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  1. Brains are interesting things, and the persistence of ones’ past experiences is super fascinating. Case in point: It’s February. I spent my early childhood in the Midwest USA, where we pretty much always had snow this time of year. I split my remaining childhood between the Midwest and Southeastern US, where it was always cold - but not usually cold enough to snow - and potentially rainy this time of year. I moved to the extreme Southeastern US, where winter meant the dry season and temps would dip down to jacket territory. I moved to the Northeast, where the biting wind and snow would occasionally cause the City to freeze, resembling a snow globe. I currently live in the Middle East, where it’s sunny every day with an average temp in the high 70s F. Winter here means the freedom to enjoy the outdoors and (usually) an increase in festivals and other cool things to do. What does my brain think about all this bouncing around? My brain takes the calendar month and the deep shade that is my balcony (my apartment doesn’t get direct sunlight at any time of the year) and translates that into: whelp, it must be cold. Probably with howling winds. Never mind that it’s 23C in the house; you want to hibernate with your gathered nuts. Cabbage & potatoes with kielbasa sounds great. I’m continually shocked that it’s warm outside. Shocked and disappointed that it’s too warm for a jacket (most days, and then the wind kicks up and I’m freezing to death). I’ve spoken about this disconnect to friends from other climates (mostly regarding holidays), and their feeling is the same: my Australian friends fare pretty well - and are more surprised when it’s 50C here in July - friends from snowy climes are confused in similar way to me. Friends that are less hiberatory (just go with it) see less of a disconnect because they deal more in actual reality - whereas I have theory and feeling to inform my brain. Super interesting stuff and has shitall to do with my goals this Cycle, but is a drop in the bucket to explain my seasonal need to pad my ass with fat (lol). More contextual stuff: There is also a rumor that we may imminently be going back into lockdown here. They’ve increased restrictions a bit again (with at least lip service being paid to mask enforcement), but cases are still rising (we are currently at 427 new daily cases). We are also in the midst of the FIFA World Cup 2020 (or something like that) tournament with a big tennis tournament later in the month set to start. And it’s winter - when things usually happen around here. Aaaaaand the blockade just lifted, and with it - a slight lift in travel restrictions (quarantine is still required and tourists aren’t allowed in - but citizens and residents can, at least at this moment, move with some amount of guarantee they can get back into the country if they leave. We’ve also got at least 1 travel bubble in place). So. That all is a conflicting pile of info and it’s unclear what that all will come to mean for day-to-day life. Whatever it is, I shall adjust accordingly. Updates coming if needed. Goal 1: Nutrition Staying the course on my more recent nutritional guidelines: Smaller portions, less meat, more veggies, nutrient dense food options, no GI issues. Drink enough water. Eat with an eye toward Base MFP goals for slow weight loss: 1,260 calories, 20% protein, 50% carbs, 30% fat but without judgement if I go over or under on calories. Basically, eat what I’m going to eat - but by the fact of tracking, that tends to be more reasonable. I’ll also be adding in some probiotics and digestive enzymes in an effort to help with gut issues. Goal 2: Fitness Staying my Druidy course of action (shocker) with 4-5 yoga classes per week - hoping to continue my M vinyasa /T functional/W detox/F handstands schedule, with a 20 minute walk to and from the studio. Goal 3: Fulfillment This goal encompasses a bunch of small things I have going on a daily basis already - with a couple tweaks. Some bloggy stuff, some creative stuff, some dog stuff. Checklisty Stuff Daily [ - ] Duolingo Arabic classes [ - ] Physical craft project (currently sashiko, lucet cord making & planning another quilt) [ - ] Digital art practice [ - ] Enrichment feeds for the pups [ - ] Training for the pups [ - ] Yoga class [ - ] Breakfast: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Lunch: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Dinner: [ - ] Probiotic & Enzymes Snacks: [ - ] Picture of the Day + Daily meal collage Weekly/Challenge [ - ] Finish W30 recipes e-Book [ - ] Post W30 recipes e-Book for sale [ - ] Work on Paleo recipes e-Book [ - ] Post weekly recipe [ - ] Create February/March Pins [ - ] Schedule & post February/March Pins [ - ] Schedule February/March ‘Grams [ - ] Review Q1 financial shit in prep for taxes send off [ - ] Stay connected with the world outside my little bubble - be it through keeping a regularly scheduled chat up (my local bestie is moving to North America next week - so my now-usual Tuesday coffee morning will likely be spotty at best as our remaining coffee friend has a newborn and spotty attendance) or attempting to forge new connections. Or, if restrictions go the other way, who knows? We may just see a return to forced scheduled socialization
  2. For the last two months I've been experimenting with this thing called commitment and I kinda like it. Instead of trying to do all the things at once, never improving, I'm currently focusing all my attention on handstands. With a side of acro/free running for funsies. I want to try the same with hobbies, instead of getting paralyzed by all possible options I'm going to learn to draw! Laser focus - Handstands Straddle flexibility 1x/week - Because I miss being the bendy one in class. It will also help with my handstand lines and maybe one day, dare I say it, presses? Core 1x/week - Because I discovered I can barely do a clean invert anymore. Prehab 1x/week - My left biceps have started twitching near the elbow and I'm taking it as a sign to take better care. Mix it up 1x/week - I've been really focused on getting my basics up to scratch to start my Handstand Factory (which should hopefully be dropping this challenge!!!) and while I'm definitely not bored, it's good to switch things up! Ideas are dynamic moves (things I can think of at the top of my head are cartwheels, walkovers, maybe macacos), yoga style arm balancing, backbending... Tuck and straddle jump practice every session - I JUST unlocked the mechanics of these, I'd love to get them comfortable enough to use them as alternatives to the single leg kick up. It might look a lot of goals, but we're really talking an extra 45 minutes a week for the first three goals, 10-20 minutes here and there. The last two I'd do anyway. I'll still be posting details of my classes and training sessions in my handstand battle log to keep it all in one place, but I'll do the tracking here. Laser focus - Drawing Finish an illustration! Very simple goal, a few weeks back I wrote a sort of marketing blog post for a side project that begs for an illustration. I made a doodle, but I've no clue how to turn it into an illustration yet. So there will be a lot of learning to draw, figure out a (simple!) style to draw it in, learning to use my shiny new drawing iPad... For this goal there will be no scheduling or hours, instead I'm simply going to make it my focus, same as with handstands. When I go training I do handstands, when I have spare time I draw? This approach might be a complete flop but let's see! Bonus - Digital consumption Last challenge I introduced very strict rules for digital consumptions, no social media, no YT, no screens past 8 pm, no movies, shows or games... These might seem a bit draconian, but zero week really reminded me how great they are! Admittedly, this week was quite the exception as I've been working A LOT to try to finish a project, and consequently my enthusiasm and energy to do anything else plummeted and I found myself doing a lot of mindless "catching up", i.e. consuming mainly a lot of mindless digital junk instead of really taking the time to rest properly and now I feel like garbage as a result. So I'm going to go back to those rules, more or less. YouTube in order to learn is fine, as long as it's not underpants collecting. The occasional movie is fine. But more or less the same as before. It's great to be back with the assassins proper! Let's do eeeet! Pew pew!
  3. So... Last challenge went reasonably well. I need to work out more and focus much more on my diet. Moreover, I need to find a way to spend my free time. Unfortunately, all my hobbies are so interesting!! And I always have a hard time deciding what to do. So, I want to tackle from a particular angle: I'm a big fan of Thomas Frank and his YouTube channel. He mostly talks about how to be a good and successful student. In his podcast, he once talked about how everyone should have three hobbies. One movement-/fitness-related hobby that should go beyond working out for the sake of working out. One entrepreneurial hobby that you took as serious as a second career. And a skill-based hobby. I want to spend the next challenges focussing on three hobbies that fit those categories in order to find out what I really want. I will most likely change in-between challenges depending on my experiences. So... Let's start! ------------------------- Moving Working out Running A new round of physical therapy started today in order to fix -- or at least manage -- my back pains. I hope I get a few pointers on how to work out better and then actually do it. I aim for two times a week of "intense" workouts. But I will try to do yoga or something similar as often as possible. Running helps my back pain and it is fun. And in June there's a 5k at my university and I think about participating. I want to go running twice a week. Dieting Low-Carb or low-calories So... Dieting is not going too well. I'm sitting firmly at 94kg. To be a bit more proactive I do not only want to track my food intake but aim for something. I had great success with going low-carb in the past and, obviously, low-calories is always a good idea. So, I'll try both: I want to stay below 150 grams of carbs or below 2000 kcal on as many days as possible. As both correlate -- at least the way I usually eat -- I expect to achieve both or neither each day. Hobbies Walking Drawing Studying/playing Go Practising the guitar So, my three hobbies. For the fitness-related one, I want to be much more active. But I'll start with walking. Last challenge I managed on average 8955 steps per day and maybe I can get that up to 10000. Moreover, I want to listen more to audiobooks and podcasts. Thus, I want to combine these two and aim for a 20-minute walk each day on which I listen to a podcast. Next, I want to get back into drawing. I don't have a particular goal in mind -- just sketching for now. The mid-/long-term goal is to draw and publish comics. Lastly, I want to play and study Go more again. I'll try to go to the local meet-ups and read a few books. Moreover, I'll add practising the guitar as an extra hobby. First of all, it's close to meditating for me and I can easily do it daily for a couple of minutes. Second, I want to propose to my girlfriend in April with singing a song to her. So, I have to practice. ------------------------- As always, I probably have too many too hard goals. But I'll adapt the challenge.
  4. I wanted to start on date but as always, Monday came and went... and here I am, at least not a week late xD! First of all, hope you're having a great start of the year. South here we were having great summer, beach days until a polar front passed over. So we went from over 30ºC to almost 10ºC. Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own. – Bruce Lee My mantra this month. Losing weight. I can't count calories, I've tried... but I've failed. So I'm sticking with dish sizes, portion and not having seconds. No alcohol on week days and checking my cravings, having healthier alternatives for those late night sugar wishes. Run, run, run. Once a week I'll go sprinting. Most likely hill sprints to make it easier on my knees. (Having run two 10k I know long ones make me bored so, fast and hard). Preferably, on Wednesday. Lift KTB workouts thrice a week (Is that how it's called three times?). Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays. Yoga and mobility Having to deal with a pubalgia I'm having lots of mobility and strengthening exercises that I'll pair up with my personal yoga sessions. That will be every day. Write I want to write every day, and I've found many resources. I'm aiming high, I'm aiming big. I'll try journaling at night, to reflect on day. And writing 500-750 words during the day. The more the merrier. So... let's begin. This afternoon I'll make the first checking in.
  5. For the uninitiated: I’m a dabbler in climbing, handstands, flexibility, pole and basically anything that gets me upside down. Currently injured, boooo, but learning new things! This challenge is going to be a mix of fun goals from the previous challenge and some hard, but important, goals. New goals Be kind like Baymax I started a bit of work on Intuitive Eating last challenge, but only on good days. This challenge I’m going give it a real honest attempt. Doesn’t mean I have to do it well, but it does mean I have to try to be kind to myself and gentle with my body. I’ll probably write more stuff in the IE support group than here though, just so you know. Do IE work every day Be systematic like Wasabi Simple, do my rehab and fix my elbow, even if it means I can temporarily do even less than now. Rehab 3x/week Get to work like Hiro My friend is trying to recruit me to his company and even though I don’t have a clue what I want to do with myself I have nothing to lose at this point. But I also need to take a look at what else is out there because even though the potential place has a nap room and a yoga room, it’s still not what I want to do and would only be a temporary switch. Send out 3 CVs Leftovers from previous challenge Be inspired like Fred Do half of the drawing exercises in the new book, since I got bored with the old one Flow like Gogo Complete the 10 last floor flow videos in the series Experiment like Honey Lemon Try 6 new recipes from my cookbooks Once more, with feeling
  6. The last challenge was kinda mushy... I was sick for a few days, wen to a conference and got sick again at the conference. And even apart from all that I wasn't as sucessful as I wanted to be. So, the goal for the next five weeks will be to do more or less the same again with some small changes. In week 0 I will take it easy, in particular with working out. After playing for over 170 hours -- and not being remotely close to 100% -- the theme will be... Rare Blades of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 I'll be taking quest from four Rare Blades -- not necessarily my favourites, but I wanted to stay spoiler-free and it doesn't really matter after all. (Design-challenge for the next time: Build quests around the field skills of the Blades.) Mythra's Quest: Write/work on the introduction of my thesis. (Open goal.) Write one page about each of the four ideas I have for my thesis. There are two parts of my PHD thesis I can reasonably work on. Firstly, the introduction. Here I have to write about a few different things and stitch them together in a meaningful way. There is no clear goal, hence I won't aim for any amount of output. But I'll track the number of pages I've written to get a sense of progress. Secondly, I have four different ideas/approaches, which are more or less independent from each other, which I have to flesh out. Writing a page about each of them and how they could/should work seems like a good start. Poppi's Quest: Work out 2 times a week. Go running once a week. Read Simple & Sinister. Working out is still my number 1 priority this year. But after being sick for effectively 10 days I feel super sluggish. So, the goal is to actually do the workouts no matter how intense they are. Firstly, two workouts a week which may include Yoga, bodyweight training or bouldering. Secondly, I want to run more. But as it is something I always struggle with, I aim for once a week. As spring came crashing down on us here in Munich, I have no excuses here. Thirdly, I want to start kettlebell training and, thus, I will read Simple & Sinister. And after watching a few YouTube videos I'll probably start by incorporating one or two kettlebell exercises into my workouts. I want to start slow, as I still have many back problems. Dromarch's Quest: Track calories and macros 7 days a week. Stay below 2400 kcal 5 days a week. Meditate 4 days a week. I still struggle with my diet. In order to get back on track I will do a little bit less and focus more. Firstly, tracking is the key, as always. Secondly, I want to stay below 2400 kcal and to see whether that's enough to start losing weight again. My TDEE is around 2300 kcal, so this goal should be a good start. I will also try to reduce carbs as much as possible, but I won't focus on that. Thirdly, I want to and need to re-start meditating. Before getting sick it went reasonably well, however, I did it not often enough. It seems to help, so I want to prioritise it more. Pandoria's Quest: Practise the guitar 3 times a week. Draw something 3 times a week. Read 150 pages. As usually, I struggle with my hobbies. I try to do less in order to achieve more. Firstly, I still want to learn a love song on the guitar to play for my girlfriend. And playing the guitar has also a similar effect on my mind as meditating. Secondly, I realised last challenge how much I enjoy drawing again. So, I want to do that more, too. In order to focus my creative energy, I will try to work on a short comic called Hellgirl. The basic plot is that an old knight rescues a baby from a monster. He then finds out that the baby is the daughter of the devil and he starts a journey to hell to bring her back home. I won't put too much effort into this, since I don't want to stress myself. But, whenever possible, I'll draw something relevant for this story. Thirdly, I want to finish Die Donau -- a book about the historical and cultural impact of the river Danube. I have about 300 pages left, but I aim low with 150 for this challenge. And now... Let's go to Elysium together!!
  7. Andddd here I am, crashing back in for another challenge after being away for 6 billion years. A quick rundown of things that have happened recently: Was very sick for a year, lost a scary amount of weight. Got better, moved to Hoth to care for my mother who is very sick. Mother got slightly better, so I moved out to my own apartment nearby (she still needs her house cared for, but she doesn’t need anyone living in anymore) My goals for this challenge are as follows: Fitness goal 1: Saber skills (freestyle staff) I have just discovered freestyle staff and it is the most exciting thing ever!! I have been struggling to find indoor fitness activities for Hoth in the winter when it’s -40 most of the time. I just like doing outdoor things so much more than indoor things, unless i’m in a parkour gym. But I found some youtube tutorials on freestyle staff and i started playing with it because I had some PVC and a wooden dowel (and a lightsaber) so I made two staffs of different lengths out of them, and holy crap- i was playing around for 20 minutes and i was sweating and out of breath and I didn’t even realize the time had passed. I wake up in the morning and i’m EXCITED to go out in the kitchen and play with my “sticks” haha. The Goal: My goal is to do one of the “badass skill of the month” videos from Michelle c. Smith, the back hand flip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCp1Fl4M-U0&t=45s So the goal is to do 1000 of these this challenge, 500 each hand. Why it’s a challenge: Doing something repetitively can get...repetitive. Why I want to do it anyway: To develop consistency and solid technique Fitness goal 2: Mental health The goal: Daily meditation. A passing score would be doing it every day at least a little, an extra credit A+ score would be 20 mins a day, 10 in the morning 10 at night. That’s the goal i’m AIMING for. Why It’s a challenge: Remembering to do something new every day is hard, and my brain is VERY flighty and I find it hard to sit still and be quiet. Why I want to do it anyway: Living with my mother was, I realized, a really bad idea. My mental health plummeted to a place it hasn’t been since I was a young teen. I had thought I made a lot of progress in being a stable human in my adult life, but it turns out that living away from home was the number 1 factor in that. Living there for a few months was enough to backtrack 10 years of progress. I was there with her for over a year now, and I feel like I almost have to start from scratch. So anyway, developing some solid routines and a sense of grounding and peace is something I need to do. Food goal: Eating enough When I lived in florida I was doing the Keto diet, and I felt SO FREAKING GOOD. I don’t know if it was because it was keto or if it was just because I was so focused on adding extra healthy fats to everything that i ate, I was actually getting enough frelling food in my body. Since my sickness and then surgery I’ve had a hard time keeping on weight. Before the surgery I always had an extra 20-40 pounds I couldn’t seem to get rid of, so this is a weird paradigm shift for me. (apparently, it was the organ they removed that was causing this). I lost 80ish pounds wicked fast, then I struggled and gained back some, and now i’m relatively in the low-middle range of my BMI and I’d like to stay here. It’s so easy to backslide though. The goal: The goal for this challenge is to eat at least 2,000 of the healthiest calories possible a day and to work out a shopping list within my budget. Bonus points if I’m above that, but I’ll be passing if i maintain at least a 1900 average for the challenge. Why It’s a challenge: I’m on meds that kill my appetite, and I have always had, as everyone knows, the worst time remembering to eat as it is. This used to have the effect of keeping me in starvation mode, now it has the effect of me losing weight astonishingly fast. Secondary challenge- because I’m working so much at my mother’s house, I can’t afford to work as much at a job. Therefore my food budget is about $50 bucks a month, so unfortunately I can’t afford to do Keto again and I probably can’t stay paleo even. I’m going to have to get clever with figuring out how to have a reasonably healthy diet that’s not just a giant bag of white rice all month. Why I want to do It anyway: I want to be energetic and warm. When I eat enough I have more energy and ALSO side benefit of being warm enough!! In this freezing weather. (I am WAY warmer when I eat enough, which makes so much sense metabolically tbh). Life Goal: Drawing words and Writing pictures The Goal: Finish working through the book “drawing words and writing pictures” and all the homework excercises Why It’s a challenge: I keep forgetting to do it or doing something else instead even when I have time and no reason not to do it. I really don’t even know what my issue is other than adhd is causing me to procrastinate, because it’s COMPLETLY FUN and I really want to do it.... Why I want to do it anyway: I’m planning on writing a graphic novel and this is a textbook/workbook on how to tell stories visually (showing tone and pace and scene cuts and stuff)
  8. My last challenge went quite okay; the main problem was being too inconsistent. Logic dictates that I do the exact same quests by my insights from the last weeks. But, of course, I want more! So, I do add one or two things and we will see how it goes.... Theme-wise I'll go for my favourite comic of all times: HUNTER X HUNTER And of course I will use the King, Warrior, Magician, Lover classification again. Took me a while to figure out who's who, as all four protagonists show all four characteristics throughout the run of the manga. In the end it doesn't matter, obviously.... Here are the quest. It seems a lot, but mostly they are from last challenge plus some small things I mostly do anyway. And I start in week 0 -- i.e. today! -- but I probably won't push myself too hard. Details/descriptions will come later. Leorio's Quest: Find at least 2 concrete questions for the 5 "open areas" in my dissertation. Write at least 20 pages for the introduction or application chapters of my thesis. Getting my PHD is still the main goal for 2018 and I want to hand in my thesis in summer. Last challenge I tried to write many pages, but it didn't go too well. Firstly, I was unmotivated. Secondly, I have quite a few things to do for the project I work in. (An interactive school book for iPads.) So I want to do things a little bit different. Two weeks ago I had an official feedback talk with my advisor and one thing he told me is I should try to "impress". That petrifies me a bit right now, but because of that I want to find a few more small results even though my thesis won't grow in volume. Hence, the first step will be to come up with intersting questions. I have about five parts in my thesis where I have ideas, but which are barren at the moment. I will try to come up with as many reasonable, interesting question for each; but a minimum of two seems sensible. Apart from that I want to work on the introduction and the chapters about my algorithm/software. Here I can simply use the page count as a measure of progress. Overall, this can be a very easy quest. The first part shall! be done in this week and the second part can! be done in the next. Killua's Quest: Work out 2 times a week. Design and implement an easy & simple movement routine in the morning. Go running once a week. I still have back and shoulder problems/pains, but I want to go for more strength training if possible. Hence, I will do two workouts a week, but "unofficially" I will aim for a third one which then can be a bit easier. I also want to look into kettlebell training. Last week I dug out my fitness bands (or whatever they are called...) and tried some easy back/shoulder exercises. As a huge Katy Bowman fanboy I want to get into moving more again. In particular, I'd like to have a simple, easy and fast routine I can do in the morning. Three exercises in three minutes or something like that. During this challenge I will work on that. And I'd like to run more often and more consistently. Kurapica's Quest: Track calories and macros 7 days a week. Stay below 200 grams of carbs or 2400 kcal 5 days a week. Meditate 4 days a week. As I already said in @Cataleya's challenge: Obviously I will continue tracking my progress. During the last challenge I realised that I eat too much in general and too many carbs in particular. I haven't gained any weight; but I want to lose a few pounds, so something has to change. 2400 kcal is my base metabolic rate and 200 grams of carbs seems a good start, too, considering the numbers from last challenge. I also want to continue meditating as it seems to help with my anxiety and other psychological problems. I aim for daily, of course, but 4 times a week as during last challenge seems to be a nice minimum. Gon's Quest: Practise the guitar 4 times a week. Read 220 pages. Draw something 4 times a week. I was not super consistent with my guitar practises, but I did it often enough during the last challenge.But I have to search for new songs to be more goal oriented. Reading is still a big problem. Last challenge I finished a 174 pages book, so for this time I aim for 50 pages a week plus something extra in week 0. I plan to read more often in bed at night -- instead of playing with my phone -- and also more on my way to work. That time is usually "reserved" for playing video games. But until May (Dark Souls!!!) I will only play a few Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC's and a bit of The Escapists 2. It's a fantastic game, but I'm not so hooked, that I cannot stop. Maybe Hollow Knight once it releases on the Switch... So, there's little reason not to read during that time! Bonus challenge: I also have three new comic books I want to (need to!) read as soon as possible. In order to get more comfortable with my various hobbies I will try to focus on one more thing. After a poll in the NF Academy Facebook group it was decided that this "thing" will be drawing. To be precise: drawing comics. Probably I will do sketches and character studies for one of my epic fantasy stories, such that I don't have to create new characters. I want to share the drawings here and in the Facebook group, but I'm not sure yet whther I'll scan them or be lazy and take bad pictures wih my mobile phone... This might seem like a lot. But combining guitar and drawing basically means: sit down for 20 minutes every day and do something you enjoy. Sound easy!
  9. Ryuu Levels Up! NF Challenge #10 11/26-12/23 100/100hp 0 Exp Health Crystal 1 [+50hp] I had originally planned to get this challenge up and running a lot earlier in the week but because of my surgery (had my wisdom teeth taken out last Saturday) and the resulting pain and recovery I've had delayed my start date for this challenge. For this challenge I'm going to try and analog leveling system to gauge my progress as well as a health bar and see how I like it/ if it is practical to use. Goal 1: Nutrition I will record in My Fitness Pal 7/7 days per week and try to be within +200cal of my 1800cal goal each day. ~+200= -0hp // ~+300 = - 5hp // ~+500 = - 10hp // >+600 = -25hp Current lbs: 161.2 BF% 21.8 % Waist 32.25 Hips: 33.25 Goal 2: Yoga I will do yoga everyday, 7/7 days per week ~5min +5xp // ~20min +10xp // ~1h+ +20xp // *2h+ +10hp +40xp Goal 3 Walk I will walk everyday for at least 5min, 7/7 days per week with the goal to be at least 5000+ steps per day 0-2000steps = -10hp +0xp // 2000-5000steps = -5hp +5xp // 5000 - 8000 = +0hp +5xp // 8000- 10,000 = +5hp +5xp // 10,000+ = +5hp +10xp // *20,000+ = +10hp +20xp Goal 4 Draw I will draw/ sketch everyday, 7/7 days per week, primarily jewelry ideas ~5min = +5xp // ~20min = +10xp // 1h+ = +20xp// *colored/ finished & posted online = +40xp LEVEL CHART Every Level: Increase Max HP by (Lv x 5) & Restore HP up to: Lv 1-5 +25hp, Lv 6-10 +35hp, Lv 11- 20 +50hp, Lv 20+ +75hp Every 3 Levels: Gain 1 Health Crystal (HC = + 50hp) Every 5 Levels: Gain 1 Loot Item BOUNTIES [Extra Experience/ health] -Finish a Book +100xp -Clean out Workout Room +50hp -Prep a meal +5hp (per meal) LOOT TABLE -New Book -New Workout Outfit - $20 towards a massage
  10. Hi again NF artists, I almost finished my paper and I'm really motivated on doing some more art this month. In fact I'll be posting some pictures of the stuff I drew today, when I remember to take a picture. February is a little shorter so let's try to post 28 pieces of art. Not everybody has to draw 28 pieces, the numbers will add up. So let's work on this together. I don't mind, what materials you want to use. In the spirit of the Loft it can be crafts, drawings, paintings, sculpting, traditional and digital art - And of course anything artsy I couldn't think of at the moment. Just have some fun and challenge yourself to do a little more art then last month. If you haven't done any art for months, but want to get back into the creative prozess, you're right here. I'm going to mark this post for the guys and gals, who have been hanging around or have an artsy goal this challenge: @erosan, @BlackTezca, @Starpuck, @UnquietBones, @MrsFeanor, @Neeko, @Kelliestrasza, @StarRuby, @Pyrorazor, @StarRuby, @Rosie's Riveter, @RedStone, @Tash, @Volki, @MiaulinTheCat, @Lord Pakku, the Unhinged; @kellie.eugenia, @Miw_Sher, @LivingDeadGirl, @KaitSith, @Arkham edit: If anyone doesn't want to be marked every month, I'll take you from the list. If you know anybody else, who could be intrested, just give them a call. Looking forward to seeing some lovely art. And there will be some artsy topics to chat about again this month. I'm trying to find some new stuff this time. This time for real or I should stop promising that.
  11. Hi there my lovely NF artists, I wish you all a good new year. But let's get right into business: We have been doing well in 2016, let's give our best in 2017. I didn't draw as many christmas cards, as I wanted to, but there are still a lot of birthdays to come and I still have to finish my art projects. I'm sure you have some projects just waiting to be finished, too. So I'm going to start more challenges this year. Let's try to post 31 pieces of art, that were finished this January. I don't mind, what materials you want to use. In the spirit of the Loft it can be crafts, drawings, paintings, sculpting, traditional and digital art - And of course anything artsy I couldn't think of at the moment. Just have some fun and challenge yourself to do a little more art then last month. If you haven't done any art for months, but want to get back into the creative prozess, you're right here. I'm going to mark this post for the guys and gals, who have been hanging around the Loft: @erosan, @BlackTezca, @Starpuck, @UnquietBones, @MrsFeanor, @Neeko, @Kelliestrasza, @StarRuby, @Pyrorazor, @StarRuby, @Rosie's Riveter, @RedStone, @Tash, @Volki, @MiaulinTheCat, @Lord Pakku, the Unhinged; edit: If anyone doesn't want to be marked every month, I'll take you from the list. If you know anybody else, who could be intrested, just give them a call. Looking forward to seeing some lovely art. And there will be some artsy topics to chat about again this month. I'm trying to find some new stuff this time. This time for real.
  12. I've been dragging for almost a month now with feeling overwhelmed, under-motivated and nearly defeated. I'm pretty sure this happens every winter. I'm uncertain how to combat it, or, if it is something like SAD, if I can even fully avoid it at all. But, if there is one thing I have in common with my shy, and unconfident Jedi in game? No matter how many doubts we face, how frustrated we are, or how verbal our complaints are about failing to meet our expectations... We Don't Give Up. Which means ... I'm here for another challenge my fellow rebels! REBELLIONS ARE BUILT ON HOPE And something I need to do, is stop running through the motions because I've been told they should work- and start believing they will work. Which is not to say keep doing the same thing and expect different results, I'll change things up if necessary. But I need to stop doing this while having a mindset of 'Nothing is going to work.' They're also built on hard work, knowledge, teamwork and risk! HARD WORK - LIfting 3x a week. MWF **Every full 5 day work week, I will lift on MWF. On weeks I don't have a full week, I am allowed to have just 2 lifting days. - Moving 2x a week. TTH **This can be running, walking, dancing. The point is move. Hockey does not count. - Track Calories 5x a week. M-F KNOWLEDGE - Read 1 Chapter Daily - Write affirmation/journal Daily - Meditate 2m Daily, and for 5m 3x a week. - Draw 3x a week. - Read 30m a week. TEAMWORK - Keep up on NF. - Plan food co-op at work with the girls (healthy) - Look for a new sport/fitness/class thing to join. RISK - Make a non-easy decision, 1x a week. - Try things I might be bad at! - Go to new social things. - Meet. People. That's the plan. At least, the rough draft of the plan. Yeah, it's a lot of what I was doing before, but until I get a streak of consistency with that, I need to keep at it. And, as Zeb would say... if things aren't working out, or get mucked up for unknown curveballs? Oh. There's one other BIG goal in here. "Pay fake mortgage to my own savings account." ^That one scares the heck outta me!
  13. IT IS 2017!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOSH I am so excited!!! 2016 was a royal dirtfire for most of us, and I dunno about you, but I’m quite ready to let the door hit it in its face on the way out. For me last year was especially turbulent, exhausting, scary, frustrating, and while it had some good moments it was overall quite a struggle. But adversity? Is GOOD, because it gives us the ability to turn into stronger stuff. Before I get to my actual quests, I feel it’s important to introduce my trifecta of over-arching goals for 2017. These are some things I have rolled around in my head for quite some time now - my Rangerbrain has the tendency to resemble a little hyped-up bird, flitting from thing to thing very quickly - and after prolonged evaluation these things are not just a flight of fancy, but goals that I’m still excited about months after their initial brain-storm. I’m going to do my best to work these long-term goals into each challenge cycle! OKAY! It’s challenge time! I’ve decided to revert back to an older challenge format I used in my first year here at NF. I’ll be taking something nerdy that I love - anime, book, movie, etc. - and theme my challenge after it. This challenge’s theme is O V E R W A T C H because I got the game for Christmas, I tried to hold out and not play that popular cool Blizzard game everyone’s talking about, but I played it and got insta-hooked and am now officially Overwatch trash. Right now Lucio is my favorite character to play because he’s pretty much a superfast BARD on roller skates with a speaker and turntables and his voice emotes are just HELLA FUN, I love switching back and forth between speed and healing and trolling enemies that can't hit me because I'm faaaasto~; I also like McCree but I’m really bad at him ahahaha, D.Va is another favorite choice and she’s ~*~귀엽다~*~ cute and super fun. ANYWAY. LET’SGOOOOOO~ D.Va time to raise my apm! START GMB ELEMENTS!!!!!! I am really really E X C I T E D about this! Elements is GMB’s introductory program that will set the framework for me moving better; it focuses on strength, flexibility, and motor control using varieties on 3 core movement patterns that you “re-teach” your body how to use. It spans for 8 weeks and my aim is to do this 4-5 times weekly - each session is anywhere from 30-45 minutes, depending on if it’s new and I need some time getting used to it, or routine, etc. GMB recommends doing no less than 3 sessions per week, optimally 6, so I’m going to start out with 5 and see how I feel. My weekly schedule then will (hopefully) look like this: M morning lifting T morning elements W morning lifting, evening elements Th morning lifting F morning elements Sa morning elements Su afternoon elements (while weekly meal prep is happening) Hoo boyo that looks intimidating. Ok. D.Va is strong with decent maneuverability, so I am going for the same here! My goal here is to stick to 5 sessions of Elements per week. I’m giving myself a little leeway to move them around if I have to but 5 is the magic number. A - 5 sessions done weekly B - 4 sessions done weekly C - 3 or less sessions done weekly Hanzo the dragon stirs within me Ok here we go on My Path To Draw Things More Gooder! I want to devote a couple of hours to this each week and post my results here. I’m most interested in drawing animals and people! I’ve got a specific sketchbook just for art that I’ll be carrying around with me, and I’ll share my progress here each week. Can I match Hanzo’s skill and fluidity? (Or is that Genji?) (Ehehe~) Sorry if it all SUCKS but we’ve gotta start somewhere, right?? :3 A - Art progress photos weekly B - Art progress photos bi-weekly F - RYU GA WAKA TEKI O KURAU (I deserve to be eaten by my own ultimate dragon-) McCree back in the saddle again McCree’s a deadeye and I need to get more mindful of tracking my nutrition targets too. This one is easy. Track e v e r y t h i n g on MFP for the duration of challenge. No goals or numbers to hit, just log everything and see where I sit. IT’S HIGH NOON FOR BAD FOOD!!!!! A - Logged for full 6 weeks B - Logged for at least 5 weeks C - Logged for less than 5 weeks Lucio break time's over, let's get movin'! It’s time to TAKE OUT THE TRASH. Not that my house is full of trash, but. In September I tasked myself with doing extreme house-cleaning and it worked REALLY well, well enough where I decided I wanted to make it a quarterly thing to keep up with it. Well, it’s that time again! A clean living space does wonders for my mental health, and every little bit of help in the winter months is huge. Rules - Like Lucio, speed is key here! Spend 30 minutes in each room, no more, or else I’ll get bogged down and never finish anything. Set a timer, clean what you can, and in 30 minutes, move on. A - Spent 30 minutes tidying each room F - Nope. Can I complete ALL of this stuff and get my very own Play of the Game?! WE'LL SEE. First challenge of 2017 rebels, let's do thiiisss!!!~ (every. time.)
  14. Hi there my lovely NF artists, We don't have a LOFT anymore and I was suddenly reminded that it was already December. Last challenge we did really well. And with counting the sketches from my sketch book, we reached our goal of 30 images in November. If you are like me, this challenge could be for you: I'm just not consistent enough to draw something every day and also a little too busy. But I would like to do a little challenge with you, that would make me be more artsy then last month. So here is my proposal: Let's try to post 31 pieces of art, that were finished this December. I don't mind, what materials you want to use. In the spirit of the Loft it can be crafts, drawings, paintings, sculpting, traditional and digital art - And of course anything artsy I couldn't think of at the moment. Just have some fun and challenge yourself to do a little more art then last month. If you haven't done any art for months, but want to get back into the creative prozess, you're right here. I won't count my own small sketches this time, to challenge myself a little more. This month I want to make a lot of christmas cards and send them to my family. If you make some more cards, than you ant to send to family and friends, you can always participate in the deviant Art project: http://madizzlee.deviantart.com/journal/Holiday-Card-Project-2016-637337994 I'm going to mark this post for the guys and gals, who have been hanging around the Loft: @erosan, @BlackTezca, @Starpuck, @UnquietBones, @MrsFeanor, @Neeko, @Kelliestrasza, @StarRuby, @Pyrorazor, @StarRuby, @Rosie's Riveter, @RedStone edit: If anyone doesn't want to be marked every month, I'll take you from the list. If you know anybody else, who could be intrested, just give them a call. Looking forward to seeing some lovely art. And there will be some artsy topics to chat about again this month. I'm trying to find some new stuff this time.
  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. Hi there my lovely NF artists, We don't have a LOFT yet and I was suddenly reminded that it was already November tomorrow and I hadn't many sketches in Oktober. I'm just not consistent enough to draw something every day and also a little too busy. But I would like to do a little challenge with you, that would make me be more artsy then last month. So here is my proposal: Let's try to post 30 pieces of art, that were finished this November. I don't mind, what materials you want to use. In the spirit of the Loft it can be crafts, drawings, paintings, sculpting, traditional and digital art - And of course anything artsy I couldn't think of at the moment. Just have some fun and challenge yourself to do a little more art then last month. If you haven't done any art for months, but want to get back into the creative prozess, you're right here. I'm going to mark this post for the guys and gals, who have been hanging around the Loft: @erosan, @BlackTezca, @Starpuck, @UnquietBones, @MrsFeanor, @Neeko, @Kelliestrasza, @StarRuby, @Pyrorazor, @StarRuby, @Rosie's Riveter If you know anybody else, who could be intrested, just give them a call. I drew a few sketches last week, that I want to post in the last challenge. But I think we didn't hit our goal last month. So let's see how it goes in November. Looking forward to seeing some lovely art.
  17. Revenge of The Loft It has been a while! Welcome back to The Loft! A simple a humble space for all those rebels out there who wish to level up their creative side! This group is here to offer inspiration and support for all the writers, musicians, and artists out there. In the past threads I have been blown away with all the interaction, advice and sharing that has gone on and I hope to have that continue this time around. For myself I will admit that life has thrown some curveballs along the way that I have been pleasantly surprised with or completely overwhelmed. I am happy to be back and to bring this group back for some awesome fun times! I'm not sure about doing weekly topics since I have had a hard time tracking and keep those up, but any and all suggestions are welcomed and nothing wrong with a few creative exercises to get those imagination juices flowing :). Anywho, hope to see ya'll around these parts! Let's share some art!
  18. Behold, my adventure map! (roughly corresponding to my town) For more backstory visit my battle log. After hiking rangerously through Mt Moon I expected to emerge triumphant into the daylight but instead fell into the pit of Zero Week where family issues, comfort eating and travel got the best of me. All was not lost as I still fit in one workout and two walks and did some meal prep to get my diet back on track. This time I will be taking a tour around the Safari Zone (wildlife reserve visit/fitness goals) and looking for Mew on the docks by the S.S. Anne (visiting the coast/life goals). Fitness Goals in the Safari Zone Knee-doqueen Knee strengthening exercises every day. This is going to take a lot of discipline but I'm sick of not being able to trust my knees to be stable. I'm still refining the routine but I'm basing it off this site and some exercises from YouTube. Barefoot STOMPing One barefoot walk each day, at least to the end of the street and back but a little longer each day if my feet can take it. I used to be into barefooting but once I found thin-soled shoes I liked I gave up on conditioning and never had the patience to try again. Once I can walk to the shops and back it will be easy since my day-to-day errands will become my conditioning time. But that's a fair way off and in the meantime short walks outside will do me good. HM04 STRENGTH Continue strength training 3x a week at home but increase from one to TWO gym visits a week. I finally fixed my bike so now I don't have to worry about wasting petrol or paying parking. Life Goals on the S.S. Anne Captain's log 4-5 hours per week on Lynda.com courses, since I'm paying for a subscription and it is NOT cheap in AUD. This will allow me to complete 4 courses on vector illustration. Sightseeing Cruise Visit the wildlife reserve or a coastal area at least once a week to draw or paint. Bonus - Find Mew Under the Truck File my health insurance claims. Bonus - HM01 CUT Tidy up the lawn edges and various weedy corners.
  19. Hi everyone! I've been with the druids lately, but last challenge I decided to sign up for a 10 km trail run which happens in November. It's been a while since I ran 10 km and this is going to be in the hills so it's going to be tough (hence the name of the race). So this challenge I'm going to be focusing a bit more on my running while still focusing on injury prevention because that's just as important as being able to run. I'm also going to continue to try to lose a bit of pudge, which should be pretty compatible with getting more exercise. Main Quest Get down to 62 kg. Last challenge I lost nearly 1 kg, bringing me closer to 67 kg and while I will aim to lose 2 kg, I'll once again be happy if I lose anything at all. I'll use a three day weighted average to measure changes. Measurement: Pass = decrease mass; Fail = mass stays the same or increases Statistics Gain: +1 CHA Quest 1: Run My medium term goal with running is to prepare for this training schedule, which I should start in six weeks' time. So this challenge, I should increase my distance. At the end of last challenge, I got up to 13 km a week (then I fell so I haven't been running yet this week). So I'll do 14 km in the first week, then 15 km, then 16.5 km and hopefully get to 18 km by the end of the challenge (then it's just a hop and a skip to 20 km, which seems to be about where the schedule starts). I'll be aiming for three runs a week. Measurement: A = 9+ runs; B = 7-8 runs; C = 5-6 runs Statistics: +2 DEX, +2 STA Quest 2: Injury Prevention With more running comes a greater need to make sure that I don't get hurt (at least not in ways that can be easily prevented), so I'll be doing yoga five times a week again and I'll also shoot for two calisthenics sessions per week. Measurement 1: A = 16+ yoga sessions; B = 12-15 yoga sessions; C = 8-11 yoga sessions Statistics: +1 CON, +1 DEX Measurement 2: A = 6+ calisthenics sessions; B = 5 calisthenics sessions; C = 3-4 calisthenics sessions Statistics: +2 STR Quest 3: Diet I'll once again aim to track my food intake and eat within the calorie range recommended by Spark People six days a week because tracking helps keep me on track, but tracking every day is a downer. Measurement: A = 19+ days tracked; B = 14-18 days tracked; C = 10-13 days tracked Statistics: +2 CON, +1 WIS Quest 4: Poi Yes, more poi! I'm going to try to go out to a fire club that meets in the park on Mondays to practice in addition to practicing on my own. The fire club only really happens when it's not raining and obviously I can't know when that will happen in advance. I'll set a goal of doing 60 minutes of poi for weeks that the fire club happens and 30 minutes for weeks that it doesn't. I'll have a better idea of how many total minutes this means as the challenge goes on. I'm also going to set a goal of learning at least one new trick. Measurement 1: TBD minutes of poi Statistics: +1 CHA Measurement 2: Pass = 1+ new trick learned; Fail = 0 new tricks learned Statistics: +1 DEX Life Quest: Drawing I'll aim for 150 minutes of drawing a week again. This time, I will try to be a bit better about posting the results to Deviant Art since I sort of did one update last time and then no more. (oops) Measurement: A = 480+ minutes of drawing; B = 360-479 minutes of drawing; C = 240-359 minutes of drawing Statistics: +1 CHA And that about wraps it up! I'll add my starting measurements on Day 1 and check out everyone else's threads.
  20. I am a jack of all trades by nature. I cannot focus. Trying to do so has spelled disaster for me in the past. So I am going to play to my strengths... by which I mean do a whole bunch of stuff at the same time, even if I only advance one at a time. But every bit of improvement piles up in the end, right? Previously on Wizard in the making: Last challenge, erosan returned to the Kingdom. He went ahead and settled in his new tower, if in an old neighborhood. He spent most of the first cycle honing his sketching skills, because every wizard worth his mana knows drawing is great practice for when you need to draw arcane symbols of power. Although he did not take good care of his body, he didn't abuse it either, and through a hectic turn of events, erosan discovered the long forgotten power of universe creation. A wizard has no qualms in dabbling in arcane knowledge. ALL knowledge is power, and power is prized. That said, a proper wizard prioritizes, plans and schemes all the time. Foolish mortals think they do it in complex and impossible to understand patterns. Wizards know best. They use the ancient magic of RANDOM. Currently Training Disciplines of the body: Walking - running did not work, so adjust the goal. QUEST: Walk 2 times a week (Walking is my prefferred way of locomotion, so here I mean walking as exercise, not walking to the store) Calesthenics - Again. Try again, scale down, build up. QUEST: bodyweight exercises, 2 times per week. Primal living - EAT PRIMAL, LGN. (This used to be my goal and motivation, and I'm walking under this flag once more). QUEST: eat primal at least 3 times a week. Disciplines of the mind: Rationality - Since the current sequence is math heavy, I'll allow more room to digest each article. QUEST: Read 1 per week, minimum. Reading - I have neglected too much my second love, and the consequences are brutal: Ive got a huge pile of book to be read, because although I did not have the time, as a booklover I never stopped buying them. (And if I have to explain to you why there is no such things as too many books, I think you are looking in the wrong thread). QUEST: Read 3 or 4 books from the backlog before the end of this 4wc. More is better of course. Disciplines of the hand: Crafting - I've discovered that GMing is fun when you have props. Kids loves them, and I love making them. Creating something from nothing is always rewarding. QUEST: Create the props needed to narrate the 2 game sessions *on the 15th and 29th. Sewing - Go one step further. Before the end of the 4wc, create a piece of clothing for the first time. QUEST: make a pair of trousers, or a tshirt, or something. Anything. Disciplines of the soul: Drawing - keep on practicing! Study some anatomy or something! Tale teller - QUEST: Survive the next 2 role playing sessions *and hopefully create a story worth telling in the process. My updated IRL Character sheet:
  21. Okay, so last challenge, I did okay. Mostly good, but I failed hit the mark a entirely and I mostly neglected the forums. I also got a bit of a wake up call in the form of actually weighing myself for the first time in years. This time, I'm going to try to do better and work harder because I really should. I also have a new long-term goal so hopefully that will help a bit more because focus is good. Main Quest So my long term goal is going to be to get down to about 62 kg (I'm currently somewhere around 68 kg). This challenge, I would like to drop 2 kg, but any progress in the right direction will really be good. With the exception of the first measurement, I'll be using a moving 7 day average to measure progress each week (the initial measurement will probably be a four day average because that's the data I'll have), so I'll be weighing in every day, but only reporting my weight here once a week. Measurement: Pass = lose some weight; Fail = weight stays the same or increases Statistics: +1 CHA Reward: A cute summer dress for losing at least 2 kg. Quest 1: Yoga This time, I'm serious. I'll be doing at least five yoga sessions a week and aiming for a mixture of different kinds of yoga sessions. Measurement: A = 16+ yoga sessions; B = 12-15 yoga sessions; C = 8-11 yoga sessions Statistics: +1 STR, +2 CON, +1 DEX Quest 2: Run I don't seem to have much trouble going outside and walking, but I do have trouble keeping up with my running. So I will aim for three runs a week. They can be any distance, as long as I get out there and run. Measurement: A = 9+ runs; B = 7-8 runs; C = 5-6 runs Statistics: +2 DEX, +2 STA Quest 3: Diet Sadly, I seem to have been eating a bit too much of whatever. So I'll be tracking my food intake at least 6 days a week on Sparkpeople (because that's the thing I signed up for forever ago and I'm way too lazy to switch over) and trying to stay within their recommended caloric intake guidelines. I'll allow myself one day of freedom per week, not because I'm going to go eat whatever I want, just because tracking every day sort of sucks. Measurement: A = 19+ days tracked; B = 14-18 days tracked; C = 10-13 days tracked Statistics: +2 CON, +1 WIS Quest 4: Poi Yes, a fourth fitness-type quest because I really do want to get better at doing poi since it's fun and I need some fun here. I'll aim for 30 minutes a week again, but I'll see if I can ramp that up toward the end of the challenge. Measurement: A = 96+ minutes of poi; B = 72-95 minutes of poi; C = 48-71 minutes of poi Statistics: +1 CHA, +1 DEX Life Quest: Drawing For a change in pace, I would like to focus on drawing a bit more. It's something that I do enjoy doing, but I never really make the time to do, which is sad. So I'll aim for 150 minutes of drawing a week (equivalent to 30 minutes of drawing 5 days a week). I want to make a habit of doing this. Measurement: A = 480+ minutes of drawing; B = 360-479 minutes of drawing; C = 240-359 minutes of drawing Statistics: +1 CHA Total possible statistics gain: +1 STR, +4 DEX, +2 STA, +4 CON, +1 WIS, +3 CHA Oh, and I almost forgot! I'm going to aim to post on NF every day with at least an update, but I'll also try to visit everyone's threads. It's not going to be an official quest, but it's something I'm going to try doing because that would be better.
  22. After planning comes... Action! Trigger warning: I post pictures of food and tempting stuff. @Naxius So yeah, I am going to start swimming this month and hopefully keep at it all summer. Since my knee is not showing any sign of getting better, I had to find and alternative to running and high impact sport, so obviously, like every recovering athlete in the making, I went for swimming. In addition, I have decided to start trying something new. NerdFitness might be a fitness-based website, but I don't think I am the only one that has found the community amazingly supporting in all areas for life. It is truly amazing to get to see the "behind-the-scenes" of people's progress, when normally you only get to hear the success stories. It really makes you realise that in the end, everyone is just doing their best to try and balance busy lives while staying healthy. Anyhow, I don't just want to level-up my fitness level, but level up all areas of my life - Emotional, Physical, Spiritual and Mental. Now as all Nerds know, it is not a good idea to try and do too many things at once, so every month I will focus mostly on one aspect, with one week . The last challenge was mostly a mental one - I focused mostly on self-discipline, study and overall setting the ground for what is coming now, which is the physical practice. Aside from the holistic approach, there is also a bit of non-formal learning theory applied here that I might get into a further post. So, what does this challenge concretely look like? Well - here it goes: Health - Physical 1) Get your cardio Go swimming 2x a week The number is dictated by my budget, unfortunately, as I have quite a few things to pay for this month. I am going back home for the holidays though so I will be able to go more often then. 2) Nourish your body I have started to suspect that one of the reasons my knee is not healing is that the time of injury (whatever it may be) also coincides with the time I decided to try and go on a diet because I had started spotting my abs. This period was, however, also combined with what I suspect is a real underestimation of my current physical activity, which lead to a cycle of binges as well as one week in between where I was constantly eating - but eating junk. Which in turn was followed by a week where I barely ate anything because I felt so sick... sooo... yeah... Because of this, I figured I should try eating instead. Eat between 1600 and 1800 calories Get at least 103g of protein 5x a week 3) Fight mindless snacking This has been a problem lately... it has always been, really, in my life. I had managed to curb it at the beginning of the year thanks to, um, having barely enough budget to eat, but it has come back with a vengeance lately. So, yeah, that needs to stop. No mindless snacking: if I want to snack, I need to take prepare the snack, like our moms and grandmothers did for us when we were children. So, let's say I feel like a slice of bread with nutella on it. This is what I would have to do: take out the bio-nutella equivalent and the orange juice and put it on the table together with cutlery, plates and glasses. Take out the bread, toast the bread, put it on a plate. Sit down, serve myself, then put everything back. I am pretty sure that should be too much effort 9/10. Once a week, fast till the 9th hour This is a fasting method I have found where you don't eat anything until 9 hours after you wake up, then break the fast with a light meal, and have a hearty meal later on for dinner. This is to teach myself to be patient with food - part of the snacking issue comes from just not being able to wait until the next meal. This should train it. This is also why I have a calorie range - I should be eating around 1650 calories a day form what I gathered, so going over on certain days will ensure I make up for the deficit I will certainly have on fasting days. So those are my health goals for the physical aspect of my life. Social - Emotional Blogging practice I really want a blog one day. Check in daily into NF Post a daily animation on my Tumblr (here, for those interested, though it's mostly a collection of mind blurbs and some of those are in French) Art - Spiritual Draw I haven't drawn anything in weeks and it's starting to get closer to months Set aside at least 1h per week to draw. Post progress picture. Learn - Mental Finish the edX Nutrition Course Nutrition and Health Part 1: Macronutrients and Overnutrition It's excellent, approaches the whole question of nutrition from a biological and medical standpoint while being very honest about the limitations of research. It anybody has the time to audit it or wish to get a certificate, they will re-run it this month. I have been on and off it for months, no thanks to the "self-paced" format. I really, really want to wrap it up over the next couple weeks and move on to Part 2. Work on the assignments of the course at least 4 hrs every week. That is it. I think you can see how this works - there is a "main area" for development, and then small goals for all the rest. They rotate. Side Quest: Monkey Level 2. I have not forgotten, no. ^^
  23. I feel kinda burned out on the 6WCs. I slip up because of the gap between them, and the goals seem to be mostly the same. Not real drive behind some of them, either. Next year is also forming a major hurdle, too. I will not act upon my suicidal thoughts, no matter how tempting. 1) A plan for the remaining schoolwork. 2) 1 drawing a day. Small everyday objects, tackling bigger things as I develop skill. I wasn't comfortable with putting pictures I've drawn this far on a public album quite yet, so it's friends only. Can share them, if you ask. Open for articulated critique, of course. "I like this, but not this, because [reason]" 3) Zen Habits 1000 cuts, 3 things a day. 4) Gratitude statements every day. 4.12.2015 Fri I am grateful.. That I am still alive,as the Christmas is coming. I am dabbling in drawing after a half a year pause. At least I enjoy it, though it is not an 'useful' thing as such. That drawing is a skill, and can be trained. Relatively healthy is a good thing. 1000 cuts 10 push ups 2 pull ups 2 chin ups
  24. I've been far away from this group of kindred spirits for too long, but I am back. I do not feel as if I ever was a health zealot, but I cannot avoid thinking I used to be a whole lot more healthy about a year ago when I was fully submerged in the rebellion. (Also, I took a peek at the assassins challenge and had to respawn, because FF). I am going to re-skin this and all future challenges. Not because I no longer like the Dark Tower (I still love it), but because I feel like a proper regeneration has to come with a new face (am I right, fellow whovians?). So, being that I've always wanted to be an all powerful wizard... I re-worked my IRL character sheet, D&D style (because I've found I love playing pen and paper RPGs). Also because I'm going all out full nerd on this. I am a jack of all trades by nature. I cannot focus. Trying to do so has spelled disaster for me in the past. So I am going to play to my strengths... by which I mean do a whole bunch of stuff at the same time, even if I only advance one at a time. But every bit of improvement piles up in the end, right? For this challenge, I wanna make sure I keep working on at least some of these things: Currently Training Disciplines of the body: Running - one run per week at least Calesthenics - bodyweight exercise, 3 times per week Disciplines of the mind: Rationality - Read at least one lesswrong.com sequence per week Technopathy - Practice or learn computer related skills. Linux, programming, digital painting, or whatever. Disciplines of the hand: Cooking - Work on paleo cooking/eating Sewing - Practice! maybe do another dice bag to --bribe-- gift to your DM? Disciplines of the soul: Drawing - keep on practicing! Study some anatomy or something! Tale teller - By the end of this challenge, organize a role playing table for small kids so I can DM for my kid? And also, Imma go check that FF themed mini.
  25. Fanmade video (not actual trailer - is a bit gory!): From the books - Halt's Cabin PS: Taking reader-liberty to adapt the story. This gives the background of how Elize ended up as... The Ranger's Apprentice Choosing Day was the pivotal point in the life of the castle wards. They were orphan children raised by the generosity of Baron Arald, the Lord of Redmont Fief. For the most part, their parents had died in the service of the fief, and the Baron saw it as his responsibility to care for and raise the children of his former subjects-and to give them an opportunity to improve their station in life wherever possible. Choosing Day provided that opportunity. In less than nine hours, Elize realized, she would face the Choosing. Elize's father was a cavalry lieutenant who had died in the battle at Hackham Heath, when Morgarath's Wargal army had been defeated and driven back to the mountains. Elize's mother, devastated by her loss, succumbed to a fever some weeks after giving birth. So there was plenty of room in the Ward for the girl child, and Baron Arald was, at heart, a kindly man. The huge fig tree growing close by the castle's central tower had often afforded the girl a haven. Heights held no fear for Will, her friend and he climbed smoothly into the tree, continuing long after Elize stopped - she was not as comfortable with heights. There was a rustle of soft feathers and a barn owl landed on the next branch, its head swiveling, its huge eyes catching every last ray of the faint light. It studied Elize without concern, seeming to know it had nothing to fear from her. It was a hunter. A silent flyer. A ruler of the night. In less than nine hours, she realized, they would face the Choosing. A long time later, as if in answer upon a silent question, they simultaneously caught the other's gaze. Silently, apprehension almost palpable, they climbed down from the tree and made their way to their respective dormitories. On the morrow they have to face Baron Arald and the Craftmasters, hoping to be each chosen as Apprentice, preferably together. oOo The Craftschool heads entered Baron Arald's room in no particular order of precedence. As a group, they admired and respected one another and so rarely stood on strict ceremonial procedure. Sir Rodney, head of the Battleschool, came first. Next came the Horsemaster, responsible for the care and training of the castle's mighty battlehorses. Lady Pauline followed. Lady Pauline, who had been awarded the title in her own right for her work in foreign policy for the kingdom, was head of the Diplomatic Service in Redmont. It was perhaps only natural that Nigel, the Scribemaster, followed close behind Lady Pauline. They had been discussing matters of mutual interest while they waited for Martin to summon them. Nigel and Lady Pauline were close friends as well as professional colleagues. It was Nigel's trained scribes who prepared the official documents and communiques that were so often delivered by Lady Pauline's diplomats. Master Chubb, the castle cook, came in last of all. Inevitably, he was a fat, round-bellied man, wearing a cook's white jacket and tall hat. He was known to have a terrible temper that could flare as quickly as oil spilled on a fire, and most of the wards treated him with considerable caution. Elize, eyes down, shifting nervously from one foot to the other, suddenly had the strange sensation that someone was watching her. She looked up and actually started with surprise as she met the dark, unfathomable gaze of Halt, the Ranger. She realized that the mysterious figure must have slipped in through a side door while everyone's attention was on the Craftmasters as they made their entrance. Halt stood behind the Baron's chair and slightly to one side, dressed in his usual brown and gray clothes and wrapped in his long, mottled gray and green Ranger's cloak. Halt was an unnerving person. He had a habit of coming up on you when you least expected it-and you never heard his approach. One by one each ward was chosen by a Craftmaster, until only Elize was left. The two (Will and Elize) have garnered quite a reputation for themselves, one scaling the tower to the kitchen's windows, relieving the Master Cook of his pies, still steaming, cooling off on the window sill, while the other kept an eye on the guards. On another occasion Elize wrote quite the missive which saw them getting two whole days off tutoring! Luckily her skills with animals of all kinds had saved them on yet another occasion when they were supposed to be planting fields. The Horsemaster's favourite plough horse had been attacked by a swarm of bees, and Elize and Will had managed to pull him to safety in the small lake, until only his head was sticking out of the water. Elize's continued whispers had calmed him enough that he didn't panic, but ducked his head under with her, and the bees had to fly off. "Is there any one of you who could use this girl?" Baron Arald said. One by one, silently, the Craftmasters shook their heads. "There is something you should know about her, my lord," Halt said. Halt's voice was deep and soft-spoken, with the slightest burr of a Hibernian accent still noticeable. He stepped forward now and handed the Baron a sheet of paper, folded double. Arald unfolded it, studied the words written there and frowned. "You're sure of this, Halt?" he said. "Indeed, my lord." oOo Halt's cottage lay some distance away from both castle and village, nestling under the shelter of the trees at the edge of the forest. The sun was just rising over the trees as Elize made her way to the log cabin. A thin spiral of smoke was rising from the chimney, so she reasoned that Halt was already up and about. Elize stepped up onto the verandah that ran the length of one side of the house, hesitated for a moment, then, taking a deep breath, she knocked firmly on the door. "Come in," said a voice from inside. Elize opened the door and went into the cottage. It was small but surprisingly neat and comfortable-looking inside. She found herself in the main room, a combined living and dining area, with a small kitchen at one end, separated from the main area by a pine bench. There were comfortable chairs ranged around a fire, a well-scrubbed wooden table and pots and pans that gleamed from much polishing. There was even a vase of brightly colored wildflowers on the mantel shelf, and the early morning sun streamed cheerfully through a large window. Two other rooms led off the main room. Halt sat in one of the chairs, his booted feet resting on the table. "At least you're on time," he said gruffly. "Have you had your breakfast yet?" "Yes, sir," said Elize, staring in fascination at the Ranger. This was the first time she had ever seen Halt without his gray-green cloak and hood. The Ranger was wearing simple brown and gray woolen clothes and soft-looking leather boots. He was older than Elize had realized. His hair and beard were short and dark, but peppered with steel gray flecks. They were both roughly trimmed and Elize thought they looked as if Halt had cut them himself with his hunting knife. The Ranger stood up. He was surprisingly small in build. That was something else that Elize had never realized. The gray cloak had concealed a lot about Halt. He was slim and not at all tall. But there was a sense of power and whipcord strength about him so that his lack of height and bulk didn't make him any less daunting a figure. "That'll be your room. You can put your things in there." He moved away to the woodstove in the kitchen area and Elize hesitantly entered the room he had indicated. It was small but, like the rest of the cottage, it was also clean and comfortable-looking. A small bed lay alongside one wall. There was a wardrobe for clothes and a rough table with a washing basin and jug on it. There was also, Elize noticed, another vase of freshly picked wildflowers adding a bright spot of color to the room. She put her small bundle of clothes and belongings on the bed and went back into the main room. "What Rangers do, or more correctly, what Rangers' apprentices do, is the housework." Elize had a sinking feeling as the suspicion struck her that she'd made a tactical error. "The… housework?" she repeated. Halt nodded, looking distinctly pleased with himself. "That's right. Take a look around." He paused, gesturing around the interior of the cabin for Elize to do as he suggested, then continued, "See any servants?" "No, sir," Elize said slowly. "No sir indeed!" Halt said. "Because this isn't a mighty castle with a staff of servants. This is a lowly cabin. And it has water to be fetched and firewood to be chopped and floors to be swept and rugs to be beaten. And who do you suppose might do all those things, girl?" Elize tried to think of some answer other than the one which now seemed inevitable. Nothing came to mind, so she finally said, in a defeated tone, "Would that be me, sir?" "I believe it would be," the Ranger told her, then rattled off a list of instructions crisply. "Bucket there. Barrel outside the door. Water in the river. Ax in the lean-to, firewood behind the cabin. Broom by the door and I believe you can probably see where the floor might be?" "Yes, sir," said Elize, beginning to roll up her sleeves. She'd noticed the water barrel as she approached, obviously holding the day's water supply for the cabin. She estimated that it would hold twenty or thirty buckets full. With a sigh, she realized she was going to have a busy morning. As she walked outside, the empty bucket in one hand, she heard the Ranger say contentedly as he poured himself a mug of coffee and sat down again: "I'd forgotten how much fun having an apprentice can be." oOo
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