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  1. Fashionably late to the party… [Preamble] Welcome to Owlshire, a beautiful woodland property in the Forest of Dean, England. I’m a 42 year old American woman living here with my British husband (Mr) and 4 y/o son (Enting). I work in gamedev and when I’m not doing that, I’m tending to my garden, doing needlework of some sort, writing, playing games (of various sorts), and exploring our local woodlands. [Challenges] Two, actually. The first one is a happy event in the Yorkshire Dales in June for a wedding, and the second is a solemn pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest, USA, to help carry my father's ashes* into his favorite spot in the mountains, as per his request. These both happen during the next challenge, but there's a lot of preparations! * Rise Up The hike into the mountains is steep and challenging. I know because I did that hike with Dad many times as a child and once as an adult. Most of the adults (sisters, nieces/partners…) joining us are not particularly fit for purpose, and there will be four children under the age of 5 as well. It’s going to be chaos and I don’t expect everyone will make it to the top before turning back. I’m not turning back. So I want to make sure my hill game is in order, and also get Enting prepared for a longer, steeper walks since I likely won't be carrying him--I'll probably be carrying other children! This means going out at least twice a week and walking (for example) up our lane, which is a very long, steep climb. (More often is better, but I’m trying to be realistic given other life constraints.) I also want to take Enting with me at least once a week to get him better motivated for walking distances. (He has proven he can walk for several miles, but he often doesn’t want to.) The post-wedding June hike in the Yorkshire Dales will be a bit of a test run to further gauge what we will expect in the mountains and any strategy changes we should consider. Organize We haven't done a family overnight trip (let alone a trip abroad) in 2.5+ years. Setting up both of these trips is a lot of faff! I have some huge to-do lists and files and paperwork and coordination with family, and I'm making my way through them. Keep on it! Reach Mordor I’m 555 miles away! I’ve been wanting to complete this challenge since the early 00s (when it was called the Eowyn Challenge), and I’m sure I’ve been “there and back again” several times over, but I’ve never managed to track the whole thing. I want to finish my walking route to Mordor by November 2022. I’m so close! A Hobbit in Attitude, not in Width At the moment, I'm in a good place with my weight/BMI. I do want to get both a touch lower, but all things considered for this challenge I’m under a lot of emotional stress and I just want to maintain. I’ve got enough other things on. My BMI is currently 22.1, and I'll count this successful if it's the same or lower at the end of the challenge. Admin note: I always start on Week 0, and I track from Monday-Sunday. I’m also useless at actually updating my challenges, but I’m always a better me if I post one.
  2. Hi folks! Ann of Vries signing in, a returning Adventurer I’m a hiker/rambler (urban and wild), traveler, fantasy, and RPG geek who moved to London 2 years ago from Seattle. This has been an excellent opportunity to explore and have new experiences, but in between I tend to become a hermit for weeks (*cough-or-months-cough*) at a time and leave the house as little as possible unless my husband drags me out on a new adventure (thank goodness for him), and I’m looking to change that. Especially now that I’m 33 weeks pregnant, and I know how easy it could be to lock myself up in my hobbit hole and just watch Netflix and eat donuts—this could spell doom for my adventuring life if I don’t stay proactive. I don’t want that; I've managed to stay fairly fit so far during the pregnancy (despite some periods of Netflix and donuts), but I need to keep those habits going into the home stretch. Fitness Quests: Keep on Wandering: Continuous walking (20+ min) 5 days a week; at least 3 of those days should be 30+ min. (Measured by Active Minutes on my FitBit.) Insert usual disclaimer that this will get adjusted based on pregnancy/midwife concerns. A guiding philosophy: I’m a bit of an online shopping junkie, and I want be more engaged with my local area, so: more walking out to the High Street shops when I need something (particularly, groceries I can carry. I will still order in large or heavy items). I’m unclear how to measure this one, so it’s more of a note to get myself out and about than an actual goal to check off. Increase Hydration: 8 glasses of water (or herbal tea, etc.) a day. (Last challenge I averaged about 7.) Life Quest: I did technical writing for several years as a day job, and I’ve been writing fiction for as long as I can remember (hobby/semi-pro), but I’ve always been intrigued with narrative/creative nonfiction. Now that I’m living my life as an Adventurer, I want to put a renewed focus into developing my narrative nonfiction skills: Module 1.1 Intro to Travel Writing: Since I came to London, I’ve been dissatisfied with my attempts to write my stories of moving abroad and exploring my new country (even just for my friends/family back home, who aren’t exactly looking for High Art). I also don’t want to be a total homebody after I have my child in a few weeks (EEEEK), so I’ve decided to learn more about travel writing—both in how to write engaging tales of my experiences, but also to encourage me to keep exploring, now and after. I mean, I live in London. There’s so much exploration to be done without even leaving the city. Why am I not taking more advantage of this? (I can't blame the bump, this was true before that happened.) Module 1.1 Objectives: Complete the Travel Journaling and Travel Writing courses I bought. Go on at least 4 Field Trips (overlaps with Keep on Wandering) Practice travel journaling and writing based on courses, with Field Trips as inspiration (no requirement to share my practice writing, sorry )—four 500 word essays: each outlined, drafted, and notated for future revisions. Update on Mondays (at least): I’ve been attempting NF challenges on and off for years… I’m often good at keeping up on the goals (or at least the spirit of them). It’s always the tracking on the forums I fall off on. So I will plan to update on Mondays. (Too often and I feel like I’m spending more time tracking than doing.) I'll put it on my calendar as a proactive step. However, this time if I disappear--particularly late into the challenge--it may be because someone decided to show up early and I got a little distracted. XD Cheers, Ann x
  3. Hail, Fellow Adventurers! So far, I've had a pretty charmed 2016 (*knocks on wood*): I moved overseas from Seattle (where I had lived all of my 36 years) to London, UK in early spring, married the most remarkable man I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, we recently honeymooned (hiking in the Scottish Highlands!), and now we're all settled in and getting on with things. Alas, such magic came at a cost (and not just financially!). 2015 was a Blighted Year, and as a result, I also arrived in London at my heaviest in over a decade and with far less endurance for hiking/long-distance walking (as we sadly learned on our honeymoon). I've lost some of that weight already, but keep yo-yoing where I'm currently at. But now I'm in a new city! A new country! And I'm keen to see as much of it as I can while I'm here. So I'm putting on my adventurer's shoes and going exploring. My 4 Week Challenge is as follows: Fitness Goals: 1) Walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. I'm built like a hobbit (short and stout), and my tracking has indicated that that 10,000 steps = 4 miles. 2) Walk a minimum of 100,000 steps a week (counted Monday-Sunday). Yes, that means I expect overages, large or small, on some days from my previous goal to make up the deficit. 3) Keep the scale moving down to my target weight (115 lbs, aka where I was before the Blighted Year). It's been taking a while; I'm fine with it taking a while. I just want a more consistent overall downward trend. Current weight (as of 7/11): 122.6 lbs. 4) Don't get in a rut. There are some walking routes that will be constants because they're easy and close to home and good for a quick jaunt out the door, but I also want to explore--at least 3 different routes a week. (Hopefully more.) Most of my walks will be city-based, but hopefully we'll get out of the city a couple of times in the next few weeks. I have as supplies: Maps, a magic tracking bracelet (aka my new FitBit Charge HR), and various walking/hiking/running shoes. Level Up My Life Goal: Make an effort to be social, aka meet other geeks and RPGers (LARP and table-top). Having moved to a far off new land means that my husband is pretty much my only friend. He's pretty amazing (and he has a network of friends in London, having gone to uni here many years before), but we need to meet new people, too! We've had a lot of visitors from Seattle of late (where I/we had a strong network), and they've been wonderful, but my social life can't stay forever based in Seattle Check-ins: Mid-week and end-of-week (and whenever I feel like it in between). My biggest challenge with... uh, community challenges... is that I get weary of all of the tracking, so I'm going to keep it to a minimum that still keeps me engaged. Although the challenge doesn't officially start until next week, I'm going to get started today Edit: Joined the Walk to Mordor and Back
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