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  1. The General Update: My health has been quite poorly the past month, and I have determined the primary culprit to be my new glasses. Something is "off" about the prescription, and I can tolerate looking at a computer or phone screen for less than a minute before the beginnings of a sick headache start to show up. I've got an appointment with my optician tomorrow to see if she can help me get it sorted. Meanwhile I'm wearing my old glasses. They are coming apart at the hinges, but at least they don't make me feel seasick! I had a blast at the audition for Making God Laugh last Saturday. I didn't get the part, which is cool with me because I didn't expect to. As soon as I came home I plunged headfirst into Shakespeare. I've got two weeks to refine my memorized monologue (Mistress Page, Act II Scene I of Merry Wives) and to prepare to read from several selections that Director Phil has provided, before I audition for The Taming of the Shrew. Timing is everything. When you show up at an audition, the sign-in sheet asks you to identify any conflicts that you will have during the production that will stop you from attending every rehearsal. It's not always a dealbreaker to miss one or two, or even more depending on the size of the role. But my boss has decided to send me to California for a week and a half - Feb 23 to Mar 6 - right in the first half of the production. This is probably one factor in why I wasn't cast in Laugh; the role I was reading for is in every scene, so missing any rehearsals is disruptive. (The other, bigger factor is that there were several very talented actors there with me!) So if Director Phil doesn't want to deal with the headache of scheduling rehearsals around the absence of even a minor supporting character, I can't blame him for that. If I was directing I would prefer not to mess about with that either. Not worried about it - I intend to nail this audition whether I have a chance at a role or not, because Shakespeare is bloody FUN! The travel plans got modified on short notice. I was only supposed to be gone for four days for a conference. But the College just hired a new Academics Officer (my 'official' job title) for the Camp Pendleton campus, and the Dean wants me to train her. It is really bad timing for the community theater season, but otherwise I don't mind too much. My dad and stepmom live in Los Angeles and I will get to spend two weekends with them. I don't get to see them nearly often enough. Challenge Goals: Ongoing - Vocal lessons weekly (well, except the Tuesday that I'm out of town, and maybe the one after I've spent all of Monday on airplanes home) 20 minute vocal warm-up and workout every day except airplane days. GMB 3x week - either Elements or Literal Immortality, as the mood strikes me Meditate daily New - Attend at least one session of an online improv class Travel without getting sick; to wit At least one balanced meal, with protein and a vegetable, every day At least 64 oz. water / day, increase to 100 oz. on airplane days Mask on plane, in airports, and otherwise crowded environs I love my job, and I am excited to see my dad, but I really don't like travel. Not sure what happened, I used to love it - now it is exhausting and stressful and I really dislike being away from the Hubs and my doggies. Ah well, this too shall pass. At least I don't have to do it often. I'll try to keep a good attitude about it.
  2. I always enjoyed watching movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He had a big influence on me when I was younger and his movies were always something I enjoyed no matter how many people said he couldn’t act. His one liners are legendary and my being back this time is a homage to Arnold. Actually, there’s a little more to it. My last couple challenges weren’t the best and this challenge for me is all about being back. Karate, Karate, Karate... I am still training for the next tournament and I need to get back to basics again. This time around is four days a week or Karate fundamental training. The basics are the key to a solid foundation and those are what I’m returning to this time around. Loosen the hips and tighten the core... With the exception of a tight Achilles, my body is moving fairly well overall. Fairly well isn’t great so five days a week will have at least 10 minutes of mobility and glute & core training. Breathe better... ‘I learned something about my breathing in relation to my power output in my techniques. I thought I already had good breath control but I found if I keep my tongue on the top of my mouth when breathing in, my power goes way up. The goal is to do this with all my training but I need it to be automatic. I can’t really gauge but I want to do this for at least 75% of my training. Extra credit - Write at least one blog post I haven’t published one blog post in months but this time it’s different because I’m back.
  3. I could come up with some good excuses for not ending the last challenge as planned but I cannot get that time back so it's time focus on the present and not the past. Kata - 100 Shotokan katas per week and 30 Iaido katas per week With only three months left until the tournament, the kata focus needs to be serious and at the top of the list. Core work - 5 times per week My Karate has improved with the core work I have been doing over the last two weeks and I need to keep it up. I consider core more than only abs so glutes, torso and legs are part of what I call core. Other - as much or as little as I can do after the top two goals DDP, weights, band work or flexibility training will fit in here if I have the energy. Blog posts - One a week I have been very far behind on my blog posts and setting the bar low on this might help raise it higher. Shotokan Kata - 0 / 400 Iaido Kata - 0 / 120 Core work - 0 / 20 Other - 0 / open Blog posts - 0 / 4
  4. Heidi

    Heidi: Believe

    The last challenge was about watching the wheels come off, as I knew they would. So this challenge is about walking the new path, finding peace in the solitude and listening for the inspiration in the quiet. It is the darkness that makes the light shine so brightly. I have much on my plate for school this challenge. I just met with my new writing workshop adviser, and after exchanging several heartfelt emails, I decided to look up what she has written. It turns out she's on my Read Real Soon list. I have bumped the book ahead of a few others in the stack. Overall, I'm tickled to be working with Dombek, and I was before I looked her up. To know that she shares my love of Madeleine L'Engle and Ursula K. LeGuin just makes it all that much better. I can't wait to read more about how our cultural phenomenon of calling everyone selfish is more about our own perspectives than an epidemic of personality disorder. I'm taking some big leaps spiritually as well, offering to volunteer, putting together programs for volunteer efforts and the like. I keep applying for jobs, of course, but this has been going on forever and is demoralizing. I'm looking forward to being of use in one way or another. Think good thoughts for me. My first library classes begin on June 7, and the first manuscript to Kristin is due June 24, just before the challenge ends. I have some reading to do before then and some response papers to write. I also have the TMWW to attend, possibly. I'm waiting on word about the scholarship. On the family front, the lack of communication and the active exclusion is getting very old and wearing me out emotionally. I would love to have better solution for this but I don't yet. Yet. Keep watching this space. In the meantime, Vivian and I love love love going to the river. I have new water shoes for both of us on the way. Sunscreen is my next purchase, and we are looking forward to the holiday weekend coming up. On the schedule is a play, a trip to our favorite toy store, a couple Serious Surprises, gardening, river wallowing, and board games, as well as cooking (she has specifically requested that we make cole slaw together, and was flout out amazed that I knew how to make it. Ah, the joys of maturity.) I have joined Heroes Rise for the month, mostly to see what it's about but also because my motivation could use some back-to-basics inspiration. I'm Heidi there, too, so look me up if you're around. Good grief, but the challenges are slipping by me quickly this calendar year. Anyway, the elements of this round are a focus on believing in myself and in the universe, letting myself walk in the knowledge that the universe loves me and wants me to be happy and that all will be right with the world. It's harder than it sounds. Dates & Details May 20-26 - introduction to new instructor May 20-26 put together program details, scout a place for the programs, follow up with non-profits May 27 Charlotte's Web - Roanoke Children's Theatre May 29 Interview June 2 Yoga on the Mountain June 7 Library School begins - gather syllabi and plan time around assignments Monday - Women's Meeting Tuesday - Yoga @ Park Wednesday - Yoga @ Mansion Thursday - Katrina Thursday - Violin with Vivian Friday Yoga @ Park Sunday Friends Meeting
  5. Hello, I've started working out the last one and a half months and im noticing results but not in the way I was hoping for. My whole right side is seemingly smaller, starting from the abs all the way down to the core/lower abdominal muscles. Especially the "V line" muscles. On one side the V line is very visable but on the other side it's less. Can this be caused by a rotated hip? is the muscles on my right side stiff and have to be stretched out in order to be activated? Should i work out the right side more to get symmetry? Is this problem serious? I sit behind the computer alot so im thinking that's the cause and these problems havn't been noticed since I've just now started working out. All answers are very appreciated thank you! PS, please ask questions if you don't understand the issue properly.
  6. I'm focusing on very few simple things so I can achieve them and optimize recovery. Since we are almost in mid-Feb, I will still start tracking as of Feb 1st with at least a weekly check-in. Goal 1: Run More - avoid no-running streaks and go for 115 miles in Feb. Goal 2: Core - planks and push-ups to failure and focusing on form, 3x a week Goal 3: Handstand - practice 3x a week Level Up Goal: write my gratitude journal daily
  7. I am going to continue with my theme of very minimal challenges while I re-figure out where I am in life. Things just feel different these days and it’s not like, bad different but it IS different and different requires slowing down and assessing and adjusting. GOAAAAALS CORE EVERY DAY - I think this one is pretty self explanatory! I plan to do at least some core work every day (this can be as minimal as doing a plank for 30 seconds/ but can be much more!) February Cut - I am SO FREAKING CLOSE to being rid of excess chubs. It’s been a suuuuuuuuuper gradual loss over like 3 years or so which is good and all but dude I want this excess belly chub gone like now. I’m planning to do a slightly more aggressive and intentional cut for the month of February. Currently I am tracking calories and I may keep doing but we shall see; I may shift to instinctive eating and shooting for feeling slightly hungry at all times. In general I am shooting for 2k calories per day (when I was tracking previously I was doing 2300 for maintenance which had me losing slightly already. I really would like to get BMR and a DEXA scan sometime for more accurate numbers but going with what has been working for now! There IS a place in LA that does both but the BMR one you have to not workout for 12 hours or something and then you can’t have caffeine for at least 6 hours and just..I dunno. NO COFFEE IN THE MORNING?! WHY?!?! Hahahaha.) Life balance/ DONT YOU DARE OVERBOOK - Check in on stress level once per week and cut things from my schedule (or add!) if I need it. Life goal things - go places alone at least 1x per week. I want to spend more time out and about along to give myself more chances to possibly run into a guy I would want to date someday. I am kind of a cheater in that I already signed up for a beginner improv class I have to go to alone down in LA every week, but I would like to add side adventures before or after said class and I also want to try to do some local alone in public time things too. Most of my current hobbies here are very lady centric and/or just sassy gay boys for the most part (dance and aerial) or are me hanging out with people I already know and know I don’t want to date and while I LOVE THESE THINGS I would like to meet someone I want to date eventually. And I F-ING HATE ONLINE DATING HATE HATE — like, I can make a conversation with almost anyone and just seeing a picture of people doesn’t tell me if I’d actually have any chemistry in person and just NOPE not my jam. Also, I used to do more things alone but rather by accident I have companions along for most everything I do these days! I need to plan intentional not with other people time! I've decided to cut this goal for this round since my not overbooking goal is directly conflicting with this one!
  8. Welcome back to the ABSolutely IncredABSble ABSsstravaganza! Everyone can join!! Each week, we post a NEW hardCORE workout. There is a spreadsheet to track your progress. If you want to be a part of this, introduce yourself below, add your name to the sheet, and give yourself a point per workout! Each workout is worth 5 points. The person at the end with the most points wins!!! Easy peasy. I have added a new feature-- We have a couple of returning challengers here, so I would like to invite you to sign up to be the weekly ABZ TASK MASTER!!! This means you get to post a video for a predetermined week of the challenge. First come, first serve. It's all right there in the spreadsheet. The winner gets sexy, sexy abs! Everyone else gets stronger abs, so it's still worth it! You literally can't lose this game. Here is the Week 0 Challenge: Calling all previous participants: @Mad Hatter @sylph @karinajean @MikeWazowski @zenLara @WhiteGhost @Coco P Loco @symphonicdan @koaladle @grumble @ tourennatrix LET'S DO THIS THING!!!
  9. My main goal is to keep adding time to my runs (recovery, tempo and long) however I am heading to the beach right after this challenge is over so it's perfect time to get beach ready Run; right now I'm still running for time rather than distance, I have slowly built up over the last few months from running 15 minutes for my easy run and 20 minutes for my tempo run to a half hour for each (4 times a week) I plan on running 30 minutes each for the rest of this week and next while adding a longer run on the weekends, my long range goal is to max out at 45 minutes each by mid-summer and hopefully 10 mile long runs before I start speed work Core twice a week Strength three times a week Water, rehydrate plus less calories Groceries; going to create a meal plan and make a grocery list, not only will that save lots of money but not eating at the food trucks every day but it will be healthier for all of us If I can follow my running plan I'll go from running 22 miles this week to running 31 by the beginning of August
  10. Hi. I am llw. I am a monk. I used to hit things but now I climb things. This is my challenge. These are my goals: Climb 3x per week. Or do a supplementary work out, but primarily climb. Eat vegetables. 4 cups per day. Yoga 1 hour per week. I purchased a yoga program for climbers. There are 9 routines, I will be completing and repeating the set focused on shoulders and core for this challenge. Read 30 minutes everyday. Either a book I am working through or a published scientific study for a paper I hope to publish, or for prospecting graduate school. Please note: All readers who post comments stating or referring to how I rarely or never complete challenges will owe me a doughnut when I kick this month's ass. By commenting as such, you agree to these terms.
  11. Once upon a time many years ago (okay, it was last year), some forumites went on a journey collecting arm balance yoga poses in the guise of Pokemon and documented their capture for all to see and admire. Our collections were impressive and our Pokedexes were rather robust. But once we collected them, we put them away and they got dusty and lonely, sitting in their little Pokeballs with no social interaction and no love. (Reminder: your Neopets are starving and miss you.) It's time to bring those arm balances back out into the world to shine! And this time, we don't want them to just sit all by their lonesomes -- no, no, we want to transition! We want to link them together. We want FLOWS, my darlings. FLOOOWS! These will not be easy. Much core strength will be required to transition between these poses, but that is a task I bet you are willing to take on! I've created a little spreadsheet that has suggestions of possible transitions: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nlRLcytZSoLUBmgiu829Q4EI7MWsO__ax__tuqT92a4/edit You are welcome to add suggestions and ideas! The first tab is just two-pose options, the second tab has a bit of formatting if you want to add any longer pose flow ideas, and the third tab has an option to add your name, the flow you completed, when you did it, and any link to a video or picture. You do not have to fill out this tab! You do not have to take a video or picture, but I really think it makes it much more fun and more informative. Some of these will be confusing body puzzles, so seeing how other people tackle them helps us all! Post in this main thread for things you're going to try, how they went, your pictures/videos, tips and tricks, aspirations, dreams, emotions... Ok, yeah. It's a free-for-all. Nothing about this is REALLY PVP but if seeing someone get a transition you want fires you up to try it yourself, I think it's working!
  12. After a disappointing previous challenge, it time to go back to the basics again. 1. Workout five times a week: As long as I workout for more than a few minutes, I'm going to call it a workout. This could be Karate training, lower body work, lifting heavy metal objects or any type of mobility work. 2. Tai Cheng three times a week: Since this really helps my Karate, it's time to get back to doing this on a regular schedule. I am trying to be more realistic with my current workload and three times is attainable. 3. Static and moving Karate stance training interval style three time a week: This is one area that had suffered the most over the last 7 weeks. I can still get into good stances but moving out of them is more difficult since I haven't been training. Extra credit - Meditation three times a week: The extra stress is not doing me any good at this point and I really need to find some way to relax. Call of Duty used to work well but I need to put my mind in a much calmer state. I have a couple of apps on my iPhone that could be useful and I do like the simple breathing meditation at bedtime but I have to do it. Life goal: Write 150 words a week for my blogs: My writing has really taken a back seat over the last few months and I have to get back to it. I know that a 150 words a week is not much but it's better than zero so I am setting the bar lower to get a win here.
  13. Hi Rangers! After a month off, I'm back and ready to get stuff done. I'm focusing on 3 things this challenge: Core, and mobility from my hips to my shoulders. 2000 sit-ups by the end of the challenge. That's 500/wk, or 100/day for 5 days/wk. GHD's count as double! 8-minute Abs must be subb'd at least 1 day/wk NO BINGES for the next few weeks! I have dealt with disordered eating, and it's sort of like having been an addict. You always have to be on your guard for relapses. I've gotten tons better in the past several years, and my bf has helped so much with with me giving permission to eat and also questions me when I know I'm at risk. Work on my French. I'm going to do something every day. My bf's little sister and I were doing once-a-week French practice, and putting together projects for that in conjunction with Coffee Break French was excellent. She starts school in a few weeks, but at least we'll have a little time to practice together! Finally, I need to stay on track, and one of the best ways of doing that is to stay plugged in. 5 posts in my own thread, 5 posts in someone else's thread every week. Best of luck to everyone in their challenge! May the Force be with you!
  14. So I'm about to start my second challenge! The first went well, so I'm keeping what worked (3 x weight sessions a week; intermittent fasting; lots of water; writing 30 min per day; Pilates once a week) and trying to build on my achievements. I'd like to build up a narrative here about training to beat the zombie apocalypse, but I don't have time. Let's just say that faster, more focused, able-to-lift-their-body-weight people are going to survive better when the Big Z Day hits. And... thinking about Scary Things on a daily basis (writing) will help me toughen up? Yeah. Let's go with that. Goal 1 (fitness): complete the Core challenge at Darebee. My core strength absolutely sucks. I measured myself over 3 elbow planks today at the gym, and my average hold time is 30 seconds. I can't do a single sit-up. I am skinny fat. I need to build up my core strength alongside my other work-outs. Goal 2 (diet): track diet daily at MyFitnessPal. I seem particularly prone to under-eating in terms of calories and protein: I'm a vegan and eat largely home-cooked food with tons and tons of fruit and vegetables, and I've noticed that when I have weeks of harder work-outs (say 3 x strength training for 60 min plus a couple of days of interval training) I feel absolutely exhausted, both in the evening and in the mornings. I don't think I'm eating enough, so this should help me. My MFP calorie goal is 1400 and protein goal is 45g. It says I'll lose weight, but over 6 weeks I've found that the scale doesn't budge... although I look a million times better, so am hoping that the slimming down is being counteracted weight-wise by building a small amount of muscle ready for the next steps. Goal 3 (diet): no alcohol. Speaks for itself... I don't drink every day, and I don't often drink to excess, but, yeah, when I do... it's not pretty. I don't think I've ever gone completely teetotal for a month before. Just think of all those empty calories I'll be cutting out! Goal 4 (lifestyle): complete the next 2 weeks of my writing programme. I have a novel to edit and re-write, and 30 min/day is becoming a little aimless. I need to focus and work through the next 2 weeks' worth of work in my Weekend Novelist Redrafts The Novel book, so that I'm actually starting to play around with the text and structure rather than making big meta decisions.
  15. There is quite a sturdy rumor that my circus gym will be re-opening some time in July. I've been in and out of a fitness-funk for the last 8 months while they've been closed/relocating so it's time to see if I can be in some kind of decent shape once I can get back to class. Lift weights My old faithful push/pull/legs split 3x/week, please! 15 workouts total Core progressions So much about being in the air is reliant on core strength. I am sure mine is not where it was 8 months ago, so lets work on that. Hollow body holds, floor tucks (no idea what to call these, really, but it's mimicking an aerial inversion on the ground) and maybe the ab wheel will be the cornerstone of this work. 2x/week 10 core sessions Stretch When I don't have class, I am terrible at this. I think I can count on one hand the times I've had any kind of stretching session since November. Sigh. Setting the bar low, here. 1x/week 5 stretch sessions Sun salutations A few challenges back, I made an effort to start each day with a few (5-ish) sun salutations. I quite liked it, really and I'd like to get back to it. With a little room for error/forgetfulness. 5x/week 25 mornings of greeting the sun No theme, no fancy formatting, no distractions. Just work.
  16. So Hollywood has decided to make a blockbuster movie, a spinoff of Game of Thrones, called the Clash of Khal's. The story centers on Khal Drogo's rise to power and features many epic battles with rival Dothraki hordes. Jason Momoa told them to fuck off because they didn't offer him enough money, so now I'm playing the lead role. Of course, to play the lead in a blockbuster action movie, I have to get in shape to play the part. I'm gonna need to get ripped. I'm gonna need big showy muscles to look good on camera. I'm gonna need endurance to get through long days on set, and the coordination and agility to perform my own stunts and participate in fight scenes. Brogo goes to Khal-E-wood is going to be a series of challenges designed to get me in shape in much the same way that Hollywood actors use to train for their movie roles. I've been reading some of the articles about how these guys have been training to get in shape for their roles: How The Rock trained for Hecules, how skinny Jake Gylenhall trained for Southpaw, Hugh Jackman → Wolverine, and how Chris Pratt went from being Andy Dwyer to Peter Quill and Owen in Jurassic World. Most of these workout programs center on barbell training using strength and hypertrophy, and use additional circuits or complexes to increase weightloss and work muscle simultaneously. They may also incorporate fighting or martial arts work depending on the role. Basically, by supplementing my current strength routine I can make my workouts start approaching the rigor used by actors to prepare for action roles. So this series of challenges will take me around the guilds a bit. Where I'm at: My big 2016 goal is to bench press my bodyweight. I'm at 263 now, and plan to take a short break when I hit 250 to maintain weight and increase my bench and see if I can hit it. My best bench ever was 235, and I'm currently benching 180 for 3x3.I've spent the last two challenges nailing down my nutritional needs and figuring out how to manage steady weight loss. I've mostly been successful with losing a pound a week and keeping it up the last two months. More on this stuff later. I've also been reconditioning my big three barbell lifts. I have been successful with this as well, but progress has slowed since I'm getting closer to where I was before my 5 month lifting hiatus, and I'm cutting. Since I'm cutting, the big strength gains will have to wait a bit. But while I'm doing that, I can focus on some other conditioning work and bringing some of my current weaknesses up. Lately, of concern are my core strength and mobility. Plus I really want to get chins and pullups going and hopefully get more comfortable with jumping onto, up to, or over stuff. I'll be starting in the Assassins to try and condition myself to be more “Spry” by focusing on bodyweight exercises, core work, some agility, and mobility. Sounds Assassin-y enough to me. Here goes: Meta-Goal 1, Getting Spry: Goal 1, Stretch. Basically go through the stretching equivalents of squat, bench, and deadlift for stretching every day. Hip flexor stretch and/or couch stretch Thoracic extensions (palms up, arms back, head back) Forward bends If I just put a few minutes into each of these every day while I'm brewing coffee it'll pay off. And it should become routine, and I can start building on it by throwing some foam rolling and yoga poses in. Grading: 1 point for each day of the challenge. Goal 2, Core. I want a stronger and better coordinated core. I found this progression: http://jasonferruggia.com/gymnastic-secret-stronger-abs/ It looks like a decent place to start developing better coordination. These exercises will be my go-to's. And some of what this article says I think will help me with developing strength. http://www.elitefts.com/education/training/seven-rules-of-highly-effective-core-training/ And I really want to follow the hanging leg raise progression video at the end. Grading: 1 point for each core workout Goal 3, Jump. Box jumps, jump rope, distance jumping. Whatever gets the spring back in my step. 1 point for each jumping exercise. Goal 4, Pullups In my last workout, I was able to do 5 pullups with 40 lbs. of assistance. I'm going to keep shooting to decrease assistance until I can do an actual pullup. 1 point for each pullup workouts Bonus: +5 points if I complete one pullup from a dead hang by the end of the challenge. Bonus: +1 point if I do all 4 in one day. Meta-Grading 1: <25 F, 30 = C, 40=B 50=A Meta-Goal 2, Maintain. I still need to stay focussed on getting my bodyweight bench press. 2 strength workouts per week. (1 pt. Per workout) Keep average caloric intake at or below 3200 kcal/day. (1 pt per day <= 3200) Bonus: +10 points for a bodyweight bench press. Meta-Grading 2: Percentage of the <25 F, 30 C, 35 B, 40 A Meta-Goal 3: Circuits and Complexes I really like doing barbell complexes based around the Oly lifts which should help make me spry and encourage fat burn. Plus, when I do assistance work I usually organize it into supersets or circuits. But I want to do this more often and really up my game. Whenever I am working on the above and/or other assistance work, I'll perform them as a circuit or complex. It counts if there's no rest between exercises until the circuit is done and I've done it at least twice. Bonus: +1 if I do a circuit with all my spryness goals Meta-Grading 3: 1 pt for each circuit or complex. <4 F, 6 C 8 B, 10 A LUYL: Soto Zen style Zazen Meditation Enduring the lotus position with a straight back, a steady breath, and a still mind. Start with 5 min. per day. Add 5 min each week. tl;dr - I'm gonna jump, and do core, and hang from stuff, and work on being less of a slouch, while I'm cutting for the sake of a bodyweight bench press. Scoreboard: (as of ocho de Mayo) MG1: Stretch: 10 Core: 5 Jump: 1 Pullup: 2 MG2: Strength: 4 Nutrition: 0 MG3: Circuits: 2 LUYL: Zazen: 0
  17. [She's] alive, Damnit! Females are strong as hell! Yep, it's Kimmy Schmidt time! With the new series coming out this month, I had no option, and I'm loving it So last I had a good challenge, but having so many guests definitely hurt my progress. I also had several times when I just didn't want to do my quests, I think because they were too long. So this month I'm going for short tasks, done often. Simplify and hit it hard! I do once again have people visiting in the 2nd week, so I'm modifying the goals for that week. (Iowa, not Indiana, but it works ) Quest 1: Crow pose again! 5 times a week I'm going to do a minimum of 5 crows a day, just to get into the groove of it. My goal is a 5 second hold. My current crow video is in the spoiler from the end of last challenge. Quest 2: Pistol squats! Again a repeat from last round, which I'll be modifying a bit. At least 5 times a week I'll do assisted pistols and at least 15 reps of modified shrimp squats per leg. Hopefully I'll get to a intermediate shrimp squat and a full range of motion on my assisted pistol. Quest 3: Stretching/splits. 5 times a week I'll do stretches with the goal of improving my splits (side and middle) and my squat depth/flexibility. My current plan is: Sit in deep squat - 1min Frog - 1 min Hamstring stretch - 30 sec each Pyramid - 30 sec each L/R splits - 30 sec each Middle splits - 30 sec Quest 4: Pushups. Like last round, I want to work on my diamond pushups. 5 times a week I'll work on those, doing as many reps as possible, with the goal of doing at least 4 pushups on the floor. Quest 5: Abs. A few days ago I started a daily ab challenge from Bloglates because I'm missing my regular ab work. So everyday I want to keep up with it. I'm super excited for this challenge, and I'm digging my theme, so bring it on April! Tracking Quest 1: 0/5, 0/3, 0/5, 0/5 Quest 2: 0/5, 0/3, 0/5, 0/5 Quest 3: 0/5, 0/3, 0/5, 0/5 Quest 4: 0/5, 0/3, 0/5, 0/5 Quest 5: 0/7, 0/5, 0/7, 0/7
  18. Whew, third challenge of the year, already! Time moves extra fast in 26-day chunks. This challenge will take us through March, which means one more gymnastics competition (this Saturday!) and then I get a break from meets until Nationals in April. Maybe it's the spring air or maybe it's because I don't want to commit to too many bonus physical pursuits, but this challenge is a bit more domestic-focused than previous ones. Track 1. Ain't No Mountain High Enough Conditioning workout or strength training workout 13x over challengeI have a sneaking feeling that I am going to want to chill out for a bit after the meet this Saturday, so to combat that, I am going to bonus incentivize conditioning and strength training workouts in this challenge. Conditioning can be any drillsandskillsWOD, the office gym's conditioning class, NP Stadium, or any 10+ minutes at practice. Strength training will be low rep, difficult progression bodyweight skills or WEIGHTS. Track 2. Come and Get Your Love Core-focused exercises or PT 20x this challenge.CORE work continues with this challenge's edition. If it's part of a conditioning circuit, it will count for both goals. Track 3. O-oh Child Dance/clean sessions around the house totaling 180 minutesDance battle against the mess of my house. 1v1 me, bro! No requirements for the % of dancing versus cleaning for these minutes, but as long as I am doing one or the other and rocking out around the house, I am racking up minutes. Going OUT to dance will not count except for morale boosting. Track 4. Escape (The Pina Colada Song) Cook 4 recipes out of my cookbooksI've got some wonderful cookbooks that I adore and am very glad to have but haven't actually managed to cook anything out of just yet! This will change over this challenge. These will likely be more baked goods than other options, but as long as I am working from a recipe from one of these books, we count it!
  19. THE YEAR OF DISNEY PRINCESSES BECAUSE I AM A MOTHERFUCKING PRINCESS MONK: PRINCESS JASMINE EDITION As is tradition (hey, once totally counts as tradition!), have my favorite Jasmine song: What? She's only got the one song, and as much as I like A Whole New World, I like this better. Rock That Crop Top, Jas. Having some core confidence definitely translates in other areas of life - I mean, just look at that sassy princess in her crop top. I totally need that. And core strength. After all, a rocking crop top isn't going to toss the guys off of me in bjj. CHALLENGE: Core - 3 sessions a week GRADING: A - 3 sessions | B - 2 session | C - 1 session Obviously, to be done on different days. If there is a class at work that is core heavy, it will count. No time limit on this - just need to make sure I'm focusing on this. Climb That Wall Now, Jasmine just wanted to be ~*~free~*~ from her princessly obligations. I mean, we all feel that feel sometimes. Me, though? I just want my damn chin up back. CHALLENGE: Chin Up - 3 times a week GRADING: A - 3 days | B - 2 days | C - 1 day At least one set of 5 attempted three times a week. This can be done at home (which... let's be real, would be me jumping futilely), at work (which has assistance bands), or at the other gym (which as the assisted pull up machine). I Can't Keep Eating Like an Asshole, Part the Third Now that Jasmine knows that food doesn't grow on trees (wait), it's time to start being a bit more specific in how we decide to eat. CHALLENGE: Food - stick to the plaaaaan GRADING: A - Stuck to the plan | B - Mostly stuck to the plan | C - There was a plan? So, this go around, I'm going to have some specific things to work towards since two months of beating into my head what should and should not be a daily nom thing has started to sink it. The plan is as follows: Limit bread/pasta to 4 meals a week - this means 3 days of no wheat; rice does not count towards this Processed food no more than twice a week - basically, if it comes from a box or a can (unless it's corn), I can only have it twice a week. Chocolate does not count, nor does dairy. Soda on double bjj days, otherwise once every 5 days - when it comes down to it, I like soda, so instead of saying no more soda, time to restrict it. There will be an exception to this rule on 3/9 and 3/10 because I'm in all day meetings, and as I don't drink coffee, I need caffeine from somewhere or I'll fall asleep. Making Kitty Famous Let's be real - the actual star of the movie was Rajah. And he's such a handsome boy. I've got two handsome boys at home, and the world really ought to see more of them. CHALLENGE: Instagram - one new cat picture a day GRADING: A - 7 pictures | B - 6 pictures | C - 5 pictures Follow me on instagram if you want (~stillskies), but I'll also post them here.
  20. I feel like I should apologize up front because this challenge will be rife with images of shirtless Stephen Amell doing salmon ladder. If sexy half-naked men aren’t your thing, I’m sorry. Only not. I mean, really... Oliver Queen, a man who came back from an island with amazing skills, improved body, and a really bad case of caveman beard. He trained with functional movement that Assassins are so familiar with and his body became a fine-tuned instrument of awesome. Push the boundaries like Laurel [+5 STR] There was going to be a picture of Laurel here, but then I got distracted... Originally this goal was supposed to be all about kettlebell and trying it out, but due to unforeseen life circumstances I have no access to it. So, let’s do some other strength training: push ups! I did a challenge like this before but it fizzled out 2 weeks in because I didn't allow myself any recovery time. I will be smarter this time. Challenge: 100 push ups per day, 5 days a week. Score: However many days a week I get, that's how many points I'll assign myself at the end. Off days: Thur, Sun Have abs of steel like Sara [CON +4] I mean, g'daaaamn! I've always thought my core strength wasn't all that great, but clearly I had no idea how much worse it could get. After being away from kickboxing for the past 3 months, my core strength is mostly gone. It's been replaced with a horrifying gut. Let's fix that!!! Challenge: Do a core workout, 3 times a week (Tue, Thur, Sat) 4 sets of: 20 leg lifts 20 flutter kicks 20 sit ups 20 Russian twists (weighted, if I can manage) Score: [+3 CON] - 3 days/week [+2 CON] - 2 days/week [+1 CON] - 1 day/week Pull up like Oliver is watching [sTR +4] What was I doing again?... I've regressed a bit in my pull up work, though I have been doing a lot of TRX body rows. I am almost at the floor level! That being said, I need to get back to actual pull up work and doing negatives. Challenge: Do pull up training 3 days a week (Mon, Wed, Fri) Sets will be 5x5 negatives. Score: [+4 STR] - 3 days/week [+3 STR] - 2 days/week [+1 STR] - 1 day/week Explore the world like Thea [WIS +3] Go outside, see fun things! Or something... Look at me, I'm attempting a life goal again! This may end poorly, but I refuse to give up on myself. I want to do something fun and creative once a week and I would like for it to be photography-based. I used to photograph so much, but it's kind of gotten by the wayside. I need to change that. Challenge: Once a week, go out and spend at least an hour look at the world through my lenses. Post at least one photo to my challenge thread. This will be hard, but I'll be glad I did it Score: There are THREE Sundays in this challenge, so let's do a point of WIS per day accomplished. Go the extra mile like Barry Allen Only, you know, I'm the one making it. Just like Barry isn't really part of Arrow Team, though he makes an occasional appearance, this section isn't really part of my challenge. At the beginning of the year I decided to challenge myself to a cheesecake a week and I'm doing well so far and here's the continuation: Triple chocolate Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Nutella Cheesecake I will try to post pictures, though I promise nothing
  21. Soooo I am being super boring goals wise and doing nearly exactly the same goals as last time! To mitigate boring-ness of repetitive goals I promise lots of weird pictures and videos and things just because. GOALS 1. Handstand push up progressions - I would like to work this at least 3x per week ). All push up variants count towards this,but I am especially focusing on increasing my AMRAPs on pike push ups, and exercise ball pike push ups. (Standard push ups and diamond push ups will definitely also be a thing, as well as possibly incline push up work if I feel I need more volume.) 2. Straight leg straddle and other adv core progressions - I plan to do core work at least 5x per week. I DID A STRAIGHT LEGGED STRADDLE YOU GUYS. Just 1. I must keep up work on this so I can do more. Aerial days count towards this as well as all other core things I can come up with. I'll be using some of the variations from last challenges core mini for variety, as well as all the stuff in the Cirque du Soleil core and back video from Youtube. 3. Pull up progressions - I want to work pull progression work 3x per week. Aerial counts towards this as well as pull variation specific workouts on my pull up bar. I DID ONE REAL DEAD HANG CHIN UP YOU GUYS!!! Must do more. And hopefully also get a dead hang pull up. 4. Continue pistol squat progression - Continue to work squats 3x per week. I know I am getting soooo close on these. LIFE GOALS Part 1 -Don't be a diva - While I could spend my time being pissed off at our director for being difficult to work with because of her massive ego, if I spend time focusing on that and pushing back I could veer towards being obnoxious and diva-y myself. I see how obnoxious that is coming from someone else. I do not want to be like her. Do not want. Do not want at all! My life goal for the first 2 weeks of this challenge (until after my show) is to not let my irritation turn me into someone I don't want to be, and likewise not to let myself be cranky angry panda. Part 1 - No beer! - I am actually planning on no grain at all including bread etc. for the next two weeks, but definitely absolutely no beer until show time! Part 2 - To be decided!! Must figure this out by the end of the show on the 13th-14th
  22. How am I supposed to follow challenge llama?! Naturally with BOWSER! LIKE A BOSS, YA'LL! January shall mark an return to aerial shenanigans like whoa. Goal decisions are a work in progress as I make final decisions but it shall be something like: GOALS 1. Handstand push up progressions - I can do 10+ push ups in a row. It's time to work towards more difficult variants. I am following the progressions I learned at camp from super badass Beast Skills dude. I would like to work this at least 3x per week (likely before or following aerial on my aerial days with a possibly extra day on Wednesdays just because.) I am starting with pike push ups and will progress to decline push ups if I get to where I can do 10+ pike push ups. 2. Straight legged straddle progressions - I know these are close and I just need to get my core slightly more ridiculous to land these on the regular. These require ridiculous core as well as some upper body. I will count all aerial as well as core conditioning workouts towards this goal and I would like to do core work 5x per week! 3. Pull up progressions - I am so stupidly close to a dead hang chin up and dead hang pull will come soon after. I want to work pull progression work 3x per week (likely also to coincide with aerial days, and aerial itself counts.) I may toy with throwing in random sets of bodyweight rows on rest days because those are easy enough for me to do that now and will help with grease the groove type training-ish. 4. Continue pistol squat progression - These will be mine soon I know it! All weighted and bodyweight squat workouts in addition to one legged specific training variants count in this area. Work squats 3x per week. LIFE GOALS Sleep more & make it to work on time - I was really good about being on time for my first 6 months at this job but with the insanity of my rehearsal schedule in late November and December this started to falter. I need to get up at 6 every weekday, and be in bed by 11, no exceptions. (I may read in bed to try and get myself to actually fall asleep/while I wait for benadryl to kick in.) One caveat, goals may need to be amended as I get into more intense rehearsal schedules.
  23. Hi Druids!! I thought I would come feed from the fountain of wisdom and acceptance. The Scouts has been my home for over a year, with no regrets. But right now, I need Druids around me, showing me ways to be with myself in a loving and growing way. So thank you ahead of time for your support. Rough Draft of Challenge: water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PT exercises new fun foods inner clarity through therapy, meditation, and rituals. writing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have signed up for the NaNo. Yay! I am reworking my stat points as I lost track about 3 challenges back so I hope to have that info up in the next few weeks. And I will post my beginning measurements and weight. Weight is not for how much I lose, but as a sign that I'm not eating too poorly. So a few tenths of a pounds reduction and a loose feeling tummy will be good signs that I'm in the good groove. More later. It's good to be here! Cheers
  24. Hello everyone! The Third challenge is here! My name is Lia, and I'm 20 years old. My weight peaked at 215 lbs, and I realized that wasn't how I want my life, or body, to be. While I didn't lose the kind of weight I was hoping for last challenge, I've seen a dramatic increase in my strength. My weights workouts have become a set routine for me now, so they won't be a main focus in this challenge. It's time to break down a handful of my problem areas and tackle them individually. And I understand it's a rather bad title, but I really couldn't think of anything else. Main Quest: WEIGHTLOSS Current Goal- Reach 170 lbs by December 16th, 2015 Ultimate Goal- Reach 150 lbs by July 31st, 2016 *Ultimate Reward: Las Vegas Vacation* Goal 1: CORE +2 STR +2 DEX TBD - I'm still trying to find a good program/guide. I plan to combine Darebee's Core and Abs 30-day workouts, although if that proves too difficult I may revert to just one. Since this will end 12 days before the end of the challenge, at that time I will determine a new/continuing core routine. Pre-Requisite: Continue following Year One Challenge for Women: Thinner, Leaner, Stronger. { A = Complete all 30 days, plus 6+ additional days | B = Complete all 30 days | C = Complete 21 days | F = Anything less than 21 days completed } Goal 2: CARBS +2 CON, +2 WIS Processed carbs are one of my largest problem areas. Breaded chicken, garlic cheese rolls, doughnuts, pre-packaged mashed potatoes, and many others haunt me. I struggle to get away from them, and while I know carbohydrates are critical to a healthy balanced diet, I know there are other, healthier ways. This goal will be to limit heavily processed carbs, and sticking with healthier alternatives. Some example would be substituting sweet potatoes for processed mashed potatoes, fruits instead of candy bars, and if I have to have bread, sticking to whole grains. Each day will be pass/fail determined on what I eat, but I also might penalize myself if I go too far overboard on a fail-day. (Ignoring my daily protein/breakfast bar for the time being.) Pre-requisite: Continue calorie/macro counting. Updated daily numbers are: Max Calories = 1400, Fat < 40g, Protein > 100g. Tracking with the Lose It! app. { A = 5+ days/week | B = 4 days/week | C = 3 days/week | F < 3 days/week } Goal 3: CARDIO +3 STA, +1 DEX Walk or other cardio 5 days per week, for at least 30 minutes each. While I didn't completely fail this last challenge, I know I can and should do better. Plus I lose weight faster when I keep up a steady cardio workout pattern. (Additionally stretching before and after.) { A = 5+ days/week | B = 4 days/week | C = 3 days/week | F < 3 days/week } Life Goal: CLEANING +2 WIS, +1 CON Deep-clean my room, including doing all the laundry, vacuuming, dusting, and donating things I don't need. I'd love to be able to see the floor. { Pass = Cleaned | Fail = Dirty }
  25. Draft in progress, but here's a start! Dancezwithkittehz found herself perched above the most curious rabbit hole. Naturally she dove in headfirst! "After such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs!" Next, Dancezwithkittehz followed the white rabbit to a most peculiar place. What was IN those tents? And when she went inside . . . . Dancezwithkittehz saw the most amazing things! She knew she had to stay. This challenge is going to be very aerial centric (plus other adventures I'm sure because it's ME we are talking about. Oooh look something shiny to explore over there...) Goal 1 - Do the "scary" stuff (aerial skills): for me this is inverted climbs, doing ANYTHING up high, and especially drops. I will be doing aerial at least 3 times a week so I need to work on at least one scary thing each class and by the end of the challenge I need to have an inverted climb down AND at least one drop. Goal 2, Choreography! - I am choreographing a solo for our showcase in September. I also have like a BAZILLION-LEVENTY-MILLION dance choreography ideas. I need to be ideally choreographing at least a phrase a week, and if I am not choreographing I need to perform the hell out of something every week (doesn't matter if this is just in class and if it's aerial or dance, but I need to get in the flow zone and ooze performance-y goodness out of every pore.) This should involve videos and please pester me!!! Goal 3, coding and ear training - I know I know way not directly related to my theme, but these are things I really really want to work on. Every day would be great but I know how absurd my schedule is especially early in the week so, 3 times a week minimum! Coding I can work on at lunch at least (I am working my way through a combination of Learn Python the Hard Way, and Code Academy section on Python.) For ear training I just got EarMaster 6, which I have to be at home to work on unfortunately. Goal 4, Chase rabbits - dancezwithkittehz needs to be able to keep up with that pesky rabbit (and be ready for her planned spartan trifecta next year!) so she needs to be running again. I would be happy with running at least once per week! LIFE Stuff: Debt paydown! (ongoing goal) - put a rents worth of money towards credit cards since I want to move out and be renting in the next year or so. Re-arrange batcave - DECLUTTERING NEEDS TO HAPPEN NAO. I need to do dedicated decluttering time once a week (most likely on weekends.) Cleaning in general also counts
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