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  1. Ahhhh how I love new beginnings! The start of a challenge is the best part for me: you get to dream up your ideal day and there is always the hope of coming out on the other side having magically lost all the weight and built all the muscle and flexibility! CONSTRUCTION SITE! my body is stiff and brittle and Im old. thats the starting point. Sadly being stiff in my case means my achilles tendons are chronically inflamed and hurt. A lot! so after a year of pain Im trying different orthopedic soles, new advice from my PT and YOGA! certain holy beings among us have finished a 30 day program. So Im doing that too. I chose a yoga teacher with the cool name Fightmaster ,who sadly passed away, leaving me a 30 day beginners course to try out in her honor. I was tempted to go for Adrienne, but I can always do that afterwards. This course starts with 15 minute classes and works up to 30 minutes. I even splurged and ordered two yoga blocks and a yoga belt (??) thingy to pull your body parts in certain directions. they will arrive tomorrow. GOAL do a class daily. you may repeat or adjust classes. main thing is to move about in weird ways every day. HEADBANGERS KITCHEN I have jumped on the keto train a couple of years ago. during the first 2 years I was super diligent and my ass melted down to an acceptable size. Then I proceeded to order pizza during hard times and having croissants with jam as often as I fucking wanted. Those breaks have had my weight exploding and if I ever want be able to run a 5k or fit into my nice clothes again, I will need to change! Last challenge I managed to get back to orderly eating and lost 3kg. Now I want more! While browsing the interwebs for cheap keto recipes I found this hilarious Indian guy ( a death metal musician, thus his title!) whose kitchen equipment looks like mine. No fancy stuff there. The good dude presents keto for people who dont have money for steak every night and makes it fun and accessible. I have his book now and the latest weightloss is due to his no nonsense recipes. I want more of that during this challenge. ( why on earth did I start taking about buttery croissants? now I want one!) GOAL eat cheap and tasty keto foods, prep when necessary. have a tiny cute ass when finished! TALES OF A LOUSY WEEKEND WRITER After publishing a terribly written book in 2019 I have proceeded to call myself a writer without, well erm, writing anything. I have been avoiding writing by planning a podcast, doing other stuff and basically feeling smug about having a book out. To be honest, I like the process of being in the midst of typing down a pice of world literature. I just haven't found what I want to write about next. So during this challenge, my job is to sit down at my desk every weekend and find a topic first, then begin writing a shitty first draft of basically anything. My goal is to get back into the habit and being able to say I used the pandemic to write a bestseller. GOAL find a topic to write about and start a first draft. You must sit down every Saturday and Sunday for at least 30 minutes and stare at your dirty screen. Apart from those 3 goals you will read about the dog child, hiking at the beach, me feeling important by being involved in local politics and tales of a woman with a non existent financial budget.
  2. The more things change... By the end of the first week of the new challenge D and I should have closed on the new house and my son will be visiting to help us unload the U-Pack Pods. We're purchasing some of the furniture in the house, this includes a treadmill, I can walk/run/intervals again! This should also mean the beginning of my new schedule and mostly working from home I know I haven't talked a lot about my new job but I love the fact that I get to be an accountant, utilizing programs and processes that are valuable should I need to find another position in the future, and my boss is really fuckin cool! I'm not expected to just know it all and I actually am being shown what to do and what I'm responsible for! Oh, and in a paperless office The Plan... Control - Comfort eating and drinking was an issue, be mindful of this until in the house then back to Cardio. Update - Post in thread three times a week. Track - Sleep (at least 7 hours a night) Food (eat when hungry, stop when full, track to be mindful) Extra - Rides, 5k's, events, and life events go here Done - 🌈 Not Done - ❄️ So as we can see things will change about mid-way through, I'll have to be flexible while life settles into whatever a normal pattern will be,
  3. Last challenge, I found a climbing gym, rediscovered my love for climbing, and got into a great rhythm of climbing every other day. I'm keeping things much simpler this time and keeping the momentum rolling. 1. Battling pride Climbing has been great..... but, I'm still struggling with feeling self conscious about sucking or getting overly upset when I can't solve a route that is marked with a low enough grade that I ought to be able to solve it. Yesterday, Pride defeated me. Some new routes were set, and I could not for the life of me solve a vertical wall 5.8. (I can usually get the vertical 5.10s and the 5.8s kind of seem like ladders) I got really frustrated and worried that everyone would see how much I sucked, whined a lot, and was almost ready to walk out of the gym..... so.... To defeat Pride, I must: Attempt every single route marked 5.9 or lower. If I can't get it, keep trying and ask for help from one of the other climbers. One of my problems is that I tend to climb the things that play to my strengths, and I need to stop doing that. I will learn the most if I work on some of those weaknesses, even if they make me feel like I suck. 2. Battling Envy This one is simple. I've always been jealous of people who can do the splits. Rather than being envious, I'm going to take real steps to become more flexible. I started a program called Hyperbolic Stretching, and I'm going to stick with the stretching workouts there. The goal for this is 3 stretching sessions per week. 3. Battling Gluttony This one is another simple goal, stolen from I think @Elastigirl. I still need to lose weight. I'm still struggling a bit with mindless munching. If I want a snack, I will make myself wait at least 15 minutes before indulging. I'll also make sure to drink some water or tea in the meantime, since that can often stave off hunger. 4. Battling Sloth I need to be more productive and less lazy. For this goal, I'm going to focus on crochet and complete at least 3 small projects during the challenge. Some of the things in my queue are that I need to make a crochet cactus arrangement for my mom, a Shy Guy (from Mario games) for my son, and some vampires (based on the Voldemort from my HP crochet book) for Halloween. Let's do this!
  4. Well here we are again, hoping this is not another case of insanity, doing the same things over again, and expecting a different result. I feel like I always start these challenges with the best of intentions to update regularly and keep with it, but it always fails for one reason or another. Usually it's the simple fact of trying to do too much all at once. So we're going to try things a little differently. We're going to give myself grace, and wiggle room, and we're going to keep it simple stupid 💋. I always feel guilty, because I want to cheer others on and check out their pages and keep updated with what's going on with everyone else, but I feel like thats where everything starts to spiral out of control; that guilt when I fall behind. So this challenge, I will be focusing on myself for the most part. If I have the energy to respond to comments, or follow other people's challenges, awesome! I'll do that! but, if I don't, that's perfectly fine, I really need to work on myself, and that's not selfish... that's just reality (I'm typing this just to remind myself. If you write it out, it becomes truth, right?) So my focuses this challenge will be as follows Fitness: I am working on c25k program, and am aiming for 3x's a week, but with how easily I've been getting overwhelmed lately, I am going to be content with as few as 1 run per week. 2nd Fitness: I will also be getting back to work on some bodyweight/flexibility work. I haven't decided if I will go back to doing core play again (since that's supposed to be a 6x's a week program, and that's just too much for me right now, and I don't know how scaling it back to 1-3x's a week will affect the effects of the program) or just work on the beyond flexibility, which will still work my muscles, just not quite as rigorously, and is a program designed for 3-5x's a week, so it is easily scaled back to a doable amount of times for me. So I'll probably be doing the BF, but it's still up in the air and I still have a few days to officially decide. I'll let you know when I make a decision, probably lol. Nutrition: I have started using an app called Eat This Much, which helps you plan meals based on your caloric needs and macros without me having to do all that math myself. The nice thing about this app is also that the meals are actually foods I regularly have on hand, and find delicious, and am not too scared to attempt cooking, and also the ingredients don't cost me an arm and a leg to get. So my plan for this challenge is to eat at LEAST one meal from the plan each day, but aim for 80% on target meals. I also have been using the Ate app to track my meals, although very sporadically, so part of this goal is also to log all my meals on the app. So what is all of this going to help me accomplish? Why would I put myself through all of this? (You may not be asking this, but I sure do some days... especially on run interval 7 of 8💀) The fast and loose explanation is, I would like to lose 100 lbs. The more nuanced explanation is: There are several things I really really want to do, but often times my body, and lack of stamina hold me back from doing them, like gymnastics, dancing, and running (which a newfound torture that I love ). There are also things that I want to do that my heavier body make more expensive and therefore unattainable, such as clothes shopping, or making my own clothes. Lastly, I really want to set a good example for my son of eating well, exercising regularly, taking care of myself, both physically and mentally, and just generally being a happy healthy adult. I want to show him how fun this lifestyle can be, and all the things you can do with a functional body. Alright, here goes!
  5. Guys, last challenge was a wreck and I now officially give up on the lies ideas of "life balance" and "moderation" and "self control". I spent a week in a gaming haze so thick I forgot about basic human functioning. 🙈 And the last two weeks I've been frying out my brain at work so thoroughly all I've had energy to do is watch movies and scroll on my phone... I don't understand why I keep doing this to myself, yet here we are. Again. I don't know how to solve the work problem, hopefully it will go away on its own as I get more minions involved. As for the other stuff, I'm going to completely outsource self control to technology and basically ban nearly all media, in the hope that boredom will take over and make me do stuff. Might sound a tad drastic, but clearly I refuse to do as I'm told, even if it's me doing the telling, and this is the simplest solution. 😛 That's the main challenge. I have a few other side quests, but if I end up taking a different direction that's totally cool too. 😄 Side quest #1 Tackle the list of Ick. The one that I've been procrastinating for anything from 1 month to 2 years. It includes calling the tax office. And shopping. Side quest #2 Get back my flexy Because I'm jealous of my past self's flexiness and my ego wants it back. Side quest #3 Art My aim is to at least DOUBLE the amount I drew last challenge. ... It was once. Yeah. 😜
  6. Or will I? Stay tuned to find out.... I have been playing a LOT of the Elder Scrolls recently. I started out with Skyrim and then when I started running out of new character ideas, I decided to go back in the franchise to Morrowind, the 3rd installment. In that game [SPOILER ALERT] you play the famed hero of prophecy, the Nerevarine. I am going to base my challenge around that, as I expect much of my time this challenge will involve this game Endurance: In the game I have found that my biggest limiting factor is endurance. I can only run for a minute or two before I am completely drained, and when you are drained you can't do anything and are easily killed. My real live endurance is not much better, so in order to build up my endurance, I am going to be doing some running. I expect most of this will be on my treadmill, but with the temperatures starting to get nice outside, I may also do some running at the park. My minimum for success is 50Km over the course of the challenge. That comes out to two 5k runs per week, which is totally doable. Agility: Agility is the attribute that keeps the enemies from being able to hit you. For this challenge this is going to translate into stretching and mobility work, which will keep me from taking damage (getting injured) as I go about my questing. Last challenge I tried to make this an evening thing but that did not work at all. This time around I am going to try doing it in the mornings and see if that works any better. Goal is to to at east 3 stretching sessions per week, meaning 15 sessions over the course of the challenge. My 4 primary stretches focus on pike (posterior chain), straddle (hips), tuck (ankles), and pancake (hips and posterior chain). Personality: Personality is another key attribute in the game, because often in order to complete any quest you have to interact with the NPCs, who won't do anything for you unless you have rapport with them. A high personality score means less time running around doing tasks to build up rapport with NPCs so you can complete quests. For this challenge, that means keeping up with other people here on NF. Last time I tried to follow too many people and ended up getting WAY behind on all of them to the point where I was barely participating in any of them. This time I am going to somehow limit the number of challenges I follow so I can stay up to date and active. The hard part is deciding who to follow and who I have to skip this time around. I need to be active in 10 other people's threads and keep my follows under 20 people (somehow). Not sure yet how to track this one. Willpower: This attribute affect spell casting success rate and for me (since I am not playing a spellcaster) resistance to magicka. This is important because getting hit with a paralyze spell in the middle of combat can be fatal. For this challenge this is going to be about snacking. I usually do pretty well on eating healthy during the day. However, I tend to get the munchies in the evening and I inevitably go hunting for whatever is around the house. Given that the Chinese New Year holiday starts this week, there is going to be tons of snacks around. I am going to give myself a pass during the holiday, but once the holiday is over I am going to steal an idea from Deffy and have a snack pack. Anything in the snack pack is OK, but that is the limit. Once that is gone I can't have any more snacks. I will try to have my snack pack ready each morning, but if I fail to do that, it just means I can't have snacks. Goal for this challenge is to have no more than 5 snack pack violations over the course of the challenge. Strength: I almost left this off because it is something I would be doing anyway, but decided to include it anyway. Strength is the attribute that determines how much damage output you do, but increased strength also correlates with increased weapon degradation. Improving strength is good, as long as it is tempered and I don't try to overdo things. I have lost a bit of strength over the winter from being indoors so much, so I need to be patient and not try to do too much too quickly. Goals for this challenge is 3 workouts per week (15 total workout sessions for the challenge), but they don't have to be focused on anything beyond just getting outside and being active. Challenge Tracker: Endurance: ⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ Agility: ⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ Personality: Willpower: ⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ Strength: ⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜
  7. Hello there, maybe some of you can give me insights on how to gain the ability to control your body and become more flexible? In a sense of pole dancing, yoga, gymnastics, possibly parkour - it all seems so undoable to me and I'd love to have this controlled strength of gymnasts who can slowly lift their legs off the ground to a handstand or jump up from lying flat on their back. I think it might be a fallacy of mine: It all looks like you do not need a huge amount of sheer strength to do it. But maybe you do. Because usually gymnasts do not look that muscular, some even look slightly overweight. I can lift weights, and I get stronger, in a sense of I can lift more weight, but bodyweight exercises, including yoga, are much harder for me. A) because I lack the flexibility and B ) the strength. I simply have no idea, no plan, on how to go about it or if it is possible to improve since it feels so futile. I can't even do a side plank and lift a leg for longer than 5 seconds. Back in school when I was a teenager we had to do this: So many were able to do it but to me it is still a mystery how you can even pull yourself up. My body feels like an uncontrollable sack of potatoes most of the time, even when I do a bit heavier lifting. I'm also sure I never really tried hard enough for a long period of time and that the effort it needs for something that looks easy is quite high. So do you have any ideas on how to start? Do you think Insanity is helping here? Because I always enjoyed those videos a lot and improved a bit. Any other plans or ideas? Like... actually starting with yoga? Does it really improve? I also stretch, but only from time to time, it used to be 4-5 times a week after lifting, but never noticed any difference in my flexibility.
  8. starsapart: A Brief and Abridged History I think an anniversary challenge calls for a bit of retrospection, doesn't it? I found Nerd Fitness in summer of 2014 after someone sent me one of Steve's articles. I'd been on a health and fitness journey since April of that year, which had marked an all-time emotional low point for me. I'd latched on to weight loss as a silver bullet of sorts, with this vague idea that if I could just be conventionally attractive, my life would sort itself out (spoiler: it doesn't work like that). Finding the forums really helped me start to find some joy in movement and began my slow journey to mental recovery. I had a serious injury in August of that year after a brief trial of parkour, which forced me to start building my upper body strength while my broken ankle was in a cast. I didn't really know what I wanted to do once I was healed, but around that time, I met @sylph, who opened my eyes to the crazy idea that an adult could absolutely learn to be an acrobat. I started aerial in November of 2014, at which point I was about 50 pounds down from my highest weight and feeling a lot better about life, the universe, and everything. I stuck to the forums, becoming a member (and then briefly the commander) of the Cutlasses, then an ambassador for the Assassins. I was just about 80 pounds down when I was featured as a success story on the Nerd Fitness blog, one year after my fitness journey had started. My mind was much healthier in a lot of ways by then, though in retrospect I realize I had slipped into disordered eating in the form of orthorexia. I never addressed this on the forums, but I ended up having to undo a lot of mental tangle again to fix my broken-in-a-new-way relationship with food. Based on my doctor's insistence in 2015, I actually had to regain a small amount of the weight I had lost. Still, things were going well overall - despite additional injuries and setbacks, my aerial skills improved greatly. I got my first pull-up. I started performing. I became a guild leader for the Assassins. By mid-2016, I felt like I had my health and fitness sorted, and with life getting progressively busier, I left the forums for several years, though I retained some of the great friends I had made here and at CNF 2015. Then 2019 rolled around, and my life changed drastically again: my wife and I adopted a baby! And this was very exciting! But very exhausting!! I lapsed (completely) on lifting weights. I lapsed (a lot) on making good food choices. I lapsed (a little) on training in the circus gym. I came back to the forums in December of 2019 in hopes of finding some support as I tried to right my course. That brings us to today! I survived my return challenge and I'm back for more. I definitely don't have time for the careful selection of song lyrics and themed gifs anymore, because #momlife, but I do have goals! I am performing in a major circus production close to the end of this challenge (the shows run March 13-15) and I've been frantically rehearsing and preparing, which has done a lot for my consistency. Still, there are a few things I need to address as I prepare for the show. As such, my goals are as follows: GOAL 1: NUTRITION GRAB BAG Last challenge, I got back on the food tracking bandwagon, but I didn't address exactly what I was eating and when. I was batting around several nutrition goal ideas, but ultimately, I think I'll do a grab bag. I am aiming to earn 80 points by the end of the challenge, meaning I need to earn 2+ points a day. I can earn (or lose) points in the following ways: Caloric deficit (1800 calories or less) : +1 IF (eat only between 11am-7pm) : +1 Vegetarian day (I already try to do this once a week, but this will hopefully be a nice motivator to do more) : +1 Zero junk food day (no chocolate, no chips, no cookies; a serving of dried fruit or nuts is fine but eating a whole bag of either is not...) : +2 Caloric surplus (2100 calories or more; I can take a bye on this if I've had a very physical day, i.e. 3+ hours of aerial in a row or 10 miles of snowshoeing or something) : -1 Excess sweets (3 or more in one day) : -1 Skipped tracking (lack of best-effort tracking in MFP) : -1 GOAL 2: LIFTING REDUX I had a lifting goal last challenge and I mostly stuck to it, but I don't feel confident that I've built a sustainable habit yet, so here we go again, Lift two times a week, better three. Anything counts, even if I just go down and do a 5x5 of bench press and then call it done. I get a bye on show week - no lifting required at all the week of March 8-14, because I will basically be in the gym or the theater every bloody day and I'm going to be massively fatigued. Depending on how I feel post-show, I may require only one session the week of March 15. GOAL 2B: RECOVERY IS KEY I had to suspend my lifting goal due to changes in my aerial schedule. Instead, starting week 3, I am looking for foam rolling sessions after every practice and performance. GOAL 3: FLEXIBILITY I've been pretty lax on stretching outside of rehearsal warm-ups. My wife and I occasionally do yoga videos together, but that's not super consistent, either. I'm aiming for two flexibility sessions a week. They need to be a minimum of 15 minutes and can focus on splits, straddles, backbends, whatever. Yoga counts. Aerial practice or class doesn't count, unless I specifically take a flexibility and contortion class. GOAL 4: FAMILY TIME I'll run this one grab-bag style as well, aiming for 15 points by the end of the challenge (to be adjusted once I see how this goes). I earn points by: Family meal (everyone, including baby, sits down to eat together at the same time) : +1 Family walk (Around the block or to the park or whatever, but it has to be outdoors) : +1 Fun family outing (anything from storytime to going to the aquarium; going to the grocery store obviously doesn't count) : +1 I think that's plenty to focus on this go around. I have a few big disruptions hitting during this challenge as well: Feb 21-24, we're heading up for a long weekend at my family's mountain condo with a couple friends (yes, we're taking baby), which will include lots of fun activities but also probably lots of food. March 9, my daughter turns one! Cue more food and lots of prep (her party is on the 8th) and general insanity. Finally, as previously mentioned, I've got a show running the weekend of March 13. So, here we go! Sending shoutouts to @stillskies, @blkhole24601, and @Kagetsukai to get their fine asses back here for the anniversary challenge. C'MON LADIES, JOIN THE FUN!
  9. I love New Year’s! For me, it’s a fun time with lots of hope and dreams but not a lot of heavy expectations. I’m thinking about bigger-picture year-long goals, but for this challenge, I want to keep it pretty simple. I'm starting during zero week, so these are all 6-week goals. Focused flexibility: This is a stretching program from a company called GMB. They recommend 2-week cycles after which you re-evaluate your flexibility and switch things up as needed. I’m going to do 2 cycles (total of 4 weeks) with the goal to stretch every day. If I miss a day, I can make it up with “bonus points” (described below). Drink water. I’m annoyed that I have to make this a goal, but I think I have to make it a goal. At least a liter every day. Selzer or herbal tea also count. If I miss a day, I can also make this up with “bonus points” Run 150 miles [6 weeks]. Treadmill counts. In a pinch, other cardio machines count (10 min = 1 mile), but only to get me up to 25 miles in a given week. Clean the bathrooms. Yup another exciting deep cleaning goal. I’ve done these in previous challenges and been really happy with the results. This time I’m not going to list all the details of cleaning jobs, but I’ll just note that it does include Mari-Kondo-ing all the cabinets. Bonus point activities: Practice pincha mayurasana (peacock feather pose) Strength workout (can be mini-workout…at least 5 sets counts) Go to spinning class (bike, not textiles) Go to big city yoga class And I still have quite a substantial sushi list to work on....
  10. Alright, so this is a brief description as a placeholder (cuz I'm currently at work) This challenge I'm doing something a little different. Instead of 4 small goals, im creating a list of things I can pick and choose from each day, each item giving between 1 and 5 pts for completion. To pass at bare minimum I need to accumulate 100 points (20 points a week). To get an a+ ranking will need to be over 500 points. More details to come...
  11. Let's kickstart our mobility training and do 7 days in a row of mobility work for week 1! Any sort of mobility work you want to do, for any length of time. The idea is just to do it every day. I always start my weeks on Monday for challenge goals, but feel free to start Sunday if that's what you prefer. @Sylvaa and @Maigs are in - anybody else?
  12. Nic walks into the Ranger Headquarters after her last mission. She had hit some minor setbacks, but understood that the setbacks were a result of her strict new training regimen-- her body simply wasn't up to the task because it was growing stronger. But now, it was time to prove herself again. Nodding at the guildmaster, Nic makes her way to the Assistant Quartermaster to return her equipment. "One set of magic rings of levitation, one bow, the short sword, 10 knives." Nic each item on the counter as she listed the item, pulling each one out of her trusty rucksack. "Welcome back," the QM replied. "You're going to need those again. Report to Bev in Assignments, she has a new mission for you." The QM paused, "Come back when you're done with Bev. I have some things you'll need. Leave this stuff here," he gestured to the tools Nic had already taken out, "you're going to want to repack when you get the new equipment." Nic silently raised an eyebrow at this. Nodding, she left the ruck behind, but grabbed a dagger off the counter and put it on her belt. Just in case. You never know when a knife might come in handy, after all. Having armed her self, she then walked over to Mission Assignments, also known as the bar. "I heard you have a mission for me, Bev." Nic sat down in front of Bev, who was manning the bar. Bev efficiently whipped out a coaster and then set a nice tall glass of Harrendahl mead in front of Nic. Nic gave a grin at the quick service. Bev remembered everyone's orders and always knew what suited their mood. "Good to see you again, Nic! Long time no see." Bev was right on that point. Nic had been on a free-lance training mission for the past month, after failing a previous assignment. "Listen, when this mission came up, I had to give it to you. It's perfect. So you know the Mar'saat Raiders in the Western Reach? They're looking for some help. Someone tough, motivated, but unlikely to be stopped by the Warlord's forces. They're short a few members after that battle in the Weir Woods." "The Raiders? Really?" Nic knew of the Raiders. They were some of the toughest of the Rangers-- legendary for their strength and speed. They were a key unit in the Rebellion, great at smuggling supplies into beseiged villages or ambushing Warlord Dzanai's forces. They epitomized what it meant to be a Ranger, in Nic's eyes. "See? I knew you'd be interested. They're looking for someone to help them smuggle supplies from the base in the Reach to a small fishing village at on the coast. They'll be able to tell you more when you get there, but they're expecting you at the beginning of next week. Go see the QM. He'll have what you need." Draining the mead, Nic gave a quick "thanks!" to Bev and headed back to the QM. He had replaced the bow that she had returned with a bo staff. Nic was grateful-- the bo staff was her preferred weapon. In addition to the bo staff and other weapons, the QM had added in a new pair of boots ("Extra light, so that you can run faster, but durable enough for all terrain, and enchanted to drain water if they get wet,"), a map to the base at the Western Reach ("burn it once you've memorized it-- don't want Dzanai's forces to get a hold of it and read it."), and a new half-cloak ("a little easier to run with, than that long one you've got on."). "See you in a month, Ranger. Come back safe." Nic smiled, thanked the QM, and walked out the door. She had a mission to do.
  13. Over the past few challenges, I have become more energetic and my life is finally getting in order again. Unfortunately, I'm now suffering a groin/hip injury due to poor running-technique. Since I have no idea how much exercise I will be able to do in the next few weeks, I will focus on flexibility. Long term goal: Feel more energetic again and move with ease. Challenge goal: - recover from running injury - improve squat "stretch" and prone knee-to-chest stretch - maintain yoga, cleaning and clarinet habits Quests: 1. Daily physical therapy exercises 2. Daily Focused Flexibility exercises 3. Yoga 3x a week L1. Play the clarinet 3x a week L2. 15 minutes of chores 3x a week There will be one week where I'll be on holiday, then I'll skip the yoga, clarinet and chores. I will try to keep up the climbing and will possibly do some strength-training or running, we'll see. This week is to settle in, and next week I will really start this challenge .
  14. Hey guys! I know I’m a couple days late but I really want to try this. I’m a very busy student, track sprinter, and high jumper, and I tend to make excuses for not making improvements. So, I’m hoping posting here will make me more accountable especially with such a supporting community. I’ve always been very inflexible (I can barely touch my ankles or do a backbend) which poses many problems in track, especially for being a high jumper. So, my main goal for these four weeks is to improve my overall flexibility (and hopefully touch my toes or even the ground). My mini goals are: • Perform hamstring and hip mobility stretches at least 5 times a week, if not daily • Perform wrist and arm mobility stretches daily before bed • Sit down for a yoga session at least once a week I’ve never posted to a forum before and I’m hoping this works!!!
  15. For most of the last four-ish years (might actually be longer...) I've been chiefly over with the Monks. Boxing, BJJ, MMA, most of my fitness goals had been built around combat sports. It was pretty much my favorite thing. I loved having something that allowed me to actually demonstrate whatever physical skills and abilities I had. I loved the competition, and always getting better at something that I enjoyed. A couple weeks ago, I had what will probably be my last amateur boxing match. I didn't train nearly as hard as I could have for that fight, and I know I could have done better, but the thing is... I think I'm hitting that point in my life where I enjoy watching it more than I enjoy doing it. Only took 25 years. And now, in my advancing age (I turn 38 this year! Get off my lawn!) I really need to focus more on general mobility, bodyweight exercises, whole-body fitness, running, and maybe more recreational sporting. If my wife were here, she'd also probably point out that American Ninja Warrior is my favorite television show at this time of year, and then she'd poke me in the belly and laugh. So! If you'll have me, this monk is going to be swapping out the brass knuckles for some nice skintight black spandex. Sneaky sneaky. Working out quantities of each of the following, per day, per week, to be determined. Challenge #1 - Aerial Combat Bodyweight squats combined and jumps. Hockey jumps (side to sides). Jumping split squats (sort of like lunges). My hips and knees are in terrible shape. Challenge #2 - That Upper Body Pushups. The bane of my existence. Double-arm army crawls. Triceps and shoulders. Negatives, IF I can figure out some way to hang a bar at my house. Challenge #3 - Zero-G Combat Practicing handstands. Against the wall, to start. Probably for the entire challenge. I've never managed any success with these. THAT WILL CHANGE. Challenge #4 - Core Meltdown The picture is only tangentially related. Planks, and side-plank shifts. Maybe baseball slides, as well. Core, abs, obliques, lower back. Lotta repair work to do. Bonus Challenge - Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey Flexibility Wall splits. Pigeon stretches. Heel to butt stretch. I stiffen up easy, especially the hips and legs. I'm just using this challenge to sort of get me up to the level where I can set some REAL challenges for the NEXT challenge. I hope that's all right! Howdy!
  16. After a great start to 2017 that was highlighted by qualifying for the first time at age 50 for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships and capped off by competing in the Age Group category in that race, the year ended rather quietly as I "whatever"-ed myself into missing workouts, backing off on my running program, and basically falling as out-of-shape as I have been in over three years. Coming on its heels, my 2018 has been consistent in its inconsistency. The year started off poorly; I was eating poorly, I was not working out consistently, and I was missing my scheduled runs. In context, I am not failing, regardless of what the scale says. I look reasonably good in clothes that fit and I am pretty fit in comparison with most of my peers, who largely laugh when I describe myself as "Old, fat and out-of-shape." This is true despite the onset of psoriatic arthritis in the middle of 2017 that has adjusted how I exercise and how I recover. However, I'm not ready to admit defeat to my arthritic knees and lower back. Instead of my deskbound co-workers, I expect to measure myself against a whole different set of peers: These men, 50 and over, who are not content to take that knee but will Rise Up and Conduct Their Business as Grand Masters. I will not go quietly into the night. I will fight until I can't fight anymore. I will Rebel. Main Goal In October of this year, I'll be competing in the 2018 OCR World Championships. I qualified as an age group competitor twice during the 2017 season and raced in a group of similarly grey-bearded men. I will travel to the UK to participate and will run as a journeyman if necessary, but it's my goal to qualify to race against other 50-and-over men again. This time, I don't want to be happy to be there, I want to finish closer to the middle of the pack than the back, and I'd like to leave with something more than just a finisher medal (or two, or three) and a tee shirt: I want to finish with 100% obstacle completion. This is where I say "I know what it takes to get where I want to be" and put my goals in. I do know what it takes. If I had any self-discipline, I could run a Battle Log, because this is basically Level Grinding, but I have the self-discipline of a weasel on crack and the attention span to match, so here we are. If you've been around for any of my challenges you're already familiar with what's going on, but if there are any new eyes reading, here's what's on the menu: Goal: Speed I have gone from "I'm not a runner" to "I enjoy trail running." I'm still building up my mileage from a long winter of slacking, but I have a running plan that works. Consistency will get me there. Plan: Run a minimum of 3x per week, including 3-mile VO2 max interval training, 3-4 mile lactate threshold training, and weekend long run. Goal: Strength I enjoy weight training. I need to supplement this with boot-camp style bodyweight and high-rep, low-weight training, and pull-ups. This will help with obstacle proficiency and efficiency. There will be white boards. Plan: Boot Camp Monday and Wednesday, weight training Tuesday and Thursday. Bonus: 400 pull-ups during the course of the challenge. I tried this last time and it faded out due to inconsistency. Goal: Skill While raw strength will help with some obstacles, it's not going to help me through a ninja-style rig or on Pegatron or obstacles where there are specific skills involved. I have a gym membership to Obstacle Academy for this. Plan: Weekly Friday obstacle workout at Obstacle Academy. Goal: Sustenance When I track my nutritional macros, I can lose inches around my middle and still keep up my muscle mass. When I'm consistent, I see the results I want. I've worked with a couple trainers over the past five years to arrive at the numbers below and as long as I am honest with myself, I can meet my goals here and also look good in my mud jersey when I hit the starting line at the Spartan Race in June. Plan: Log my food daily. Stick to my macros. Sanity This is my self-care non-goal. I'm chronically over-scheduled and currently don't have an out for this, and it won't even get better at the end of the school year until I'm back from my summer Youth Mission Trip, which happens during the last week of this challenge cycle. This is not a quantifiable, SMART goal, but it will stay on the list to remind me to spend some time in self-care daily. Starting Line I Race, and I love it. I love the atmosphere and the people and the event itself. A bad day on an obstacle course is still the happiest day of my week. Including my trail race during Week Zero, I've got a handful of trail "races" on the docket this cycle to ensure that I am getting in my weekend long runs, and one OCR in the middle: The Minnesota Spartan Sprint is my lone local OCRWC Qualifying event of the year, and this year they've made it part of their "Mountain Series", which means it will probably draw more people than I'm used to seeing at our venue and may stack my Age Group with highly-competitive runners who are significantly faster than me and who want the cool finisher medal. We'll see what happens as far as OCRWC qualifying times, but I'm going to go all out trying in front of my friends and family. Finally, I have bee pretty crappy about keeping my challenge threads up-to-date for the past couple months. I won't ghost on y'all - I love my Rangers - but bear with me, especially since this challenge will be done for me at the end of Week 3. I want y'all to know that regardless of the lags in posting, every like and every comment is observed, read, and appreciated. Carry on, Rebels. It's time for an adventure.
  17. Quick Introduction I'm Natalee, fun, funky, fabulous mother of 2 sweet little boys charting her course in waters rough and rugged. I've been struggling to get my fitness, specifically bodyweight fitness in order these last few months and it came to mind to visit this wonderful haven and lo and behold a challenge is about to start, so here I am. For the next four weeks my aim is to do all of four things Bodyweight train 6 days a week, actively rest on Sundays, a part of this bodyweight training will be a focus on improving flexibility. Improve my eating habits; I need to make healthier choices, increase protein intake and decrease the consumption of cookies. (Cookie monster Alert!!} Develop the program outline for my proposed physical education program. Listen to Bible and personal development audios daily. I'm short on time at the moment... working on work... but this is the outline and I will add an in depth breakdown of my goals, adding my workouts and diet plans when time permits. I feel really excited, NerdFitness has helped me before, and I have all confidence that sharing with you all will help me to LEVEL UP! Can't wait to meet you!
  18. THE PRESSURE IS ON! Respawn, because I have been a slack lately. More nerdy references (and some kind of story line and D&D references) to come in the next few days. There is a Pole Sport competition I will be going to in about seven months, where I will need to be able to move, climb, flip and be awesome like a ninja. In order to not be a disappointment at this competition, I need to do multiple things. Increasing flexibility is the main priority, and getting my ass back into some kind of workout routine is a close second. 1 - Increasing flexibility MUST ABSOLUTELY HAPPEN AND IS NOT NEGOTIABLE (daily except Sundays) 2 - Following the Gymnastics Bodies program on a regular basis (5x/week) 3 - Going for 20-30 min walks at lunch now that the weather is less shitty (5x/week, unless there's a staff event at lunch or something) 4 - Doing the pole workout given to me by Coach (daily: full workout if at pole gym, partial workout if at home) 5 - Drinking more water daily--at least 72oz/day (72oz, because I have a 24oz cup and 3x24 is 72 and I didn't feel like doing any more math than that) 6 - Tracking food intake and rough calorie total (daily, also requested by Coach) 7 - 10 min meditation & journal on a daily basis (I already do this, but want to keep going) 8 - Eat less cheese (this will probably be the hardest item of the challenge) Implied goals: 9 - I will lose some pounds (fat) as a result of all of the above 10 - I will drink less alcohol because I'll be too fucking busy to do so 11 - I will check in to this thread on a regular basis to brag/whine as necessary ;P BONUS task: Working on my cosplay(s). PRE-CHALLENGE LIST, to remove the emotional/mental load: 1 - Cancel the expensive gym membership that I no longer use It's a good place and I've been there for years, but the schedule is no longer working for me. 2 - Booking appointments that I keep procrastinating on booking 3 - Contacting people that I keep procrastinating on contacting (0 of 2) 4 - CLEAN MY FUCKING ROOM so I have space to work out, work on cosplay, etc. 5 - Change my user name on NF, because using my RL name on the Internet is probably not a good idea May will be particularly difficult, because I will have the usual work hours (8AM to 4PM) and then coaching hours from like 6PM to 10PM from Monday to Thursday. This will result in VERY LITTLE FREE TIME and probably a lot of complaining. I want to have all my ducks in a row as well as some momentum before May so that I'll be less likely to fall off the wagon.
  19. I'm continuing with the Hogwarts theme, even though I might not be around much over this next challenge. This time, it's going to be a very simple challenge. 1. Do something to improve my pulling power or grip strength every day. 2. Do something to improve my flexibility every day. 3. Do something to improve my computer skills every day. 4. Do something to help my mental well being every day. None of these really need to be much. I just want to stay on track with doing at least a little bit. Otherwise, I'm doing parkour class on Saturdays, Silks class on Saturdays, parkour open gym on Tues (when possible), with hopefully some strength yoga every Sunday and a strength session every Thursday. I also have to tangle with spring break, my son's birthday, my husband's birthday, some computer stuff I'm doing for the parkour gym, a huge science convention (just attending, but it will clog a weekend), and a ton of kids' activities.
  20. OKAY! So, last challenge was a keep-on-keepin-on kind of challenge. I'm gonna mix it up and see how it goes this time, which means zero week = experimentation time! I've been thinking I'll try a monthly theme. This month: JUST SAY NO. I want to be more aware of all the stuff I let into my life (both physical and emotional) and I want to say no to more of it. I don't need to help that random recruiter on LinkedIn! I don't need to go check out that sale! NO. And now, draft one of my quests: Q1: Daily salads! I'm tired of eating freezer lunches at work, so I'm planning a daily salad (see last challenge for details). My goal is to eat salads four of five work days. Q2: Skill practice/flexibility work I'd like to eventually tackle the GMB Elements course, but my major concern at this point is the time investment (daily workouts are not my current jam). I currently stretch after workouts (so, approx 3 times per week). I'd like to add one session of stretching & skill practice. I'm thinking hamstring stretches (maybe the splits challenge but without the challenge part) and/or handstand work. Mostly I just want to start building some fun exercise into my schedule. Q3. Social media ramp-down I check social media more than I'd like to. This week I want to just *track* how much I time I spend on facebook & twitter (using TimeStats chrome extension). Q4. TBD! Possibly something to help me remember my monthly theme, or possibly not. We'll find out soon enough!
  21. Hello everyone! This is my very first post on the NF forums, and I'm hoping to find some help. I'm a 21 year old female, 152 lbs, and since I was in late elementary school (so about 13 or so years), I've hated my body and have never been comfortable in my own skin. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome) and have been told that that is the reason why I've always had issues losing weight and getting healthy. I've been thinking about it lately, and I realized I never actually tried to exercise properly, and I'm just using my syndrome as an excuse as to why I haven't been able to put of weight. When I was in community college, I walked for thirty minutes to an hour every day and was totally fine. When I started my desk job, I put on so much weight from unhealthy meals and canned teas that I very regrettably later on found was filled with grams and grams of sugars. I probably had about five a day when I worked. Fast forward five years, I've dropped the sugar filled drinks all together but I still eat very unhealthily. So lately, I've been looking into eating better and working out, and this time I'm determined to start and work hard at it; I want to be comfortable in my skin and happy with my body for once. So I turned to Pinterest, Instagram, Google to look up different workouts and see what other people were doing, and probably saw too much; I feel like I've seen so many different workouts I don't know where to start. Yesterday, I did my first workout since high school PE classes xD I decided to try and work on glutes and legs, so I did ten minutes on my stationary bike for a simple warmup (I was actually decently impressed with myself, I thought I'd be dying and out of breath by the end of easy peddling, but I didn't breathe hard or sweat at all); I did 10 reps of goblet squats with a 10lb dumbbell, 10 stationary lunges per leg with a 7.5lb dumbbell, 10 straight leg RDLs with a 7.5, 10 jumping squats, 10 hip thrusts with a 7.5, and 10 side lunges. I was supposed to do 3 sets of each exercise, but I could only manage 1 set. My legs are dying today. They only really hurt when I walk up and down stairs and hurt a little if I move how they're positioned while I'm relaxing, but hopefully I'll get to the point where they won't hurt so much after a workout. I want to work more with dumbbells over time, do the beginner body weight workout tomorrow, and I was going to try some yoga this week as well, but do not know where to start. I want to work out three to four times a week, with a rest day in between each workout, but I still feel like because I saw so many different types of workouts, I don't know where to start. I only started a workout yesterday because I was aggravated with myself for looking into working out for days without actually starting; I knew if I kept looking into it, I'd eventually lose interest and not actually start. I have an outline of what I want to do: Glutes and legs one day, yoga one day, and beginner body weight the third day, with flexibility stretching and walking on my rest days. Now that I have an outline, I need to figure out what exercises I should put into them xD Does anyone have any recommendations for glutes and legs, yoga, and flexibility stretching exercises?
  22. IM BAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK. I can't believe it's really only been a month or so. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED. Do you ever have one of those times where it feels like your life has significantly changed in some way even though it hasn't been that long and on the surface things are more or less the same? Yeah..having one of those times! I guess a really stressful year ending with a trial of LITERAL FIRE and then my cat randomly dying is the sort of stuff that changes a person? Oh, life! I am pretty happy with where things are as far as exercise stuff so my only specific exercise related goal is going to be FLEXIBILITY! I am fairly flexible just because aerial and dance both tend to include some flexibility work but I don't spend any dedicated stretching time and I'd really like to. For other things I am currently doing aerial once a week, lifting/rings training with trainer once a week, and at least one more day of wacky bodyweight at home. I want to get back to running and walking more as well but the air is still a little smoky so I hesitate to do anything to increase need to breathe while outdoors! ANYWHO! Goals! Goal 1 - Life Balance: Time has shown I am really good at overbooking myself and I need to not do that! Here are some small goals to try and keep me reeled in: A. LAZY SUNDAY in full effect for month of January (don't you dare make Sunday plans, self!!) B. Lazy weekday evening - at least one evening during the week without plans or a class . This will likely be Wednesday evenings but flexible if something comes up c. Assess Stress Level Once per week - I need to consciously assess how I am feeling about life to determine if I am overdoing it. Lets say this shall currently be something to think about on Sundays since I am making that a designated rest day! Goal 2 - Flexibility: Spend at least 10 min a day stretching (this can be throughout the day or all at once if I forget.) I'd like to get to where I can clasp my hands behind my back again which I haven't been able to do in YEAAAARS. And this has the very practical application that it will help me with keeping sunscreen on my giant tattoo that is now faded way more than I'd like because of negligence with SPF. Goal 3 - Declutter: Overall goal is to remove all excess clothes and random stuff from my floor by the end of this challenge. In practical application I will shoot for at least 30 min a week of declutter work, or alternately make sure I do at least ONE thing per day to work towards this. (If I put a clothing item a day into a to donate bag that's a lot of clothes not on my floor!) This is all for now...I AM pondering adding a lipstick goal since I still never wear any of my collection and this worked for me to get myself actually using eyeshadow. Maybe I will wait until February/ give myself an easy round this time though!!
  23. I am a long time fan of the Assassin's Creed game (I got Origins for Christmas!!!!) and I've been keen on exploring more Parkour although there isn't an easily accessible class or group that I can attend, so I've found a workout that focuses on the exercises needed for Parkour as a starting point. I'm also still keen on the acrobatics side of things, and my two big focuses for the year are handstands and splits. Now rather than taking the challenges on the fly one at a time I've put together a 2018 Challenge tracker for myself (link for accountability) and each challenge throughout the year I shall try to tailor towards the overall goal. So to break it down: Overarching 2018 goal: Follow the Creed - increase strength and flexibility like an assassin. Current Challenge Goals 1. Cardio: complete 350,000 steps and cover 25km in "deliberate" distance (i.e. go for a walk or a run). I'd also like to see my resting heart rate decrease from 65 to 61 (where it was at in December before the holiday slump hit) 2. Strength: Complete 1x beginner bodyweight workout per week, and 2x parkour strength workouts per week. Make progress on all the specific movement goals in my challenge tracker. 3. Good eating: Eat veggies every day and say no to dessert/sugar/chocolate 15 times when I would normally have said yes. For those interested, the Parkour workout I found is this one:
  24. Hello all! I'm am super excited for my first challenge of 2018! For those who don't know me I am a 26 year old teacher and part time couch potato. I know New Year's Resolutions have almost never worked for me in the past, but I made them again this year and hopefully I made them smarter. This challenge I am focusing on things that I can do in less than 5 minutes based on an article by James Clear (How to Stop Procrastinating Using the 2-Minute Rule) and a book I read about making Microresolutions to make big changes. The Four Habits of the Apocalypse January Brush teeth and wash face everyday -- This is simple and graded on did I brush my teeth once and wash my face once. The ideal time is for this to happen in the morning before school, but evening will work as well in a pinch. This will be tracked in my bullet journal. Reward: Burt's Bees Peach Facial Scrub Open bullet journal everyday -- For this goal I need to open up my bullet journal once a day. This is also being tracked in my bullet journal. Writing things down in it is a bonus. No electronics after 8:30 & get ready for tomorrow -- This is graded on me putting away my phone and computer at 8:30. I have an alert on my phone and computer to let me know it's time to put away both. To get ready for the next day I need to pack my backpack, pack my lunch, and lay out clothes for the next day. I am currently tracking my electronics in my bullet journal and will add a tracking for getting ready. No electronics should happen everyday and getting ready should happen Sunday through Thursday. Practice Focused Flexibility for 5 minutes each day -- This is graded on did I do one of the four stretches I am supposed to do. I haven't figured out what I can tie this habit to yet. Grading & Rewards (stealing this from Zeroh) 60% is a passing grade. If I get 80% in an individual goal, I get a reward for that goal. And if I get 90% overall, I also get a bigger & better reward. Reward: Burt's Bees Peach Facial Scrub Reward: Bullet journal supplies Reward: Fancy bath bomb Reward: Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger Tea Overall Reward: Massage and Mani & Pedi
  25. For the ones that already know me - OHAI! For the ones that don't - Yay, glad you're here! I'm a dabbler in all the shiny assassiny things like circus and pole and climbing. Some say I get easily distracted -SQUIRREL! Oh uhmm... yeah they're probably right. But that won't stop me from DOING ALL THE THINGS (badly). I'll add some more goal type thingies when I feel like it, but for now I want to take off the challenge pressure and just hang out here in this battle log. Hope you're cool with that.
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