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  1. Super psyched for my first challenge! I am not quite ready for the inspired gif-stravaganza I have seen others undertake, but want to impart a simple plan here. This will be a training challenge. In the spring I laid out a plan to train for and take progressively harder hikes each month. I got to a good start but ultimatley have had a hard time sticking to the plan. I still don't have a solid plan on how I will do the actual hikes either as I don't have a current hiking buddy other than my husband. Which means I need to find someone to watch my kids. Anyways I'll dive into all those problems later. But even if I havent been able to pull off the full training and hike escalation plan I still intend to go on my penultimate hike in September anyways. It is a 10 mile hike in Glacier National Park. I have hiked it before. I am not committing to the full 10 miles but I want to do the hike even if I don't get to the summit. Because in October I turn 40. I need to do something epic-ish before the big 40. So with that said, I will be training for the hike during this challenge. Training plan is simple, get on my tread mill at least 2 times a week. I wish I could convince myself to do this more, but I think any goal higher than this is setting myself up for failure. During this treadmill time I will track my increase in elevation, distance, time, etc. I want to be able to chart it. I like charts. I have a treadmill that goes up to 15% incline and I truly believe that doing that incline walk on a tread mill is the BEST way to prepare for a hike up a mountain. I also have a Peloton bike which I intend to ride once a week. I like my bike and I would rather ride it more but I dont' think more bike time will prep me in the way I need. I need that treadmill time. When I work out I like to do what I call 'Intuitive Weightlifting' which means i set a timer to do a 10 minute minimum of movement, whatever strikes my fancy at the time. I may focus on stretching and yoga like moves, functional moves, core work, body weight strengh moves, or use some of my dumb bells. I really enjoy this method and really do notice increases in strength and ability when I do it this way. I am pondering doing a social media free challenge. I'll give that a few more days thought. I don't think I'll post daily updates here, maybe weekly, but I do want to see if i can be active in this community. I need more people on my side! Thanks for the greetings everyone! Danoria
  2. Hi, all - I’m Darkfoxx; long-time Ranger corps member and yoga (among other things) enthusiast. I’ve been on the Forums for 59 consecutive challenge cycles - so, since - January 2013 (yay, obsessive records-keeping and challenge linking). Wow, and looking back, my very first challenge included my first yoga love - Jillian Michaels. Awww, baby me <3. Since then, I’ve tried my hand at pretty much every fitness thing that’s run across my path (thanks, RangerBrainTM), including: rucking, wogging 5 and 10ks, running short distances from Zombies, OCRs, HIIT workouts, weightlifting, kettlebells, and tons and tons of mini challenges - but the thread running through all of that has always been yoga. My body (and I think everyone’s bodies, tbh) just works better when I’m on my yoga game. My brain works better with yoga, too. So - here I am, I’m glad to meet you all, and I hope to help make this corner of the Forums everything it could and should be. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to do that, let me know! On to the Challenge part of this cycle. Goal 1: Nutrition This is always my first goal in a challenge, and the most important cornerstone of my personal fitness. I’ve found over the years that sticking to macros works best for my body and brain, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do. At the moment, my macros are: 1200 Calories 91g Protein 119g Carbs 40g Fats I’m also in the process of seeing a functional fitness doctor to try and get a handle on the GI issues I’ve been plagued with for as long as I can remember. We are currently on the reintroduction phase of the FODMAP Diet, and I’ll be monkeying around with foods and reporting. This year, I’m also posting a photo collage a day of what I eat, and tracking all my meals in both My Fitness Pal and Cara (mostly to track GI symptoms). Goal 2: Physical Fitness My goal for awhile has been to rebuild my yoga practice. I took a year or so off to attend an intensive course on web development in 2016/2017, and have been clawing my way back into a regular practice since then. Well, since I’m now a GL of the home of all yoga, I should probably redouble my efforts, no? To do that, I’ve got to go to class more than once a week definitely and probably twice if I can make peace with the scheduling. I can do better than this, but let’s not kill my shoulders and knees with all vinyasa all the time. The goal here is to attend 3 classes in the style of my choosing, but at least 1 needs to be alignment-based, and 1 needs to push myself out of hiding in the strict beginner classes. I’m also adding to this goal some other fitnessy things. It’s Summer with a Capital S where I live (it gets to 120F with or without the humidity that generally comes with living on the water - mold season approaches either later this month or next). Since going outside feels like stepping into an oven on a calm day, or a hairdryer on a windy one, I need to do more than a few yoga classes a week if I want to shift a bit of weight before the vacation I have planned in December - or the wedding I’m going to in September. My tentative schedule - yoga classes out of the house are 100% subject to change; classes where I live shift to a frustrating degree based on the season, month, or whims of chance. This is what I’m currently seeing and have been seeing consistently or somewhat consistently for a few weeks. Mondays: A girlfriend and I are really liking the beginner Yoga class offered at 10am. If it’s not too killer hot, walk back from that (:20); if it is, Uber back and take a :30 walk on the treadmill before coming back home. If I'm not completely wiped (and especially if I Uber back home), hit the gym on the way up to the apartment for some sort of something for a short podcast - Nightvale if I’m tired; Sawbones or Stuff You Missed In History Class if I’m not. Tuesdays: I’ve got a weekly coffee thing at 10; either get up with DH (DH is my Darling Husband) at 6:30? 7:30? Whenever he leaves, and go walk on the treadmill for a podcast before needing to get dressed at 8:45, or wait until after if sleep has been crappy. If it’s been really crappy and I’m up at 5:30/6 with the jerk face dogs - leave then. I’m not running a marathon, walking in my lounge pants and glasses is fine. I won’t die if I don’t have my contacts in. If I bail on that, do one day of the 30 Days of Yoga challenge when I get back home - or sometime before bed. Or, if I’m feeling Smurfy - there is a 4pm Slow & Strong class I really like that’s also generally alignment-based. Try to feel Smurfy. Wednesdays: Most weeks I have a coffee thing at 9, and usually getting out of bed on time is a struggle. If it’s not and I’m up with the jerk dogs, go at least walk on the treadmill. If not, do a day of the 30 Days of Yoga challenge when I get back. Or sometime in the long afternoon if I'm carsick from the trip home. If coffee doesn’t happen, walk + gym session. Thursdays: I only have a set thing to do here 1 Thursday a month, and it’s a brunch. Some weeks there’s an 11-something class at the yoga studio - if so, take that if I’m not too blasted from the rest of the week. If I am, 30 Days of Yoga challenge + walk a podcast. I think there is also usually the Slow & Strong class today at 4 too - if I feel like I can do that and not die during silks, go for it if I didn’t make it Tuesday - if not, silks tomorrow. Fridays: There’s an aerial silks class offered at 11:15 on some weeks and I'm really liking it. Go to that. If it's not offered, double up on 30 Days of Yoga + a gym session + a walk. Consider making it a long one. Weekend: We usually walk a fair amount around a mall one day and do pretty much nothing the next. This is fine. The theme for workouts here is to walk some each day and get in at least 15 minutes of yoga. I have a bad habit of doing either nothing active all day - or of only mall walking, and I can do better here. I have the time in my schedule to: put my gym clothes on, take the elevator downstairs, put in my headphones, and do something active for a podcast. I can even fit that + the copious amounts of YouTube I watch in in the same day. Goal 3: Fulfillment A little background here: I am a (literal) card-carrying housewife living in Doha, Qatar with my DH and 2 dogs. This is sometimes a good thing, and sometimes grates on my ever-loving nerves (I’m an American who had, if not an actual career, a string of employment that equalled to a career in creative services + a pivot I was trying to make happen into tech when we moved). So, I need to find fulfillment outside of the workplace. Which means being more social than I was comfortable with while living in my home country, and by finding other things to do that ensure my mind doesn’t turn to mush. As such, I’ve been doing (or trying to do) the following, and will keep it up this cycle: Reading articles on finance Spreadsheeting a finance plan Contacting a financial professional when I have my version of a plan and spreadsheet to see if I'm on track or cray cray Applying for or bidding on freelance gigs (when I can be bothered - most weeks, it's not happening) Taking a class on Skillshare (ok, so I have at least signed up for Skillshare - still haven’t made a class happen) Working with the dogs on training And that’s about it for this cycle. It’s mostly a repeat of my last (few) Ranger challenge(s), just with a bit more planning on the fitness part. I can’t wait to get to know my new home and Guild mates!
  3. And once again, I'm back! The past several months my challenges have been pretty lackluster (and usually abandoned), largely because of lingering health-related symptoms (fatigue and insomnia, among others…) that have thrown me off track. What's been more difficult to deal with than the symptoms themselves, though, is how I've reacted to them - I've been putting many of my fitness goals on hold until my health is more stable and certain. As a result, I've been feeling stuck, frustrated, and a bit aimless for a while now - especially since I don't know when my health will be more predictable. While many of my goals still need to be health-related, it's also time for me to figure out how to work around set-backs and uncertainty, rather than waiting for a time when everything comes together (because that probably isn't going to happen!). I have made some progress during my hiatus, however. First, I switched my powerlifting programming to a RPE-style approach - I go in knowing what lifts I need to do and how many reps per set are on the table, but adjust the weight and volume depending on how I'm feeling. This has been a huge help energy-wise (I burned myself out on the Juggernaut volume) and mentally, because I don't feel like I'm failing when I can't keep up with my program (and I can push myself when I'm feeling good!). It's too early to tell how I'm progressing with this strategy, though - I'll re-evaluate in about a month. Second, a little over a week ago I met with a nutritionist who has experience working with clients with health issues and food intolerances. We talked for almost three hours about my health history, current issues, things I've tried, and goals for the next few years. One of the things that came out of my initial tracking for her is that I might have some sensitivities to FODMAPs - certain types of carbohydrates found in foods - so I'm going to go a "lite" version of the FODMAP elimination diet ("lite" because my choices are already pretty restricted on AIP Paleo). This will be temporary, though, and ultimately we hope to expand my dietary choices soon. Finally, I joined the instagram bandwagon and started posted lifting videos, largely as a way to remind myself of what I can still do (even if it's not where I'd hoped to be yet) and to help me see my progress over larger time scales. It's also encourages me to film my lifts regularly and check my form! My goals for this challenge are designed to keep this momentum going, and start channeling my namesake's determination once again. Goals: Nutrition Food Diary: Track my food intake and any symptoms 6+ days/week. Bonus: also track on MFP to keep an eye on my macros. This record is necessary for figuring out if I do have additional food sensitivities. First Fermentation: Pick up fermentation supplies (jars, weights, etc.) and start some ferments by the end of the challenge. Post Progress: Post something fitness or food related on my new instagram account at least 2x/week. Screen Curfew: 8:00 - 8:30 pm work nights, 8:30 - 9 pm weekends. Exceptions: I can use my itouch for music, meditation, and tracking apps, and my computer for MFP. This type of goal has always been the most helpful for me for getting me to bed on time, and I've also found that I'm more likely to do something ahead of schedule if I give myself a time range, rather than a specific cutoff (so hopefully I'll get off my computer at 8 pm some nights, rather than always 8:29:59 pm). LUYL Goal: Cold Turkey: Don't use the internet for non-work activities (e.g., social media) when I'm working. 30 min over my lunch break is fine, and I can also use my phone for sending Facebook messages to my boyfriend if need be. To help me with this goal, I'll be using an app called Cold Turkey.
  4. I had a goal of becoming a real cyclist this year. I've achieved some milestones - communing to work, multiple times per week; cycled more than 100km a day; raised my average speed, participated in a group ride, transition from cycle paths to riding on the road and cycled over 600km in ten days around Sri Lanka. When I think of what it means to be a real cyclist I think I still need to: Ideally upgrade my bike (but this is monetary rather than physical) Transition to clipless pedals Develop a cycling habit (it isn't quite habitual yet) Consistently have an average of 20+kmph Actually do more road cycling Climb hills Look good in lycra So what do I need to do knock a few of these off? I need to start a new bike fund - so I'm thinking of a reward system to start putting some cash aside (more on this later). I kind of think that the pedals will come with the new bike, so at this stage I'm not adding shoes. I've tried every type of cycling goal setting, so I'm going back to total kilometres per week. This is to encourage me to get back into two commutes and a decent weekend ride. I'm going to say 200km per week. This is a stretch but that's the point of a challenge. Edit - I've rethought the cycle goal and since what I'm really trying to achieve is a habit rather than the distance I'm changing this before the challenge starts to be three times a week with the aim to be 2 x commute and 1 x weekend ride. This will also allow me to be a little easier on myself. To increase my speed, help me climb hills and actually look like a cyclist I know I need to drop around 20kg. Which leads to the second and most important part of the challenge - food! I'm doing FODMAP elimination diet to try and get IBS under control. I have three more weeks, then will start food tolerance challenging so the whole challenge I'll be working under this diet restriction. It isn't a weight loss regime so I'll have to combine. Since I'm already restricting wheat for FODMAP so I'll go low carb. In terms of specific goals I like to split it up into a 'doing' goal and a 'result' goal. This is because I tend to cheat and can fudge the 'doing' goal to met expectations but then I don't get the results I need. Carbs between 50 and100g. - I've never really done low carb for any period of time so I'm not sure what is manageable or how low I need to go. Weight loss - I want 2kg in 6 weeks, but I'm going to aim for 4kgs (aim high) Life goal - decide on a new life goal. I want a new challenge for summer. I'm thinking of surfing. I love the ocean beaches and I live in Australia so I think i should know how to surf, even if only a little bit. But I'd also like to do some sort of paddling. I think this is really suits my style/lifestyle/ability more. I have a three week break around Christmas so I need to make a decision and develop a plan before then. It's easy for this break to creep up in the end of year madness and if I haven't planned/booked before the end of term then nothing will happen. This challenge is basically a rehash of previous challenges but at this stage I think it will be the last cyclist challenge for a while anyway. Specific goals and rewards to follow.
  5. IF Verizon successfully installs fios at my house then I'll be able to update my goals tonight while crying over my internet bill. If not, then I'll update my goals tomorrow at work.
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