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  1. Yes, I'm changing the theme! Hey, it's only Week One. I had this thought a few days ago that took fire that I should really do a Stardew Valley-themed challenge, and it caught fire in my mind and I decided I didn't want to wait 5 weeks. This theme change is a bit of work in progress--but I'm hoping by the next challenge I'll have it more developed. You can see the new challenge starting here. Previous challenge below cut:
  2. Firstly, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you that has supported me over the years ❤️ I truly appreciate it and you all offer me a different prospective. You are all a part of my journey and I am grateful. This challenge is going to be about building small consistent habits and maintaining the ones I worked on in the previous challenge. There is a lot I want to work on and writing it all out makes it seem huge. But I am feeling good about it right now. I will review it as the challenge progresses and modify as needed. I imagine it might take me a few challenges to shake the rust off and hit 80% of my goals. I am okay with this. Nutrition: Count calories and aim for 1900-2200 cal daily > This has been the most effective way for me personally to lose weight without being super restrictive with carbs. I believe I haven't successfully got back to counting calories since before April 2022. I feel 2200 cal is more than generous and should still put me on the path to lose 1lb per week. I am going to try and come up with a few options for breakfast and lunch that can be repeated for the majority of the week. This will make it easier to track and perhaps I won't get burnt out from tracking so quickly. Mobility: Do mobility or chair exercise video twice per week > I am noticing certain movements getting harder so I have saved some short videos on Youtube that I can follow. I am hoping to regain mobility but also practice at incorporating exercise into my routine. As a bonus, most of the videos I saved aren't dependent on how my feet are feeling. I am still getting over my plantar fasciitis. Job Search: Work towards finishing HoofLog > I am still working on finding a job. I need a stronger portfolio so I can stand out. I want to finish HoofLog so I can use it but also so I have something to show potential employers. I would also like to find a better way to host the project so it is faster load. My current set up takes awhile the first time you load it which isn't good if I want to add it to my resume. Happiness: Make time to paint once per week > I have missed painting but can't seem to make myself do it. I will aim to paint once per week even if it is just for 5 minutes. Other art, crafts or even reading is also acceptable. Balance: Aim to ride Daisy at least twice per week > Visiting with Daisy and riding have a huge impact on my mental wellbeing (and physical). Daisy makes my world okay; there is a reason why I used to say that Daisy is my therapist. I am still struggling with getting on by myself so I will try to be social and ask friends when they will be up or try to be around when I know my coach is finishing up her lessons. Managing Time: Create a rough schedule and day plan > I apparently have two modes... One is I feel I have so much time to do things that I end up wasting it and doing nothing. The second is I feel guilty about taking time to do fun things because I feel I should be working to find a job in my free time... I have enough time to work on my job search, ride my horse, play with the dogs and whatever else I want to do... I just need to plan accordingly. Accountability: Post exercises and food on my health journey instagram account (jess_levels_up) + update spreadsheet every day > In the past my instagram has helped make calorie counting more interactive and fun. I put more thought into my meals and try to make them look nicer which makes them tastier. Updating my spreadsheet will keep me aware of my goals because I am very much an out of sight out of mind person. If I am not reminded daily of my goals then I will forget some. Passives > Teeth routine > 2L water per day > More veggies Thank you for sharing this with me @Sepherina
  3. Briefly, a Who I Am: I'm a 44 year old American woman living on a 10 acre woodland property in rural England I call Owlshire with my partner and 5 y/o son. I work in gamedev, our son is home educated (by ourselves and outsourced help), we have a bouncy adolescent golden retriever pup, a flock of plucky rescue hens, and as a family we enjoy nature and gaming. We moved to Owlshire not quite three years ago in the midst of the Global Pandemic/UK Lockdowns and we're still trying to find/form our tribe of fellow misfits and geeks. This challenge looks a lot like the last one, but with more travel. I turned 44 at the end of the last challenge, and my intention is to embrace the unknowns of our unique and quirky life and not worry so much that just because something changed that everything is "bad" or "wrong." Because it isn't at all! It just doesn't look quite what a past me thought it would look like! We are living an off-the-road-most-traveled adventure, and here be dragons. Dragon Form Building my strength and stamina and getting a sleeker dragon shape. Continue to aim for 80,000 steps a week. My weight at same or lower by the end of the challenge. Also, reduce snacking. This has become a real problem, I'm nibbling on something between nearly every meal and I'm not even hungry. I suspect it started as stress eating and has now become a habit I need to break. Dragon Wings Exploration and adventure at home and beyond. I have two overnight trips known for this challenge: A two day business trip to London. A three night trip to Devon for pleasure (my annual "Mum's holiday") There are some more in discussion but not yet defined. I decided not to do the cruise I was pondering last challenge, as it was causing me a lot of stress to decide on and figure out, and the whole point was a holiday plan that didn't stress me out. I haven't yet decided when or what I'll do instead. I also need to set up arrangements for trips which will happen later this year: Dragon Heart Vision, community, and mental health. Update Vision Statement One things I realized during the last challenge is that I was feeling out of sorts because life had deviated from The Vision. But actually, life was going in good--even great--directions. I'm still walking toward the same Mountain, it turns out; I'm just approaching from a different route. So I'm updating The Vision. I'm still working to align it and make the verbiage pretty rather than just a bunch of haphazard bulletpoints, but I'm already feeling better. Complete the Vision 2023 Update. Be more social Reach out and arrange things with local people. This includes with my family! Arrange regular games and outdoor activites with Enting Arrange regular date nights with Mr. Spirituality/Pagan Studies Spend more time on spiritual activities. It always ends up the first things sacrificed when things go sideways, and that's probably when I need it the most! For this challenge I'm focusing on lessons and learning as part of the pagan groups I'm in because it's easily measurable and pleases my inner Hermione Granger. Complete 3 lessons (including the one in progress) for my coven. Reinvestigate the Hearthkeeper's Way (ADF) to integrate in my practice. Dragon Horde Taking care of Owlshire, creating a comfy place to live. Continue the decluttering project. Look after my autumn garden. There are pumpkins!
  4. My best friend is coming to visit shortly after this challenge ends, and she'll be bringing along her son and husband. I cannot wait, but then again, I totally can... because I want to be in better shape for their visit. We are all going to visit Lake Tahoe and will be hiking and probably kayaking on the lake, and I want to be ready. Most of my goals will support that mission. Last challenge I lost exactly 12 pounds! Today I am 239.8 pounds and would like to get down to 227.8 pounds or so by the time they come to visit. Can I lose another 12 pounds? I think it's possible and am all for it! #1 - 4.5 hours of exercise per week, exclusive of walks I'll be doing both strength training work and cardio, as well as one HIIT kettlebell workout per week. I want to have the strength and endurance to hit those hikes with gusto, to paddle my son around on the lake, to maybe even go for a jog or do a workout at high altitude. I hope to surpass 4.5 hours as the weeks progress. #2 - write or art for 30 minutes, 3x a week I managed to completely avoid a version of this goal in the last challenge, and so I'm including it here. Last time, I asked for myself to do 45 minutes of art or writing 4x a week. I've lowered my bar and will see what I can do this time. #3 - spend 2+ hours sans-kid out in the world, 4x during challenge I'm already finding from my first foray out into childfree activity last week that I enjoy it very much. As a stay at home mom, my world is my son. That's made me a bit overly wrapped up in the role of mom, I think. It's time to plan for and spend some time out and about without him, just for a little bit. #4 - take son either on a hike or to the local swimming pool, 1x a week My son is not comfortable around water yet and I want to change that. Hence the swimming pool visits. I hope that I can get him to really like the swimming pool. Splashing in the water can be so much fun! I have him signed up for swim lessons in August, and hope to have him acclimated and excited about being in the water before then. Also, we haven't been hiking together since he was about 25 pounds and I used to carry him on my person. I want him (and myself) to become more acquainted with hiking again. This time he'll be on his own two feet. He loves being outside and observing everything, so I think he'll love our more regular hikes. #5 - control budget better by reducing food delivery orders to once every two weeks (3x in challenge) We have been spending way too much money on delivery food. That is all that needs to be said.
  5. In the latter half of last year the Enting started school, business travel picked up (for both me and Mr), and just to top it off we all caught Covid over the Christmas holidays. During all this, I stopped losing weight and gained back some of that I'd been losing. (Thankfully, not all of it!) This year I'm keen to get my weight/BMI back down to the best of last year. But more than that, I want to be better at getting back on track when chaos ensues and I get derailed--because chaos happens, constantly. I already have good practices and habits. They work. I just need to remember to keep them going (or reimplement them) when things go wacky. The Challenge: These are my practices that I need to keep in place Use the daily planner/tracker - Daily to-dos, habit-tracking, etc. Create/use the weekly meal plan - If I get too hungry without a plan, I'll end up eating a fistful of crackers with nutella, which is delicious but not exactly healthy. 5 Miles a Day/Dog Training - Oh, did I forget to mention? We have a puppy now! Skye is a 4.5 month old golden retriever and she's my new walking companion. I love her! She came to us at 15 weeks and basically no training at all, so we've been working hard with her. Luckily, she's a swift and eager pupil and in the 3 weeks we've had her, she's already come very far! And she doesn't let me slack off my lunchtime walk (not to mention the shorter walks I've had to add in the morning and evening...). Good for her, good for me. Level Up: Spring is coming to Owlshire! I need to get started on the vegetable garden, and I want to get back into my crafts. I debated between a daily habit, or specifics, and I've decided to go for specifics: Finish the jumper I'm knitting Spin something on my wheel (or at least start it) Prepare our new garden terraces (after two disasterous winters of not being able to DIY them, we hired it out. And now we have terraces!) Get all February seeds in the propagator Get or start the March seeds Pass/Fail Parameters: This challenge is about getting back on track--and then doing it again, and again. So I need to check in each week, and if I've gone off course, I need to get back on it again. As long as I do that, it's a success.
  6. Super psyched for my first challenge! I am not quite ready for the inspired gif-stravaganza I have seen others undertake, but want to impart a simple plan here. This will be a training challenge. In the spring I laid out a plan to train for and take progressively harder hikes each month. I got to a good start but ultimatley have had a hard time sticking to the plan. I still don't have a solid plan on how I will do the actual hikes either as I don't have a current hiking buddy other than my husband. Which means I need to find someone to watch my kids. Anyways I'll dive into all those problems later. But even if I havent been able to pull off the full training and hike escalation plan I still intend to go on my penultimate hike in September anyways. It is a 10 mile hike in Glacier National Park. I have hiked it before. I am not committing to the full 10 miles but I want to do the hike even if I don't get to the summit. Because in October I turn 40. I need to do something epic-ish before the big 40. So with that said, I will be training for the hike during this challenge. Training plan is simple, get on my tread mill at least 2 times a week. I wish I could convince myself to do this more, but I think any goal higher than this is setting myself up for failure. During this treadmill time I will track my increase in elevation, distance, time, etc. I want to be able to chart it. I like charts. I have a treadmill that goes up to 15% incline and I truly believe that doing that incline walk on a tread mill is the BEST way to prepare for a hike up a mountain. I also have a Peloton bike which I intend to ride once a week. I like my bike and I would rather ride it more but I dont' think more bike time will prep me in the way I need. I need that treadmill time. When I work out I like to do what I call 'Intuitive Weightlifting' which means i set a timer to do a 10 minute minimum of movement, whatever strikes my fancy at the time. I may focus on stretching and yoga like moves, functional moves, core work, body weight strengh moves, or use some of my dumb bells. I really enjoy this method and really do notice increases in strength and ability when I do it this way. I am pondering doing a social media free challenge. I'll give that a few more days thought. I don't think I'll post daily updates here, maybe weekly, but I do want to see if i can be active in this community. I need more people on my side! Thanks for the greetings everyone! Danoria
  7. [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 young 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. This challenge is one of liminal space. Many transitions are afoot over the next few weeks: I just received a promotion at work (yay!). However, this will necessitate more work travel through the remaining year, starting in September. 🛤 Once an Adventurer… At the same time, Mr’s job is already picking up on travel - he’ll be away a few times during this challenge alone. So there will be much solo parenting for me! ✈️ The Enting is phasing out of nursery, and in September will start primary school. 😱 This will involve a major schedule/routine change on top of balancing traveling working parents! I’m already taking some steps on this, including a shift in my working hours. …Also, at the end of this challenge, I turn 43! [Challenges] Organize (Level Up): I’m giving the 12 Week Year system another go, which I’ll probably start in Week 1 since I’m not quite ready to start now. I’ll aim for 80% success each week, reporting here. Also keep using my Traveler’s Notebook to keep track of the day to day. Reach Mordor: Finally finish my (tracked) journey to Mordor. I have 255.5 miles to go! I've been hitting ~30 miles a week consistently for a while now. For this challenge, I want to get to 35 miles a week/average. (That's a daily goal of 5 miles a day, rather than 4 miles a day which had been my previous goal.) Success requirement is 35 miles a week 80% of the time. A Hobbit in Attitude, not in Width: I have a long term plan to lose a few more lbs, but at the moment I’m happy to maintain! This is a pass/fail. Admin note: I always start on Week 0, and I track from Monday-Sunday.
  8. For this challenge, I am going to focus on two things: hiking and languages. I think I'm going back to Germany next year, and I really loved learning German, so I'm going to dust off my learning tools and get back to it. I'm also going to keep studying Spanish with more intention because I really do believe that will be beneficial living in the US. Mom and I are going to Utah for a hiking trip in the fall, and we're not physically at the level we need to be for the trip. So we're going hiking a lot more! Western Pennsylvania offers a lot of great hiking opportunities from steep hills to giant rocks to climb over and cool looking streams, rivers, and waterfalls. We've already started today and I'm so tired, but I know the more we hike, the easier it will get. I'm going to stretch before and after hikes, and maybe do some supportive leg and balance exercises to protect my hips and knees. That's it! Thanks for being here!!
  9. [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 pre-school 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. However, this challenge will involve a lot of time away from home…. [Challenges] Zero Week we are headed off across the country for a wedding and will be away for 4 days. During Weeks 2-4, we will be headed across the globe to attend my father’s memorial hike in the US, staying a bit extra to reconnect with family and friends that we’ve been separated from due to life and pandemics. And in the spaces in between we’re going to be preparing and catching up on what’s fallen behind at home. … so I’m keeping this challenge very simple. Organize: Keep using the planner every day. I started it again a couple of weeks ago and it’s been so helpful. Keep on top of travel-related organization. This has its own planner… Continue to Mordor: I will aim for 30 miles walked on a week (average). 435 miles left to Mordor… my goal is to reach it by November. Hobbit in Attitude, not in Width: I’m starting this challenge with a BMI of 22. My goal this challenge is to be the same or less by the end of the challenge. I have a longer term ambition to get to 21 BMI, but at the moment I’m focusing on maintenance. I will check in weekly on Mondays or thereabouts, optional when I’m traveling.
  10. 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.
  11. [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 pre-school 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. [Goals] My fitness goals are thus: Reach Mordor Finally finish my (tracked) journey to Mordor. I’m 889 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. My goal for this challenge is 150 miles (which is an average of 25 miles a week). I will do this in a combination of longer walks but also just getting up and moving around more during the day. I can settle into my chair in my office in the morning and not get up again until lunchtime. I think it would be better to get up do shorter walks and activities on days I can’t do a longer one. More PAI Continue with PAI. For this challenge, I want to build up to an average score of 75 (and actually maintain it). I hope to do this both with my more exerting walks, but also by doing short impact cardio like burpees and jumping jacks when I can’t get out for one of those hilly walks. Less BMI (Updated Week Zero) I want to continue to reduce my BMI/weight. This will be done with increased activity and continuing to watch my portion sizes/limited snacking. I’m currently at 22.8 BMI, and I will count this goal successful if my BMI is less than it was before, or if my weight is less than it was the beginning of the challenge. (This is because BMI is a different measurement that may not “tick over” even if I’m still making progress.) Tracking will be done with a minimum of weekly updates, and of course will include plenty of Owlshire photospam. Level Up My Life: Driving Practice A non-fitness goal that I’m adding partially because it impacts my time for fitness, but also because it’s really important: practicing for my driving test. Here in the UK, Covid has caused understandable but huge delays—at the moment scheduling a practical driving test is around 6-10 months of lead time and if you fail or have to reschedule? You can wait that length of time again. My test is scheduled for 28 March and because of these ongoing delays, I’m under a lot of pressure to “one and done” that test. We live out in the country now, and being able to drive is critical, especially now that the Mr is going to start traveling for work again. So, my goal here is to minimum 2 (3 is better) practice drives a week, which is about what we can usually fit in. There is one week where Mr will be away for work that’ll impact that, but I’ll note that when we get to that week. Tracking will be done with a minimum of weekly updates, and of course will include plenty of Owlshire photospam. [Challenges] It’s likely that my husband will soon need to start commuting part of the week to his studio and I’ll be regularly solo-parenting which will require some routine adjustments. My household has a tendency to catch every germ (except, so far, Covid) that comes through the Enting’s preschool. I do not exaggerate when I say this happens about every other week. This tends to knock down my fitness goals since I become housebound looking after people even if I’m not sick myself. I’d really like to work on alternatives for when I can’t go for long hikes in the woods—which is my preference, but can’t always happen. Admin note: I always start on Week 0, and I track from Monday-Sunday.
  12. Ahhhh how I love new beginnings! The start of a challenge is the best part for me: you get to dream up your ideal day and there is always the hope of coming out on the other side having magically lost all the weight and built all the muscle and flexibility! CONSTRUCTION SITE! my body is stiff and brittle and Im old. thats the starting point. Sadly being stiff in my case means my achilles tendons are chronically inflamed and hurt. A lot! so after a year of pain Im trying different orthopedic soles, new advice from my PT and YOGA! certain holy beings among us have finished a 30 day program. So Im doing that too. I chose a yoga teacher with the cool name Fightmaster ,who sadly passed away, leaving me a 30 day beginners course to try out in her honor. I was tempted to go for Adrienne, but I can always do that afterwards. This course starts with 15 minute classes and works up to 30 minutes. I even splurged and ordered two yoga blocks and a yoga belt (??) thingy to pull your body parts in certain directions. they will arrive tomorrow. GOAL do a class daily. you may repeat or adjust classes. main thing is to move about in weird ways every day. HEADBANGERS KITCHEN I have jumped on the keto train a couple of years ago. during the first 2 years I was super diligent and my ass melted down to an acceptable size. Then I proceeded to order pizza during hard times and having croissants with jam as often as I fucking wanted. Those breaks have had my weight exploding and if I ever want be able to run a 5k or fit into my nice clothes again, I will need to change! Last challenge I managed to get back to orderly eating and lost 3kg. Now I want more! While browsing the interwebs for cheap keto recipes I found this hilarious Indian guy ( a death metal musician, thus his title!) whose kitchen equipment looks like mine. No fancy stuff there. The good dude presents keto for people who dont have money for steak every night and makes it fun and accessible. I have his book now and the latest weightloss is due to his no nonsense recipes. I want more of that during this challenge. ( why on earth did I start taking about buttery croissants? now I want one!) GOAL eat cheap and tasty keto foods, prep when necessary. have a tiny cute ass when finished! TALES OF A LOUSY WEEKEND WRITER After publishing a terribly written book in 2019 I have proceeded to call myself a writer without, well erm, writing anything. I have been avoiding writing by planning a podcast, doing other stuff and basically feeling smug about having a book out. To be honest, I like the process of being in the midst of typing down a pice of world literature. I just haven't found what I want to write about next. So during this challenge, my job is to sit down at my desk every weekend and find a topic first, then begin writing a shitty first draft of basically anything. My goal is to get back into the habit and being able to say I used the pandemic to write a bestseller. GOAL find a topic to write about and start a first draft. You must sit down every Saturday and Sunday for at least 30 minutes and stare at your dirty screen. Apart from those 3 goals you will read about the dog child, hiking at the beach, me feeling important by being involved in local politics and tales of a woman with a non existent financial budget.
  13. The early night of winter had settled softly but firmly over our little home on the outskirts of the city, and the daytime sounds of trade and travel outside had given way to the nighttime sounds of raucous celebrations and the smells of food being prepared. My husband Eamon and I had already eaten, cleaned up and put our simple wooden dishes away, and Eamon was settled by the fire, his healing body wrapped in a warm blanket and his mind wrapped up in a book he'd waited weeks to read. I took a deep breath of contentment and let my gaze linger on the small, bright little room we called home: The one big window, the hand-smoothed walls and low ceilings, the little bedroom with our big soft bed squashed inside, the cozy kitchen and eating area connected to the rest of the house by a narrow door. It was a little cramped, yes; but I loved all the touches that we'd added to make it uniquely ours. I settled myself across from Eamon in the wooden chair he'd carved and the padded cushions I'd sewn and stuffed myself. The weather was mild and rainy, and I pulled a light blanket over my knees as I picked up my new, blank journal. With my favorite ink pen, I carefully wrote inside the cover: Sky Elvenword Nobleheart Ranger Field Journal Even though I called it that, though, I knew this journal would be different than past journals I'd kept. There wasn't as much time for hunting and exploration as there used to be, and fewer enemies to fight. Many of the pages would be filled with mundane things like recipes, or tracking my archery practice and weekend hikes. But still, it felt good to be writing again, to be tracking my progress as I learned new things. I sketched out a few ideas for topic headings: Dragon riding. Lessons twice a week, practice twice a week. Cooking. Use veggies from cellar? New grain recipes for winter? Herbs? Creativity / fun! Movement. Hiking, archery, meditation, foraging, sightseeing in the city, etc. Silver Bow practice. Keep those skills sharp! Management. House stuff, money, wife stuff. Being an adult. I doodled a few leaves and vines in the margins before setting the pen down and yawning luxuriously. It was the festival of the new year and Eamon and I got to rest for three days before going back to work. I wanted to start planning some blankets for friends' new babies, dream about a garden, and venture out for a hike in the rain. Closing the soft leather cover, I ran my fingers affectionately over its wrinkles and leaned back to doze. I couldn't wait to see what adventures would fill this journal's pages.
  14. The Announcement of Intentions for this Challenge FOR THIS CHALLENGE I, SNARKYFISHGUTS, WILL COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING log food n My Fitness Pal, and make adjustments to my diet in a slow progression to a more balanced way of eating that will help me lose weight. Exercise nearly every day! I also want to go on more hikes this month! Complete a list of chores in the garden/yard. Continuously fight against the endless weeds✔️✔️ Plant lavender around the house.✔️ edge the flowerbeds✔️ put down mulch in the flowerbeds✔️ clean and treat wood railing. ✔️ Clean the service room and organize the garden tools Clean up the woodpile and burn lots of wood this month ✔️ relocate hostas ✔️ I had some extra items here, but I think this is going to be all I can get done this time!
  15. The spirit of this challenge is making small changes towards what I think is my ideal life. My ideal life has creativity, lacks excess, keeps me active and intertwines with nature. Week 3: Refocused Challenge Goals Change weekday morning routine (which was to before work Starbucks) (+1 point per thing) Out of bed by 7am on work days Brush teeth + hair Get dressed Go for walk around block if I think of going to Starbucks instead Make breakfast (no white carbs) Start work at 8am > No more Starbucks* > 5 minutes of active time per day > Meal plan I am still planning on doing my painting challenges + hikes but I didn't add them because I had a gut feeling I should leave them out. Scrapped Challenge Painting challenges: Week 0: "Art Battle" style painting (no reference and you only get 20 minutes) Week 1: Still life with something metallic and something glass Week 2: Mundane scene (ie. dirty dishes, a pile of socks) Week 3: Painting plein-air (outside) Week 4: Funny face portrait Week 5: Food
  16. It is time to return to a challenge that always seems to fill me with the energy and motivation to stay active. It is an epic one, but it is less about completing all of the things and more about staying present with the essence of each challenge goal. Basic Challenge: Connect With Environment: The Na'vi are deeply connected to the natural world around them and they take care of it. When completing each of these challenges, engage all of your senses and stay mindful of the impact nature has on your body and your spirit. At least 30 total minutes outdoors/day in a natural setting Go barefoot as often as possible and be mindful of how my body reacts; wear minimalist shoes when necessary. Explore an unfamiliar outdoor area, or explore a familiar one as if seeing it for the first time. Swim in wild waters (creeks and rivers) and climb trees Give at least 5 total minutes/day of mindful attention to a life form other than human (pets, wildlife, plants, etc.). Download Joulebug and complete at least one challenge/day. Do a litter cleanup in a natural area at least once/week. Avoid using plastics of any kind (unless impossible). 1 hike or trail run/week Connect With Food: The Na'vi are omnivorous hunter-gatherers with a deep connection to the available provisions that surrounded them, both meat and plant. When completing these challenges, savor each bite, eat mindfully and pay close attention to how this affects your body and spirit. Eat full vegetarian at least one day/week Eat at least 1 vegetable/day Eat fresh meat whenever possible instead of processed/boxed/canned meat at least 3 days/week; this includes fish (BONUS: game meat when possible). Forage at least once/week (dandelion, plantains, wild onion, etc.) Fast intermittently; be mindful of when it is acceptable to not eat and when it is necessary Eat locally at least once/week if possible (Farmer's market?) Connect With Body: The Na'vi need their body to be in top shape in order to survive such a harsh environment. When completing this challenge, use a variety of "wild fitness"/primal/paleo natural movements and be mindful of how this impacts your body and spirit. Deep squat more Drink at least 1/2 gallon of water/day. Practice balancing on a narrow surface 3 days/week Dead hang for at least 30 seconds 3 days/week. "Natural movement" HIIT workout at least 3 days/week; continue to incorporate resistance bands and other home workout equipment (cinderblocks, log, stones, etc.) Barefoot sprint in the field more often Daily breathwork Connect With Tribe: The Na'vi have a deep connection with members of their tribe, especially family but also tribal elders and leaders. For this challenge, be mindful of your relationships and how you strengthen them. Spend time in the afternoon with your daughters ('ite); at least one technology-free playtime/week. Use intimate physical touch with tribal members (for family: hugs, kisses, holding hands, snuggling; handshakes/hugs for friends). At least one uninterrupted/technology free evening with wife (muntxate) Call your mother (sa'nok). Connect With Self: In spite of living in a savage environment, the Na'vi are very self-aware and practice a disciplined self-control and humble appreciation of all life, including their own. Become toruk makto: tame the beast and take control of your temper by pausing and being mindful of your emotions. Seek wisdom: read works written by great tribal leaders and elders who have come before you. Choose your words: be mindful of when to speak and when to be silent; don't waste words, but choose them wisely. Be grateful: keep a log each day of things for which you are grateful. Connect With Eywa (God): The Na'vi believe in and commune with a being greater than themselves. This is the essence of their culture and it drives their actions and lifestyle. While completing these challenges, be mindful of where your heart and spirit rest on these issues. Greet each morning with a grateful smile and a spoken "Thank you." Pray/meditate in silence at least 10 minutes/day. Integrate prayer throughout the day. Treat each person you meet as spiritually connected and as image-bearers of God; treat all lifeforms as God's creation. Practice agape love (unconditional love). Bonus Challenges: Learn Na'vi language. Spend at least one night outside (in a hammock, if possible). Take a long hike deep into the woods (off trail, if possible). Ride a horse. Harvest spring water. Go rock climbing (freestyle).
  17. I'm coming off of a pretty successful challenge at the beginning of the year, but that is in part because I made my goals super simple and not terribly difficult. I wanted to build a couple solid daily habits, and since I have kept them up without reporting here every day over the last week I suppose that means I'm on the right track so far. So this challenge I am keeping the same format, just adding another daily habit. 1. Hike outside at least one mile per day. I am trying to get ready for longer hikes in the next few months. Last challenge I usually did between 1.5-2.5 miles each day. I can usually make time right after work. I've been wearing a 20-pound weighted pack (with something like these inside) a couple times per week as well, to get used to that. 2. Studying or doing exercises from my Latin language textbooks for fifteen minutes. I'm working out of Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata. Volume 1 is called Familia Romana. I have read up through chapter 26 of 35, but in those last chapters my comprehension is very poor. I've started going back to the earlier chapters and doing more exercises in a notebook, writing a lot more than I had been the first few times through. 3. Strength or mobility work for fifteen minutes. This is the new one. I need to work on these two aspects of physical fitness that I have let slide during the recent months of lock-downs. I'm planning to alternate between a circuit of mostly body-weight exercises and other activities to get more mobile and active.
  18. This is part 2 of my 2021 relay-challenge, where I stagger my challenges so that I achieve a major milestone every challenge . Last challenge I managed to get to 5 push ups, so it's time to go for the next shiny. With the lockdown there will be no climbing for the next month at least, so all my goals are now home bound. Well, not all goals, since my major goal this challenge is: 1) Take a 15km hike Originally, I wanted this to be 20km, but that turned out to be too ambitious. 15km is still a nice distance, and if I can do that comfortably then there's still plenty of hiking vacation options for summer. After my long bedrest in December, I really need to work up to this apparently. How: Take a 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5 and 15km hike in weeks 1-5 repectively 2) Achieve next challenge: freestanding handstand Handstands are pretty and fun (in reasonable doses), and it will give me lots of confidence if I can do them comfortably again. I'm also considering joining the "gymnastic fit" group for ages 30+ that trains closeby and has lots of experience with former gymnasts. Normally I would be very scared to start gymnastics again, but they make it sound like playing in a very fun playground . After the lockdown we'll see if I still want to go there, and I think training handstands is a good starter in any case. How: every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, train handstands using the guide of GMB for 10-20 minutes. 3) Achieve later challenge: front splits Front splits are a major achievement if I can manage them, and my hip flexors are my main tight spot anyway. How: every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, do generic yoga followed by a minute of splits on each side. Consider adding on yoga or basic stretches on other days. Generally, I set a times at 5PM every day to make sure I don't work (far) too long and start exercise before cooking. This time may change to either 8AM (so start working later) or noon later, depending on what feels best at the time. I also want to start measuring my step count again, since I feel like I've become very sedentary now that I'm mostly working from home. I do a lunch walk every day, but even then I generally don't get over 5k steps. Now that the days are becoming longer again, I might take an extra walk every day.
  19. Erick the Red: No Zero Days I've done a few of these challenges over the past few years, and had some pretty good successes. Also failed more than a couple times. This round I am starting slow and simple. Two clear-cut daily goals to solidify daily habits. I plan to check in daily or near-daily to update my progress, and maybe go over some details. I appreciate feedback and positive peer-pressure. 1. Hike outside at least one mile per day. I am glad to have a job, but working from home has meant that I sometimes go two or three days without stepping out my front door. I plan to throw on my weighted vest or a backpack with a ruck plate about three times per week. 2. Complete at least one page in my Latin language textbook. My COVID lock-down hobby has been learning Latin. The textbook I have is called "Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata", which is great, but I get distracted easily with other Latin language resources. I need to focus more on making steady progress on formal training. My other resources are free apps like Duolingo or Xochi, Latin Language Youtube channels including Magister Craft and Luke Ranieri's Scorpio Martianus, and a series of fun novellas by Lance Piantaginni. In both cases I am working towards bigger long-term goals, but for now I need to establish a foundation.
  20. In 2020, almost everything went different than planned. In 2020, my challenges didn't go well and I feel like my fitness has stagnated. In 2021, I'm going to do my challenges differently: I'm going to set myself some "milestone" goals for the year and relay my challenges to complete them. No more "do x training y times a week" goals, but "complete goal z this/next/later challenge". Hopefully it will give me more focus and make me feel more accomplished. I want to complete at least 1 milestone per challenge (8 or 9 total in 2021). Long list of possible milestones: For this first challenge, I chose the following goals: Complete this challenge: Get to 5 push ups How: train push ups 3x per week Minimum effort: do 3 sets of push ups on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday Preferred effort: do a full strength-workout on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday Complete next challenge: Hike 20km How: increase mileage each week Minimum effort: take a 5km/7.5km/7.5km/10km/10km hike in weeks 1/2/3/4/5 Preferred effort: as minimum effort, with 2 extra 30-60 minutes walks/hikes that week Complete later challenge: Get the front splits How: stretch every day Minimum effort: stretch hip flexors and hamstrings every day, test splits once a week Preferred effort: as minimum effort, with GMB's mobility workout on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday
  21. I'd been thinking about doing a challenge to help me in my (suspected) COVID recovery, but hadn't gotten very far on the specifics when I came on here two days ago to see when the next challenge was. Surprise! I went ahead and started a topic to anchor my commitment to doing this one. The last two years have been quite a series of adventures and lessons. And, I have several more big ones planned for the next couple years that I need to get ready for. Expect to see goals beyond simply recovering. I've got hikes and back country travel planned–and plenty of other adventures–as soon as I am able to do so again. Stories, photos, artwork will be sprinkled liberally throughout. This gal has been rediscovering her younger wild nature child self the last couple years! I have also discovered that I have an additional spirit animal as I immerse myself in my sixties. (Ha!) 😄 River Otters at Sequoia Park Zoo, Eureka, California. There will be more pictures of them... Stealthily shot out the door of my rental cottage on the shores of Cordova Bay, British Columbia, Canada, March, 2020 Juvenile Bald Eagle and ravens. So, goals. I got back on the soda and put on weight during the last two years. A sedentary lifestyle of sitting behind a computer for hours on end is not my friend and I've used sugar and caffeine to moderate my moods, energy, and attention span. My programming job is fast-paced and stressful, and there habits are not helping that either,. They are creating a long term form of health debt which, having just recently turned 62, is a really stupid thing to be doing. I want to live to be a healthy, happy, badass old lady, which means I need to reverse course on the stupid ass habits now, and build towards those big items in my bucket list. My health scare the last few months was a much needed wake up call. OBJECTIVES I resolve to use the next five weeks to: 1) Reduce my soda consumption 2) Increase my physical activity 3) Reduce my stress level 4) Create cool stuff GOALS Turning those into specific, measurable goals, each with an associated "WHY" for motivation: 1) Reduce my soda consumption to 25% (or less) of what I am currently drinking, with the end goal of being 100% soda free on or before November 1st, 2020. I'm not even sure how much I'm drinking, but it is a lot, so I need to track it throughout the challenge. Knowing how I am about tracking a bad habit, if I am diligent enough with it, I will eventually reach a tipping point where it's easier to just stop the habit than to keep tracking it. Shadowlion psychology... Make my environment conducive to quitting - have filtered water, ice, green tea, and yerba mate on hand and the ice tea made ahead of time to make substitutions easier. See if I can get D's buy in to purge the fizzy stuff from the house. Or to at least not drink it in front of me. This will help me lose weight and improve my overall health, leading to a faster recovery. I want to be able to hike harder trails sooner so that I can get those Arizona Trail section hikes in! (Hopefully some of the easier ones in Spring 2021.) Why? I want long term health and independence as I age, and to get those long section and thru hikes in before I get too old! 2) Increase my physical activity gradually, and as steadily as possible, given that I am still recovering from COVID-19 and am still quite de-conditioned from it. Increase my daily short walks and/or exercise biking beyond my current walking max of three circumambulations around the backyard or biking max of .5 miles in 30 minutes per day. Increase the variety of my free weight exercises as my costochondritis and joint pain heal. Increase weights, gradually and steadily, as I am able. My goal is to increase either intensity or duration by about 20% per week. Keep a log to help me gauge when I am ready to increase. In keeping with my otter photo above, make it FUN! Why? I want to regain my stamina and ability to do everyday things around the house, to be able to hold up my end of things. Longer term, I want to be able to haul my pack and photo equipment around easily for my hikes and other excursions, and to be able to move back up to the mountains and do my permaculture project, which will require my being in good condition to do physical labor at 7,000 feet elevation. 3) Reduce my stress through meditation and journaling. Keep my current meditation and journal writing, but extend the meditation from 2x a day for 5 minutes each to 2x a day for 10 minutes each. For journaling, keep my 15 minutes in the morning, but add on a 5 to 10 minute daily review and quick plan for the next day session in the evening. Why? The coronavirus (or its evil twin - my tests came back negative, though my symptoms indicated otherwise and my healthcare providers treated it as COVID-19) played havoc with my immune system and triggered off an old autoimmune problem that has been in remission for around 40 years. I am responding well to medication for it and have a good chance of it going back into remission. I do know from past experience that stress is a major factor for both length and duration of an episode, so keeping my stress levels as low as possible will increase the odds of achieving and maintaining remission. 4) Create cool stuff at least 5 times per week for a half an hour (or even more!). Do fun, creative stuff. Stay curious. Play! It doesn't have to be something to hang in a gallery. Sketch, take some photos, play around some digital art tutorials, whatever! If the joints are up to it, play a few minutes of music, too. Why? Life is too short to spend it all working and striving. Creating is good for the mind, the heart, the soul. And, otters - they are the epitome of curious and playful! Bucket List (Ongoing) Arizona Trail section hikes Thru hike the AZT Pacific Crest Trail section hikes Thru hike the PCT Relocate to the Flagstaff, Arizona area Design and build my permaculture paradise in the pines (including my art studio) Draw and paint wildlife and plants, landscapes Learn manual mode on my camera - ha! Take up the mantle of my uncle's woodcarving and art More "Creative Coding" - digital art, VR, games, data visualization Travel - National parks and monuments; wild places, the wilder the better Complete my Permaculture Design course and dual certificates Complete my Octalysis training (game making, gamification, and behavioral design)
  22. I have decided to continue my LotR themed challenge since I am in the midst of a 30 day challenge that is relevant to what I was struggling with last time. I'll copy and paste my challenge goals below: I have been wrestling with the urge to read the LotR series again, so what better way to motivate me than to theme my challenge after LotR. I could use some inspiration and heart from some of Tolkien's heroes. As this challenge progresses, I will no doubt be channeling some of the traits of some of my favorites, specifically the race of Men because I find myself identifying most closely with Tolkien's human characters. . Lately, some... temptations have arisen, so it is also fitting to work through a challenge that themes these temptations as the pull of The One Ring. And so it begins. Goal 1: Resist The One Ring "Not if I found it on the highway would I take it I said. Even if I were such a man as to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this thing was when I spoke, still I should take those words as a vow, and be held by them. ‘But I am not such a man. Or I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from which a man must flee." -- Faramir For this goal, I will be channeling Faramir, who is without a doubt my favorite of the characters who successfully resists The One Ring, even though he had reasons outside of the Dark Lord's power to take it from Frodo. I also identify with Faramir's struggles to make his father proud, to know that he isn't the favored son, and his choice to be peaceful and merciful by nature: “I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” Without getting into specifics, this goal focuses on recognizing when and why these temptations occur: what triggers them and what is the best way to resist them. Faramir's quote above also brings to mind scripture: "But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." -- 1 Timothy 6:11-12 learn about these temptations and what hidden dangers lurk within them set boundaries and barricades against temptations; arm and fortify yourself against the attacks of the enemy be brave and stand strong when you can, but have an escape plan remember BRACE: Breathe, Remember the truth, Accountability Call, Escape the situation if you get lost, call out to your fellowship of brothers to help you find the way again fast and pray to build discipline celebrate victories and milestones, but remain resolute and do not lose your temperance Goal 2: Build Strength, Wisdom, Courage, and Heart to Become Who You Were Meant to Be "But I am the real Strider, fortunately. I am Aragorn son of Arathorn; and if by my life or death I can protect you, I will." -- Aragorn For this goal, I will be channeling Aragorn because of his strong heart, his wisdom, and his courage, which grows as he breaks free of the shame of his father and steps into his destined role as heir to the throne of Gondor. Aragorn is aware of his flaws and weaknesses as a man, but he strives to do good by serving others. He faces peril, inspires others into battle, and fights courageously for his fellowship. None of this would be possible if he had allowed himself to get weak or distracted or lose his self-control. He is also faithful to the cause of defeating evil and to the love of his life. He is watchful and alert, wise and intelligent, humble and modest by nature but also mighty and proud when necessary. Some aspects of this goal will look familiar if you have followed me for some time. awaken before dawn pray/meditate/study scripture & other books of wisdom fast daily (intermittently) eat whole foods (mostly plants) drink at least 64 ounces of water daily WHM breathing daily (I really need to get back to this; it clears my head and may help stave some of the temptation triggers) read at least 30 minutes every day (LotR, of course) spend at least 30 minutes every day in nature strengthen the body (stones, log, sandbags, cinderblocks, sledgehammer, buckets) spend time with my queen; this includes going to bed with her and not staying up late Goal 3: Rebuild Your Heart and Your Kingdom "For he was a gentle heart and a great king and kept his oaths; and he rose out of the shadows to a last fair morning." -- Aragorn, speaking of King Theoden Theoden is a good example of someone who, as he grew older and more tired, allowed himself to become misled and lost sight of his true purpose as king. It corrupted him and led to the usurping of his kingdom by evil forces. Once he is set free of this spell, however, he steps into his role as king and, in spite of the bleak outlook, fights for his people and for the good of all Middle Earth. For this goal, I am both literally and figuratively referring to my "kingdom" (as in my home, my domain) meditate on/reclaim my purpose as husband and father (as "king") spend time with daughters; hug them, play with them, go on adventures with them keep my current house in order: clean daily, keep the yard clean and mowed, make necessary repairs work on the other house, as well, at least twice per week; be assertive but clearheaded when any obstacles arise
  23. This is my third challenge since coming back. I started out being bed bound because of a slipped disc , had surgery and made my way to moving around pain free and with almost no more symptoms of my paralyzed leg and foot. Now I need to get serious about keeping up activity and diet. My two main goals are: 1. lose weight (to help my spine and make me able to move with ease) and get down to 99 kg. Pursuing this goal via keto diet. 2. do PT exercises and get to a point where I can switch to bodyweight training as a form of movement. Also do daily walks with the dog and increasing the distance as a preparation for hiking long distances with my puppy EDIT: just found the walking to Mordor app and my goal is to meet the elves at 65.98km during this challenge. YAY this will be fun! I have lined up a couple of fun side goals like the minimalist game, starting on the 1. In this game I declutter my home from stuff I don't need anymore. On day one its one thing , on day 2 two things and so on until the 31th, where I have to get rid of 31 items. Tell me if you'd like to play with me! Im embarrassed to say that I will also include daily showers as another side goal. Working from home has made me quite lazy. So this needs to change! morning meditation is something else I want to do consistently. I will ad secondary goals each week as I go along. Will use week zero to practice main goal nr. 2 and start with daily showers and morning meditations. Right now I have a friend visiting me and that's what I can do while she is here. She leaves on Saturday which is when I will get back to keto and add the minimalist game..... Ill take it from there. Ive gotten so used to hanging here with you that I missed you guys over the weekend.. Glad to be back!
  24. I know. Long time no see. *sigh* The tl;dr version is that I've spent the last 1.5 years not working out much aside from tons of walking, gaining weight (not the good kind), and feeling fatigued. Also, the whole family has been in a funk. So, thanks to covid and my husband getting 100% telecommute, we moved across the country 1.5 weeks ago. Our pod full of stuff arrives tomorrow! I'm hoping that a new location means a new start and a new lease on life. I'm also excited about the new Dune movies coming out. I'm a huge fan of the books and loved the Dune and Children of Dune miniseries that came out 20-ish years ago. I also literally moved from the swamp to the desert, so the loose theme seemed fitting. Goals: 1. Earn 14 fitness points for each of strength, cardio, and stretching. Right now, I have a garage that will soon house my weights, rings, a mini climbing wall, and a silks rig (I already have the silks set up!). I also have a 8' deep, maybe 40' long backyard pool. Since I want to keep things light and easy, the requirements won't be huge for this. I get 1 strength point for every 10 minutes of silks, rings, or weights, 1 stretching point for every 10 minutes of yoga, and 1 cardio point for every 1 mile walk or every swimming session. 2 (tied to point 1) "But it's a dry heat..." Most summer days, it reaches 100+ degrees. I can't let that prevent me from working out. So, the plan is to work with the weather rather than against it. I need to make outdoor, non-swimming workouts happen before 9 am or after 5 pm. Or I need to suck it up and deal with the heat. I'm not allowed to laze around in the mornings, decide it's too hot, and then after 5 pm decide that I'm too tired to bother with a workout. +1 point per day of compliance 3. Be mindful of the water - The goal is to take water with me everywhere and make a point of drinking a lot of water. Hydration is going to be trickier here, and drinking enough water will also help with some of the binge eating. +1 point per day of compliance 4. Wear my stillsuit - This one has two parts. (a) Check the UV index and put on sunscreen if I'm going outside and it's over a 3. (b) wear a cloth mask whenever I'm going to be out in public. +1 point per day of compliance. Bonus: Have fun exploring - Yay for this one! The whole family reached a point where we were bored with everything in the area and even within a weekend trip from our old house. Now, we have tons of new places to explore, and we're about a 10 minute drive from a couple different national forests with great hiking trails, a 40 minute drive from a mountain summit that is 20 degrees cooler and has great rock scrambling, and a 2 hour drive from some lakes that actually have good scuba. We're also 15 minutes from a climbing gym. So, there will be tons of exploring to do both now and after covid has died down a bit.
  25. Dearest Adventurers, It has long been the ambition of mine to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Fellowship of the Ring. And so, I have began something of a pilgrimage of their footsteps, from Bag End to Mordor. But I also have long felt a connection to the lost Entwives, and I seek home, a garden to tend. I don’t think I will find the Entwives—no one else has—but I can find one in myself. (I already have an Enting, after all!) So it is while on this long journey I hope to find my place in Middle Earth to settle down. During the last few weeks, I journeyed from Bag End to Bree. In the next few weeks, with my Enting on my back and friends coming and going at my side, I should make it as far as the Trollshaws. Challenge: Starting in Zero Week, begin walking. My goal is the Trollshaws, which is 221 miles. It doesn’t really matter how I make the miles—steps done on daily activities/errands, local walks, hikes, etc. After more than a decade of trying and failing the record-keeping with this challenge (I certainly haven’t lacked the mileage), I believe the key to me completing the Walk to Mordor is really by making the bookkeeping as simple as possible. Whatever my Fitbit says at the end of the day goes into my handy WtM app. Easy. Do something each day to help get the house sold and get me to that garden to tend. That will usually involve some sort of upkeep on the tidying, decluttering, or attacking the dust bunnies in some forgotten corner. If we get an offer on the house during the challenge, I will outline new goals based on our next steps. Skip Second Breakfast. I’ve put on a few pounds over the last several months (before Lockdown started, really), and I’d like to see them go. My goal here is to weigh less at the end of the challenge than I did at the beginning—as simple as that. It’s more about increasing activity than eating (I’m a pretty clean eater already), but they are of course intertwined and I need to be mindful I’m not just replacing every calorie I burn. Starting weight: 126lbs. (Usual disclaimer—I’m quite petite, so that weight puts me nearing the top of my healthy range and when I see an upwards trend I like to nip it in the bud. I want to get back to the middling—somewhere around 115lbs.) And that’s it. Walk a lot, make the house look good, and say no to extra snacks sometimes. I can do that much, right?
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