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  1. Assault on the Gloom Monster! - again I am quite literally, copying and pasting a challenge from October 2018, lol. Why? Autumn into winter is my most difficult time of year because the shortening days, the degrading weather and grey skies all weigh on me heavily. While I've never been clinically diagnosed with S.A.D. I would be surprised if they said I didn't suffer from it. Autumn and winter is brutal for me, yo. I cannot let the Gloom Monster derail me every year, so we are doubling the efforts to avoid the trap that will turn me into one of the Gloomfallen. RULE #1 - Consistency, not Perfection will damage the Gloom Monster! I've spent the last 4-6 weeks getting into a very good routine with strength workouts. I work out so that I am strong and physically fit enough to move through life in a way that allows me to enjoy a lot of things. I also know it is great for aiding the mood and guarding the emotions against attacks from the Gloom. Exercise at least 5x a week. Continue strength training 2-3x, fill in other days with any kind of non-laziness. Basically, anything 20m or more that has me up and about, can count for this. RULE #2 - To keep the soul healthy, the body must be nourished. I'm on a good streak with tracking my calories, and it is currently not causing me any rage, stress or tantrums. I have taken a couple months off of tracking. I've held the line with my weight during that time, but I would like to shrug off at least half of the pounds I put back on after hitting my all time low. I am going to start off this challenge with tracking again. Both because I think I need the refresher, and also because my sister will be tracking food again after meeting with a doctor about her weight gain. I'm hoping that I can help her by doing this along side her. If not, it's always a good re-focus for myself. Track Food in MFP 7x / week. Plan for 1 Fun meal / week. RULE #3 - A sharp mind keeps a sharp sword. So, this was mostly about art back in 2018. I've not done that hardly at all for the past year and it shows. As I had always wanted art to be a means of practicing "a thing I am not super good at, but will continue even thought it doesn't come fast or perfect" - I would like to get this going again. I almost always get re-inspired during Inktober. So I just need to make time for this. It will also include other creative outlets and anything that makes me put down the video games. Sketch a few times a week! 3x / week Reconfigure desk to set up an EASY tablet access point. D&D Prep 1x / week RULE #4 - Face fear, conquer lies. I don't even know how to quantify this, and that typically marks for a bad goal - but this is so dang important right now. Any ideas you all have on it, I am open eared. Some ideas floating to work on this are: Gratitude Note Daily Positive Body remark Daily Change 'doom' What If's to be a what if 'best case scenario'. Continue Devotions Find a small group / even if it's online to help me with faith side things. Side Goals for the journey: Really hone in on the budget app. Use it for every single thing purchased. Get outside, even when it gets cold and bleh. "Man's heart away from nature becomes hard." ~ Standing Bear (Read this at a N.P. once and loved it.) Recreate 1 movie inspired gif per week! See at least 4 houses to start getting ideas of what works and what doesn't taste wise.
  2. EDIT: By popular demand I am changing my challenge to be about the 3 things most important to me (and my readers) right now: 1. Tats - I am getting my first tattoo and it is impacting my life in a big way as it heals and I continue to get it worked on. 2. Gaming - I am loving the heck out of Assassin's Creed Odyssey right now and it is my new obsession. 3. Ice Cream - I have a couple hundred dollars worth of ice cream that is prepaid and I need to eat it soon or I will lose it. I can't not eat it because apparently I don't even know what 'sunk cost' means Optional Side Quest - avoid misspelling anything that might make people think this challenge is about something other than the above 3 things Original challenge write up is below: ----------------------------------------------- Now's my chance, RUN! Those of you who followed my last challenge know that the biggest thing in my life right now is getting my first ever tattoo. It is a massive thing on my left shoulder that has already had 8 hours of work into it and I still need at least double that before it will be finished. This is going to be pretty much dominating my life for the next few weeks so I might as well plan this challenge around it. (Current tattoo progress in the spoiler for anyone interested) On the advice of my artist, I need to refrain from serious upper body workouts for the duration and at least a week following the completion, which means probably about a month or so. Given that most of my workouts consist primarily of heavy upper body stuff this means I am going to have completely revamp how I get my exercise in. I asked my artist about his suggestion for exercise for the next little while and his response was a shrug and suggestion that "maybe every day can be leg day". And while he isn't necessarily wrong, I am going to modify this to mean things that involve legs, which I am going to break into two main categories: Running: I have been working recently on getting my cardio endurance back up by running on the treadmill off and on over the last year or so. Now that spring is finally here, I can get out and run in the park again. My goal last challenge was 50km and I very nearly hit it without even trying very hard. This challenge I am going to raise the bar and aim for 100km. I probably won't get there, but that's why they call it a challenge Stretching: My last challenge had a stretching goal and I completely ignored it. This time I have much less of an excuse so let's see if I can actually stretch consistently for an entire challenge. Goal is 5 stretch session/week which comes out to 30 session. I probably won't hit this either but let's just call it a "stretch goal" Food: In addition to exercise, I also want to make sure I am getting my nutrition right so I am going to have to put together a menu for each week. I am tired of eating the same things over and over so I will probably do something similar to the 5x5 challenge I did a while back. I will aim to have a meal plan ready in the next few days [Meal Plan goes here] Personal Development: We all know that I spend pretty much all of my time not working out or cooking in front of the xbox. This is a brag, not a complaint Its a great life and I plan to keep doing it, but I also want to do other things that help me to develop other skills as well. For this one it could be anything from practicing the ukulele to reading books or even drawing. Goal is to spend at least 15 minutes a day on something other than gaming, 5 days per week. Will I actually do this or will it end up being my dump goal? Stay tuned to find out. The rest of my time is going to be split between Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, Elder Scrolls, Forza and my various D&D campaigns so expect to hear a bunch of stuff about that for most of my updates.
  3. RPGs (mostly pen&paper, but not exclusively) have been a massive part of my life for two decades. I mean I did marry my Shadowrun GM just over 18 years ago and we are raising children together. Sure we broke up a little while back, but thats just us coping with each of us changing. He's not a bad person. He really isn't. So. I'm to pick up the mantle of GM this week. I am working through Easter Weekend and after that I have most of the month of April off work, because I am lucky and blessed. Vacation-time for the win. The garden is calling me, or is that me jonsing after some green-therapy, either way, that'll happen. Plus some posture practice to get my back issues under control... lots of good pt happening.
  4. The muscle wizard keeps fighting This challenge I'll be taking part in a group challenge with @Starpuck, @Raxie, and @DarK_RaideR. You can find out more about that here: Welcome to the Underdark - 2020 December / Holiday Challenge (Dec 6 to Dec 26) - Nerd Fitness Rebellion I'll be returning to the character I ran last time, Guglug the muscle wizard. Guglug is the half-orc bouncer at the Fiery Grog tavern, but he's left his job working the door to seek out a more adventurous life. Far from an average half-orc, Guglug works the door shift at the roughest bar in Port Meranda in order to pay for his tuition as a wizard. This challenge sees the party facing a group of grimlocks, and each of my goals will either allow me to deal damage to these dangerous foes, or to protect myself from injury. FYI, this is a grimlock: So, without further ado (I like a little ado, but enough ado is enough), my goals are: Attacks: Greataxe - 10XP Guglug hits a thing with his greataxe (he is a muscle wizard after all). For this goal I need to complete my workouts 7 days per week. I will deal 1 damage per workout after the first 2 (I deal no damage if I only do 2 or less workouts), plus a bonus point if all workouts are as prescribed, for a maximum of 6 damage per week. I've currently paused my gym membership until after I move house, to save a bit of money and because I can't be certain if it will be allowed to open or not at any given time. That makes it vital that I stay disciplined in my home workouts. I've added the bonus point for doing all workouts as prescribed, as I've got into a bad habit of waking up late and cutting sessions short as a result. Catapult - 10XP Guglug magically flings an unattended object in the direction of an enemy, likely in a comedic fashion. For this goal I will need to make sure I have my protein shakes 7 days per week. If I hit 7 days I'll deal 5 damage, 6 days will deal 3 damage, or 5 days will deal 1 damage. In previous challenges I've had a proper protein tracking goal or a calorie counting goal. This time I want to keep it simple, and I'm not too worried about letting loose a bit for Christmas. Last challenge I discovered that my protein shakes make up a huge proportion of my total protein intake, and that it's almost impossible to hit my protein goals without them, so that's where I'm focussing my energy. Thunderwave - 5XP A wave of thunderous force sweeps out from Guglug, hurting foes and blasting them backwards. For this goal I need to create something 3 times per week. It could be doing some drawing, or writing homebrew D&D content, or what ever I feel like. I'll deal 1 damage for the first creative session, 3 damage if I get 2 sessions, or 5 damage if I hit all 3. The creative stuff really helps me to unwind, particularly after a stressful day. In previous challenges it's just been drawing, but I don't see that it's necessary to pigeonhole myself like that, anything creative should be a good thing. Green flame blade - 5XP Guglug's greataxe is magically enveloped in green flames, which leap from his target to an adjacent enemy. For this goal I need to brush my teeth twice per day, every day, and use the electric brush and clean between them in the evenings. I'll deal 1 damage for each day after the first 3 (3 days or less and I deal no damage), for a maximum of 4 damage. This is something that I do easily when I'm feeling good, and if I'm feeling stressed or anxious it slips. So keeping on the straight an narrow here might be good for my mental health. If not, it'll definitely be good for my teeth! Defence: Guglug has 9hp, and as a half-orc also has relentless endurance. Guglug can use the following abilities to avoid damage: Absorb elements - 10XP Guglug's spell captures some of the energy of an elemental attack against him, which he can use to empower his next attack. For this goal I need to complete 3 foam rolling sessions each week. I'll take 1 damage for every session missed. This is something that seems to really help with my dodgy hip, and with general aches and pains. It would help a lot more if I was more consistent with it, hence the goal. Dodge - 5XP Guglug dodges the enemy's attack. For this goal I will also need to keep on the protein shakes. For every day below 5 that I have protein shakes I will take 1 damage (1 damage at 4 days, 2 damage at 3 days, and so on). If my catapult goal is the carrot for protein intake, this is the stick. General stuff I'm currently in the process of buying a new house, which is slightly stressful but so far has gone pretty smoothly - I'm hoping we'll be moving in January if all goes well. In the meantime I still want to make progress with my fitness, in the hope that obstacle course races will be on next year. In theory my first race is in February, so really there's no time to spare. My workout plan consists of 4 runs per week and 5 home workouts. Tuesday and Thursday are short workouts after my runs, with full workouts Monday, Wednesday, Friday. You can also expect this challenge to be scattered with D&D talk, updates from the campaigns I play in and the one I run, and quite a lot of general rambling.
  5. When we last left off, our noble party of would-be adventurers had been given a simple task. Tofdir Duflame, gnomish proprietor of the Fiery Grog Tavern, had tasked the party with hunting rats in his basement. They were promised a silver piece for every rat tail they returned with, and in the fashion of all great adventurers had gone about their task with much enthusiasm. So much enthusiasm, in fact, that they saw no problem in attacking that weird rat, the one with the exposed brain, which fled through the back of a large wardrobe in the tavern cellar. Chasing the creature into the wardrobe, our noble heroes found themselves flung into another place entirely, with no clear way to get back. Unperturbed, the party continued to slay rats and collect tails (a silver piece is a silver piece, after all), venturing further and further into the tunnels they found themselves in. Eventually the way opened out into a large chamber, where a voice spoke inside each of their minds. The voice warned them that they were trespassing on their terrain, but assured them that they would be put to good use as food for the colony. Only then did the creature emerge. A mass of fleshy, writhing tentacles surrounding a blind, milky white eye. The lower tentacles whipped through the air with a wet, swishing sound, as the creature hovered slowly closer to the party. Worse though were the upper tentacles, each of which held another cloudy white eye. This was to be the party's first encounter with a mindwitness: A terrible battle ensued, with the party slinging spells and slashing weapons at the creature, and the creature for its own part firing beams of energy from the horrible orbs embedded within its tentacles. Ultimately the party were able to destroy the beast, but still they were too late. Too loud, and too late. Just, barely, too late. As the creature finally fell to the ground, twitching and writhing like a jelly pot in a blender, a horde of creatures entered through the doors on the far side of the room. These creatures, much like the midwitness, appeared to be blind, their empty eye sockets covered by a sealed layer of skin. Their vaguely humanoid forms were grey in colour, and covered in and wiry, black hair. Wearing only scraps of makeshift clothing they carried primitive weapons made of bones, stones, and teeth. None of that though was quite as unnerving as the sound of these creatures. As they charged towards the party, a horde of sightless savages ready to tear them apart, these creatures made no noise at all. No battle cry, no grunts and goans of exertion, and scarcely a murmur of sound as their bare feet hit the floor. An eerie silence pervaded as the creatures closed. * * * So this challenge, @Starpuck, @Raxie and @DarK_RaideRwill be following up on our group challenge we ran two challenges ago. Last time we took the mindwitness all the way down from 71hp to 1hp, but failed to kill it in time before a new threat arrived. This time, rather than one large beast, we will be fighting a veritable horde of grimlocks: As we complete our goals we'll do damage to the grimlocks, and hopefully be able to slay the horde. Each grimlock only has 11hp, but there's a lot of them. How many? Well, I have to keep a bit of suspense for now And so we will face the monster together, both literally and figuratively, and update on how we’ve done here for our mutual entertainment. We have 3 weeks of challenge to defeat this threat, and so every goal and every point of damage counts. And with that, I will leave it to the players to introduce their characters and their goals.
  6. The skittish man looked over his shoulder before he made his way up the creaky steps of the tavern. He wasn't supposed to be here but he didn't have a choice. There was an evil coming...an evil so vile and so horrible that the fate of every man, woman and child in the surrounding kingdom would be in mortal danger if he didn't seek help. Two nights ago, he had been followed. The undead black bird was nearly silent when it stalked in the treetops among the gnarled branches. He looked again over his shoulder to see if he could spot the bird but to his surprise, the undead creature was no where to be seen. Each step towards the tavern doors entrance echoed audibly, and despite the boisterous noise coming from inside, the creaks and groans under his weight seemed to weigh heavily into the night. With a shaky, outstretched hand, the man opened the door and entered the tavern. He was immediately greeted with warm air, the smell of ale, and a symphony of music coming from the stage just left of the bar. The atmosphere of the tavern seemed to calm the man's nerves and he made his way through the crowd to settle at the bar. "Whadda having, sir." The short, burly barkeep asked as he wiped down a glass and threw the rag over his shoulder. The barkeep was bald with a dark brown beard that was trimmed neat and cut short to the neck. He had kind brown eyes that seemed trustworthy and to the skittish man, he felt comfortable around the barkeep, even though it had been mere seconds since he sat down. He wasn't really sure what he wanted though. The long journey had taken a toll on his body and he had actually grown sick to his stomach over the last day's ride to get here. "I, um...well," the man cleared his throat, "I'm actually looking for someone." He said to the barkeep. "Aye?" The barkeep asked. "So nottin to drink fer ya? Maybe some hot boar stew? It's the best in all the kingdom." As if his stomach ache was instantly cured, the sound of boar stew made the skittish man's mouth salivate. How long had it been since he last ate, he thought to himself. Two days? "Actually, the boar stew does sound quite nice. I'll have a bowl of that." "Comin' right up!" The barkeep announced cheerfully and scurried off to the kitchen. When he came back just a few seconds later, he had a faded blue bowl filled with the piping hot stew. The smell of the boar nearly cramped the man's stomach up as he realized just how hungry he was. He nearly snatched the bowl out of the barkeep's but restrained himself. "There ya go, sir. Gallup's world famous boar stew. Hell, we took down der beast not twelve hours ago so ya know its gonna be gurd!" "Thank you very much. And you must be Gallup?" the man replied with a thankful nod. "Nah, dat's me brother. I'm Garrick, the most handsome barkeep in all the land!" The barkeep chuckled so loud it nearly drowned out the music. After a moment, he caught himself and turned back to a more serious demeanor. "So...ya say yer lookin for someone, eh? Gotta name?" "I don't know the man's name, per say. I've heard him called numerous things if I'm being completely honest. The Red Wolf?" Garrick paused a minute, his eyes shifting to the back of the bar. "Well...I do know a man by dat name but he's not to be bothered at da moment." "Really?" the man sat up from his boar stew, almost excited. "I dare say, it's rather urgent that I speak to this man. It's a matter of life and death!" Garrick saw the terror in this man's eyes and almost felt sorry for him. The barkeep got down low to the bar to whisper something. The skittish man leaned down with him but couldn't hear the words over the music. Then, Garrick nudged his head towards the back of the bar where his eyes shifted earlier. The man turned his gaze in that direction and saw a leather clad man sitting by himself drinking a mug of ale. His features where like that of a warrior; well muscled and tight jawed. He appeared to be tall with his legs stretched out under the table, one foot crossing over the other. His skin was fair, which made his other features stand out like a sore thumb. Atop his head was a mess of wavy red hair. Even in the dimness of the bar you could tell. And with that look, the man sitting in the corner gazed back. The look paralyzed the skittish man as he noticed the piecing blue eyes burning through him. They were the eyes of a wolf. Gulping down hard, the skittish man grabbed his hot bowl and made his way over towards the red-haired man. As he stood before him, the red haired man held his gaze the entire time. "Go away." he muttered, his voice gruff and raspy. Almost as if he hadn't spoken in days. "But sir..." "I said. Go. Away." He cut off the skittish man and pointed back towards the bar. The skittish man, feeling more confident this time, sat his bowl down on the table, pulled out the chair on the other side, and sat down. "Sir, my name is Sibis Davizo and I have come looking for the Red Wolf." Sibis was fully expecting to be cut off again and was surprised when he wasn't, so, he continued on. "And I am in need of your service. It has come highly recommended that YOU are the best scout in all the kingdom and that when it comes to finding things, there are none better." There was a long instance of silence between the two men before the red-haired man spoke. "Go on..." "So, are you the one they call The Red Wolf?" "It's possible. Why don't you tell me what you need first and maybe I'll tell you who I am." "Very well... as I've said before, rumor has it that you can track things down better than anyone. Whether that be people, items or more exotic things. I'll cut to the chase because time is of the essence. I am in search of something called the Book of Life. This book has immense power." "Why search for a book that's only been rumored to exist?" The red-haired man asked as he leaned forward now, interested in what Sibis Davizo was saying. "I was told the only way to defeat Dedd Lyft the Necromancer was by obtaining the Book of Life. Somewhere in it's pages is a spell that could destroy him and his undead army." The red-haired man shook his head slowly. His face was expressionless but his eyes showed something. They showed fear. "Come with me. It's too dangerous to talk here..." ************************************************** Hello All!! Welcome to another challenge! I'm very excited about this one for a number of reasons. 1) My birthday is right in the middle of this challenge! 2) I'm doing some creative writing! and 3) I'm kicking ass in the gym AND the kitchen! This challenge is all about writing, eating, lifting and gearing up for the holidays. Won't you join me?? Goal 1: Tevior "The Red Wolf" Bindreft This goal is all about writing. I loooooove creative writing. I looooove creating fun and interesting characters. To do this goal justice means I need to write little excerpts like the one above and work to do that 2-3x a week. Nothing major, just write for 15-20 min and see what I come up with. I'm hoping to build a fun story for everyone (and myself) and maybe turn this into something I do on a more regular basis! Here's what Tevior looks like: but think wavy red hair and reddish stubble instead. My inspiration is this guy: Possible Points: +2 END, +1 CHA Goal 2: Dedd Lyft the Necromancer Dedd Lyft is the main villian in my story. This is a play on for Deadlift, obviously, but you already knew that, didn't you?? . @Jarric made a good point on my last challenge: "don't be afraid of deadlifts. Just take them serious and you'll be ok." And...that's exactly what I'm gonna do! I'm fine with trap bar deadlifts...but it's traditional deadlifts that have always scared me because I didn't want to hurt my back. I'm usually really solid in practicing good form with ALL my lifts, but I've stayed away from barbell deadlifts in favor of trap bar for a while now. The idea behind this goal is to practice barbell deadlifts at least 1x a week and work on getting better doing those. They don't have to be heavy but ideally I would like to find my 1rm sooner or later. Possible Points: +3 STR Goal 3: Up the Intensity Between lifting 3x a week, I also want to add in 1-2 KB workouts on my off days as well as add in a sprint day on Saturdays. This is about sweating and getting out of my comfort zone. I have a plethora of KB workouts I can do, AND, I have a 35# and 45# KB I can use at the house. I'll be posting my KB metcon's when I do them for anyone interested. Possible Points: +2 DEX, +1 END Goal 4: #SmoothPanther I'm on a 5-day streak right now and don't plan on breaking this. Stretching has been something I neglect. A lot. And I'm never going to perform well in the gym unless I limber up and take care of myself better. I work hard. Now, I need to stretch hard as well. I'll be following Nsima Inyang's Smooth Panther routines each and every day. I'll also be posting these for anyone interested or maybe you just want to follow along with me?? Possible Points: +2 CON, +1 DEX Goal 5: Carnivore-ish If you've been following me recently, you know that I've adapted a carnivor-ish eating style. Basically, this means TONS of protein. TONS of fat. And SOME carbs...like 100-150g a day total or less. I'll mainly be eating red meat loaded up with butter and bacon grease with some rice and potatoes thrown in there every now and again. The idea is NO sweets until my birthday, which I will indefinitely have a cake, and then it's back to the grind after my b-day weekend. Thanksgiving is also a small pass as I'll probably have some pumpkin pie or something. But, my diet consists of almost NO veggies and hardly any fruit. If I do have fruit, it'll be some blueberries or something. But otherwise, it's ALL meat ALL the time. Possible Points: +1 CON, +2 WIS And there you have it folks. Thanks for following along and I hope you enjoy my story thus far Wolf
  7. It had seemed such a simple quest; just kill the rats in the basement. Standard fair for any would-be adventuring party, a simple job to earn some coin and test out their skills. One silver for every rat’s tail they returned, that’s what they’d been promised. But then a different rat came, one with its brain exposed, and glowing faintly. The little bugger had escaped into a large wardrobe in the corner of the tavern cellar, and what’s worse is that it had taken one of the tails the party had been so careful to collect! Chasing after it, our noble heroes found themselves flung into another place entirely, with no clear way to get back. On the plus side, there were a lot of rats here, and exposed brains or not those tails were still worth something. Following the first principle of adventuring*, the party gathered as many tails as they could. They reckoned that they were on for a decent haul if only they could find a way back to Tofdir, the gnomish fellow who’d sent them down here in the first place. After many tunnels, all of which only seemed to lead deeper, and innumerable rats, the way opened out into a larger chamber. Far from the cramped, dank conditions of the previous tunnels, this was grander. Perhaps it was once a temple of sorts, or perhaps a court of some great subterranean king. Whatever the purpose of this place, the party did not have long to contemplate it, for in their minds came a voice unlike any they had ever heard. “You are trespassing in our terrain,” said the voice†, “however you should provide adequate sustenance for us.” As though the voice were not troubling enough on its own, its owner soon emerged, floating in from a high tunnel like the world’s most disgusting helium balloon. A fleshy mass of tentacles surrounded a large, milky white orb, which could have been an eye. The lower tentacles lashed through the air as it moved, making a wet, whipping sound. The upper tentacles were far worse however, as they held more milky white orbs which flitted back and forth disconcertingly. Were these more eyes, or an entirely different feature of this alien creature’s anatomy? As the creature emerged a beam of energy lanced out of one of the small orbs, picking up one of our noble heroes and tossing them across the room like a rag doll. Immediately doubt set in for the party, was this a fight they could win? *Take everything that isn’t nailed down †If said is the correct way to describe a voice beamed directly into one’s consciousness * * * So this challenge @Raxie, @Starpuck, @DarK_RaideR and myself wanted to try a group challenge, and being us it’s of course D&D themed. We will each be creating 1st level characters, and pitting them against a vicious foe, with completing our challenge goals meaning we do damage to the monster. Our monster this round will be the mindwitness: I chose this as it speaks to a lot of the difficulties we sometimes need to overcome when we take on a new challenge. It can cause aversion, fear, apathy and inaction, all things which can get in the way of our goals. Also, look at the thing! That’s one cool monster. And so we will face the monster together, both literally and figuratively, and update on how we’ve done here for our mutual entertainment. A mindwitness has 75 hp, so to defeat this monster we will need to do at least that much damage between us over the next 5 weeks. We will also need to avoid taking damage to survive the fight, and each character will have their own ways of dealing and avoiding damage.
  8. Ziggurat of the Dead So last challenge I had the idea of the Ziggurat of Goals, whereby I would only get points for each goal if I had completed the goals that underpin it. It's a ziggurat because that's a better fantasy word than 'pyramid' (and it's easier to draw it with steps!) It worked very well so I'm not changing much, but as this is the 10th anniversary necromancy challenge we now have the Ziggurat of the Dead. (Aside: This reminds me of the SilverClawShift campaign journal which was my first real introduction to the madness of D&D, has anyone read that? If you like crazy fantasy stories you should definitely check it out.) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx x--Extra Credit--x xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx--Calories--xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx--Exercise--xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx--Tooth Care--xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx--Hip Rehab--xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx So that's the ziggurat. The observant amongst you will notice that there's an extra level to it this time round. Let's drill down into each goal: Hip Rehab - 15XP What: Do my stretches/exercises/foam rolling every day. Why: My hip was hurting a lot at the start of last challenge, and it has significantly improved from a month of consistency on this goal. It's not fully healed yet though, so I need to keep up the good work. This is important for a lot of goals I have this year and to enjoy a lot of the things I enjoy (OCR, climbing, running, lifting, sitting down!) How: I have a programme of 12 things per day. Aim to do a couple first thing in the morning, to get me off to a good start on a day. If I have stuff left in the evening, prioritise this goal over bedtime, but try not to need to! Tooth Care - 10XP What: Care for my teeth! Why: Because I want to keep all my teeth for as long as possible without tooth pain, and avoid expensive dentist bills. Another goal from last challenge that showed a measurable improvement. How: Brush in the morning with a manual brush, in the evening with an electric brush, and clean between my teeth/floss in the evening. Exercise - 10XP What: Exercise every day. Why: Because I enjoy it, and I enjoy it more if I'm more consistent. Because I have goals this year that require me to be fit. And because I generally want to be a strong and healthy person. How: There are no rules on what I have to do on what day, and anything of 20 minutes or over will count. With that said, I plan to do CrossFit MTTF, Run WSS, and boulder at least once per week. I also want to focus on not skipping my long runs, which I did too much last challenge. Calories - 10XP What: Count calories every day and stay under an average of 2,650. Why: Because I gained some fat over December/Christmas, and I'd like to lose that. I'd also like to be in the best shape of my life for Comicon this year (not actually sure if I'm cosplaying yet, but it's a good mid-year point regardless). This is both an aesthetic thing, and a efficiency thing - it's easier to run carrying less weight, and to do things like muscle ups, rope climbs and bouldering. How: Using My Fitness Pal, I'll aim for 5 days at 2,410kcal and 2 days at 3,250kcal. That allows for a night out drinking (the difference equates to 3.7 pints of Fosters, 3.5 pints of Guinness or 3 pints of Amstel, so with a bit of food planning I can happily go for 4 pints), or extra eating on long run day (it would give me 11 energy gels, or more likely a couple and a bit of extra food afterwards). I reserve the right to change the split of days in advance of the week, as long as the weekly average works. Extra Credit - 5XP What: Do 3 extra credit exercise sessions per week. Why: To work on some weaknesses and some areas I don't otherwise cover. How: I have three workouts I have planned for each week, which should only take around 10 minutes each: The Acrobat: Hangboarding practice, to improve my finger strength for climbing The Fighter: Pushups and pullups, to drill core movements that I would like to be better at when they come up The Bard: Bicep curls, tricep extensions and a core exercise, this is an exercise in pure vanity; whilst my goal to look great at Comicon is mostly about low body fat, it won't hurt to get bigger arms to match my growing shoulders. Other Stuff I'll be starting week 1 on Monday 17th February (challenges start on Mondays, fight me). There's a few events going on this challenge: Meeting an old friend for beers on Tuesday of week 1 It's my birthday Tuesday of week 3 I'm running Winter Nuts on Saturday of week 3 (aiming for 28km (~17.4 miles) and hoping not to get hypothermia - will be out for about 6 hours including 4 lake swims) Seeing a Metallica tribute band Friday of week 4 Going out to celebrate my birthday (and watch all of the last day of the 6 Nations rugby in a pub) on Saturday of week 4 For zero week I will be trialling the above goals, but not tracking them. I'll also try and write my roadmap for the year (it's a bit late!) and re-read my oldest challenges. You can also expect lots of talk about D&D from the two live games I play in, and the play by post I'm in with @Starpuck, @Raxie and @Wild Wolf, and expertly DM'd by @DarK_RaideR.
  9. I don't pay much attention to new years (my most hated holiday) but I do love me some Nat 20's, and at least this new year brings that to the table. Hah! Table... love it when it happens on accident. Anyway. One of the best chances to get a Natural 20 in gaming, is if you roll with advantage. You get to roll with advantage if you have a certain skill set, or strong proficiency, or if the situation you're in presents you with a reason to make the task easier. It's never just a random thing. In other words, you have to do something to set yourself up for the advantage. For me, my single biggest factor in rolling with advantage, is the arcane school of "Consistency." We're starting this new campaign off with a goal of becoming proficient in consistency once more. The goal for January is to start building consistent habits. Key word. Build. I'm not looking to pour the cement on Monday the 6th, and immediately have The Sears Tower (er Willis Tower... whatever it is now.) I realize that habits are built over time, and that there will be missed days and slips and slides. So I am going to be tracking a LOT of things to start; but also not worrying about a set number of doing them each week. Active abilities: Exercise, broken into the following - strength, cardio, stretching, active recovery, other. Self Care abilities: Night time routine, consisting of the following - teeth brush, teeth floss, wash face, mud masks, 11pm lights out time. Creative abilities: Sketching, tablet art, art lessons, D&D prep, other. Food abilities: Tracking calories, or, on occasions I cannot - intuitive eat in place of tracking, planned indulgences. Some of these, I will start off with setting goals to do them so often because without that, I might get lazy. But we're also going to focus on flexibility. Move 5x a week, sure! Maybe I really want 3x to be strength but I end up with my hip nagging me, or a sinus infection that makes heavy lifting really unappealing and perhaps not the right choice for my body? Fine, but don't let good reasons turn into cheap excuses. I still get credit on 'moving' if I opt for stretching or yoga that day instead of the lift. Things like that... In August, I was doing really well with my pull up program, and I set a goal of being able to do Tom Holland diagonal walking pull ups... I will have to work hard to get back to that but I think I can still make it for the goal date of End Game's Anniversary. (April 26th) That's basically 4 months. If I lose the weight I've gained and get back into the strength routine, that should be plenty of time. I have everything plotted out in my new, bigger, better 8x10 Bullet Journal, so my check in's here will be either a snapped pic of the bujo, or a quick 'alls well' and some deets on anything that came up. Once we get through this first challenge, we'll see how things are lined up for #2.
  10. I am so completely unfocused, lazy, overwhelmed, and under-motivated. So I steal a fantastic quote from Critical Role Campaign 1. I can't think about this too hard, or else it will fail. I really should go through my life and either set better boundaries on my schedule, or, take this challenge and learn how to quit things. The worrisome part of that idea, is that there is 'quitting because it makes sense so I can focus on something else' and 'quitting because I've chickened out'. We only want the former. So. There is one rule to this December challenge. Every morning. Wake up. Write out the plan for the day in BuJo. [And any 'do this week' things too] And then do my best to stick to it. (Excepting reasonable flexibility and sense.) There are things I'd like to get back into better habit of, but if I say I must do them this many times, and I start to fall behind, I will be all the Moop. So we're just going to write them down as 'Think about these things' and if I also do them. Great! Parts of the Plan - Eat better. - Exercise consistently. (Stick to Strong Lifts, it'll work!) - Get back to art stuff. You like it! Keep at it, you will keep improving. - Make time for friends and family. - Invest in church stuff. That's it. Nice. Simple. Not overwhelming.
  11. Gather 'round ye young and old. Listen close as this story unfolds. I tell the tale of a party of four and the epic adventure that was in store. PRIDE is the name! Slaying is the game! There was a fiery barbarian, a fallen hexblade, a clerical modron and me, the horned bard - little did they know, this adventure would be hard. PRIDE is the name! Slaying is the game! Through dungeons they would explore and monsters they would battle, the journey ahead would be a difficult one traveled. PRIDE is the name! Slaying is the game! Would they succeed? This was a question they would find out later. Lest the group forget that their DM was Dark_Raider. PRIDE is the name! Slaying is the game! What he had in store was an ongoing story - as this oddball foursome sought friendship and glory. PRIDE is the name! Slaying is the game! If you would like to see how this story ends, then stick around as the fun just begins. PRIDE is the name! Slaying is the game! Welcome, welcome, welcome friends! I'm so glad you're here! A new challenge has begun and I'm excited to be back with the Rangers ! If you're behind on the times with what's going on in "Wolfie's World" then let me catch y'all up super quick: I'm working 2 jobs now...over 70 hours a week. I nap like it's going out of style. I workout like a cocaine addict. Aaaaaaand, I'm starting my very first D&D campaign with the wonderful and talented- @Raxie @Jarric and @Starpuck ! We are graciously being DM'd by the legendary @DarK_RaideR and I could NOT be more excited to start our story. If you would like to know more about the specific "party of adventurers", then please head on over to their respected challenges and check out all the cool stuff going on there! If you caught it up above, I am playing the bard. This is a class I didn't realize how much I identified with IRL and I'm honored to not only play a Bard, but a sexy, lute playing Tiefling Bard . Ok, so maybe not EXACTLY like that one, but you guys get the gist. I have horns, a tail and a love for music and stories! My charisma is my main stat and I'm not afraid to charm your pants off...literally! This challenge will center around my Tiefling Bard, Arkaryn (Are-Care-In) Riftripper. Race: Tiefling Age: 25 Height: 6’2 Weight: 190# Hair Color: Dark brown Eye Color: Violet Skin Color: Light Blue Class: Bard/College of Valor Background: Arkaryn “Ark” grew up in the village of Ruinspoke. His father, a bard himself, was entrusted as the lead musician of the Full Mugs, a tavern owned by a male dwarf named Temget, whom prided himself on his homebrewed beer. Ark grew up loving music and hearing the stories of many adventurers and their travels into the various ruins that surrounded Ruinspoke. He longed to adventure and make a name for himself when he came of age and set out on his own when he turned 18. Gifted in multiple instruments, Ark was prolific with the lute in particular. As a parting gift before he left, Ark’s father had given him his old lute, an ebony colored beauty with gold engravings. Along his journeys, Ark met a dragonborn named, Otivull, who was training with the Lance Defenders, and the two became best friends. Ark taught Otivull how to sing and play the lute while Otivull taught Ark how to fight. The two had many years adventuring together and earning coin before Otivull’s Lance Defender squadron was re-stationed and the two inseparable friends lost touch. Ark found himself back in Ruinspoke for a time being, playing at Full Mugs tavern with his aging father. The longing for adventure still held strong in the Tiefling’s heart and after a year, he set out again to make a name for himself. It was on his next adventure that Ark would meet Jyotika the Fire Genasi, Penemue the fallen Aasimar, and Cog the self-aware Modron. What happens next is a story still waiting to be told... This is how I see Arkaryn looking like (except he's light blue with violet colored eyes): Handsome, huh?? The rest of my challenge outside of my D&D campaign will involve two things: Steps & Reps. Goal 1: Steps Did you know that for every 2000 steps walked equals 1 mile? Well, since starting my second job at Costco, I've realized I've been taking a MASSIVE amount of steps. On average, I get about 12k steps in a day (if not more). Over the coarse of a 5-day work week, that's 60k steps, or around 30 miles walked a week. And that's NOT including anything extra on my days off. 30. Miles. A. Week. And that's on the low end. Yesterday I had 15,972. The day before was 15,182. That's 15, almost 16 miles walked JUST on the weekend. My goal is to track my steps daily and see how many miles I can cover over the coarse of this challenge. My goal is 175 miles walked over the next 5 weeks. That's 35 miles a week. I think I can achieve that goal. Bonus points for anything over 175 miles. Possible Points Earned: +4 STA, +1 DEX Goal 2: Reps This little workout thing I've been doing....I've got it down these days. I don't need to track my daily/weekly workouts. I do however want to track how much weight I'm moving per workout. I will do this by multiplying the amount of weight in each set including reps, multiplied by the total number of sets per exercise and then continue this process for each exercise in the workout. An example would be today's workout: 4 x 6-8 BB alternating reverse lunge 2 x 115# x 6 (each side) = 2760# 2 x 135# x 6 (each side) = 3240# 2 x 6 seconds leg lockout iso 4 x 6-8 DB lying triceps extension 1 x 30’s# x 8 = 480# 3 x 35’s# x 6 = 1260# 4 x 8 DB high pulls (40#’s) = 2560# 2 x 6 seconds cable high pull iso 3 x 12 Deadlift (125# x 12) = 4500# 3 x 10-12 DB bench press 1 x 40#’s x 12 = 960# 2 x 45#’s x 12 = 2160# 3 x 10-12 chin up grip lat pull down 1 x 100# x 12 = 1200# 2 x 115# x 12 = 2760# Drum roll... dibadibadibadibadibadibadibadibadibadibadibadiba... TOTAL WEIGHT MOVED = 21,880# !! Possible Points Earned: +3 STR, +2 DEX Goal 3: P.R.I.D.E aka Party of Ridiculously Interesting and Daring Explorers Dark_Raider coined the term: P.R.I.D.E in our discord last week and we all just loved the idea of it! With the unique group make-up we have, it's likened to popular titles such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad. I'm really excited about this whole thing and can't wait to learn the D&D ropes from some of the best! This goal ties into the D&D campaign. I want to: Have weekly updates on how the campaign is going, interesting facts and short story write-ups from Ark's POV if time permits. Ark's starting spell list: Cantrips- Vicious Mockery (you know this one's gonna be a lot of fun!) Minor Illusion Ray of Frost (due to my Levistus racial variant) Spells- Charm Person Sleep Healing Word Hideous Laughter Ark's Starting Stats: Strength- 8 Dexterity- 15 Constitution- 14 Intelligence- 10 Wisdom- 12 Charisma- 16 Possible Points Earned: +5 CHA (because, duh! Charisma is my most important stat! ) It's good to be back with the Rangers! Can I get a woot woot for my lute lute?! Wolf
  12. "And so we have come full circle. The road journeys ever on, yet we note such anniversaries with thought and reflection. Perhaps it is time for our ranger to take bold new steps; to push further past her known boundaries and find new futures. For that, we must embrace the mindset and discipline of the monks, and the chosen tradition for Starpuck, will be the Way of the Empty Hand..." It was the September challenge of last year that I took on the goal of 100% or bust. I gave myself a heck of a reward as incentive (D&D terrain tiles) and I managed to pull it off. Not only that, the consistency proved the best part of that arrangement! Four weeks of effort set into motion what would become 4 months of forward progress. I lost 20 lbs and several inches. I gained strength. I felt great! I was tracking my food so consistently that I only just broke my MFP streak of 320 days. (There were a handful of only half tracked days in that span, to be fair and honest.) And the best part? I only ever gained about 3lbs back over the next 8 months. I have hovered between 140-143 at worst, ever since. I maintained! WIthout rage, or tantrum, or frustration, or guilt, or feeling deprived. It also gave my body a nice long time to get used to things at that point. And now? Now we step back in to a little bit more focused work. Way of the Empty Hand Monks of this tradition are masters of doing more with less. They focus their minds and determination on what can be obtained with both hands free, rather than with grasping onto the equipment and goods that other adventurers might rely on. They learn that the hand must remain open and empty, in order for it to grasp what challenges lie ahead. (So it's a play on Open Hand... which is a D&D tradition that exists.) Here's how it equates to my Ranger challenge: 1. Empty the Hand that holds the iron. - I already work out and that doesn't need much help in maintaining. Maybe being a bit more focused would help... but the actual doing is getting done. So, lets start working on some actual programs, that are pre-built, that I can follow and gain some guided strength and mobility. I also want to add either yoga (have the NF yoga, so that makes the most sense) or maybe some Tai Chi to build some slow down / balance / strength / mobility into my body. 2. Empty the Hand of mindless food indulgences! - Food wise, I do the right thing 85% of the time. It's not straining me at this level, but I also know where I can tighten that up. Game nights. Namely, I tend to have a snack always in hand during game nights so I need to learn how to 'empty the hand' during the 2-3 sessions per week I play in. I think I might even indulge in a little side game of getting some 'monk hand wraps'. Every snack I eat at game night wraps around a digit of mine. The goal being to not end up with the whole hand wrapped! *Ok, that might need some work, but I think I can do something with this. I also want to tighten up a bit on my choices of food. More lean protein, more veggies. I'm pretty good at this, but if I can get to a point where I crave grapes as a sweet snack, instead of cookies, all the better. (That might not happen, and that's okay. But I'd like to just continue to add more wholesome foods to my palate.) 3. Empty the Hand of whim buys and indulgent purchases. - Spending. My car is paid off and I want to focus on savings now. I have an app that is appropriately called 'Spending Tracker'. I have had mixed success with this one. I am great at tracking fuel, groceries for work and dinner costs. But once I forget a meal out, or a whim buy of a new notebook for D&D (this happens more than I want it to), I tend to stop tracking those things. And THOSE things are what most need tracking. This will help me tighten up my spending, AND accurately see how much I spend per month on necessities versus desires. And THAT helps me see the bigger picture on what housing costs I can afford. 4. Empty the Mind of thoughts of Perfection. - Art stuff. Sooo I guess a pencil in hand doesn't fit the empty hand analogy. But I can get deep here and say that it also implies a Monk of this tradition must empty their minds of preconceived expectations on themselves based off of others. IE - stop being so upset over how good or bad you are at something, and just focus on continuing to learn and progress. This will tie in to the monk discipline side of things. That's what I'll be working on this go around. I am going to focus things down a bit more precisely as the day goes on. I'll be using my pre-written BuJo to set this all up and keep track of what is getting down on what days too. The goal is 90% - because it's a 5 week challenge. And that's going to give me some wiggle room without it being rage-inducing. Which, it hasn't been in a long time, but I would rather set an attainable goal and surpass it, then set a really unfeasible one and then give up after having to wiggle early on it. Along the way, I hope to bring my monk along for the ride over on @Jarric 's adventure! Hopefully he needs a monk in his group. And oh! The bonus goal we're reaching for here ... see, yesterday I met a Jester at the Ren Faire. I called out to her and said, "Jester, do you have any donuts?" And she comes over, and says, (in perfect Jester voice) "Wellll actually I do!" and pulls out a prop donut. Then a prop lollipop! She was so spot on ya'all. My friend, who has Jester as his fave, missed her, but we found her again later. I apologized for bothering her again, but said that my friend would really love a picture with her. She obliged. And then said, "Do you know about the Traveler?" and I answered, "Of course! We're going to Traveler Con... the one that might be at the volcano!" And she just right back and forth with the banter. Then she pulls out a hand made, color printed pamphlet on The Traveler, and hands it to us. I was so inspired by this little gem of a cosplayer, that I think I've decided to cosplay as Beau for my next con. And that's a super bold move for me, but I want to try it. *nodnod* This challenge will help me get there.
  13. A dungeon crawl is a type of scenario in fantasy role-playing games in which heroes navigate a labyrinthine environment, battling monsters, solving puzzles, evading traps, and looting any treasure they may find. I thought this an appropriate theme for this challenge because I often struggle in Sept/Oct as the sun vanishes, the days get shorter and the schedule gets busier. I have pinpointed my trouble areas, now it's just a matter of navigating them. And to quote one of the Twitter folks I follow: The goal of DnD is not to level up in order to overcome a challenge. Its to solve challenges in front of you with the tools you have in place. I will conquer this dungeon with the tools I have in place, and by doing so, gain experience and level up as a side effect! Goal 1: Battle Monsters In order to handle the monsters I will face in this dungeon, I need to be well trained. That said, too many battles in a row will leave an adventurer exhausted, so I need to plan smart. Lift 2-3x / week Move 2-3x / week With hockey starting, I will not have a static schedule. I would love to get into 3 lift days a week, but it's really hard to juggle when I might end up with 2-3 hockey nights on one weekend. (Not likely, but could happen.) I also know that getting to the gym for a lift session on the weekends fails 80% of the time, so I cannot count on it. Therefore, the strategy on this monster is this. Non hockey Friday = Lifting on MWF If hockey on Friday, then lift TTH. Bike, run or dance on the days that do not include lifting. Goal 2: Solving Puzzles The biggest puzzle in this dungeon is to figure out how to stay consistent so I can lower my BF% some. This means tracking calories, and playing with the numbers - even when the data I collect doesn't immediately shout out the answer to the problem. Sometimes you get info from several chambers before you get the answer to the riddle. Track calories daily, even if they are grossly over. 7x/ week Cook at friends house for two meals there a week. 2x/ week Goal 3: Evading Traps This is about evading the weakend trap! The subgoals here may change from week to week as I find out what works best, but here is the starting plan. Avoid the honeybadger polymorph trap on game nights. 2-3x/week -- Above accomplished by the following. 1) Have sandwich makings and healthy snacks at Q's house for game nights. 2) Plan meals by Wed, so I know what I am eating, at what time on Sat/Sun. 3) Allow and plan for, one 'fun' meal per week. Limit fast food Iced Coffee's to 2x/week. Goal 4: Document the Journey for the Archives This is added in to account for the art goals and habits, as well learning to juggle the various commitments I've set up for myself. Sketch daily. 7x/ week Practice on tablet. 4x/ week Art lesson. 1x/ week D&D Prep. As needed, but at least 2x/ week Church Group. 1x/ week (Mondays.) Additional goals, that I don't want to make weekly due to stress inducement! Keep at the nightly teeth routine. Get the budget sorted, for real. Use Good Budget - limit money spent, track where it goes. Weekly plan out the weeks events, schedule and plans for food so it is not tossed aside due to 'last-minute-itis'.
  14. STARPUCK JOINS UA ACADEMY This anime is full of wisdom and motivation in all the right areas for me. It's also been a while since I plotted out a challenge where the goals are meshed into a theme, and I am feeling like this could give me an extra boost in getting back into the routine of it. A recurring theme for me (came up in the anime's I've watched, and now our church sermons too) is Endure. If I were to take a moment to be completely honest with myself -in an eye opening, epiphany kind of way- I've been kind of a quitter lately. And by lately, I mean the last couple years. So here are some quotes that I am going to be embracing, and building upon through this challenge. Midoriya once said, "I'll have to work harder than anyone else to make it. I'll never catch up otherwise!" He has to work harder to do things that come easy for other students. This hits so close to home for me because I have often said that I need to work so much harder to be fit/not overweight/healthy, etc than 'the normal person'. I watch my hockey teammates chug beers and Doritos after games and not gain a pound, whereas I can gain an inch from just smelling a pizza. It might in fact be harder for me. The options remain the same: do it anyway, or give up. Which leads to the next quote, by my all time favorite character. I want to become healthy, strong and fit. I want to do active things my whole life. I want to be a bad ass chick! Well then - I need to stand up and remember that, and push forward and never give up. This is a hard one to admit. I am the ultimate planner -/ dreamer -- but I fail at being a doer. My dreams end midway because I go through all the trouble of dreaming them up, but leave them on the shelf as 'dreams' rather than goals that I am working to. This is usually because I end up being too afraid to pursue stuff. Fear is a problem that needs facing and as All Might has said, "I smile to show the pressure of heroes and to trick the fear inside of me." So this first post I suppose is mostly just me sorting out my feelings on the challenge and what I need to tackle. Unfortunately, a lot of the things in THIS post aren't very quantifiable, so the next post is going be specifically about what I feel I need to do, to train myself, and to keep going without giving up, and yet still do this in a way that is sustainable for the long haul. (This one ties right in to the single most profound comment I heard in yesterday's sermon: God's best for us, comes through our times of moving through fear.)
  15. Regular Gnoll, Regular Gnoll! Hello all! Welcome to my NEIN Challenge! Which, of course means no challenge. And is a great reference to the new campaign for Critical Role, which I love. Totes <3s. Anyway. It's zero week now, making next week Week 1, but I will be in sunny California starting on the 21st and for a whole week. Those of you who know me, or are somehow my twin (Hi @karinajean!) will understand that starting a brand new challenge without the chance to focus on the new lovely goals you set up, makes for a MEEEEEHXPERIENCE! So I am not challenging this time. Just a sort of battle log-esque thing, in the forums for challenges, to remind me to not lose track completely. This week, I will focus on getting some lifts and exercise in before I begin traveling. 3 Lifts ☑ ☐ ☐ 2 Moves ☐ ☐ I will eat healthfully, with the food I have here, so I do not spend money before the trip. I will not eat snacks (salty or sweet) unless I am feeling a little hungry. Food is for filling and tasting, not just for tasting because yum. Breakfast at work will be the last couple eggs and the oatmeal I already bought weeks ago. Lunches at work will be Tuna Melts because I had English Muffins left over from last week's shopping. Snacks of apples and yogurts as per usual. Dinners at home Mon Wed and Fri. Tuesday dinner is either those rice shrimp bowls or Chipotle (bowl, no rice) if our friend wants to go out before our trip. Thursday is local taco place because it is SO much better than crappy Chipotle. Snacks at gamer house will be a single healthful sweet + skim or almond milk. A single serving of popcorn if I get real noshy. I will aim to get 3 days of art on the tablet in before I go on my trip. ☐ ☐ ☐ I will aim for 1-2 sketch days IF able to do so without incurring other stress for trip needs. ☐ ☐ Vacation Readiness Checklist Print directions out. ☑ Print receipts and confirmations. ☑ Write contact list out for my sister. ☐ Write emergency contact list for me. ☐ Write up To Pack List. ☐ Check camera and pack components. ☐ Find Atlas! ☐ Flight Info for our Drivers. ☐ Where am I going you say? Death Valley National Park for 3 days, then shifting south to Joshua Tree for 3 days, back up to Vegas to hit Red Rock Canyon or maybe kayak Lake Mead and then home! If nice weather will not come to me, then by the Travelers Knickers, I will go to it! Getting really excited too! And as of right now, not anxious/nervous at all!
  16. "Almost all of the common people and other folk that one might encounter along the Sword Coast or in the North have one thing in common: they live out their lives without ever traveling more than a few miles from where they were born. You aren't one of those folk. You are from a distant place, one so remote that few of the common folk in the North realize that it exists, and chances are good that even if some people you meet have heard of your homeland, they know merely the name and perhaps a few outrageous stories." Starpuck Prepares for Traveling and Does Good Things Well! And apparently creates a title that will make grammar hounds twitch and Zoolander proud, lol! Keeping it super simple this time around folks. I may be recovering from a mild concussion brought on by one heck of a collision in my last hockey game. The professionals that checked me out weren't overly concerned but said to err on the side of a positive diagnosis and give my brain some chill time. I'm also a few weeks away from my first vacation of the year and would like to get myself prepared for that. Since walking is still on the allowed chart, and since I need to avoid the more strenuous activities and sports for a few weeks, I will tailor this challenge to doing what I can with what I've got. That is going to look like this: Eating of the Foods Continue to read and follow Intuitive Eating. This is not an easily tracked goal, so for the sake of accountability, I am going with a sort of negative points system. I will tally up points whenever I eat past my hunger, by as many points as I feel I've passed a good spot on the hunger scale. Ate just a bit past full because of reasons, that's a point. Go absolutely ape poop on food, that's three points. Cook things at home, eat tasty stuff that does good things to the body. I've slacked on the cooking of things due to timing, schedules and a feeling of being burnt out. Now that I am having more 'down' time to recover, it allows me the chance to expand on this area of exploration. Walking the Path Walk. Outside, inside, whatever- but do it daily. This is going to be hard because if it's at all cold, or cloudy or meh, I tend to not want to walk. The weather SHOULD be starting to break here in Chicagoville, so the goal is to get 20 minutes of consecutive walking a day for right now. Adjust as able. Cultures of Other Lands Art. Keep up the art habit. I've been on a better upswing of art. So keep at it. Get at least four days in a week, sketching and tablet time. D&D stuff. Keep slowly organizing the D&D notes onto Google Docs. Engage in prep work and creative minded projects for it, but don't obsess. Journal in the BuJo I do better when I keep up with my Bujo. The key to this is having the next week set up by the Sat/Sun prior, and making sure I think to open it during the weekend. Odds and Ends Set new budget and freaking stick to it. Plan out the trip details for vacation. Make plans with besties. Clean Closet? *wince* Create weekly time sheet. That's it folks! Simple and stress free. Keeping the focus on doing what I can, and doing it well.
  17. AND DEADLIFTS!!! A new challenge is upon us, and I have decided to not go so crazy on themes and stuff this time around. Ok, I lie a little... there's still gonna be lots of D&D talk, and references to Critical Role, and general badassery that's often inspired by games and stuff, and of course gifs! Something I have struggled with since- ...forever, is consistency. And for serious, just tonight, it dawned on me; "Starpuck... you can't have an epic character, if you keep changing campaigns. You'll just keep hitting level 5 and then starting over." So this challenge is going to be about grinding out some starter mobs and figuring out which quests are worth digging in on, and which ones are are pulling me away from the end boss. Goal #1 - Nom like Nott "I find the pitcher of cucumber water, I dump it on the floor, and I eat all the cucumbers." ~Nott Goal: 5 servings of produce per day, every day. I'm going to be delving into Intuitive Eating this challenge, but something I want to work on is getting my produce in. I've improved HUGELY over the past few years, but I'd like to really get a solid habit of reaching for fruits and veggies first. I'm fond of veggies, but I haven't found too much I like in the way of fruit. Suggestions will be welcome! Goal #2 - Train for Adventure "I'm a Ranger; we don't min-max, we just kick ass." ~Starpuck Goal: 5 workouts per week; aiming for 3 lifts. Strength training is important for a bunch of reasons, but also because I think it really gives me a boost of confidence. I'd like to focus my workout efforts on the lifts, but if a schedule comes up that it makes sense to have only 2 lifts, but 3 other workouts I'm gonna just roll with it. Goal #3 - Hone skills, keep the mind sharp. Goal: Plot time for artwork (4x/week) and D&D prep (2-4 hours/week). I would like to take my art hobby to the next level. That means I need to keep the practice up weekly, as well as push myself out of my comfort zone. I'll be looking for books or tutorials, and possibly, look into purchasing a more "grown up" program. Art 4x a week needs to be maintained. Sketching practice counts. D&D work I'd like to put in 2 hours on off weeks, and probably by necessity a bit more on weeks I have a game to run. Goal #4 - Study my Spellbooks Goal: Read through Intuitive Eating Because, let's be honest guys... 2+ years of counting calories isn't actually getting me anywhere. Is it too much, too little, the wrong kinds? Who knows! Clearly, ancient mankind did not need such formulas, so the body must know how to do this on its own. If nothing else, I am confident the book will help me address where my poor connections to food are, and give me insight into fixing that. I am going to try to read 15-30 minutes before bed on weekdays, and see if that also doubles up and helps me sleep better. That's it. Keeping it simple and not too crazy. These are all things I've been mostly doing. But this time it's about doing them with consistency and conviction. So, let's get rolling!
  18. STARPUCK STARTS A BRAND NEW ADVENTURE Sometimes it's just really motivating to start a brand new character. To have a fresh new character sheet, and shiny new pencils and new dice to get you rolling. I had originally started this thread out with comments about how my last year had gone, and how it had finished up, but then I stopped and said, "Wait... that doesn't matter now. What matters are the choices I make going forward and the effort I put in today and tomorrow and then tomorrow's tomorrow and so on." So just like you might learn a new thing about your favored class or character archetype every time you roll up a new one, I will take what I've learned playing through this game previously, and become even better at it this year! Declarations and overall goals listed behind spoiler. Food must be a focus, as it is probably my weakest point. The old adage of you can't outrun your fork is so true; and while I do active things - their purpose must no longer be 'to lose weight'. I do those things because of the other awesome benefits they provide. I also know what I can do to help make the food a smaller obstacle, but it takes planning ahead, and some substitution. In the words of our beloved Pike... Easy days/meals: Mon-Fri breakfasts and lunches at work. No problem. Moderately challenging meals/times: Homecooked meals on M/W. I can't control the ingredients/prep. T after dinner snacks while gaming. Dangerously challenging times: Th / Su gaming nights, weekends, especially ones with hockey games. Other Challenges: No room in the fridge for anything that would be 'mine' creates issues in keeping good options on hand. Solutions - Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead. - Research and prepare healthier snack options. - Cook on Sundays, for dinners on Tue and Thur. Plan of Attack / Food Adventurers only carry so many rations, so track what you are carrying! (eating). - I am going to track calories loosely, not because I am aiming for a certain point (I am) but because if I focus only entirely on good foods, and try to be mindful of portions, I sometimes end up eating far too little! You have to know what your doing in order to make any future adjustments, but the calories are being watched in order to fuel ENOUGH - as opposed to eating LESS AND LESS to lose weight. Heroes Feasts are only for those big moments. - Sometimes you do need to go all out on feasting, but it's not every day, and not for every potential battle you might get into. Enjoy the feasts when it is appropriate, but otherwise save that gem-encrusted bowl worth at least 1,000 gp. Basically, allow indulgences when it is appropriate. Eating out with friends is NOT an indulgence moment, that's a routine thing that happens, so eat like a normal adventurer on those days. Plan of Attack / Exercise Adventurers are almost always on the move. - Either walking from one town to the next, or delving into a dungeon or worse, they're no slouches. I need to keep up the daily activity. I work in a small office, but I am going to slowly try to build up and see what is a feasible number of steps per hour. Well, without looking like a bear pacing in its enclosure at the zoo. That gets weird. Strength training to keep me strong, and sweat-inducing movement so that I am able to flee without passing out when the odds are not in my favor. Not everyone starts off as a real adventurer... - Confession time. I'm not sure how much I actually enjoy the act of -doing- exercise. Sure, I am always pleased with the results; and my mood is often better after having done it than if I hadn't. But it's hard to be motivated for rewards that aren't promised after every mission. So, I take a page out of Taryon Darrington's book. Fake it till I make it. He was a total poser when he met up with Vox Machina, but by the end of his time with them, he was an official member, and not just a real adventurer, but a proper hero too! So I need to go along with the motion, until it becomes something that I truly seek out time and time again. Plan of Attack / Other Stuff "Yes! The PLAN!" Art and D&D work and budget stuff. I have taken a break with art, but am anxious to get back to it. Must remember to be patient with myself, and to start focusing on learning some actual techniques and perhaps how to better use my program. D&D prep comes into this category now, because I am really enjoying being a DM and it does require creative thinking and story writing. So, I'd like to put about 5-6 hours in a week of "creativity". The budget is going to be simple: Figure out where I can save money, how much I can save, and save it. Stay strict with my allowances for eating out or buying snacks for gaming (which will also help the food goal) and don't get willy nilly with the money. I am going to keep a notepad or digital note on hand, and every time I get the urge I want or need something, I will write it down. At the end of each week, I'll re-evaluate my need or desire for it. Some things might be legit needs like: Man this toothpaste tastes so bad it makes me not want to brush my teeth, I need a new tube. Other things might be, "I could really use dry erase markers for my DM'ing, but do I NEEEED them right now." I'd like to put another $5000 into my savings account toward Puck's Manor. I also want to go on a couple of vacations because travel is important to my soul. So I need to figure out a budget that does both. Oookaaay, well this got longer than I had meant for it to! Let's break it down into simple terms. Track my Rations Daily (Total Lots) [MFP] Prepare for questing every Sunday. (Total 5) [Cook on Sundays] Limit Heroes Feast (Total 2) [Two or less indulgences] Chase dire wolves for sport. (Total 12) [Get my sweat on, run, dance, hockey] Train like Grog. (Total 10) [Strength Training] Brainstorm, plot, create. (Total 24) [Art, D&D, Reading, etc.]
  19. Welcome to the Rowdy Raven! Pull up a chair, hear a tale or two... or maybe snag a bit of juicy gossip. If you're looking for a good meal or a stout ale, you're in the right place. If it's riches, fame or glory you're after, well in that case... There's a fella upstairs; black cloak, thick beard and eyes that can pierce steel. He might have a task or two for ya -if you've got the skill to handle it. Years ago, a friend once told me: Stop just admiring all these awesome women characters you get so into, and be one for yourself. As I am still riding quite high on the RPG/D&D creativity wave, I thought; what better way to do that, than to create my own real world adventure to go on. Here's the next catch though... what is a tabletop adventure without a party? So I am throwing out my Looking for Group /yell and offering this. Having a hard time with challenges lately? Know that you want to keep up on NF, but updating your own thread is being a bear? Need a little extra motivation to remember to log in and poke about? Then come to the Rowdy Raven and meet up with a few other young adventurers that want to change the world- starting with themselves! I will be putting together an adventure to help motivate myself into becoming the hero I so often admire in my games, books, movies, and anime. Using real world goals to theme a fantasy narrative! I've no idea how well this will come together, but I am excited to venture out and become! "The table upstairs huh? Alright... well, I guess I should go see this man... Right. Ok. Going now..." "and... ok, going now!" "For real this time, I am heading up to talk to the man!!"
  20. Posted April 12, 2013 Jammer: "I'm not really cut out for this, sir." Apollo: "Me neither. Sometimes you gotta roll the hard six." Jammer: "What does that mean, sir?" Apollo: "I don't know. It's something my dad says. Just don't shoot until I tell you to." BSG - Season 2, Episode 2 Pretty fitting title and saying for my 2nd 38th challenge. My first last challenge I approached sort of half-assed, quarter-assed so now I gotta RE roll the Hard 6. (See, I just mixed gaming with BSG.) Fitness Goals Strength Train: 3X / WEEK Sweat!!! 3X / WEEK Eating Healthy No honeybadger moments. Life Goal Budget Related: Keep track of ALL purchases in BuJo. Collect data, find trends. The above goals were what I did on my second challenge back in April 2013. Guess what weight I was when I started? Yup. Same as I am today. I guess in one sense, keeping within the same 5-8lb spread for 4 years isn't so bad in the long wrong, right? Anyway. By the end of that challenge? These were the results. So, I am going to go back to the beginning. While I am not currently doing C25K, or plan to, I will still utilize the 3x a week SWEAT as motivation. Also- those 'strength' days were largely play ground workouts, that lasted no more than 45m. I have a gym in my warehouse now- rings, pull up bars, and weights. I am set up for success on that front. The food? I opted for not tracking calories and just eating cleaner. I likely UNDER nourished that first time around, but I am smarter now, more experienced. My TDEE has not changed over the last four years. When I am strength active I burn about 2200 a day, when I run or bike, it hits about 2400, and when I hockey I can tip to 3000. I can easily adjust my intake based on those well established averages. I have a vacation starting on the 18th, and then a very crazy ten days. I will make the best choices I can, given the surroundings I am in. I will not stress and nitpick over every calorie into my mouth because that makes me macroniacal. Hockey season is starting up too, so that will also help. And, a big difference between then and now? My gif game is a lot stronger! ROLL A HARD 6 YOU SAY?
  21. During the war between elves and dragons, the matriarch of House Vol sought to make peace between the two races by combining the blood of both. The result was her daughter Erandis Vol, whose father was a green dragon. House Vol achieved its objective of peace though at their own bloodline's expense as the dragons and elves allied with one another under the goal of killing Erandis Vol, the entire Vol bloodline, and the mark of death. Eventually every member of the House of Vol was destroyed along with Erandis, but the other Elven houses that had aligned themselves with House Vol were spared the same fate and were instead cast out of Aerenal. These banished elves kept their faith and spread the religion to Khorvaire. Week 1 of this challenge begins immediately after my push/pull meet and, as is fairly typical when peaking for PL, I'm dying for more volume and conditioning. Once the meet is out of the way, I'll go back to 531, but with the following volume-happy tweaks: Including BBB again - For time's sake and to ensure I keep the weight at a higher 75-85%, I'll be sticking with the 5x5 version, and starting back at 75% this month with DL and squat BBB sets performed on the opposite day so as to work heavy DL and squat twice a week. Bench days just be benchy. Including deload weeks again - My work capacity at +80% suffered without these over the past few months so the four weeks working sets will look like 1) none (just BBB); 2) 3x5 85%; 3) 3x3 90% 4) 1xAMRAP 95% Circuit Conditioning as last priority - between the high volume/light weight bodyweight work and front squats, I like these and my hips like these and my erector spinea like these and my shoulders like these and my heart like these. I'm not dropping them, not for love or money, but I'm moving them to last place in the priority list. They've been supplanting heavier volume work and that's not been good for my <10 rep endurance. A good training session will have time for 2-3 cycles of high rep work, but as the finishing touch, not so much the main focus. I'm not a xfit whoreface like @Br0din. Outside of the gym, I'm going to spend August focusing on puppy training, smoking, meditating, and writing.
  22. "I look toward the goal, the destination of what began my journey here. It's often clouded; a fuzzy, intangible thing that I strive for... ever changing and always, seemingly, out of reach. I stopped to think about this today and realized that my constant focus on the pinnacle has distracted me from seeing just how far I've climbed. For over three years I have been championing a better lifestyle than I have in any of the years leading up to that point. It has not always been leaps and strides, but even the slips have been recovered, over and over again, for all this time. I will keep going! I am NOT going to stop. So I may not know what mountain peak I am even aiming for right now... but I do know I want to reach higher today than I did yesterday. Maybe... just maybe, I need to get to the top of this mountain, to see past the clouds at what my next target is!" It's no mystery I love anime, and one of my favorite archetypes is the hero that has to struggle past his own demons. I love watching them battle their own flaws and weaknesses, and slowly overcome everything with their never give up attitude. It inspires me so much! A friend once told me, 'Stop just looking up to these heroes and BECOME one.' And so, going forward, I am going to be facing my demons and faults with glaring openness and striving toward bold actions against them. I'm going to need the support of my teammates on this, because my determination falters when things don't go according to plan. TRAINING GOALS What I want: Invisible Stair Pull Ups How do I get it: Strength work! Summer means lots of hockey, outdoor desires and bike riding. I will also be taking a vacation with my bike this year, that includes biking the roads of Theodore Roosevelt N.P. I need to be in good biking shape for that. That means other things are going to shift off the board. Namely, running. Between bike riding and hockey, I have enough on the cardio list. I can take walks if I want, but JUST WALKS. Not even weighted walks. Plan: Be active 6 days a week, any combination, but, no less than 2 days of strength training! Pull Ups will not improve if approached halfheartedly. Challenge Length, 4 weeks || Activity 24 || Strength Specific 8-12 || NOURISHMENT GOALS What I want: To be in general good health. How do I get it: Choosing natural foods, and eating enough of it to fuel my lifestyle. I was doing really well with eating to appropriate caloric targets during the first two weeks of the last challenge. (Which meant eating way more than I typically had.) For the first time in 9 months, I dipped below the 150 mark!! When I got sick, all activity halted, and so I stopped tracking and just ate my usual stuff, but cut down portions or some of the extra snacks. I have, surprisingly, stayed below that 150 target despite the shift in everything. I want to maintain this better approach on food. Plan: Two options. 1 - Track food, aim for TDEE -15% on workout days, -25% on rest days and try to get at least 130g protein per day. 2 - Don't track food, choose cleaner, less processed items, eat until satisfied. Pros of 1, I will know if I am eating enough and I can target specific macros. Cons of 1, Ugh, not tracking has been sooo nice. Pros of 2, Less stress could equal more progress. Cons of 2, I could end up eating far LESS than I should be and screw up my already tortured metabolism. Haven't figured out which way to go on this yet. CREATIVITY GOALS What I want: Shadow clones, so I can do all these wonderful things without letting one or another falter! Ok, seriously though. My art. I am so proud of how far I've come, and how long I've stuck to it. It can only get better from here, even if right now I feel like it's slipping. I want to get better at art, because I really enjoy bringing characters to life visually. How do I get it: Stop coasting. Take the time to invest in things that will teach me actual techniques; get books, take online lessons, visit how-to sites and go through tutorials on the programs I have. What else do I want: D&D Work: I've taken on the mantle of DM'ing and I am loving it. There is so much more I can do and learn to become a better DM, so time to put the work in. How do I get that?: For starters, stop being a vehement anti-reader. Read the PHB and DMG. Just do it. A few pages a day and it will be no time before I've at least read through the whole thing. Spend some time each week prepping for your game so that it doesn't feel overwhelming right before game day. Plan: Continue to work on art endeavors, aiming for 4 days a week, 1 of which should be some kind of tutorial or lesson. || Prep for my D&D game at least 2 hours per week, begin reading the books in full, aiming for 5 pages a day. **Can adjust to accommodate weight of plates and intensity of spinning. Challenge Length, 4 weeks || Art 16 days; 4 Lessons/Tutorials || D&D Prep 18 hours; 150 pages read. || MENTAL GOALS What I want: To conquer my fears! How do I get it: By facing choices, making decisions, and sticking to them. Guys- I am thinking, again, about trying to move out. This whole thing terrifies me because of what it involves, what it means, and what could happen as a result of it. I will get into it more as the challenge progresses, but this will be the BIGGEST decision in my life thus far and it is terrifying!! I am terrified by decisions because I am a 'smooth pond' type person. I don't like ripples, I like things nice and calm and routine and happy. I don't like to shake the boat, even if that shaking comes from raising a sail to chase some dream or opportunity. I'm not sure, but I think that maybe, making decisions and learning how to be courageous, comes from ... making decisions and seeing that life goes on whether they were good or bad or in between. So. I need to challenge myself to try things. Regardless of whether or not I pull the rip cord on this jump, I need to start getting my bigger finances in order. I waste a lot of money right now because I can. I rent a room in my sister's house, so the monthly rent is dirt cheap. That allows me extra money to spend on crap just about whenever I want. I am not STUPID with money, I am just in a place where I don't have to think about it. Plan: Make a budget. Stick to the budget. Write down things I want and hold off a week before buying anything that is not a necessity. If after a week I still want it, see if I have saved enough allowance money for it. Practice 'fake mortgage' payment into savings account. So, there's a lot going on, but not a lot of very trackable goals here. There's a storm coming and I am terrified the power is going to fail before I post this and I'll lose all this work, so I will tidy up the thread later! Let me end this with some inspiration from two of my favorite guys! Edit, Monday 7/3 -- Forget that 5 week plan... I can't even tell what day it is right now!
  23. How Do You Want to do This? One of the greatest things about roleplaying games, is that the end goal can be accomplished in a variety of ways. More so, the true joy of the game, comes not from the just succeeding in meeting that goal, but in the journey and adventure along the way. As I've spent the last year struggling and fussing and fighting with frustration, and not knowing what's working or not working, I've become so focused on the final result (or lack thereof) that I've forgotten to focus on and enjoy the path that leads me there. So, we're going to be largely focused on mindset this go around. A successful adventurer needs to be capable of traveling - a lot of traveling - and they also need to be hardy enough to carry the gear necessary for a variety of quests. Along with that, they need to be strong of mind, and have a good support team in their party. They must be clever, and hone their skills so that they bring their own unique talents to the party! So, with that said, here are the goals for Starpuck, and ... how she wants to do this. Goal #1 An adventurer must be combat ready! Training Tasks: Running, Walking, Lifting, Hockey, Boxing This goal is going to be simplified to allow for variety, flexibility and most importantly, the ability to enjoy nice weather whenever it makes an appearance! Activity, 6x Weekly - If my heart rate goes over 100, or I sweat, or get out of breath in any fashion, it's activity! Goal #2 An adventurer must hone their skills! Training Tasks: Art, BuJo, D&D prep work, Cosplay This goal is going to be more focused as I need to make sure I don't let anything slip or fade too much, in lieu of other things I also want to do. Art, 4x Weekly - Can be software, sketches, or doodles. D&D Prep, 1x Weekly - (or as needed) BuJo, Daily - Use the BuJo to keep myself sane with tracking and things on the to do list. Cosplay - Acen is coming up in a month, I'd like to put together something simple (Baccano / DRRR maybe.) Goal #3 An adventurer must be confident! Training Tasks: Shared affirmations, action pics, self care, mindset training. This goal is going to be sort of nebulous in nature. This is about changing how I think, and how I see myself. There will be a few things I mark as 'must do' each week, but it's largely going to be about seeing myself as GOOD the way I am NOW. Affirmations, written, Daily - Keep this up, Write MOAR nice things. Night Routine, Daily - I am hard on my body, and I should give it some better daily care. (wash face before bed, lotions, floss more <.<, etc.) Action Pic, 1x Weekly - Share one pic with my party members, of me being active, or bold, or confident, and OWN IT. Random Quests and Tasks - Get Acen Cosplay sorted out, plan the weekend. - Plan a long weekend bike ride with friends. - Clean up home computer files. - Participate in Ranger mini. - Start planning big August trip. - Work on Jedi uniform. - Find Con to take brother/nephew to this year. And with that ... I think we're good to get this going. I'm pretty excited about this challenge- at least right now I am, though I'm also a little wigged out that it's so loosey goosey in a lot of ways. I left out any of my food goals, and I am not sure if I will be adding them in, or just tracking/planning without having it as a goal. So there may be an adjustment coming. But for now...
  24. Ryuu1011 plays D&D 400/400hp Inventory: 0 Healing Potions (+50hp), 0g 0s Gold and Silver (Dollars and Cents), 0 Mana This challenge will be a direct continuation of my last challenge in both layout and for most of my goals. I have big obstacle course race coming up at the very end of this challenge on May 20, 2017 and since its called the Dragon OCR I figured there isn't a better time to do a D&D themed challenge. Goal 1: Train my Body for Adventure Continuing to use my Gymnastic Bodies Foundations classes as I continue to build strength, flexibility, balance, and movement. Using the money that I earned durring my last challenge I purchased GB's movement series and will be incorporating it into my weekly workout not too. Since my writs and elbows were getting a little sore by the end of the last challenge I've decided to scale down my handstand work for this challenge and have decided to double up on the movement classes to replace it. GB Foundations (UB, LB, C) x3 per Week ___/ 3 = ___/12 Stretch Series (FS, MS, TB) x3 per Week ___/3 = ___/12 Handstand Series x1 per Week ___/1 = ___/4 Movement Series x2 per Week ___/2 = ___/8 Workout Schedule- Mon- Walk, Upper body Tues- Movement, Middle Split Wed- Lower Body, Front Split Th- Thoracic Bridge, Handstand Fri- Movement, Core Sat-Rest, Play, or Run/Walk Sun-Rest, Play, or Run/Walk Training Mishap: -10hp, Failed to do a set workout on the set day, that was not pre-planned Battle Wounds: -25hp, any workouts left uncompleted at the end of the week Goal 2: Craft Health Potions to Survive Since I've been dieting for so long for the rest week and the 1st week of the challenge I will be eating at "maintenance" for 160lbs ~2300 calories then for the last three weeks I will start back on my deficit of ~1700 calories to ideally be at about 158 by the end of the challenge. Record my Nutrition in MFP x 7 per week ____/7 = ___/28 Be within +/- 200 cal of 1700 (+ exercise cals) x6 per week ___/6 = ___/24 Starting Metrics (4/13/2017): 159.8lbs, 14.7%bf Waist: 31.75" Hips: 32.75" Craft Healing Potion: +50hp 6 days at +/- 200 cals of my goal Cure Light Wounds Spell: +10hp Chose the healthy option Scratched by a Goblin: -10hp Bad Choice Gashed by a Skeleton: -25hp Bad Meal Smacked by a Troll: -100hp Bad Day Goal 3: Mend my Wounds This goal is all about rehab and prehab to help with my long term health and wellness, especially for my feet and my sleep. The last time I made a sleep goal it was really tough on my relationship with my GF so hopefully it willn't be as bad this time around. Walk 2x per week ~30 min 1+ mile __/2 = ___/8 Ice Roll my feet 2x per week __/2 = ___/8 Get into bed by 10:30 5x per week ___/5 = ___/ 20 Attacked by Bandits: -25hp per any walks or ice rolls left uncompleted at the end of the week Fatigue: -10hp per day over 2 stayed up past 10:30 Fancy Room at the Inn: +5hp per day going to bed by 10:00pm Goal 4: Record my Adventures & Help others on their Quests I account this goal for one of the reasons that I did so well in the last challenge so I would be silly of me to not include it again in this challenge. Check in here 5x per Week ___/5 = ___/20 Touch base on at least 1 other person’s thread 5x per week ____/5 = ___/20 Consumed by Battle: -10hp per day missed on my log or others. Detailed Notes: +10hp per day over 5 Monsters to Kill To weaken the dragon before the fight I must first take down some of his massive evil army. These are some other daily habits and tasks that I would like to continue to do over the course of the challenge, as I complete them I will earn gold and silver (dollars and cents) towards fun fitness related purchases, and mana towards video game time.
  25. Episode IV: A New Hope Role This isn't Star Wars?? I have this thing that I call floon. I learned the term during my MUSH'ing days. (Online, text based, story heavy rp games.) It basically refers to this intangible thing that doesn't just support your current interests, but seems to elevate them to near all encompassing levels. My floon (blame Ranger brain here) shifts from time to time, and as one thing quietly fades to a lower level on my floon radar, something else will skyrocket to unimaginable levels. And so as I have started stepping away from SW things (rest assured, I shall always be a Jedi, but I think that guild burnt me out a bit), I have found a new inspiration that has jolted floon levels with a sharp swing back into Fantasy things. Goal #1 - Be Combat Ready! 1A. Strong like Grog! 1B. Move like Vex! 1C. Center like Keyleth Grog may only have an Int of 6, but as Vax once said to him, "Grog, know your strengths. It is your strength." Sometimes the party needs to rely on the strength of the heavy to get through the encounter- and sometimes the heavy drops in the first round! I need to be strong enough to shoulder through even when my Grog does down. Vex is a Ranger, so she spends a lot of time on the move; exploring the woods, hanging out with her bear Trinket, doing those sort of ranger things we all know so well. As a druid, Keyleth is quite capable of fighting, but she also knows when she must be centered and focused on the calm. Reflection and rest are just as important as everything else. Stronglifts 3x / Week **Trust the program. **No quitting until after week 12. Yeah. We're going all in here. Run, walk, move 2x / Week **Runs, walks and hockey count as move. I'll be back to skating 2x a week soon. No reason for it NOT to count. Active Rest 1-2x / Week **In short, don't be a slouch. Yoga, light walks of 20m, stretching, ... basically, make sure I do not have a day where I sit gaming the entire time. Even if it's just a 20 minute walk or yoga video. Do something that moves the body. These three areas will account for the physical activity side of the challenge. It's not overzealous, it focuses on the thing that requires the most attention (Stronglifts needing 3x to follow program correctly) and allows a lot of wiggle room and variety on the remaining points. Goal #2 - GM's Gotta Number! In order to run a good game, you have to know the system, and you gotta be ready to crunch numbers. This is what I need to do with my activity and food. Need to know what I am eating and fueling with, and the numbers on what's going in and out. I won't know if I've hit the enemies AC, unless I've added up all my to hit bonuses! Food Tracking M-F 100% 5x/week ** My M-F have been very good for a while. Keep at this. Including the new habit of taking left overs to Thursday D&D night so I don't tank on eating out mid week. ** Saturday and Sunday's have been historically... well, akin to a full party wipe. Has to stop. Now, weekends almost ALWAYS include a meal out with family or friends, so we're going AMTAP on this. (As many tracks as possible) Saturday/Sunday Variances 2 MEALS/week ** In order to not be so strict that I hate myself and throw an ancient dragon at the party... two meals per week can go untracked. NOT 2 days... 2 meals. ** The rest of Sat/Sun must be tracked! So food stuff here. Pretty simple and straight forward. Will also be trying to incorporate more veggies per day on this and I'll add that as a side collection quest sort of thing. Goal #3 - Bard's do it all! Bard's get the jack of all trades tag in D&D. A little of this, a little of that... what they have in spades though, is creativity. Ok, and charisma. And probably a good chunk of all sorts of little doodads and gimmicks that will come in handy for the party. Here's where the rest of my stuff goes. From art, to BuJo-ing, to reading the things and affirmations. It's also where a new project is going to go. I've been stalling on this "running a game" for my friends for years. Every time I say I will do it, I get a bit further than the last time, but ... I never go all the way through. I am going to use this new floon and on-going inspiration, to finally get it done! BuJo - Every day I'm BuJoing. 7x/week Read 1 Chapter of Bible. 7x/week Write affirmation. 7x/week. SHARE an affirmation. 1x/week. Art Stuff. 3/x week D&D planning. 2 hours/week. Well, for not having any idea what my theme would be, or what I wanted to do this time around... as of um, let's see... 2 hours ago. This came together pretty fast. Now to see it through. ALL THE WAY THROUGH! Let's get this flaming sphere rolling shall we?
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