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  1. It's been a minute, and the world has changed quite a bit in 2020. I'm here and I'm well. Numbtongue's Language Lessons I'm in an odd place with linguistics, between covid stealing some of my spoons and me being happy in an unprecedented way, language study fell in my priority list over the last 4 months. This challenge is part of finishing 2020 with a daily German news and duolingo habit. 2021 has me adding French again, and slowly working on my Icelandic vocab, but for now this challenge is about daily success with my old workhorse friend, Deutsch. Grimalkin's Cruel Tutelage This project is to set end of year targets for the big four lifts, and hit my mid quarter goals by end of challenge. Garden of Sanctuary This project is to track minutes per day spent in sitting practice. For this challenge, I'm only counting minutes spent in seated meditation or prostrate in seid-work; sleepily drifting while I'm in bed at night doesn't count, nor does sneakily counting yoga time. The larger goal is to grow my practice, but I'm not setting target metrics yet, just tracking. Octavia's Workbench I have a few backlogged orders for mediation beads and percussion instruments I'm behind on. This goal is to log what projects I have outstanding, get them all completed and mailed before holiday shipping craziness locks everything down. Olesm's Chess Journal I'm playing a few tabletops via video call during covid. A dear friend is running a small forgotten realms 5e heroic tier, and I'm running a Dresden RPG campaign set in milwaukee. Expect to hear nonsense about either campaigns in this section.
  2. Remember Romney? That champion of feminism with his sensitive remarks about how much he values hardworking women? One day, I'll be that on point with my phrasing. Until then, I'll be reporting on my daily progress this month with the help of a pantheon of female comedic greats. Warrior lyfe 531 programming 4x a week Chiropractic weekly MFP daily Assassin nonsense Modified PLP (handstand practice in lieu of push-ups) Ranger nonsense Running and accessory circuits 4x a week Druid nonsense Daily meditation, yoga, and journaling Adventurer Nonsense Daily language practice Read a trashy German novel Mess with pencils and sketch pad at least weekly
  3. Balsquith: Now or Never It has been a while now since I last took part in a 4-week challenge after my last attempt fizzled out in an ignominious fashion. This time around I have two actual challenges with fixed deadlines running until the weekend of 22/23 April, namely: 1. Run a leg for a relay team at the Vienna marathon on Sunday 23rd April (distance has yet to be finalised but anything between 9 and 15.5km) 2. Take a German exam on Saturday 22nd April I this way my challenge all but writes itself and will consist of the following goals: 1. Get up my alarm (daily) Snoozing in my life is basically saying that I don’t want to face the day; this doesn’t stop me doing it though. I want to get enough sleep, but once this is accomplished I want to get up and get on with things so that I start the day how I mean to go on. a. No set time for the alarm (prioritise getting 8 hours’ sleep when setting) b. Failure to get up to my alarm = automatic 5 burpees (+ 1 burpee for every minute snoozed over 5 minutes) 2. Run 3x week I am not quite sure why I agreed to run in a relay team as I haven’t been running for an age. Therefore, my plan is to start small (but regular) and try to build myself up sufficiently over the 5 weeks so that I can actually finish the distance without any negative consequences. 3. Daily German study I have had similar goals in the past and they have always been the first to fall by the wayside so I am hoping that having signed up for the exam and spent money on it, that I will be more motivated to see this through. I will make a plan and attempt to get myself into a daily routine of study. I toyed with the idea of having a 4th goal in some aspect of nutrition, but I think that it is better to focus on just 3 goals this time around. Note: I actually started this challenge last week and have suffered from inertia in actually writing it here. First report to follow.
  4. I'll write one... Edit: I wrote one!
  5. *Trigger warning: this post contains imagery and concepts that can be disturbing to heavy lifters – calorie deficits, sets with more than five reps, and cultivating inner calm. Care – with the holidays doubling down on normal stress and getting settled into a routine after all the moving; self care is a priority this season. I’ll be yammering about daily care activities like meditation, quality sleep, and mobility; weekly chiropractic visits and the occasional leisurely smoke. There may be high handed criticism of the odd novel or two that I’m reading. Who can know? Cultivation (of the self) – instead of being an awkward synonym for self-development, chosen to allow an alliteration of c-words (okay, mostly that), I’ll be posting about my efforts to cultivate and explore some fledgling interests including dog training (I have a tiny dog with massive dreams), German practice, creative writing, and a non-fiction reading list that’s been kicking my butt lately with the move these past weeks. Wendler’s 5-3-1 is first on the list, but some fun historical criticism theology, and post-structuralist philosophy is in there too. Conditioning – short on time, as always, I’d barely managed to make room for main lifts + accessories this last month, but now with a more stable schedule, I’m chasing the golden snitch of conditioning again. Circuits, sprints and other non-warrior stuff will get talked about here; and any lucky followers get to hear me complain about it. Daily MFP logging (same username as here) with initial CI target of 2000/2200 gross for rest day/gym day, 200g of protein and <=100g carbs. A few parties are on the schedule and I’ll aim for moderation, but we all know it’ll be a caloric reenactment of the red wedding - I’m okay with that.
  6. >> Citizen Balsquith, Big Brother has been watching you for some time now << >> We know that you are trying to be a good citizen but we have noticed that you are falling behind in some areas << >> Big Brother is your friend, therefore he will be paying especial attention to you in the future << I have enjoyed failing abysmally to slay some dragons over the past couple of challenges (actually enjoying much more success than the results would suggest), but it has occurred to me that I have lost track of many things and without knowing where I stand it makes it difficult to make positive changes. Therefore, in this challenge I will be doing a lot of tracking and if that goes well and highlights anything interesting I will make some changes. The goals of this challenge are: 1. Big Brother knows that you hit the snooze button! - Get up to alarm everyday 2. Big Brother wants to see your commitment to being the best citizen possible! - Make a daily task list 3. Big Brother knows exactly what is in your stomach! - Food logging daily 4. Big Brother knows that you didn’t need to spend that! - Track expenditure daily 5. Big Brother knows why your German is not improving! - Practise German daily 6. Big brother is always watching you! - Bad habits – record when tempted
  7. Balsquith - Dragon Slayer I love following-along with themed challenges but have never braved one myself, so this will be a themed challenge for beginners (read: slightly half-hearted). I have recently started reading an excellent book by Markus Heitz titled ‘Die Mächte des Feuers’ (something like – The powers of fire), which is set in 1925 in a world just like ours with the big difference being that Dragons have survived and are not very likeable. The book follows the dragon slayer Silena, a descendent of Saint George, who works for the church to hunt dragons. For me the big catch here is that I will be trying to read this book in German. Over my past few challenges (and in my life in general sadly) I have been somewhat lacking in motivation and drive. Therefore for this challenge I will be introducing something external to fight against (rather than myself!) – namely dragons! So for this challenge I will be Balsquith Dragonslayer, from the line of Saint George, dedicated to hunting down the terrorising beasts and bringing peace and harmony to the land. In order to keep myself entertained I have scribbled down some rules to make the challenge much more complicated than it should be – hopefully they will keep me engaged! I will be facing 4 dragons in this challenge, which are largely the same goals as in my previous challenge, I figured that a budget dragon would mean instant death for me, so he gets to sit in his cave a bit longer! Dragons 1. Sirath the somnolent – Getting up to my alarm (Health = 50pts) Getting up to my alarm = Success Delayed but still got up = Parry 2. Bredolth, bane of the Morning – Morning routine (existing routine + daily German study cards) (Health =30pts) Reviewing for at least 5 minutes = Success Reviewing at least 1 card = Parry 3. Tavorth the unbending – Evening routine (existing routine + stretching) (Health = 30pts) Stretching routine from GMB 'focused flexibility' = Success Any other stretching effort = Parry 4. Cenolth the abeyant – Exercise/injury rehab (Health =40pts) Either crossfit upper body session or injury rehab (leg) = Success Any other 'exercise' = Parry Hero Balsquith Dragonslayer – Starting health = 10pts Rules I will fight all dragons daily with the following combat rules: Success – Dragon loses 1 health point Partial success – Parry, no change in health points Fail – Balsquith Dragonslayer loses 1 health point Bonuses for chains Chain (7 day+) => Success = 1.5 points Chain (14 day+) => Success = 2 points Chain (21 day+) => Success = 2.5 points Bonuses for completing all daily tasks Frenzy (4 tasks/day) => Success = 1.5 points Wrath of the Gods (4 chain tasks/day) = 3 points Recovering health Reading ‘Die Mächte des Feuers’ = maximum 1 health point daily Healing potion => In dire need I have a list of unpleasant tasks which I can complete = 5 health points
  8. Bullet Points: -I am officially 30 (and a couple days) but someone said something about a "bone doctor" today and I snickered, so I fully admit age can be a very relative construct in some cases. -I officially told my job about moving to Colorado. They were surprisingly supportive and happy for me and appreciative of my work here. No timeline is set, I told them that I'm flexible and willing to extend my notice quite a bit and that I don't have anything lined up yet in CO, that I still intend on leaving the position in good shape despite being horrendously in the weeds on a lot of projects right now and they were really warm about it all. I mentioned that I'd love to be remote too and they said there wasn't a precedent for that in my position but they'd look into it, which is more than the flat NO I expected. All told everything is as much up in the air as it ever was, but I'm feeling a lot better about having it out in the open and I think that aspect makes all possibilities more workable, so I'm happy. -My birthday was good. I actually told my job about stuff on my birthday, so that was an interesting day. Then I went and treated myself to some shopping. I bought prenatal vitamins and a neurobiology text book, so if your birthday is any summation of where your life is, I don't know what to tell you. Some people surprised me for dinner, so that was nice of them, since I hadn't bothered making plans with anyone, and then I spent the evening calling/texting/social media-ing people back that'd wished me a happy birthday. All told I'm quite pleased with myself in this regard as usually having to return a bunch of phone calls and Facebook messages makes me really overwhelmed and anxious and I end up avoiding doing it for like a week and then I get more anxious and finally respond and feel like an asshole for taking so long. So yeah, I feel like a functioning adult, sort of. -I'm newly in ketosis (I think? I haven't gotten any ketostix to check yet) and it's going pretty well. My reasoning was mostly that I wanted a stricter eating parameter because I've had a lot of trouble with consistency and even when I manage to track and keep calories on the level, some days I still end up with a lot of sugar, some days not, and I think it's all just contributing to a lot of headaches, not feeling well, and overall difficulty staying on routine. I've felt a little better so hopefully this helps. If nothing else, I hope it keeps me more consistent because I don't want to have to get back into ketosis. It hasn't been easy during a birthday week but not nearly as hard as I expected. It's restrictive enough to keep me overthinking about it. -Challenge stuff to be updated. (5/18 edit) Challenge Stuff Update! I dedicate this challenge to Sleep, that elusive seductress. My methods remain pretty consistent, but I am going to try to approach them with intent towards sleeping better, sleeping more, and being more restful. -Keto- continue to track food and keep carbs low. The aim is 20-25 net carbs a day. I actually feel much better on VLC, I think keeping tight reins works better for me. And I definitely feel very awake and lucid with bulletproof coffee so onwards on this front. -Drink all the water- Aim is 100 oz a day. Partly because keto demands it, but it definitely feels better and if I chug water right before bed it's good insurance that I'll be out of bed first thing in the morning. -Work hard, play hard, sleep hard- Aim is some activity daily. Still an inconsistent one for me, and it being 100+ F at night doesn't help, but I envy my dog that sprints her heart out and then conks out for a nap and is off running in her dreams, all within a span of 20 minutes. Exercise helps me sleep. I need help sleeping. -The little extras- multivitamin and omega 3s nightly, figure out a better study schedule for German, continue to chip away at projects at work and get to Colorado.
  9. Oh, look at this! The next challenge is up and I was actually paying attention! This is very exciting and unprecedented. Right in the middle of this challenge, I'll be closing on our house and one step closer to moving to Colorado. So my big sweeping goals for the month are something like this: Pre-close: Continue to camp out in my mostly packed house, packing, doing the billion things involved in selling a house, trying to eat the random stuff left in my pantry and keep my dog company. [/img] She only really needs whipped cream. Post-move: Dog goes with the husband in CO, I move into a family member's winter home (with wi-fi again, thank god), and really buckle down on a CO job search and what my next move is. And through it all, some constants in the form of my semi-regular goals: Eating- Continue to track on MFP (if anyone wants to be friends there, I'd really like to spy on people's menus), try harder to hit macro goals, and eat at least one serving of vegetables for every fruit serving (0 for 0 doesn't count). I'm finding my carbs are mostly coming from starches and sugar and I aim to adjust. Sleep- Set a bedtime, phone off, for 10pm or 11pm if I got a nap, every night. Reading a paper book is okay while I transition. Sweat- Not actually because I don't really sweat, I just pass out and that's a problem, but I digress. Activity, daily. I think mostly walking at the dog park pre-move and sprinting in the pool post-move, with bodyweight or gym days sprinkled in. This is going to be my downfall, but I have to do it. For fun, practice German more consistently. Pre-move use my some language software I have, Post-move get back to DuoLingo with extra web resources. Okay, that's the gist. This is still week 0 so it's a dabble week. I.e. I've eaten well today but I'm about to destroy some ice cream. Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
  10. Placeholder for a longer post. I'm moving to Fort Collins at some time to be determined. Husband has already moved for his new job. I am selling the house and job searching. Every time I log in to NF I get really overwhelmed by all the notifications I get from following people, but I'm having trouble following an finding people/threads without following. So anyone with tips on how they've set up their content and stuff since the new forum updates, please share. Ironically I have more time at home to be interactive here but now I don't have wifi (husband took the modem, I didn't see the point of buying one for a month or so until the house sells) so the excuses keep on coming. I've been checking in with my phone a little more, but I don't really want to write entire posts that way. But I did suck it up and watch Game of Thrones on my phone last night, so this is probably a hindrance I can navigate. 5/9 update- Okay, longer post. I'm exhausted and tired. I seriously just typed that because I yawned halfway through a 5 word sentence and lost my train of thought. I'm moving to Fort Collins at some point. Right now the plan, in order of immediacy, is clean and pack to put the house on the market, in 2 days go to NYC for a week*, at which point the realtor will be putting the house on the market, get back from NY, job search while working and doing normal things except without most of my stuff which is now packed and without messing up the house, eventually accept buyers' offer, do all the house closing stuff, pack the rest of the big stuff and take it up to CO, along with the dog if it's after a certain date when the husband will actually be in CO and not on a business trip otherwise the dog stays with me, move into in-laws winter home across town with very sparse stuff, figure out if I should tell my job about all this and risk a less enthused response or keep working and long-distance job searching. And maybe actually finding a job. So this plan basically covers my next 7 weeks or 7 months, who the knows. And meanwhile work is work and more stressful because I have a lot to do and on a possibly very accelerated timeline and basically most of my waking hours are spent with the feeling of a fist closing around my heart. *pre-planned trip right before we found out about moving, at which point the planning part flew out the window so now it's more like going to New York, ???, profit I also just found out I'm a bridesmaid in a wedding in October (I've known about the wedding for awhile, I just wasn't aware of my status as a bridesmaid until the bride offhandedly mentioned it this weekend). This is actually not any more stressful because I've already been helping plan the wedding, but a little stressful in that I should probably be focusing a little (lot) more on my health (attractiveness) for the next 5 months. So with all this, here are my modest base goals: -Walk 3x a week. Generally laps at the dog park, generally 2-4 miles -Bodyweight or gym exercises 3x a week, it will be very hard getting to the gym for awhile -Study German 1x a week + some other job/personal development 1x a week -Track it all here/ bullet journal Extra credit possibilities- things I want to do but don't want to scare myself away by demanding I do them: -Get a fitness tracker and start paying more attention to steps/being less sedentary on the daily -Maybe try Couch to 5k -Job search stuff- pimp LinkedIn, resume, start talking to friends in CO, go to PMI meeting -Put together a study plan for myself for German now that the class is ending. -Become pretty -Figure out how people do spreadsheets here. Sidenote: Here was an Excel formula I made today. =IF(C3<>"",CONCATENATE(A3,LEFT($C$1,6),C3),IF(D3<>"",CONCATENATE(A3,LEFT($D$1,6),D3),IF(E3<>"",CONCATENATE(A3,LEFT($E$1,6),E3),IF(F3<>"",CONCATENATE(A3,LEFT($F$1,6),F3),IF(G3<>"",CONCATENATE(A3,LEFT($G$1,6),G3),IF(H3<>"",CONCATENATE(A3,LEFT($H$1,6),H3),IF(I3<>"",CONCATENATE(A3,LEFT($I$1,6),I3)))))))) It's not that complex for Excel people, but it took awhile for me to get it right, so I'm kinda proud.
  11. Balsquith doesn't give up My last challenge started strongly and ended not all that badly, but was under attack from life (and injuries) a lot which made it feel like a losing battle. Still it was, hopefully, a great learning experience and one which I can transfer almost directly into this challenge, as..... my goals will be the same! This feels a little bit like a cop-out, but I view all of these goals as core and if I can't get these down I don't want to distract myself by doing something else. So my goals are: Goal 1: Get up to my alarm Frequency - Daily Tactic - Set alarm sensibly to give 8 hours sleep Criteria - Out of bed within 5 minutes of alarm Bonus - Every 7 days on my chain unlocks something good (to be decided) Goal 2: Regular exercise Frequency - At least 3x per week Tactic - Go to gym to ask trainer about working around injuries Criteria - Any concerted effort counts as exercise Goal 3: Plant-based diet Frequency - Daily Tactic - Ensure breakfast fulfils criteria to ease the blow of life getting in the way later Criteria - At least 50% of meals must be heavy on vegetables Goal 4: Useable German Criteria - Acrue 14 points a week (30 minutes study = 1pt, courage to speak to someone = 3pts)
  12. Balsquith regroups I crashed and burned in the last challenge, which fitted into the general scheme of the past 3 months of challenges. Even though there has probably been no difference between these challenges and the 6-week ones, they somehow felt more frantic and I never felt that I was really keeping up. Bizarrely this one week pause has been amazing and I feel really focused for the challenge to come. I will be keeping it simple this challenge and bringing out the best goals from previous challenges in addition to one all new one involving green things. Goals 1. Get up to my alarm everyday This is my oldest goal and the one which I think everything hangs upon. I have lost touch of this again recently and feel more tired than when I have been getting up early. 2. Exercise 3x week Parallettes or getting back into going to the gym – Everything counts as long as I am doing it seriously. 3. Plant-based diet – 50% I am not sure if my nutrition is good or bad – I’m erring on the side of bad. Part of the problem is that I am not entirely sure what is good and bad (and I’m weak and still eat it anyway even if I do know). The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that vegetables are good. Therefore I will aim for 50% of my meals to have vegetables as their primary component. I’m not going to be too strict on myself I just want to get back to being mindful of what I eat. 4. Learning German This was the only thing that really worked to any extent in my last challenge. I have 2 main problems with learning German. 1. I don’t do any study, 2. Everything I do learn I am too scared to use with real people. In the last challenge the model I used (which I will be repeating here) was to aim for 10 points a week attained from: 30mins focused study = 1pt, 1 act of courage in using the language = 3pts. As you can see I am starting small, but hopefully this will motivate me to either put in some focussed study or be bolder.
  13. Mega Quest: My 2016 theme is "Opportunity favors the prepared." I'm in a better position to pursue a career opportunity when I maintain my network and resume and take time to build my skills. I'm in a better position to go on an amazing last-minute hiking trip if I'm already active and working on being fit. Sure, it's nice to dream about moving to Germany, but it's a lot more likely if I speak the language (classes started in January). And in general, luck seems more likely to come my way when I'm keeping myself happy, healthy, and fulfilled via self care and pursuing my interests. I want the abilities behind me to say yes when I want. And if the last few years are anything to go on, fortune does not seem to favor the person that spends hours everyday staring at her phone or the TV. I am planning on short monthly goals with overarching fitness/career/self-improvement and self care themes throughout the year. March is going to be all about incorporating activity in my daily routine. This was part of January's 'Back to Basics' goals and then February's 'Shore up on January's Weaknesses' goals, and I'm still blowing it, so that's all March is going to focus on. 1. Daily anything active. A jog, a walk, lifting, body weight circuit, foam rolling, yoga, 5 minutes of burpees in a conference room, sex that isn't missionary, I don't care. The point is to be intentional with it and be aware of how active/inactive I am in my normal daily life. 2. Weekly slight effort. Make it to the gym at least twice a week. This should be easy- I was going about 4x a week in January, but February brought a lot of travel, events, work busyness, and house guests. I think I'll be back at it 4x a week once my dad heads back home this Thursday and my sewing class takes a break after this week, but I'm changing around my work schedule this week and we'll see how that works. 3. Practically trying. Go on at least 2 hikes/active adventures this month. My last chance before Phoenix turns into an inferno hellscape until November. Actually, it was 87 today so I may have already missed my window. Northward I may go, Flagstaff Ho. Life Quests: Work is going to be busy so I'm reserving most of my energy for that. Keep studying German. Read the book club book (The Circle by Dave Eggers). Design a pattern for and make a messenger bag for sewing class. Other considerations: Anniversary this week so possible planned diet chaos. Probably at least one weekend trip. Eating habits remain decent, but tracking calories has been a total bust so I'm thinking of getting really boring and putting together a 'perfect day' menu and then eating it 5x a week. That leaves 2 days to give myself a break from the monotony and they can be my zag days in a zig-zag eating pattern. My work schedule is tentatively 6:30-14:30 now, so we'll see how that goes. Theoretically, it means I'm not going to work during peak traffic times and should give me back 5 hours a week I'm not sitting in my car contemplating hari kari. But I meet people at the gym at 19:00 most days, which cuts close to bedtime if I want 8 hours, and in another month I'll be doing the dog park that late too because it'll be too hot to do it earlier. So I'm toying with the idea of coming home, getting a full REM nap 1-2 hours, doing my evening stuff, then skating by on 6 hours or so sleep at night. I wonder if that'll keep me from sleep debt, as long as I'm not messing with REMs. Let the experiment begin. If you read this whole thing, you're an impressive beast.
  14. Balsquith: Out in the wilderness I am in the wilderness at the moment, not literally, but in a state of discontent where I don’t really know where I am at the moment or where I am going – a.k.a. the wilderness. Clearly I got into this wilderness somehow and I can find my way through it somehow too. Whilst the way out isn’t clear to me at the moment, it is clear to me that I am not going to find my way out by stopping moving and wallowing in my discontent – I need to keep myself moving forward Goal 1: Limit sugar There is no sugar in the wilderness (except for maybe some fruit and honey if you are lucky). My main vices in this department are: Biscuits and sweets when there are some of them in the department (this happens almost every evening) Occasional burst of hunger at work (and no suitable healthier snack to hand) leading to a trip to the bakery (this happens 1-2 times a week) I will aim for 5 days out of 7 where I stay away from sugar. Goal 2: Everyday fitness Out in the wilderness you can’t afford to make excuses about not being able to exercise; you need to be fit enough to tackle whatever comes at you. In the past I have been full of excuses about why I can’t exercise: I can’t exercise in the evening as my girlfriend is watching tv and it is strange and demotivating to be working out in the area next to the couch at the same time. I can’t exercise in the kitchen in the morning before my girlfriend gets up as there is not enough space and the floor is slippery.There is some truth in both of these statements, but neither of them is really a reason why I shouldn’t do any exercise at all. I will aim to exercise daily in the morning in the kitchen, this will be either: · 7 minute burpee test (I managed 52 last Saturday as a challenge baseline) · Plank workout. Goal 3: Meeting new people / improving relationships The wilderness is a lonely place; strength in numbers and companionship are the best ways to survive. I am quite bad a keeping in touch with friends and family. I am also quite bad at getting myself out in the world and meeting new people. I don't mind being on my own, but I also greatly enjoy being around my friends. Unfortunately most of my friends seem to have left so I am a little bit back to square one. This goal is about keeping in touch better with friends and family and possibly cultivating some new friendships. I have 4 main tasks I want to put into action: 1. Make/send a birthday card to my Dad 2. Send a get well soon card to my friend who had a skiing accident 3. Send 'Happy Easter' cards to those friends (who I haven't contacted for a while) who find the day significant 4. Join/attend a drawing class Goal 4: Learn the language of the wilderness. Lots of people in the wilderness speak my language - but it isn't their language. Maybe learning this language will help me to feel more that I belong and can do simple things - it might even open up routes which I haven't seen before that lead me out of the wilderness. I live in Austria but I speak English all day. I am not a very confident person when it comes to languages so when my broken German comes out it is usually answered by English. In principle there is nothing wrong here, communication was accomplished, but it doesn't feel right to me. I live here and I should speak the language, I am not a tourist so it leaves me feeling like I don't really belong here. I want to use this goal to push my German study forward but also to challenge myself to show so courage and actually get out there and try to use the language even if it is met by an answer in English. 30 minutes focused study = 1 point Using German (courage) = 3 points Pass mark for the week = 10 points
  15. Shorter version of my big long preface on January's goals: I disappeared last March but now I'm back. I didn't go completely off the rails with fitness, just updating. I changed jobs and that took a lot of my time and it felt too overwhelming to try to update things with everything else going on, especially when my updates are all "I'm surviving, not thriving, and have no time for anything besides the basics of not gaining weight etc." And actually I just got a pretty nice promotion in December and I know it'll be months before I'm comfortable in my new role, so the potential for disappearing is still there, but I feel a lot more comfortable in what I can manage now than I did when leaving a ridiculously shitty job last Spring. I'm much healthier and happier than I was, so I think I can take on more than just focusing on work again. My 2016 theme is "Opportunity favors the prepared." I'm in a better position to pursue a career opportunity when I maintain my network and resume and take time to build my skills. I'm in a better position to go on an amazing last-minute hiking trip if I'm already active and working on being fit. Sure, it's nice to dream about moving to Germany, but it's a lot more likely if I speak the language (classes started in January). And in general, luck seems more likely to come my way when I'm keeping myself happy, healthy, and fulfilled via self care and pursuing my interests. I want the abilities behind me to say yes when I want. And if the last few years are anything to go on, fortune does not seem to favor the person that spends hours everyday staring at her phone or the TV. I am planning on short monthly goals with overarching fitness/career/self-improvement and care themes throughout the year. January was used to re-establish and ingrain foundation habits, including eating well, exercising, and trying to be mindful of how best to keep the habits going forward. February I'm going to try to keep up with what stuck, try new strategies for what didn't, and build on last month's momentum. Eins! Continue with last month's successes. Be mindful of my eating patterns by sticking with Paleo and/or tracking on My Fitness Pal. Keep going to the gym 3-4x/week. Write a new letter to my month-from-now-future-self reminding myself why I'm doing this and read it everyday. Zwei! Incorporate activity into my daily life. This was a goal last month and outside of going to the gym more often and more consistently, I really didn't do a great job with this. I especially didn't manage the spirit of the goal- I want general activity to be second nature. I don't want to think twice about a daily evening jog or a fifteen minute yoga routine when I wake up. I don't really have a strategy to accomplish this yet and I'm taking suggestions. Drei! Find and curate happiness. Last month I was very apprehensive about having so much on my plate- very involved new job, German classes, sewing classes, all these goals, vacation- I don't have a great track record of maintaining parts of my life without letting other parts of it go to hell. But I planned and I had backup plans at the ready for when I failed to plan and I tried to stay focused on just what I need to do each day without losing sight of the bigger picture and ultimately I found that a lot of joy in the things I was doing. Though it took energy, I felt energized by the satisfaction of learning something new/ being social/ whatever. But to continue this I need to put in more energy than just showing up. So I'd like to complete at least one sewing project outside of class this month, read the book for book club *ready Player One by Ernest Cline), and devote an extra hour of German study each week. Nebenprojekt! Sleep. A late add to last month's goals that still needs work. But ironically it's getting late so I'll have to elaborate later. I kind of tie this in with the fitness goal, though. I think that will be all. I easily get excited and want to do all the things, but it doesn't work out well so they will have to wait for future months.
  16. "Returning," you say? Yes. Years and years ago (ok maybe not quite that long but we are talking about 2013 time...I think), I was once part of the rebellion. I had my goals and quests set out, workout routines planned etc but fell out of sync and left the pack that is the NF family. I won't go into too much detail about the past because I'm focussing on the present and the future however the main reasons for my previous failures was due to depression, suicide attempts, family feuds, prolapsed spinal disc, house eviction - but I say NO MORE! I need to get my mind and body back into shape so I can cope a bit better with whatever life throws at me. So without further ado... MAIN QUEST: Get below the 200lb mark (currently weighing in ~220lb) by Star Wars Day. About a year ago I started volunteering as a Cub Scout Leader so I want to be able to lose that weight as a start and then incorporate more exercise and nutrition changes in time for a big County Camp in June. To do this, I will have the following missions for this challenge: 1. Perform the NF Beginner Bodyweight Workout at least twice a week As I still have slight problems with my back I don't want to start off with too much but I know that bringing exercise back in will strengthen my core and means I can cut back on the cocodamol and tramadol I'm popping every day! 2. Increase water intake: 4 Litres daily I'm notorious for not drinking enough water so I want to reach the recommended intake for 4L by the end of the 4 weeks. To help, I'll have 2 cups (approx. 500ml) before each meal and at least 1 cup as soon as I wake up and just before heading to bed. 3. Limit takeaways to once a week My SO and I are currently about 50/50 with cooking and ordering during the week due to work shifts and lazy housemates using all dishes and utensils and then not washing anything for a month! *Breathe*. So we'll be doing meal plans and more food prep to reach this target. Level Up Your Life: Complete 30 minutes of Duolingo German lesson daily This was also on my first challenge all those years ago and I kinda fizzled out with it. But I love the German language and want to become fluent in it. I work with a couple people that also speak German so I'm gonna have them challenge me by ONLY conversing with me in German. Let's see if I can stick with it this time! And to everyone else - good luck Adventurers!
  17. Hello Everyone, I've been reading NFs Blog for around a year now, and since I need my first respawn since I started exercising I'm here now. I hope to find new nice contacts here, also maybe a group to motivate me and to keep the goals I'm aiming for more binding. So about me: My Name is Schaengel and I'm living in Koblenz, Germany (that's around 1h away from Bonn (former German capitol) and 1h away from Frankfurt). I'm doing sports all my live but since you can't outrun your fork I always have had some pounds more than I like. Last year I turned my eating upside down and lost around 65pounds (hope I'm translating that right). Since I have been falling back into bad eating and skipping exercise I'm starting over this time with more Nerd Fitness Help I hope. At the moment I'm already doing climbing, kick-boxing and running and trying to meditate on daily basis (with poor result so far). I'm mainly looking to improve my cooking/eating here but would also like to get some things going that I am putting off for quite some time (picking up parcour, play/learn guitar(on hold till april)). Yeah so here I am hoping for some new companions My First Challenge, Yeah: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/76499-hey-ho-finally-lets-go/#entry1755246
  18. I have now done quite a number of 6-week challenges. They have mostly been marked by being fundamentally boring, which is not necessarily a bad thing but I love the creativity that others bring to their challenges and threads, but also wildly inconsistent. Even though my past challenges have possibly had more downs than ups, I at least feel that I am trying to get somewhere. Having let myself slide of late into a place where I am inactive and lack goals it is high time to start doing challenges again and getting myself moving. For this challenge I am not going to reinvent the wheel, in fact I expect my challenge to be somewhat boring - although hopefully in a good way as I intend to aim for consistency. With this in mind my goals will all involve small daily actions. Goal 1: Get up to my alarm every day - goodbye to snoozing. Goal 2: Move daily - This can be any sort of exercise. Goal 3: Study German every day - even if it is just a little bit! Goal 4: Tidy - I hope that trying to keep control of my mess might positively impact my general feeling of organisation. Whilst I hope that I will be able to do more than the bare minimum, my emphasis will be on small wins, so nothing is too little.
  19. My 2013 to 2014 photos So Chapter 1 was a mix of good and bad. I started off really well and lost it at the end. The only part of my challenge that I really succeeded in was Quest 3: Only drinking Water. So the great thing about that is I'm onto the next step for my diet plans. The other quests I had, looking back, seemed a bit too complex. I expected too much. I started off the challenge really well, simply because I was still on holiday from work. When I got back to work I realised it was so much harder to keep up with the goals I set and is one of the reasons why I think towards the end I almost just stopped caring about the challenge. So for this chapter I am going to, hopefully, make things a bit more simple and it starts with 2 quests and a life quest. Quest 1: Dumbbell Division twice a week I haven't had a proper routine in awhile for my workouts, effectively making it up just before, so this time round I am sticking with a routine from the NF Academy. Still only doing 2 a week as I can't even consistently complete this yet. Quest 2: No chocolate/sweets Last challenge was only water. This challenge I tackle the sweet tooth. Since starting work I have been eating so much chocolate or sweets that I need to change. This will be hard as there is so much temptation but I did manage this about 9 months ago for 2/3 months before my exams hit and the stress called for chocolate. Life Quest: 5 minutes German Practice a day Last challenge I said learn german 3x a week - it didn't really work as there was no timings associated to that. So I am going for small doses more often. That's my challenge.
  20. I have no idea what challenge number this will be...maybe 6 or 7. I really don't know. But this is a new year and a new chapter in my life. Also the first with the Assassins. My 2013 to 2014 photos What I achieved in 2014? No longer addicted to Diet Coke (or fizzy drinks)Intake in vegetables has grown.I exercise (not consistently but I do exercise)What will I work on in 2015? Exercise consistently - get that pull up!.Finish workouts - no excuses.The sweet tooth monster. Quest 1: Complete my workout 2x a week / Complete my pull up progression 2x a week. I have scheduled in three workouts a week in the morning but sometimes my work hours make it hard to get in a third workout, due to early rises and late nights. Therefore aiming for two should keep my motivation high as a third workout will be a bonus. I also have dedicated sessions in the evening for getting my first pull up. Again subject to work I may not get all three in so I'm working for two a week. Quest 2: Yoga 4x a week On my 'off' days I am following Erin Motz 30 day yoga challenge on youtube. I am currently on day 4. Quest 3: Only water I beat the fizzy drink monster but have noticed I am starting to drink other sugary drinks - j2o's, capri suns etc. This is just as bad and something I want to fix. Therefore I am only allowed to drink water with the two exceptions below. I am allowed a small glass of orange juice or apple juice in the morning.I am allowed one non-water drink at a restaurant when ordering food. Life Quest: Learn German 3x a week I learnt German in school and kinda sucked at it - think the pressure of the exams was too much. But I like the language and want to go back to Germany again this year. So I need to brush up on my German. I will be using duolingo to learn and the idea is too spend 30 minutes a day (or one section i.e. Basics 1) on the site. I have been following a similar plan for the past two and a bit weeks and have refined my goals slightly for this challenge based on where I have struggled. So I think that's it for now. I don't believe I have forgotten anything.
  21. The plans have been made, my holdall packed and my summer travels begun! The aim of the game is to see everyone I need to see and be everywhere I need to be before my studies restart in October. I'm starting in the UK to visit friends and family, then to Spain to see my boyfriend and finally to Germany for an international conference type thingy (Indeed, I believe that it is the technical term). And so, this challenge is going mobile! 1. Keeping fit Possible challenge reward: +4 STA & +4 STR My trainers are packed and I plan to make time for runs or bodyweight workouts three times a week. I will also hopefully have some opportunities to go orienteering and climbing as well. 2. Learn German Possible challenge reward: +3 CHA I'm going to Germany for a month in September, and I would love to understand the language. The plan is to use Duolingo, to learn from my tiny reference book, to know the top 100 most used words and top 20 most used verbs in basic past, present and future tense. 3. Science a little bit here and there Possible challenge reward: +3 WIS I would like to research and write up little pieces on biological and medical subjects just for myself, perhaps get a blog going to keep track of them. I have got a little too focussed recently, and I would like to broaden my general bio knowledge. Ideally, I would review diseases, therapies, anatomy, physiology or anything I take an interest in. Suggestions are welcome! This challenge is more systems-orientated than goal-orientated, so I'll assess it based on a google spreadsheet. See you on your threads soon guys!
  22. I'm not doing karate this challenge. But I am going to do this challenge right. It's going to be challenging. It's going to take effort. And it's going to be worth it. I'm going to keep this simple. No exceptions. No codicils. Just a goal to reach and a prize to obtain. LONGTERM GOAL: 6 PACK CARDIO! What: Run 100 miles Specifics: None, really. Just run 100 miles over the course of the challenge. Sprint or jog, outside or treadmill, it doesn't matter. Why: I'm signing up for a half marathon in September. A coworker told me that I have time to prepare for the Chicago Marathon in October, but I'll wait until the end of the challenge to decide if I'm crazy enough to try that. Points: 4 STA+DEX (To be adjusted based on how much sprinting/jogging I do) Motivation: Bike - My plan is to buy a nice hybrid one once I get my tax refund and have someone hold it over my head until I finish my 100 miles. STRENGTH! What: Strength training 3x per week Specifics: Circuit of jumping rope, pull ups, push ups, RPoD, and bulgarian split squats Why: I'm vain? Points: 4 STR Motivation: Kettlebell - I've wanted one for a while. If I complete this challenge, a nice new one will be mine and I can use KBGirl's tutorial to train with it next challenge. DIET! What: Lose 5 lbs (Starting weight: 154.4 lbs.) Specifics: <=2,000 kCals daily and post daily calorie count on here. Why: Abs are made in the kitchen. I'm getting somewhat close to my goal weight, so I'm not sure if I can do 5 lbs in 6 weeks, but I'm damn sure going to try. Points: 3 CON Motivation: Clothes shopping. I have very few decent and even fewer nice clothes that fit. A new suit is in line once I hit my goal weight (140), but I need some clothes to wear to semi-formal occasions like khakis where the legs aren't like twice the diameter they need to be. LIFE! What: Practice piano or violin daily Specifics: Minimum 2 minutes of playing. This should get me involved that I'll continue more often than I'll stop. Why: I know I should pick one and work more on that instrument, but I really can't decide. I plan to use this challenge to see which one I choose to work on more, since obviously that's the one I prefer to practice. Points: 5 CHA Motivation: Sheet music for the instrument of my choice. I have a little bit for both, but most of it is way out of my skill level, so this would allow me to get some stuff I might actually be able to play. I want to play mostly classical (though with some ragtime on the piano: I love Scott Jopin), so a lot is available for free online, but I would rather have something I can trust to be accurate. SIDE (NON)GOAL! What: Prepare for my trip to Germany Specifics: Apply for a passport, learn basic German Why: My company is going to fly me to Germany for a week in July to look at some equipment we're going to be installing. I need to get the passport done soon so I get it in time. I don't actually need to learn German, but languages are fun and being able to practice constantly for a week or two (I want to take a week or so of vacation and stay for extra time, since they're already paying for the flight) will be incredibly beneficial if I get a basic grounding before I leave. This isn't really a goal, just something that I'm going to be working on throughout the challenge. Motivation: Somebody else is paying for me to go to Germany. Considering I love travelling and I've never been to Europe, I really don't see what could be more motivating than that. So those are my goals for the next 6 weeks. It seems like there's a lot of them, but it looks like I'm have a decent amount of free time during the week, which will be awesome. Run | 1.5/100 | Lift | 2/3 | 0/3 | 0/3 | 0/3 | 0/3 | 0/3 | 1/18 Nom | 6/7 | 0/7 | 0/7 | 0/7 | 0/7 | 0/7 | 2/42 Play | 6/7 | 0/7 | 0/7 | 0/7 | 0/7 | 0/7 | 3/42 I'm also going to add quotes to my updates. Some will be amusing/jokes, and some will be inspiring. And some will be really long and you'll think it's going to be a joke and you'll be waiting for a punch line that never comes. Because I like to watch the world burn.
  23. In general I'm still working at a number of the same goals that I was in my first two challenges. The details are evolving, and some items have been discarded, but for the most part I'm not taking off in any radically new directions. 1. Body Weight Exercises: I slacked off in this area last challenge so I'm making it the center of this one. For the most part I can do this routine without error. The key here will be consistency. I started doing this a few years ago to train up for the APFT (Army Physical Readiness Test) and it worked really well. The BS Squats are new, and somewhere down the line, it could be another challenge, I'll get them to Shrimps and then Pistols. Maybe I'll do Waldos, but not this time. Run 3+ miles 50 Push Ups x 3 sets 50 Front Crunches x 3 sets 50 Right Crunches x 3 sets 50 Left Crunches x 3 sets 50 Four Count Flutter Kicks x 3 sets 10 Right Leg BS Squats x 3 sets 10 Right Leg BS Squats x 3 sets My intent is to add squats over time to bring them up to 3 sets of 50. I do one set of each and then hit another round. If I need recovery time I can throw in an extra mobility drill between sets or rounds. If I need to up the intensity I can add more rounds and/or switch to more difficult variants. I took a video of this routine last night and was pleased with my form. I tried to upload it but the file didn't take. I figure I will do this again near the end of the challenge for comparison. Do this routine M/W/F. 2. Run: For the most part the footing is reliable again (snow and ice are pretty much gone) so running is back in the program. I don't really like running but it's pretty central to fitness in general and short distances are easy enough. Like the Body Weight Exercises, consistency is what I'm looking for. I'm not really interested in pushing any time cuts except those that happen naturally along the way. Right now I'm right around 8.5 minute miles when I'm running 3.6 miles. I had been toying with the idea of running stupidly long distances, but I think I'll put that one on the shelf. I did a test run today and hit muscle failure at 20 miles. I was sort of ok with that because it was twice as long as I had ever run before, but I still had to walk 2 miles to get home. The sweat and the temperature (27 degrees F) added a whole new dimension to that experience. Even that was relatively ok, but the six flights of stairs to get up to my apartment showed me the error of my ways. From here on out I will think twice, and twice again, before I do anymore suicide runs:) 3. Mobility: Every day. 4. Hike: Last challenge I started road marching to train up for the Nijmegen March in July. I'm going to be continuing this but backing off on the frequency to make room for the runs. I will do about an hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I might add some longer ones on Saturdays. 5. Movement: This last week I tried some "dance" workouts with my Kinect. I discovered that I'm really clumsy. I figure I'll do at least an hour of this kind of stuff on Sundays. Timing and coordination aren't a central part of my goals right now, but I figure this kind of stuff will pay off over time in other areas. 6. Diet: Generally Paleo, but I'm thinking of trying to add back some grains on occasion now that I'll be doing more cardio. I've started a daily tracker just to see what's really going on. Wolverine's influence there:0 Also going to do a 7 day fast with Happienumber from 10-16 March for moral support and waist reduction. 7. Alcohol: Only on Fridays and Saturdays. Too many calories racing for my abs to drink daily. 8. German: I'll still be doing my daily lesson of German. I like to think of this as self inflicted torture:) Might not be doing it when the family is here because I'll be getting lots of real world practice. 9. Family: Regular calling, at least every weekend, but likely mid week too. Will have family here for a couple of weeks starting on the 18th, so I'm expecting to be reduced to the mobility and body weight exercises during most of that piece. Also the diet will probably be hit and miss as well. Knowing this in advance I'm not going to penalize myself for not running/hiking/dieting unless I completely descend into really evil food choices. I don't usually assign numbers in advance. Last time, at the end, I put a grade on each goal, figured my GPA, divided that into 15 and arrived at my total earned points. Then I assigned them based off of where they seemed to belong. The goals that are direct carry-overs from last time will receive the fewest points. Or not. Depends on what I end up struggling the most with this time around.
  24. Slushy

    Creative Title

    I was a High-Elf Scout, training for my first marathon, now I'm a Human Ranger, adding in muscles! Summer is coming and I don't yet like the way I look in my swimming shorts, so muscles need to be built and a little bif of fat needs to be shed. Life Goal: Apply for Federal Student Support (BAföG) [+3 CHA] I almost applied for it during the last challenge, but failed to hand in the paper before the month ended, so I had to change stuff in the formulas, which I didn't until now. This would hopefully give me enough money to pay for a room in a flat share with other students. Living alone is a looot more attractive than living with your parents, that's why I'll get +3 CHA for this. Goal 1: Bottle of Water/Day [+3 CON] Drinking water is good. I don't drink enough water. I will drink 1.5 litres of water per day. Bonusgoal: Only drink one bottle of coke/ice tea/lemonade per three days. Currently I'm drinking at least one of those every day, which has a really bad effect on my skin. [+2 CHA] Goal 2: Strength Training [+4 STR] I'll do strength training three times a week (body weight exercises mostly).[+1 STR] Subgoal 2.1: Do 40 Pushups in a row. [+1 STR] Subgoal 2.2: Do one complete pull-up. [+2 STR] Goal 3: Marathon Training [+3 DEX +2 END] I'll continue my marathon training, following the schedule I have. Unfortunately I'm sick at the moment, so I'll have to postpone doing sports until I'm healthy again and will then turn back my schedule by the number of weeks I've missed.
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