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  1. Showbiz The Story Last time you heard from me, I was falling down a mountain. I had befriended the Blerch who betrayed me and laid waste to the kender home of Hylo. Who am I kidding? I was the one who betrayed. I betrayed my friends and neighbors and myself. I failed. So there I was, falling down the mountain toward the forest below, pushed to my death by the very being I thought was a friend. Instead, he made me fat, slow, lazy, weak and very nearly dead. That’s right, I said very nearly. I was saved at the last minute by a motley crew who were wandering through the woods. Not that Motley Crue They used some sort of power to slow my descent. I fell pretty hard and damaged my back and ankle, but I was alive. The crew introduced themselves to me. They were very friendly. I tried to leave them. I told them about how I betrayed my friends and how I deserve to be alone. They told me how they each had their own enemies they had sworn revenge on. They banded together so that as a team they could banish these baddies from the land. I was welcome to join them and together we could save the universe. That sounded pretty cool. But I was not fit for defeating a daisy, let alone the baddest bads in the universe. I would only slow the group down. A few of them offered to help train me to get me back into shape, something that would be easy as we travelled through this rough terrain. In order to fight the Blerch and his minions, I would have to be in the best of shape. The only way to defeat him is to get stronger and healthier...and then go kick his ass. What does this mean? I will need to recover from my 2.5 months of binge everything. I was at the fittest I’d been since I was a kid and then I wrecked it all. But there is coming back from it. And I knew just how to do it. By signing up for a Tough Mudder in May! Main Quest: To train from Couch Potato to Tough Mudder I purposefully paid (well, will pay) a crap ton of money to get myself into a crap ton of shape by May the Fourth. Why? Because I am a Jedi. And because I realized I do a lot better when I have a tangible and very tough something to work toward. I need schedules and something with high stakes to get me really motivated. So Tough Mudder, here I come. Goal 1: Running (DEX +2, STA +3) 3 x a week I will run. Two days will be speed work days and one will be distance. By the end of the challenge I need to be up to 7 miles in my distance runs. Goal 2: Strength Training (STR +3, DEX +2) I will be doing Tough Mudder boot camp, parkour and weight training 5 x per week. I will mark my progress here and in google docs. In addition to this, I will be working on my handstands (because I hate crunches and planks) and pull ups 6 days a week. By the end of the challenge, I would like to be able to do 5 x 60s wall planks and do 20 x 45 degree body weight rows. Goal 3: Diet (CON +3, CHA +2) This one is a little less tangible, but I need it because I’ve been doing not so well. Instead of Whole30, I’m going to try a little bit more of a relaxed diet so I don’t feel like it’s too much. I’m doing a strict primal diet (paleo + dairy). I’m going to be strict with sugars like Whole30 except I will be allowed 1 serving of rice, wine and/or honey once per week. Side Quest: Getting Things Done (WIS +1, CHA +1)* With all of this stuff happening, plus school, plus kids I’m going to need to be highly organized. So, every day, I will need to work on my GTD system. That means I will have my list of Most Important Things and I must get through it every day. Every Sunday, I need to complete a weekly review. What does this have to do with your muse? Not MY muse. Muse. The band. The greatest band of the 21st century. When I trained for my half marathon (and my first real challenge) I listened to Muse while I ran and trained. Muse helped to get me through my toughest hurdles. Therefore, I decided that Muse shall save me again. This year’s theme is Muse. They are my muse for getting healthy. This challenge will focus on their first album, Showbiz. I will pick my 6 favorite songs to be my motivation for the week. It is mandatory that you listen to the songs I link. Mandatory. Or else you won’t know what’s going on. Okay, I made that up. But you should listen to them because Muse is awesome. Accountability To help with accountability, I have a team of people who will help me out when things get rough. Together, we will defeat evil and bring balance in these dark times. GO TEAM! *I added extra points because I have not given myself points in the past and I feel I should have the opportunity to earn some extra
  2. Hello 2014!!! So my theme for this challenge comes from a really lovely article from mega-surfer Laird Hamilton about training and being athletic after 40. It's about 5 years old, but it doesn't seem at all out of date to me. Some of the things he says ring totally true to how I live and train (eat well, but be flexible with food, train with other people, build strength you can apply), but some of the stuff was really food for thought... particularly about how other types of training can improve your performance (that and the potent analogy about what happens when you park an old car), and about doing different things on vacation. And with all that rattling around in my brain, I've decided that my first challenge of 2014, I'm going to use more traditional gymnastics training to shore up some of the weak spots in my aerial work. Basically, in December I wrapped up 2 months of hard training for a showcase, and I took stock of what was sore, and what was not. I realized that I work the HELL out of my pulling muscles, but my pressing muscles don't get as much use. And I had a really useful conversation with a coach and a friend about how it's easier for bendy people to build stability than for stiff people to build flexibility... I'm the overly bendy person who lacks stability. I'm plenty strong, but I can't always use it because my body & back are so loose. Both of these things are affecting my ability to learn further aerial skills. So it's time to do something about it... Goal 1: Modified schedule of GMB P1 + in person handstand training + aerial work. The key piece here is really going to be the handstand training, because it helps me a ton to have a coach who can point out where I'm not straight, but I can only fit that in my schedule once a week. P1 is definitely less hard than R1 (which I started, but was unable to finish because of performance training), but gives me another opportunity to work on hollow body holds and pressing. The aerial work is just to keep my toes in the pool... and to substitute in for handstand training when I can't get into that class. If the classes at my circus school are overcrowded the rest of the year, it's doubly true in January! I have a written out 6-week schedule, including rest days, so I'm going to score this 7 out of 7 per week. Goal 2: Three minute practice. This is a 1 minute handstand hold at the wall, and 2 minutes of the yoga lotus pose, 1 minute on each side. (See bonus section for why I'm doing lotus.) 6 days a week (scored at 6/6 per week). I should be able to integrate this into my P1 cool down on days I'm doing the GMB training. Goal 3: Stretch splits & backbend 3 days a week. I don't want to lose my flexibility, I want to stabilize my flexibility. Scored at 3/3 per week. BONUS: Two things that aren't really goals, but bonus things I'm working on. First of all, at the end of this challenge we're going on a short family vacation to the mountains, and I'd really like to take a chance to try cross country skiing. My husband does downhill and wants to teach our son, but I'm really not enamoured of hurtling down a hill. I've wanted to try cross country for a while, and there's a cross country resort near where we're staying.... plus it's less expensive than downhill. If there is actually snow while we're there (this is the mountains outside LA, so it's not a given). Also, as a long term yoga goal this year, I'd like to be able to fold my legs into lotus without using my hands. Hence the regular lotus practice. So for the active recovery days where I feel like doing a little yoga, I'm going to try to focus on practices that involve lotus, unless I'm really feeling like I need a sleep oriented practice or something else specific. Finally... I'm not doing an non-fitness level up goals this challenge! I'm just not feeling it this time.
  3. This challenge in some ways follows on from my previous ones but also has a couple of tiny changes. Once again I'm basing my workouts around the progressions in Convict Conditioning- they worked for me so far so I don't feel the need to mess with the formula. I'm also carrying on with the daily handstand practice although I have to admit that I've missed a lot of days between the end of the last challenge and this one but not anymore. I'm also adding in a few more daily tasks as I've found that practicing skills daily really works wonders. Enough rambling, here are my goals: GOAL ONE: Work out 6 days per week. Last challenge I tried doing three full body workouts per week but it didn't pan out too good. The on one day, off one day thing really didn't help with building up a steady routine and several days were either skipped or postponed until later in the week. Also, a full body workout takes quite a bit of time and I had to get up too early in the mornings to fit it all in before work. In these cold winter months, it's tough getting up at 5:30 when you know that you could stay in bed for another half an hour and not work out but still get to work on time. So, I'm now trying the CC Veterano programme- six days straight but each day focussing on 2-3 sets of only one exercise. A pretty intense warm up followed by very specific exercises can be done in less than half an hour if I push myself hard (which I really plan to do) so I have big hopes that I'll find it easier to stick with this programme than the last one. STR +2, STA + 2 GOAL TWO: Daily handstand and crow stand practice. I had pretty good success with the handstands on the last challenge until I over did it it pulled my shoulder so I'm going to carry on with them again but with the addition of working towards a 15 second crow stand too. One of my goals for the year is to learn to do handstand presses and being able to do 15 second freestanding handstands and 15 second crow stands are pre-requisites for having the strength to do them so this goal is primarily working towards that larger goal. DEX +4 (+2 per stand) GOAL THREE: Six weeks of healthy living. Another goal for the year is to reduce my % body fat down to 15 or lower. I'm currently hovering around 18-20% so I'm really going to be focussing on shedding the fat and adding lean muscle mainly through good diet. Following on from the usual holiday orgy of bad eating and drinking this goal is all about cutting out the alcohol, unnecessary sugars and general rubbish from my eating. So, no booze, no liquids apart from water or green tea, no chocolates and other sweet treats. CON + 3 GOAL FOUR: More Haikus! I really enjoyed writing them last time and over the Xmas period I unpacked the last of my books from when I moved house back in July and I found my copy of 'The Haiku Handbook' a guide to writing and reading haikus. My goal is to read the book cover to cover and to try to write at least 3 good haikus per week bug hopefully more. It's a bit of fun really but it feels great to exercise my creative mind. WIS +3, CHA +1. In the past I've tended to record my workouts on my battle log but from now on I want to be more a accountable so I'm going to post them on here instead and try to record more details of what I'm actually doing. I've started a new paper workout journal for this year so I'm already being a lot more thorough in my records so I've got them for reference so I see no reason not to bore everyone on my challenge thread too! Challenge on!
  4. “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. the sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.†I am a student. A student of the world, learning day to day new gruesome things that go on. Some things are behind closed doors, while others are out in the open for everyone to see. For convenience, or maybe fear, this is ignored by most of us. At least that is how I see it. It may be that I don’t have enough problems of my own, and therefore chose to look at the problems of the world, or that I seek a purpose to my existence outside of myself, so that I perhaps can make a difference in the world. The knowledge I’m gaining is frustrating, and it’s infuriating to me that it is so difficult to open the eyes of others. I have to learn to keep sane while still maintaining a decent way of life. The alternative is losing all hope and spiraling into darkness. Also.. I’m starting a pen and paper Call of Cthuhlu RPG this Friday. I thought the theme might be fitting. As Call of Cthulhu does not focus on levels, this is great, as I quit using stats and levels in August. Skill is in focus. The world is a place of horror and wonder, mystery and action. It is full of desperate people doing terrible things. Every step might bring a new horror, every door a fresh hell. #1 To be able to survive in this world I need strength. I need strength so I can escape the darkness and what resides in it. To accomplish this I will do Rank 2 of dumbbell division twice a week and parallettes training once or twice a week. (Mr. Hubby built me a pair. ) #2 To further improve my ability to see the world with new eyes (even though seeking the light might eventually drive me mad) I need to trust myself and my surroundings. I will progress into back to wall handstands. During the last challenge I got my handstands from 90 cm away from the wall to where they’re supposed to be. I can stay in that position for about 20-30 seconds before I have to walk down again. At the gym, I can bail, but at home there’s no room and I’m afraid I’ll just hurt myself if I try. I’m terrified of kicking up. I need to rid myself of this irrational fear. Practice 5 minutes a day. #3 In order to accomplish what I feel I need, I need to maintain a healthy diet. I need to be energized and alert in order to sense the dangers approaching. As I have developed an allergy to either gluten or wheat, paleo is a good way to go, but the amount of animal protein in this diet feeds the chaos of the world. I will have at least two vegetarian days a week, hopefully this number will increase, but I may have to incorporate some legumes in order to get enough calories. I come from a long line of alcoholics and the addictiveness is truly hereditary. I have a nasty sugar addiction and I’m not happy with last years alcohol consumption. I will not bring any alcohol or sugar into the house. I will stay away from sugar. I don’t eat sugar. #4 In order to make a quick escape if the darkness were to engulf my home, I need to declutter. Every night before bedtime, I have to make sure there are no dishes left on the counter. In addition to this I will clean out the toxins in my bathroom, along with stuff I don’t use anymore, tidy up my wardrobe, and maybe get rid of some of the stuff we’ve stored in the basement. If things are in good condition and I feel it’s okay to give them away, they will be donated. Strength training 0+0/2+1 0+0/2+1 0+0/2+1 0+0/2+1 0+0/2+1 0+0/2+1 Handstands 0/7 0/7 0/7 0/7 0/7 0/7 Veggie days 0/2 0/2 0/2 0/2 0/2 0/2 Sugars 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0 Alcohol units 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0 Dishes 0/7 0/7 0/7 0/7 0/7 0/7
  5. Hi I'm QofC and I'm back for my third challenge! I am currently living in Tomsk, Russia teaching English to what seems like most of the city. I am starting my challenge on January 2nd. Main Goal: Increase my self confidence! Motivation: I want to feel good about myself and eliminate the areas that make me feel like a failure. Confidence Boosters: Study Russian: Study Russian everyday, starting with 10 minutes a day and increasing 10 minutes every week. Why? This will boost my confidence because I will be able to communicate with people much more easily and I have little wins when I understand words that I studied. How? Part of my studying must include my flashcards. I can also count time spent on Bliu-Bliu, Lang-8, making flashcards, or working on my Big Book of Russian Grammar. Grading: After two exceptions I drop a letter grade for everyday I miss. In the event of extenuating circumstances I must study my flashcards at minimum and make up the additional time within the week. WIS +4 Be Polished: Be dressed and polished within an hour of waking up. Why? When I am well dressed, and I know I'm well dressed, I feel better about myself and clothing usually gives me a confidence boost. Also I won't feel like I'm not well dressed for work. How? Polished means that I am thoughtfully dressed for the day, with make-up, jewelry, my hair done, my nails done and scent. Smelling nice is a treat for myself. The only exceptions are days when I am sick. Grading: I will allow myself two exceptions. Afterwards I drop a letter grade for everyday that I miss. CHA +4 Be Prepared: Be completely prepared for classes two days in advance. Why? I always feel like a terrible teacher and person when I procrastinate on lesson planning and ultimately have a hastily put together or unplanned lesson. How? This means that I have my lesson plans written out, all printed material is printed, and all necessary materials are gathered. The only exception would be when I gust lecture because I don't often know the topic until a day or two in advance. I think I will have around 36 classes to prepare for, I will know for sure when my holiday break ends. Grading: I will allow myself one additional exception. For every non-exception class I miss I drop a letter grade. WIS +2 CHA +2 Side Quest: Practice a handstand for five minutes everyday. On days when being upside down is not an option I must sit and quietly think about handstands or practice floor planks. Grading: For everyday I miss I drop a letter grade. STR +3 Rewards: If I get an A for my Russian I will buy myself a Russian book to read. If I get an A for the first two weeks of being polished I will buy myself a new hair clip. If I get an A for being prepared I will buy myself new sock yarn. If I post 60 posts I get to change my name to something more fitting with new me! Давайте Ñделаем Ñто! Let's do this!
  6. I am going to properly fill this in when I have a bit more time so this is more of a placeholder as I want to at least get my goals set down seeing as the challenge has now started. Goal 1: get back into the routine if doing bodyweight exercises 3 times a week and for this six weeks I'm going to focus on upping my endurance so high number of reps for smaller number of sets. My targets will be for 2 sets of 20 push-ups, 2sets of 20 assisted one leg squats, 2 sets of 20 assisted pull ups and 2sets of 15 hanging knee raises. Of course, if I hit those targets before 6 weeks, I will move on to harder variations but I'd like to be getting some good rep numbers in first. My actual success with the goal though will be measured by the number of workouts per week rather than reaching certain rep counts as I want this challenge to be more about building good habits rather than hitting specific progress goals. STR +3, STA +2 Goal 2: continuing my already running 28 day handstand challenge, I hope to go beyond holding a one minute wall handstand which is the focus of that and try to get to 2 minutes and make some attempts at possibly managing some freestanding handstands. Like goal 1 though, my real target is to practice every day and establish the habit of getting upside down on a regular basis. DEX +3, Goal 3: increase my supple strength by doing active stretching every day. My introduction to bodyweight was through the first Convict Conditioning book so following on from that I'm going to be doing the three active stretches of the Trifecta in the second book- the various progressions towards bridges, L-sits and twists which tie in nicely with my longer term goals of eventually doing handstands, bridges and L-sits. CON +2, STA +2, Goal 4: get creative by doing some writing of any kind for at least 5 minutes every day. Some days it'll maybe sketching out ideas for stories, maybe I'll experiment with some poetry, whatever takes my fancy- I just want to do something creative. It may well be that my writing for the day will be an update to this thread, I certainly plan to update more often than in previous challenges, so in future I'm going to attempt to be more entertaining or interesting with my updates. I don't know how that'll end up or if there will be any kind of style running throughout them but I do hope that I'll have fun finding out. CHA +3 I'll try to do a bit more of a thorough explanation tomorrow, listing how I'll measure things and what I'll count as successes or failures and I might even try to find a way to link my title with what I'm actually doing as at the moment it's just really a mildly amusing misquotation of Spider-man rather than actually having anything to do with my goals. P.s. In future I'll also spell check before I post too!
  7. This is an anti-challenge. There will be no SMART goals and no grading. For the next six weeks, I intend to do what appeals to me, attempt what makes sense to me, and generally stay focused on qualitative life improvements. The following areas are likely to be focused on and discussed during this anti-challenge: Weight Loss I hope this is a surprise to anyone who is familiar with me. I am one of the biggest opponents of the scale for health tracking that there is. If you tell me that you want to lose weight, 99% of the time, I'll tell you that you have the wrong goal. There is, however, a time and a place for all things. Specifically, I am not strong enough, nor do I have enough endurance, to hold myself up for skills on the silks and the trapeze. In order to give this some redress, I am planning to up my strength to weight ratio by increasing my strength and lowering my weight. I will focus primarily on fat loss without sacrificing muscle growth. The goal is not to look sexier, or to see the pounds drop. It is purely to be able to have more fun in aerial class. If I happen to look sexier without the giant bulge around the middle, well, I suppose that is a risk I'm willing to take. At the beginning, I will be doing short experiments with various protocols from the Four Hour Body, including the slow carb diet, some supplements, and applications of cold as an avenue of weight loss. I started my first experiment last Monday, and while the week isn't over until tomorrow morning, the results have been surprising. Aerials I'm taking a mixed aerials class once a week at a circus school. I'd go more often, because I love it that much, but it is godawfully far away, and very non-trivially expensive. There are likely to be videos if I happen to take any. I weigh nearly 290 lbs. If I can learn these things, anyone can learn these things. I hope you find amusement and inspiration in my attempts. Juggling, Handstands, and GMB These are all things I enjoy and are often part of my training. I may try to get back into Parallettes One, or not. I'm doing the Juggling PvP, and mostly working on daily handstands. There may or may not be videos. Miscellaneous Anything else I feel the need to talk about or get off my chest, like failing at the NaNoWriMo, struggling with work, struggling with finances, or just plain struggling to get through the day.
  8. So this is my tenth challenge, which means I've had a lot of goals… some repeated, some totally failed, some awesomely successful. This time I'm using 10 as my theme, and I'm also trying to reclaim my free time - last challenge was eaten by an opera (heh, fun mental image!), but now the performances are over and I don't want to fall back into my previous time-killing, internet-surfing and tv-watching habits. GOALS: 10 pull-ups a day. Right now these'll happen in sets of 2, since that's how many I can do. There'll be a few days around Thanksgiving where I won't have access to a pull-up bar, so those don't count, but if I'm at home, I should be able to get these done. Every day. 10 handstands a week. Handstands are an ongoing goal of mine, and this seems like a good time to increase the volume of them, see if I can find the balance point a little more reliably. 10 minutes of art a week. This is a minimum, just to make me sit down and focus on personal art at least once a week. Being a graphic designer means I'm not always motivated to do my own art when I get home - but I love it when I actually do. I'm still climbing, swimming, and doing coworker workouts, drinking no more than 3 non-water drinks a week, and tracking macros/calories/measurements, but those aren't goals anymore, just stuff I do.
  9. The next few weeks are going to be crazy with work and travel and who knows what. So this challenge I'm going to focus solely on creating daily habits that make me feel good and that I can take with me through my next upcoming life transition. Side quest 1 - Splits and backbends (+4 DEX) My body tends to "curl up" when stressed and tired. Daily stretching restores it to normality. And who am I kidding, I want to become super bendy. Side quest 2 - Happy meals (+4 CON) Simple, the rule is to eat food that makes me happy. Tasty food = good, binge eating = bad. Side quest 3 - Dance! (+4 CHA) Get my boogie on for ONE song a day. Bonus for shimmying, bumping and grinding. Haven't completely forgotten about my Epic Quest Life side quest - Learn to draw! (+3 WIS) I've always wanted to learn but I suffer from a severe case of blank page syndrome. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, I'm going to make one drawing every day this challenge. Quantity over quality! Handstand PvP (+5 AWESOME) 5 min of handstands every day
  10. | main quest | simply lose fat, gain muscle specifically..i would like to weigh around 75-80kg, although i would rather be 85kg and strong, than 75kg an blown over in a light breeze! i want to be able to dead lift 150% BW, squat 100% BW, bench 100% BW and perform 5 chinups in a row.. i want biceps, lats and a squat butt! i have been walking this path for near on 18 months now, but had massive fade outs and drop outs, then having to restart.. i want to get some dedication and consistency into my training and routine.. some accountability.. Pure vanity is the motivation! I turn 40 next year and want to be, and look, fitter and stronger than I ever have before. while i realise that my long term goals lean much more towards the warriors, i am not yet ready to make that transition . i am still eating and working out to lose weight rather than to gain muscle, and I still have a lot of other stuff going on in my life that would distract from a pure muscle bound challenge. the big thing this challenge is to become a pure non-smoker.. i have been quitting half heartedly since april.. going a few days then slipping up then quitting againI am happy to celebrate the small wins.. like i used to smoke 25-30 cigarettes a day.. now it is more like 0-5.. big changes.. but i know i need to actually make the proper commitment.. i will also be continuing the goals made in challenge 1.. ie gym/weights x3 week and tracking my calorie intake | challenge goals | | one | quit | no excuses.. no cigarettes | grading |this is a flat out pass-fail goal1 constitution point for each week without a cigarette| attribute points |con6| *i know 5 points per goal is generally the limit, but for such a big challenge i think 6 is appropriate | two | train | attend gym M-W-F and complete scheduled weightlifting session. happy to swap for 3 circuits of BBWW if unable to attend. | grading || A | 18 Attendances| B | 16 Attendances| C | 14 Attendances| D | 12 Attendances| F | <12 Attendances | attribute points |str2|sta1| | three | intake | continue eating at 1500 calories per day, tracked using myfitnesspal but making a point of not eating the exercise deficit (or not too much of it anyway)eating ~80% primal, cooking from scratch, avoiding processed food solutions as much as possible without being a complete wowser! | grading (adjusted) || A | week average 0-50 0-100 calories over daily goal| B | week average 51-100 101-200 calories over daily goal| C | week average 101-150 201-300 calories over daily goal| D | week average 151-200 301-400 calories over daily goal| E | week average 201-250 401-500 calories over daily goal| F | week average >250 >500 calories over daily goal| attribute points |con2|wis1| | four | handstands | complete the 28 day handstand challenge, but continue for the full 6 weeks.following the program i need to practice for 5 minutes every day. if i miss a session i have to make it up the following day | grading || A | average 300 seconds per day | B | average 250 seconds per day | C | average 200 seconds per day | D | average 150 seconds per day | E | average 100 seconds per day | F | average <100 seconds per day| attribute points |str1|sta1|dex1| | goal tracking report format | | 1 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | | 2 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 || 3 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 || 4 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | | specs | start | updated for start of challenge | height | cm | 181 | | weight | kg | 87.9 || body fat | % | 30.5 || measurements | cm || chest | 100 || right bicep | 35 || left bicep | 35 || waist | 84 || hips | 109 || right thigh | 65 || left thigh | 65 |
  11. Hello fellow assasins! This challenge it is back to epic quest time... when last we saw our heroine, she was trying to get stronger to build and perfect her aerial performance skills. Well... this quest it's SHOWTIME! Aside from the whole epic quest business (which is a long term real-world goal), it is indeed showtime. My circus school is staging it's biannual showcase in December. I had to sit out spring showcase for a variety of reasons (financial, and I got in a car accident the week after auditions), so I'm super excited to participate this time. While I'm not totally at the strength level to realize some of my long term performance vision, I'm definitely moving in that direction and getting into the groove of what I really love about aerial work. In addition to the showcase stuff, I turn 40 this Friday, just before the challenge begins. So I want this challenge to be fun, to celebrate what's great about being older and stronger and about what's great in my life right now. So without further ado... goals: 1. To perfect, rehearse & perform my showcase piece. I got lucky this time, I was paired with someone who normally does private lessons. Due to showcase discounts and the fact that I put aside some of the money from my accident, I can afford to work on two-person private lessons for several weeks. This is AWESOME for me. I feel like we're going to have a chance to put together something good and really polish it. However, as a "goal" this is a bit of a chaosassasin thing... I'm not going to put together a specific schedule or anything, it'll just be based on when we can work with our coach and what classes I can get in when he's out of town for Thanksgiving. Basically 2-4 classes a week in corde lisse or hammock, and plenty of stretching on my own. Possibly do some cardio (rolls eyes) to build up my endurance. 2. Handstands every damn day! Goal: go up into a handstand every day. No requirements for time or technique. Freestanding, belly to the wall, contortion handstands, it's all good. If I'm feeling sick or tired, just kick up against the wall at least once. 3. Hand, wrist & forearm recovery protocol. I'm reviving this from the August challenge (it'll take a bit for me to go back in time an find the protocol). Basically every day do 1-3 types of recovery tasks. I'm going to be adding a few to the list, including the GMB "active recovery" for rings and some inner elbow skin conditioning for elbow hangs on the corde lisse. I found this whole approach really helpful when I was building strength back from my car accident, so I'm going back to what works. 4. Bonus personal challenge: We moved house this summer. I have an office & training space! It is still a gawdawful mess of boxes. So my personal challenge is to devote some time to unpacking it, getting it organized and doing some decorating so I have a nice space to work and to do yoga. I'll post some "before" pictures it's pretty bad right now. Issues: OK, I do have to acknowledge some possible issues in this challenge. Last challenge I was diagnosed with a bone spur on my big toe joint, that makes push ups, planks and burpees problematic so I'm working out some possible alternatives for warm-ups and conditioning. Other issue, and this is a GREAT issue to have: my husband is training for his blackbelt test in roughly the same timeframe I'm training for showcase. I'm super excited for him and I want to support him as much as possible, but it's going to be a busy time for us. -jj
  12. FITNESS As part of my Operation: Middle-Age Extension, I have three specific fitness goals for this six-week challenge: 1) Move my 8 rep bench press set from 135 to 170 -- that's a little more than five pounds per week. STR 4 | 170+ A 160 B 150 C 140 D 2) Move my unassisted pull up from (sometimes) one to a consistent four. STR 2, CON 2 | 4 A 3 B 2 C 1 D 3) Move my plank from being inconsistent 30 seconds to three minutes, to a consistent two minutes. Closer to washboard abs. STA 2, CHA 2 | 2 A 1.5 B 1 C <1 D All of these goals will require a consistent dedication to a workout program and a good diet. So I will not add any diet goals this time around. LIFE I have a collection of "everys" here. I will collect every receipt for every purchase. At the end of the challenge I will post my expenditures so I can find out where my money goes, cause baby, it's not staying is Savings. I will train handstands every day. Thanks for the inspiration for that, Steve. I will get up when the alarm goes off every morning -- 5:50 on weekdays, 8:00 on weekends. WIS 3 Get online more often to support my fellow Rangers. That seemed to be a challenge for me last time.
  13. Know that feeling when you realise that you've strayed so very far from the 'real you' that you almost give up and just accept where you're at? When you just stop looking in the mirror, buy clothes without trying them on, wear black and generally just stop trying. With a whole bunch of seemingly plausible excuses for how you got to this point? Well i've felt it, it absolutely sucks and it's got to stop. Despite a very active past and a background in elite sport, I have founded two companies in the past year and taken on a whole lot of projects which keep me computer-bound and as well as the professional awesomeness I now have, I also have an extra 30lb of fat on this warrior ass-kicking body. So it looks less than ass-kicking... and I work in health, and it's hurting the brand! I have a lot of personal and professional input I can offer others here (im a Physical Therapist, Pilates instructor, former elite mountain biker and adventure racer) but I'm actually scared and apprehensive about this journey this time. I don’t have time to do the training I used to do in the past- I’m going to have to be a bit more ninja to strip this fat, and rather than be the lone wolf, I’d love some support because my self belief here is a little shaky. I can rock the world in lots of ways, but this fat and this body… it’s a weird and foreign concept and im not sure how to get rid of it for good! My goals for the next six weeks: 1. Be active everyday (move for at least 30 minutes EVERY DAY of that six weeks, no excuses) 2. Drink 2L of water daily 3. Track my food intake with an app on my ipad and be truthful! 4. Find a business partner/ employee to share the professional journey I have started I'll put some photos up here tomorrow as much as I hate the idea- I cannot fail at this again and I cannot stay stuck in this!
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