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  1. Well, I guess this is where I need to be. I'm starting a little late, but oh well. The semester just ended (woot woot!!) and I'm ready for summer. However, I did gain the freshman 15 last year--only add 5 to that. I'm thinking that I need to make some changes before this spirals out of control.... therefore, my May 24 goal is: Get set back into the PST (along with waking up early, and getting enough sleep) Establishing a 5k running plan (and see how far I can make it) Complete a thirty day strength training challenge (doubling most days) Let's see...main quest? Get strong, healthy, and fit Work as hard as I can, as much as I can, so that college bills will be easier Stay close to the people I love I know, pretty generic, but I think that's good for now
  2. So I've always been more of a sprinter. Lots of power and speed in the legs and absolutely no stamina. At school I was excused from cross country - in the cold winter air my lungs would feel like they were on fire and my low blood pressure would make me feel dizzy. Because of this and the family history of asthma, I was too was diagnosed with the condition and never ran any sort of distance other than the 'run-to-the-train-station' sprint. After some months of kettlebells I realised I could do this even faster. After a month of 10K training I could do it without breaking a sweat. I'm training for my first race, which will be a 10K on 12th July. I've tried pace monitoring before with Adidas' Micoach, but felt the zones were far too lenient. In fact, looking at my records from 4 years back, my 29 year-old self was a whole load slower than I am today. I'm using a classic 16-week programme (just finished Week 4) which consists on alternating days of steady, fast and slow runs. To get to the point, today I ran a comfortable 4.38 miles in 50 mins, giving me an average pace of 11'26". Last week I did 45 mins at an average of 12'07" THAT'S A MASSIVE DIFFERENCE! I know it's pretty slow (although it's supposed to be) - my faster pace puts me at just under 10 mins. I wasn't pace-watching, just listening to my body. Was really dreading the run today, as I felt a bit underfuelled, and there was a cold wind so there was a good chance I'd get really painful earache. I also seem to have have this deep-rooted fear that I'm going to have some sort of hypoglycaemic episode far from home, even though that's never happened to me while running. Must be from lifelong memories of burning lungs and wobbly legs... Anyway, I stuck my in-ear headphones in firmly with a Buff over the top and ventured forth in my long-sleeve top and running gloves. I won't lie and say it was easy, but to be honest the horrible bits were only really in the 'uncomfortable' region of pain. I even made it into the I-can-do-this-forever! zone. In just under a month I'll be off to the Lake District, where I'll be doing a week's worth of hill-walking with my satyr-legged boyfriend. Thankfully this coincides with a recovery week, so I shouldn't have to be thinking about balancing up the walking with running about. Last time I went about 18 months ago I did have a hypoglycaemic moment (so, yeah it's actually happened once) when I was alone on a steep climb and I had to have a sit down by the side of the road with some dark chocolate till the sugar did its thing. Hopefully the training has gone some way to stop something like that happening again. I've never run for 50 mins, and according to Runkeeper it's my fastest pace for a 3-5 mile run. It's not record-breaking, but it is my personal best, so I'm chuffed. I've also got kettlebells in a bit, so think of me. I'm going to be thinking about the fact I'll shortly be Eating All The Things.
  3. This is my first 6 week challenge and I am looking forward to the journey and the support/supporting of others in the guild. Mission - to lose 12 lbs, build up endurance and consistency - thereby setting the stage for the next 6 week challenge. SMART Quests - 1.) Develop and maintain healthy eating habits 2.) Complete body weight exercise circuit each day 3.) Walk at least 15 minutes a day LIFE Quest - 1.) Develop a new budget with my wife I know this is simple but that is what I need at this juncture in my life. I know what I am capable of but have just not care lately. Need to get back to being all in on life - in my work, ministry, marriage, fatherhood, fellowships...thanks for your time and I would appreciate your thoughts, prayers and encouraging words.
  4. Alright peeps, let's try this one again. This is my 4th (??) challenge and I have been fairly successful until the last challenge where I fell off the face of the planet because I was completely and utterly overwhelmed with everything in life. But I am not letting it get me down, as I am here and ready to RESPAWN!!! *cricks neck and cracks fingers* Let's get started Overall goal is still the same for those who have been following me: Lose 10lbs every challenge to get to my goal weight of 175lbs, and take necessary steps to join the Police Force Here's how: GOAL 1: Back to basics: 8 glasses of water a day Grading Scale: A - 8 cups of water a day B - 6 cups of water C - 5 or less cups a day Rewards: STA 2, CON 2 GOAL 2: Taking care of business: Stretches, stretches, stretches I simply do not stretch enough and it has hindered my progress Grading scale: A - Stretches 3 times a day B - Stretches 2 times a day C - once or not at all Rewards: WIS 1, DEX 1, CON 2 GOAL 3: Get back on the horse. Get back to training. I have been designated a great workout plan that will get me police ready if I can commit to it. A - Workout 3-5 times a week B - Workout 2x a week C - workout 1x or not at all per week. SIDE QUEST: Finish my schoolwork!!! I have been stressing over this last course because I am behind, I need to get caught up or I will fail. Rewards: INT 1, CHA 1
  5. Hey Guys! So, I'm back and ready to start this challenge. I would definetely call my last challenge a success, but I was not so great at updating my thread. I hope that by incorporating that into one my mini-quests, I can be more successful on that front. I'm finding that I am least successful when my quests include home workouts. I'd like to change that. So, I'm looking for lots of accountability on that front and in order to get that accountability, I kinda need to update. So yeah . . . .without further ado . . . Main Quest: 1 Unassisted Pull-up Mini-Quest 1: Long story short - I have a severe anxiety disorder which I only recently got back under control. In order to help with that, I had to make a med change. The med change means that I'm on a high dose of a med which is a known weight-loss inhibitor and weight-gainer. Not. Cool. The only thing that "may" counteract this (according to my doc) is high-intensity endurance training, so I am working on a couch to 10K program. While I am certainly not new to running, having completed a half-marathon less than 18 months ago, I figured this would be a great way to kickstart everything. I will award myself 3 Stamina points if I can finish the zero-10K program (i.e. run 60 minutes non-stop) by the end of this challenge. Mini-Quest 2: Accountability! I started using HabitRPG and have fell in love with it! So, I added updating NF to my dailies as an every-other-day task. While this will give me an immediate consequence if I don't update (i.e. lost health), I'm hoping that it will eventually lead me to update all the time here and get more support for those at-home workouts which seem so difficult for me! I've decided that if I can post 32 times during this challenge, (after this), I will consider it a success and award myself 3 Charisma points. Mini-Quest 3: Dove-tailing with at-home workout difficulty, I plan on doing either band-assisted pull-ups or push-ups every day throughout the challenge. 3 Strength points. Mind-Body Quest: Stretch and/or meditate at least 3 x's a week. 1.5 points each dexterity & wisdom. I'm hoping to increase flexibility and calm my mind. Life (i.e. stay-sane) Quest: Read (or listen) to at least 1 book that is not a presidential biography for 3 Charisma points. ***** Well, I must say I am a little worried about fitting everything in during the beginning of the Challenge as my wife is away at grad school for the first 9 days of the challenge. . . Solo parenting! As long as the kids get healthy (and stay healthy) I think I can do it!
  6. I've been around the NF Boards for awhile now. I've started a challenge or two, but never followed through. I've started an assassin challenge before, but I thought I'd follow the rules and join the recruit ranks since I never finished. Goal 1 Endurance: My endurance is crap. I'm very strong for the first 20 secs(Beastmode FTW!), but I quickly lose steam. It doesn't help that I smoke cigarettes either. I'll never get on Ninja Warrior being a badass for only 30seconds. Challenge: Run at least 2 miles, 3 times a week. Goal 2 Combating the Office Spread: I worked in the field forever, but have spent the last year in the office. After sitting on my butt for a year I'm getting a little pudgy round the middle. So... Challenge: Abs, baby! 5 1min planks a day, along with at least 100 crunches. Goal 3 Cleaning the Muddied Halls: I think waaaaaaay too much. I tend towards negative, and if I do not make a daily concerted effort to remain positive I quickly sink back into the mud mentally. I think that mental &physical fitness go hand in hand. Challenge: Keep meditating 10 mins a day, at least 3-5 days a week. Personal Goal: I get antsy if I don't do something creative. I play guitar and drums everyday, as well as write stories/books/screenplays often. I've been working on an album for awhile, and in the next 6 weeks I'm going to finish writing, and being the recording process if possible. I play everything, all the guitars, piano/keys/synth, bass, drums, etc. It's a slow process, but one I enjoy. Anyone interested can give a listen here. https://soundcloud.com/fairyunnatural
  7. "It can only be called fate... That here, I would again gather the three with the crests... That I should lay my hand on that which grants the wishes of the beholder. That when power, wisdom, and courage come together, the gods would have no choice but to come down... The power of the gods... The Triforce! He who touches it will have whatever he desires granted!" — Ganondorf Hello again, lazy monks. I, The Shogun, am your new fitness overlord for this week. I have but one simple goal. To transform your flabby wimey body into a more efficient machine of doom. You will now thank me for selflessly taking on this impossible task. I'll make this simple. The following three exercises are considered the “triforce” of bodyweight exercises: the squat of wisdom, the pushup of power and the burpee of courage. These three exercises are used everywhere from Hyrule to Labrynna. The Triforce has the power to grant the wishes of whomever master these three exercises, and will mold that person's body to reflect his or her heart. However, if a person without an equal balance of power, wisdom, and courage makes a wish, the Triforce will split into its three separate parts and reassembly is then required for such a person's wish to be granted. How to do it Perform as many reps as you can for the squat in just 3 minutes. Rest for 90 seconds, and then move on to the next exercise. Perform every exercise for 3 minutes, and record the total number of correct reps you can complete. As a Monk, ensure you are focusing on form and technique as well as volume. What to aim for You can use this challenge to assess your progress. Try repeating this once per challenge and try to join the Heroes of Time! Here are some targets for each exercise. Level 1: Deku Scrub Squat 50 Pushup 25 Burpee 20 Level 2: Hylian Warrior Squat 90 Pushup 50 Burpee 40 Level 3: Hero of Time Squat 120+ Pushup 90+ Burpee 50+ That's it. An excuse-proof 10 minutes-ish workout you can do anywhere. Remember: this is something to aim for. don't feel discouraged if you don't reach a certain level. And of course, don't forget to properly warm up and stretch afterwards. My personal advice? start with the exercise that you find most difficu— the burpee, start with the burpee. IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO OUT THERE, TAKE THESE. If you need a reminder on how to do any of these exercises with proper form, you can watch any of these three videos.
  8. There’s a cliché about 2 steps forward and 1 step back. My friends, I am that cliché. 13 weeks of solid workouts derailed by a bout of the blues and then holiday mayhem. But, every day is fresh with no mistakes in it (thanks Anne of Green Gables!). So today is a new day. This year is a new year. And this is the beginning of a brand new 6 Week Challenge. Scouts, I hope you'll have me along for the journey! Preface: I’m in the process of discerning whether I want to stay in my job beyond the next year and a half. I’m also in the painful process of going through therapy to deal with some deep-rooted trust issues (yay being a well-adjusted adult!). I suspect these will impact my workout motivation. So, yeah, that’s a thing. Better to lay the cards out on the table now, then fill y'all in later. Main Quests: Brekke hits the trails: 2+ mile runs 3x a week +2 STA, + 2 DEX My goal is to race a triathlon this June. If I’m going to be serious about that, then I must start training for it now. Since I need to work on my bike (and I’m a bit short of the $$ to fix it up – Christmas was expensive!) I’m going to focus my first round of training on getting a solid run routine. 18/18 = A, 15/18 = B, 12/18 = C, >12/18 = Fail Brekke stays strong: 2 strength routines each week +2 STR I want to maintain my muscle mass while upping my running. However, I know that working out every day will completely undo me. So, 2 strength routines of my choosing – whether free weights at the gym or bodyweight workouts at home – will qualify. 12/12 = A, 10/12 = B, 8/12 = C, >8/12 = F Brekke drinks up: water tracking + 2 CON I’m fairly solid about meal prep (except for when I get super busy/am not at home). So, for this challenge, I want to focus on my water intake. I think that I might be mildly dehydrated on a regular basis. So I’m going to try and get my recommended 9 cups (2.2 liters) of water a day (this is from the Mayo Clinic’s recommendation for a healthy woman). I won’t count my morning coffee or any alcohol since those are both diuretics. But water or tea will all count toward the goal. We’ll see how that goes. 39/42 on target = A, 34/42 = B, 30/42 = C, >30/42 = F Side Quests: Brekke Speaks Up: Practice my Spanish. +1 WIS I want to have a strong conversational level of Spanish by this summer. So, through regular flash card practice and weekly “Spanish sessions†with friends I hope to make significant progress. My benchmarks for this are: Weekly speaking sessions. They can be in-person or through the italki language exchange website (it’s pretty cool!). Pass/Fail Brekke Saves Up: Keep a budget log. + 1 WIS Christmas was damn expensive. I spent a bit more than I intended. SO, in order to reign in the spending pattern and pay off my flights back home, I am going t keep a vigilant budget log. Although I only intended to track for the month of January, it’ll probably good to track for February as well. If I stay within (ideally under) budget, then I pass. Otherwise, I fail, in more ways than one!! Pass/Fail I’m continuing my quest to get to Rivendell, even though it’ the new year. I’m happy to have a long term goal to keep working toward. And I’m going to continue finding me time regularly – which will be mostly though journaling and therapy. Ultimately, I want to be healthy and happy. I want to have the ability – physically, emotionally, financially – to live a life of joy and adventure. I want to be able to share my love and not feel trapped by my physical capabilities, my emotional baggage, or my finances. I want to live in freedom. That’s the BIG GOAL. This Challenge is one step in that direction. Let’s Do This, Team!
  9. Hi everyone! Happy New Year! This challenge is going to be SUPER SPECIFIC. After two challenges, I barely improved my push-ups. I could do 3x10 knee push-ups then, I still can't do a full push-up now (not even one, I tried xD). Sure, I do them much better now, fast and neat, I only really suffer for the last set, and I pretty much always have been skin and bones on my upper body. It's not so bad. Yet, I might be slightly annoyed. So I have only ONE goal for this challenge: do 3 full push-ups in a row. To be honest, I'll be pretty happy when I can do one. Also, my energy level is a bit low after the Holiday, so simple is good. I'm joining the monks because my goal is to get back to Kung Fu classes (as soon as my finances allow it). So right now, I consider myself in pre-training building strength and stamina can only help, especially focusing on strong arms and core (not that legs aren't important, it's just that they are always strong no matter what I do or don't do). And I'm sure I can find good advice for that in the Courtyard #3 CHALLENGE : 3 FULL PUSH-UPS IN A ROW 1. Strength and stamina => Push-ups 3 times /week. +3 STR => 30 minutes of cardio (aka walking at brisk pace) twice a week. +3 STA 2. Muscle Up! => Eat quality proteins twice a day (eggs, fish, meat or red lentils). +1 STR + 2 CON => Eat 1 paleo meal /day (one cheat day /week). +2 CON 3. Personal life goals => Save £50 /month +2 WIS => Apply to 2 jobs /week (or 8 /month) +2 CHA ---------------------------------------- Exceptions: - If I study 9+ hours in a day, I can skip a workout (until 22/01, last day of exams). - If I start a job that requires a lot of arm strength, I'll rethink my push-up goals. Bonuses: - 1 BWW per week +1 STR - 1 act of self-care per day +1 WIS ----------------------------------------- Let's do this!
  10. Who is the most bad-assed, strong, fearless, "normal" superhero out there? That's right. It's Daredevil. Does he have super-powers? Sure, but they're not physical. He's got his strength, his iron will, and his enhanced senses. Despite the fact that he is blind, he senses are honed to the point where he perceives his environment better than sighted people do. He's the ultimate acrobat, aerialist, and an expert marksman. In short, despite the fact that he is a hero and doesn't generally kill, he is the ultimate assassin. THE MAIN QUEST: To be come a bad-assed aerial assassin like Daredevil. I want to grow my abilities on aerial apparatus (hoop, trap, static trap, and maybe rope) and with any luck, perform at the aerial dance festival this coming summer. 1. CARVE THE BODY During the last two challenges, I focused on making sure I did so many bodyweight workouts, so many cardio workouts, only ate so many non-paleo meals, etc. This left me with six goals I needed to fulfill every week, and feeling like I was constantly checking off boxes. Well, no more. I know how to work out now, and I have built the habit of doing so. Instead, I'm just going to say that: I'm going to sweat at least six days per week, for at least an hour each day. I will engage in as much HIIT as I can stand while working out at the gym or out on the roads or trails. I will continue to do weights, and I will do them BEFORE doing cardio. I will also stretch after every workout. I got myself a fat-measuring scale, and while I don't believe it's totally accurate, it does give me a number for body fat percentage, and today that number is 14%13.6%. I want it to go down. Every quarter of a percent change in body fat percentage over the next six weeks equals a letter grade. I will measure and report progress weekly. +2 STR, +2 STA (note on the edit: checked tonight, and after just one day of not eating junk food and drinking plenty of water I'm down .4%, so I'm setting that as my new starting position). 2. CLEAN UP HELL'S KITCHEN Over the holidays I wreaked havoc on my diet, but Daredevil can't easily swing from fire escapes and perform all kinds of crazy body-weight acrobatics when he's carrying extra weight. I will eat paleo all week, except the weekends (6 NPT/week) I won't look at screens while I'm eating breakfast or dinner Eating paleolithically works really well for me, and I like it too. I really let myself go over the holidays and it shows. So I'll eat paleo all week, with no snacking, and eat non-paleo on the weekends and avoid snacking wherever possible. If some special occasion requires it, I can swap a weekend meal for an NPT (Non-Paleo Token). I will track calories on MFP on non-paleo days. I will need to up the amount of lean protein that I eat because I'm hoping to train even harder and build some more muscle this challenge. As always, game nights will be hard and I will need to bring veggies, fruit, jerky, and nuts because I KNOW I will be nibbly. I will also engage in mindful eating for every breakfast and dinner, and lunches on the weekends. During the week, because I work out over lunch, I have to eat at my desk and do work. Score for paleo for the session will be based off the number 36 (six weeks, two non-paleo days per week, three meals per day, +3 CON), and mindful eating will simply be a tally of the times I fail to avoid screens during meals, +2 CHA. 3. HONE THE SENSES Daredevil's amazing powers stem from the fact that he is acutely aware of his surroundings: He can hear the sound of a heart beat; he can feel the ink printed on a page; he can smell the difference between identical twins at twenty feet. I want to hone my senses, and to do so I'm going to further my practice of archery and meditation. To this end, for the next six weeks: I will practice archery any free Monday and Friday evenings I will meditate five to ten minutes a day. Practicing archery will help still my mind--it's so very zen. Not looking at the phone or laptop while I'm eating is going to be hard, and impossible at work, since I'm expected to work while I'm eating (my lunch hour is at the gym). So, archery practice will be based off of the number four, like last time, +1 DEX, and meditation will be based off of seven, +1 WIS. 4. BECOME THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR I'm signed up for a six-week static trapeze class. I'm also going to audition for the aerial class taught here at the university: eighteen slots, and I'm a continuing ed grad student, so I don't know if I'll get in. Either way, I will focus on working on my drops, ankle hangs, ankle beats, and working up in the ropes or high on the fabric. I will go to every class and try every piece of vocabulary Even when the move looks scary, I will do it at least once. I will remember that I am strong and can take it. Daredevil really isn't the man "without" fear--he's the man who constantly faces down his fear. And that's what I'm after. +4 DEX So, now that I'm at the end of this post, I realize that I'm going to be tracking six things again, every week. But it's only four goals, so I feel alright about that. I'll update this at some point with points and letter grades, and also write another post for rewards. Here are the "before" pictures. Honestly, they don't look a lot different from the previous "before" pics which is a little bit disheartening...
  11. Hi everyone, Background: my dad was once a body builder and he was a pretty big guy (muscle not fat), still is. He has been discussing weight training and weight loss with me. He said that I should take two months to do a routine of lifts where I do about 15 reps per set (where I can lift 15-17 reps max) of lighter weight to build stamina and endurance. That way I can handle the heavier lifting. Then I should jump right into heavy weight training at 6-8 reps per set to build muscle and strength. I trust that he knows what he's doing because he was so successful. He followed all the bodybuilders of his time like Arnold Schwarzenegger. He knows I don't want to be huge but that I want to be strong and build up more muscle than I have now. What he told me kind of conflicts with what I've learned on this site. Just heavy compound exercises. I want to lose fat (I'm probably 90 lbs overweight) and build strength. I'm not sure that this "endurance lifting" will meet my weight loss goals. I'm also not sure that his way is the only way. He claims that by only doing heavy lifting you'll be strong with no endurance. So I ask you, what should I do? Any advice?
  12. Hi everyone! I know we all say "New year, new me". But I believe that not only is this my year, but the last 6 months was the prequel to this year! This is my 3rd challenge, I have struggled but managed to push through solely through the support of my fellow nerds on this site! I am excited to cheer you on and hope you'll lend me your strength too! A bit about me and my aspirations (for those who don't know me): I am a 25 year old female who is aspiring to put in her application to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (becoming a Mountie eh!). I have the majority of my post secondary degree for it but have always lacked the motivation to get myself physical fit enough to do it! On my 25th birthday, I was (and still am) working a horrible office job with miserable people who have resigned themselves to doing this drudgery for the rest of their working lives and the mere thought of doing that disgusted me! So I have been taking the steps to get myself out of that situation and it had pushed me harder than any other goal I've ever tried. And honestly? It scares the living daylights out of me! So here's my 3rd challenge: Overall goal: Lose the weight (in 10lb increments per challenge) and take necessary steps to join the RCMP! GOAL 1: Back to basics: consume 8 glasses of water a day! I have been shockingly remiss of this crucial step so it's back on the challenge roster Grading Scale: A - 8 cups of water/day B - 6 cups of water/day C - 5 cups or less/day Rewards: STA:2,CON:2 GOAL 2: Taking care of business: Doing my stretches and learning about my body I have recently made the step to go to a physiotherapist to figure out why I am cramping when I run and have been having shoulder problems. I know there are going to be stretches involved and I am hoping this will shed some light on my running problems! Grading Scale: to follow after Physio appointment and recovery plan is in place Rewards: WIS:2, DEX:1, CON:1 GOAL 3 Insanity, total insanity: completing the Insanity workout I have embarked on the Insanity workout and have endeavored to complete it! Google it if you don't know what that is! Grading Scale: A - Complete 100% B - Complete 80% C - Complete 60% or less Rewards: STR:2, DEX:1, CON:1 Life Quest: Finish my class: I am currently enrolled in a distance course for my degree and need to get my butt in gear and finish it! It involves lots of essays so my charisma has to work overdrive! Rewards: INT:2, CHA:1
  13. Hello Scouts! I come humbly and ask if I can join your ranks. I'm dedicating 2015 to something I've wanted to do since I started running in earnest in college: ultra marathons! So far I've only planned out my 50k (30ish miles race) in early May, but I'm also working on setting up a Ragnar run with some fellow NF rebels in early April, a backpacking trip in Colorado over the summer Jul/Aug, and a 50 mile ultra sometime in the late fall. All of these mean I need endurance and time on my feet. Without further ado, the goals! 1) Run faster by training slower: Follow Matt Fitzgerald's "80/20" running book. I'm working off of the Level 2 marathon 16 week training plan with adjustments to fit my needs and incorporating some of Brian McKenzie's training suggestions from him "Unbreakable Runner" book. 2) Cross train, cross train, cross train! Full body strength training 2x a week. Non weight bearing cross training (stationary bike or elliptical) 2x a week (start at 1x a week and work up to 2x a week by end of challenge) Short core session as well as hip/mobility work 3x a week. Most of these can be easily fit in after work on easier days and done at home, and I'm looking into buying a bike trainer so I can get my riding in at home. That's it! I'm going to be adding in mini-challenges on a weekly basis as I figure out what is working and what isn't. Week 1 Mini-Challenge: a) Perform max heart rate test and map out heart rate zones for training. Find and buy a bike trainer for indoor use
  14. Spending his life in a small village outside of Edoras, Kenneth has led a peaceful life. Enticed by the extravagances of the capital, he has lived a bit beyond his means . Though it is a happy existence, he feels a bit unfulfilled, knowing that he has not measured up to his dreams. You see, Kenneth has always looked beyond the plains of Rohan. He looks to the dwarves and the elves, for their craftsmanship astounds him, he looks to Isengarde for he aspires to be a great thinker and know the mysteries of the world around him , and he looks to the Dúnedain of the north for their strength, self reliance, and adaptability in any situation. Kenneth, of Rohan, is ready to venture north. He is not entirely sure what he will find, but he hopes to find (and learn a few things from) the rangers, the dwarves, and the elves. Main Quest To prepare for my training as a ranger. This will be compromised of strength and endurance training as well as proper eating. Shedding some non-functional weight will be necessary as well, so I will set <= 230lbs. as a goal weight. Currently I am at 242lbs. Side Quests Strength Training – Strength train 3 times a week, using Starting Strength as a guide A --> 3 times a week B --> 2 times a week C --> 1 time a week F --> No strength training in the week Endurance Training – Cardio Traiing >= 3 times a week A --> 3 times a week B --> 2 times a week C --> 1 time a week F --> No endurance training in the week Proper Health and Nourishment – Food tends to be healthy when I prepare it myself…no more than 1 “prepared†meal a week, while striving for a primarily Paleo diet A --> Bought 1 or less "prepared" meal B --> Bought 2 "prepared" meals C --> Bought 3 "prepared" meals D --> Bought 4 "prepared" meals F --> Bought 5 or more "prepared" meals Life Quest Live within my means and pay $800 against my debts in the next 6 weeks. Edit 1 - Added Grading/Evaluation Metrics
  15. ***To the new: I'm happy to help in any way I can! But, business is business, so if you'd like me to look at your challenge, please shoot me a PM and I'll check it out ASAP. Feel free to troll around this one. I'm working on a new format for challenge posts and a new (to me) approach to fitness. I'm probably going to stumble through it awkwardly, but hey! It's a process of continuing growth!*** Now... Enter, the Saiyan Warrior Why the GIANT crest? It's cumbersome and probably annoying to some of you. But, it's for me anyway. Every time I come to this thread and reference this post, I'll have a clear reminder of my goals. For me, the three-point motif (the crown, the base, and the "ladder") all represent my ideas of body, mind, and spirit. For this six-week challenge, heralding my own return to NF, I've decided to use the time to test my own mettle. I'm going back to school starting January 19, which gives me two weeks to focus on fitness alone and four weeks to split between fitness and school. My outlandish anime goal is to become something like Gohan. For those who don't know, he's a Super Saiyan, and a scholar. AND A badass nerd. Anyway, my Main Quest this year is to "Go Super Saiyan" which currently has no specific end (and may indeed take more than a year). That's what each check point is for, determining the next step. That's where these challenges become super handy. Each one can be themed around my goal and used to track progress. Consistency! So, what does it take to become a Super Saiyan? It takes immense power (Which I'll be measuring by Strengh-to-Weight). It takes dedication and a lifestyle of combat (more on this in the specific goal), and it takes an extreme emotional experience that involves total abandonment of the self. A "pure state of heart" does not require a specific type of purity. Pure evil and Pure good have equal likelihood of attaining the state. It's more about truth and intention than anything. This is a much more long-term goal than the others, but I'll come up with a six-week version by the time I get there. How does a Cob accomplish such a silly goal? Well, SMART-ly of course! The breakdown here is three goals plus a side-quest. Here we go! Life Goals Creative Writing Degree Publish a novel I've written Publish a board game I've designed "Go Goku" If possible, developing the skill needed to train without a gym, utilizing bodyweight and the environment to give myself an exhausting and effective workout while using minimal equipment. If the UNLV gym has the space and atmosphere for it, I'll use free weights as well. I just want to get off of machines! Current Stats Ht: 5'6" Wt 190 Mile Avg: 7:43 Activity level: Active. 3-4 days of workout per week, 3-4 days Aikido per week. Raising My Power Level Current strength-to-weight maximum is around 50% (95 lbs)Post-Challenge goal: 63% - 120 lbsExercise for benchmark will be the vertical chest press as this is the only machine (booooo!) I have guaranteed access to during this challenge (pending school's facilities). Push-up Alternative: As I don't like using machines and isolating muscles, I do a lot of bodyweight work during my circuit.This goal is a 45 push-up set at the third week's end (20 days from now) and 90 at the end of the whole challenge. Successful completion will count for the goal of "Raising My Power Level". This will all probably change as I get more into it and figure out my body's limits and the longer-term effect of using machines A Life of Combat Hit 3-4 Classes per week. Four is ideal, but I don't know what my transportation arrangements are going to be until I buy myself a car. So I'm saying 3 per week.Train my previous arts to keep up form (TKD, Kendo, Boxing/Muay Thai). Honestly, given the upcoming schedule, I'm going to say an hour per week between the three. Very minimal until I know exactly what I'm working with time-wiseI'd like to test for 3kyu before fall. For this six-week challenge, my goal is to just be a good student. Purity of Mind, Body, and Spirit Purity of Mind - At the end of the six-week challenge, my grade report reflects no less than three A's and one B. That's four classes for 14 credit hours. Obviously Straight A's is preferred. Purity of Body - At the end of the six-week challenge, I'll have eaten junk food no more than three times. My personal diet shall consist mostly of veggies and a meat source of protein. I also have a calorie goal of 1500/day but I don't fully understand how work and recovery affect your caloric needs and different sources give me different information, calorie calculators give different numbers, blahblahblah. So, I'm going to focus on pure foods, rather than specific numbers.Purity of Spirit - This one is kind of a gimme most of the time. I try to always be honest in my intentions and true to my values, with the utmost focus on self-improvement. This one is a pass if I simply complete the challenge.Bonus: Figure out all this calorie nonsense. I've heard/ been calculated at between 1500 and 2300. A future goal may be to work so hard that I can never eat it all back. That would be rather Goku of me ***Side-Quest: Getting Recognized*** This is just about taking steps towards my goal of being published in multiple media (I am already a published music columnist on a few sites, but it hardly counts). As I am majoring in creative writing and English, the steps in this side quest start with school and networking. My goal this semester is to be ready to finish it over the summer and put it out. For the six-week challenge, I'd like to have a professor review the skeleton of my novel and tell me about how to proceed with a second draft. By the end of the six week challenge, I'd like to know exactly what I'm doing with it . For the board game, there is so much to be done that I'm just going to keep it relegated to the side for now. Work on it bit by bit and flesh it out. Completing all four of these goals will grant me +4 STR, +3 STA, +2 WIS, +1 DEX, +1 CON, and the sidequest will give me +4CHA or be allocated among the other four stats if not completed. UPDATE: What does it look like to go super saiyan? For one guy, There's this And for another, there's this Also, this. Though, I'm less inclined to be this size. Lastly, there are these, from the anime. The first is the focused, single-minded intent (mind). The second is the emotionally-driven transformation (spirit). The third is the literally world-bending power (body). Laugh all you like; it's silly for sure. Still, there's no denying these are moments of transcendental power. That's the point. http://youtu.be/3WbFtW7_yyU?t=12s So, there it is. My goals have been laid out with excess. This year is going to be the year I transcend who I am and become who I want to be. If you haven't realized it yet... I'm very excited for this
  16. Goals for this six week challenge: Main: ability to do a back walkover Stretch/practice back walk over 6 days/week Run (at least a mile) 3 days/week Yoga (at least 30 min) 3 days/weekMore detailed post. Other life goals going on: 30 day advanced ab challenge. (I started in December, I'm on day 13 as of making this post) Slowly trying to correct my sleep schedule. My current one is asleep by 5am and awake by 1 or 2pm. Become more productive. Trying to get my skin cleared up, I've had acne since forever. Get a job or get accepted into a hacker school (or both I guess). I'm also reading Feast for Crows, if there are any other Song of Ice and Fire fans in the house.
  17. Greeting, Rangers. I have been dormant for far too long. I have had more false starts than I can count. But that ends here. A little about me: I have done a few challenges in the past, but never with any great success. I have a huge problem with a lack of willpower. I'm addicted to processed sugar and carbs. I don't get enough sleep and it causes stress on me and my family. These are my enemies. And I will defeat them. Here are my goals, subject to refinement: Fitness: 1) Reduce/eliminate processed foods. This will be done by removing one food item from my diet per week for the duration of the challenge 2) Get more sleep I will be in bed by 9:30 regardless of what is on TV. DVR was invented for a reason 3) Get a minimum of 5 workouts in per week. These will be a combination of strength, cardio, and martial arts (jujitsu) As of right now, I don't have a life goal, but I may add one in as I get myself on track with my other goals. I have found that I work best if there is an incentive waiting for me at the finish line, so to speak. In past, I purchased a NF t shirt as a reward for going a month without soda. I have not come up with a reward as of yet, but I am open to suggestions. Here's to a new challenge, a new year, and a new me!
  18. In 2013, i got strong. In 2014 i have to train for endurance and long distance cycling. When i joined NF almost 2 years ago i promised my cousin that i would cycle the Cape Argus Cycle Tour on his 18th birthday. He turns 17 this year, which means i have a little over 1 year to get fit enough to complete the 109km cycle on a relatively hot day (from experience it's usually a scorcher). I have done it before (5 times) but the last one i did was almost 15 years ago - it will be when i cycle next year. My fastest time was a sub 3 (2h54m, to be exact). I'm not aiming for time, i just want to complete before cutoff (which i think is 7 or 8 hours). The route has 4 really big hills that a lot of people struggle with and that is why i'm calling this the year my "1000 hill challenge", but by the end of 2014 i want to have completed the following (total for each over a challenge): 1000 pushups (challenge 2)1000 squats1000 seconds of planks1000 lunges1000 box jumps1000 minutes of spinning Other things happening this year would include: Another W30 challenge or twosaving up for a December trip to the US with JV - will post once we've finalised our itinerary, although that would probably be more towards the end of the year - i love cold weather, to a point Signing up for my pole dance classeslosing some weight - i can't put a number on this, but i do have a goal of between 15 - 20kgs. More would be great, but i'm not going to be upset if it's less. Most of what i do this year will be focused around the Argus cycle tour in March 2015. Measurement Progress: Weight: 126kg | 65kg | 127.20kg | +1.20kg Bust: 132cm | 96cm | 128cm | -4cm Waist: 114cm | 73cm | 106.20cm | -7.80cm Hip: 144cm | 99cm | 146.20cm | +2.2cm Thigh: 74cm | 56cm | 72.90cm | -1.10cm Goal ultimate loss: 61kg & 140cm Loss so far: +1.20kg & -10.70cm Challenges for 2014: v2: Blaidd's 1000 Hill Challenge v2014.02: Pushups v3: Blaidd's 1000 Hill Challenge v2014.3: Squats v4: Blaidd's 1000 Hill Challenge v2014.4: Planks v5: Blaidd's 1000 Hill Challenge v2014.5: Lunges v6: Blaidd's 1000 Hill Challenge c2014.6: Starting on the back foot v7: Blaidd's 1000 Hill CHallenge v2014.7: Up Holiday Hill 2015 battle log
  19. Last challenge I discovered my inner Amazon... This challenge, I go really wild! ShadowLion Wild. As in Wildland firefighting, getting out into wild places, And letting my inner wild woman out to play... Experimenting with new foods, Trying out some assassin guild type exercises, Playing around with gamifying my challenge and Various aspects of my daily life In order to break out of some ruts and Take my productivity to the next level. Fun. Play. Experimentation. 40 Weeks to Fire Fit continues, and that quest remains my prime focus. But this time, the standard firefighting fare will be supplemented with more fun, more chance, more variety. It's time to mix things up. I am past the halfway point, but still in the long middle of my 40 week quest. Fatigue was beginning to set in. I overextended last challenge, and while it was a success, it was also a tremendous struggle to keep on track. This challenge, I have a enlisted a personal trainer, I've stuck my neck out and gotten back in contact with my old department, and I've been letting friends and family know my plans. I'm all in and there is no going back. I will succeed or I will fail. Publicly, undeniably, and in the not too distant future. I have 18 weeks to my goal date, and another 6 weeks or so beyond which there will be no possibility of retesting for the season if I fail to hit my first target. I've been going through a process of questioning and weighing my abilities, strengths and weaknesses, potential, will, and motivation. Asking myself: Who are you when you face the fire? When the task wears on you and weighs you down? Can you hold both the sublime... And the ridiculous... The joyous and the tragic... in your heart at the same time? Do you know in your heart of hearts who you want to be? Your strengths and your weaknesses? Your one superpower? And where you stand in the line of history? Who went before you? (Women firefighters in a training exercise, Pearl Harbor, WWII) Who stands with you now? And who will come after? What I've learned has brought me back around to the same place I started, but with a different perspective. So, maybe it's really a spiral. I am certain that I am on my path, whatever the outcome. And the way I have been following that path has been reasonably effective. However, I now realize that I have been caught in number of paradoxes. I have been being very conventional and methodical, when my nature is intuitive. As an independent sort, I have been doing practically everything myself, even though the nature of what I want to do depends on teamwork and cooperation. And, I am very motivated by social good and interaction, even as I need quite a bit of quiet solitude to be happy. I've been trying to domesticate a Shadow Lion! It's high time to shake things up, get back to my roots, and be my quirky, nerdy, eccentric self! And while I may need to moderate my more absurd character traits and excesses somewhat to get along well in society, I've gone a little too far, gotten a bit too conventional. So, while the firefighting theme will continue throughout, and there are many ghosts of quests of challenges past that will visit here, this challenge is going to be quite a bit different from the ones that have gone before. Shadow Lions dwell in the world of the fantasy novel that I continue to write. And write. They are much like mountain lions or jaguars in that they are more solitary than African lions, and they are almost universally black or very dark brown. For good reason, as their favored prey animal dwells in and around caves. They are a sentient species, with a number of unusual abilities. To learn more, you'll have to read the book. Someday. So this ShadowLion's intentions for her challenge center on being a healthy animal--taking care of those simple, bare necessities like getting plenty of the right kinds of foods, being physically active, and providing for enough sleep. Those are the biological imperatives laid down by Mother Nature. Beyond that, every shadow lion must be true to her own nature. By turns curious, fierce, playful, and philosophical, a shadow lion seeks wild places. Solitude, scenery, and sunny spots in which to snooze are seriously significant. A shadow lion does best when she is coaxed, not forced, to be structured, when she has freedom to roam and play, and when she has options as opposed to an overwhelming number of choices. A shadow lion can be incredibly focused once her prey is selected, but her natural curiosity can lead to getting sidetracked. Many interesting and enjoyable sidetracks...butterfly...that rustle in the bushes...oh, and... Ahem. And, shadow lions have an abiding interest in protecting their homes from threats. (You knew I'd find some way to get back around to it...) This ShadowLion has a very particular interest... So yes, the 40 Weeks to Fire Fit Quest continues, but is themed a bit differently. It will be structured much more around the things that a ShadowLion needs to be a happy and healthy animal. It will emphasize fun and wildness and freedom and chance. ShadowLion Goes Wild FITNESS QUEST I have enlisted the help of a personal trainer. Currently, I am scheduled for 5 strength workouts and 5 cardio workouts per week. My cool downs will be 10 minutes of stretching/yoga, warmups will be 10+ minutes of tai chi/chi gong, belly dance moves, exercise biking, brisk walking, and/or jump roping. I have two rest days per week and they are to be "active" rest. I will base my numbers off these plans and adjust if needed, based on my trainer's instructions. I had intended to go for 5 mins daily handstand prep practice this challenge, but am thinking it would be best to wait on that for now. ShadowLion is Strong, Yet Supple __/40 (+4 DEX) Spinal columns that can twist and bend, limbs that can absorb the shock of pouncing upon an unsuspecting deer from an overhanging tree limb - shadow lions blend strength with suppleness, speed, and agility. (ShadowLion has assassin tendencies, despite being a ranger.) Belly dance, yoga, and various stretchy, bendy and assassiny exercises go here. The number accounts for four days early start on the challenge + 42 days - 6 for the Tai Chi sessions in the following sub-goal. Yoga, anyone? ShadowLion is Dangerous __/6 (+1 DEX) Sharp claws and pointy teeth give shadow lions plenty of weapons at their disposal. My weapon of choice this challenge will be my Tai Chi saber, or broadsword. Once per week as active rest. More for warmups or additional active rest = bonus. But, hey, where is the Fire Fit Strength and Endurance? I am considering those as primarily under my accountability to my trainer and therefore ungraded here. I will track these things on my spreadsheet and on my thread, however. I am trying to put my points on the things I would be most apt to skip or gloss over *cough* warmups *cough* and things that aren't specifically included in my trainer's plans for me. NUTRITION QUEST ShadowLion is Sleek 1 pt for each % body fat reduction, Goal=2-3% (+2 to 3 CON) Only caged shadow lions are fat. In their natural habitat, they are not only supple and dangerous, they are sleek and shiny. They eat what they need and only what they need. They eat a healthy, nutritious and natural diet. Yeah, I know. These aren't shadow lions, or even cats, but they sure are cute! IIFYM ShadowLion Needs Protein (Tracked, but Ungraded - Just an excuse to put in an otter GIF) Last challenge, I learned that I wasn't getting enough protein and my macros were less than optimum. I will be tracking this for my trainer's review and keeping these numbers in my spreadsheet. I am still not sure my actual goal grams. Will post that here when I know it. MOAR Protein! RECOVERY QUEST ShadowLion Needs Plenty of Restful Sleep __/42 (+2 to 3 CON, whatever left after points awarded for the "Sleek" goal) Sleep is critical with the training regimen I am on. I have improved over the last few challenges, but I still need to do more. I am upping my goal to 7+ hours sleep per night and I cannot compensate for more than 1 hour's deficiency on a following night. My method of averaging last challenge gave me too much wiggle room. I will count this goal from the official start of the challenge, as I am still doing some schedule adjustments and rearranging of my sleeping area to be ready for these changes. I am still thinking if I should add some sort of "quality" modifier, as well. MOAR sleep. ShadowLion Needs Wild Places and Solitude to Contemplate the Universe and Dream (Tracked, but Ungraded) This is a "get outside and get some sunshine" goal for mental health and for Vitamin D. As long as I follow my trainer's plans, I will get more than enough. And, as we are now into the nice part of the year where I live, I am taking time to sit out on the porch in the mornings and journal, plan, and contemplate the coming day. If tracking reveals an issue here, it will become a graded goal next challenge. This quest also relates to my old "Get out of Dodge" goal as updated in my "Grab Bag" goal to get out of town and enjoy wilder places than metro-Phoenix. I am also doing as much of my cardio outside as possible, and doing it in parks, nature areas, and urban trails. LIFE QUEST ShadowLion Loves to Play ShadowLion likes otters. They are excellent role models. ShadowLion Needs More Fun in Her Life; ShadowLion Needs to Remove the Obstacles to Having Fun __/25 (+5 CHA) In order to have more fun, ShadowLion must deal with her "toads" - those obstacles that must be removed, responsibilities that need to be addressed, projects that are procrastinated upon. These are those unpleasant, ugly, obnoxious things that drain energy and take up valuable mental and physical real estate. This is the next step forward in dealing with last challenge's "ShadowLion STEAMS GRAPES" goals of taking care of Systems, Time, Energy, Attention, Money, Space. This time the focus is on taking care of as many "dreaded tasks" as I can manage. By doing that, I will earn points to indulge in my "Grab Bag" goals. Those are all the things I would have thrown in this challenge as fun, exciting, "I want to do/try this." I can, if I earn the right and the time for them by dispatching an equal number of points in toads. The better I do with managing my time, the more toads I can take out and the more fun I can have as a result. My method of awarding points is detailed in the reserved posts below.
  20. So, I didn't discover this forum until this past weekend, so I'm starting this challenge late. I've already been working out with my husband for over a year now, and I've been really getting into the strength training, but I haven't had a lot of success sticking to the nutrition I know I need so I'm hoping I can push myself more through these challenges. So, here goes nothing! (*NOTE* Editing Quest on 12/5/14, as I was able to take the time to work out some more specifics. This may also be due to the fact that I actually just read the Level 1 Guidebook in detail only yesterday... Oh well, I'm glad I posted my initial, though incomplete, challenge notes when I did as I knew if I didn't do it I would eventually convince myself to wait until the next challenge started in January.) Main Quest Improve myself - and my body - physically. I didn't want to make too specific goals here, like weight or clothes size because I don't want to obsess over details like that. But I know I want to be strong - I know I want to get my body fat percentage down to a healthy level, and I know I want to believe that I look good when I look in the mirror. Ultimately, I don't want to set a "goal weight" because eventually I hope to become happy with my body and then just build muscle beyond that and continue to get stronger. I know, at the very least though, that I need to lose at least 50 pounds. I'm only 5'3", and I currently weigh 200 lbs. I think starting with a goal of 50 lbs is a good, healthy goal to start with; once I'm there, we'll see after that! To be perfectly honest....one of the main reasons I'm unsure of the weight I should aim for at first is because I am Latina, and my bust, hips and butt have always been bigger no matter my overall weight. I don't want to get too specific here or weird anybody out, but this is the reality of my conundrum and frankly it's something I worry about a lot - worrying about my bust size especially, as it has never fluctuated in size with my weight. (At least not since my sophomore year of high school when I hit the size I am now....let's just say "the girls" were bigger than average, especially for a 16 year-old girl, and they've stayed pretty much the same size ever since.) I've never worked out and strength trained the way I am now though, either, so I'm nervously anticipating what changes might happen all over my body. I'm mostly just not sure whether I should be worried about the size of "the girls", and how their size may or may not affect my overall health. I'll just take things as they come, I guess, no matter what changes in my body may occur. My goal is to be strong and healthy anyway, and I want that more than anything else. Steps to take for reaching the Goal (For the remainder of this challenge) Workout, both strength training and cardio, at least 5 times a week. This will involve: Strength Training at least 3 times a week Cardio at least 2 times a week Individual goals within this step: run for 3 miles straight without stopping at least 3 times by the end of December; learn to squat and bench press with the free-weight barbell (rather than the Smith machine) by the end of December; be able to complete at least 3 full pushups by the end of December. Continue to wear my Fitbit daily (taking one night off a week to charge it) and track all exercise, food intake, and sleep each day. I have a food plan on my Fitbit account aimed for a 750 calorie deficit every day - I will be flexible with that though on the days that I do intense strength training (in other words, Leg day). The best way to measure whether I’m tracking accurately and being honest will be by my weight; my hope is to lose 1.5-2.5 pounds per week (weighing on Sunday mornings). Limit my eating out to three times a week, and avoid eating out at lunch as much as possible. It’s harder to find good food for lunch that meets my current dietary needs, while if I eat out for dinner with my husband we tend to eat healthier and be more careful. (This will also help financially.) Life Quest I am very much an introvert, and I don’t want these goals to keep me from developing and growing emotionally as well. My goal is to spend some time at least once each week hanging out or talking to a friend outside of work - either going out dancing, having someone over, or going over to a friends house for a visit. (And my husband doesn't count - he sees enough of me, and I know he wants me to be more social, too.) Motivation I want to improve my health so I can start a family, sometime later next year is the goal. I want to build good habits before then so I can be the best person I can be for my kids and give them a good example. No Attribute points at this time for me, but I do want to outline how I want to measure each of my Quest steps at the end of the challenge. Workouts A = 10-12 Strength Training Sessions, and 7-8 Cardio Sessions completed by the end of December B = 8-9 Strength Training Sessions, and 6 Cardio Sessions completed by the end of December C = 7 Strength Training Sessions, and 5 Cardio Sessions completed by the end of December D = 6 Strength Training Sessions, and 4 Cardio Sessions completed by the end of December F = 5 or less Strength Training Sessions, and 3 or less Cardio Sessions completed by the end of December Fitbit and Weight A = 26-31 days tracked on my Fitbit, and 7 or more pounds lost by the end of December B = 21-25 days tracked on my Fitbit, and 6 pounds lost by the end of December C = 16-20 days tracked on my Fitbit, and 5 pounds lost by the end of December D = 12-15 days tracked on my Fitbit, and 4 pounds lost by the end of December F = 11 days or less tracked on my Fitbit, and 3 pounds or less lost by the end of December Eating Out A = Eating out 12 or less times during the month B = Eating out 13-14 times during the month C = Eating out 15 times during the month D = Eating out 16 times during the month F = Eating out 17 or more times during the month Alright - let's see how this goes!
  21. turbo

    Turbo Update

    Hello all! Hope your week is going well. Feeling pretty good lately. Just had my 9th Krav Maga class. It is definitely kicking my ass! But I feel stronger, have a little more endurance in me and have been making new friends in the class. Hope to test for level 1 by February 12th! As for food, not doing too bad. Breakfast the two snacks and dinner are going well, just have to watch lunch. I pack it a lot, but the team likes to go out to lunch often. I've been watching how much is on my plate. Hard to turn down a nice big cheese burger with bacon Overall, I'm working my way to the Paleo diet. No dairy, no breads, and less processed crap. -Jon
  22. ShadowLion STEAMS GRAPES Forty Weeks to Fire Fit (40W2FF) Continues With The "Firefighters Love Acronyms" Challenge SOPs, ICS, PASS, PPE, SA, LCES, SCBA, ABCs, and so many more... Oh, yes, firefighters love acronyms. Acronyms, mnemonics, and a host of other memory aids help critical information stick when things get chaotic. Important, even life-saving, information can be missed or forgotten in the heat of the battle if there isn't some system to track everything. Chaotic is a pretty good description of my life right now. I'm a bit overwhelmed and I have a lot of things I'm juggling. I don't want to miss anything crucial and I need to make improvements in a number of key areas. Thus, Acronyms. They will help keep me focused on my mission critical tasks and let me keep my priorities clear and well-defined. Acronyms are also how I will be writing my personal "SOPs" or "Standard Operating Procedures" for this challenge and beyond. For what are SOPs but a set of well-thought-out and firmly established habits? Precisely what we are all trying to do to succeed in leveling up our lives. I have lots of motivation! I have some big goals and looming deadlines. I am well aware of how soon mid-March will be here, when my 40 Weeks to Fire Fit will be over and I will either have succeeded in my Quest or not. I still have much to accomplish. [insert calendar here, a la forkboy's excellent example.] A major overhaul of my systems is in order. ShadowLion As in previous challenges, I am using the protagonist of my fantasy novel as my personal rangerly role-play inspiration. STEAMS I need better SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) to balance and manage the following: Time - Eliminate inefficiencies and poor distribution of effort; Implement a realistic schedule, review and adjust current deadlines accordingly. This will be accomplished by finishing my time audit, implementing a schedule based on the audit and sticking to it. I will learn to say, "NO," and to use my time and technology more effectively. No more free-flowing musician's hours and artsy fartsy dreaminess. This is "Git R' Done" time. Energy - Diet, Exercise, Rest These are at the core of my Quest. Awareness/Attention - Meditation, journaling, and/or breathing exercises - 15 minutes per day, at least 6 days per week. Money - Long-term I know I need more savings, and to invest in my startup business and myself. Short-term, to be finished by the end of this challenge, I will do the Fix My Finances 31 day program to figure out how to achieve the longer term goals. Space - Clear the clutter. 30 minutes per day, 6 days per week, or equivalent/average. This is Stage One of a longer term strategy of moving towards minimalism, that will be better defined as I work on my SOPs and Epic Quest. GRAPES The methods I will use Goal Tracking - I find spreadsheets (and other tracking aids and methods) very helpful. Spreadsheets were particularly helpful and successful last challenge. It will continue. New tools will be added, MyFitnessPal, in particular is showing good results during my trial run for Zero Week. Real Life Role-Playing - Make my goals stick by gamifying. Accountabilibuddies - Accountability with friendships. It works. PVPs - 20 pound challenge, Heroes v. Villains, No Soda, and YAYOG - These are the central components to my diet and exercise goals for "Energy" above. Epic Quest - Time to review and rework this in light of all that has happened in the last few months. Systems Thinking - Apply my existing knowledge of various systems approaches to management, like ICS (Incident Command System) and Agile sortware development. Learn more about Agile and related methods for additional ideas. The major obstacles to achieving my goals this challenge are also GRAPES Good is the Enemy of the Best - Not going for the top 20%. Trying to do all of the things that are enticing, and not selecting just the best. Realism - Or lack thereof. Too many commitments, too little time really translates to I have just as many hours in a day as anyone else - how do I choose to use them? Attitudes - Resistance, Stubborness, Excuses, Impulsiveness Procrastination - Wasting time because I'm tired or resisting the discomfort of the doing of the thing. Not recognizing that and just dealing with it. Do it, delegate it, or ditch it. Adult up. Expectations - Trying to be perfect, trying to do everything. Sleep Issues and Opposite Schedules - This is a difficult obstacle in my household. My partner and I are on very different work/sleep schedules. This is an external logistical problem as opposed to the others, which are primarily internally generated. It is up to me what kind of grapes I have by the end of this challenge - wonderful wine that will age well, or a batch of sour ones moldering away. One more thing before getting to the kitties and the nitty-gritty of the goals and scoring... I have been missing structural firefighting a lot lately. I'm not quite sure what to do about that, other than to recognize it and roll it into the realm of future possibilities. I have experience and training. I was focusing on wildland training because I felt that was more realistic goal given my age and would be my first choice if I had to pick only one. But if I end up in a small department, as I was before, I will need both (plus EMS) again. I was getting caught up in mental debate over it while looking for pictures for this thread when I found this: She's 68. I've got time. So, in addition to the usual wildland truck porn and forest fire scenarios, you're going to get some structure fire science and apparatus, too. The Lineup: Motivational Mondays Truck Porn Tuesday Women in the Fire Service Wednesday Tactical Thursday Fire Science Friday Safety Saturday and Fire Funnies on Sunday... And, as always, random sightings of wildlife, kitties and other cute critters Oh yeah, the goals. Work Out Like a Firefighter STA-1, STR-1, DEX -1 This challenge overlaps Weeks 16 - 21 of my "Forty Weeks to Fire Fit" program, subsequently referred to as "40W2FF." Most of my activities this time will be part of the PVPs I am participating in, plus any Rangers or accountabilibuddy mini-challenges. My real challenge is to stay within my limits and not let my enthusiasm get me injured. The Durability training, warmups and other preventive measures are designed to avoid injury or overuse, which has been an issue for me the last couple of challenges. Endurance (STA-1) __/18 This six week challenge will be a combination of exercise biking, brisk walking/hiking, swimming, and jump-roping to build my stamina. I can start hiking soon - the weather is starting to cool! The days are still 100 degrees plus, but the nights are getting down into the 80s regularly. Strength (STR-1) __/24 I will be using the bodyweight conditioning program in YAYOG program and PVP this challenge. My ultimate goal by the en of 40W2FF: Durability (DEX-1) __/18 Comprehensive set of warmups, mobility/stability, and “prehab†exercises for an older female athlete. Bone-builders (including jumping exercises); spine/shoulder/hip/knee exercises to maintain joint health; dynamic stretching to increase ROM and overall flexibility; specific exercises for identified weak areas including head/neck/spine alignment and bi-lateral muscle balance, ankles, wrists/hand/grip, pelvic floor, and elbows. I MUST warm up before every exercise session.. Eat Like a Firefighter CON-3(+) I will fuel my body with high-quality, nutrient dense foods with an eye to maintaining endurance and muscle, while trimming off excess weight. I will use the food tracking on MyFitnessPal from the YAYOG PVP to good effect here. Also, the No Soda and the 20 Pound PVP will be part of this goal. Body Composition Mission (1 pt awarded for each % bodyfat dropped, if I can drop 4% then I will take a point from somewhere else. This is a problem I would love to have...) This is my most Mission Critical Goal this challenge. I NEED to drop weight to achieve the progress on fitness goals that I need in the next two challenges. Trying to move the excess bodyweight is the primary reason for the elbow injury that has plagued me over the past three challenges. I could have probably had my first pullup by now but for that, and been ready to go on the HotShot Strength Program in Week 29. That will be a close thing now, if I can achieve it at all in the 40 week time frame. My 40 week end goal is a bodyweight of ~150#, +/-5# as long as my body fat % is at 20% or less using the U.S. Navy Body Fat Calculator. This tends to be a little under actual, so a DEXA scan would be even better, acceptable BF% < 24%. Goal for this challenge is to drop my BF% by at least 3 percentage points, to 31% or less. This will be from a combination of fat loss (primarily) and lean mass gain. (The following was calculated using US Navy Body Fat Calculator, it is an estimate. I think the calculator is somewhat overestimating my recent fat loss/lean muscle gain, but that it will all even out by the time I reach my goal weight.) Current Body Composition - 09/14/2014 Total Mass: 185 lbs. Lean Mass: 121 lbs. Fat Mass: 64 lbs. BF% = 34% Waist = 35" Hips = 42" Neck = 16" Height: 5'6 3/4" Short-Term Goal Body Composition - 10/26/2014 Total Mass: 174 lbs. Lean Mass: 122 lbs. Fat Mass: 52 lbs. BF% = 30% Waist = 32" Hips = 40" Neck = 15" Height: 5'6 3/4" When Joined Nerd Fitness - 05/31/2013 Total Mass: 206 lbs. Lean Mass: 107 lbs. Fat Mass: 99 lbs. BF% = 48% Waist = 42" Hips = 46" Neck = 16" Height: 5'5 3/4" LONG TERM GOAL (Estimated) - 03/08/2015 Total Mass: 150 lbs. Lean Mass: 120 lbs. Fat Mass: 30 lbs. BF% = 20% Waist = 27" Hips = 37" Neck = 14" Height: 5'6 3/4" Ungraded extra - Achieve another 42 days of my 365 total on the No Soda PVP. Starting at 154 days, going for 365. Should hit the halfway point during Week Five of this challenge. Rock the Acronyms Like a Firefighter STR-2, STA-1, CON-1, CHA-3, WIS-2 As I said before this is a MAJOR OVERHAUL. I will salvage what I can of existing systems, but there is a lot that will simply be discarded during mop up operations. STEAMS (STR-2, STA-2, CON-1, WIS-1) S is for SOPs (STR-1) By the end of this challenge, create a working draft of a set of personal SOPs, including a set of new morning and evening routines that support the new life I am building. T is for Time (STR-1) By the end of Week One, have a new working daily and weekly schedule in place. At a minimum it will include set business hours and deadlines for various projects, including the Fight the Fire app and my iOS course homework. Also by the end of week One, I will have completed the first ebook that I have checked out on Amazon's unlimited service and implemented the time saving ideas that I choose from it. I will do the same with the remaining five books over the remaining five weeks. This sounds like a lot, but they are shortish productivity books, primarily on ways to use to-do lists. If I can find a good technological tool for time tracking, that will be a plus, as will getting my kanban board back on track, and/or applying other agile or lean tools and methods. E is for Energy (CON-1) This is mostly covered in my Fitness and Body Composition Quests above. The one thing that needs addressed in this section is Rest/Sleep. I must get at least 45.5 hours of sleep per week; this will be graded. Given the ongoing work schedule realities at home, I am not going to grade my curfew, bedtiime and lights out, but I will track them for further data and to see how I can make improvements. A is for Awareness/Attention (WIS-1) At least 15 minutes per day of meditation and/or journaling/sketchnoting/mandala or other drawing/visual journaling method M is for Money (WIS-1) Complete the Thirty-One Days to Fix Your Finances 31 day program to figure out how to achieve the longer term goals. S is for Space (STA-1) At least one half-hour per day (on average) of decluttering and improving my personal space (includes car, computer, drives, devices), and/or scanning papers/books and towards my ultimately paperless office and digitized media library. This beyond my daily 15 minute clutter patrol and regular household tasks. I am losing precious time dealing with clutter and maintaining things I don't need or no longer use. It wastes huge amounts of my time and energy, so it gets its own category. I know better than to carry unneeded gear in my pack or on my truck. I need to treat my living space the same way. Have less, to do less, to be more. Of the above, I anticipate Sleep ("E is for Energy") to be one of the most crucial, as well as one of the most difficult to achieve during this challenge. I want to be: But, if not that, at least: Play Like a Firefighter CHA-3 Firefighters work hard and play hard. Lately, I have been telling a lot of other people that they need to have more fun in their life. I need to take my own good advice... Make working out more fun... Make eating more fun... Make rest and recovering more fun and my daily life more fun... Create more, relax more Thus the very social aspects of GRAPES (PVPs, Accountability Groups, and Role Playing), and the inclusion of my creative and recreational goals under my Epic Quest. GRAPES (DEX-1, CHA-2) These methods are largely ungraded, as most are already integrated into the objectives in STEAMS. However, E is an exception. My Epic Quest is the logical place to append my creative and recreational goals for this challenge. G is for Goals Tracking R is for Real Life RPG A is for Accountabilibuddies P is for PVPs E is for Epic Quest S is for Systems Thinking Continue Creating the "Fight the Fire App" (CHA-1) Ultimate Nerd Cred. Take the iOS programming course...once per week. Create Something (CHA-1) Writing and Arting. At least once per week per each. With Crossguild Artists Creativity AllLevel Art Collection. I've been itching to do some artwork for the games, try my hand at some graphic novel style artwork to go with my writing...I'll be happy to just get some sketching in to clarify my story ideas for myself and my writing group. And that is the other piece of this - Digital Storytellers meetup counts (every other week), plus a little more writing on top of that. With everything I've got going I don't expect to do a lot, just some. I'm thinking somewhere between Wonder Woman comic book art and a grittier more photo-realistic look for my bad ass ranger/warrior woman heroine Which brings us to those other fun physical skills that didn't fit into my Fire Fit Goal... Tai Chi and Other Fun Physical Activities (DEX-1) At least once per week. Tai Chi Saber, belly dance, whatever, as long as it is fun! GRADING: The specific, measurable steps that correspond to the above goals and objectives will be graded with the standard A, B, C, D, or F system using the usual percentages. How do I manage to turn these topic posts into such ginormous brain dumps? I don't know. It is getting a little out of control. Just a couple of thoughts before I close, though. I started this thread on Sept. 11th, anticipating that I would get it done that day. Didn't happen. You always think there is tomorrow... Those dreams that you carry around in your head, they need to happen sooner, rather than later. Make time for what is most important to you. Tell the people you care about how you feel. Every day. Love you guys. I appreciate all your support. You inspire me to keep at it when things get tough. Now let's get out there and destroy those obstacles and be awesome!
  23. Good afternoon to all! I am active duty Navy trying to cut down on weight to improve my PT test scores for this cycle. Main Quest- Excellent overall score Side Quests- Cut out excess sugar, Do 71 pushups in 2 minutes, run 20km/wk Motivation- Better evals, will help me get to the job I want in three years
  24. Greetings NF community. I am a relative newbie. I joined the NF Academy at the end of August and I have been faithfully doing the body weight brigade workouts, daily walks and primal blueprint diet ever since. I started following PB before joining the Academy. Since joining I have lost weight and I am feeling better. I have never been a great runner and I can honestly say that during my adult life, I have been more of a couch potato than a chronic cardio kind of guy. That said, I have decided to challenge myself and I am reaching out to see if anyone in the NF community wants to join me. I live in the Tampa area and every year at the end of February we have the Gasparilla Distance Classic. It consists of a 5K, 8K half-marathon, and marathon. Needless to say I have ever run anything close to a marathon so The last two are out for me (maybe next year). Since I have plenty of time, I have decided to train for the 8K. I started the couch to 5K program last week. Since this is a 9 week program, I have plenty of time to work up to 8K once I finish. Having never run a race before, my goal is not to be in the first group that finishes, I just want to finish without feeling like I'm dying. By race day, I plan to have a NF t-shirt to wear in the race. Is anyone in the NF community interested in joining me? you can get details on the race here.
  25. Hello everyone! This is my second third challenge as a Ranger, I bailed on the first second because turns out writing a doctoral dissertation is really time consuming. Now I return to resume my quest to be an awesome Viking, but with a more specific goal in mind: In January I'm going to Guatemala to backpack through the jungle! It's going to be exactly like this. Exactly. So there is no way that I am going to become Arnold, ever (not in my genetics as a lady-type person) but I'm going to need some Strength and Endurance to get through my jungle trek. Especially if I run into a Predator. Quest the First - Endurance Endurance is not built up overnight, it is made by consistency and perseverance. As I am a triathlete I'm going to stick with cycling and running. I actually have a race on September 21 so the first week of this challenge is going to be pretty mellow, but to fulfill this quest I'm going to Run or Cycle 3x/week. Quest the Second - Strength I'm not sure yet how heavy my pack is going to be, but I do know that even a light pack feels heavy if you carry it all day. So I am going to do Strength training 3x/week. I am probably going to get a gym membership at 24-hr fitness, since that's where a couple of friends have memberships, but I will count any at-home bodyweight training as long as it's at least 30 minutes. Quest the Third - Fuel up Right My very first challenge, I challenged myself not to get delivery food, for I have a weakness for delivery food. In the jungle I will not be seeing any friendly people with boxes of pizza. So Restaurant/Delivery food max 3x/week. I'm not giving up Taco Tuesday because it is the best lunch when I have to teach morning and afternoon labs, and then I get two other times. This is pass/fail per week but I'm going to be a little more forgiving on this IF it is an outing with friends that's spontaneous, like I don't want to stay home because I already had my restaurant food that week, but then that will carry over to the next week, so I can "pass" going out 4 times in a week if the next week I only go out twice. The point is to make food myself at home! Quest for Life - Get a Job This is less related to the trip, but trips cost money! I am currently working part-time, which means my other part-time job needs to be finding a permanent (ish? Post-docs can be like one year) full-time position. I want this job to start in January, after I get back from my trip, which gives me basically three months to find it. This quest means 30 minutes every weekday of job searching/resume building. I mean ideally I'll do more than that, but there's the bare minimum. I didn't do an RPG thing last time, so I think I'm going to go back and edit my signature to start doing that. Here's my grading system for this challenge: First: 16-18 runs/rides = A, +5 STA13-15 runs/rides = B, +4 STA10-12 runs/rides = C, +3 STA7-9 runs/rides = D, +2 STA6 runs/rides = you tried? +1 STA<6 runs/rides = F +0 STASecond: 16-18 lift = A, +5 STR13-15 lift = B, +4 STR10-12 lift = C, +3 STR7-9 lift = D, +2 STR6 lift = you tried? +1 STR<6 lift = F +0 STRThird: Pass six weeks = A, +2 CONPass 4-5 weeks = C, +1 CONPass 3 or less weeks = F, +0 CONLife: Pass six weeks = A, +3 WISPass 4-5 weeks = B, +2 WISPass 3 weeks = D, +1 WISPass <3 weeks = F, +0 WISEXCEPTION: Finding a job = automatic A+! And that's my third challenge! Hopefully this time I'll manage to...
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