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  1. There is my scoring system. It is very simple, because what I can manage right now is a very simple challenge. My challenge will probably change as it goes on, because I'm starting out with a major logistical issue, and then, like, travel and holidays. My list from last year is still pretty good: Make a list and check it twice Hogswatch cheer Walking in a winter wonderland However, it might be a lot for the first couple weeks of this challenge, so, while we are assured THERE ARE RULES, this is more of what you might call a guideline. Right. Challenge. Here we go. Things need to get done.
  2. "Okay, here are the rules. Word one is, you don't call me 'master' and I don’t name you after some damn insect. It's not my job to discipline you, it's yours. For it is written, 'I can't be having with that kind of thing'." Lu Tze, humble sweeper and most famous operative of the History Monks, is an expert at manipulating time, a master of Déja Fu (the martial art that leaves the victim feeling that they've taken these blows before), and a follower of the way of Mrs. Cosmopolite, his landlady and (unwitting) guru during a youthful pilgrimage to Ankh-Morpork. During this challenge, I will be learning the ways of Lu Tze in manipulating time and following the tenets of Mrs. Cosmopolite. Many of these goals will be very similar to last challenge, but focusing on the time angle, which I had a lot of trouble managing properly last challenge. This is going to look like a lot of goals, but most of them are there or half-there already. Time Wen considered the nature of time and understood that the universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. Therefore, he understood, there is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, he said, the only appropriate state of mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it. The ADHD symptom I've been having the most trouble with lately is time-blindness. This is the sort of thing where I don't really have any sense of time passing. There's only now, and indefinitely far in the future. Great for enlightenment, terrible for getting things done. (This is why habit formation is terrible for me.) I read an aikido article recently that said ADHD people don't have a problem with mushin, they have a problem with zanshin - empty mind is easy, keeping the focus on the target is hard. I'll be honest, I have not found any really good fixes for this. Sure, there's schedules and reminders and whatever, but in my experience, those are incredibly ignorable if you don't actually believe that the time they represent is meaningful. There are some things that help, but nothing that works very well. So this is all mostly TBA, but includes roughly these things: Goal: Find a good after-work routine that doesn't result in everything getting dropped and forgotten while I cook and relax. Goal: Find a good weekend routine so I don't lose large chunks of time. This may involve making some external commitments just to start my inner organizer running. Goal: Find and try some strategies for dealing with time-blindness. Meditation “The wise man does not seek enlightenment, he waits for it. So while I was waiting it occurred to me that seeking perplexity might be more fun.” Goal: Focus-based meditation for five to ten minutes a day. Goal: Meditate on the way of Mrs. Cosmopolite for five minutes a day. One Time Task: Stick the koans of Mrs. Cosmopolite into a randomizer to get my daily meditation. Martial Arts "Dojo! What is Rule One?" Even the cowering challenger mumbled along to the chorus: "Do not act incautiously when confronting little bald wrinkly smiling men!’" Goal: Kung Déja Fu conditioning workout, 3x/week (MWF, ideally before work) Goal: Stretching workout of choice on the weekend. One Time Task: Calculate reasonable start times, so I don't run out of time so often. Food and Drink For is it not written, 'Eat it up, it'll make your hair curly'? I've been doing reasonably here, but I do need to work on hydration a lot, and on tightening up my IF a little, especially since I'm being pretty loose on carbs. Goal: Track my IF hours Goal: Track how often I ignore my hydration timer going off Goal: Fill my water bottle as soon as I get up and before I get in the shower (and, er, drink it, of course) Sweeping “I’m a little man and I carry a broom. Everyone has some mess that needs clearing up. What harm is a man with a broom ?” This is pure training. Learn to love doing the boring manual work. Goal: Ten minutes a day on sweeping (or other similar housekeeping task)
  3. Suddenly the machine was wobbling... In a few hours the shops out there were expecting deliveries, and they weren't going to arrive. The government couldn't sit this one out. A city like Ankh-Morpork was only two meals away from chaos at the best of times. Every day, maybe a hundred cows died for Ankh-Morpork. So did a flock of sheep and a herd of pigs and the gods alone knew how many ducks, chickens and geese. Flour? He'd heard it was eighty tons, and about the same amount of potatoes and maybe twenty tons of herring. He didn't particularly want to know this kind of thing, but once you started having to sort out the everlasting traffic problem these were facts that got handed to you. Every day, forty thousand eggs were laid for the city. Every day, hundreds, thousands of carts and boats and barges converged on the city with fish and honey and oysters and olives and eels and lobsters. And then think of the horses dragging this stuff, and the windmills... and the wool coming in, too, every day, the cloth, the tobacco, the spices, the ore, the timber, the cheese, the coal, the fat, the tallow, the hay, EVERY DAMN DAY. And that was now. Back home, the city was twice as big. Against the dark screen of night, Vimes had a vision of Ankh-Morpork. It wasn't a city, it was a process, a weight on the world that distorted the land for hundreds of miles around. People who'd never see it in their whole life nevertheless spent their life working for it. Thousands and thousands of green acres were part of it, forests were part of it. It drew in and consumed... ...and gave back the dung from its pens and the soot from its chimneys, and steel, and saucepans, and all the tools by which its food was made. And also clothes, and fashions and ideas and interesting vices, songs and knowledge and something which, if looked at in the right light, was called civilization. That's what civilization meant. It meant the city. Was anyone else out there thinking about this? Was anyone important thinking about this? Suddenly the machine was wobbling, but Winder and his cronies didn't think about the machine, they thought about money. Meat and drink came from servants. They happened. Vetinari, Vimes realized, thought about this sort of thing all the time. The Ankh-Morpork back home was twice as big and four times as vulnerable. He wouldn't have let something like this happen. Little wheels must spin so that the machine can turn, he'd say. But now, in the dark, it all spun on Vimes. If the man breaks down, it all breaks down, he thought. The whole machine breaks down. And it goes on breaking down. And it breaks down the people. Terry Pratchett, Night Watch My machine is wobbling, and little wheels must spin so that the machine can turn. Right now, it all spins on me. If I break down, it all breaks down.
  4. This challenge was rudely interrupted by a pandemic last year. However, now that we're settling into our post-apocalyptic plaguescape for the long haul, it is yet again time. This challenge, I will endeavour to become the Disc's second greatest lover. "My name's Casanunda," he said. "I'm reputed to be the world's greatest lover. What do you think?" Nanny Ogg looked him up and down or, at least, down and further down. "You're a dwarf," she said. "Size isn't important." This challenge, I'm working my way up the rankings of the world's lovers by leveling up my international playdwarf lifestyle. (Or, as a previous challenge put it, do things with elegance. Strangely, despite years of aikido and years of urban myths about people being told to do things elegantly, I had to re-derive the principle in another way before I realized this was not about aesthetics but about managing to combine mindfulness with emptying the mind.) Some of these may seem like odd choices for a fitness/life level-up (like increasing alcohol consumption, and, I dunno, taking life advice from the worst possible people), but there are three factors at play here: first, this challenge needs to be fun, cuz this us what we do instead of vacations in plague years; second, it's addressing recovery from a certain amount (which is to say, lots) of cutting corners on self-care in the broader day to day living sense and getting by on "acceptable"; and three, it's addressing the (narrative) causality between good habits and seemingly unrelated projects and lifestyle choices. Or, as Vetinari would have it, all the little wheels must spin so the machine can turn. And this is a timely challenge. I've really been struggling with self-care lately. Part I: Casanunda Training There are two first steps to becoming the world's greatest lover: First, yoga warmups with lots of hip openers, for obvious reasons, and, second, get into bed as often as possible. (For sleep, of course. I don't know what you're thinking.) If I'm going to be a soldier of fortune, I need to work on mental stillness and physical prowess. Walking and strength training, to start with, and some meditation. Tasks to be checked off: rewatch Casanova and take notes. Part II: Be a Better Lover Than Lord Rust "It was a Guild of Assassins, after all. Black was what you wore. The night was black and so were you. And black had such style, and an Assassin without style, everyone agreed, was just a highly paid arrogant thug." While Assassin-School-trained, Lord Ronald Rust did not particularly benefit from the lessons on style. So I think I can outdo him here on the things that make an Assassin an Assassin. The projects I will do here include repairing and replacing bits of my wardrobe with a focus on rotating in my higher quality clothes, leveling up my daily grooming from ultra-practical to something attempting a little actual style, and more aperitifs-and-tapas. This will also involve getting back in the habit of making actual things with recipes and planning and cultural connotations, rather than just going with the fastest and most basic form of slapping nutrition onto the table, and managing my pantry better. Also, getting back to my macros and IF schedule. Part III: Be a Better Lover Than Rufus Drumknott "I believe he collects different types of stationery," said Vetinari. "I have sometimes speculated that he might change his life for the better should he meet a young lady willing to dress up as a manila envelope." All this lifestyle-leveling-up requires a certain amount of organization and schedule-wrangling. Being the world's second greatest is demanding. And for me, leveling up the bachelor pad is going to center on organizing: not just finding the right place for everything, but finding the right use for everything, and the most efficient way to organize it all. Where the Lord Rust half of this focuses on making everything I own beautiful, the Drumknott portion involves making it all useful, and also includes recycling things I don't use into things I do. Things will fit into the storage I already have, be more organized, and work better. Also, the habits I use to clean and organise it will be streamlined.
  5. There is my scoring system. Now I need things to score. This is difficult, because I'm tired of long lists, but they're so useful for providing reminders through the day. And because lately my challenges have had to do a lot of adapting. So I think this will be a hybrid system, which I will test drive during zero week. I will score what I have done on a naughty/nice axis in a "be mindful of my needs and choices" kind of thing, and set a small number of goals each week. During zero week, let's try: Make a list and check it twice Hogswatch cheer Walking in a winter wonderland Right. First set of challenge goals.
  6. I haven’t exactly been rocking my goals lately, but I find that I try harder and ultimately do better for myself when I have them. So… I’m back again! The most recent "about me" can be found in my previous challenge. Otherwise, we'll figure it out as we go along. For this challenge my Inspirational Witch is Tiffany Aching, or, really most of the witches of Discworld. I adore these no nonsense ladies, and this line in particular has me right now: I'm not the sort of person who generally casts fault but I could do better at dealing with things. It’s the holidays which is always jam-packed and in addition, I have three trips of 5+ days in the diary during this challenge which doesn't make anything easy, let alone taking care of myself. So I’m going to start by dealing with my own self-care (because I can't help others if I'm not functional, and the Enting only has one mummy): Some way, some how, get in that 10k steps. Some way, some how, get in that 2L of water. Some way, some how, write 100 words a day on fiction or nonfiction. My aspiration is every day. Spoiler: I won’t hit every day! But by trying to do it every day, I’m going to hit it more often than I would otherwise. Let's go deal with things.
  7. 1. Strong Enough to Shoulder It He grabbed the Librarian by two handfulls of chest hair and pulled him up to eye height.'I'm not bloody well going to have it, understand?' Vimes shouted, shaking the ape back and forth. 'Oook,' the Librarian pointed out, patiently.'What? Oh. Sorry,' Vimes lowered the ape, who wisely didn't make an issue of it because a man angry enough to lift three hundred pounds of Orangutan without noticing is a man with too much on his mind. -- Guards, Guards Goal: Lift Heavy Things (preferably not Orangutans) 3 times a week I've decided to scale back on running slightly and start folding in some weightlifting. To this end, I've joined a gym near work. The goal is to go workout before my morning meetings, but we'll see if that pans out. If it doesn't, I can go at lunch or after work instead. 3X a week. 2. Dis-Organizer Mark V 'Good Morning, Insert Name Here! I am the Dis-Organizer Mark Five, "The Gooseberry"TM. How may I —' it began, speaking fast in order to get as much said as possible before the inevitable interruption. 'I swear I switched you off,' said Vimes. 'You threatened me with a hammer,' said the imp accusingly, and rattled the tiny bars. 'He threatens state-of-the-Craft technomancy with a hammer, everybody!' it shouted. 'He doesn't even fill in the registration card!' -- Thud! Goal: Keep Bullet Journal Updated 80% of the time I filled up my old bullet journal and got a new one, and I'd like to keep it newly organized and do better about keeping up with it. This is a bit of a cheat because instead of focusing on goals like Meditate Every Day and Write Every Day and Keep Checkbook Balanced, I'll just track how well I track all those other things. 3. Run Hungry Someone was running, and they were chasing. They were chasing because he was running, and he was running because they were chasing. -- Men At Arms Goal: Run and Intermittent Fast 2 times a week Slightly scaled back, but still there. On days that I'm not lifting weights, I'm going to 1. Fast for 18 hours and 2. Go for a short 1-2 mile run in the mornings. I'd never try to do any serious cardio distance on no fuel, but a short run while fasting has been shown to have all kinds of good benefits. Special Long-Term Quest: Cholesterol II Vimes carefully lifted the top of the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and smiled inwardly. Good old Cheery. She knew what a Vimes BLT was all about. It was about having to lift up quite a lot of crispy bacon before you found the miserable, skulking vegetables. You might never notice them at all. -- Thud! Goal: Lower cholesterol numbers (significantly) by August. No changes here.
  8. 1. Foot Chase Vimes was a runner by nature, and knew all the ways to make progress in the city's crowded streets. He dodged and leapt, jinked and weaved and, where necessary, barged. A rope tripped him up; he rolled upright. A stevedore barged into him; Vimes laid him out with an uppercut and speeded up in case the man had chums around. -- Thud! Goal: Run 4 times a week Running has been my strongest area. I'm going to slow the cadence down to 4 runs per week in order to follow a half-marathon training plan with my wife/training partner. I'm also going to stop tracking my bodyweight exercise circuits for this challenge. If I do them, cool, if not, I won't sweat it. This will give me some space to focus on longer, harder runs. 2. Old Stoneface "Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you." "Sir?" "It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are now an authority." "Sir?" "Vimes, that's practically zen." -- Feet of Clay Goal: Meditate every day No big changes here. I'm starting the new Headspace Pro routine instead of the other specific packs I've been following. Should be fun. 3. Clean Floor Policy Vimes had got around to a Clean Desk policy. It was a Clean Floor strategy that eluded him at the moment. -- Thud! Goal: Do the Paperwork So this was a massive flop last time around. I've added NF to the bookmarks I open up every morning at work (You know how it is, get in, check email, go to meeting, then open bookmarks to CNN and a couple of blogs. Now NF will be the first thing I see every day.) and I'm going to relax on the pace a bit. Updating regularly and commenting regularly is all I'm looking for, here. Special Long-Term Quest: Cholesterol II Vimes carefully lifted the top of the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and smiled inwardly. Good old Cheery. She knew what a Vimes BLT was all about. It was about having to lift up quite a lot of crispy bacon before you found the miserable, skulking vegetables. You might never notice them at all. -- Thud! Goal: Lower cholesterol numbers (significantly) by August. For the first time in ages, my weight is below 200 and staying there, rather than yo-yoing up and down over the line. I'm going to keep pushing this with the thought that if I'm running a lot and my weigh goes back down to where it was when I was a marathoner, my cholesterol will have no choice but to come on down. But, I do have a lot of family history and genetic baggage around cholesterol, so this may be something I'll just need to turn to medication for. I have three more months before my follow-up blood test, so this is Special Long-Term Quest 2: Electric Boogaloo.
  9. I've actually been doing pretty well lately, but got busy/distracted and didn't make documenting it a priority. Personally, I've been having a frustrating couple of months. I didn't have health insurance until last week, so I couldn't afford to change my ADD medication, which wasn't doing a damn thing for me any more. Now that I've finally gotten that sorted out, I feel better equipped to handle everything. My cholesterol test has been postponed to early May, so I've got another few weeks to continue losing weight. On that score, I've been up and down, hovering above and below the 200-pound mark. 1. Foot Chase Vimes was a runner by nature, and knew all the ways to make progress in the city's crowded streets. He dodged and leapt, jinked and weaved and, where necessary, barged. A rope tripped him up; he rolled upright. A stevedore barged into him; Vimes laid him out with an uppercut and speeded up in case the man had chums around. -- Thud! Goal: Run 5 times a week 20/25 Goal: New Blood bodyweight circuits 12/25 I've been running and doing my bodyweight routine somewhat frequently, but I think my biggest issue is the rest day. If I rest one day, I'll rest two days, and then I rest all the days. Since these aren't very strenuous exercises, I'm going to keep my workweek's morning schedule consistent, and we'll see if that improves my numbers. 2. Old Stoneface "Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you." "Sir?" "It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are now an authority." "Sir?" "Vimes, that's practically zen." -- Feet of Clay Goal: Meditate every day 27/34 3. Clean Floor Policy Vimes had got around to a Clean Desk policy. It was a Clean Floor strategy that eluded him at the moment. -- Thud! Goal: Do the Paperwork 1/25 Result: *sad trombone* Check in on this thread with daily updates during the workweek. I'll try to poke in on weekends, too, but I'd like to keep a record here. Basically, I need to do the paperwork. Special Long-Term Quest: Cholesterol Vimes carefully lifted the top of the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and smiled inwardly. Good old Cheery. She knew what a Vimes BLT was all about. It was about having to lift up quite a lot of crispy bacon before you found the miserable, skulking vegetables. You might never notice them at all. -- Thud! Goal: Lower cholesterol numbers by May 5. Result: Yes! Barely. Side note: The other day, my wife said "you know, you actually remind me a lot of Vimes." As far as I know she hasn't been reading these threads, so I guess I just carry around a basic level of Vimes-ness. Onward!
  10. Had a good challenge last month, but my long-term goal is for lower cholesterol numbers in April. This month: tighter diet controls, some intermittent fasting, more accountability, and a hardier attitude against adversity. Really working to emphasize my essential Vimesiness. 1. Foot Chase Vimes was a runner by nature, and knew all the ways to make progress in the city's crowded streets. He dodged and leapt, jinked and weaved and, where necessary, barged. A rope tripped him up; he rolled upright. A stevedore barged into him; Vimes laid him out with an uppercut and speeded up in case the man had chums around. -- Thud! Goal: Run 3 times a week, at least 1 run per week on a trail. 0/12 Dallas winters are legendarily weird ("we don't have seasons, we have fronts") but this one has been particularly neurotic. Still, it looks like we're about to hit a rare and lovely stretch of weather that is perfect for early morning runs. Goal: Stick to New Blood bodyweight training plan (2 sessions per week) 0/8 2. Old Stoneface "Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you." "Sir?" "It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are now an authority." "Sir?" "Vimes, that's practically zen." -- Feet of Clay Goal: Meditate every day 0/28 3. Lean Against a Wall “I let you sleep, Sam," said Lady Sybil. "You didn't get in this morning until after three." "Everyone's double-shifting, dear," said Sam. "I've got to set a good example." "I'm sure you intend to, Sam, but you look like a horrible warning," said Sybil.” -- Thud! Goal: Maintain or increase average sleep time of 7 hours Last challenge, I increased my average sleep time from (approximately, I wasn't tracking) 5.5-6 hours per night to a pretty steady 7:09 per night. I'll try to sleep more during the week, sleep less on the weekends, and remember to wear my sleep tracker all the time, but mostly this is simple maintenance. If I can get closer to 8, that would be lovely. If not, that's fine. Special Long-Term Quest: Cholesterol Vimes carefully lifted the top of the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and smiled inwardly. Good old Cheery. She knew what a Vimes BLT was all about. It was about having to lift up quite a lot of crispy bacon before you found the miserable, skulking vegetables. You might never notice them at all. -- Thud! Goal: Lower cholesterol numbers by April. The main focus this month will be on diet. I'd like to do at least two IF days per week (not on running days, obviously) and generally avoid sugar/candy/cookies/donuts as much as possible. My new job is great in many ways, but there is always someone, somewhere, with a box of donuts "for the office." I've got to turn them down. Cracking the 200-pound mark and venturing into the upper 190s this month should be easily doable.
  11. I have so much red tape to deal with. So much. This will be a challenge inspired by Rufus Drumknott, Lord Vetinari's head clerk. Not one of the more exciting Discworld characters, but if you want red tape cut through, deadlines tended, and forms filled out in triplicate, he's the man to do it. I'm gonna call this the meditation section of the challenge, because that is some quality silence. I would like to cultivate some mental silence like a feather falling in a cathedral. Recurring tasks: Meditate daily, at least six days a week (5 pts each): 0/150 One-time tasks: Do one half-hour meditation: 0/10 pts One-time tasks: Get special clothing for going to the gym at work: 5/5 pts Tracked tasks: Other special clothing-related points: Recurring tasks: Go to the gym 3-4x/week, because I bought the clothes (5 pts each): 0/90 Do something daily to grasp the future with a willing hand (5 pts each): 0/160 I want to track the timeliness of my to-do list. This is sort of a fuzzy thing, because I make my list too full for one day, and have to punt things because not everything will fit. I will count that differently from punting things because I don't want to do them, or having things that seem to coincidentally repeatedly not fit onto my schedule. I have two classes of tasks, the big ones and the little ones. I think this will do it: Tracked tasks: Number of things done on time (5 pts each): Number of things done on time (1 pts each): Number of things procrastinated on (-5 pts each): Number of things procrastinated on (-1 pts each): Tracked tasks: Points for competence at Drumknotting: Points for having a personal life: Points for an exciting use of stationery:
  12. No big changes for this challenge—just keep on keeping on. I'll be adjusting my diet a bit and trying to start seeing some good performance improvements. 1. Foot Chase Vimes was a runner by nature, and knew all the ways to make progress in the city's crowded streets. He dodged and leapt, jinked and weaved and, where necessary, barged. A rope tripped him up; he rolled upright. A stevedore barged into him; Vimes laid him out with an uppercut and speeded up in case the man had chums around. -- Thud! Goal: Run three times a week Goal: Stick to New Blood bodyweight training plan 2. Old Stoneface "Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you." "Sir?" "It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are now an authority." "Sir?" "Vimes, that's practically zen." -- Feet of Clay Goal: Meditate every day 3. Lean Against a Wall “I let you sleep, Sam," said Lady Sybil. "You didn't get in this morning until after three." "Everyone's double-shifting, dear," said Sam. "I've got to set a good example." "I'm sure you intend to, Sam, but you look like a horrible warning," said Sybil.” -- Thud! Goal: Increase average sleep duration from 5.5 hours to 7 hours Last challenge, I worked on getting to bed when I could instead of losing sleep for no reason. I did great, so I'm calling that one done. This is going to be a bit harder, and it'll take more work: increasing total sleep time. That means getting more stuff done, watching less TV, doing less fun stuff to make sure that I can get to sleep on time and don't have to get up extra-early to take care of things. I'll be tracking my sleep and averaging for the month. Special Long-Term Quest: Cholesterol Vimes carefully lifted the top of the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and smiled inwardly. Good old Cheery. She knew what a Vimes BLT was all about. It was about having to lift up quite a lot of crispy bacon before you found the miserable, skulking vegetables. You might never notice them at all. -- Thud! Goal: Lower cholesterol numbers enough that my doctor no longer wants to prescribe medications in April.
  13. It's been a very long time since I did a proper challenge, so I've got a lot of stuff to cover. To help cut this down a bit, this challenge intro comes to you in 3 parts: 2016 was bullshit (mostly whining) Samuel Vimes (mostly philosophical) Challenge Goals (actually germane to this forum) Part 1: 2016 was Bullshit It's my 30th birthday today. It kind of fits that the last year of my 20s was—with no exaggeration—the worst year of my life. Without diving into every gory detail (especially because I've signed a contract saying that I won't dive into every gory detail), here's what happened. Part 2: Samuel Vimes (by zazB) I wasn't going to theme this challenge quite so much, but then I saw @sarakingdom's superior efforts and thought, ah, what the hell. I need to be more like Vimes. Part 3: Challenge Goals 1. Foot Chase Vimes was a runner by nature, and knew all the ways to make progress in the city's crowded streets. He dodged and leapt, jinked and weaved and, where necessary, barged. A rope tripped him up; he rolled upright. A stevedore barged into him; Vimes laid him out with an uppercut and speeded up in case the man had chums around. -- Thud! Goal: Run three times a week, no matter the weather. How can you have fun without a cold rain dripping down the back of your neck? Goal: Stick to New Blood bodyweight training plan from Convict Conditioning. That's two bodyweight circuit workouts per week. Baby steps until I get my strength back. 2. Old Stoneface "Commander, I always used to consider that you had a definite anti-authoritarian streak in you." "Sir?" "It seems that you have managed to retain this even though you are now an authority." "Sir?" "Vimes, that's practically zen." -- Feet of Clay Goal: Meditate every day using Headspace. This continues to be a struggle for me, but it's absolutely critical to my mental health. 3. Lean Against a Wall “I let you sleep, Sam," said Lady Sybil. "You didn't get in this morning until after three." "Everyone's double-shifting, dear," said Sam. "I've got to set a good example." "I'm sure you intend to, Sam, but you look like a horrible warning," said Sybil.” -- Thud! Goal: Go to bed on time the whole month, three exceptions allowed. I've gotten into a bad habit of staying up. Playing video games, scrolling the internet, anything except go to bed, and for no reason. I've been operating on 5-6 hours, which is right on the edge between acceptable and Bad News Bears. Stuff happens and I may not get to bed as early as I like, and that's OK. It's the part where I keep staying up for no reason that I need to quit. Special: Summoning Dark tattoo I've wanted a tattoo of Vimes' Summoning Dark scar for years and years (my profile icon is the Summoning Dark symbol, and has been since, like, 2012). When Pratchett got sick, I decided I'd get a Discworld tattoo in memorium after he died. He's been gone almost two years, and I still love the idea. Now more than ever, the idea of making friends with my inner demons—and keeping that shit locked down—really appeals to me. Goal: Design tattoo has 3 milestones 1. Find inspiration/style pictures 2. Find artist who can draw up the design in that style 3. Decide on size/location I probably won't get the tattoo until after the new year sometime, but I'd love to stop procrastinating and actually get a design set. High-five if you actually read down this far. Here's a puppy. Future updates will be shorter, I promise.
  14. It's Hogswatch! It's Hogswatch! My life has not totally settled down. I'm real close, but not quite there. But it's Hogswatch, so there is a Hogfather challenge. (People just starting on Discworld? Hogfather is the most gloriously crazy bit of Discworld there is. It's up there with the best. If you've done Guards Guards and Mort, that's probably enough. I mean, preferably one book set in Ankh-Morpork with some wizards, and some Death. Also, there's a really good two-part movie adaptation.) Onward to the challenge. 1. “DO I DETECT A NOTE OF UNSEASONAL GRUMPINESS?" said Death. "NO SUGAR PIGGYWIGGY FOR YOU, ALBERT.” This will be a somewhat stressful December. I need to watch out for unseasonal grumpiness. I will find a way to score and compensate for this. 0-5 Points, based on grumpiness levels. Also, I want to cut down on sugar piggywiggies, although that's going to be a stepped process. I want to go a lot more low-carb by the end of the month (minus a small dispensation for Hogswatch), but the first half of the month might be just eating whatever I can, whenever I have the time. So we'll call that a goal to reach by the end of the month. Low-carb by the end of the challenge. (points TBA) 2. “Nevertheless, it was a little bit surprising to find that Bloody Stupid Johnson had turned to bathroom design. But, as Ridcully said, it was known that he had designed and built several large musical organs and, when you got right down to it, it was all just plumbing, wasn’t it?” Bathing is big in this book. Bonus points for excess bathing. I could use the relaxation. And extra bonus points for ridiculously seasonal peppermint or pine soap. (points TBA) 3. The members of the Guild of Assassins considered themselves cultured men who enjoyed good music and food and literature. And they knew the value of human life. To a penny, in many cases... There was considerable satisfaction in a clean kill. What there wasn't supposed to be was pleasure in a messy one. I need to deploy a certain amount of extra tidiness this December. Things are up in the air, so I need things to be organized and clean. 0-5 points, based on cleaning efforts. 4. "You can't give her that!' she screamed. 'It's not safe!" IT'S A SWORD, said the Hogfather. THEY'RE NOT MEANT TO BE SAFE. "She's a child!" shouted Crumley. IT'S EDUCATIONAL. "What if she cuts herself?" THAT WILL BE AN IMPORTANT LESSON.” Well, I'd like it to be sword month, but let's be honest, that won't be happening. My sword is elsewhere. Anyways. Since he's giving the sword to a small child, I think we can call this part of the challenge "baby steps towards swordplay". I've been sick and out of training, so this month is easing back into training. Probably some yoga and stretching. 5 points. That's a good start, we'll go with that.
  15. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. CTHULHU!!! This challenge I am going to work on my inner Cthulhu and destroy everything!!! Goal 1: Strength Cthulhu is obviously a giant destructive force that leaves others quivering in its wake. So I am going to continue my Juggernaut training. I will most likely scale this to at least 2 times a week due to the holiday craziness and a need for a stronger focus on other areas. Juggernaut 2X a week min Goal 2: Malleable Anatomy Cthulhu is a shape shifting giant mountain full of slimy goodness and tentacles. I am going to pick up some more yoga this time. I have a few yoga videos in mind and my goal is Yoga 30 mins 3x a week Goal 3: Madness Manipulation Cthulhu is sleeping in his sunken city but he is also manipulating the dreams of others and it is said that the ones unlucky enough to see him will plunge into madness. I am going to focus on channeling a little of my own madness and practice drawing more this month. My goal is to practice at least 30 mins 3x a week. Bonus points for Cthulhu fan art Goal 4: Mental Manipulation Cthulhu can also read and manipulate the mental functions of others. So I am going to share in this like minded state with joining the Discworld reading book club here on NF. This month we are reading Guards! Guards! It will be our first one so feel free to jump in here:
  16. It is very simple, this challenge, ja? I vill be abstainink from the V-vord (vakefulness). Not vun drop after midnight. There is no future in de old-fashioned children off der night business. I am joinink de Ankh-Monkpork League of Temperance. Und that is it, really. Okay, okay, okay, also there vill be doink some Nerd Fitness Academy vorkouts und maybe some yoga. Vun needs a routine, the League is very clear on the benefits of regimentation. Und I vill gather points for things I do that are right and good, and very orderly and not at all late at night. Und some meditation to overcome my desire for vay... for vake... for the v-vord. How do they say, oh yes, I haff gott this.
  17. I don't have a new challenge yet, but I'll need a thread ready when I get back. Things I will make a challenge out of: Sleep - more and earlier Water - increase average IF - resume and maintain Meditation - improve regularity and length New day-splitting routines - with IF and working at home, activities drift a little more than they ought. A better productivity measure for this month's tasks Nerd Fitness Academy - I need to learn to follow a routine I think my theme will be Lancre witches, but I'm not sure yet quite what it'll be.
  18. I need my Week 0, so I'm gonna start here and migrate when we get our new challenge forum. Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men Ach, it's time for a Feegle challenge. Bein' a Feegle challenge, it's got four parts, ye ken. It's got the stealin' and the drinkin' and the lyin' and the fightin', and that's all ye need. Goals: Stealin' Drinkin' Lyin' Fightin'
  19. Hi, I'm Phil, and I've been lurking on/off for a few years. I used to use the dull and uninspired username of pgnoon, but I got bored. I set myself the target of completing one 'new' 4 week challenge, and getting to the 150 post limit set for changing username. I've done both. As a massive Terry Pratchett fan (particularly the Discworld books), I've settled on my new moniker. BLACKBOARD MONITOR. Like Death in the novels, BLACKBOARD MONITOR SPEAKS IN CAPITALS, AND WITHOUT SPEECH MARKS. MY WORDS TRANSCEND THE SOUNDWAVE/EAR RELATIONSHIP, AND TRAVEL STRAIGHT INTO YOUR BRAIN. I won't always do this, just for my challenge posts. I FEEL GREAT ANTICIPATION. I HOPE WE WILL BE FRIENDS. EDIT: Current measurements. There aren't any fitness-related numbers to record, because I don't really do anything at the moment. I'm like a beginner, except for the psychological baggage of knowing what I used to be able to do. Weight: 77.5 kg / 170.9 pounds Waist: 35 inches / 88.9 cm Average of 3 different body fat calculators - 22%
  20. And in the highest, greenest, airiest valley of all, where apricots are grown and the streams have floating ice in them even on the hottest day, is the monastery of Oi Dong and the fighting monks' Order of Wen. The other sects call them the History Monks. Not much is known about what they do, although some have remarked on the strange fact that is it always a wonderful spring day in the little valley and the cherry trees are always in bloom. The rumor is that the monks have some kind of duty to see that tomorrow happens according to some mystic plan devised by some man who kept on being surprised. In fact, for some time now, and it would be impossible and ridiculous to say for how long, the truth has been stranger and more dangerous - The job of the History Monks is to see that tomorrow happens at all.... Pardon any typos... In the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett, one of my (many) favorite characters is Lu-Tze, sweeper at the monastery, and legendary hero to the monks. Actually, the whole idea of a secret society that makes sure THINGS HAPPEN at the appropriate time and place is just fascinating to me. They feature prominently in Thief of Time and Nightwatch, and have a few appearances or mentions here and there. At any rate, for those of you interested in Discworld, Thief of Time is a decent stand alone - reading the other books with Death and family would deepen it though. For Nightwatch, it helps to have read the first two of the Guards series. Anywho...I was inspired to the Discworld angle by Sara Kingdom, who's just finished a DW themed challenge, and is continuing with it. It does you good to get out in the fresh air... "We have swept well. Let's go to the gardens, for is it not written, 'It does you good to get out in the fresh air'?" "Is it?" said Lobsang, still bewildered. Lu-Tze pulled a small, tattered notebook out of his pocket. "In here, it is," he said. "I should know." First assignment - get outside. I keep writing about walking - this is a good thing, but I'm stripping it back further - get my butt outside. I have a yard to putter in and prep for spring, an old, old maple I need to get some more mulch under (probably another 4 yards, if I actually want to get to the drip line), a park with trails under trees nearby, and well, it's Seattle- there's green space everywhere. +1 for a walk +5 for general outdoor activity (cleaning up the yard, tending to some of the beds around the house, etc). +10 (or more) for any possible big work - like mulching out to the dripline (that might be in the next challenge). Minimum to pass - +20. Practice, for out in the world "We'll slice our way there," said Lu-Tze, and he stopped and turned. "You think you can do that?" "I've done it hundreds of times--" Lobsang began. "Back in Oi Dong, yes," said Lu-Tze. "But there's all kinds of checks and safeguards in the valley. Oh, didn't you know that? Slicing in Oi Dong is easy, lad. It's different out here. The air tries to get in the way, Do it wrong and the air is like a rock...." Second assigment - Kata and Suburi. This takes on some special meaning to me now. I'll detail it more throughout the challenge, but essentially I'm receiving a teaching license in my martial art. My training brother and I have been tasked with setting up the date and event, etc (we're both receiving license), I've got a lot of thoughts going on behind this one. In the dojo, with the familiar faces and small number of students we have, things are somewhat easy. We know each others' faults and strengths. It's helped learn how to 'see' as a teacher, but there's still so much to learn. While it's not part of this challenge, a larger quest in this year will be establishing my own school, and navigating all that entails, and being ready for the real world of students I'm not familiar with. So - Suburi (cuts only) - +1 per session. Kata or waza practice - +1 per class or session at home. Passing minimum - +20 suburi, and + 20 kata I'll be working out a couple of other additions in the next day or so. Based on previous challenges, meditating isn't a real goal of mine. Conceptually I understand it's value, but I'm done, for the moment, with trying to force the practice. I may go more physical, and add in points for TGUs and/or swings - I've been feeling stagnant and some focused movement beyond kata might be useful. I may also look at diet, and some discipline there. I don't have a specific goal with regards to diet, but there are a couple of things to contemplate over the next day or so. I'm actually thinking points for water. Lastly - place holder for some adulting tasks. Some of the funk I've been in have to deal with a) work and b ) relationship balance. A few things to work out, but not sure how to assign points, if any, at the moment. Minimum total for passing (prior to possible add-ins this week) 60 pts. Reward - I have my eye on a particular bokken - lighter than my current, but still substantial enough for contact practice - a total of 100 (prior to add-ins) will be required for that. Happy February challenge, everyone.
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