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  1. While this is supposedly a Doctor Who themed year, I tend to do a special Valentines themed February, to be hot and shallow and slightly drunk. (Mostly shallow, as I still largely aspire to either of the other two.) So we will have a short diversion. After all, one can get into a rut. 1. Strength training Dating on Vulcan requires a lot more combat than you might expect. So physical training is important. But what will not do is upsetting the delicate hormonal balance that keeps you from killing half a dozen people with sharpened hockey stick. To keep cortisol down, the goal is one single strength exercise a day, from this list: plank, bridge, horse stance, superman, maybe some rowing if I'm feeling it. Also, my stupid daily walk for my stupid mental and physical health. I will count anything. The goal is consistency. But I do want giant muscles, cuz I have people to beat with a lirpa, so strength. Goal: be strong, do an exercise 2. Eat the plomik soup. Dating on Vulcan requires correct fueling of the body. We're aiming for closer to therapeutic keto this time around. Brain needs ketones. I don't know if we'll get to that macro split, but we can manage a stick of butter. Goal: eat a stick of butter (or equivalent fats) Goal: drink a gallon of water 3. Rest Dating on Vulcan requires quality sleep, or at least some quality meditation. Goal: 11pm bedtime with meditation. 4. Emotional Management This is me lately. Also, I recently heard someone say that time management these days is really emotion management, and I think that's very true. For me, this also hits some ADHD stuff, cuz ADHD tends to magnify strong emotions. I'm gonna practice spotting and reacting to emotions or emotional spirals (hopefully not too many of those). Treating the don't-wannas with rest counts. Goal: one emotional intervention Bonus: Vulcan eye makeup Vulcans play a good eyeshadow game, so this probably requires at least some eyeliner. Okay, wait, this challenge is entirely inappropriate for a February challenge. It involves actual stuff, and not, like, stocking my bar and upgrading my wardrobe. I may need to reconsider this. Sigh. Vulcans do not know how to have a good time.
  2. "Link.... You may not be at a point where you have fully recovered your power or all of your memories, but courage need not be remembered, for it was never forgotten." Hi guys and gals. I know this challenge is nearly over but I'm hoping because I have friends in high places *cough* @Tanktimus the Encourager *cough* that it can be moved to the next challenge once it starts. I debated on just waiting till next weekend but decided I was an impatient prick and wanted to start now . Gawd...it's been a minute since I've been back. Lots has happened. The newest edition to the Wolf Packβ„’ is my last and final child, another baby boy, Mr. Atlas. Atlas was born July 11th of last year: National 7/11 Day. He is my 6th kid and 5th boy overall lol. But, yes.... LAST kid. Daddy Wolf got himself snipped in August. Some of you may be saying "FINALLY" but honestly, that's just mean. There's honestly too much to update and cover in one post. It would end up being a small novella by the time I was done. If you already know me and want to ask a question - then please do. I'll answer whatever . If you don't know me and want to know more - I'm an open book. Let's get to the goals! As you'll see moving forward, my theme is Zelda...or more Link inspired. Specifically fan art dedicated to the upcoming Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom coming out on May 12th of this year. I'm SO EXCITED! POWER What is power? Does it mean social status? Maybe a hidden super power? Money? To me, it is very simple. It's physicality. Being physically strong has always been an appeal to me. Coming from a background of being lean and usually fairly light, I've always wanted more "bulk". I'm sitting around 188lbs right now, back up to my normal weight since having a large decline at the end of 2021. I've also been consistently in the gym say for a couple days here and there. So, this goal remains simple: 3x a week in the gym Focus on Legs/Push/Pull 1x a week implement a KB metcon WISDOM Ahhhh...to be wise. I've learned a LOT in my 35 years on this Earth. Some lessons I didn't learn the first...second or even third time around, but I did learn them eventually. I think wisdom may be the most important aspect of the Triforce when it's all said and done and is solid in nearly every situation. For this goal, I want to focus on the wisdom of maintaining a healthy sleep schedule and getting a nap in on training days: 3x a week of a 20-25 min nap (M/W/F) My bed time relies heavily on when I leave Costco but usually I can be in bed by 11. The goal is to be in bed and asleep before 11:30 on week nights. Friday is an exception. COURAGE I'm SOOOOOO close to being able to quit Costco and move down to working just 1 job. I'm super motivated at the moment and I'm loving my new job working for a pharmaceutical company as a sales rep. Right now it's inside sales gaining a 1% commission. The goal is to get promoted to outside sales where I get 8% commission. This is the difference in getting an extra $700 on my check to an extra 4k. As personable as I am, I'm still stepping outside of my comfort zone and I can't think of one attribute that attest to this better than COURAGE. The goal is: Shoot for 3-5 enrollments a week 20+ calls a day 3-5 sales a week Despite being busy and knowing I'll barely manage to keep up with my own challenge, I'm excited nonetheless to be back. I need the accountability. I'll try and stop in on some old friends threads to say hi, otherwise, I'll see you here in mine Wolf
  3. I've decided to start off the year with a "back to basics" challenge, focusing on a very few things to rebuild momentum and consistency before students and grandson start the tug of war over my calendar. I want to change body composition and push back against both muscle and bone density loss. At the moment, I am relatively healthy. I want to regain some of the strength I had 20 years ago, when I could do pull ups, run a 5K, and deadlift 85+ pounds. I want to be a good example for the next generations AND I want to play and have fun (with grandkids and other people). #1 priority is to build up strength and add muscle. Measurable goals for the challenge: 85 pounds x 3 x 8 lat pulldown 4.1 mph jog 5K 15 assisted pull-ups 30 pushups (some will be scaled probably) 45 air squats #2 priority is to lose fat. Strategy is to eat protein, fruits, vegetables, and lean dairy while making sure I do strength training at least 2 x per week (preferably 3 times per week). I am planning to continue using WW to track and manage the energy intake/outgo balance. It works for me, and I don't want to make any infrastructure changes right now. For the challenge, I'm tracking only two things: WW points and daily exercise. I liked logging with emojis here, and I have made a grid to include in my planner as well. Having it right in front of me so that I can see trends over the year will .... I hope ..... encourage consistency. I love to mark things off lists. For food tracking: 🎯 = stayed in daily points, πŸ”΅ = blue dot range, 🟒 = maintaining weekly buffer, 🟑 = I logged everything, 🟠 = I logged some, πŸ”΄ = unplanned break For exercise: πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ = ran, πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ = crossfit, πŸ’ͺ = strength training, πŸ’ƒ = exercise class, πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈ = walking, πŸ§˜β€β™€οΈ = yoga It seems simple, but routines fell apart at the end of the last full challenge. My weight has not gone up too much: 154.8 as of today. My strength, however, did take a dip on most measures. I'm hoping that the gym won't be too busy .... and the CrossFit group is still meeting regularly but a little earlier in the afternoon, which I am hoping means that we can get the equipment we need.
  4. Happy New Year, Rebels! I will be challenging myself to give attention to the four aspects of my own activities in the same way that my story needs to have some balanced perspective of its four protagonists. Barbarian/Ekaterina: ⚑🌩πŸŒ₯β˜€ I need to be doing my bodyweight exercises because I want to continue improving my strength before the time comes for my efforts to be rewarded with my original long-term goal of buying a bike. Ranger/Varsha: πŸŒ³πŸŒΏπŸŒ±πŸƒ I need to keep a daily activity level going as well so it's not as hard to get up and do my exercises on my body weight exercise days. I know I don't want to walk, but maybe I can do more GMB movement exercises to improve my mobility. Wizard/Paige: πŸ“šπŸ“•πŸ“–πŸ“‹ I have written a book that must undergo my own scrutiny and revision before it's ready for sharing with outsiders for spotting problems I'm too close to see. I want to use the first long weekend to read it for the first time like a reader who's seen nothing but a back-cover synopsis. Fingers crossed that I'll find a lot to love about it. 🀞 Artificer/Alidavai: πŸ› πŸ”§πŸ”¨πŸ“ I have crafts that are partly done, and I want to give them time and attention in order to make progress and potentially finish them. This includes the rainbow scarf which now has about 75-80% of a skein left to add, the next bite of my pixel quilt for which I need to prepare the four nibbles' pieces, a drawing of Ekaterina that's been waiting nearly three months for me to continue coloring it, and a Vox Machina puzzle I got for Cidran that I suggested we should do together the next time the table gets cleared. I want to pick up one of these tasks every night instead of getting stuck on my phone. I've got four emojis for each so I can attribute a rating of 0%, 50%, 100%, and 110% when I go above and beyond. (Why are the barbarian's emojis stormy weather? Because she's a storm aura barbarian! πŸ˜ƒ) That sums up my goals for this challenge. I'm excited about this, and hope my guild choices inspire others I've seen use these five-week challenges for non-athletic goals. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your company and support in this coming year! Sincerely, Maerad
  5. When the stockings are hung by the fireplace, and the snow is falling, and the mince pies and sherry have been left out for the Hogfather, and everyone is settled in for the end of the year, there is only one question left: have you been naughty or nice? That's it. That's the challenge. Along the way, I'm going to lean into hibernation. A week of meditation retreat, a week of extra sleep, a week of intermittent fasting (and feasting). I'm going to lean into all the martial arts/meditation "soft is better than hard" and "do less" mottos, and treat every under-performance or attention failure as a reason to rest more. I'm going to try to solidify my evening workout and metta meditation before bed. What I'd like to add is consistency with a daily walk, preferably first thing in the morning, and for mindfulness meditation. And I'm going to aim for a lot of holiday cheer. As close to a fatal dose of winter hygge as I can manage. Mandatory hot cocoa. table { --palette-red: #7b0a0a; --palette-cream: #e5d5bb; --palette-tan: #b2a288; --palette-lgreen: #668c6f; --palette-dgreen: #213c18;} table.plan { border: 2px var(--palette-dgreen); Border-top: 50px; Border-bottpm: 50px; background-color: var(--palette-lgreen); Width: 100%; Color: var(--palette-dgreen); } .plan tr:nth-child(even) { Background-color: var(--palette-cream); } .plan tr:nth-child(8n+1) { background: var(--palette-dgreen); color: var(--palette-cream); font-weight: bold; text-align: center; } .plan td:nth-child(4n+1) { Background-color: var(--palette-dgreen); color: var(--palette-cream); font-weight: bold; text-align: right; } .plan td:nth-child(4n-0) { font-weight: bold; text-align: center;background:var(--palette-dgreen); } table.tally { border: 1px solid var(--palette-red); Background-color: var(--palette-tan); Width: 100%; Color: var(--palette-dgreen); } .tally tr:nth-child(even) { Background-color: var(--palette-cream); } .tally tr:nth-child(9n+0) { background: var(--palette-red); color: var(--palette-cream); font-weight: bold; text-align: center; } .tally tr:nth-child(9n+1) { background: var(--palette-red); color: var(--palette-cream); font-weight: bold; text-align: center; } .tally td { } .tally td:nth-child(4n+1) { Background-color: var(--palette-red); color: var(--palette-lgreen); font-weight: bold; text-align: right; } .tally td:nth-child(4n-0) { font-weight: bold; text-align: center;background:#7b0a0a; } Day Plans Hogswatch Cheer πŸŽ„ M28 Winter clothes Digital job Fix Christmas lights Xmas movie Warm socks next to the bed T29 Wrap early gifts Schedule Doctor Who Xmas specials Xmas movie W30 Online zendo hours Get dates for events Redo work schedule Xmas movie Th1 Winter clothes Start all the yule logs Xmas movie F2 Find winter boots Get out lights Xmas movie S3 Garden task 12/5 prep Xmas movie Su4 Seasonal baking Find a timer Restock the hot cocoa stash Xmas movie Plans Hogswatch Cheer 🎁 M5 Date to watch Xmas movie Batch of eggnog week T6 Start meditation week Time scarcity week Xmas movie W7 Th8 F9 Finish project A S10 Su11 Seasonal baking Plans Hogswatch Cheer β›„ M12 IF week Test morning routines T13 W14 Th15 Date to watch F16 S17 Su18 Seasonal baking Plans Hogswatch Cheer πŸŽ„ M19 T20 W21 Th22 F23 S24 Su25 Hogswatch #1 Plans Hogswatch Cheer πŸ•―οΈ M26 Day off T27 Annual review Annual plan W28 Th29 F30 S31 Hogswatch #2 Su1 Tracking template:
  6. Creeping, lurking ... ready to devour. Hanging over every minute, every hour. My foe is there, but victory's mine, Remember my light - and let it shine. Stealing a bit of Vampire the Masquerade Floon for this one. I am still super hyped and into that game and using that for inspiration here. The Beast - for vampires, it's the monster within. For me, it's the gloom of autumn and winter, combined with growing feelings of being stuck where I am. I have to re-frame this perspective because if I keep focusing on the negatives, and the "not yet's", or the not where I wanted to be's, I fail to see what I do have. Comparison to other perceived 'better' views is a joy stealer. And I want to stop doing this. Goals are going to be largely based on mental and emotional health this time around. Sure I'll have my other things to keep track of because seeing consistency is GOOD for my brain. And I am still very much thriving on the music endeavors, so that's been great and I want to keep up with that. (The #backtomusic2022 has lasted, ALL year, so this feels legit!) Goal 1: Use Gratitude App Daily - Follow prompts. Make time. Do it. No excuses. The point is to get it done daily to teach your mind how to look past the negatives. If I do it only when I feel good and have a thing immediately come to mind to be thankful for, then I am not learning a new perspective, I am letting the old one dictate my choices. Daily Gratitude on App Goal 2: Track Calories - but Stop Being So Militant about it! - Tracking has worked great the past 6 weeks, and I dropped about 4-5 pounds. I have to stop freaking out for those occasions where I can't really track them. Because that's making me a tyrant. No one wants a raging calorie tracker at an outing. πŸ˜› Track Daily (except for untrackable outings, just enjoy those on occasion) Goal 3: Create! It brings Joy! - I found a really coo, tracker called TimeLog - and it lets me keep track of the hours I spend on various hobbies. I originally did it to keep track of music specifically, but I've also used it for art. Keep doing the music and art. I had it set for 4x a week each thing. And that almost happens. But I find that even if it's 4x/week - I almost always get 2 hours a week on each thing. Which is 4 x 30 minutes. So 4x or 2 hours / week is a doable amount on my stuff. So I'll keep it there for now. 4x / Week or 2 Hours Each Minimum: Bass - Guitar - Piano - Art Goal Eh: Keep exercising. - I thought to take this off as a goal because I am in such a good routine with it, but with winter here it will actually be harder for me to get my move days in - so this might serve as a reminder to focus on the effort. 2-3 Strength / week 2-3 Move / week Finally, a challenge long list of things I want to remember to try and get done. We're calling it a Side Quest list. Side Quests Oil Change Tire Rotation Purge Unused Items from Closet Reorganize Closet Purge Unused Items from TV Stand Cabinet Purge Unused Items from all Drawers in Room Go through Clothes, Donate Items no longer Worn Find Room Arrangement to Allow for easier Creative Outlets (might require getting rid of some furnishings / replacing with new ideas) Research music recording software. Research music notation software. Purchase / ask for Christmas - items needed for above. Look up theory classes to brush up on music theory. Bass lessons? Look into this. Continue watching house market / look at ones that might be doable. Make appt with financial advisor / budget helper. Finish Dad/Daughter Pic
  7. Hi Everyone! I'm paring down the goals this time around to two: 1) Eat real food, not peanut butter sandwiches; and 2) Play Supernatural for a minimum of a half hour three or more times a week. I'm really struggling to stay organized and invested in self-care with Dave being gone. I'm eating out more and sitting a lot, so need to shift my focus. Dave is home October 6th, which coincides well with the timing of this challenge. To help me stay focused/accountable, I want to take more pictures this challenge. Photos of the food that I cook, and selfies after I play Supernatural (their app has a cool thing that puts your scores on the bottom of the selfie and I like it). I don't know if I will post them all here, but I might post some as I enjoyed that part of Everstorm's challenge a lot. Things to do today: -bank deposit for work βœ… -mail parcel for work βœ… -cook ground beef and kale (chili?) -buy more protein bars -buy produce for shakshuka -clean out the fridge -take the garbage out -Supernatural -get clean Thanks for being here! Looking forward to cheering you on as well. Sax for tax!
  8. After spending several days of practicing how to fight in her new body, Scalyfreak says a warm farewell to her paladin friend, and continues her travels. He has his own battles to fight, just as she does, the way it always has been, and as she follows the road in front of her up into the mountains, Scalyfreak reflects on how the two of them always seem to run into each other when one of them really needs help. The strange timing of it all amuses her, and makes her wonder if there might be some other forces at work controlling their fates, not merely the plot scrolls. The road is splitting up ahead, the path to the right going further into the valley, and the one on the left going up along the mountainside. The valley path is smooth, with no weeds or grass growing in the hard packed earth. The path to the left is narrower and a little uneven, with large rocks here and there. Scalyfreak stops just at the spot where the road splits in two, looking back and forth between them. The path to the right is clearly the more popular one, and from what she can tell it leads to a settlement deeper into the valley, known for its hospitality towards travelers. The one to the left, just as clearly not used nearly as often, leads higher up onto the mountain itself, towards what appears to be a quite spectacular view. The decision is an easy one. Scalyfreak turns onto the path that's less traveled, and begins to climb the mountain. Before diving into the β€œfew and small” goals for this challenge period, here's a brief β€œintro” for anyone who doesn't know me very well: Recover HP (physical health) I am still attempting to build a regular exercise habit, which has been a lot more challenging than it has any right to be. Procrastination has been working hard to throw up obstacles and has been largely successful in preventing me from getting anything at all done towards this goal. So clearly a new and different approach is needed. I'm going to shamelessly steal this new approach from @Tanktimus the Encourager, and simply go for consistency above all else. My new goal is to do one exercise every day. That's it. If I do more than one, that's a great bonus, but I will be using a very simple strength program from Darebee, so I don't have to put a lot of effort into creating the program, because that has been an obstacle in the past. I also deliberately chose a beginner program, because they use simple and easy exercises that Self-Sabotage can't use against me. And I'm typing this during the breaks between circuits in Day 1 of my new program. Restore Mana (Mental Health) To absolutely no one's surprise, this goal is all about meditation. Daily meditation needs to continue. Regenerate Stamina (emotional bandwidth) This goal remains vague, but I'm trying to make it less so. For the remainder of this challenge period, this will require me to do at least one daily activity for no other reason than because I know I will enjoy it. Today, it was to go to the small nearby park with Husband and Happy Sidekick, and alternate between sitting in the shade and talking, and getting up to play with Happy Sidekick in the shade.
  9. Hi All! πŸ’œ I just got home from a great afternoon at the lake. I feel calm, centered, and content and thought this might be a good time to write up my challenge. I want to try to carry this happy ease with me as I go. My mobility and stamina are improving quite a bit. I'm walking ~5000 steps a day 4-5 days a week. I'm doing the Beginner Bodyweight workout through the NF Journey app every other day. I intend to keep these two things up during this challenge. My big goal for this challenge is to figure out how to meet my daily protein macro of 130 grams. I'm getting ~70 grams most days, I think. I'm tracking haphazardly, could stand to be doing that more diligently. I'd prefer to not be supplementing with protein powder or bars more than once a day, but I know what our budget looks like and I don't have a ton of wiggle room for groceries so whey powder might be the MVP here. This major challenge comes in three parts: 1) Meal Planning: Using my extensive cookbook collection and the BudgetBytes website I am going to be planning my meals. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every day. I will batch cook as much as possible to ease some of the workload. Dave is away for chunks of this challenge so I have reduced the meal kits to two a week for the time he's gone to prevent me wasting food. 2) Tracking: Entering what I'm having into MFP with the sole purpose of tracking my protein macro. I can observe other macros and calories for information purposes only. If I start to get preoccupied with other numbers I need to figure out a different way to meet this objective, maybe using a pen and paper or something. 3) Eating: I need to pay attention to when I am eating so I have enough time in my day to get all my food in. I'm really bad for missing breakfast, for example and my protein macro takes a hit if I do. So I need to strategize my timing more than I currently am. I think that's it! Walk, squat, eat. Sounds doable, right? I'm going to take my measurements and weigh in tomorrow so I have that data and then check in again with that at the end of the five weeks. I haven't taken measurements in a very long time. I'm prepared to be upset by it. That said, I had two non-scale victories today: I bought jeans that were a size 22 not a 24 or larger and my bathing suit still fits well after not wearing it forever. So yay! πŸŽ‰ Looking forward to cheering you all on! πŸ’œ
  10. First of all, when I joined the forums and started challenges I never considered what it would be like to turn 30-challenges old. It seems like so many and like it went by so fast! But of course we all learned time has no meaning over the last few years. What will the goals for this one? I don't know. I'm at a loss for telling myself stories this time around. I guess stick with the basics until one comes to mind. Back to earning points Standard points list: Su M T W Th F Sa 3️⃣pt ⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ 4 times for 12 pt wkly 2️⃣pt ⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ for 8 pt 1️⃣pt ⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ for 4 pt 1️⃣pt ⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ for 4 pt To earn those points. Major thing for 3 pt; fitness. continue with DB Hero's Journey and running (forgot about Zombies, run!) second thing for 2 pt; stretch and/or foam roll minor thing for 1 pt; avoid alcohol (will be telling my housemates aka parents aka kind people letting us live here while we sell our house) and probably have tea as a non-water option minor thing for 1 pt; do something productive. Very vague but can be anything that isn't internetting, ie sewing, crochet, cleaning, cooking, reading, tech training no-point but important thing; check in regularly with rebels. (And this falls perfectly in line with the Mr.Willes mini challenge, though my gif game is no where as developed) Things I need to do: reschedule a dr appt since I'll be away at tech training that week. check out the Happify app (through our health benefits) see if its πŸ‘ or πŸ‘Ž find a book for betterment/edification (suggestions of all kinds welcome) update my battle log
  11. First challenge since probably 2019 so I'm a bit rusty. My goals long term are to get into good enough shape to have a competition session in karate which I haven't been able to do since 2018 because of injury and we'll... a plague. For the short term my goals are based on consistency. Just building in the daily habits that will take me where I want to go. The specific measure able goals I have for this training is. Karate training: 3 days per week. I'm training with a very experienced sensai and I want to prioritize that. Some general movement every day: 10k steps and some kind of strength/mobility/conditioning every non karate day. Take my dang vitamins: I know through testing that I'm deficient in vitamin D and magnesium and it shows on the days I skip. I'm not in a place where I need to worry about weight classes or anything at this time so I'm really trying to build in the sense of structure and consistency I've had during past competition sessions.
  12. 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 Paychequeβ„’. 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 Paychequeβ„’ 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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 - ❄️
  17. 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
  18. **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
  19. 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 Wolfpackβ„’. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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."
  23. 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
  24. [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 β€œThe 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
  25. 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.
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