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  1. My mother died in October (at age 85). My daughter got married in October, and she and her new husband are starting to talk about having kids. This has prompted some new soul searching on my part - and some thinking about what I want to accomplish in my life. And some thinking about what I want to BE as a grandma. (Disclaimer - my daughter is not yet pregnant and doesn't plan to have kids for 2 years, which gives me time to lose 40 pounds .....) I was a "cool mom." My daughter looks back on her childhood with fondness - at horseback riding and rock climbing and hockey and soccer and cheerleading and theater and Girl Scouts and videogames - and appreciates how she had freedom and support (I was involved in everything but cheer) to do a lot of different things. That kinda ended when she went to college and I began to slide into habits of an empty nester. I gradually started to internalize the messages that say "you shouldn't be doing that" or "you shouldn't dress like that now that you're over 40/50/60/whatever." Truth is, I want to have FUN and BE FUN. I want to be the grandma that shows my grandkids how to do cartwheels and handstands. Takes them rock climbing. Knows the names of all the constellations and birds .... and who will dig for worms, go swimming, take them hiking, and can help them find well-hidden geocaches. I don't want to be like all of the grandmas in my family (who are, unfortunately, sedentary lumps perched on top of atrophied, skinny legs) who sit around doing needlecraft, or bake a lot of unhealthy foods, or sit in front of TV or computer. I want to beat the expectations of my family and avoid the stereotypes of what a middle-aged woman does and how she dresses and acts. Specific goals will evolve over time, but .... there's the current list!!! Fitness Lose weight and gain muscle (127 lbs and 21% BF by May 2017 - when my daughter will graduate with her Ph.D.) Do a chin up unassisted (again) Do a crow pose Do a handstand Travel Go to Greece Go to Rome Go to London Do the Unexpected Blackbelt in karate Do a Zombies Run Do the ZR Virtual Race Volunteer as a zombie at a Zombie Run Do a bubble run Do a color run Do an obstacle course run Do a 5K Do a 10K Do a half-marathon Bike to work (at least during decent weather ....) Keep Learning Master's Degree Doctorate Learn modern Greek Get my Personal Trainer Certification Defeat the Fashion Police Wear tights and a tunic Wear tights with a skirt
  2. This is my story; I am known to most as Helen Parr, but my real identity is Elasitgirl Incredible. I live in Metroplis,For a long time, the city of Metropolis depended on Super heroes to keep them safe from villains.People loved the Supers, and were thankful for their help. However, fighting villains can be a messy job, and battles usually end up destroying houses,. and cars. and roadways, and office buildings, and a few skyscrapers, and you get the picture. And people started blaming the Supers for the damage instead of the villains. The Superheroes were forced to live quiet suburban lives, hiding their identity. Mr Incredible, a true superhero, wanted to help people and hated hiding his identity. For a while Metropolis was safe, even without the superheroes help. But then Syndrome , an evil villain with a giant robot Omnidroid came to destroy the Incredilbes and Metropolis. The Incredible family knew it was time to reveal their superpowers and save the city. The Incredible's saved the city, but they knew there would be more villains. We needed a new start with our city though. A way to show the city that we were there to help. I was chosen for this mission. I will show the world that we need superheroes. And I will have a motorcycle too, because superheroes need cool vehicles. For my mission I will need to 1) Morning Routine This is habit, but I want the accountability Read Bible Dishes water plants (summer habit) 2)Strong Start I want to not waste time on the computer in the morning. I've tried this goal before with middling success. But I am going to keep trying. I don't want to do a time because I may go for a walk in the mornings and then I'd start later which is fine, just not fine if I'm on the computer. My plan is this: When I sit down for breakfast I set the timer for 30 minutes, when the timer goes off I go do my workout. edit: 30 minutes, or to go off at 9:15 I am going to do this as how many days in I row, and see how long a chain I can make. (weekends are free) I will give myself 15 minutes of extra time to use as needed. So if I go over one day by 5 minutes, I can still count it as one time, but if the next day I go over by 12 minutes, then I would not make it. 3)Mindful Eating: Last challenge I practiced eating slowly, putting down my fork between bites at dinner .This challenge I will do it at dinner and lunch. I will also pray and thank God for my food before lunch.I always do this at dinner, but don't at lunch.It is good for me to slow down and pause and thank God for the food that I have. Long term: Finish scrapbook by challenge end Write down dates for bathroom remodel; choose paint and sink Other stuff: This challenge is the Incredible's 2 premiere!! I'm super excited. Also, it premiers on my birthday (how awesome is that?!) and we have tickets to go see it at the really cool downtown theater, and excite!!!!!! I'm starting on the second phase of Rings 2, which is the cool trick stuff like skin the cat, which I love. It also sort of makes my stomach queasy, so breakfast will be small. Hopefully we will get lots of geocaching in, and walking, and other fun spring type stuff. Oh, and I'm also doing the crow PVP, which is super fun. It's in my sig. come check it out.
  3. Call for peeps! Love crows? Searching for new shinies? Join us! This is a video-based community challenge exploring crow and its variations. Wait, which one is crow again? This is crow: How does this challenge work? There is a crow leader position and a queue of crow peeps a MURDER of crows! The crow leader will contribute a single crow variation to the group (video-based). All the crow peeps will imitate the new shiny (it is not stealing, it is called making it your own!). The next peep in the queue will take the leader position, post a new shiny and so on. When we reach the end of the queue, we start again from the top. This the starting queue: ~ Queue of crow peeps ~ Norgaard Mad Hatter Elastigirl lucky fire dragon Raptron @mu Our first crow leader is indeed Norgaard, because he came up with the whole idea If you want to join, cut and paste the LATEST queue list, add your name and post it. That's it You can immediately start posting your video showing the variations contributed so far, and when it is your turn to be crow leader, you can post your own variation. A few guidelines ~ Let's be orderly ~ When you are crow leader, post your new shiny and include the following in your post: a video of you doing the new shiny obviously. Please make sure it has not been done before. Try to shoot from a good angle and with good light if possible. any tip / hint that could help achieve the variation, maybe progressions. call the next leader so that they receive a notification (with @ notation: e.g. @Norgaard). ~ People can be very busy ~ → When you have been called to crow leader status, you have up to 4 days to contribute a new shiny. After 4 days, the next peep is allowed to take your place. If you know in advance that you are going to be busy, let us know so that we can re-organise the queue or buffer some extra days. Otherwise, if you were on an impromptu leave, when you are back, caw, rattle and click and we will do some self-reorganisation anyway. Crows are smart → When you are not the leader, feel free to imitate the new shiny whenever time permits. If you missed a few contributions, feel free to do them in one row and post your video. You can also choose to reproduce the new contributions only once a week. This is very flexible. ~ Don't hurt yourself ~ Beware of the face plant! It does happen! Using props like yoga blocks for head / feet support is totally ok if balancing on arms only is a bit hairy. Parallettes or push-up bars can help with legs hanging too low and they are nicer on the wrists too. If you can't achieve the new shiny, ask for help, show a video of your problem, a good tip might help you get there. ~ Talking about balance ~ If you do an asymmetric variation, please do both sides. For instance, if you go for the one-legged crow, you need to do it on the left AND on the right. This can be hard sometimes, and you probably have a better side but do try both sides. ~Wait I don't know that many crow variations! ~ Search the internet, do a Google Images on “crow variations”, try out, be creative The only constraint is that you come up with an arm balance that is crow-related. If you still have a blank, tell the peeps, we might be able to find something together. ~ Can I join now? ~ You can join at any time, leave and come back again. Let the group know of course so that we can re-organise the leadership queue if needed. ~ I am not strong enough ~ Every crow started somewhere. This is why we have variations! And variations of variations. And props when needed. The whole point of this thread is to share progressions, tips and techniques, and have fun!
  4. Jump starting some motivation with some beastly goals. 1. MONKEY bars 2. CROW pose 3. skin the CAT So, the longer story is that I've stalled in my strength workouts. I have been hitting them about twice a week instead of three times. And by "hitting them" I mean dragging myself, kicking and screaming to get my exercises done. Not very sustainable or enjoyable. So, I'm changing the format of my workouts from a-bunch-of-reps towards progression to a goal. I've picked three movements that are WAY out of reach for me right now. But, step-by-step, I'm going to make progress towards learning these movements. Any and all progress counts. Three times a week. Mostly, I will be focusing on getting strength taken care of during this challenge. I will also give myself bonus points for my other regular goals of healthy eating and cardio goals. Bonus1: Healthy Eating. Shoot for 5/7 days of healthy eating a week. Looking to spy a 75 on the scale this challenge. Bonus2: Cardio twice a week. Building up my knees to transition from elliptical to outdoors running. I'm up to 1.78 miles in the neighborhood. Next step is my old garden tour run (2.37 miles). Looking to mix in a few 5k routes over the Spring/Summer. It's comfy to be back here in the Ranger den after a month over with the Assassins
  5. Because [Fitness] is what? Fundamental! So, I couldn't come up with a good theme, and I realized was going back to fundamentals. (I haven't done a mobility quest since my first challenge), and the word "fundamental" always makes me think of RuPaul Drag Race! I know Raptron did one a while ago, which was so much fun, so I decided to blatantly copy and bring it back. Quest 1: Splits: I can feel it, this challenge is the time, it's happening! I will do stretching work 4 times a week, for 6 minutes minimum. I can work on whatever feels tight, but I have to sit in the almost splits for at least 30 seconds per side. I just bought a yoga block, so I have something nice to prop myself up on that will hopefully help. I also want to try to do some PNF-style stretching to help get that last inch. [+2 DEX] Quest 2: Mobility-two components General: At least 3 times per week, I want to roll out my muscles. I have to hit at least my calf (which will hit the other part of this challenge too), hips, glutes, back, shoulder, and bottom of my foot (this one loosens the front of my calf to help with splits flexibility). [+1 STR, 1 DEX] Ankle: I realized that ankle mobility is one of my main issues in my squats, so 4 times a week I need to do some ankle mobility work for a minimum of 4 minutes. I currently cannot touch the wall as discussed in this article so my mobility definitely needs some work. I'll probably take my stretches from that article and others. [+1 DEX] (get it, rolling?!?!) Quest 3: Crow: Last challenge I made great crow progress, and I want to get to a 5 second hold this time. I want to practice my crow at least 5 times 4 days a week. I also need to look up one new article with crow advice a week as I found last time that finding the right cues made all the difference. [+1 STR, 1 WIS] Quest 4: Alcohol: I want to try out a new form of this goal to go with the fact that I realized that I'm an abstainer, not a moderator. So I will not drink at least 3 days of the week. I'm keeping this challenge pretty easy just to try out the structure, so I'm hoping I can do it. The other 4 days of the week I will keep myself from going insane because I'm still trying to fit into my calorie count, so I won't overindulge on those days. [+3 CON] I'm super excited for this challenge! I'm going to go with a Monday start, I don't like dividing up the weekends. Generally it will be my goal to get all this done during the weekdays because that's when I have the most motivation and time, but I'll have the weekends to catch up if I need. Bring it on! Tracking: Splits: 0/4, 0/4, 0/4, 0/4 Mobility 1: 0/3, 0/3, 0/3, 0/3 Mobility 2: 0/4, 0/4, 0/4, 0/4 Crow: 0/4, 0/4, 0/4, 0/4 Crow research: 0/1, 0/1, 0/1, 0/1 Alcohol-free: 0/3, 0/3, 0/3, 0/3
  6. [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
  7. Many heroes have a history or family legacy that they must overcome. The Skywalker family seems destined to flirt with the Dark Side. Spiderman had to live with the guilt he felt after his uncle died. Natasha Romanov was taken from her family and raised to be an assassin. Few heroes seem born from easy circumstances. They all - we all - have things we need to overcome before we can be the heroes we dream of being. Me??? At my daughter's wedding, I was reminded of my family's destiny. As my last living aunt looked at the unfortunately overweight bride, she commented that every woman in our family ends up being fat. With a knowing look and resigned sigh, she looked at me and said, "Just wait." And I shook my head and replied, "Not happening." But it is a fact that my family of origin had terrible health habits, and I sometimes slide into them. This year's goal really is to continue with the progress I've made so far here at Nerd Fitness and accelerate it .... hitting some milestones and enjoying a lighter, stronger body by doing some of those fun runs and obstacle races. Frankly, committing to doing a race where I have to climb over things is scary. I hate heights. I am not very strong in my upper body. And I'm not very graceful. This is going to take some work over a year or two. Goals for THIS CHALLENGE 1) Tame the Sweet Tooth I generally know how to eat well, but I have a hard time stopping once I start eating refined sugars, refined carbs, or wine. For this challenge, I will be intentional and enjoy (in moderation) one evening when I can have dessert and a glass of wine or two. But 6 days out of 7 will be focused on whole grains, proteins, vegetables, some fruit, and avoiding sugar in all kinds of things (like so-called energy bars). 2) Get Over That Wall I'm still working on regaining the ability to do a pull-up. At the moment, I'm doing lat pull-downs and want to get strong enough to do 10x70, 10x75, 10x70 by the end of the challenge. I can currently do 65 pounds for most of three sets, but I'll need to work on my hand strength as well as arms and shoulders. How to get there .... by strength training 3 times each week and trying to increase weights each week. 3) Find Balance Last year, I was literally dreaming of doing a crow pose. Why? No clue. But I also want to be able to do a handstand. So, I'll be working on these two progressions through the year. For now - I need to work on wrist flexibility!!! How? Working it daily with the GMB folks. 4) Keep Moving Finish Season 2 of Zombies Run 5) Push Boundaries In college, I very much wanted to go to Greece during a January interim. But I didn't have the money. 34 years later, I have saved up enough to go on an alumni trip (organized by the same professor!!) - probably in January or June 2017. But I like to be able to understand the local language and read road signs. So .... my goal this year is to learn modern Greek!!! I had studied ancient Greek in college; so the alphabet isn't completely foreign, but I have a lot of learning to do. I got a book and audio set for Christmas and will do a lesson per week for each challenge. At 46 lessons, that should work out about right with the challenge schedule. Theme??? I'm kinda waiting to find out more about the new epic quests and such. I'm tempted to go back to a Star Wars theme. That's where I stared with Nerd Fitness, and I have a lot of history in Star Wars RPGs as Chris-Tien Jinn, the Jedi Master. Stay tuned.
  8. This is going to be a good year. I can tell, because 2015 was a very good year for me; because I started taking control instead of just letting life happen around me. 2016 will be more of that, so it can only get more better This month I will be focusing my quests on motivation. A reminder of why I am doing these things, without the pressure to reach a goal right away, or the disappointment if that doesn't happen. Some are shorter term (goals that are possible to achieve in the 4 weeks), others are a little more ambiguous, long-term, or I have no idea how long they'll take. I guess... It's good to keep the goal in mind but still be sure to enjoy the journey! So without further ado... B is for Bend Stretch after class/conditioning/etc Dedicated yoga minimum 2x/week -> Ulterior motive: Bridge (general improvement, "no cheat" bridge) -> Ulterior motive: Start splits progressions A is for Atlas Ranger sub-job: Animal Affinity Take Atlas for a good walk 5days/week (Weather permitting, but don't be a wimp) -> Ulterior motive: Train 2 new commands M is for Move In addition to capoeira classes, work on conditioning and BWW Minimum 3 BWW/conditioning sessions/week (Conditioning can be short 7.5-15 minute sessions, but only if given enough gusto) -> Ulterior motive: 5+ reps of GOOD standard push ups in one set -> Ulterior motive: 1 pull up (unassisted) -> Ulterior motive: Bananeira/handstand away from the wall -> Ulterior motive: Queda de Rins (lift both feet off the ground) F is for Food Paleo-ish. Get it right Track food intake. 1 cheat day/week -> Ulterior motive: Get in the habit of thinking about and cooking 1 meal/week (scrambled eggs or post-workout slab of chicken do not count) -> Ulterior motive: Lose at least 4lb Stats:
  9. I almost didn’t do this challenge. I think it may have been the jetlag talking, but shortly after I arrived in France, I was pondering over how my last challenge was going and how to make my next challenge new and exciting and, well, challenging. I mean, the last few challenges have pretty much been (1) strength training, (2) running, and one other exercise-related goal, and a life quest. I felt like I pretty much had the pattern down. But it didn’t take too long to realize that I still needed the challenge to make sure I stayed on track. Yeah, maybe I would still go to all of my Capoeira classes, but having the motivation to do anything above and beyond that, while getting wrapped up in holiday markets and with winter right around the corner… That’s iffy. As for new and exciting… Not going to happen really. I’m doing “more of the same†and revisiting old goals (not that my previous goals are uninteresting in any way- I mean, capoeira and handstands? Hells yeah!). But while some of it (at least to me) seems like injury prevention, it’s all aiming towards becoming a true BAMF and not breaking myself along the way. First, let’s revisit my Main quest as it has shifted slightly since my recruit phase: Main Quest: Feel better in my own skin. Currently, progress is being made not only by changing the physical composition of my body, but also by challenging my boundaries, stepping out of my comfort zone (sometimes into others’), and taking itty bitty steps to trust myself more. Quest 1: BAMF Moves I will of course be continuing capoeira into this challenge. Running is taking a back seat here, as doing that 3 days a week in conjunction with my classes was proving to be rather...painful. I’d still like to keep up some running, because Zombies, Run! is so fun to listen to, and because I still want to do 5Ks come spring time. I will be allowing for some lower impact HIIT to replace some of the runs and get my heart pumping- honestly, as much as HIIT hurts at the moment, I think that’s a sign that I really should be working on that more. Also one dedicated strength training/capoeira practice per week, which will likely include animal drills, crow, and handstand practice. 2 cardio/HIIT per week 2 capoeira classes per week 1 capoeira practice/strength training per week 2 STA | 3 STR | 2 DEX Quest 2: BAMF Flexy Partly because I sit in a chair all day and get stagnant and I just want to be able to move, and partly because I want to just improve at flexibility so I can capoeira better faster. Goals here are to improve shoulder & upper back flexibility to help get into bridge, limber up the wrists and forearms to prevent injury there, and work on the ever-stubborn hamstrings. I will be cataloging some go-to stretches for quick cool downs after workouts, as well as doing some dedicated work, likely in the form of yoga. Short stretch after at least 3 of the “activites†during the week. 1 dedicated “flexy session†per week (likely yoga) 1 CON | 2 DEX Quest 3: BAMF Eats This was going to be a repeat- just keep counting calories, but with a pseudo-side-quest of researching ideas on how to consciously change what we eat at home without increasing costs. Husband recently discovered how cheap and easy it was to make pizza and pasta from scratch and lets face it- rice is ultra cheap, and filling, and darn good. Well, I got bored yesterday and started poking around a bit, made an off-handed comment about the paleo "diet" to Husband and he said he'd be all for it as long as we were both all-in. I pointed out that we had a cabinet full of french cookies and he agreed to one "cheat" day. I think the cheat day might move around a bit, rather than being a set day in the week. One day during every week (mon-sun), as long as there are not 2 cheat days together (except, maybe in the case of certain holiday shenanigans). Cheat day may end up being pizza/booze/game night (great for Saturdays) or romantic dinner out (not so great for Saturdays, we hate crowds and prefer restaurants on slow nights). I plan on continuing to track calories, if only for curiosity's sake. ALSO, I want to remember to take my supplements- cal/mag for keeping charlie horses at bay, and fish oils for all of the billions of things fish oils are for (Yeah, I'd like to incorporate actual fish into my diet, but it's expensive and/or not very good here in the midwest) 1 point per day eating Paleo. 1 point per day remembering to take my supplements. 1 WIS | 2 CON Life Quest: BAMF Esprit Stealing from a previous quest, I need to make sure I don’t lose myself over the next month or so. Between work (meh), exercise (yay!), and crochet/markets (I should be more excited about this than I am), it will be pretty easy to get sucked into it all. I will be making an effort to take at least a few minutes a day to do something that just makes me feel good about myself, aside from all of the above. Taking Atlas for a walk, spending time with the husband while not doing other things, meditation, taking a break from crochet to let my mind breathe, even skipping a workout without a penalty to points, all for sanity’s sake. 1 point per day 2 CHA **OBSTACLES** The holidays are upon us. Sort of. November is a pretty ridiculous month in my life with 3 birthdays the week of Thanksgiving. Plus we've got a wedding to go to on the Saturday before. Plus there's loads of stuff to do for the holiday markets. Food day(s) at work celebrating Thanksgiving (the week before), November birthdays (probably closer to the end of the month), the "holiday stroll" (two food days, one hosted by each half of the building in the first 2 weeks of December), and a team lunch for Christmas (where our team drives to a neighboring town and eats all the food, mid-December). This doesn't even touch on how much the holiday markets are going to be keeping me and my hands super busy. This is the importance of the Life Quest- As important as everything is, making sure I take some time to step back and breathe will be crucial.
  10. Real life back story: When I joined NF I was borderline high blood pressure. I had tried many things to lower it, but nothing worked. When I went low-carb Paleo it went down. Whew, I thought problem solved. Now: Over the last 6 months my BP has been rising, and at a wellness visit it registered as high. I was freaked out, worried, and discouraged. But after thinking about it, I found a plan of action and decided to attack my High BP just like any other dragon. But, I was still struggling with feeling like it wasn't fair. I really eat healthy and exercise, what about all those people who eat at McDonald’s every day, why don’t they have high blood pressure? Honestly, I was struggling with writing my challenge, because, I wanted a fun challenge, not a hard one. Then this morning I read Steve's blog, which as usual inspired me. http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2014/11/06/do-you-avoid-photos-announcing-zfg-day/#more-24488 Some quotes that stood out to me No matter where you are on your journey, I’m challenging you to be happy. Right now. Be proud of your life AND where you’re heading. Instead of worrying that you’re not yet where you want to be yet…be thankful for the opportunity to get closer. Instead of complaining that the journey is long and challenging, be thankful for the humbling learning experience and wisdom that comes along with it.- NF founder Steve I’m here alive today, I have so many blessings, and I need to remember them and be happy, right now, where I am on this journey. I have a chance and the opportunity to continue my journey. It is a learning experience, and I am thankful for it, and as a Christian, I know that God will continue to be with me and guide me. I will choose to be joyful about my journey, and be thankful that I can keep working on improving my health, and maybe my experience will help others. I’’ve decided that I am not going to be very SMART in my goal setting this time. Meaning I have a goal, but since there is a bunch of new habits I’m trying to establish I’m not going to say doing such and such X times a week. Tracking that much tends to make my head explode (I don’t have the data tracking nerd gene) I’m just going to try and work on these during the week and then subjectively grade each week. GOAL #1 Blood Pressure Control Tools to help me achieve goal Take supplements Potassium levels (at least 3500 ideal 4700 I will start out tracking, but once I feel I have a handle on what it takes to achieve this, I’ll probably just sporadically track) Eat 1 lb of salmon a week (approx. 4 servings) Eat greens with at least 2 of my meals Choose from other potassium rich foods to eat I will start out tracking, but once I feel I have a handle on what it takes to achieve this, I’ll probably just sporadically track Drink hibiscus tea (1-2 glasses a day) Drink at least 8 8oz of water/herbal tea/broth a day (same here I’ll track some just to make sure it is a habit) GOAL #2 Don’t Worry:Be Joyful As part of my goal to reduce blood pressure, I need to handle stress better. I want to change from being a worrier who sees the negative, into a joyful person who sees the blessings God has given her. In order to do this when I start to worry about something, or think negatively, I am going to purposely switch to thanking God for the blessings in my life. Life Goal: Drawing on the Right Side of The Brain by Betty Edwards I have always wanted to draw, but always felt like I was horrible at it. This book's premise is that we need to learn to connect more with the right side of our brain to help us draw. I've had the book forever, even started it once. But, after I did two lessons, and didn't become DaVInci, I got frustrated and gave up. Now, I realize that life is a journey, it takes a while to learn stuff, and I may even suck at it for a time, but I will enjoy learning it, and hopefully have fun too. I'm going to be vague on this goal too, just do some every week. I don't want to have to track how much time, but I'll leave it out in plain view so that I remember to do it at least a bit. Side goal : sit on the floor more/ stand more/ use chairs less Side goal # 2 crow to headstand to crow ( I'm aware there aren't supposed to be 2 side goals, but I looked at my challenge and there were NO handbalancing goals and I had a sadz) I"m almost to this goal, so we'll see if I can nail it by challenge end.
  11. Elastigirl: Daily Life of a Superhero: updated to reflect reality Goal # 1 60 second crow and 60 second handstand Really spend time on these, and get them to a point where most of time I can reach 60 seconds with good form Sorry Edna-I'm not going to follow your advice. I 'm going back to some goals I had before. I leveled up with them before, but returning to them will give me a chance to build strength and prettify them a bit. Points 3 STA Goal # 2 Stretching My Limits Continue the hanging challenge (at least 2 x during day) and work on the mobilty squat challenge (30 minutes in day)mobility drill + 15 minutes of holds. Have a total of 30 days by challenge end Points 5 STA Goal #3 The shape I want Blowing yourself into a giant beachball may be helpful sometimes, but generally an assassins needs to be lean If I want to not gain weight I need to be mindful of some food guidelines that work for me: My rules: 1) measure starchy carbs and track them-net carbs between 50g and 100g (2 days a week I won't worry about tracking but still be aware of serving sizes) 2) no more than one serving of nuts a day 3) sweet stuff- only desserts allowed are homemade ( which are stevia or non sugar sweetener) and a serving of dark chocolate. I will allow myself 2 free exemptions during the challenge (note-exemption applies to one serving size) 4) Eat according to my Paleo rules most of the time (yes this is non specific- I seem to do good with doing it about 90% of the time, and have a pretty good idea of the balance I need) To help with this I will be participating in a Food PVPhttp://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/53582-pvp-foodz-6wc-starting-15-sept/ Points 4 CON Life Goal:Do 2 new recipes a week; I have a new Paleo book Everyday Paleo Thai Cousine and some others from other cookbooks. This doesn't have to be an entire dish, I also just want to make some of the spice mixes and sauces: Points 4 CHA WORKOUT PLAN- I will be using Enter The Kettlebell and be primarily doing kettlebell work this challengeI will also be working on pullups. Using this site as a template http://www.bodytribe.com/2013/01/17/how-women-can-do-pull-ups/I will alternate crow holds and wall handstand holds daily, maybe just do them once a day, maybe several timesI will be doing the hanging challenge and squat mobility challenge daily. I plan to do this routine several times during the week My week will look somewhat like thisdaily: squat challenge, deadhang challenge, am walk or sledgehammer or movement playcrow holds/handstand hold MondayClean and Press 25# light reps daysnatch workhanging leg raise Tuesdaymy choice/ walking,yoga, gymnastic,sledgehammer Wednesdayclean and press medium reps daykettlebell swingsmall number reps on pullup-most unassisted or negative Thursdaysame as Tuesday Fridayheavy reps clean and presskettlebell swingpull-large number of reps using assistance bands Satsame as Tuesday
  12. I've been taking yoga for a little more than a week (but I've done it in the past) and today in class we finished up with crow pose. Guess who held it for 5 seconds? This girl!! I've never been able to hold it for more than a brief wobbly second before. I'm so proud of myself!!! Also, in the transition from plank to cobra, I managed to lower myself down from plank with a straight back and elbows tucked in. That's also something I've struggled with before. My arms are getting stronger! Handstands, here I come!!!
  13. I was walking along a forest path, because what else is there to do in Flagstaff? I was doing my sprints -- walk for a bit, then run as fast as I can, then walk some more. I heard laughter in the trees above me. I looked around, but couldn't see the source of the laughter, so I just ignored it and kept sprinting. The laughter got louder, and I was getting irritated. "Don't hide in the trees and laugh at me!" I said to the strange laughing voice. "Come down here and show yourself." There was a great flutter of noise from the tree above me, and a single crow glided down and landed on a boulder by the path. He turned his head to the side and squawked at me. And I suddenly realized I could understand him. "Come sit beside me," he said. This was no ordinary crow. Okay, so looking over my third challenge, i realized that I have a bird theme going here, so I've decided decided to just go with it. I want to be able to sit and talk with Brother Crow, so for my first order of business: Mission 1: Master the crow. Since I have no idea if I can even accomplish that in six weeks, I will be measuring my practice time for the purposes of this challenge. Four days a week minimum, for at least 20 minutes a day, I will practice the various steps in this video recommended to me by Elastigirl. http://youtu.be/BW4NYacLCKg At some point, I will attempt to post a video, if I can figure out that feature on my phone. I'm not making any promises as to my video-producing skill, however. Next, if I want to talk with a bird, I need to be able to think like a bird. Or at least work out like one... Mission 2: Do the Angry Bird workout. I'm at different levels for the various bodyweight exercises, and this workout allows me to "level up" each movement independently. Besides, I like the point structure -- it's kind of fun. Thanks once again to Elastigirl for suggesting this workout. And finally, my life goal... Mission 3: Upcycle old clothes into new ones. It may be a good thing that I am now nearly 40 pounds lighter than I was last year, but my clothes have inexplicably not shrunk with me. I go out in public looking like I am playing dress up, and it has to stop. Unfortunately, I don't have the money to drop on a new wardrobe, especially, since I am still 20-30 pounds away from my goal. So, I've decided to fashion some new clothes that fit out of the old ones that I can't wear anymore. I got the idea from http://threadbanger.tumblr.com/ -- one of my favorite blogs. They have a ton of you tube videos that show you how to do all sorts of cool stuff, and I really want to try my hand at some of it. To make this goal measurable, I have decided I will do at least three projects, one every other week. I'll post pictures, whether the projects turn out good or not. Hopefully they will, because I really do need some clothes that fit. Okay, that's it. No nutrition goal this time, though I do plan on eating healthy food and drinking plenty of water. I'll figure out the grading system and post that as well before the next week starts.
  14. <Incoming Transmission. . . .> To: Hazard Fr: Rebel Intelligence Regional HQ Re: Division Attachement Agent Hazard, review of your performance on your field test has been completed. Congratulations on your commission with Rebel Intelligence Special Operations. As you were informed, all active SpecOps agents are attached as support personnel with Alliance divisions operating in their theater. Your request to be attached to the division colloquially called the Assassins has been approved. All of your personal effects were forwarded to the Assassin division's training center in anticipation of your arrival. While here, you will train to develop the specific skills that will make you most useful to this division. Remember, however, that you are an active agent and you may be called upon from time to time to complete assignments beyond the confines of your training regimen. <End Transmission> EPIC QUEST Turn into At end of previous challenge More details on my Epic Quest, and my regular lifting workouts, are in my battle log. MOTIVATION To be healthy, sexy, and inspire awe. QUESTS for this CHALLENGE 1) Bulk. This will involve tracking: weight calories protein waist size * Maximum bulking threshold is 33.5" (85 cm) waist. If reached, switch from bulk to cut. 2) Strengthen Core. This will involve exercises such as: hollow holds & hollow rocks arch ups & arch rocks dragon flag progressions hanging knee/leg raises 3) Increase Flexibility. This will involve stretches such as: german hang progressions center split progressions front split progressions 4) Develop Balance. This will involve skills such as: parallette crows handstands (pistol squat progressions, via guild mini-challenge) 5) Side Quest: Play on Camera I shared videos of me doing assassiny things last challenge. People liked it. I liked it. It was fun. I'll be doing it more.
  15. While my overall main quest is to become a better climber and start bouldering higher grades, I'm a little burned out from focusing too much on climbing related skills. So, I'm doing a very small, 6 week main quest before I reanalyze my climbing goals. I'll still climb 2-3x per week, and I'll still do plenty of climbing and pull-up related stuff at the playground as well as on my home climbing wall, but I'm ready to chase a few shiny objects this challenge. 6 week Main Quest: Improve my movement fluidity to the point where I'm comfortable with making my own animal flow/prasara yoga sequence, or freestyling it and not feeling awkward in the transitions. The plan is to structure my workouts (on non-climbing days) such that I do 10+ minutes of work on movement fluidity, 10+ minutes on skill work, 10+ minutes on targeted flexibility, and optionally end with strength exercises. The movement fluidity would include working on animal flow, prasara, regular yoga if I'm focused on movement and precise placement, rail QM at the playground, or even martial art katas, if I'm in the mood. Skill work includes: flying crow, side crow and progressions, double arm lever/peacock, scissor pose, jumping into crow, forearm stand, toe stand, stand-from bridge, and whatever other neat things I come across. The flexibility work will target either getting closer to the full splits (since many moves look more elegant with a better splits) or a good pike (since mine is holding me back from some handstand/forearm stand stuff). So, the goals are: Goal 1 - New tricks: Learn at least 3 new tricks from the skill list above. Since I already have some groundwork for many of these, the requirements to "count" as a new trick are: For flying crow and side crow, I would need to get the legs fully extended. For forearm stand, I need a freestanding 15 second hold. For double arm lever, toe stand, or scissor pose, I would need a 10 second hold. If I come across anything cool that isn't listed, I can add it to the list. Grading: 3+ = A; 2 = B; 1=C; Half points can be awarded if I'm close but not quite there, but I'm only allowed to score the best 3 moves. Current stats: Side crow and flying crow: 10 seconds, minimal leg extension. Double arm lever, scissor, and toe stand: Can't fully get off of the ground or balanced. Forearm stand: 20 sec. if starting from a wall support. 7 sec. freestanding. Stand from bridge: Need hands elevated 6"; Jump into crow: Can't even lightly hop into it. Goal 2 - Become bendy: I've created a 15 minute splits flexibility program and a 15 minute pike/down dog/calf and hamstring focused one. Do each of these 15 times over the course of the challenge. Grading is X/15 for each workout. Starting stats for splits (all measurements from groin to floor/wall) Side, left in front: 7"; Side, right in front 9"; Straddle while sitting: 12" I have no idea how to measure pike. For down dog, my heels are an inch up from the ground with both legs down, but I can get the heel touching if I do 3 legged dog. Goal 3- Lean out: Continue getting leaner through healthier eating. This time around, I'm not going to restrict any whole, unprocessed foods or healthy dairy. Any alcohol, juice, processed carbs, sweets, junk food, or restaurant food (yeah, I'm assuming it's all more or less unhealthy) will cost a point/serving. I get 10 points per week. Grading: 60 points or less of crap = A; 61-70 = B; 71-80=C; 81+ = F. Current stats: 5'6.5"; 150(?) lbs; waist: 29"; hips: 40" Side quests: Fitness side quest- Autoregulation. One of the issues with the last challenge is that I forced workouts when I really didn't feel up to them, just so I could be closer to meeting my goal. This time, I'd rather listen to my body and adjust my workouts as appropriate. I never take full rest days, but if I'm really sore, sick, tired, whatever, or if the workout is just not working out for me at all, I need to simply do some low intensity, restorative yoga or some foam rolling as my workout. If I'm having a day where I feel great, I need to add on higher intensity flow, skill, or strength work. This will be graded as a daily pass/fail as to whether I'm listening to my body and constructing an appropriate workout. Life side quest - Cleaning: I don't feel like the flylady/cleaning thing has fully become a habit, so I'm doing it for one more round. This time, while I still plan to follow the flylady daily missions, I'm giving myself much more leeway to substitute a different 15 minute task for the one listed. The missions haven't been hitting some areas of my house, like the basement, utility/laundry room, kid rooms, etc. Grading will be 1 point for doing the flylady mission or doing 15 minutes of cleaning each day.
  16. #1 Balancing I will be following Gold Medal Bodies Floor 1 exercise program this challenge. I will be able to hold a wall handstand for 20 seconds: currently I can get almost vertical , but not quite, CHA: 4 points #2 Bending: Even though I am Elastigirl, the truth is I get bored with flexibility stuff and don't stick with it. If I want to be able to do the GMB flows I need more flexibility. Goal is to do the flexibility moves on required days , and to do the stretches that are part of the cool downs each workout. DEX: 3 Points #3 Groovy Graphs: In an earlier challenge, I took progress photos and measurements. However, my method of writing down the measurements on tiny pieces of paper, and then losing the paper, was not the best method for tracking progress. I decided the best way for me to keep track was to go old school, and get out my graph paper and colored pens and make my own graphs. I will take my waist measurement ,my weight, my shoulders, and my blood pressure each Monday and record that on my graph. I will also take progress photos and put them in a file on my computer. The week we are on vacation (yay vacation) I will do it later in the week. STA 4 Points This is the site I am basing my measuring on; http://bradpilon.com/weight-loss/womens-body-ideal-measurements/ Ungraded: Part of the reason for charting is to hopefully lose a bit on my waist. To that end I will not eat after dinner, and I am going to try and not snack. Also limiting nuts to one serving a day. And eating Paleo 90% of the time. Not part of the grade, but I'd like to see a downward trend on the graph, so I will eat accordingly. #4 Home Improvement part II Continuing on last challenges theme. We need to have our house painted. I have some painters picked out to call, I need to call and have them give bids. By challenge end I need to have chosen a painter and have them scheduled to paint. I look forward to the end result of a freshly painted house. But this goal is tough for me. I hate dealing with contacting people, getting bids, and all that kind of stuff which is hard for my introverted self Fun Goal To balance that out, I am giving myself a fun challenge. My husband and I love to geocache. We have always talked about how fun it would be to hide a cache. I decided that now is the time. I have recruited him to help me out with this goal, and we will make and hide a cache . http://www.geocaching.com/ CHA: 3 points WIS 1 point
  17. I have two main goals for this challenge: Goal 1: Begin parkour training. In order for me to accomplish this I need to focus on 3 key result areas (KRAs): strength and conditioning, balance and movement skills, and mental and physical health. Each KRA has a set of performance indicators to enable me to keep track of progress. KRA 1: Strength and conditioning Performance indicators: Advanced Bodyweight Workout twice a week (I have a spreadsheet to keep track of how I'm doing on each exercise and what to aim for each session) Yoga and mobility workout once a week STR +2, STA +2, DEX +1 KRA 2: Balance and movement skills Performance indicators: Arm balances (to be practiced for a minimum of 5 minutes a day every non-workout day (Sundays optional) Crow - increase length of timeHandstand progressions - work up to at least wall handstands facing away from wallBasic parkour movements (to be practiced for a minimum of 5 minutes a day every non-workout day (Sundays optional). Reference guide will be this website. Week 1and 2: lazy vault and kong vault progressions (start with ground kongs and work up to proper kongs)Week 3 and 4: skills from the previous weeks + parkour rollsWeek 5: all previous skills + box/tuck jumps to soft landingsWeek 6: combo movements - basically beginning to really play around as a traceurDEX +2 KRA3: Mental and physical health Performance indicators: Healthy body habits Eat at least one Paleo meal five days a weekLimit sugar/carb intake on all other meals and days. In other words, enjoy but don't binge.Get as much sleep as possibleReestablish daily early morning 10 minute Zen practice. CON +3 Goal 2: Become a more productive artist by cycling key result areas every 6 weeks. I got the idea from one of GMB's article on cycling fitness goals instead of trying to train everything all at once for the sake of balance. I have come to realize that as an artist I want to do way too much. I want to write a blog but I also want to write songs, I want to play guitar but I also want to play piano and sing. On top of that I want to practice two martial arts! So for this challenge I'm going to pick just one creative area: writing. Next challenge will be songwriting. And after that I'll pick an instrument to practice or maybe work on my singing. Performance indicators: Blog At least one blog post a week Lyric-writing I always have trouble putting words to my music. I rarely have trouble with the reverse. So I will write at least one haiku/poem/stream-of-consciousness crap a day. WIS +3, CHA +2
  18. Bought the F1 program from GMB yesterday! First question: their video of the crow hold says to keep your butt down. You can see from my avatar I do not. I tried several times to adjust, but it seems like a always angle it right than straight like the guy in the video. Any tips? Double posting this in the Assassins General Chat to get the most chances for tips.
  19. I ran with the Rangers for a while, but I've always felt I was more of an Assassin at heart. I oscillate between dumbbell and bodyweight-only training, but I've come to realize that I have more fun with and am more proud of the bodyweight feats I achieve than any other test of strength. I'd started working through GMB's Floor 1 in November, but had to take a break after dealing with a particularly nasty stomach bug. While I was recovering, I had plenty of time to think about what it is I really want, and what it will take to get there. I want to be able to do things like , and make them look easy. My first step is going to be mastering the progressions of the hollow hold before I return to Floor 1. I want to be working on the final progression when I begin the program. While I'll still be using dumbbells (mainly for lower body work), I'll be training with minimal equipment. Goal 1: Incorporate the hollow hold into 2 workouts per week, and randomly practice at other times throughout the week. Continue practicing crow stand at least 2x/week, and progress when a 60 second hold is easy. +3STA +1STR Goal 2: Improve flexibility and mobility. Complete a morning warm up immediately upon waking. Stretch after each workout. Complete a longer yoga flow 2x per week. +3 DEX Goal 3: Improve strength to bodyweight ratio. I'm going to be following Nate Miyaki's intermittent feast guide and continuing with my strength training (at least 3x/week). +3CON +2STR Goal 4: Stay sane by journaling daily. I've set up a Google calendar to email me the topic of the day. I schedule these a week in advance. +2WIS +1CHA Stats: Level 3 STR: 12.25 DEX: 5.25 STA: 11 CON: 11 WIS: 8.25 CHA: 2.75 Grading: 1: % of total workouts completed for each hold. 2: % of days goal met. If one of goals is missed, day doesn't count. 3: % of meals in compliance with ideal, minus 1 meal per week. % of workouts completed. 4: % of days journal completed.
  20. Hi All. Sea Level here. I've lightened the load by jettisoning the "At." I'm not always at sea level. Sometimes above, sometimes below. This challenge will be all about going with the flow. Starting Stats: Level 5 | STR 12.5 | DEX 11 | STA 12.25 | CON 9.75 | WIS 8.75 | CHA 4 Goal 1 (Fitness): Hang Around. I really love playing around on my pull-up bar, and I will likely be investing in rings in the near future.This goal is essentially a three-workouts-a-week goal, but some focus this challenge will be with hanging fun, and stringing moves together. Pull-ups, chin-ups, German hangs (?!), tucked front levers (?!) hanging straight-leg raises, L-sit chin-ups. Yes, please. (3x workouts weekly will yield:: +2STR, +1DEX, +1CHA) Goal 2 (Fitness): Go With the Flow I. As inspired by a recent livinggroovy challenge: I want to be able to string together the following poses: Crow to Half-Crow (left leg extended) to Crow to Tripod to Headstand to Tripod to Crow to Half-Crow (right leg extended) to Crow. Hand balancing FTW! (Points available:: +1STR, +2DEX, +2CHA) Video, or it didn't happen. Goal 3 (Fitness): Go With the Flow II. Learn Prasara Yoga routines. I got the Prasara Yoga Primer from GMB recently. The routines incorporate elbow levers and half crow poses, which I've enjoyed. (2x weekly yoga flow practice will yield:: +1STR, +2DEX) Goal 4 (Life): Tickle the Ivories III. Last challenge's piano goal (And the piano goal before that!) fell apart, but it's a goal I want to keep. Practice 30 minutes twice a week. It's not that hard; just gotta make it a priority. Discipline! (2x piano practice will yield: +1WIS, +2CHA). Let's punch it.
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