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  1. I've been absent for a while, and the things that happened while I was absent have led me to return with a lot of changes regarding how I approach fitness, so it's time to start a new Battle Log. While I was gone, I spent 6 months working with a holistic nutritionist. It was challenging and ultimately rewarding work. I learned a lot about the power of mindfulness and meditation. I learned that when I am under stress, I tend to get out of balance very quickly. Also, I learned that when I'm in a time of great creativity where I'm inspired to put forth a lot of energy on my art, I get out of balance. Those 6 months were great, having the personal support of a nutritionist daily. But then a great amount of stress was introduced to my life, and guess what? I got out of balance. Way out of balance. I felt so lost that I went to get a tarot card reading. And the reader told me I was out of balance (well, that wasn't surprising, was it?). He also advised me to let go of some of the burdens I am carrying and be a better judge of how much I can carry at once. He said my values and goals were in the right place, but the execution was off. It made me realize that that's pretty much the story of my life; tons of good intentions, but a poor plan (if any plan at all) on the execution. It's no wonder that I'm so easily pushed out of balance. So, right now I'm in the early stages of crafting a plan to get back into balance. I'd like to have the first phase planned out in time for the next six week challenge. I'm also going to join the Druids during that challenge, because it's pretty clear that my goals are much more Druid-oriented this time around. Here are the things I need that I will build my goals around: Sleep. Sleep is the first thing I sacrifice to overwork, or to creativity, or to stress. It makes each of those things worse, not better. I need to get enough sleep everyday, and the rest of my schedule must get out of the way of my sleep instead of the other way around. Mindfulness and meditation. Once sleep is restored, I need to set aside space for daily reflection. Currently I write Morning Pages in a journal every day, but I need to make that time sacred and truly do them first thing in the morning, which is the intention. I need time for meditation as well, perhaps after work each day, or before bed in order to wind down. Eating right. I need to give up processed food as entirely as is possible. I need to eat out only socially, during my weekly Artist's Dates if that's part of the date, and when travelling (I am currently in the habit of bringing food with me when I travel, but local cuisine is part of the joy of traveling, and being at Balance definitely means taking in joy. But of course, my dining out choices can also be good choices). I also need to be eating at least 5 fruits and veggie servings a day, with an emphasis on veg. I need to eat a variety of veg, rather than just relying on the same favorites over and over. I need to eat nuts daily. I need real whole grains (brown rice, millet, and oats; not processed foods labeled "whole grain"). Honey instead of sugar. I need easy meal prep as well, because the thing that makes me give up healthy eating habits is usually time. I need to exercise daily, at least five days a week. I need to get outdoors for exercise when I can. I need to start exploring good places in my area for hikes and long walks. I need to work on ways to exercise even during difficult times. I tend to sacrifice exercise right after I sacrifice sleep when I'm stressed and time is at a minimum. I need to work on my art regularly. I'm an amateur leather worker, and so I need training time to build my skill. I need to work on orders I currently have, and on building up stock for an online shop. I need to make things I've never made before in order to get the experience. I also need scheduled play time where I just experiment with dye and tools, with the freedom to fail, to see what may come out of it. I also need to find a way to balance exercise and art. Usually I feel like one of these crowds the other out, as if art and exercise are at war with each other. I need a peace agreement between art and exercise. They need to live in harmony. I need to examine the burdens I place on myself that throw me out of balance. Why do I do that? What can I do to stop? How do I do a better job of saying no, or asking for help, or simply acknowledging that I'm making things harder than they need to be? It's a lot, right? But I've declared myself a Jedi Apprentice, and I'm starting the work here and now (apologies for the color coding if it's unpleasant for you to look at; I'm doing it to make the categories easier for me to separate when I reference back to this post). First off, sleep. I need to get to bed at 11 on work nights. On weekends, I need to get 7 - 8 hours of sleep, even if I stayed up late. This is my most concrete goal right now. Secondly, I need to audit my use of time, because clearly time is my biggest issue. It is lack of time that makes me do a poor job of balancing my life. If I were using my time wisely, for example, I wouldn't feel like there's no way I can both have time for art and for exercise. (Fun fact: if I could have a super power, it would be the power of multiplicity. I would be able to multiply into multiple selves. I would also be able to come back to a single body at will, and then absorb the knowledge of what the multiple selves did that day into a single consciousness. This would enable me to get a lot more done without time being a limit. As you can see, I've put a lot of thought into this. This is how obsessed I am with wishing I had more time). After that, I will work on a schedule for mindfulness, exercise, and art. I'm also going to be spending a lot of time looking at time saving ways to get good food easily. I've started making green smoothies, and they are great! It's a really quick way to get a couple of servings of fruit and veg all at once. I'm also going to look into gathering more slow cooker recipes and things I can cook ahead that leave-over well or perhaps can be used for multiple leftover meals. Sorry for the lengthy essay; this first post is mostly to set myself a starting point to reference back to. The quest for Balance begins here!
  2. I'll once again be training like a Jedi. Blast Shields and Wookiees are optional. Quest 1. Hand Balancing. +2 DEX Continuing from the last challenge, I'll be working on hand balancing skills with the eventual goal of doing a handstand. Last time I did a pretty good job with Crow Pose, so this challenge I'll be carrying that momentum through. For Quest 1 I will practice hand balancing (Crow Pose, Scale Pose, and Wall Planks) every day. Quest 2. Force Push(up). +3 STA, +1 STR That's right, more Pushups! As with my previous challenges, I'll be working towards my goal of 100 pushups in five sets. Last challenge I got to 82, which is making the end goal feel tantalisingly close. This time I'm stepping it up and going for a total 91 reps in five sets. I incorporate a Pushup test into my workouts once a week. Quest 3. Force Pull. +3 STR No, Kylo. You may not have that saber. My force push is moving along, but my force pulling abilities could do with some work. Last challenge I increased my Chin-up Flex Hold time to 27 seconds, now I'll be working on increasing my reps. My current AMRAP is 6 good Chinups, this challenge I aim to complete 10 Chin-ups with good form. Quest 4. Creating a Holocron. +1 WIS A Holocron is a mystical object that Force users create in order to store their knowledge and wisdom. I'm no Jedi Master, but I think it's a good idea to start recording and taking notes on my workouts. As I did last time, I will use this challenge thread to keep track of my workouts, including notes on progression (or lack thereof). Oh, and I'll be needing a theme song.. Grading A (100%), B (75%), C (50%), D (25%), F (0%)
  3. The fact that I've been a member of this forum for 6 months and haven't done a Star Wars themed challenge is ridiculous.. Main Quest. My main quest is to develop my confidence and physical health/fitness to the point where my low self esteem no longer holds me back from living life the way I'd like to. This challenge I'll be taking inspiration from one of the greatest franchises ever and training like a Jedi. The ever-present pushup goal is still here, and I'll be working on overcoming a fear of inversions, getting better at chinups/pullups, and being more organised with my workouts. Quest 1. Hand Balancing. +2 DEX The Jedi strive for balance, both in the Force and in their mentality. Also, they spend a lot of time doing handstands and levitating stuff. I want to do that. In order to overcome my fear of being upside down I'll be practising hand balancing and general "upside down-ness" 3 times a week every day. This article will be my go-to source. Quest 2. Force Push(up). +3 STA The force push is the essential force technique when in combat. It also looks pretty damn cool. I'll improve my pushing capabilities by increasing the amount of pushups I can do in five sets to 82 total reps. As my current total is 76, this means an increase of 6 reps in 4 weeks. I incorporate a pushup test into my workouts once a week. Quest 3. Hangin' with Obi-Wan. +3 STR Floors in a Galaxy Far, Far Away are pretty unreliable. Obi-Wan in particular spent most of the Clone War era hanging off the edge of stuff during important duels. Lesson learned: Jedi need to be able to hang on to stuff. This challenge I aim to increase my Chin-up Flex Hold time to 25 seconds. As my current time is around 10-13 seconds this should prove quite the challenge. I will test this at the end of the challenge, allowing 3 attempts at reaching my goal time. There will be a mid-challenge chin-up flex hold test. Final goal figure may be increased (but not decreased) depending on results. Quest 4. Creating a Holocron. +2WIS A Holocron is a mystical object that Force users create in order to store their knowledge and wisdom. I'm no Jedi Master, but I think it's a good idea to start recording and taking notes on my workouts. I will use this challenge thread to keep track of my workouts, including notes on progression (or lack thereof). Grading A (100%), B (75%), C (50%), D (25%), F (0%) A B C D F Quest 1 26 days completed 23 days completed 20 days completed 17 days completed 14 or less days completed Quest 2 82 or more reps 81 reps 80 reps 79 reps 78 or less reps Quest 3 25 seconds or more 22 seconds 20 seconds 18 seconds 16 seconds or less Quest 4 Pass/Fail basis. If even on day is missed, grade= F
  4. So, since the start of the last challenge, I’ve: left the military, moved home, got into college, applied for jobs, and started attending church again. I’m doing work where I can find it while I wait for calls for interviews. I hope that by the end of this challenge, I’ll be much less stressed and prepared for school in August. Well anyways, this should be a fun challenge. Goals 1. There is no emotion, there is peace. Meditate, do you even? I’ve been wanting to try meditation since I read so many others put it in their challenges. It’ll be interesting to see how it affects my day to day life, if at all. 2. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. Translate 3 spanish videos per week. Read 3 articles about about science, tech, or history per week. Combining the two is allowed. I’ve studied spanish for over three years. I used to be fluent but I’ve been using it less and less and it shows. Also, I don’t read enough. 3. There is no passion, there is serenity. Keep calm, no more yelling. I’ve been irritable lately and I attribute that to the higher levels of stress that came with our transition into civilian life. I don’t have a job yet, our house isn’t ready, and we live with my parents. So I need to work on keeping my cool even though I’m stressed. 4. There is no chaos, there is harmony. What better way to achieve harmony than yoga? I found a nice 6 week yoga for beginner’s program that I’ll be doing. This is another thing I’ve been wanting to try. 5. There is no death, there is the force. Strength training. Ah, my old nemesis. Strength training is what I have the hardest time committing to. I’m going to do strength training three times a week and for every week I don’t miss a session I’m going to put five dollars in a jar. At the end of the challenge I get my money. Money is tight right now so the $30 would mean a lot to have. Well that's it. Looking forward to another fun 6 weeks with everybody. May the force be with you.
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