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  1. I've been bouncing between different themes in creating challenges and in organizing my epic quests and battle log threads so much that I really should create a theme based on Heinlein's World As Myth collection and label myself a multi-verse Time Corps Agent. Problem is, since they never got made into movies, there are few, if any, cool images and gifs. So, I've returned to organizing my fitness and life goals around the Star Wars universe. It's been my framework and inspiration since college, and during a wonderful period from 1998 to 2005, that inspiration was extremely effective. When I let the disciplines of meditation, running, weight lifting, and karate training slip, I gained weight and lost a lot of who I wanted to be. While I've been HERE at Nerd Fitness for years, I have not been putting in the dedication and effort required to make necessary changes --- and stick with them. So, I have titled this a RESPAWN in recognition to making a major break with my recent past. I may occasionally write fiction about my character in order to help me re-imagine myself as my ideal self. You can't achieve what you can't conceive. That role-play character will be placed in the universe of the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. I haven't played that game in years, but I downloaded the update and am in the process of getting used to the changes. After a couple of hours, I recall WHY I stopped playing. It's only available for the PC (which we have, but it's my husband's machine). And the dual currency .... with so many features tied to purchasing cartel coins is annoying. Plus, I don't know anyone who plays it anymore. SO .... I'm not sure how many hours of my limited gaming time will be shifted over to SW:TOR from WoW.
  2. Last challenge went really well for the first three weeks, and then some stuff at work really got under my skin. Some bouts of emotional eating combined with the long 4th of July weekend bumped up my weight by about a pound. I really need to take measurements because my clothes continue to get looser as I bike and run and walk. Mid-summer, like mid-winter, just doesn’t have a lot of events to look forward to enjoying. There are a lot of things happening near the end of August, but these upcoming weeks have the potential to really drag in the proverbial “dog days of summer”. And when I get bored, I tend to eat more than I should. When it’s hot and muggy, it’s tempting to stay inside and avoid any sort of workout. But not this summer!!! My main goal for the next challenge is to stay in control of my eating and keep in balance with my activity. 1) Plan meals, including fun foods and treats 2) Stay in points budget 3) Get 83 points worth of exercise each week (how many points does swinging a sword for a 1/2 hour get me??) Have some fun 4) Start archery (target) and practice on rest days 5) OCR training (Dirt in the Skirt round 2 redux) Summer ...... bring it, bitches!!!
  3. This challenge theme is a nod to the fact that I FINALLY broke the plateau and started to lose weight again. So, I'm continuing the success strategies from last challenge but adding in some fun randomness based on the board and iPad game Galaxy Trucker. I'm also continuing (and pledge to do a better job of writing consistently) my RPG Jedi story. Given the amount of time I spend on the bus most days, I should be able to craft the day's activity and challenges into a tale worth telling. Goal #1 - Stick to my Smart PointsTM budget for each day and week This has generally been pretty easy, although some days, I am really freakin' hungry and there's nothing worthy of eating for a snack. The new Weight Watchers points system really rewards similar food choices to the NF or Primal diets .... but I like the clear budget numbers and the fact that nothing is off limits .... you just pay for indulgences. Sounds like life. Goal #2 - Finish C25K training program (again) I'm into week 4 in preparation for a fun run in July. Goal #3 - Round 2 of Dirt in your Skirt training program It's my adaptation of Margaret Schlachter's suggested program. It takes 28 days .... seems like kizmet. I'm increasing the number of reps for each body weight exercise. And I have made cards for each of the usual obstacles in a Warrior Dash. Between the 28-day program and my random daily draw, I'm be working up to facing the "gateway" OCR next year. My biggest challenge is - honestly - a nasty fear of heights. Goal #4 - Celebrate Summer Daily This is a quality of life goal and is a bit vague. Depends upon the day, what will speak to me of those long, lazy days of summer?? Reading on the porch, swinging in the hammock, getting on my bike, going for a swim?? I don't know, but I'll report and .... hopefully ..... remember pictures. Goal #5 - Keep on Truckin' MOAR RANDOM exercises tied into the RPG story. I am boarding a new fangled freighter, bound for adventure to assist on a nice, quiet blue milk run out among the stars. Week Zero (which we are in) involves repairing the ship and preparing to lift off. Then, the fun begins.
  4. It's May, and unfortunately, I'm still up on that damn plateau. 164 pounds. Yes, my jeans are getting loose. (Go me!!!) Yes, I'm finding that I can trot up the stairs (with a pack on) instead of crawl up them (really, I never crawled .... just wanted to). Yes, I am attacking days with more energy and resolve than I have in oh, about 10 years. (And I warn people in my office that I AM A SHARK. They think I'm cute and energetic.....what do they know???) But sooner or later, that scale IS going to reflect the new reality. Or else!!! So, I need to exert discipline - train harder and sacrifice things that are holding me back. (Yes, I'm looking at you, wine and pizza. Don't think I didn't notice that you account for the majority of my calories each week.) I really need a big, solid goal to work toward that puts me back into the "training for" mindset: Warrior Dash 2017!!!! Soon enough to be serious, but far enough away to be feasible. I'm taking Margaret Schlachter (from Dirt in Your Skirt) as my Jedi Master. Her book is an easy introduction that is getting me started. There's probably better, more in-depth books out there, but I don't want to become an underpants gnome. I've got enough to get started and a year to work on upper body strength and agility. And mental toughness. Getting off the plateau (Get down to 162 lbs or less) It can be difficult to find your way down if you've lost the trail. Trust me, I get lost fairly often on hikes, and I know this to be true from experience. So, what's the plan????? 1) Use your body!!! 28 days of OCR fitness training, based on Schlacter's example workout .... which is mostly bodyweight training. That schedule includes rest days, and I've already planned out how to gradually increase the challenge over the coming year. Plus, it also involves preparing to run 5K, which will keep me in training to do fun runs, like the Color Run and a Zombie Run. 2) Embrace the obstacles in front (or below) you. Do obstacle-specific training. Every non-rest day. I'd randomize them, but I'll have to allow for passing on exercises that require equipment that isn't readily available on that day ... like the bouldering wall at the campus gym. 3) Keep moving!!! It's one of my favorite ways to tackle a dungeon. It's not efficient, but it eventually you will get out. Or die, which is another way of finding the way out on the corpse run. In this case, increase step count to 11K per day. And don't die. 4) Travel light. (That's what I'm trying to do here .... Didn't you see the goal above? Oh yea, I did see that. But do you realize that you're talking to yourself???? Must be the heat and dehydration. You better get off this plateau. Yea, like I'm not trying .....) Keep net calories at 1375 per day BUT distribute over 5 or 6 smaller meals each day. 5) Live off the land!! (Cuz there ain't much cake and ice cream up on that there plateau.) Increase protein. It's at 75 grams average right now, which is low for trying to build muscle. Aiming for 82 grams. I think protein powder is going to be my new friend. And low sugar jerky. And salad greens and carrot sticks. Cut out the wine, eat less pizza even on Friday, and fill up on fruits and veggies.
  5. It's been sort of a whirlwind lately... And I've felt the need to tame the clutter and focus more narrowly. So, I will be concentrating on the Magician's Path this challenge, Instead of running in circles trying to do ALL THE THINGS! (ALL THE PATHS!) The Four Paths The Four Paths - as used in the epic fantasy novel that I have been writing, lo, these many years - is a system of training used by the members of a mysterious order. The paths are: Warrior Scholar Magician Healer Hmmm, sounds kind of like an RPG... I am continuing to use cards from the Tarot for focus and as visual aids and inspiration for my challenges. (Toga Party!) As established last challenge, I am working with the transforming the Fool's energy into that of the Magician. That overlaps nicely with the system of the Four Paths and thus, my challenge title. I like using the Tarot for my challenge themes so far. It helps me focus and to approach things in a more fun and intuitive way. That works well for me, especially since I simply haven't had the time to do the more imaginative gamified things I've wanted to do. I have come up with a multi-challenge sequence that should address all of the major areas I want to improve over the course of the year. It also provides a good framework for gamification and a storyline if I can make the time for that. We shall see. I am also continuing my years theme of "planting my stake in the ground" - commitment and persistence being qualities that I see as needed in my life right now. My Main Goal is to put more MAGIC and FUN into my life 1. MAINTAIN average sleep amount of 7 hours per night. IMPROVE the quality of my sleep through a wiser bedtime routine 2. AUTOMATE more of my systems: a revised set of daily routines, a system of modular "kits" for my more mobile lifestyle to help me organize the stuff I need to cart around for work, lessons, working out, and traveling. 3. GROW my creativity, making more time for fun in my life, things like juggling, drawing, Digital Storytellers group, fiddle. 45 minutes minimum per day. 4. INCREASE my physical fitness - Continue walking, stretching, working on posture. Move more at work - utilize standing desk, do quick bursts of exercise in small breaks to counteract the effects of so much sitting. Add in more bodyweight strength training and increase walking pace. 5. CONTINUE my cyber security training - 2+ half-day visits to the AZCWR (Arizona Cyber Warfare Range) for training; At least six hours of security study and training exercises the other two weeks. The above are a little vague on specific amounts. I plan is to make a spreadsheet with my current baselines and then just aim for hitting the goal numbers for #1 & #3; establish at the beginning of each week what kit I am going to make for #2, go for ~3% increases in mileage, reps, pace as appropriate for #4. #5 is already fairly specific. A few other goals that I am tracking: I will lose at least three pounds this challenge. I will continue my cleaning habits to keep clutter and home chaos at bay. And of course, cats...
  6. "A safari /səˈfɑːri/ is an overland journey, usually a trip by tourists to Africa. In the past, the trip was often a big-game hunt, but today, safari often refers to trips to observe and photograph wildlife—or hiking and sight-seeing as well." "Hatari! (pronounced [hɑtɑri], Swahili for "Danger!") is a 1962 American action/adventure romantic drama film directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne. It portrays a group of professional wildlife catchers in Africa. The film includes dramatic wildlife chases and the scenic backdrop of Mount Meru, a dormant volcano." [credits: wikipedia] Hatari! is one of my favorite John Wayne movies. In the movie, the wildlife catchers are collecting animals for zoos around the world, caring for the animals and having some pretty ingenious ways of capturing them. In this challenge, I'll be setting my sights on the "animals" I want to "collect" for my imaginary zoo. Each element of my challenge will have an associated animal to capture by the end of the challenge. But there's also another Safari in my life: a disc golf one. "Safari Golf – [slang term] This is when players create a new route through an established course. For example: instead of playing the holes in order, players may choose to use the tee from hole one to throw towards hole 6. (Reference: Gypsy Golf) [credit: disctroy] Here's the disc golf safari in my life: Allen (hubby) and I are running this tournament together and playing in the Mixed Doubles division. I have alot of responsibilities for helping organize, plan, and run the event, which is on the last day of the challenge. I also need to work on my game, which is a little rusty after not playing all winter. If you're unfamiliar with disc golf, here you go in a nutshell. It's one of the fastest growing pro/am sports worldwide. So onto my challenge goals, the animals I want to collect for my imaginary zoo: Main quest: Rhino My Rhino is the disc golf safari tournament. I have a lot to do: --Upload regular photos/updates to the Peoria Frisbee Club & Celebrate Recovery Facebook pages --Photograph and edit pics of all the donated raffle prizes and players' packs --Keep track of all event volunteers [and gain said volunteers in the first place] --Keep the CR leadership/PFC leadership up to date on all progress for the event --Produce handouts/fundraising packets/powerpoint slides for CR and keep them up to date and have plenty on hand of the consumables --work on my game (play as many rounds as possible, practice my putts on workout days, get in as much field work as I can) Second Quest: Zebra My Zebra is time management. I need to: --Work on all of my zoo animals in a timely manner and not procrastinate or the fast-moving horse-like thingy will get away from me. --Use a calendar to schedule when I work on things. --Practice the presence of "no". No new projects, no spur-of-the-moment side adventures. I have alot on my plate in April and don't have time to get distracted. Quest 3: Giraffe My Giraffe is my yard. April is when things spring into action and everything is tall and needs to be corralled. My trees, my bushes, my grass. --Get Trimline to either commit to mowing my grass or find someone else. I'm tired of their lackadaisical attitude. --Get out there today, do a review of the yard and what needs to get done, in what order and under what schedule. --Talk with Allen about where we're going with the landscaping and make it a joint effort (I'm tired of doing all the yardwork myself...) --Get the house perimeter sprayed Quest 4: Buffalo My Buffalo is continuing my strength training. I made tremendous noob gainz last month, and I'm going to continue working at it. But, somehow I messed up my right MCL, so I'm backing down on the weight until it heals. I.) work out 3x a week (disc golf is bonus) Each of these exercises is done between 3-5 sets per workout, depending on how I feel --Squats: bodyweight until MCL heals --Push Ups: Wall push ups, working on wrist strength and mobility --Lunges: bodyweight static lunges until MCL heals --Dumbbell Rows: currently 10|30# --Elbow Planks: currently 40 seconds --Disc Golf Putts: currently averaging 7|10 putts from 15 foot distance --Bicep Curls: currently 5|30#, 2|35#MR --Triceps Kick-Back: thinking of starting these again because I know my triceps are weak. I'd been able to do 3 x 7.5# a year ago. So I'll start there. 2.) Weight and measurement baseline for April: Age: 50. Height: 5'8" --Weight: 175.8 --Underbust measurement: 32" --Waist measurement: 30.8" --Hip measurement: 37.2" --Thigh measurement: 23.8" 3.) Track all my food, continuing a +/- 1700 calorie goal. Macro goals: --Protein: 106g --Fat: 76g --Carbs: 149g --Fiber: 25g Quest 5: Monkeys In the movie, they need to catch some Vervet monkeys, and because those monkeys bite, claw, scratch and otherwise cause mayhem, the team has to protect themselves while at the same time capturing the monkeys without harming them. My Monkeys are my social skills. --I will remember my slogan: 'not my monkeys.' As in, 'not my circus, not my monkeys'. I remind myself that other people's monkeys are their issues and their responsibility, not mine. I'm not responsible for fixing people or for being the peacemaker when that means being codependent. --I should keep my own monkeys in check and not let them fling poo at others, especially when I'm under alot of stress like April looks to be. In other words, I will use the relational tools available to me to respond appropriately to people and situations mindfully, rather than knee-jerk reacting. --I will remind myself to not take things personally, and I don't need to act as if every person I come across must like me. Sometimes personalities clash. Sometimes it my monkeys; sometimes it's theirs, sometimes it's both. Live at peace with one another as much as it depends on you; but sometimes it doesn't depend on you. --I will work on prayerfully saying the Serenity Prayer like I used to do, which was a good centering practice.
  7. ShadowLion keeps her stake planted in the ground... Shadow Lion Walks the Circle (Whaddya expect when you've tied your foot to a rope attached to a stake in the ground?) Transforming from the Fool... To the Magician... (This card I chose, rather than drew, to use as a meditation device in the coming weeks.) Last challenge - when I drew The Fool for my theme - was definitely an adventure, full of fresh starts, false starts, exploration, new ideas, taking chances and chasing dreams. A leap of faith. Now, it's time to focus that energy and balance it. To utilize will and discipline to become the Magician, specifically a Technomancer. This continues my year theme of "planting my stake in the ground" - focus, commitment, determination - in a general way. It is also directly linked to what I perceive as a great need to balance out the various "elemental energies" in my life, the very things that the Magician has mastered. I have have been out of balance with too much work and stress lately and need to correct that. From there, I am using the element of chance and drawing cards to guide my "walk around the circle" and determine my challenge goals. I thought it was pretty cool how there are circles in every card I drew, especially Wheel of Fortune, given the challenge title I chose a week ago! I used my Druidcraft Tarot deck to draw from, but used the internet for digital versions. Time is at a premium, these days. VII The Chariot Queen of Cups Oddly enough, I drew all female cards, though the deck is evenly balanced. And I am struggling as to how to fit a couple of these with my challenge goals. Challenge Focus & Schedule This is a transitional challenge, where the Fool begins to transform into the Magician. I want to keep and continue to enhance the positive qualities of the Fool - the creativity, joy, fresh outlook, and positivity - but mitigate some of the more chaotic ones with the discipline and focus of the Magician. I learned a lot from last challenge, where the Fool showed me that I have been over-emphasizing work at the expense of fun and just about everything else in life. I found out just how much I need more balance. It has taken me the first week of the challenge to get my act together enough to get my goals lined out, even with having the zero week this time. I expect to use the remaining 3 weeks, plus the next zero week, as transition time and pick up with a full-fledged Magician challenge in May. My focus will be in balancing out the various activities in my life as I clear some long-standing projects and create a (somewhat) less hectic schedule for myself. I have been over-working, under-playing, and neglecting relationships and personal growth in favor of getting my business off the ground. That only works for a short time and I have pushed it pretty far. This is the month where I get balance back, as symbolized by the circle motif in my challenge title, avatar, and mirrored in the cards. I am applying the cards to the weeks of the challenge: Week 1 is Two of Pentacles - I have been shifting my focus to the things I can control and where I can make a difference, rather than dwelling on those things that stress me out. Making plans as to how to better address the stressors and take concrete action over the next few weeks to make those more manageable. And, I have actually taken up juggling... It's a good break at work, works my hands and eyes and gets me away from the computer with something completely different. Staying foolish. Week 2 is The Chariot - Here is where I get down to earnest on the plans made in Week 1. Schedule changes. Drawing clearer boundaries on time and energy use. Adding new exercises. Dynamic balance. Week 3 is The Wheel of Fortune - Even more balancing and adjustment. More about internal balance, reflection on cycles of life, getting my inner house in order. Week 4 is the Queen of Cups - This is another card of internal adjustment, and of tapping into emotions and the unconscious. I expect that it will start to set the tone of the next challenge. A card with strong associations with nurturing home life, relationships and creativity. Goals 1. Ward Off the EVIL EYE My posture and my eyes are suffering from constantly being under the gaze of the EVIL EYE (being in front of a computer for so many hours of the day). Stretching, using my adjustable/standing desk, breaks, eye yoga are my defenses. The sedentary nature of my work is another concern. Daily stretch/squat/stand sessions and eye yoga. No more than 45 minutes without getting up and walking around or switching to at least 15 minutes of standing work. Eyes - 20 sec breaks every 20 minutes, a longer eye yoga session (5 mins) for every four hours on the computer. Specific checks of my posture, and especially head and neck positions on the same schedule as eyes and do a few quick stretches as needed at the same time. Hand/wrist stretches included, too. Daily (or more frequent) walks of at least 1K, to break up the sitting. 2. Create Sacred Space My minimalism progress from the fall has not held up to the chaos of the last few months. The Fool does not seem to do well with the structure required with home maintenance! Clear the clutter. The 15 minutes a day clutter patrol returns. I also have several short projects of: Rearranging furniture Office spring cleaning Work on a better setup for my drawing area, so I can sit down and do short sessions easily, without taking a bunch of time to set up each time 3. Make Time for Foolishness Last challenge's fun/relaxation/creativity goal helped me see how little time I was myself for play and recreation. It was a struggle most days to carve out 30 minutes for that. I am continuing that goal, but with upgrades this time. More art and writing, less reading and internet in that time. And more time overall. 45 minutes. 4. Sleep I need more sleep and a better sleep schedule. (And a lot of other things that aren't going to make it into this challenge.) I will start with sleep. 6 hours bare minimum, 7 hours goal. Log it, and see how I can make this work better. Once I have that in better shape, I plan to re-introduce lucid dreaming experiments again. 5. Whole Brain Balance I am experimenting with physical activities that will help me increase physical and mental balance in my life. Juggling on breaks at work, non-dominant hand mirror writing, using my non-dominant hand for everyday tasks, bi-lateral strength and agility training to increase muscle symmetry and help with Goal 1. I am using the parts of "Whole Brain Power" by Michael Lavery that make sense to me and ignoring what doesn't. I have a lot of other goals that I wanted to add, but I am restricting myself to the above to establish a stronger base to my balancing. I am leaving room for adjustments and possible additions upon each week's finish, as needed. Let the intuition and the cats (and the circles!) begin...
  8. The base goal for the year remains to lose weight!!! Goal weight is still 146 pounds by the end of 2016. During March, I pretty much maintained on my plateau. I don't like it up there, and I want to come down and play with all the rest of the nerds. Process goals: 1) Reduce Net Calorie Intake by 10% The good news is that I tracked my calorie intake pretty well in March. It hurt sometimes to record a monster caramel roll at 800 calories (!) or a big bowl of Kemps premium chocolate and peanut butter ice cream. But I've established my actual maintenance calorie intake rather than a calculated estimate: 1538 net calories average per day. So .... new target calorie goal (net) for the April challenge is ...... 1384 calories. That's going to take some work and discipline!!! So ..... 2) Increase Movement by 10% My FitBit is my friend. I probably need to develop more friendships and get out a lot more, but this device is a constant data gathering wonder that tells me that I'm not very consistent in my daily activity. In March, my average step count has fallen to 9K. In April, I'm increasing my goal to a daily 10K. I should be able to fit in walking around campus and stair climbing, but I will also work at programmed fitness activities (running and weight lifting), which the FitBit tracks pretty well. 3) Weekend Food Preparation Saturday or Sunday needs to be cook-ahead day so that I have healthy lunches in easy reach at the office. This builds on the February Bento Baby challenge and incorporates Staci's article on meal prep. This makes it easier to avoid fries and chips and goopy mayonnaise-laden sandwiches .... plus, it also usually lets me get out for that noon walk ....... 4) Training Never Stops (Flexible Discipline) No, flexible discipline isn't some new sadistic type of yoga. It means that I will commit to working out every day, but that I will have a variety of workouts from which to choose. I'll set them up and then select from options based on how I feel, the weather, and Mr. Wizard's desire (or lack thereof) to participate. AND ..... I will be soliciting votes from the audience as I continue to write my RP story. A little randomness keeps it interesting. Finally ..... 5) Advance Planning for Missions!!! Sunday is a day to clean up and get ready for the coming week. I may not be able to do all 21 of the Easy Things to Do On Sunday That Will Make Monday Suck Less, but I will do as many as I can. Grading .... Well, I track calories on LoseIt and steps on FitBit, but I'll put a summary up in Google docs, unless we get progress bars working again. And, I'm going to averages really, rather than try to be perfect every day. If I can hold calories and steps to a good average each week, I'll count that as a major win!!!
  9. The journey continues as ShadowLion decides to keep her theme the same and her stake planted in the ground. Shadow Lion Keeps on Shufflin' She decides to draw again... (And gets a very interesting result.) The Fool In the Single-Card Draw position A card in this position illuminates the present moment or the question at hand. Meaning: This first Major Arcana card is an excellent illustration of someone who is following their bliss. This card often materializes in a reading when the querent is trying something new and completely different. They may be just beginning their spiritual journey or are exploring a new magickal tradition or path. Perhaps they are taking on a brand-new job or are considering an innovative business opportunity. The Fool encourages us to dare, be more open minded, and enjoy the ride. Do not let yourself be dragged down by worries. The Fool laughingly persuades you to trust and take a chance, and not fret too much about the future—instead, just enjoy the trip and take things one day at a time. This card is all about the proverbial leap of faith. Sure, it is possible that you might make a mistake or fall down, but hey! You can always get right back up, brush yourself off, and try again. Sometimes that is the best way to learn—by daring to do. At the end of the day, the Fool encourages you to be open to new prospects and ideas. Live on the edge; think outside of the box. Be confident and bold! There is a big, wide, magickal world out there...go explore it! Keywords: Follow your bliss. Adventure, fresh starts, exploration, a journey. New ideas; take a chance and chase your dreams. The beginning of a spiritual quest; exploring a new magickal path or tradition. A leap of faith. (Who knew there was an X-Men Tarot?) Cue Twilight Zone Theme Song... I have had some big challenges the last week and a half and spent considerable time considering how to best move forward. I have asked myself some tough questions and looked at what needs to change. I've been taking all of that into meditation on a regular basis and the image I kept getting was of "The Fool" card in the Tarot. I kept dismissing it as not relevant, too simplistic, etc. I really wanted to keep doing the "Queen of Swords/Strength/Justice" thing, as that is familiar and I can do that pretty well. (Maybe too well?) I decided Monday that, yes, I was going to do a challenge this time, and yes, I was going to continue my theme from last challenge, but I wasn't sure whether I was going to focus on one card for the challenge, one per week, or one per day. Tonight, when I finally made the time to write up my post, I decided to just draw one card for this challenge's theme. (I hadn't drawn any cards since the start of last challenge when I constructed the last one's theme.) I focused my mind on "What do I most need to focus on this challenge?" And quite against the odds, I drew the same card that had been popping into my meditation for days, the one I had been avoiding for days: This may be a rather interesting challenge... I haven't fully processed the implications of what just happened - and how I should respond to it - beyond acknowledging that there are some very powerful forces at work in my life and I need to pay attention. For now, I am reposting the same goals that I had last challenge. I expect to make changes, but am not sure yet exactly what. I have no idea how all this will fit in with the standard challenge format. I just know that I am here and I am still shufflin'! 1. Move Forward Increase my total walking distance by 3 to 5 % each week over the course of the challenge. Starting distance is 12.5 miles per week. 2. Find Equilibrium Squat for of 5 mins per day, every day of the challenge. Stand for a minimum 10 minutes of every hour I work at GP. 3. Rebuild My Strength There are many types of strength I could choose to work on - physical, mental, emotional, social, soul (intuition, imagination), and spiritual. I am choosing soul and spirit as being the most in need of restoration I will take a minimum of 30 minutes every single day of the challenge to tend to my spiritual and soul needs through meditation, relaxation, play, creativity and/or spending time out-of-doors. 4. CodeWarrior Learn - Complete the Git and DevOps courses I am taking. Practice - Participate in at least one exercise through the AZCWR (Arizona Cyber Warfare Range). Let the intuition (and the cats!) begin...
  10. No I don't mean cleaning my house. No actual dust bunnies will be harmed in the making of this film. Er, Challenge. Compared to the average Warrior, I'm starting small and lifting amounts that are very light, hence the dust bunnies!! I will be continuing what I started at the end of my 8th challenge: Fitness-- Doing a modified Weighted BBWW workout, Tue/Thu/Sat. Tracking my workouts in a spreadsheet and posting workout logs here in my challenge. Progressions in reps to 10, then increase weight. Goblet Squats: currently at 3 sets of 5, at 5 lbs. Incline Push Ups: currently at 3 sets of 10, at 60 degree angle. Goblet Lunges: currently at 3 sets of 16, at 5 lbs. Dumbbell rows: currently at 3 sets of 10, at 25 lbs. Planks: currently at 3 sets of 25 second elbow planks, with some side raise planks thrown inJumping Jacks: currently on hold, as plantar fasciitis flare up recedes -- So Disc Golf Putts in it's placeBicep Curls: currently at 3 sets of 8, at 30 lbs. Diet-- Track food daily with My Fitness Pal. 1700 calorie goal. Post food logs in challenge thread.Weigh and measure on Mondays, post stats and compare to beginning stats.Weight: 176.6Height: 5'8"Age: 50Underbust: 32.5Waist: 31.2Hip: 37.2Thigh: 24.5Life-- Keep up with customer orders so I don't get behind with workKeep up with dishes and laundryPrepare for disc golf tournament in April
  11. Shadow Lion Shuffles the Cards... and Decides to Stack the Deck (for success) I have been on a strange and unexpected journey this past weekend as I pondered what to do for my challenge. I found myself wandering down paths I have not traveled in some time, and I realized that my life feels wildly out of balance. I am in need of the Queen of Swords decisiveness and discipline, while also bringing my inner and outer worlds into better alignment through intuition and quiet contemplation. This challenge is a continuation of the last one in many ways - of my year theme of planting my stake in the ground - but it also promises to add some new twists to that. I feel that in many ways I have come full circle (or perhaps it is a spiral?), back to face the very things that once led me away from software development. Now, however, I have the opportunity to deal with those in a different, healthier way, and I can enlist a wealth of life experience from the intervening years to become the ruler of my own well-being. In keeping with the lessons of challenges past - surprise, surprise - I need to further simplify and focus. My year theme of planting my stake in the ground continues. Commitment, discipline, perseverance. This past weekend I took stock of where I was and it wasn't pretty. Depression was creeping in around the edges; I felt exhausted physically, mentally, spiritually. I just wanted to sit down and cry. I'd been working so hard and such long hours that I was totally drained, battling a cold, and wondering how I was going to dredge up the energy to put a challenge together - something that I normally find very enjoyable. I tried to think up some grand idea (always a good plan, right?) and came up with nothing. Then I remembered the conversation on last challenge's thread with Xena about tarot cards. I had planned to save that for later in the year, but I needed an idea... Hmmm. Maybe the answers to my other dilemmas were similarly staring me in the face? It has been many years since I really surveyed what was out there in terms of decks. Between Google, Pinterest, and other sites, I was amazed at all the new decks there are. Traditional tarot, non-tarot "oracle" decks ranging from fairies to vikings to manga to angels, pop culture influenced decks...you name it. I spent several hours marveling at the artwork and imagination behind it all and getting inspired to do a very unusual challenge. Harry Potter... LOTR... (LOL! It's Rurik Harrgarth!) So, I decided to take the hint from the Universe and draw a card using the cosmic code of random electrons and got... And laughed. The lady and the lion, 8, and a sideways 8 - infinity... That is my card. Has been for years. My totem, my number. I drew several more cards, too, which will be revealed over the course of this challenge. Suffice to say, they painted a very interesting picture of what I need to do to resolve my dilemmas and reach my goals. They may look similar on the surface, but make no mistake, things are very, very different now. 1. Move Forward Increase my total walking distance by 3 to 5 % each week over the course of the challenge. Starting distance is 12.35 miles per week. 2. Find Equilibrium Squat for of 5 mins per day, every day of the challenge. Stand for a minimum 10 minutes of every hour I work at GP. 3. Rebuild My Strength There are many types of strength I could choose to work on - physical, mental, emotional, social, soul (intuition, imagination), and spiritual. I am choosing soul and spirit as being the most in need of restoration I will take a minimum of 30 minutes every single day of the challenge to tend to my spiritual and soul needs through meditation, relaxation, play, creativity and/or spending time out-of-doors. 4. CodeWarrior Learn - Complete the Git and DevOps courses I am taking. Practice - Participate in at least one exercise through the AZCWR (Arizona Cyber Warfare Range). Learn, Practice, Share - Participate in a "Mob Programming" workshop Let the intuition (and the cats!) begin...
  12. Welcome, welcome!!!!! Draw up a chair and sit here by the fire while the assembled company prepares its boasts and plans for the coming month!!! I have no doubt that many brave deeds are being contemplated right now. At month's end, many a glorious tale will be told. And more than a few heroes will find themselves back here to nurse wounds and plan anew. I myself am taking a month's leisure to strum a merry tune of an evening and prepare for a long journey, waiting only for the easing of the winter cold before I am bound for the East, to see new lands and seek treasures I've only known of in tales. No one knows for sure what we will encounter on the way; so I need to prepare quite a number of things: 1) Healing Potions and Bandages I seem to catch minor illnesses with some frequency, which interferes with strenuous activity and training. There is a great deal of opinions about what remedies and preparations will prevent one from becoming ill ... or in speeding recovery. I plan to spend time each day reading at the great library and consulting with the local alchemists about the most effective items to take now and to bring with me on the adventure to come. I am a bit frustrated with my frequency of catching the "crud" and plan to do some research into effective ways to improve immunity, adopting tactics that have support of research. Some are obvious ... like getting good sleep and drinking plenty of water. But even a quick look at Harvard Health shows me that there are some stones I've left unturned. If I'm not feeling good, I often don't workout .... or I take it easy ..... so it takes longer to reach goals. I'm going to find ways to stay on task and working hard longer. 2) Food Well, food. A traveler may find places to eat along the road, but the quality of the victuals is often ...... questionable. And one might be better served by eating an apple and greens rather than fried porridge. I am preparing foods to bring with me so that I do not need to rely upon fast food served by the MacDonalds or other similar families. Their pubs may look inviting, but I've heard tales about their chicken nuggets that would curl your toes. I've had two interviews for a job in the Twin Cities at the University. Yea, that doesn't mean that I'll get it, but I started thinking about logistics and remembering that LUNCHES are often a real challenge. And that dinner can also mean that we go out because we're both tired and not interested in cooking. So, I'm going to get back into the habit of cooking ahead and preparing Bento Box lunches for each week day. Even if I'm working on projects on my own time table, this is not a bad thing to do, and it's more interesting than popping a frozen burrito in the microwave to be swilled down with warmed up coffee. 3) Gear I've been gathering up traveling clothes for a few weeks. I've garnered a nice, warm cloak and sturdy hiking boots, suitable for the cold. But I still need a few changes of shirts and trousers. And my time-keeping device has entirely lost the band that keeps it on my wrist. I need to dig through my packs and figure out what I will need for the trip, but I am sure many of my adventuring supplies are worn out or missing. I've been too long sitting by my fire, strumming a tune on this guitar. It is time for an adventure!!! I let my winter gear wear out and not be replaced. I got a few things for Christmas (parka and boots), but I still need more base layer items and a replacement for my FitBit, especially since for goal #5, I need to be prepared for what February in Minnesota can dish out. It can be damn cold (-30F) or very snowy, depending upon the year. 4) Spells No bard would take to the road .... nor no ranger either ..... without having essential spells memorized. It's a dangerous world out there, and one never knows if charm or a wolf will be needed to smooth the way. I am going to finish my personal trainer certification book by the end of February. I won't be able to take the test until April, which will let me work on memorization, but I want to learn the material and put it to work in my own life. 5) .... and I shall spend fair days in scouting the way ahead, as much as the snows permit, of course. It's best to know the lay of the land .... and start to get toughened up for the long walk. I'll gradually go out further each day to stretch my legs and get used to traveling in the cold again. One thing that helps keep me healthy is getting outside to exercise DAILY. Even if it is just a 30 minute walk, the fresh air really does seem to help. This can be a challenge!!!! And the gear for a February afternoon stroll can weigh more than 10 pounds .... so I'll get a leg up on prepping for a Go Ruck or OCR.
  13. TTZZAAPP!!! A PUFF OF SMOKE AND... Granny Nogg has turned herself into a little brown mouse. The first thought that enters her mouse brain is, "Cheese. .. I smell cheese!!" Lovely, golden, creamy, tangy cheese is going to help Granny Nogg gain some serious mouse muscles. That, and lifting heavy things to the Rocky theme song. Or Disco. Because Disco isn't Dead. Fitness: Do the BBWW 3x a week (Tue/Thu/Sat). Progression in squats, lunges, and dumbbell weight. Track workouts in spreadsheet. Track steps the other 4 days with my FitBit. Diet: Track my food daily with My Fitness Pal. 1600 calorie goal. Weigh and measure once per week. Track in MFP.weight:176.5underbust: 32.25waist: 32hip: 39thigh: 25Life: Keep up with work orders and don't get behind. Weekly Summaries: Week 1: Fitness: workouts 1/3 Did track in spreadsheet and tracked steps. Diet: Tracked 7/7. Went over goal twice. Weighed and measured. weight: 179.3 underbust: 32.75 waist: 31.5 hip: 38.75 thigh: 25 Life: orders still caught up. Week 2: Fitness: workouts 3/3. Did track in spreadsheet and tracked steps. Diet: tracked 7/7. Went over once. Weighed and measured. weight: 175.9 underbust: 32.5 waist: 31.25 hip: 37.25 thigh: 24.75 Life: orders still caught up. Week 3: Fitness: workouts 3/3, because I'm counting the Yard Work that gave me DOMS for 3 days. Wow. Did track in spreadsheet and tracked steps (Fitbit needs a new battery!) Diet: Tracked 6/7. Dunno what happened to Saturday's food log, I can't find it. Went over only one day, on Wednesday. I know I didn't go over on Saturday because I didn't eat much. Weighed and measured. Weight: 176.6 Underbust: 32.5 Waist: 31.2 Hip: 37.2 Thigh: 24.5 Life: orders still caught up, but I'm feeling a little bit pressured by the number of them on the board, so I need to step up my game and get more of them actually completed. sent from my tiny particle accelerator
  14. Theme for 2016 During a Solstice ritual with a couple of friends, I had a very clear image of a driving a stake into the ground. Attached was a leather thong that bound my ankle to the stake. I knew the image referred to a story I read many years ago of a Native American warrior, but I could not remember the details, only that it was an act of total commitment. Once again, the internet delivers: Attached to each dog rope was a picket-pin [used to tether horses]. The pin was driven into the ground as a mark of resolve in combat. When a Dog Soldier was staked to the ground in order to cover the retreat of his companions, he was required to remain there even if death was the consequence. The Dog Man could pull the pin from the ground only if his companions reached safety or another Dog Soldier released him from his duty. From "Cheyenne Dog Soldiers," by Richard Grimes I'm kind of glad I didn't remember the details of the story! The more I read about the Dog Soldiers the more respect I have and the more intimidated I become. Nevertheless, I am holding to my intuitive vision and planting my stake into the ground.Focus and Motivation No doubt this will be a challenging year. To in some small way embody the ideals and values of warriors of that caliber will be a tremendous stretch, one in which I hope I can use them as inspiration and example without faltering or giving any disrespect. I see my primary focus this year as being COMMITMENT. My primary motivation to get healthier (on all levels) and stay that way, is to be present for my family, friends, and associates. With the above in mind, and knowing that there are many changes coming to Nerd Fitness, I am keeping my goals simple and succint. I suspect that many of what would normally have been side quests will fit better into the coming "Epic Quest" system, and I am sure that DarK_Raider and Rurik are hatching mini-challenge plans and any number of other surprises for the future... Challenge Goals1. Go the Distance Average of 15 miles per week, for a total of at least 60 miles for the challenge. Going for easy level of difficulty still, just focused on increasing mileage for now. Carefully, steadily. 2. Wait and Watch for the Enemy; Stand Your Ground Squat 10 mins per day, 6 days per week, 6 hours for the challenge. This is to stretch and release tight muscles from sitting at a computer for so much of the day. Stand for increasing times each day I work at GP, starting with 10 minutes of every hour. This one is a tracking goal, not a total time goal for this challenge, at least until I know how much my bum leg will take per day. I purchased a new stand for my computer that lets me easily turn my regular desk into a standing desk. I plan to install that as soon as I return to work and add standing to my daily routine for the last 5 weeks of the challenge. 3. Eat to Win Lose 4 pounds during the January Challenge Do this by eating healthy foods - lots of fruits and veggies, moderate amounts of whole grains, small amounts of meat, and very little processed food, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of sleep, fresh air, and relaxation. 4. CyberWarrior Learn - Complete the cyber security course I am taking. Practice - Participate in at least one exercise through the AZCWR (Arizona Cyber Warfare Range). Share - Organize and promote the upcoming Code Sisters Cyber-Security Workshop. Not sure if I am going to build a story around this or not. I think I will wait until after the 4th to decide that, once I see the new features on Nerd Fitness. Hoka hey! (Yes, I know that's Lakota/Dakota, not Cheyenne, and it doesn't mean what Hollywood thinks it does... But it makes a pretty good war cry.) Let's go kill this challenge!
  15. Granny Nogg is a mashup of two Terry Pratchett characters: Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax. Both are old hedge witches with alot of spunk. If you're curious about them, you can find them in the Discworld fantasy novels series. I'm choosing Disco as my theme for this challenge, because its the type of music I listen to when I'm working out. I've been a member of NF since October 2014. I'd taken a break for the last few months and this is my first challenge after my return. I'm working on the BBWW (Beginner Body Weight Workout), losing (and maintaining the loss of) that last 20 pounds and gaining KOPS status, keeping my business running like a well-oiled machine, and tracking my food. I'm a grandmother of 4, with two more grandbabies on the way this year. I've been happily married for 31 years. And I'm an entrepreneur, as an artist who makes keepsakes from fresh or dried flowers (from funerals, weddings, Mother's Day, etc. I take the flowers and make remembrance gifts from them, like beads for Pandora bracelets, ink pens, and candle holders). I'm also a member of the TOPS organization (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly). KOPS is the "maintenance" level at TOPS. KOPS is Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly, and is the status of your membership when you reach your goal weight. I'd been in the Assassins guild since I graduated from Rebel status last year, but being an old fart who struggles with the minis, I'm taking a step back from that intensity and just focusing on my basics, which are: Fitness: Do the BBWW 3x a week (preferably Tue/Thu/Sat) and track my steps daily with my FitBitLose 2 lbs this challenge, tracking the loss with TOPS. Their scale broke, so I'm tracking with my home scale. Diet: Track my food daily with My Fitness PalTry to stay within the 1200 calorie goalLife: Keep up with work orders and don't get behindMaintain a healthy relationship with my husband as he's home all month recuperating from foot surgery Weekly summary updates: Week 1 - BBWW 3x/week: yes. Track steps daily: modified to track exercise calories on workout days and steps on other days, so yes. Lose 2lbs goal: the scale at Tops got broken, so I don't know yet. Track food daily: yes. Try to stay within 1200 calorie limit: 3/7 days. Keep up with work orders: still working ahead, so yes. Healthy relationship with Allen: yes. We haven't had any problems and I'm dealing with my codependency well, actually. So yes. Week 2 - BBWW 3x/week: yes. Track steps/workouts daily: yes Lose 2lbs goal: Weighing weekly. 172.2 Track food daily: yes 1200 calorie limit: 0/7 days Keep up with work orders: yes Healthy relationship with Allen: yes Week 3 - BBWW 3/week: yes Track steps/workouts daily: 6/7 Lose 2 lbs goal: Weighing weekly, 173.6. Gained Track food daily: yes 1200 calorie limit: 1/7 days Keep up with work orders: yes Healthy relationship with Allen: yes Week 4 - BBWW 3x/week: yes Track steps/workouts daily: 6/7 Lose 2 lbs goal: weighing won't happen until Tuesday again, so I'm assuming still in the gain category Track food daily: yes 1200 calorie limit: 1/7 days Keep up with work orders: yes Healthy relationship with Allen: yes Overall grade: B+ (Not an A because I missed two days tracking steps and only met calorie goal 5x)
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