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  1. Hey everyone! Getting on late at night because somehow it worked out to being the best time to do the thing. Big changes happened in the past week. I had originally meant to reward myself with rash guards for BJJ, but midway through, I 1) had the chance to change to earlier hours, and 2) saw a cool gi design go up that I wanted more. I still feel quite rewarded for my efforts last challenge; it's just that I had a last-minute chance to take a deal that turned out to be closer to what I wanted. This has the neat side effect of allowing me to use rash guards as a reward again. How fortuitous. Um, also, accidentally got the chance to show some character growth. Saturday I went to a party with my friend group. One of us got a little too drunk for my liking and I slipped and got a little too harsh calling him on it. We didn't come to shouting at each other or blows or anything, but I really hurt him in a way I didn't think I could. I had the chance to talk it over with him this morning, though, and we were able to patch things up. I say it was a growth thing because the last time I wound up in a situation like this was with my Ex and I botched it. I didn't botch this time. I grant you, it's not trying to salvage a romantic relationship, but I think it's got enough in common to count. Hence the title of the challenge. Everything's crazy and up in the air and I'm going back to the office in about a month and some change and just... yeah. It's a lot right now. So we're rolling with it. Goal 1: Meditate I'm up to 8 minutes now, which is great, but I'm not sitting consistently, and that's not great. Need to fix that. Goal 2: Clean Car troubles are managed enough that I can get after getting boxes o' stuff out of my place. But I need to clean the car first. This is going to go alongside my old cleaning goal from before, because now that my sinks are reliably clean, I want to start expanding out onto regularly cleaning other surfaces too. So, the way this will work is that it'll have a daily component build up over the course of the week. However, in order for a given week's total to count, I have to defeat a mini-boss, defined as one seat-section of the car (first couple weeks) and then a box a week for the rest of the challenge. Goal 3: Eating So, I've basically crept over into obesity per my body fat percentage as run via the Navy formula. I know for a fact that my macros are fine and even my daily expenditures are fine, but I'm letting social eating be an excuse to indulge and it's getting in the way of the results I want. While I'll be tracking this as a daily, the real goal is to focus on "leaving things behind" - in other words, if I go out to eat, I come back home and drink a protein shake for my vitamins instead of picking up 'healthy' indulgences at the grocery store. With that in mind, as I'm posting early Monday morning: Goal 1: 0/1 Goal 2: 1/1 Bosses: 0/5 Goal 3: 0/1 Aw, look, it's not as bad as it was last time. I can only imagine how well it'll go!
  2. Hiro, hero for hire. Ruthless, intelligent, efficient. You have an impossible problem, then he's the man to call. Slim, trim, cocky grin, completely self contained and self assured. He stays in peak physical condition through training and daily activity. His body looks like it was carved out of wood, strong and capable, lean and hard, without bulk, but flexible and defined.  He has more than enough energy to run, jump, and play all day, with energy to burn, never stopping and never quitting until he is done.  ------------------------------  FALL CHALLENGE A new challenge. I have spent the last few challenges building the exercise habit, zeroing in on what exercises and routines I like to do, and even had a mini bulk cycle. Now this challenge I want to become and feel athletic. That basically means being coordinated and conditioned, while staying strong. The theme for this challenge is Starlord. I love him and he is one of my favorite super heroes. Plus with my new dad bod I kind of feel like him right now. Let's go get that bread! Goals for this challenge: #1 Stay Strong Follow my weekly routine 3x week: Base BB exercise KB cycles (squat, press, and swing) #2 Conditioning I plan on getting good at the jump rope. I will play with it and see how I will plan this out 2-3 times a week. #3 Fuel I feel better when I get enough protein and water. Daily protein target: 150g Daily water target: 48oz
  3. Tiggs86 Zion Spark Hello all! It's been a LONG time since I've done a 4 week challenge. I recently came back from a camping trip in Zion, am all full of motivation, and figured I'd try the challenges again. Vacation Stats: Sunday: Angels Landing and Emerald pools- 12.06 miles, 92 floors Monday: Narrows- approximately 15miles, unknown floors* Tuesday: Subway- approximately 12.9 miles, unknown floors* Wednesday: Hidden Canyon, Weeping Rock, Court of the Patriarchs- 7.28 miles, 89 floors Thursday: Canyon Overlook, Paru's Trail- 8.86 miles, 16 floors Friday: Observation Point- 13.42 miles, 184 floors. *Monday and Tuesday based off a friend's watch as there were hikes involving water and my tracker doesn't play well with water. Totals: 69.52miles, minimum of 381 floors up (likely closer to 500). My Goals this challenge: (edited 10/29) #1 Yoga 3x per week Dirty Yoga for beginners (not so much a workout, but tutorial) #2 Stairs 3x per week I work at three different buildings one with 10 floors, one with 7, and one with 22 floors. I don't currently have a specific plan. Go up until I huff and puff then go back down for now, I can comfortably do 3 floors (as in I can catch my breath decently quickly after quickly going up 3 flights of stairs.) #3 Eat supper at home four times per week. Before vacation I fell into a bad habit of eating out ALL the time. #4 Wash face in the morning 4x per week. I've switched up my skin care routine so now I am going to be washing my face twice per day. (Angels on Bare Skin in the AM, Fresh Farmacy in the PM). I've never really washed my face in the morning. #5 Spend 5 hours per week working on Christmas stocking. I realize 4 challenges is recommended but I also need to get my 2nd cousins Christmas stocking done before Thanksgiving and thought this may help. Both images are the view of The Watchman from our campsite. I'm the one on the right.
  4. What is Absolver? Absolver puts players behind the mask of a Prospect, who has taken a sacred vow and chosen to join the Absolvers, an elite corps of combatants fighting to maintain stability in the world. Monitored by the Guides, the new rulers of the fallen Adal Empire, players will wander these forsaken lands and encounter other Prospects online in order to learn their place in this world and eventually become Absolvers. Along the way, they will learn new combat styles and attacks, and acquire better weapons, powers and armor. Battles between warriors are an intense real-time flow of attacks, dodges, feints and counters, with all aspects of gameplay customizable, including combat styles, weapons and even individual attack sequences in the player’s Combat Deck. Build a team of warriors to fight side by side with you in the dungeon mines of Adal (PvE) or put your skill on display in dedicated combat arenas (PvP) scattered across the land. The game comes out at the end of the month but I can't contain my excitement! This is most likely what the game, For Honor, should have been; with dedicated servers and ranked matches from the get go. Hi all!! Welcome to the challenge! This one's going to be lighthearted and straight to the point. I'm rolling with forward momentum right now and I want to keep things churning at a steady pace. How do I do this? By kicking so much ass my feet hurt! I'm using the upcoming online melee action game Absolver as my theme for the next 4-weeks and if all goes well, I'll continue this and make it a 2-part challenge (since the game comes out 08/29). How exciting! The goal is to move from the n00b inspired Prospect and work my way up the ranks to become an elite Absolver. I'll need discipline, strength and a healthy balance among my work and home life to see me through successfully and I have just the plan to make that happen My weeks pretty much stay the same unless we have an event or a birthday that throws things off a hair, so, I can expect a lot of the same stuff week in and week out. This can be good because I know what to expect and can plan my weeks out way in advance. This could also be bad because a week that looks the same as every other week can be boring and have me stray off into the wilds. Balance is the key, yo! I keep talking noise about using my KB's, Indian Clubs and battle mace more but I barely messed with them last challenge. Boooooooo! That really needs to change since they are free to use...I mean, I spent money on them before...but now they are free....but before they weren't...ahhhhhh, dammit! You know what I mean! TO THE GOALS! Goal #1: Hey Wolfie, you should try some GVT! You really think so?? Hmmm, well first, let me see what GVT is before I agree to it. What is GVT? It's also called German Volume Training and apparently it's pretty boss. My mortal enemy when it comes to training plans: time. Some programs just have too much stuff and I never have enough time to complete a whole workout. When you add in warm-up, cool down and time to shower off and get ready for work...forget about it. I realistically have about 45 solid minutes of actual workout time so squeezing in something like GVT with a recommended 10 sets of 10 will be tight. But hey, I'm already around 6-7 total sets on my big lifts anyways because I'm always moving up weight until I get into the weight range I'm targeting. Let's punch this program in the face! Goal: German Volume Training 3x a week for the next 6 weeks/5-day cycles. Biohacking is a must so we'll see how this goes. Being that this is new it's all subject to change but I'm going to give it my 110% Goal #2: Hey Wolfie, why do you suck at jumping rope? HEY! That's not very nice, sir...or ma'am....but you're right. Why do I suck so bad? It's not so much that a suck, but my one foot hopping speed is SLLLLLLOOOOOWWWW. Like....whoa, dude. Speed ladder, much? It's embarrassing. So, with this goal, I want to increase my foot speed and quickness by adding in jump rope after each set or every other set of my workout. I started doing this last week and really enjoyed that time in between sets....this is also when I realized how slow my one foot speed was. Goal: Minimum of 3x rounds of jump rope in between working sets. Track each foot speed for :30 seconds at the beginning and then beat that foot count at the end of the challenge. Goal #3: Hey Wolfie, keep eating, keep fighting, bruh! I think I might need food to stay alive, sooooooooooo, thanks? OHHHH! You mean with the whole fasting thing and adding in more volume....I see, now. Yeah, I think you're onto something there. Since I'm pretty good at letting myself know when I'm hungry, I just need to be extra prepared on training days and make sure I'm ready to refuel. I will continue to fast for 14 hours with a 10 hour eating window and just consume more calories/protein. And since Heather's been back from California, she has awoken her inner health nut and wants to start eating as clean as possible. So much so, that we cleaned out the pantry and tossed a lot of stuff then donated the rest! I had JUST bought a pack of Ritz PB crackers too. I decided to take those to work and distribute among my teammates so they didn't go to waste. With GVT, I'm going to need to refuel and keep on my game better then ever, but I'm certainly up for the challenge! Goal: Continue to do my 14/10 fasting regime and help Heather meal prep. Goal #4: Hey Wolfie, you should Pray more! Aint that the truth. I pray a lot...but somehow that never feels like enough. So, I want to step up my prayer game or more like, I want to step up my game as the spiritual leader of the house. 2 things: tithing and reading the Good Book. Tithing needs to happen 100% every time I get paid. God deserves his 10%. And reading the Bible...it's something I've never done. The plan is to finish the Bible through and through. The plan? Goal: 2 chapters a day and 5 on each weekend day + daily devotional's and general Prayer Warrior business. BOOM! I'm so excited to get this challenge under way! I feel like I'll have to work for some of these goals and that's a good thing. I don't want this to be easy by any means. Thank you all for joining me on another journey through the wild lands of my mind. Feel free to hang out and shoot the breeze with me Wolf
  5. asa pond, a.k.a. Iron Widow, became the greatest goal- changer known to man. she then joined the avengers. this is what she does when she's not being an avenger. last issue: asa realized that she overestimates her ability to accomplish goals and set out to determine a new list of missions to complete. also, she's been captured by ninjas. it's all been very stressful.
  6. Hi All, Long time listener, first time caller and all that...I've been reading Nerd Fitness for several months now and over the past 8 months have lost a little over 50 pounds. I realized I was sick of feeling bad about myself all the time and wanted to get stronger both physically and mentally. What finally convinced me to join to boards is that I had a major setback tonight and need a place to vent. I went to my usual boxing class today, and was really excited to get a kickass workout in since it's my last day in the gym before I head to Thailand for a week. When I got to class there were hardly any people, which was great, since that meant it would be a killer workout with lots of individual focus. We started running like we always do, and I was feeling pretty good about the fact that I was able to keep up and never stopped for more than a few steps to catch my breath. When I first started the classes, I couldn't run half a lap without feeling like my lung was going to collapse. After we finished running it happened - possibly the most dreaded thing that can happen to a former fat kid: The gym teacher told us to grab a jump rope. Never in my life have I been able to make it more than a few skips without tripping myself up and feeling like a complete idiot. Even 50 pounds lighter, that hasn't changed. I gave it my best try, I honestly did, but after a few minutes of tripping myself up, I was on the verge of tears. So I left. And I'm ok with that. For me, a huge part of this has been working so I can be proud of my body and what it can do, but at the same time, I have to recognize that I can't be good at everything, and there will always be some things that don't work out. Fitness should be fun and awesome and empowering, and I don't need to spend an hour doing something that makes me feel clumsy and awkward and bad about myself in order to say I worked out. So, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the gym - on my own terms.
  7. Captain's log, Stardate 40200.0. Five days until I embark upon my next 6 week challenge. My goals, not yet defined. They are, at present, slowly taking shape. For now, much needed sleep.
  8. Hello and welcome!!! I am not a Scout, but at the moment I am doing a Toure De Force around the realms, trying out all the guilds and improving different areas they pertain to. At heart, I am a Monk, who is currently trying to work on her conditioning. This challenge will be Flash themed, because DUH! I really do love the current TV show, but I might also borrow from the comic books when necessary. After all, that's where the most crack usually happens and I'm all about the funny stuff. One way or another, I am excited to be here! “What does it feel like when you're running down the street like a bat out of hell?†[+3 STA] Damn, Tom Cavanagh is one sexy gentleman. A moment of truth: I'm not a runner. I know it's perhaps counter-intuitive to sign up with Scouts if I don't like running, but hear me out first. I really need to improve my stamina and things Scouts specialize in are usually the best for that. Since I cannot physically hit the pavement (foot issues galore, let's just say), I found the second-best contraption that will help me torture myself: Airdyne. Look it up, it's amazing. Let's break it down. Airdyne sessions four times a week [Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat] I will be doing 100 second cardio HIIT as shown below. It may sound easy, but trust me, it will hurt. The only exception is if I am in class and coach decides to use Airdyne during class. [+3 STA] – 75% or 18 workouts minimum needed [+2 STA] – 50% or 12 workouts minimum needed [+1 STA] – 25% or 6 workouts minimum needed “We're here to train.†[+3 STA] I'm a kickboxer and having good footwork is key. There are different exercises that I could be doing in order to improve my footwork and improve my stamina. Since I don't always have access to speed ladder, I will be using jump rope. There are rope variations, too, so let's break down this quest. Options: regular single jumps; work up to 5 minutes non-stop, then continuously PR double-unders; first learn, then continuously PR For anybody interested, a double-under is when you jump once and the rope swings twice. It's harder than it looks I still haven't managed more than one at a time, so this should be 'fun' Jump rope sessions [Tue, Thur, Sat] [+3 STA] – 75% or 14 workouts minimum needed [+2 STA] – 50% or 9 workouts minimum needed [+1 STA] – 25% or 5 workouts minimum needed “Lightning gave me abs?†[+3 CON] I don't think that works on everybody. Perhaps this is not the best challenge to be working on my core, but this all goes back to the fact that I'm a kickboxer. Having a strong core helps my entire body stay strong and steady throughout whatever workout coaches throw at me. It's where most of my power comes from. At the moment I find my core strength to be lacking, thus I tire quickly when I am going against other people. This has to change and now is the time. Thanks to the Assassins Guild I found this fantastic channel on Youtube called FitnessBlender. They have a plethora of amazing exercises, so all I had to do was dive into their core section. Since I don't want to get bored (and stagnant) with the same thing for six weeks, I will be changing videos every week. It will be amazing and I'm sure I will hurt. A LOT. A core video three times a week [Wed, Fri, Sat] Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six [+3 CON] – 75% or 14 workouts minimum needed [+2 CON] – 50% or 9 workouts minimum needed [+1 CON] – 25% or 5 workouts minimum needed “Oh thank God. It's the food! The food's here!†[+3 CON] I wish sushi was Paleo This past challenge I did not include anything about my eating habits and almost immediately it all went to hell in a hand basket. I love the Paleo diet because it lets me have more energy and a whole lot less bloat. I've decided that in order to improve my stamina, I will return to clean eating. At first, I thought I'd just do gluten-free and call it good, but then I realized that I have to go all the way, or I won't get the results I want. So, Paleo cleanse it is! Keep Paleo six out of seven days per week [+3 CON] – 6 or less cheat days (one a week) [+2 CON] – 9 or less cheat days [+1 CON] – 12 or less cheat days (two a week) I'm going to be strict here, because that's how I will get results. That being said, I know there are few events coming up that will require my participation and not being on strict Paleo I am really excited for this. “And I thought people your age didn't read actual books anymore.†[+3 WIS] What if I write one? I already know this will be hard and I really hope it doesn't end up being like my Spanish quest last challenge. I will be hopeful, though, and write out this quest in full. I will plan my work and work the plan. I can do this! Now, what am I talking about? I've been trying to write an original story for a long time. I have created this amazingly complex, large world and now I am having issues populating it with stories. Frankly speaking, I am just afraid to pick up the proverbial pen and start writing; that blank page is ever so terrifying. This challenge will change it. Here's my plan: Write a minimum of 1,500 words per week, which will total to 9,000 words by the end of the challenge. It is roughly 215 words per day. I really hope that by the end of the second week I will be so neck-deep in the story that I will have no choice but to keep writing. I count on it. I hope for it. Let's see if it happens [+3 WIS] – 6750 or more words were written throughout the challenge (75%) [+2 WIS] – 4500 or more words were written throughout the challenge (50%) [+1 WIS] – 2250 or more words were written throughout the challenge (25%) Beginning Measurements: Neck - 11.75" Shoulders - 44.75" L Bicep - 12" R Bicep - 11.5" Waist - 32" Hips - 39" L Thigh - 23" R Thigh - 23.5" Weight: 181.4 lbs Rewards: - Carmel Macchiato from Starbucks (this will be my constant reward, just saying) - Belgian waffles from The Original Pancake House (OMG so good!) - Sign up for either Krav Maga or Capoeira (yes, my reward for exercise is more exercise)
  9. There is neither darkness, nor light; There is only the Force. There is passion, yet peace. Serenity, yet emotion. Chaos, yet order. I am the shadow cast by the sun, I am the candle burning in the night, And the Force alone shall guide me. I have come far since the first days of my epic quest. I have learned much. I have apprehended the truths of the Force. I have found peace in the midst of my passions, and serenity in the midst of my emotions. Now I must undertake the next step in my journey - to find order in the midst of chaos. Unfortunately, the Fanon isn't terribly helpful when it comes to clarifying a Jonin's role in the Order. Jonin are considered to be wandering scholar-types. They pick a thing to study and specialize in and pretty much dedicate themselves to that thing. Interestingly, they aren't held responsible for teaching, that being more a Silver Knight's job. It basically reads like a lateral promotion more than anything, which just seems screwy and weaksauce to me. So I'm gonna change it and say that the point is to become the Sage that people seem to think I am. Which would be an ongoing process regardless, but at least I can put it in focus for this next six weeks. Goal 1: Concentration I have learned the habit of mindfulness and I have made it a part of my daily practice. This was a practice of awareness. Now it is time to focus that awareness, to teach myself the skill of directing my thoughts rather than being aware of them. Every night, for ten minutes, pick a spot somewhere and concentrate on it. Goal 2: Order in Chaos My training changed a great deal during the last challenge. I have a lot of things going now, multiple angles of attack. It's a good way to shred fat in the short term, but if I choose to develop myself as an athlete then I need to have an eye out for long term results. I believe a balance is possible in the midst of all this. The key to it is to track everything I do and observe long-term trends. For me, this looks like the following (and a caveat: this looks like a crazy amount, possibly to the point of being unhealthy. It's not as bad as it looks, because I'm keeping the training times low and making sure to build lots of rest and good food into my days. After all, this is volitional stress. It's useless if I can't get the adaptations I choose. ) Strength Training 2-3 times per week (goal to master increasingly difficult variants of movement). Simple And Sinister 2-3 times per week (goal to achieve swing and get up standards, as well as to increase finger extensor strength to balance gripping strength). Skipping Rope 2-3 times per week (goal to achieve 15 minutes of skipping. This does not have to be perfect). Mile Run (an intermittent thing to throw at myself every now and again; goal to bring overall time down into the seven minute range. This is a shits and giggles goal). Handstand training at least once per week (goal to increase standing time). You'll note I didn't put karate in there. That's because I don't need to put it in here. I'mma do whatever it takes to get my class time on. All of that training is going to be organized around a 2-1 on-off schedule - easy day-hard day-off day. I find that that works pretty good for me. And remember: as crazy as it all looks, the most I'm going to do for any one session is 30 minutes. That's it. Dietetically speaking, I'm going to take the lessons I learned last challenge and apply them. Pick a day of the week as a designated optional cheat day for the week - to be taken or not depending on how the week has gone up unto that point. Goal 3: Build a Holocron Last challenge, I focused on getting back into writing. And I did, and it was good. But to be honest, getting into writing has never been hard for me. I've done this before. The hard part is going to be doing something with it. And that's when I've fallen apart before - I always thought that the Muse was a myth and that I could just force the writing to come out any way I wanted to. Maybe it is that way for other writers, and I certainly don't mean to discount hard work in the creative process. But I've found that there's a definite ebb and flow in my creativity and it's really only been in the past year or so that I've begun to acknowledge that and just let things slide as they will. I have ground into myself the notion that I need to show up and do the work. Now it's time to make it matter. I'm bumping the word count to 300 per day. Not a huge bump, not really. This can go toward one of the three things: The Longform Project - a post-apocalyptic-urban-fantasy-sci-fi mash up that probably has no business being marketed traditionally. The Worldbuilding for the Longform Project A Shortform Project - a short story whose parameters are built around various contest and publishing deadlines which I have built into my calendar so that I don't have to spend hours tracking them down. This way, I'm constantly building toward something. Let's see how this one plays. Goal 4: Computer Repair I broke my laptop last challenge. A bunch of really nice Nerds gave me solutions. I wanna make a point of implementing those solutions. One step per week. ... And, there. I think that's quite enough for the next month and a half. Don't you agree? Let's get some music up in this piece. And for a Star Wars-themed challenge that's all about order and chaos? Well. There can be only one song for it:
  10. Welcome to the Hellmouth...If you haven't guessed Buffy is my inspiration for this challenge. Why?? Well..she kicks serious ass, has amazing friends, good fashion, and did I mention she kicks ass. Being a slayer requires consistent training to remain strong, agile and have the endurance needed to take on all the Hellmouth throws at her. My Slayer training will be a continuation of my exercise goals from last challenge. 1. At least 40 minutes of cardio 3-4 times per week. This challenge I would like to get 3 running days in each week. 2. Complete BW routine at least 3 times per week. I am thinking about tweaking the specifics of this one and will post before the official start. I am taking this week off from squats and lunges but not from abs or push-ups. THE BIG BAD My Big Bad is diet...as in eating less. Hopefully, this will result in weight loss. I have struggled with making this a goal because I know progress does not always mean weight loss. AND I am easily discouraged when I don't see weight loss despite feeling better and looking better. I over the past few months, including last challenge, I was pretty consistent about keeping a food log. This has helped me understand where I need to make some changes. My diet is not bad overall but I need to be more aware of portions. So I am breaking out the food scale and measuring cups.Goal 1: Keep daily calories to between 1200-1500 5/7 days. Calories not to exceed 2000 calories on remaining days. Goal 2: 6 more weeks candy free. SCOOBY GANG I mentioned the Slayer's bad-assness earlier...and she is totally...without question. That being said, her Scoobies are important to her success. I want to be much more social and involved on the forum. This might not seem like much of a challenge goal but I struggle with social anxiety. Seriously...simply liking a post, posting or replying to a comment comes with a lot of anxiety. This will push me out of my comfort zone. I am going to need some extra support if I am going to take on The Big Bad. No pressure fellow Rangers...well maybe a little...a smidge...Goal 3: Support fellow Rangers by commenting on challenge threads at least 3x/week. One of these must be to a new Ranger each week. Goal 4: Post on my own challenge thread more frequently, at least 4x/week.
  11. How many people in the NFA community jump rope? Why I ask? I've been googling through the web and I can't really find a solid answer to my dilemna. I found a new love for jump roping (for the Americans) or skipping rope (for the British). As soon as I wake up in the morning, I want to go outside and start jump roping. However, there is something I am very confused about. Do I have to warm up before jump roping? Some people jump rope as a warm up, right? So, if I jump roped as soon as I woke up, wouldn't I be warming up and working out at the same time? Or, does the intensity of my rope skipping determines it being a warm up or a work out? Will I injure myself if I skipped rope as soon as I woke up (I'm an early bird, morning makes me super perky... it's almost like a drug... morning that is)? For well seasoned jump ropers dwelling in the crevices of NFA, what say you on this matter? Is warm up necessary? Can I warm up using the jump rope and just increase my velocity to turn it to a workout? Nightbrother wrote a thread on jump roping, but he was talking about his core too and not really on jump roping itself. So, I am just writing this thread to speak only about jump roping/skipping rope. I hope that is okay. Beginner jump ropers are also welcome to chime in. What advices do you have to share with me, who is also starting out with jump roping (and developing a passion for it)?
  12. Challenge number three, take two! I bailed out halfway through my last challenge, but I don’t regret it. My mental health was not in a good place, and the challenge had become Just One More Thing. I cut out as many of those as I could, and it definitely helped. I’m in a much better place now—winter is over; I changed jobs to one that not only pays me more, and is challenging while still important, but also lets me work with friends; and we got a new dog. Not having a dog around has messed with me since our previous dog died last year. Not that these changes didn’t bring stresses of their own—I’m halfway through 12 weeks of intensive training at the new job, and the dog has heartworm and is on his third week (of eight) of prednisone and very restricted exercise. But overall things are settling into a new normal, and I feel like I can turn my attention back to fitness. Main Quest: Build habits to reduce stress and get fit. Currently I’m walking on my 15 minute breaks, always taking the stairs (I work on the third floor), packing a healthy lunch, and making a healthy breakfast smoothie (nonfat greek yogurt, a cup of nut milk, a cup+ of frozen and/or fresh fruit, and one packet of milled flax seed). These are all habits I’ve formed, and they’re sticking with me even when I’m not doing a challenge. But they’re all habits that are triggered only on days I go to work. In my previous challenges, I would get things done, but never built new habits except for when NOT doing things (like avoiding potato chips or fried food). I’d get the activity done at some point because “I have to do my challenge for today,†and as soon as the six weeks were over, I stopped doing the activity. Therefore, this time I’m focusing on building habits (if I don’t have to think about doing it, it’s way less stressful) and finding things I enjoy doing and will look forward to. The key will be finding the right triggers. In order to facilitate building the habits, I'm not worrying about duration too much for this challenge. Goal #1: Jump rope at least 2 mins a day, three days a week (MWF) I have wanted to take up jogging, but haven’t done it for various reasons, some of which are health-related. But I recently read an article on jumping rope, which indicated you can burn more calories in less time while still getting the bone-density benefits of running. Plus it’s fun, portable, and I can do it indoors or outdoors without having to worry about sun exposure or stranger danger. (Way back in the when, my husband and I signed up for a gym, and the trainer was taking us around and showing us the equipment. He pointed out the treadmills dismissively, adding, “I don’t know why anyone uses those rather than just running outside.†To which I replied, “Because in here there are lights and cameras and people, and I don’t have to worry about getting attacked and raped if I can’t find anyone to go running with me at night.†From the startled look the guy gave me, this had obviously never occurred to him.) Trigger: I have a couple ideas, which I will try and see what works best. I may do this in the morning after taking care of the animals but before my shower. Or, I may just take the jump rope to work with me. I get to work early most days, so I may just jump rope in the parking lot, or possibly the basement. However, I'm hoping to eventually expand this time into a longer workout, so fitting it into home time would probably be best. Goal #2: Handstands for at least 2 minutes a day, two days a week If I’m making a trigger for jumping rope three days a week, then I need to make sure I have some fitness thing I’m doing on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or that trigger is just not going to take. Whatever trigger works for jumping rope, I can use for handstands on the off days. I love handstands, and I'm still not doing them regularly. I just don't think about it. Nail those to a trigger and I might just do them every day. (First things first, though.) Goal #3: Meditate 2 minutes every morning Despite having a meditation goal in every challenge so far, I have never developed an actual daily habit of practice. Trigger: After the morning routine of taking care of the animals, showering, packing lunch, and making my breakfast smoothie, I will take said breakfast smoothie into the sunroom, shut the door, and sit quietly for two minutes. This will also hopefully have the added benefit of reminding me to make breakfast on the weekends (see side goal). Life Goal: Be artsy! I don’t make time to be creative, other than writing, and like anything else I feel like I “should†do or “need†to do, writing has become a chore. So it’s not in this list. Instead, I will do something creative or artsy every week, purely because I think it would be fun. I have two Paint Nites scheduled, some jewelry I want to make, unfinished cross-stitch and embroidery, a paint-by-number I haven’t started, and some cook books I’ve been browsing. I also want to have the husband hook the Playstation back up so I can play Rock Band. I miss singing. I’ve also been meaning to make a playlist of songs I love to sing along to. Side Goal: Breakfast on Weekends I don’t eat breakfast on the weekends. Sometimes I don’t even eat lunch. This is bad. SCORING: Goal #1: 6 weeks of 3 sessions is 18 sessions. (+2 STA) A = 18, B = 16, C = 13, D = 9. I’m not accepting anything less than half. Goal #2: 6 weeks of 2 two sessions is 12 sessions. (+1 STR, +1 DEX) A = 12, B = 10, C = 8, D = 6. I’m not accepting anything less than half. Goal #3: 6 weeks of 7 meditations is 42 meditations. (+2 WIS) A = 42, B = 35, C = 28, D = 21. I’m not accepting anything less than half. Life Goal: Once a week for six weeks is six activities. (+2 WIS) A = 6, B = 5, C = 14, D = 3. I’m not accepting anything less than half. Diet Side Goal: 6 weeks of 2 instances is 12 instances (+2 CON) A = 12 or less, B = 13-15, C = 16-17, D = 18. Once again I'll be keeping track via this handy template: Jump Rope - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/18 Handstands - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/12 Meditate - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/7 - 0/42 Be Artsy! - 0/1 - 0/1 - 0/1 - 0/1 - 0/1 - 0/1 - 0/6 Breakfast - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/12
  13. First and foremost, thank you in advance for all your help and support. I look forward to repaying you all with a little entertainment in the future (see Life Quest). Disclaimer: This may be a tad depressing, but it has a happy ending : ) Background Story: (The Beginning) When I was in high school I was a nationally competitive gymnast. Needless to say I was in fantastic shape. However, I lived in a home that had a healthy food regiment and didn't really eat out. Leaving for college, however, did a number on me. Junk food, soft drinks, and alcohol. It was a hard time balancing a small budget, having no car, and eating healthy, but I generally was physically active enough to retain most of my fitness. I had a great time, but towards the end things got very dark. (The Fall) Junior year my girlfriend at the time cheated on me with my best friend. To add insult to injury it was while I was in the same house, after I had bought them both dinner, when I had gone to bed early to get back to work early the next morning. Treason once I could handle, but twice? I was in a dark place for senior year of college. (Rock Bottom) My drinking became a problem as I numbed myself to the world around me. The numbness caused me to hurt others who did nothing but care for me. Then when I was sober enough to realize that, I felt even worse; I drank even more. I had met the woman I am currently with and, while I did not know at the time, plan to be with for as long as life allows. I nearly lost her to all my idiot actions that year. I knew that if I was ever going to be worthy of such an incredible person, I needed to change. (Hope) I decided on a sort of reinvention of myself. My first priority was academics and peace of mind. I decided to go to law school far away (in Michigan) from my college (in Florida), to eliminate anyone that could draw me back into that darkness. In short, it was a success: I got the grades; I got the girl (she's ended up coming to another [better] law school in Michigan); and I got the new life I wanted. (If you want to know more about what it takes to succeed in law school, feel free to PM me). (Start Loop) Yet, because fitness and health was not a priority, I was gaining weight and my shape was worsening. I didn't change my diet, nor did I stop drinking. Like a typical New Years resolutioner I bought an exercise system (Rip60) last year and finished it with pretty good results, but I was still The Fork Outrunner. Having run out of workout DVDs I fell off the workout boat and my bad eating/drinking habits caught up to me yet again. (Repeat) I've started and stopped 1) P90X, 2) Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and 3) Running since then... Main Quest: I want to break this cycle: Get fit, keep eating/drinking. Stop working out, keep eating/drinking. Get out of shape again/gain weight. Repeat. In short, I need discipline. I suppose this is my initiation into the Ranger's guild. 3 Specific Goals: 1) Eat better, drink less. My plan is to go paleo and booze-free weeks with weekends limited to a finite number of drinks/cheat meals. In order to accomplish this I will post proposed weekly food regiments and hold myself to them. Success or failure in this is going to be pretty dependent on accountability. Please help me construct reasonable meal plans and devise punishments for failure to adhere to them. 2) Improve Cardio. I'm constantly moving from one place to another so I never have a gym membership. Winter in Michigan is a runner's nightmare with black ice and below zero temperatures. I cannot afford to buy a treadmill and then proceed to move it everywhere I end up going. Therefore, jump rope. I'm doing the workouts in the Rebel Fitness Guide with jump rope as my cardio, and as my supplemental exercise on off days. I can barely do it for a minute straight, so my goal will be ten minutes of coninuous jump rope by the end of this challenge. I will post weekly bests along with my meal plan. 3) Improve Flexibility. While I'm quite happy with the warm up and cool down of the Rebel Workouts, I used to be a competitive gymnast. I'm frankly ashame of how inflexible I have become in relation to my past. Therefore, I will add my old gymnastics/martial arts flexibility regiment to my workout and off days. I will also post weekly bests on my splits in order to be held accountable. My belief is that each of these can be done regardless of my access to workout equipment, and will ensure that I can not fall off the boat. I will set alarms on my phone so that I can never forget. Side Quests: 1) Become a better cook with Paleo recipes. Try at least one new recipe each week. Report the results. 2) Game while standing. When I game I will try and remain standing to avoid sitting all day when I'm not exercising. Life Quest : I want to finally finish developing my magic routine and perform it from start to finish for an audience. I've been casually practicing magic, putting hundreds of dollars into it as a hobby, and never having more than a few isolated tricks to do. My goal is to develop, perfect, and perform a full 10 minute routine. I want to finish this by the end of this challenge and post a video for all of you to enjoy/critique. Motivation: I've always had a fascination with the jack of all trades (aka Batman). Being the best I can be at a variety of things has always brought me pride and pleasure. It is a point of pride then to be not just a Computer Engineer/Patent Lawyer/Archer/Magician but a fit Computer Engineer/Patent Lawyer/Archer/Magician. Being the best I can be, is being the happiest I can be.
  14. I've been taking a cardio kickboxing class and the girls there are amazing. They have differing body types: some overweight, many middle of the road, a few super skinny; but they can all whip out 30-40 real pushups, jump rope . . . forever, and beat the stuffing out of their punching bags. My goal is to be able to keep up. 1. Go to kickboxing 2 times a week 10+ times = A, 8-9 times = B, 5-7 times = C, 3-4 times = D, 2- times = F 2. Be able to do 35 pushups in a row. I have an app that is supposed to train me to do this if is use it every other day. Right now I can do 10. 30+ pushups = A, 25-30 pushups = B, 20-25 pushups = C, 15-20 pushups = D, 14- pushups = F 3. Jump rope for 10 minutes 2 times a week. 10+ times = A, 8-9 times = B, 5-7 times = C, 3-4 times = D, 2- times = F So that's it. My motivation is just to be one of the kickboxing girls. That would be AWESOME.
  15. So here's the deal: First to 60 minutes of Jump Roping (is that really a word?) wins. Please note, this is not an all at once thing. 60 minutes of constant jumping might kill a few of us. Do this in increments. I have document to keep track of your time, however, I can't upload it for some reason. I don't know enough of Google Docs (or whatever it is now...) to make this work here, but I am willing to keep track if you want to email me or send me a message here. If you want to join, please let me know and I'll add your very own tab to keep track. I will post updated totals daily for all to see until I figure out how to put the document up here. jitterstheclown@gmail.com Edit: Alright, AlexCold crushed this challenge into the ground. So, I am updating the deal. Jump for 60 minutes. Feel like a kid again and feel the burn. 60 minutes everyone. Go!
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