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  1. December is the last month of my superhero year. I am going to take this month to transition from being a hero into next years theme… SO my final superhero of the year has a dark side, she has vengeance in her heart. Thus she is a good fit for the end of this year that has seen many trials and obstacles to overcome. I am tired of always being good and trying to do what I should do rather that what I want to do. I needed to take care of many things in 2016 and I did. With any luck my life will stop being played in “epic mode” and I get back to something moe manageable. I will focus on taking care of me in 2017. (Not that I’m ditching my family or anything like that but I have slid backwards towards the end of 2016 and it stops here, now!) Katana >> She is a highly skilled martial artists and weapons specialists. She wields that sword with lethal precision! She has taken vengeance for the death of her husband and children, yet she is striving to find a way to release the soul of her husband who is caught in her katana. She cherished the family she once had and is loyal/protective to the friends she has found in the Outsiders, Birds of Prey and Suicide Squad/ Sergeant Flag… She has overcome hardship and loss to be a strong and amazing hero!!! Skills/goal 1 - Skilled martial artists >> I will start being more focused in BJJ class and spend time watching skill videos with my hubby. This is where I start working towards earning my blue belt and developing my skills. The blue belt is coming… I want to make sure that when I get it I feel like I deserve the promotion. Professor says time spend in the gym counts, but I want to make sure the my skills are up to the belt level. Classes are offered 6 days of week and I will attend class at least three days a week. I will also watch at least one video per week with my hubby! Weekly grading: BJJ class 3x/week + 1 BJJ video = 1 per week 2 - Weapons specialists >> I will be cutting out the junk! My eating went down hill very heavily in the last two months and that must change now. I will track all my food on MFP and I will aim for a weekly average of 1500 cal per day. This allows me to have a treat if I save on other days. I will also get myself back to no grains or dairy. My digestive system has been upset lately and I know this is part of the solution to get it back to optimal functionality. Weekly grading: average of daily calories = to or > 1500. 3 - Vengeance >> I am ready to take back what is mine!!! My knee is doing well, but I must continue to rehab it. My weight started creeping up when I let stress get the best of me. I’m done with excuses! I’m done waiting! Taking care of my body starts now!!! I will do my physical therapy and start the effort to make yoga a habit, every day. Both of these things will make me stronger and more resilient in the future and that is ultimately my goad, to be ready for anything at anytime! So both of these things should be done each and every day, without fail. My PT takes at a minimum 25 minutes (15 of those minutes are on a bike) and I will focus on the simple 5 minute NF yoga mobility sessions. IF I make it to the conditioning/core class at the gym it might count as one or both of these activities, I'll make that judgement for each class attended! Weekly grading: PT 7/7 and yoga 7/7 4 - Family should be cherished >> I have an amazing family and we have been through a damm tough year! What are the things that we can do this holiday season to honor the mess of the last year while celebrating what all we have???? I will try to do something special for each member of my family this month. I will cook each person from my family a special dish for christmas dinner. I will make sure that I spend quality one-on-one time with both my girls and my hubby this month. We had a planned dinner party that is most likely to be postponed till January and we will take that Saturday night to have a date night!! 5 - Bonus lifting >> I will find a few extra minutes while at the gym and I’ll sneak into the back with the free weights and weight bench and I will start to lift more weights. I’m gonna make it simple and use StrongLifts 5x5 to get back into the habit of lifting heavy things. I miss the weight room and this will be a great bridge into next years focus on lifting more!!! Weekly grading: anything here is a BONUS and will add $$ to my reward! How will I make sure that these things happen? My goals aren’t new but I am going to approach it as habit building and see if that approach doesn’t help. I will do two new things to help me build good the good habits of taking care of me. First, I will make reminders on my iPad. I almost always have my iPad out while I am at home and I will have several reminders set to give me nudges towards doing these things. Second, I will make the equivalent of a star chart and post it on my bathroom mirror, where I will see it every morning and night. It sounds dorky but superhero stickers are motivating! And now a reward, yes I like having a reward at the end. I will reward myself with a new outfit, or a new pair of boots or a new purse. Something that I really want and I’ll break it down to give myself something smaller each week that is successful and a large reward for a successful 5 weeks! But the reward will be depended on a 90% success rate. Each lifting bonus will make up for one other missed item. an older version of Katana Aside: I found an interview of the actress who plays Katana in the Suicide Squad and it struck a cord with me. Here it a part of it where she was asked if Katana is the deadliest member of the Suicide Squat: "I think she is the deadliest. Yeah. She is the deadliest. Yeah," Fukuhara told Comicbook.com and other press during a Suicide Squad set visit. "Fact. I could fight it with you. Her character, she's not into fighting for herself. That's the giri-ninjo part; it's for someone else. When someone doesn't care about her own well being, to kill someone else, and to protect someone, that makes her the scariest one, because she doesn't ... Try fighting someone that doesn't care about what the outcome is for them. You're going against someone that is going to give it their all, no matter how many times you shoot at them, and that's why she's so badass and awesome.” So Katana is fighting for others and often puts little value on her own wellbeing. I definitely feeling like that these days, but it has to stop. I am not risking my life fighting in epic battles but I am not taking care of myself.
  2. Immortal words of a Ninjutsu instructor, some years ago: <brandishing a pair of Sai> "Right! Anyone who thinks they're Raphael from the Ninja Turtles can just ***k off!" My Karate Sensei likes to include some kobudo in the class. Specifically we have been working on a couple of Bo katas and he is keen to have us learn at least one Sai kata (once more of us have our own Sai). The other day I saw the trailer for the upcoming Michael Bay TMNT reboot and that got me thinking... I've always liked swords. Now I'm learning some Bo katas and have the opportunity to learn Sai katas... all that's missing is the Nunchucks and I've got the whole TMNT gang! So why not go for it? TMNT originally appeared when I was a kid so it's of my generation. I've nothing to loose by learning some (more) Sai, Nunchaku, Sword and Bo techniques/katas! Furthermore, why not make it a TMNT themed challenge? Well, I don't do Ninjutsu these days but I do often wear a bandanna with lizards or newt shapes on it (I don't know why so don't ask) so Karate Newt might be more appropriate than Ninja Turtle. (I'm also very much NOT a teenager ) Fitness: April: Attend gym for some kind of strength training at least twice a week. May: Some kind of strength training at least twice a week. Probably bodyweight & kettlebells. Probably in my garden. Cardio: Walking, sprinting, swimming, cycling... anything - just Move! Str +1, Sta +1, Dex +1 Con +1 Karate: Keep attending weekly lessons. Keep practising the basics - stances, strikes, blocks, kicks. Do my grading. Dex +1, Wis +1, Cha +1 Unarmed Kata: Keep practising Fukyugata Ichi and Ni. Keep practising Pinan Shodan through Yondan. Learn Pinan Godan. Learn first three "two person katas" (can't remember what they're called): Kumite Katas Sta +1, Dex +1, Wis +1 Weapons: Keep practising Bo Shodan. Finish learning Bo Nidan. Learn one Sai Kata. Buy or make some Nunchuks and then learn one Nunchaku Kata. Find or develop a simple sword kata. Learn it. Str +1, Dex +1, Wis +1 Bonus: Get my own pair of Sai. Attend the Friday class (further away - more costly to get to) Wis +1, +1 Cha.
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