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  1. After completing her studies, it was time for Neila to adventure out on her own, with just her partner for guidance and companionship. Miles away from the only home she has ever known, she has become lonely, and bored, without enough activity to occupy her days. She overeats to fill the time, but soon her meager wardrobe will no longer fit, and she cannot afford replacements. With her boredom and loneliness she has come to find that the only solution is to dedicate her free time to bettering herself. The world is a dangerous place, and she cannot rely solely on her partner for protection. These four weeks are the beginning of her journey towards bettering herself. She has five goals to complete for the duration of the challenge: 1) She will not drink Liquid Calories; she has a weakness for ale, and it makes her vulnerable. This is counterproductive to her goals. 2) She will consume a high-protein breakfast 5 days a week; reprogramming her body to process protein, kick-start the morning, and work towards getting stronger. 3) She will not consume snacks after the day's work is completed; it is expensive, and unproductive caloric intake. Eating a healthy supper will be more productive. 4) She will eat a homemade dinner 6 times a week; the local tavern, while tasty, is both expensive and unhealthy. Eating at home, while time-consuming, will help her towards her goal of losing weight. 5) She will complete 3 workouts a week; On Mondays she will go to Rogue Fitness to complete a workout with Sweaty John, her trainer, then Wednesday and Friday she will complete the NFA Bodyweight Workout 2A (Wednesdays) and 2B (Fridays) with the appropriate NF Handstands exercises added each day. Neila has an extended journey ahead of her. This is just the beginning.
  2. Getting into it, nice and slowly. I'm going to start at the ground up with this one. Not getting too complicated here, as last time I tried something similar I had 12 goals and everything crashed and burned. This time, each day can be worth 12 points. (Days where I attend practice, I will not be doing a home workout or home practice, so those 4 points alternate) 1. Sleep/routine training - 2pt: be in bed by 9:15pm - 2pt: awake at 6am, as planned, and completed the day's AM quest. 2. Water - 2pt: drink 2L of water in a day. - 1pt: drink less than 1L coffee/soda in a day. 3. Karate - 4pt: attend class - 2pt: perform basement practice (sanchin, ho jo un do, etc). 4. Push-up/handstand - 1pt: perform at least 5 push-ups in a day. - 2pt: do handstand training. AM Quests: Sunday: Rabbit House Maintenance Monday: Morning Coding Tuesday: Master Spinner Wednesday: Basement Karate Thursday: Master Spinner Friday: Basement Karate Saturday: Morning Shopping/Batch Cooking <Loot> I've been having a devil of a time with this section. I still don't know what would make a good loot target. Normally I try a gradated approach: My loot is awarded by percentage - 80-100% fantastic loot. 60-80% okay loot, 40-60% participation-ribbon loot. But I'm not sure what to do here. What I WANT is a new GI... but I can't find a way to gradate that really well, as the price points aren't exactly linear. The "Fantastic" Gi's are ~$170, and that's USD and only IF they ship to Canada. (Stupid Century having country-specific catalogues... they don't sell their ladies Gi pants in Canada for some stupid reason.). So I have el-cheapo Gi's (not really what I want anyways), or high-end international import. Le sigh.
  3. Contained in the following pages are the epic quest of Neila, a wood elf who is very far from home. She is physically weak, but aspires to protect herself, without the help of her dedicated partner. She will update her quest daily, focusing on her physical activity and successes with her attempts to better herself. Long term goals: Be able to complete 10 handstand pushups. Weigh ~140 lbs. Be emotionally confidant, and comfortable in her body. She will be focusing on her diet, and completing NerdFitness Bodyweight workouts to begin this journey.
  4. Hey folks! I'm researching progressions to add to my supplemental training for next challenge and figured I should check in with you lovely Assasins for recommendations! I'm looking for both a flexibility for splits progression, and a handstand progression. I'm a former gymnast that hasn't done a clean split, or held a full handstand for more than 3 6 seconds in a good while. I am flexible still, so not starting from square one per say, and plenty patient. 10 mins a day per skill seems like a fine and manageable commitment for the next challenge. (More than that and I may need to reevaluate, not a crushing reality.) I like the idea of starting with a 30 day something to coincide with the challenge and, from what I've managed to sift through online (SO MUCH!) I kind of like the look of these, though I find the handstand one a bit confusing. http://www.blogilates.com/blog/2015/06/28/30-days-30-stretches-to-splits-journeytosplits/ https://breakingmuscle.com/bodyweight/my-4-week-program-for-achieving-handstand-happiness Any thoughts or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!!! (I'll post a link in the guild too, just don't want to be rude posting all this there...)
  5. For the first time in 3-4 years, I will not be taking a class this semester, so my schedule just blew wide open. Typically, it takes about 2-3 days for me to get confused by free time, and start whining about how bored I am despite a plethora of things to do, forsaken responsibilities, and stuff I've said I want to get done "when I have time." The next few challenges will focus on giving me things I HAVE to do, so I don't come to the end of my break and have nothing to show for it. Goals to complete this challenge (all are pass/fail): Make at least one wearable skirt: Kilted or gathered, it must be completely wearable. Restructure my weights workout (see life goal): Figure out which steps of the life goal to work on first and add or sub them to my workout. Done! Install a border along the fence: Every time I water the back garden, it just rolls off into next door's yard. I got a border to fix that, it just needs placed. Find and schedule a Russian tutor: Duolingo is great, but with no other classes, I can ramp this up. Research and schedule at least the first meeting. Prepare for our trip and go on it: My gentleman and I are going on our first ever vacation to London and Ireland, leaving September 11. I have a lengthy list of things to do to prep for it. They must all be done, and not the night before we leave. Long-term goals to complete before next class: Measure the back porch/stairs and make plans to close it in: My fruit trees/bushes need a place to winter over. Create a plan for the strawberry bed in the big garden: I am not happy with the current layout; would like to add tiers, stepping stones, and ground cover to prevent weeds. Make at least three wearable skirts: I WANT KILTS!!!! Measurable life goal: I finally found out what the below move is called, and have made it my goal to be able to do a pike to handstand or press handstand. I recognize that I have a lot of work to do to get here, but I have a goal! There are lots of helpful sites out there with tips on what to work on and how, and my first step is to sort through them and come up with a working plan (see current goal #2). Allowing for a lot of mistakes, I hope to do this by the time I'm 40 (3.5 years). Rewards: 80% done: I can order 1 new fruit tree for spring 2017. 100% done: I can order 3 new fruit trees or 2 trees and another berry bush. (Yes, my goal is to have a dwarf orchard). I realize that I am often super ambitious and schedule way too much to do, but since I still seemed to get lots of stuff done while I was taking classes and working.... I'm going to go for it. Failing all else, it will give me a better idea of how much I can accomplish for the next challenge. As per usual, my running and weights workouts, healthy eating goals, and parkour classes will be going on in the background. Ok, enough talking, here's my life goal:
  6. I've had a really rough few months and fell off the wagon for the better part of the year, and I think that having an online sidekick would help me get back on track. I plan to keep doing the NF challenges and have created a thread for my current challenge here. Ideally looking for someone who is fairly fit already and just looking for a little bit of brotherhood from another person to help keep them accountable. I'm in the Greenville NC area if you happen to be local-ish and interested in meeting up in person but definitely not required. Also not necessarily looking to communicate daily but a few times a week would be ideal. Text messages, e-mail, NF mail, or your preferred communication method is fine with me. More about me: My goals involve mostly body composition (loss of BF%) and body weight tricks (like handstands). I prefer to do strength training with some body weight stuff like handstands and yoga mixed in to keep myself balanced. I run a few times a week for conditioning too. I consider myself a mix between an assassin and a ranger, and I also like to do obstacle races. I'm an Art Teacher in the real world and my hobbies include art, metal smithing, cosplay, archery, and gaming. If you're interested in joining my brotherhood, just reply to this or send me a PM, and we can work out the details!
  7. Not quite up to challenges right now, so... a battle log! Will update soon with goals and such. Sneak preview: lift all the kettlebells, win all the competitions and celebrate by standing upside down! For those that don't know me or my sport, this is what I do: Lots of those.. occasionally (on competition days) as many as I can in 10 minutes
  8. I joined half-way through the last challenge so did a mini-challenge with the rebels (intermittent fasting, join a softball team, 2x bodyweight level 1 workouts per week). I'm having fun, and want to continue those things, but this challenge I want to add handstands, so I thought it was time to join the assassins :D. I need to not take it too hard, though - I have mild fibromyalgia and also hurt my quads last challenge (still not sure how). THIS CHALLENGE Diet: - Continue with Intermittent Fasting, for at least 5 out of 7 days per week (I plan to do this every day but want to build in for the possibility that context makes it very difficult). - If snacking, try to mainly stick to dark chocolate, fruit/veg (e.g. apple and nut butter), but nothing in particular is forbidden - Try to have a pea protein shake every day (my reward for the last challenge was a mini-blender) Fitness: - Do 2x Bodyweight workouts (right now, Level 1) per week (modifying where necessary, i.e. to help my quads heal, and eventually to upgrade to knee pushups) - Do at least 1 20s plank, for at least 5 days pw Assassin skills: I was absolutely terrified to do a wall handstand but I've now managed to hold one for 60s. I want to practice so I'm able to do this easily, and start attempting 1-2 seconds free (by taking my feet gently away from the wall). So my challenge is, as long as it isn't hurting my quads... - At least 30s wall handstand for at least 5 days pw Life: - Continue playing softball (again, quads dependent) - Identify a sewing project, and then do the project! My reward will be a pull-up/chin-up bar to put over my door Or an Assassin's Creed t-shirt to work out in!
  9. After 18 consecutive challenges here, I've made lots of progress but the challenge format is no longer motivating me, so I've decided to make a shiny battle log to track the projects and habits that I'm working on As an introduction, I'm a 25-year-old software engineer from Cambridge, UK and I like to do: gymnastics & handstands trapeze, gymnastics rings & slacklining weightlifting & bodyweight bouldering football healthy eating & living spanish salsa dancing piano composition travelling competing for Britain at mental calculation The colours are used to distinguish topics so my posts are easy to read. So my format for this battle log is to have a few projects going on at any time, which I'll start/stop whenever needed, and set specific goals/challenges when I want. When I need accountability, or have something cool to share or something to ask, it will go here There's also potentially a new cool thing that I'll mention later on if I think about it more seriously... ~~~ Current projects (updated May 12th) ~~~ Climbing / bouldering: I'm going on a mountain-climbing trip in Italy in June, so I want to get my skill back to make the trip as enjoyable as possible. There's going to be via ferrata, a glacier, and probably rock climbing involved so I want to be prepared! Healthy eating: although I like eating healthy foods, in practice I have too much unnecessary foods - that make me over-full, have energy spikes or bad skin quality. When I ate super well in 2013 these things were never a problem. not impulse-eat desserts eat bigger portions of healthy food if needed find a greater variety of foods to eat at home (otherwise I default to 4 bowls of cereal, which cant be good). Training outside regularly: in 2014-2015 I was training regularly at the various things in green and red above - and the zenith of my training was probably last Summer when I made the compilation video (in my signature). Since then I moved place and we had a long cold season and I'm out of the habit. I want to be doing handstands/rings several times per week, and getting stronger again!
  10. This story is not about him. For most of my life, I waited for Gandalf to show up. Not literally, although that would be cool, too. Most of the time life was fine; things were comfortable, I had no real complaints. But some days I'd sigh and wail and wonder why Gandalf never came to my door to say, "Here's an adventure, off you go." Then one day it occurred to me. What if I'm not Bilbo? What if ... I AM GANDALF?!? What if all along, I've been living this hobbity life and the whole time I'm really a meddlesome wizard instead? And I just never knew it? (You'd think I would notice; hitting my head on the ceiling, all the chairs are too small ...) So this challenge will be about this Adventurer finally getting her teeth into some adventures. Goal 1: The Financial Adventure So I looked at my list of things I want to do (see previous challenge) and the obstacle I kept running into over and over is, "This costs money, which I don't have." Finish the remodeling? Money. Classes/lessons of any kind? Money. Things that require equipment? Money. Things that require travel? Money. Things that require classes, equipment, and travel? You guess it, money again. And I don't have cable, buy daily lattes, get manicures - any of the things people suggest you cut out to save money. My budget's pretty tight. However, I do have a habit of impulse purchasing things that aren't stupid but I don't necessarily need right now. And if I didn't have any credit card debt, I'd have money for more exciting things. The plan here is threefold: 1. Stick to the monthly budget. I'm going to try the cash-in-envelopes system. When the cash is gone, nothing more can be purchased. 2. Save what's left. At the end of the month, if anything remains, it goes into savings to guard against emergencies so I don't have to charge unexpected expenses. (If I manage to stay on budget, there should be some money left at the end of the month.) 3. Pay down debt. I get side jobs from time to time. The money from these will be split in half. Half can be spent on non-essentials (paint for the remodeling, yoga class, books I really want, etc.). The other half goes to pay down the credit cards. Goal 2: The Cooking Adventure One thing you don't want on an adventure is a lot of extra, unnecessary stuff. Everything I've read about backcountry hikes says that 35 pounds is the absolute upper maximum amount you want to carry. Well, I'm already hauling 60 extra pounds with me every day. Eating cleaner has helped, but I think I've gone as far as I can with that alone. The time has come for ... calorie counting. (Insert ominous music here). I decided to take the hassle out of it by planning four weeks ahead, figuring out the calories in each meal. Each week, I'll pre-prep 4 servings each of 3 different meals. And just to be adventurous, I'll be trying many new recipes. I'm going with a "mostly Paleo but not obsessing about it" theme. I got a kitchen scale in order to be sure I'm getting the correct portion sizes. This week will look something like this: Breakfast: Eggs and any vegetable (but probably broccoli), and a banana for approximately 400 calories Meal Option 1: Meatball stew (my own recipe), sauerkraut, and an apple, 398 calories Meal Option 2: Thai chicken zoodle salad (NomNomPaleo) and strawberries, 416 calories Meal Option 3: Spicy tuna cakes (NomNomPaleo again), brussels sprouts, and an orange, 388 calories I also have a list of healthy/reasonably healthy 100 calorie snacks, from which I can pick two a day. This should put me at around 1400 calories a day, but I'll allow up to 1500. I'll also have two "free" meals a week - they still need to fit the calorie plan, but don't have to be prepped ahead of time so I can have what I'm in the mood for. I also have a couple of different breakfast options in case I get tired of eggs and broccoli. Goal 3: The Adventure Adventure There are a few things on my list that require little to no money. I'll start with those. 1. Cartwheels! I always wanted to do a cartwheel, but being an unathletic child with overprotective parents who were terrified I was going to hurt myself, I never managed to do one. The first step, it seems, is a handstand. So I'm going to follow the plan in Steve's post (https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2013/10/24/how-to-handstand-better-than-luke-skywalker/) and add five minutes of handstand practice to my daily workout. 2. Walk the Parks - Last summer/fall I went on Park Quests to all the local city parks. Now I'll be expanding to the state. This challenge I want to walk all 20 miles of trails at the nearest state park. The park is only about 20 minutes away, and I can get an annual parks pass for $50 or I can go twice and pay the $7 entrance fee for a mere $14 - the parks pass is the better value, but it will depend on my budget. Bonus Goal: The Art and Character Adventure Bet you were wondering where that 34% more art was, weren't you? I want to have more fun with my Stealthstitcher character, and since I have to draw for work I hardly ever get around to drawing for fun. I'm going to combine the two and at least once a week, do some challenge/character related drawing. I've got ideas; I just have to sit down with my pencils and paper and get to it. I also want to complete my character sheet with my epic quest checklist.
  11. Last Challenge, I didn't have many concrete goals because I was living a bit vagabond-ish. This Challenge is going to be about going back to the basics of my life: sleep, practicing, food, and foundational gymnastics skills! The format will be a @maegs-style checklist of things to do every day. And the theme is going to be Tenth Doctor gifs, because, idk, that's the kinda mood I'm in. Sleep I am totally in the swing of using my sleep cycle app! My sleep goal for this Challenge is to get 8 hours or more of "time in bed." (i.e. since the app can tell when you physically fell asleep, it tells you how long you spent between putting the app on and the alarm.) Ideally, this would always mean getting to bed early, but realistically it might sometimes mean sleeping late. Right now my average time in bed is 7:07. i hope to have it approaching the 8 hr mark by the end of the Challenge! Checklist item: Was I in bed for 8 hrs or more the previous night, yes or no. Practicing This is something I haven't talked about much on here, but I am a freelance classical musician and finding the time/motivation to not only retain your skills but hopefully actually improve while not having a fixed schedule and travelling a lot is hard. Most musician my age/position basically go back to school for multiple post-undergrad degrees (masters' of music! Artist Diploma! Performance diploma! Chamber music diploma! So many options!) just to have the institutional support of a school or conservatory while they practice and hope they win a job some time soon, and I chose not to do that because I just really don't like being in school all that much and, well, didn't want to. (Also I won a one-year full-time orchestral position for last year, so partly I didn't have to.) So I have more professional orchestral experience than a lot of my peers my age, but I don't have an official teacher or a nice practice room or the motivation of regular placement auditions in school ensembles to keep me going. Basically my career right now is an exercise in being hella self-motivated. Checklist item: 2 hrs of practice and 1/2 hr of reed work, every day. Food One of the houses I stayed at in Thunder Bay was a friend who has a bunch of roommates and they are all very into fermentation! They eat lots of rad food and I am inspired to try to make friends with some bacteria this Challenge. For now, the two foods I want to try are yogurt and sourdough. Yogurt because I eat a ton of it so why not make it healthier and super cheap. Sourdough-- I had actually never tried non-commercially-yeasted bread before two weeks ago? And it was ind of a revelation, in that I always thought I just didn't like bread, and that bread was a tasteless substance that went down like sandpaper and made me feel heavy and lethargic and I was just not into it. TURNS OUT bread is actually a magical food that has actual taste and texture and nutrition and is filling and awesome. I dunno how to turn this into a checklist... once I get the sourdough started, "feed sourdough" will probably be the item! Making yogurt will be more of a once-a-week thing, but I aim to always have homemade yogurt on hand. Handstands For someone who's been going to gymnastics multiple times a week, I sure can't hold a handstand for very long. It's actually pretty pathetic... I can't hold it at all, basically HANDSTANDS ARE KIND OF IMPORTANT IN GYMNASTICS. Checklist item: Every day, a 1 min wall handstand and 5 attempts at holding a freestanding handstand for as long as I can. And that's it! I'm going to keep lifting 3x/week and going to gymnastics when I can, of course, but those aren't really things I ned to Challenge myself to do any more Oh, and I am visiting a friend in Montreal this week, so I am probably going to keep week 0 as week 0 and post a bit but only technically start counting stuff at week 1.
  12. Hi, I'm Mad Hatter, a dabbler and explorer of the circus arts as well as a climber and all-round messer-arounderer. And this is my battle log, where I'll be tracking some of the fun skills I'd like to learn this year (current level in brackets): Handbalancing 10s consistent freestanding handstand (extremely inconsistent handstand kickups, but can occasionally catch long holds 15+ seconds) Make shapes in forearm stand (need the wall to stabilise me) Flying crow (solid crow and ok flying pigeon) Crane (can sometimes hold it for a split second) Crocodile (can balance a finger tip supported variation for a short time) Acrobatics Back walkover (have all the prerequisites but have mental hangups) Front walkover (have all the prerequisites but have even more mental hangups) Flexibility Feet to head cobra DONE! New goal: Ankle grab (I'll add pictures for the flexibility goals these are hard to quantify) Left split (can do it with bad form) Right split *almost* as good as left split (I injured my hamstring a really long time ago and it's never been the same since) Middle split Contortion No hands cobra (as soon as I lift both arms I face plant) Cheststand (have the flexibility for it, but not the strength) Press from bridge to forearm stand Bouldering Climb 10 black problems (can climb most red problems, have climbed 1-3 easy black problems this year) Strength Nice push-ups (almost there) Dips (need heavy assist) 5 pull-ups (3 on a good day) Strict toes to bar (can kind of do ugly ones) Dragon flag (negatives are haaard)
  13. My work week is Thursday-Monday. So that's how I am gonna run this challenge. Thursday the 12th will be day 1 for me. 1. Restore My Honor like Zuko (+2WIS +2STA +1CHA) (1x 1pt/day) Ok. So. My main goal for this round will be to actually finish the challenge. For the last few months, I have gotten halfway, two-thirds, a week. I need to stay here.. Post to thread every day even if it is a short post. Stay engaged. Stay on target. Level to 5 damnit. HONOR. 2. Handstands Like Ty Lee (+2STR +1DEX +1STA) (2x 2pts/Week) I finally went to the handstands class at the Philadelphia Circus School yesterday that I was trying to go to all last challenge but got knocked off my course by a cat bite to the hand that swelled up like a balloon. So I've learned some new things I can do to help with my handstands. The whole routine takes about 45 minutes - 1 hour. Handstand routine: Warm up Inchworm + Pushup: 2x length of room (or at least to 10) Handstand T Drills: Alternating legs 2x length of room Handstand Switch kicks:This Main leg only 2x length of room Handstand holds: Hold as long as possible free handstand, step forward 2x length of room Handstand hold + Roll: Only if i have a mat. Hold handstand as long as possible, roll out. Facing the wall handstand: Hold for up to 1 minute 2x. Hips against wall, ribs off wall. shoulders as shrugged as possible. Hallow body hold progression: from last thread. Work up to 1 minute each progression Pike up straddle down: Lay on back, arms up legs straight, bring feet over head with straight legs, touch the floor behind you with toes, sink down a bit into pike then open legs slowly to straddle while controlled rolling back to starting position. Straddle work: Lay on back, pike legs, open to a straddle slowly, close fast to pike. Legs remain at 90 degrees from floor/body Yoga Ball Pike up: This 2sets 5 reps. Hanstsand Pike-Straddle Jumps: Stand in forward bend with hands on floor, arms straight, feet together, Jump into low pike. When feet are off the ground, butt is high and back is straight, open to small straddle, return to pike before feet hit the ground. DO NOT ARCH ( I am very archy). Plank shrugs: 10 reps Plank wrist circles; 10 rep each direction Hanging leg raises: 10 reps 3. Split like Mai's Detachment (+2DEX) (2x 1 pt/week) Okay, I know this pun is a stretch. Give me a break. Work on splits twice a week for 15 minutes. From this image. Splits routine: Warm up Front: True lunge Low Lunge Single leg hamstring "reverse lunge" Pike stretch Hip Flexor lunge Split Middle split Butterfly Frog Side Straddle Hamstring Straddle Straddle split 4. Kicks like Azula (+2STR) (1x 2pts/week) I have kickboxing classes I paid for but didn't use. We're gonna start using them. Tuesdays (except today because I am way sore from handstands class) 5. Teatime like Iroh. (+2CON) (+1points for every successful swap day or avoidance) I've eaten a lot of cookies recently. too many cookies and too much alcohol. I am gonna do some swaps. Cookie/sweets cravings for a yogurt. Alcohol limit of 2 per week. Then tea or coffee. LG. Find a 2nd source of income. I am broke and its terrible. I signed up to be a driver for amazon flex, but its not started here yet. So. I really need to find some interim money. It is very stressful. Scoring (15/88) - 17% 1. 5/28 - 17.9% 2. 4/16 - 25%% 3. 1/8 - 12.5% 4. 0/8 - 5. 5/28 - 17.9% LG. No Progress
  14. I'm taking week 0 to reconsider all of my health goals, so this will be a work-in-progress post to mark what I've come up with so far before posting my goals for this challenge. First, a recap: September - October 2015: Rest and recovery from injury. November - December 2015: Start BBWW and walk-at-home again. January: Improve cardio/BBW to pre-injury levels. February: Posture, attitude, and start Parkour. March: Pushups, pullups, re-injury. April: Recovery, pushups, pullups, begin walking outside. Considering two injuries in the past 8 months, I'm making good progress. I've had a lot of fast beginner gains, and now it's time to knuckle down and just keep at it. I did let pushups slip last month by overdoing planks and handstands for the mini-challeng. Since I did improve in those two areas while not losing progress in pushups, I'm not going to view that as a loss. Moving forward, then, I want to focus (long-term) on: Pushups and pullups. These translate directly into improvement in parkour, which relies heavily and upper body strength. Walking outside. Specifically walking. I don't want to feel pressured into running - just get outside and move my body on a regular basis. Personal fun goals: Handstands. I don't know why these make me happy, but they do. If something works, go with it! Parkour. Again, it makes me happy. I need to keep it at my speed though, and not try to push too fast and re-injure myself (again). Things I don't want to focus on: Food. I've got good habits and typically come in slightly under, with some days way under goal. Check in now and then, but I'm not going to stress on this. Measurements. I've been doing measurements 1ce a month, this year, and it seems to be going well. Slow and steady improvement without obsession. "Should"s. Blame this on a lingering tendency toward perfectionism and competition. "You should run, not walk." "You should go to class every week." "You should eat less/more/paleo/vegan/etc." "You should be progressing faster." No. I should be listening to my own body and going at a healthy and sustainable rate, rather than listening to my criticism and pushing to injury or anger. I'll add checking my assumptions to my monthly measurements. To be continued.
  15. This month is about arm strength. Nothing says strng arms quite like holding one's entire body up with ones arms. For July's Pretty Muddy for Cancer Research, I imagine the extra strength gained doing this will be a fair advantage. So here's what we're gonna do! Main Quest: Execute a free standing handstand by the 4th June. (18XP, STR +3) I did my first ever wall handstand yesterday... On the sofa. Do 20 minutes of handstand related work every day. (16XP, STA +1) I'll get there if I just... Keep... Trying! Modify my workout routine. (16XP, DEX +1) Everything seems a bit overwhelming trying to fit in 3 days of strength, 3 days of running, 5 days of horse riding and 1 day of swimming plus 7 days of handstand training on top of work and chores and life.. So we're gonna squash all the weight training into one day, all the bodyweight training into another, swimming once a week, running twice and riding 5. We'll see how doable that is. Work on hand grip by hanging off of things. (16XP, CON +1) What's the point of having strong arms if you can't get a good grip on whatever it is you need to haul yourself over? Do 10 strict pushups daily. (16XP, CHA+1) I can't do 10 strict push ups in a row. So they'll be done throughout the day, a little closer together each time until they're done in one go. Side Quest Save £400. (18XP, WIS+3) I saved £300 last challenge so the hole in my savings account wouldn't be too dire when I booked my holiday. Now I need to start building i back up, while saving for spending money for the holidfay at the same time! All in all, I think the bigggest challenge here is going on in my head. I've always been too chicken to do anything head first - handstands, cartwheels, diving.. It's all terrifying. I can't even jump into my bed with it's 300000 pillows and cushions without putting my arms up first. So this'll be interesting!
  16. I apologize for the Meghan Trainor reference, but with a balance/stability-focused challenge (and as the owner of a large...bass) I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Now, let's get to the good stuff! Stability Training: Balance is an essential component of a strong bjj game. There are times for movement and times to root in place. This month I want to focus on rooting myself into the mat, so that I am less easily moved by my opponent. Core strength is one component of this, but just as important is learning how to direct my weight through my legs and arms in a variety of positions. Practice yoga 2 x per week 5 minutes handstand training 6 x per week (more for fun than for bjj ) Diet: I'm still working on losing weight. I've fallen off the wagon with tracking my food and don't enjoy the feeling of uncertainty. Also, wheat has really crept back into my regular eating, and it is making unhealthy choices all too easy. Track calories daily and maintain weekly caloric budget 2 servings or less of wheat per week Write the Story You Want to Read: I've been struggling with writing a lot since I took my writing class. I need to recapture my excitement for my novel and set myself up for success with the writing process. I think I'm starting to understand what is tripping me up, so now is the time to push through the initial writing friction and get some momentum going. Week 1 Timed writing prompts just for fun, 2-3 per day, every day this week. Fine tune your story world and plot, learn more about your characters, and create something you're excited about! Writing goals will shift weekly, but I'm aiming to be up to my usual 1,500-2,000 words per day by the end of the challenge.
  17. Nationals is April 13-15. BRING IT ON. So, yes, this challenge is awkwardly cut in half by the only competition that matters, but I think I have found some goals I can work on in both the playoffs and post-season. To get pumped, I am going to look to our bitter rivals: cheerleaders. And what do you know, there happens to be the perfect film about cheerleaders and THEIR OWN BITTER RIVALRIES. It's like it was meant to be. Goal 1. Talk the Talk, Now... Roll The Roll? Mobilize with a foam roller, lacrosse balls, wine bottle, baseball, etc. at least 4x per week I talk about mobility and the importance of doing this all of the time, but do I do it? Naaaaaaht really. Goal 2. Spirit Fingers Work on hand balancing, preferably handstands but other things are acceptable as well, for 60 minutes a week Good for the core, good for the joints, good for the mindspace. Pretty much EVERYONE should be working on handbalancing all the time. Goal 3. Rise Above Actually boulder 4x over the challenge You have the membership and while the gym is beautifullll, you could probably actually take a bold move and use the walls to get into that bouldering groove! You know it's fun after all! These may happen entirely after Nationals, and that is okay! Goal 4. Get Yo Learn On Duolingo German 20 lessons a week Everyone else is doing it and the app makes it easy to. Why not?
  18. My biggest problem isn't that I don't know what I'm doing. It's that I know too much, and in so knowing, forget how little I know. I have a bunch of different programs that all want to work together. But I haven't really done the work of putting them all together properly, and it's been to my detriment in the past. And it's trying to be now. Still, as it's been pointed out to me, I'm wise enough to know when something is working and when it isn't, and there's no shame in making adjustments on the fly. Putting a bunch of pieces together and adjusting quickly as I need to with the aim of building something better? Sounds like Tetris to me. Okay, so. Goal 1: Nighttime Meditations I originally tried to do a program with the idea of switching between various forms of meditation. Parts of it were interchangeable, but, ah. I didn't know which parts. Since I have some time for meditating set aside in the morning, I'm going to use it for shorter exercises. The longer part, the thing I let slip because it didn't belong, was the longer time of stillness which I find that I need. Goal 2: Writing Making writing a goal last time was a good idea. But it's incomplete. I didn't write every day like I wanted to, and I want to break the curse of the five missing days. To spice this up a bit, we're going to move my standards a bit, so that I'm doing more for minimal, nominal, and maximal standards of performance. Goal 3: NO MORE CHEAT DAYS You can't build what you want by just doing what you want. No. You have to make the blocks fit together, earn the spaces and such. This will not be easy, with my folks being prone to celebration at the drop of a hat, but that means all the more reason for me to do my diligence. Goal 4: Condense Training Whether I like it or not, I'm not really going to be in charge of my schedule much longer. So, I have to work with my training to make it fit everything. There's lots of reasons to do this - for starters, the present modifications I've done make for a very lopsided training split; A day is short and B day is long. That bothers me, because I feel like I'm trading efficacy for peace of mind, and that's not what I need. Additionally, I'm finding that the handstand work I tried to cram in doesn't really fit together with the pike presses. It flirts with failure too much, and that bothers me. And in addition to that, I have a very physical job coming up, and I've got to balance what I'm doing out here with the demands of the work there so that I can be effective. On the other hand, though, playing around with fatigue is proving to be just loads of fun. You'll see as we go. Anyway, the name of the game here is to not let any one training session exceed an hour in length. Ideally, bring it down somewhere between 45 and 60 minutes. I will be timing these sessions to double-check myself and make sure that I'm not being too crazy. ... Yeah. Yeah. Okay. This'll work.
  19. Background: Now that that’s out of the way, New Challenge Time! So, as we know, I’ve (still) been struggling with some depression-related stuff lately. My last challenge was all about making sure I did at least something every day, whether it was solo capoeira practice or pull ups or reading a book or practicing some breathing exercises to get grounded and not succumb to a panic attack. This method was great at making sure I felt at least a little accomplished each day. On my rough days, I considered doing this again, but then I felt like it’s “not enough” - it’s very much reactive or just a method of not letting me slide backwards too much on my goals. On my good days, I considered switching back to a laser focus method and starting to hold myself accountable again… but then I cycle through the thoughts of how bad it will feel when I inevitably don’t do as well as I think I should. Depression is a liar and a bitch. So I’ve come up with a baby step up from my previous challenge: The Short List There are two lists: Mental/Emotional and Physical. Each day, I am to complete at least 1 category/item from each list. Each day, each list is pass/fail. Since I know that doing dailies is pretty darn hard to maintain (particularly on the Physical side), I will consider an 80% success rate pretty darn good. Since it’s entirely likely that all that is too easy (please let it be too easy, oh please let it be too easy!), I’m implementing a few bonuses. Stuff that I can feel extra good about accomplishing, but not beat myself up over if I don’t quite make it. I haven’t quite figured out what the bonus points will be for, but I will probably figure that out when we figure out how much our tax refund will be on Tuesday :3 it will probably have something to do with how much I get to spend on shinies now versus plugging away into savings or debts. WILL UPDATE WHEN I FIGURE OUT THIS DETAIL! To be clear: the only part that matters as far as completing the challenge is concerned is doing ONE item from each list each day at an 80% success rate. The Bonus Points are just that: Bonuses. Let's go!
  20. Beach season is coming. 1. Punch stuff/workout: (56 Pts total challenge) +3 STR +1 STA I am still deciding how best to do this one. 2 pt each workout Workout before work? +1 extra credit point 2. Handstand practice/classes: (28 Pts Total Challenge) +4 Dex Goals: Attend at least 1 handstand class at Circus School of Philadelphia. (10 Pts) Practice handstands, and handstand strengthening exercises for 1 hour on weeks you do not attend the handstand class. I figure, If I do this the same 3x week that I do the splits things, About 20 minutes a day of focus. Seems doable. (2pts each time) 3. Splits: (24 pts Total Challenge) +4 Dex Work on Splits for a total of an hour per week. I would like to focus on middle splits since I technically have the other two, though they could be better. Breakdown: 30 Minutes Middle splits. (10 minutes 3x/week?) 1pts each time 15 Minutes other splits. (5 minutes 3x/week?) 1pt each time both legs combined 4.Foodstuff: (64 Pts Total Challenge) +1 STA +1 WIS +1 CON Food stuff is going to be my primary focus, I know its last, but It's gonna have the most points to give, so it's weighted to food stuff which is my struggle above all else. Each goal is included in the next week as well. Week 1 Goal: Wear FitBit Every day. (7pts/ week) Week 2 Goals: Bring lunch every day at work + Week 1. (12pts/ week) Week 3 Goals: Eat a Protein Rich Breakfast every day + Week 2 (19pts/ week) Week 4 Goals: Track food intake on FitBit + Week 3 (26pts/ week) Ate Lunch from meal plan? +1 Extra credit point. Try not to be tempted by all the snacks. LG: Build Or Start Building a Ty Lee Cosplay! Not for points. Surprise $500 vet bill on day 2 of challenge makes me believe this will not happen soon. Total Points: 17/172 - 10% Week 1: 17/33 - 51% Week 2: 0/38 Week 3: 0/49 Week 4: 0/52
  21. Hi there. It has been a long, long time since I've done a Nerd Fitness challenge. For a while I needed to clear my head and work out some issues I was having with food. But then I was just cruising and doing well on my own and everything was cool. And then... I had a very bad winter. My lifelong struggle with depression had a recurrance, and my family has been sick an insane amount. I feel like I need to come back to some sort of support for getting my eating and fitness back on track. Here's the thing though... I'm still miles away from the beginning of my journey. About 6 years ago I fell in love with aerial arts and circus, and now at the worst, I still go to classes once or twice a week. I have some health problems that are affected by what I eat, and so I have to mostly eat homemade food (even when I'm sick as hell and don't want to fix anything more than steamed rice). So even in the depths of a rough winter I'm still eating OK and am somewhat active. But... being less active than usual and eating plenty of home cooked food you can still put on weight. So I'm maybe 8-10lbs over where I'd like to be, and a lot of my supplemental training has fallen by the wayside. My goals are going to be fairly basic for this first challenge back: Plan and pre-prep all my meals for the month. I'm a huge fan of the book Fat Loss Happens on Monday and I know planning my food is super helpful. Being too exhausted and depressed to prep meals has been dragging me down for months. This is going to be my main focus for the next 4 weeks. Use a meal grid, plan food, get back in a good grocery routine and pre-cook all my lunches/prep dinners on the weekend. (eating) Spend some time re-thinking my training schedule & supplemental training so that I can transition from a focus on aerial to a focus on handstands and partner balancing. (training) Handstand every day. Stretching my wrists counts as "handstand training" on any day when my wrists are bugging me. (training) Make some progress revising the fanfiction novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo in November. (life)
  22. Well, not gonna make a big deal of it, but things kind of fell apart last challenge. A lot of the things that I wanted to do... they just didn't get done. The biggest problem, really, was one of schedule, and of not paying my dues daily. So. Gotta set this up differently than I did it before. Goal 1: Apply to One Gig Daily I refuse to call it job hunting. The days of the job are dead, at least until I level up. But to go from one gig to the next? Okay. I can do that. Goal 2: One Codecademy Lesson Daily Last time was too big. Need to learn from this. Go smaller. Goal 3: Writing Daily To the tune of my standards. I have set up minimal, nominal, and maximal goals for me to hit. It's worked before, but I've been slacking. Need to get back to doing this because I love it and I am poorer without it. Goal 4: Pray Daily For better or for worse, it's the Lenten season. So, since we're in the spiritual training season so to speak, I figure it's appropriate to make a thing of it. I haven't missed so far, but I'm feeling paranoid, so I'm going to make this a part of the challenge going forward. I beg y'all's pardon if I sound terse. I promise, it hides nothing. Just... really excited to get to work on getting everything put back together again. So. Let's go to work.
  23. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Episode III THE JEDI PATH With the help of the Assassins, Starstuff has begun her Jedi training. Little does she know, there are agents of the DARK SIDE among the Assassins, as well. While Starstuff and her fellow Jedi Initiates strive to master the THREE PILLARS OF THE JEDI, the Sith are training, too... Main Quest: Prepare for the Initiate Trials Having gotten my basic fitness habits established, it's time to work on getting stronger, faster, and more agile. Because I've got a bunch of little things I'd like to get better at, I've combined them all in a theme-appropriate Initiate Trials quest list over on my character page. For anyone too lazy to click, I'm working toward milestones in upper body strength, flow staff, handstands, and my half marathon time. Speaking of half marathons, I might have said something crazy about not running any again until the Fall. Seven and a half months without a race? Who did I think I was kidding? I'll be running the El Sobrante Mother's Day Run Half Marathon in May. The First Pillar: The Force Goal 1: Keep up with my Force training I've got a pretty good thing going with my running and strength training schedule, and I want to maintain that, so here's what I need to do to meet this goal. Run five days a week, according to my half marathon training planAcademy Bodyweight Level 2 workouts three times a week, with 5 minutes of handstand practice for the "Bonus Level" portion15/30 50%50% The Second Pillar: Knowledge Life Goal: Add to the Jedi Archives I've been making a lot of progress lately in my fitness and flute playing, but I've also been neglecting my writing in a serious way. The first draft of this novel has just been sitting here, gathering dust for a couple months now, and that's no good at all. So, my life goal this time around is to spend 15 minutes every day editing my novel. They don't even have to be consecutive minutes, as long as I get them all in. 13/26 50%50% The Third Pillar: Self-Discipline Goal 2: Master my diet I've built a great foundation for my nutrition, and now it's time to bump it up to the next level. For this goal, I need to have a protein source and a vegetable in every meal. 13/26 50%50% Goal 3: Lightsaber practice I spent a little bit of last challenge playing with my staff, but now it's time to get serious learning some moves. For this goal, I need to spend fifteen minutes every day practicing moves from the beginner staff lessons on Home of Poi. As with my editing, these minutes do not need to be consecutive. A couple minutes here and there is fine as long as it's quality, focused practice for those couple minutes. 12/26 46%46%
  24. Let's get this challenge started!! MAIN QUEST: To be most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe, basically. Last challenge was all about getting back on the horse and reestablishing some basics. I learned some valuable things in the process, and I got a bit of excellent news in the acting department (I will be in the ensemble of a production of Evita this summer!), all of which is leading me towards this, my building blocks challenge. And what better building blocks exist than Legos? QUEST ONE: THE ENDGAME [+2 STR] When you buy a Lego kit, you typically have the endgame: build what's on the box of the kit you just bought. Like a Lego Millennium Falcon. For me, I have a few fitness goals before I turn 30 at the beginning of next year, and so it's time to really focus in on working towards these things. And so, at least twice a week, I will work on: Lifting Pull-up Progression Pistol Squat Progression Leg Raises Progression Handstands A = 100% complete | B = between 50-100% complete | C = 50% complete | D = for effort Since ideally I want to be lifting 3x/week and therefore working on all of these things at least three times a week, if I pull off that third session for any of the above, I will reward myself with $5 per item towards Poe Dameron's Lego X-Wing. Because REASONS GUYS. If my Lego X-Wing didn't give me Lego!Wedge (I got Lego!Porkins instead WTF, Lego) I WILL GET LEGO!POE. (Because I sort of have a big crush on Poe...) QUEST TWO: THE SPECIAL [+3 DEX] To be most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe, one must also be able to fling the kit out the window and exercise their creative mind. That requires flexibility. And so, I'll be spending at least 10 minutes a day, 5x/week, working on exactly that. I'm going to have to up the ante on this if I hope to get even close to center splits by my 30th birthday! (Because fuck you, conventional wisdom, nearly 30 year olds can learn to do the splits too.) A = 5x/week | B = 4x/week | C = 3x/week | D = 1-2x/week QUEST THREE: PREPARE FOR PLAYTIME [+2 DEX] Building without all your necessary tools is difficult at best, impossible more realistically, and makes you look unreliable at worst. You should have all the pieces of whatever it is you want to build before you build it, after all! As mentioned, I was cast in Evita, and those who have followed me in the past know that I lament that my Latin-based dancing is atrocious. I refuse to show up to the first dance rehearsal with two left feet and awkward hip shakes, so at least once a week, I will work on tango, salsa, samba, etc. This can be through my World Tour Zumba game, classes, following along with online videos, anything, as long as the focus is on learning how to dance like I'm in a musical set in Buenos Aires. Pass = Danced | Fail = Nope Like Quest 1, ideally, I'll be doing this twice a week, so every week I manage to work on Latin-based dancing twice, I will earn myself $10 towards Poe Dameron's Lego X-Wing. LIFE QUEST: LET'S GET ORGANIZED [+1 WIS, +1 CHA] Okay, so my life has become somewhat of a disorganized mess, and I need it to be significantly less so. This is due to both my ADHD (forgetfulness + easily distracted + hyper-focus) and my eternal procrastination. So, every day, I will create a to-do list and I will make sure I eliminate at least five things from said to-do list no matter how long that list gets (and if the to-do list is somehow less than 5 items long, I must complete 100% of that list). No excuses. I will be productive and get shit done. A = 7x/week | B = 5-6x/week | C = 3-4x/week | D = 1-2x/week SIDE QUEST: PICK UP THE DAMN BLOCKS [+1 CHA] You know what's really painful? Stepping on a Lego piece. Just ow. So, it's good to pick up after yourself. For me, I have, metaphorically speaking, too many Lego pieces, which causes a mess, and really, I need to get rid of a few. So here is my decluttering quest. There are two pieces to this: Over the course of a week, I need to spend at least 60 cumulative minutes on the task of decluttering. By the end of the challenge, I need to have taken at least twenty items (average 5 items/week) either to Trade Smart, Goodwill, or another charity in addition to what's already in my donation pile. Weekly Grade: A = 60+ minutes | B = 45 minutes | C = 30 minutes | D = 15 minutes Challenge Grade: A = 20+ items donated | B = 15-19 items donated | C = 10-14 items donated | D = 5-9 items donated Time to get down to business!!!
  25. Because life has felt a bit like SadSherlock lately... Another format change woo! I'll probably be going back to the laser-focus format in the future because I really like the concept. But after having 2 challenges in a row "foiled" due to waves of depression, I'm going to try another format and kick it down to "no-fail" mode. It's GRAB BAG time! The grab bag will consist of various things I can do to earn points throughout the week (scored Saturday thru Friday) which focus on long-term happiness (physical, mental, emotional health). Each week, points can be allocated towards different rewards, which focus a little more on short-term happiness. Even if I score really low in a week, I should still have something to look forward to on the weekend, and any unspent points can roll over to the next week. There will be 3 of these rewards. At the end of the challenge, the total accumulated points will be tallied and there will be an awesome reward at the end. Let's get going shall we? The Tasks: The Weekly Rewards: The End of Challenge Rewards:
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