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  1. This challenge, I really have one, overarching goal: to build consistency, especially with going to CrossFit group workouts. I've been catching myself making excuses for not going to CrossFit, which is really counter-productive. CrossFit (like karate 2 decades ago) supports not only my physical but mental and emotional health as well. When I get there, I have a great time, especially with the morning class at 9:00 ... and really even better when my favorite coaches are leading the workout. But, while waking up and drinking coffee, I often talk myself out of going because of sniffles or stiffness .... which will clear up with a hot shower, usually. So, I put classes on my calendar and I will show up 3 times per week for the first week ... and then 4 times per week. I can cancel if I have a fever or am sneezing and/or coughing too much to be acceptable. Also, if there is some sort of family emergency ... but usually I would be able to attend class later in the day. Other things I will work on and measure this challenge are: Cardio. At a minimum, I will get a walk in the woods. On days when I'm feeling up for more (and didn't HIIT it in CrossFit), I'll rely upon the intensity dashboard (see below) Social. Using the color dashboard, I will challenge myself to see people and participate in activities. Nutrition. I do want to lose fat and increase muscle as well as fight off the invading hordes of viruses. I think the MIND diet is one of my best tools for nutritious eating that doesn't become overwhelming and frustrating. And it should help me keep my blood pressure within limits. So, I'll be logging with the spreadsheet again and aim to get to the coveted 12.5 points each week. But I'll be happy with 10.5. For the holiday challenge, I experimented with using color-coding to give myself feedback on how well the day/week is going. I found it useful as a gentle way of tracking, and it allows for doing something toward goals, even if it is not the top, desired level of performance. The schema is: Stellar At Standard Good Developing Minimum Frequency Notes Strength CrossFit partners CrossFit indiv effort Gym routine Basement routine Exercise snacks Daily Rest days are white Cardio OCR/5K training Run 2+ miles Cardio 30 min Cardio 20 min Walk in the woods Daily Social Friends Group Activity Drop in Casual encounters Immediate family Daily MINDful Eating >= 12.5 >= 10.5 >= 8.5 >= 7 >= 5 Weekly And the tracking spreadsheet looks like this: Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 S M T W Th F S S M T W Th F S S M T W Th F S Strength Cardio Social MINDful Eating I'll admit that I want to lose a pound per month, but that should be feasible if I watch portions (and avoid empty calories) while working out consistently.
  2. I'm stealing the idea from @TimovieMan and using colors to evaluate my progress this challenge. I think I need the feedback on ranges rather than simple yes/no checkboxes since there is a big difference between walking in the woods and a 5K run. Also, plan to use the color ranking as a guide also. When I'm having a challenging day, I'll look at the orange or red categories to remind me what I think I can accomplish. Strength? If LTL is here, then it's exercise snacks and hope that we can get a stroller walk in the daylight ... or biking in the basement. This is kinda minimal, and just focusing on exercise and nutrition, with a nudge to go see people (other than hubby and my daughter's immediate family). With the cold weather and dark nights, it's easy to decide to stay at home and watch holiday specials (or worse, scroll Facebook). General grading schema: Stellar Good OK Poor Minimum Frequency Notes Strength CrossFit partners CrossFit indiv effort Gym routine Basement routine Exercise snacks Daily Rest days are white Cardio OCR/5K training Run 2+ miles Cardio 30 min Cardio 20 min Walk in the woods Daily Social Friends Group Activity Drop in Casual encounters Immediate family Daily MINDful Eating >= 12.5 >= 10.5 >= 8.5 >= 8 >= 5 Weekly Since I'm often too worried that I'll slow down my team or partner at CrossFit, I've separated that from the more typical workout that is individual effort only. I'll go to those on the days when I'm feeling great and emotionally resilient. Cardio can be swimming, rowing, skierg, or bike. Walking in the woods is more of a stroll, especially with snow on the ground. For me, the MIND diet logging is less stressful than logging in WW. It encourages me to eat fruits and vegetables. And since I'm trying to increase my score, I don't get into the negative, budgeting stress of counting calories or points. The result is less rebellion and more creativity. For instance, what would be a festive salad for Christmas? I know that three weekends in December will be filled with family ... and serving festive (calorie-rich) food is just part of the culture. When I've tried serving lower-calorie variations, the response has been disappointment. So bring on the cookies, but in moderation! Looking at Week 0, I already see that I have room to improve this week. My sinus headache is slowing me down today, but I think I can pack up the water and go run on the treadmill. Week 0 S M T W Th F S Strength Cardio Social MINDful Eating 6.5 Good luck to us all!!!
  3. Looking over the last (not very successful) challenge, I realize that I am often my own worst foe. You all probably know the drill. I say that I want to follow a particular plan, but then I also want to deviate from that plan ... repeatedly. Right?? I'm getting in my own way again, after having made quite a lot of progress, and so, this challenge theme is centered around fighting and neutralizing my shadow self. Taking the idea @Rhovaniel is working with this challenge, I am setting up a confrontation between myself and my shadow and using hit points as the measure of success. When confronting my character's shadow self in World of Warcraft, I know it is going to be a hard (and confusing) battle. So, I'm giving each of us the same number of hit points at the onset (350). I may have a slight advantage on potential scoring, but I am putting the positive actions on the light side of the battle, and the things that I do that undermine my goals are the weapons of the shadow. I will use a spreadsheet again to keep track of things. Positive Actions Follow the MIND diet. Same scoring system that I've used in the past (that came from the researchers themselves) to track level of healthy choices. Also, yes, continue to log in WW. Scoring is slightly different from the icons I used last time. I get 1 point for logging, 2 points for staying in buffer, 3 points for blue dot, 4 points for target or lower Do some cardio for 30 or more minutes every day. Walking counts. Do some strength/CF/OCR training (5 days per week) Each week, tackle the shadow self of one of our characters using the Manual of Gainful Exercise. I'm going to start with the easiest (Bladesinging Wizard Khrum) and work up each week. I can also do damage to the shadow if I PR on an exercise. Shadow Actions or Non-Actions Eat out, per meal. Hopefully, I won't have to go down to Iowa for the closing on the house. Eat salty foods such as tortilla chips (I love tortilla chips and popcorn) Have alcohol that is not my MIND diet daily glass of red wine Wipe out my WW points buffer at the end of the week Not record (honestly) in WW Rest more than 2 days per week Fail on a shadow-character fight (and I am pretty sure that I will fail at least one of them) It's a little unformed, but I think that details will surface as we go.
  4. On Sunday, I was getting ready to plan out the next challenge and rebelled against the complicated schemes I was trying to spin. So, I backed off and let the brain mull stuff over while I spent a few hours painting at our Rotary club's affordable housing project. By evening, I was so tired that I didn't have the energy to be anxious anymore (I also biked to the site .... so I'm channeling Indiana Jones at the moment), and I came to the conclusion that I should do some recycling of successful components from prior challenges and aim to keep it simple and (dare I say) fun over the summer months. By the end of the challenge, I want to: Weigh <= 150 pounds again Have the boxes unpacked or tucked into organized sections of the basement (bonus objective ... have the workout space set up) Have had FUN .... ok, hard to quantify, but there ya go Still playing with the D & D theme here, and so the "party" refers to the different characters journeying with me to ultimately deal with the dragon terrorizing the Sword Coast. There probably will be no actual beaches, but I am hoping to spend some time by the local pool. I do have my new, serious swimmer swimsuit on hand. Still .... "party" invites lots of memes and video sharing. Plan: Rejoin Weight Watchers with the ultimate goal of 135 pounds, which is my happy, healthy weight. Should be achievable in 9 months. I will use my icons tracking from a previous challenge to report daily progress here. Daily cardio using the random map. This gives me some guidance and inspiration, but .... every day, I have a choice of 8 directions in which to travel!! And, like "42", "walking" is always the correct answer. Use icons for tracking accountability. "Other" movement daily, based on the classes of party members*. Use icons for tracking accountability. Unpack a box or organize stuff for 15+ minutes daily. Checkboxes. Weekly-ish: Do a grandmother level hero workout for TREASURE!! Trying to mix it up a bit with workouts, each class in the party (a couple of us are multi-classing it): Inspired by: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/419273/Manual-of-Gainful-Exercise-DD-Subclass-Workouts Artificer: use the machines at the gym, bike ride, or a fitness game Bard: Dance or music based workout Druid: animal flow, swimming, yoga Paladin: free weights or kettlebells Ranger: CrossFit, archery practice Rogue: bodyweight, gymnastics moves (especially pullups and rope-progressions) Wizard: Fitness video, yoga I'm not going to be too hard on myself. I'd like to really mix up workouts for the summer and do one for each class each week. But .... trying to avoid the overwhelm too ......
  5. 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.
  6. Heya friends! A bit late getting going this time 'round, but I closed one year and started another with a bout of the ol' COVIDs, multiple houseguests (post-plague, natch), and travel, so I'm really just now getting my feet under me again and ready to get moving. I've been reflecting on my "character sheet" and how, frankly, I don't think I improved a damn stat all last year. I may have even backslid! So, priority one for the next few months is gettin' a couple stat bumps. Specifically, I'm going to work on DEX and CON, because those are the two that suffered the most over the last few years. I'm dealing with a nasty case of plantar fasciitis, so I haven't been able to ruck or run or anything, and even short walks get pretty nasty. It's frustrating to no end, so I'm going to stop wishing it away and give it a good honest try to actually ADDRESS it, with stretching, mobility, and targeted exercises. It's something that's effecting real life constitution and dexterity improvement efforts, so I need to get after it and yet "it feels a little better" isn't really something that I can exactly quantify, but will be a recurring point I address here. Otherwise, again, we're working to bring up those character sheet stats, via the bench marks I lay out in the following post. Trying to be a more complete person overall, I'll work on all of them, but I'm deliberately putting aside my traditional STR focus for a bit. Not that I won't train it, and I'll still probably train it the most just by default, but I'm going to let it happen organically and not chance any specific goals or numbers right now. I'll always train strength pretty much out of habit now, but I really need to make an effort to get myself healthier and more resilient, and moving better. For goals specific to this Challenge, here's what I've got: 1) Lose 5 or more pounds. This is one small part of CON. I started the year at 254, so if I finish the Challenge anywhere in the 240s, it's a success. 2) Row 20 miles. Probably in one mile increments, but I can go shorter or longer per session as needed. This is something that doesn't bother my foot, gets my heart going, translates to CF WODs, and I figure can only help with goal 1. 3) complete 8 or more sessions of GMB Elements. Basically breaking down the whole DEX increase into smaller chunks here. 4) Finish cleaning up and organizing my office, as the start of a more thorough KdubCave overhaul. OK, that'll just about do it, I think, Longer term goals in the form of my "stats" will be on the next post, so my updates will be a blend of stuff from here and there. Happy New Year, all! Hope you guys all smash your goals!
  7. This is the continuation of my last challenge (really more of a log) wherein I train for the crossfit open, which is now 79 days away. I don't follow other challenges because I am a terrible person, so don't feel compelled to follow mine. It's really very boring anyway. Sometimes I use gifs.
  8. Nice and simple. I've been on again-off again (mostly off) with these challenges for a while but have been thinking through some things and something's gotta change. So I thought I'd give it another go, for accountability if nothing else, see if it (re)sticks this time. 1. Healthy Body Go to the gym 3x/week. That's it. Just attend and do the class (I go to a crossfit gym). I've done crossfit before and really enjoyed it, but the cost became prohibitive, so I had to give it up. New(ish) job = new paycheque, and I re-signed up earlier in the year, and was doing really well for a few months. Lately, life + job stress has led to me sliding off the rails a bit by either not scheduling classes at all, or scheduling and cancelling when my day was hard. I'd like this to not become a habit (or more of one than it's already become), partly because 3x/week is what I'm paying for, partly because it's not really that big a time commitment and I legitimately enjoy it, and partly because I feel better when I'm moving/lifting more regularly. 2. Healthy Eating This is a bit more nebulous, but I've gotten very off track w/ my eating habits. Some days I forget to eat. Some days I remember but can't be bothered. Some days I choose unhealthy fast food/takeout while on the go for work. Most days I get takeout of various healthiness for dinner, or don't eat dinner at all. I've mostly identified the problem as a lack of will to shop for groceries/meal prep mid-week, which has slowly expanded to a lack of will for the same on weekends. If I have healthy food I will eat it, the hard part is procuring/making (with an added wrench that I eat on the go when I'm on work so food needs to be hand-held and not drippy). Right now I'm starting small, focusing only on my workday lunches: Monday-Friday I need to take my lunch with me and prepare it at home from food purchased from the grocery store, not from Tim Hortons or McDonalds. I've been doing better with homemade dinners lately, so I'm less concerned right now about this, but as a bonus goal I'd like to prepare 2 separate soup/stew options for freezing. 3. Healthy Mind My current main creative outlet is writing (it feels pretentious to put it this way, but I'm writing a book!) When I started I was very hyper-focused on it, to the detriment of much of the rest of my life (and if I'm honest, this was probably a major contributing factor to some of my healthy eating derailing). I've gotten myself in a much more sustainable mindset with regards to time spent on this, but am feeling like the trade off for sustainability is lack of progress. I often tell myself that I don't have the time or energy because I can't commit to sitting down and writing for 10hr straight without coming up for air (yes, that happened, and it was glorious, but not at all doable on the daily), and then don't touch a keyboard for days/weeks. It might be true to a certain extent but writing is a practice like anything else and not everything I produce at all times needs to be capable of winning a Pulitzer. So I'd like to commit to at least 5 hours/week to spend writing something. I've got my main WIP, a side project, ongoing revisions of both (I revise as I go, which is less than efficient but I don't care), and several sources for writing prompts. As long as I'm spending this time focused on one of these things, it counts. Actual writing is fine, worldbuilding is fine, brainstorming is fine, revising is fine, noodling is fine. Minor edits and staring into space daydreaming is not fine (or rather, they're both fine but don't count towards the 5hr). 5x 1h or 1x5hr, it doesn't matter, and if I have the time and the energy for a marathon session on a day off, 5 is just the minimum. And that's it!
  9. I'm using this as a thread to log my workouts & nutrition as I train for the 2023 Crossfit Open in February. It is, as indicated above, 100 days away. Don't feel obligated to follow, I'm the worst at following other people.
  10. As a total analog nerd at heart, I can't tell you how much I loved this scene from The Batman. Bruce keeping physical, analog journals of his "project"?? Oh, MAN. That lil' clip gets ALL my lil' KW motivations firing again. So, in that spirit, I'll be starting a new workout log that doubles as a semi-journal. Basically I'll log things the way I always do, but add in more thoughts as often as I have something to say, regarding how I'm feeling, what seems to be working, what's not, recovery, diet, all that. Some of that maybe I'll just take photos of and post here, others I'll expand into full posts with more explanation. But here are the goals for the next 5 to 6 weeks! GOAL ONE: LOSE 10 POUNDS This one is pretty straight forward. No matter how you cut it, regardless of how much muscle I may carry, I'm also carrying way too much fat. I have a goal to lose 45 pounds this year (in this case, a "year" being a year in my life as I just passed a birthday; 45 pounds by the end of 2022 may be a lil' too optimistic. ) GOAL TWO: WALK, RUCK, OR RUN A TOTAL OF 50 MILES OR MORE If I do 2 miles a day most days, this shouldn't be a problem. The challenge is just getting going again. GOAL THREE: 5 STRICT PULLUPS AND 5 STRICT HANDSTAND PUSHUPS Basic body weight push/pull strength here. I should be better at both, but I've been healing up some wear and tear injuries, so I think this is really quite manageable. If I blow by those numbers early, hey, excellent! I'll do a video test at the end of the challenge though to see where I end up. GOAL FOUR: DECLUTTER APARTMENT I need a serious clothes purge, and an even more serious "stuff" purge. I'm not saying I have to be a pristine minimalist monk in 5 weeks, but I'm going to share what I am able to process through. GOAL FIVE: MEDITATE AT LEAST 20 DAYS Only 4 days a week to have a win here. That should be doable, though obviously I won't complain if I do more. This can take several forms, but it's about quiet and stillness for about 10 minutes at a pop. GOAL SIX: FINISH ONE CHAPTER OF PRECISION NUTRITION CERT I've kinda stalled out on my progress here after a good run on it. I want to finish studying and take the test for at least one chapter over the next 5 weeks. And there we go. Here's to a successful challenge for all!
  11. I've been contemplating the goals for the next challenge for a couple of hours now .... no lie .... and I conclude that I just need to START and refine as the week (and challenge) goes by. THEME: School for Magic-Users Because: I'm starting my (hopefully) last year as a professor. Classes start August 25th (my birthday), but preparation officially starts August 1st. I'm expecting my first grandson (they found out in the amniocentesis) in early February, and I feel the need to learn the updated theories of childcare ... and a whole host of skills (baby CPR, for instance) ... and explore how to be a fun grandma (which is a long-term quest that will show up as a battle log soon) I've been interested in trying out the D & D Strixhaven campaigns The Hero's Journal Magic of Istoria is also tempting me I want to re-read the Harry Potter series. Yes, the movies are good, but they leave out so many details!!! A few things that I know I will include: Use the WW program to lose 3 pounds this challenge (should land at about 157 to 158) Workout daily, using the Pressure Gauge system to set daily expectations. Most of the challenge should be in the green zone unless I get sick (COVID-19 is surging locally) Read the book Today's Grandmother .... by Angela Bowen (set page goals per day) More to come!!
  12. Hey, this is a super late add to this challenge, but I didn't feel like waiting for the next one, so, whatever. This is not a really "challenge-y" sort of challenge, just a place to log my workouts and nutrition for a while. Life has been kind of topsy-turvey for a while, and a lot of things have sucked ass, for a lot of people, not just me. So I want to spend the next three months just nourishing my body and seeing what can happen if I actually get some sunlight and a nutritious diet, and don't waste mental energy beating myself up for all of my real and imagined mistakes. I have a workout schedule to follow and a nutrition plan, but I'm not going to slavishly follow one eating style or workout program; I just want to experiment and see what happens. I don't have a huge event with a countdown timer or a dress to fit into. I just want to do stuff and have a good time. I'll probably post a bunch of images of women athletes for inspiration, in an attempt to make it interesting. I'm terrible about following other people's threads, so please don't feel obligated to follow mine.
  13. I have always been a little unclear on the ecology of Tatooine. With no apparent sources of food, how does the planet support enough wildlife that the large reptiles such as the great Krayt Dragon have food sources? Yea, I get that they eat Banthas. But what do Banthas eat?? It's a puzzle. Still, I am keeping up with the theme and am still on the trail of the dragon. It's a wily beast that I have fought most of my life (hum ... shades of Moby Dick here ....). This challenge, I'm focusing on tracking and consistency. Overall, these are the main objectives: Research or learning something new ... this challenge, it is the CrossFit Masters Athlete Training PDF Nutrition improvement - WW ... aim to log daily and stay within points each week Exercise focus and socializing outside of work - CrossFit 10+ classes Service component - Charity Miles app and trying to get in about 7+ miles per week Spiritual-emotional component - daily prayer(book) I am tracking in Habitica where we have a Nerd Fitness party and a Guild (join us!!). It might be a bit ambitious, but I have 12 habits that I am tracking. Success is to get 70% or 8 habits tracked each day: 1. Track 7 streaks each day = Success 2. Track meals daily 3. Exercise daily 4. Floss 5. Skin care each night 6. Study master's athlete training daily 7. Stretch 5+ minutes daily 8. Prayer/meditation daily 9. Get 7 hours of sleep daily 10. Once per week - stay within Points values 11. Check in at NF daily 12. Drink 32 oz water daily My primary tools this challenge are: Magic bottle of motivation (my 32 oz water bottle) Belt of swift travel (FlipBelt) Lenses of far-seeing (contact lenses) Tome of Mastery (CrossFit masters training recommendations PDF and other references) Registry of Deeds (Habitica)
  14. Chris-Tien and the Side Quest Quest When I started with Nerd Fitness (nearly 10 years ago), my major goal was to lose weight. I was at 171lbs. I am still tracking that dragon, but I am making progress and narrowing in on defeating the beast. My problem is that I tend to get distracted by side quests and lose sight of the of the endgame ... in life as well as in Skyrim. But this challenge, I am embracing the side quests as a way to build skills and strength so that when I do finally face the dragon, I will be ready. Long term goals for the YEAR of the Great Dragon Hunt Last year, I reduced from 168 to 156 (and bumped back up in the dumpster fire + train wreck of Fall Semester ....). This year, I want to get back into the "normal" weight category for my height, age, and gender: 150 (or less). And I want to do a pull up again, damnit. Those are the two measurable things that encapsulate a whole lot of life style changes along the way. I have set milestones for each month so that I know where I am along the journey. February's goals are: Back squat 55 - DONE Pushups 1 Lat pulldown 75 Deadlift 77.2 500 m row < 180 - DONE 5K 45 pace: 14.5 That gives me a couple of weeks to work on the rest of these while I pursue the side quests that make games and life .... interesting. So, heading out the door, these are my challenge goals ..... 1) Eat 84+ grams of protein per day (tracking in MyFitnessPal) 2) Strength train (CrossFit or gym or KBs at home) 2+ x per week 3) Positive affirmations daily 4) < 31.9% BF% 5) Draw a Side Quest card daily and complete all of those drawn by the end of the challenge In point, the first challenge I have is to toss out the invaders that have taken over the local fortress (i.e. get over this cold ... again).
  15. Trying a New Years challenge to get organized! I exercised like a champ all through 2020, but last June I gradually started dropping off and haven't recovered. I walk/ruck pretty regularly but I'm exercising like once/week and not stretching or working on any little things at all right now. Daily yoga with bird or other yoga/stretching routine since I've been neglecting stretching and it is BAD Track what fitness I'm already doing - walking/rucking/crossfit/cycling - to figure out what my current baseline is Do max pullups at least once/day when taking my dog outside - I was doing this really successfully for a while but I've been slacking on it Rewards: Once I complete 30 yoga sessions I can get...some kind of reward, TBD
  16. Recently, looking for ambient music and environment mixes, I stumbled across a number of Skyrim-inspired mixes, and I was inspired to start up an old copy of Elder Scrolls. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the game ... even as it frustrated me greatly at times. Being in a reflective mood, I realized that many of my struggles in the game have similar roots in my daily life. Long story short .... I'm back to focus on foundational basics: nutrition and movement. Some RPG fun. And dragons, trolls, and zombies .... oh my!! Longer Version A player can rush through Elder Scrolls and finish in 33 hours. Or you can take hundreds of hours if you explore the world, learn skills, make items, and do side quests. I always tended to be one of the players who are so focused on the main story-line quest that I end up at the end under-geared and under-prepared ... only to be frustrated that I can't finish. In the mundane world, I often have a similar problem in that I neglect planning and preparing for basic, foundational health in the rush to prepare lectures and labs and assessments. I sacrifice the good in favor of the urgent: the next batch of emails, the next meetings, the next thing that someone else "needs" (wants!!!) me to do. So ... this challenge is aimed at establishing a more productive cycle of preparing for monster encounters before going out to complete a quest. You need both to advance in the game and in life!! Drink Your Potions Between masking and days of back-to-back classes and meetings, I was often slightly dehydrated this fall, which contributed to sinus infections and the whole host of other symptoms: irritable, poor sleep, and increased DOMS. I don't want the spring semester to be a repeat of that. For Christmas, I was given a 32 oz water bottle with time/amount goals on the side. Going for 64 oz every day seems like too much, but I am willing to set a daily goal of 32+ oz. My course mentors may have to entertain the students while I run down the hallway for breaks .... Restore Health and Stamina In Skyrim, you can make mistakes with what you eat and drink. In fact, if you haven't played it before, you have to experiment with items and ingredients to find out what the results are, and some things are definite Frankenfoods ... with unexpected results. I've been eating a lot of less-than-nutritious stuff lately. In part because of the holidays and the hold-over attitude that cookies etc are a reward that I deserve etc. So, it's time to shift back to eating real, nutritious foods. I've set a goal that I will eat at least ONE serving of vegetables each day. Trust me when I say that this is a stretch goal. Train to Skill Up You develop skills in the game (and in life) by doing the activity. If you want to level up your skill with a bow ... you have to shoot at things. Shocking. I'll give myself props here because I didn't completely give up on exercise during the fall semester. I didn't do as much as I wanted, but I didn't stop either. In fact, until December 8th, my weight was holding at 158 (not quite the best weight of the year, but not shabby) because I was running and walking consistently. It was the strength training that I started really neglecting after Fall Break. This goal is multi-part, but I think I can manage: At least 20 minutes of exercise daily. Cardio, strength, yoga, staff spinning, whatever. Get to CrossFit class once per week. I am still often suffering from DOMS 3 days after class, despite water, protein, stretching and rolling. It's just going to take time to build up the muscles. 60 pounds on my lat pulldowns by the end of the month. When I can go to the gym with hubby, he can also help me manage the bands for assisted pullups. Prepare for Monsters!!! Truly, I spend enough time in the "tavern" that I can cook ahead and get ready for healthy food, drink, and activities of the following day. I am committing to taking Friday night and all day Saturday off of work (gasp!) so that I can cook ahead and have chicken and veggies prepped for lunches have a protein shake available for pre-workout have my devices charged and workout clothes ready for the week Long term goals for the YEAR of the Great Dragon Hunt Last year, I reduced from 168 to 156 (and bumped back up in the dumpster fire + train wreck of Fall Semester ....). This year, I want to get back into the "normal" weight category for my height, age, and gender: 150 (or less). And I want to do a pull up again, damnit. Those are the two measurable things that encapsulate a whole lot of life style changes along the way.
  17. What do people wear for weight lifting shoes and/or for CrossFit? I've been wearing my running shoes, but they seem to encourage me to put my weight forward when I'm lifting.
  18. I sat down today to brainstorm my next challenge and couldnt do it. I was unable to tell what my priorities are. I want to get into Cross Fit again, I want to write book #2 and I want to spend time with my dog in nature. I want to recover from back surgery, I want to get to 99,0kg, I want to prep keto meals, I want to stay away from addictive behavior, I want to be financially stable ( teach more).... I don't see how I can get all of those things done at once since I have mental health issues that make me feel overwhelmed easily, and I am unsure about priorities. So I will use this challenge to try out different versions of a regular week and hopefully at the end I will know what I want a regular week to look like. So this might happen ( or not ) being keto and reaching 99 kilos are non negotiable. I will reach this goal ( if I don't fuck up!!!! ) during this challenge after working on it since June. After that its maintenance for a while. The energy then can go towards other goals. dog walks are also non negotiable and I will do a short walk 5 times a week and a long one 2 times a week.. I have a garden for her to play and pee in, but still, this is the minimum to be a good dog mum! ( weekly steps will be counted towards Walk to Mordor ) If Cross Fit doesn't work out I will probably add to my walking goal and try more hiking with the pup. the bodyweight stuff was hard to do by myself and I suspect I need a group setting to kick ass. So Crossfit ( with scaled down movements!!!! ) it is. I texted my coach and asked him if I can go to class tomorrow and Friday early morning and to make up for it, clean the box for two hours on Wednesday morning. (He had the same deal with me when I first trained there years ago. Its because I cant afford the fee) He hasn't seen my text yet but I hope to be able to start tomorrow and experiment for a week or two or three πŸ˜‰what a life with Cross Fit on top of all the other stuff would feel like. If I cant do it this week I will do it next week. Am scared shitless about this decision but cant wrap my mind around the question if I can manage this - unless I actually try it out. recovery is also not optional and I will have to develop a stretching routine and include some PT stuff. Maybe: Minimum 1/ week( plus after workouts) To be determined later. concerning smoking and drinking I will repeat my goals from last challenge and a) track my alcohol, b) have a goal to smoke not more than 24 cigarettes / day. I wasn't consistent enough to lower the number last challenge and will stick to 24 until I do it regularly. finances are looking better since I took on more students. Goal now: Be consistent. Also budget wisely and don't order crap! If Im overwhelmed Im allowed to scale down here though... mental health is most important. writing is probably optional although I really really really want to do it. Will try out some writing goal later this challenge. Maybe find some regular writing times??? I will adjust my goals every week and see how I feel experimenting with the different priorities. Maybe I even surprise myself and manage to do all at once in a reasonable sustainable way?? Its great to start from zero. Hopefully its gonna be as fun as I think it will be!
  19. I found Nerd Fitness a little less than 8 years ago as I was finishing up my doctorate and taking stock of the damage that too much stress and sitting in front of the computer had taken on my body. I'd gradually fallen into the very bad habit of rewarding myself with food or alcohol for pushing through and doing things that I didn't want to do .... like go to classes (and sit!) and write and edit and deal with my committee. I also rewarded myself with sweets and alcohol for putting up with the rolling unemployment and underemployment that hubby and I had both been experiencing since 2010. I was in a bad place physically and mentally. At least I knew it. Many years prior (1998 - 2003), I had been a part of an online group that connected Star Wars roleplay with real-life self improvement. We challenged each other to imagine .... what if we were modern Jedi?? What would we do? What would we study? How would we eat and workout? What would the daily life and training be like when we were not off, saving the Galaxy?? In answering that question, I had gotten into great shape, largely through martial arts and sensible nutrition. Fast forward to 2012, I wondered if there were any similar groups still online. A few clicks later, I was here. I think, at the time, I kinda had the same ideas as @Elastigirl .... that I'd be buff in no time and bench pressing my weight by the end of the year or something. My goals were pretty predictable, actually. I wanted to lose weight. My ideal weight during karate had been 127.5 pounds. I wanted to get back down to that level. It didn't exactly happen like that. My net loss has been 4 pounds, although given that the average person gains 1 to 2 pounds per year, I'm definitely beating the odds. I've had some successes and some set backs. Over the past 8 years, I've cycled in and out of the forums as life has gotten busy and I've had to move for work. But when things settle down again, I come back. It's difficult to find a group that is supportive like this one (although my CrossFit box comes close). You and this little old lady are my inspiration .... So .... I'm back again for the anniversary and to reboot lifestyle changes for the better by working on recovering strategies that work for me, improving my post-workout recovery (so I can workout more frequently again), and recovering some of our missing friends, I hope.
  20. It's been a while. when you last saw me, this happened... I've mostly stayed the course, but I reinjured my back again and spent all last year trying to get back to healthy. And the better news is nice drugs that helped me deal with the pain... burnt out my kidneys (kinda stage 3 for those who are familiar with that). Goals: It's now time to go from this to this My tracking Cals and reduce sodium. 2000 cals. 109p/298c/60f and ~2000mg Sodium continue to do physical therapy and core strength work and work on shoulder mobility so I can do more cool things! There, simple and easy.
  21. I see a theme emerging in our first few new challenges here. Start small, but start ... This challenge, I'm doing a point system and keeping track by repurposing an old, old online program (Chore Wars) to keep track of my points and determine when I level up and what my character's (old school DnD) class should be. One of my goals this coming year is to rewrite it in Ruby on Rails as an example for my software design and development class. Meanwhile, it works pretty well and has a cute, constantly updating, badge so you can see how I'm doing. It has a static level-up every 200 points system, which is why I've set every task to award very low points. My focus for this challenge is also to rebuild healthy patterns and habits after too many life changes. Success will be determined if I gain 200+ points .... starting yesterday. Physical activity: go to CrossFit class at least 3 times per week Nutrition: cook at home, dammit!!! I'm easing into a mostly-Paleo diet, but the big thing is to cut out refined sugars. Learn: study up on Paleo, especially reading the Nom Nom Paleo books and Michelle Tam's blog. Mental/emotional health: meditate daily Work: get the article finished!! Everything else is a step in the direction of eating better, working out, and not letting other people ruin my equanimity.
  22. I started last month's challenge accepting that when it comes down to it, I am my own boss in life. And I am a shitty boss, so I need to start running a tight ship. I've pretty much narrowed down what needs to happen within the next six months in another post. So my goals will be based on those priorities and what must be done right now, or what would help in doing the others later. 1. Training I have been seriously slacking. I already missed 2 weeks of my program, and can't afford to miss any more. It's 4 weeks to IBJJF, which will be my last competition for this year. I really need to commit to the program. Strength maintenance, cardio, bodyweight movements, solo drills, and mat time. 2. Education My CrossFit Level 1 credential was due to expire this September. I was going to let it go, but just last week my old gym had an opening for a coach. I love that gym and the people over there, and my manager at my current one happens to be okay with me covering some classes, so it was perfect. There happens to be a CF1 course to be held in my city on August 10-11. Everything just seemed to fall in the right time and place. I'll need to save money and register for the course before the last day of the challenge. 3. Adulting Last challenge also pointed out (in cells) how I am barely an adult. I will be doing this again, making myself perform personal hygiene, do chores, and establish a bedtime. So I'll be updating the hygiene and chores, and checking-in every night when I'm in bed, which should be no later than 12. (The reading and creative stuff, maybe later.) I'll also need to write weekly and daily to-do lists. Zero Week: Friday > jiu-jitsu, cardio > 20 minutes of cleaning > dishes Saturday > sprints, jiu-jitsu > video and drills > Sunday > Budget > groceries > lift
  23. This is a continuation of my last challenge, located here. Essentially, I'm training for an event on Memorial Day called the Murph. It's described more below. Other than that, I'm in the middle of the off-season for CrossFit. I would like to address deficiencies that I have identified in my training. Goals are: 1. The Murph: The Murph is an annual American CrossFit tradition that takes place on Memorial Day (May 27). It involves the following: Part 1: run 1 mile Part 2: (partitioned any way you like) 100 pull-ups 200 push-ups 300 air squats Part 3: run 1 mile To make things more interesting, the Murph should be performed in combat boots, and while wearing a 20 lb vest. While I don't own combat boots, I have done the event in a vest in both 2017 and 2018. This isn't really a competition, but it does require a bit of prep work. (100 pull ups in a vest, anyone? Ugh). I will spend some time training for this. 2. Handstand Work: My open score last March really suffered due to the fact that I couldn't do a single strict handstand push-up. In the last challenge, I finally nailed my first one. But I still have a long way to go. I resolve to keep working on them, at least one day a week, plus several days of accessory shoulder work. 3. Front Squats: My front squats are also pretty much garbage. It's really holding back my ability to clean heavy. In addition to the shoulder work above, I'd like to get stronger quads. Once the Murph is over, add 2-3 days per week of front squats. In addition, supplement this with pistol squats and lunges.
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