized, chaotic evil hero has brought more good into the world with his a-moral ways that ten paladins, and this month I'll be copying him the following ways: Murder - Belkar is an expert at taking lives and also, at taking lives. Like him, I'll be trying to murder three things, a 455 squat pr, a 305 bench pr, and a 515 DL pr. Streaking - Pantsless o'clock and being a consistent sumbitch are both Belkar's specialties. Like him, I'll be tracking my streaks of consistency on language, journaling, meditation, mobility, and calories counting. Loot the room - Belkar be getting the loot all day erry day. The mrs and I moved in April and we're still maintaining a mountain of boxes in one room. Like Belkar, I'll be opening treasure chests (or uhaul boxes) this challenge at a rate of four per week.
  24. So, for this challenge, I am keeping almost everything the same. I'm going to GenCon next week (Aug 16 - 20), the solar eclipse is on the 21st, and then classes start for me, and so anything I do from Aug 16 - 25 will be a bonus (with the exception of meditation). I am de-scoping a little bit, but I'd rather do that than make unrealistic expectations. Some other minor changes are: When I get all of my workout stuff ready the night before, the morning stuff goes more smoothly. I am planning to update my challenge four days a week. If I can do more, I will, but I think it's better to de-scope. I am planning to do legs up the wall on Mon and Wed night as part of my recovery. Foot pain while teaching is an obstacle for my NF challenges, so I will be proactive, and get out in front of this. Edit - I forgot to mention - since Aug 16 - 25 was not required, that means 10 days of the challenge are "bonus points" for me - So, my goals under the spoiler should be scaled by 18/28, in order to be consistent.
  25. Kinda fell off the map a bit there, because reasons (life reasons, mainly, June was an exhausting month, and so far July's been only somewhat better). This challenge will be nothing new. My weeks will continue to run Monday-Sunday, so I don't actually start 'til tomorrow. I'm only sorta feelin' it this time, but I don't want to drift off into the sunset quite yet, so I'm posting one. I'm not going to commit to updating every day, but I'll do my best. I find it always takes more time than I imagine it will, between posting on my thread and catching up on everyone else's, and I end up using it as an excuse for skipping things like stretching and physio, and for not getting around to looking up things I need to. I might just have to play catch-up only once or twice a week, we'll see. Goal 1 ~ Crossfit 3x/week. Ideally Monday-Wednesday-Friday. My first two weeks of proper classes I was successful at this, and then the holiday week (last week) messed it all up. This week I'm back on the train. Goal 2 ~ Running 2x/week. 1 interval session and 1 long run, at least 5k, but I need to do one 10k by the end of the challenge, just to see if I can, and how long it takes me. I've got new shoes on the way, so the 10k can wait 'til after they arrive and are a bit broken in (they should come early next week, if Canada Post does it's job, and the last ones broke in quickly, so it shouldn't have to wait too long), I'm in fairly dire need and I don't think my feet could handle that distance in the old ones. Goal 3 ~ Taking Care I've been incredibly lax in my stretching and physio. I need to to this every day, even though it feels like a lot it's not actually. I need to do this before I turn on the tv and/or computer in the evening, since I usually get sucked into that and choose laziness. Goal 4 ~ ETP Keep hitting numbers. I've been good for stretches and not as good for stretches (but never terrible, so far). This will require continued meal planning, which will be easier with my weekends being actual weekends again and my work schedule being considerably more regular. Goal 5 ~ Sleep Up with the alarm, to bed at 11 on work nights, midnight on non-work nights. This is a perpetual challenge for me, so here it is again... Goal 6 ~ Police Stuff I started my fitness log for the police a while ago, so I need to continue with that every day (and get a binder to keep it in, before I start losing pages). I never got around to checking out the website with the free (?) courses I can take, so I need to do that too. I also want to look into ASIST training and/or a mental health first aid course, and I need to requalify for regular first aid sometime too. Not all of these have to be accomplished by the end of the challenge, but I need to at least look them up and see if/when/where they might be offered. Extra Credit After reading Elastigirl's thread, I've decided to just barge into her 30 day pushup challenge and do it too. I'll do at least 10 every day of the challenge. Doing them as part of a crossfit workout is fine, and will probably result in more than 10 that day, but if I don't do them in the workout, or it's a non-crossfit day, I'll do 10 at some point anyway.
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