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  1. Howdy, y'all! Hope you're doing well today. In a sign of how well I'm rebalancing my life, I'm here early, just like I used to be in easier times. Because it turns out I have a lot more say in how I get here than I thought. For those of you just tuning in, I'm Kishi. Been around a while, and still a work in progress. I'm coming off a big win challenge where I challenged a lot of my assumptions about training and lifestyle and the choices I have. It's been freeing, in a lot of ways, although these new freedoms come packing a bunch of new responsibilities with them that you might not necessarily expect. For example: I have learned that I can effectively strength train on 10 minutes of work a day. It's true. I'll tell you some more about it sometime. But the responsibility that comes with it now is to actually spend that 10 minutes well, and not put it off and put it off until the end of the day when I really need to be eating dinner and winding down. It's a virtuous thing in the sense of promoting wellbeing, but it's a virtuous thing that can feed into a vicious cycle if I let it, and I don't really want to do that. Figuring that out was a big part of last challenge. It's dialed in pretty well now, though. So now that I have a minimum effective dose for training, I want to turn that to my writing. Although maybe not in the way you might think, because the trick with minimum effective doses is that you don't necessarily know where that is and it's very easy to go below that minimum and maybe not even necessarily know it. I've had a minimum effective dose for my writing for a while of just showing up and staring at the draft, and sometimes that's felt like enough, but on the whole I'm dissatisfied with it. I feel like I want to do more, but more than that, I want to feel good about the amount of work I've done in a given day. And I know that feelings aren't a thing I control, so chasing a writer's high might not be the most responsible thing to do. But OTOH, "If I do what I've always done, I will get what I've always got." I want something different, so I gotta change it up somehow. The goal of this challenge - single goal, because that's how I roll - is to show up daily to write and to work on the story to the degree that I feel good about it. How much is that going to be? I dunno, man. I think it might vary depending on the task and where I am mental health-wise on a given day. I want to give myself grace and space for that. But I also want to have discipline too. I want to work. And I want to feel good about it. That's what this challenge is about. And also, you know, being part of an awesome community that I genuinely like too.
  2. Not long after slapping in the above placeholder photo, two of those angelfish started laying eggs on the leaves of one of the Anubias plants in the tank and beating the crap out of any other fish that came close, not to mention darting across the tank to harass the other two angelfish. So I go the breeding pair out of that tank and set up a 10 gal on the fly and yadda, yadda... they ate their eggs. <sigh> But now I know I have a breeding pair of angelfish. Time to move on. ====== Hi. I am Stronkey Kong. I've been on NF ten years. Lately it's church etc, and fish tanks that are getting me off the couch and not stuffing my face so we'll roll with that. This challenge will be a combination of a lot of the usual: a nutrition goal, a bed time routine, a morning routine, an exercise routine, and a fish tank based LUYL. When does life stop getting weirder? ========== Goal 1: Bedtime Routine-- In bed by midnight. I get home from work around 10:30 pm. That gives me an hour and a half to: feed the cat feed the fish feed myself (a small snack) change clothes, wash up, brush teeth evening prayer go to bed by 12 am. I can read in bed if I don't feel like falling asleep right away, but that's it. Goal 2: The point of goal 1 is to fix my morning routine. Get up at 8 am. Morning prayer. Feed fish/tank maintenance. Exercise Breakfast Read scripture Study Ukrainian or Greek Goal 3: Exercise Mon-Sat MWF = walk or something light TRS = KB, Ringfit, or jogging Goal 4: Ditch the soymilk and fake veggie meats. It's our liturgical calendar that has brought out this one. There's a lot of fasting in Orthodoxy, mainly in the form of giving up meat and animal products. My eating habits have veered toward vegetarianism, and so I have a lot of soy products around, so much so that it makes fasting not really feel at all like fasting. I don't really have to give anything up, I'm just switching the days where I eat tofu and veggie sausages. I should feel like I'm sacrificing something, and on fasting days I should always be at least a little hungry. Also, veggie stuff can be kind of expensive, and it's debatable whether its really all that healthy cuz it's processed yadda yadda, and I tolerate real dairy well enough. And there was recently a big study on diet that found that whole fat dairy was actually protective in terms of longevity (not counting butter). So I'll eat meat, milk, and cheese and just limit myself to tofu on fasting days... tofu is not a meat replacement, just ask a carnivore. LUYL: Breed Fish, Grow Plants, Make Money This goal will practically do itself as I require little added motivation to do this hobby. But I'm at the point where i need to tune it up and turn it around so it doesn't just become a money toilet. I have a couple of orders of plants, fish, and hardware coming. After that I need to stop spending and start focusing on growing and marketing and come up with a legit plan.
  3. Part way through this challenge, we will be vacationing at Disneyland and Joshua Tree National Park.Which means I get to ride the Incredicoaster. My Incredicoaster Challenge: Looking forward I've stopped writing down my daily and weekly plans, I want to start that again Climb to the top of the hill: Cardio, Continue walking, no real goal, just get some in, if I'm not rowing that day do a bit more walking Rowing: I want to finish the 24 day zone 2 and 5 rowing challenge goal is 2 days a week zone 2, 1 day a week zone 4 or 5 VIew from the top Strength train 3-4 days a week. This is fairly easy for me, I like strength training Going Down Work on looking incredible in my shorts for my trip Follow Eating Skills Good : Track in MFP 3 days a week, keep within my range Better 4 days a week, including a weekend day Best: Best days a week including a weekend day The Loop I don't like the upside down part of the coaster. I also don't like drinking lots of water. But some things are just part of the ride. This challenge I'm just going to track my water. Drink my big glass in the morning, and then track the liquids I drink. Any liquid counts (except alcohol) I will track in the Fitbit app. Good: track 3 days Better track 4 days Best track 5 days Side quests: Finish staining fence Begin preparing the garden for winter To do list for final vacation plans frames for pictures Other notes: On vacation I will not be working on my challenge goals. I will be enjoying my vacation. And probably getting in oodles of steps. The only real goals I have for eating during vacation is to eat slowly, and savor the moments.
  4. I'm enjoying this song It's a good reminder that right now, this life I'm living is the good life. Goal 1: Enjoy the summer I love summer! And where I live, the summer weather has been fantastic. Sunny and warm, but not happy. I want to enjoy it. Spend time gardening, long walks, reading outside, geocaching, and all the other pleasures that summer offers. Goal 2: Being low-key My clothes are getting a bit tight. That's a win in the area where I'm building muscle! But not so much with the belly fat. Measured my waist and belly, and I have gained weight there. Instead of a big plan and focusing all my energy at losing weight, this time I'm just going to be low key about, Make wise choices. Track fiber and protein. Use my eating skills. Focus on strength. Not tracking this, just sort of an awareness. It won't happen all the time, just an acknowledgment that I need to make some subtle changes. I will measure once a week to see how it's going. I don't care if all I do is maintain, I just want to stop the gain. 1 day MFP protein and fiber tracking= C 2 day =B 3 day = A Goal 3: Going with what works: I've been focusing on getting 20 oz of water in the morning. That seems to help my workouts, so I want to keep up with this habit Light in the morning: When I read my Bible in the morning sit outside, or at least at the couch with the blinds open. Sometimes maybe when I feel like it I will go for a morning walk. Keep up with my workouts Add : Water goal 32 oz by 2 pm (if I have smoothie this can be 26 oz) Goal 4: Deep Sleep I've been experimenting to see if I could improve the deep sleep numbers on my Fitbit. One thing that seems to help is spending a few minutes before I sleep deep breathing so I will try and do that most nights. Also, I've been workout on this 3; 2;1; formula 3 hours before bed stop eating 2 hours no drinking(maybe sips but nothing big 1 hour no screen The 3:2;1; is a guideline more than a rule, sometimes exceptions happen, just something to shoot for because I know it helps Side Quests; Stain fence finish vacation planning have day long geocaching adventure clean deck buy frames for pictures
  5. Am I late, or are y'all early? Or did I start this precisely when I meant to? It's totally me, I'm late, you guys, I don't know how it happened I'll let you ponder that. I skipped out last challenge because I didn't know what I was doing and I didn't really know what I meant by saying I wanted to "Maintain." And truthfully, some of that is still at play now. My old workout routine has completely flown the coop. I don't really have a routine anymore so much as a series of touchstones that I try to touch every week. Instead of thinking about particular movements, I think these days in terms of patterns - press, pull, squat, hinge, lunge, invert - and do a little core work on the side as it relates to or enhances my martial arts. (At this point, that means hanging leg raise progressions, loaded carries, and side planks with the goal to develop a Copenhagen Plank for adductor strength). I walk more these days too. A lot more. I managed to get a pedometer app on my phone and it's been mindblowing to see how little I was moving beforehand. It's not perfectly accurate, but it's consistent, and I can work with that. I'll document that some in the logs this week to give you an idea of what this comes out looking like. I feel really good these days as a result. My busted shoulder is nice and quiet. I'm better-rested, and I feel like I'm moving better as a result. I've been going easier in the rolls out on the mats for BJJ these days and I've had to get technical since I'm not using strength so much. I think I'm better, and even when I'm tapped, I find that I don't care about the tap so much as getting tapped safely (ie don't be stubborn, tap early, tap often). I got a couple things coming up this challenge. One of these is a belt promotion this Sunday, 8/6, which I'll go to. I don't have any expectations; the job has consumed me and I'm not making the time that I want to for this, so, I'll go, but I'm not so certain that I'm going to be promoted. It's fine if not. I've been meaning to go to these things for a while anyway, and it'd be good to be a part of the community. The other thing is a GoRuck challenge out in Denver at the end of the month. This will be with my brother, who is apparently arranging the whole thing. I've bought the tickets and the weight, so now I just need to get a couple other pieces of safety gear and I should be good to go. Just need to get some training volume. This particular event is slated to just be a 12 mile hike in 5 hours with a 20 lb weight. I think that's too easy given how it went the last time I did one of these, but I think I'll be better-prepared this time. More prep time would have been better, but I couldn't accomplish that with the equipment I had, so, I'll just have to make the most of what I can do now. I have three goals for this challenge. Surprisingly, only one physical, but that one physical goal will cover, like, everything, so for the most part I'll just be logging that stuff here. The other two goals are to keep working at my writing and to meditate. I'm up to 5 minutes at this point, so I'd like to hit 6 minutes for the remainder of the challenge. And, uh, yeah. That's that. I'll be about. Good to see you all again.
  6. Been doing the summer stuff, walking, gardening, reading in the sun, and haven't put a lot of thought into challenges. Kept thinking I'd get around to it, but it hasn't happened. So, let's just focus on what I was already doing: 1) Morning Sun; Read my Bible in the morning by the window with drapes open bonus: sit outside double bonus; ,morning walk 2) drink 20 oz of water in the morning. I've slacked on that this week, and I can tell the difference. 3)Strength I've been doing slowed down Romanian deadlift, so that's this challenge 3 x 6 44lb Romanian Deadlift at a tempo of 1-4-3-1 Current 3 x 4 Single arm military press with a hold at top and slow descent 25lb 3 x 5 current 3 x 3 Rows 3 x 8 2 second pause at top 35lb current 6,,6,7 4) Summer list : I've made a list of things I want to do in the next couple of months. Each week I want to report on what I've accomplished from the list Added goals: Cut down on evening snacking: I'm snacking more out of habit than hunger. I want to change that. I don't want to do a goal of " no snacking" because then by next challenge I'll just be burnt out and go back to the old habit of snacking. I will record and give myself a point for each day I go with no evening snacks. There is no goal for my points, I'm just sorta seeing if I can say no some of the time. Tea with sweetener and a bit of coconut milk, or warmed up coconut milk is fine. Eat more fiber. I tracked last challenge ,and I had a decent amount of fiber, but I could do with a bit more. I am not in the mood to track , so this is a very wibbly wobbly goal , the only thing is awareness, if I eat one meal that has low fiber, think about it the next, fruits and veggies, and some fibery carbs are good.
  7. I'm Stronkey Kong. I've been on these here forums 'bout ten years. I'm still fat despite a lot efforts to the contrary and after a fruitless vacation at the beginning of last challenge that began with good intentions, I've realized that something deep and fundamental needs to change. That's why after much soul searching and reading, and googling stuff, and then finally going into a church, I am enquiring and actively participating the liturgical life of the Orthodox Christian church. Hence, most of this challenge I will be keeping the fasting rules (as best as I can) for the Apostles' Fast. Then going forward we fast every Wed. and Fri. I'll explain the fasting rules below. No worries. I'm not going to talk about it other than the fasting parameters that will affect this challenge. I know I've done discussions of religion poorly in the past, so I'll spare you all from that again. Also, my manager has re-assigned me to regular night shift again. For 10 months I've been working 12pm-10pm, and I'll be moving back to 3:30pm-1:30am. This is all fine, but going to church on Sunday mornings at 9 am is going to be a bit of a challenge. Not impossible, but it will require extra effort to manage on my part. I'll view it as a weekly "reset day" since if I just let go, I'll tend to drift toward later and later bedtime/waketime cycles. Goal 1: Keep the Apostles' Fast-- Jun 12 - July 12 Basically M, W, and F are strict fast days -- no meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, oil, or wine(alcohol). T and Th -- oil and wine are allowed Sat and Sun -- fish, oil, and wine are allowed The way the church calendar works, we got a long one this year. It will require focus and discipline, but given that I lean vegetarian, this is pretty reasonable for me. Goal 2: Stick to the Sleep schedule Mon-Sat: Wake at 11am , Bedtime 3am Sun: Wake at 8 am, (nap if necessary), Bedtime 3 am (or earlier if needed) Again, reasonable, but I tend to let sleep schedules drift too much and I'm not sure if Sunday morning resets are going to be helpful or upsetting to the rhythm. 🤷‍♂️ Goal 3: Active Morning Routine From waking until I leave for work... or Sundown on my days off, I need to keep doing productive things. I've been doing good with keeping my morning prayer followed by my morning walks. I'm going to try to take things up a notch (but just one notch) on the relaxed fast days and do either some yard work or KB work. But on more restricted days I'll take my morning walk, do some light cleaning around the house, and call it there. Peopling is fine too. Then prayer and scripture readings etc. to fill the time until I leave for work. Just no vegging in front of the TV. If when I get home in the wee hours, I want to zone out for a little bit before bedtime prayer and sleep that's fine.
  8. In all fairness, for this challenge I rummaged through my past challenges to find one that I remember being deeply impactful in getting me out of a rut (which is certainly the case right now). I've modified it a bit to fit my current goals, however. I have been in some emotionally dark places recently, prompted by the death of someone close to me and being too much in my own head. I have been continuing to fight some demons, slay some dragons, and bounce between feeling like a failure as a husband and father and feeling hopeful that I really am doing as well as I can in the circumstances. This challenge, like many that have come before it, will have three categories: Mind, Body, and Spirit. It will be themed after things that give me hope: scripture, poetry, music, nature, fictional and real-life characters, motivational videos, stories of success and overcoming adversity, and of course lots and lots of time with family and friends. I will use a daily point system based on the level of personal difficulty. For example, even though I love to read it is difficult for me to sit still and focus for an extended period of time. Therefore, that task is worth more points. Every 250 points I will "level up" and will reward myself in some way (sleep in, eat a cheat meal, buy something for myself, etc.). Mind (17 points): wake up early Monday-Saturday (0445) -- (1 point) read for at least 20 minutes a day -- (5 points) learn something every day (via podcasts, articles, videos, apps, etc.) -- (5 points) complete the daily goal on Duolingo (Spanish) -- (1 point) journal daily -- (5 points) Body (22 points): intermittent fasting (nothing to eat after 7 pm or before 9 am) -- (5 points) practice some form of breath work -- (5 points) daily workout (fitness plan to be posted later)-- (5 points) integrate creative movement throughout the day (walking, hiking, squatting, crawling, sprinting, playing with my kids, etc.) -- (1 point) eat mostly (65%-80%) whole foods -- (5 points) no sodas and at least 11 glasses of water daily -- (1 point) Spirit (11 points): meditate at least 10 minutes daily -- (5 points) daily prayer/devotional/scripture reading -- (1 point) reach out to at least one friend or family member a day via message or call -- (5 points)
  9. For those who are new or behind, my main goal is weight loss, for health reasons as well as I want to look good naked, and fit in clothes I used to. I love 5Ks and kettlebells. I'm struggling with this goal because it doesn't get easier when you get older. (W) I work from home, (4 jobs) as an accountant, so making sure I have enough movement in my day as well as not eating "all the unhealthy things" is important. It's very easy to lose track of how much time I've been sitting trying to solve an issue. Not having "all the unhealthy things" in the house also helps. I use a 5K training plan that I’ve used in the past, 3 days of intervals and 1 - 2 of strength/cross training days, I may graduate to the 10K and half marathon plans this year, I may not. I just want to keep moving. ( R )I struggle to get enough sleep so that shall remain on the list until it's no longer a struggle. (E) I found a ‘diet’ plan, the Dr. that came up with its target audience is post-menopausal women. So far I’m down 11 lbs. This has kind of stalled no matter what I do about it so I'm going to just focus on not going overboard, stopping when full, and not blowing my calorie budget. (S) I want to hit at least 7500 steps a day, once this becomes habit I’ll raise it (T) Tracking the things that I eat (L) I’ve been learning Spanish on Duolingo, because this country scares me and I may want to move abroad one day. I also want to learn to play guitar, since I have one collecting dust in my room and it will not learn to play itself. There are plenty of free videos on how to do this on YouTube. Learning something, at least once a week (Duolingo goal is daily) will count towards this. (E) Extra things that make life worth living, 5k’s or more that I may do, motorcycle rides, FL trips, and life events will go here. Checking in to hold myself accountable is key to this being successful, I don't want to have to post bad news here. I plan on posting daily to make sure I'm on track where I need to be The Plan... Workout - Intervals/Kettlebells Rest - Sleep (7 hours a night) Eat - Stay under calories and don’t make excuses to eat the unhealthy things Steps - Hitting my 7500 steps a day goal Track - using Cronometer Learn - Duolingo, other stuff Extra - Rides, 5k's, events, and life Update - Daily Done - 🌈 Not Done - ❄️ New Stuff: Yes I carry goals over from one challenge to the next, for those that stick around for multiple challenges (I love you, seriously, thank you!) New stuff will always be at the end of the first post Going to make a couple additions to this challenge now that I've gotten my schedule pinned down a bit better. I want to get my granddaughter's item I've been crocheting since before Xmas, done, since it's only about five weeks before I see her! I also want to do something to focus on me each day, this can be (finally) starting to learn to play the guitar, journaling, or riding my bike. I would say reading but I honestly do that every day, and if I put crochet in there it's like cheating LOL I may count crochet anyway...
  10. I decided not to pigeonhole myself into another theme and want to weasel my way out halfway through. I figured by keeping it neutral I can use what inspiration I want so long as I maintain discipline. A few things are inspiring me right now: Diablo 4, the Death Wolf from Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Remnant 2 archetypes, Dungeon Crawler Carl, Mistborn and Bronze Era Bodybuilders. I realize this is a myriad of different things but collectively it’s keeping me topped off with ample amounts of inspiration. But, anyways, besides allowing this challenge to be more free form, it also allows me to focus on something I’ve wanted to implement since fitness became a part of my life. That is the philosophy of wolflean. If you’re familiar with David Gemmell, one of my favorite authors of all time, he would sometimes describe his warrior characters as being “wolf-lean”. I first discovered this word many, many years ago and the ideal behind it has been burned into my brain ever since. The aesthetic behind the word is apparent but also the mindset and what it takes to become wolflean has always been with me. I’m going to take my inspiration from DCC (Dungeon Crawler Carl) and Remnant 2 archetypes to create a little RPG adventure for myself for the gamifying aspects of this challenge. Let’s start with that: Archetype: Challenger Trait: Strongback Accumulate 500 pull-ups/chin-ups this challenge This equates to 100 pull-ups a week, which is 14.2857143 a day. Let’s round up to 15 Grease-the-groove is the best way to get this done, unless a workout calls for pull-ups or chin-ups. Use 20# weighted vest at least 1x a week Bonus: Complete the Murph WOD with the vest. Damage Perk: Close Quarters 1-2x a week KB complex The whole point is to get in a quality metcon and break a sweat…maybe even second guess my fitness choices. GET. AFTER. IT. Focus on double KB’s This can be done AFTER a workout or on a separate day altogether Team Perk: Intimidating Presence Core Work Daily aka Adamantine Abs I neglect my core more often than I should. Not this challenge. Core must be worked at every workout and on non-training days, I need to spend 3-5min on a core workout. This could be as simple as hollow holds or loaded carries Utility Perk: Powerlifter The focus is SQUATS & BENCH PRESS Back squat, front squat, hack squat – focus on utilizing these 3 Barbell bench press – focus on the getting stronger with bench Wear weight belt, knee sleeves, wrist wraps and “proper shoes” *more on these below* Utility Perk: Face of Danger Clean eating and quality sleep Shoot for veggies at least 1x meal a day Generally this isn’t an issue, but it’s nice to put a little pressure on to make it happen every day The goal is: 200g of protein a day. This would be the only macro I would track. Sleep is a whole other monster in itself- but napping and getting to bed ASAP during the work week does wonders. Nap on training days Try and get to bed by 11pm Su-Th These perks are from the archetype: Challenger from Remnant 2. It’s an upcoming souls-like shooter and a sequel to the smash hit, Remnant: From The Ashes. They just released an IGN special showcasing the Gunslinger archetype and on one of the menu screens it shows the Challenger archetype as well. When I saw the names of these I was instantly inspired. According to my source, the Challenger showcase is set to premier sometime soon - possibly in the next week. Now, let's focus on my gym gear. I’m also adding an RPG twist on this and all these items are directly inspired by DCC. I had a LOT of fun coming up with these Current Gear: Heavyweight Title Belt of the Naga Berserker Type: Legendary Weight Belt Description: The Naga Berserker is renowned for its fighting prowess and insane levels of strength. Out of all the Naga subclasses, the Berserker is legendary for its insane constrictive power and consistent winning streak for the Naga Ultra Body Building contest held each Summer. Able to squeeze the life out of a full-grown elephant with ease, the last thing you want to do is tangle with these guys up close (or go head to head with them in a bodybuilding contest). This title belt is made from the thickly shed skin of the winningest Naga Berserker of all time, Sssamuel Gunther Sssullivan the Third, allowing the wearer to retain some of his residual strength. The belt will fasten down with force so take a deep breath, pose like you mean it and become the Peach Daddy you were born to be. Stats: +5 to STR +2 CON Special Ability: Braced Core With Braced Core, the lifter can typically lift about 2-5% more weight. Placebo effect? Maybe. They always say physicality is 87% mental! Embody the spirit of Sssamual Gunther Sssulivan III and GIT GUD, BRO! Those weights aint lifting themselves! When barbell squatting or deadlifting, there’s a 12% chance to hit a PR +1 to INT Once buckled, the lifter is granted a temporary buff called: Sssmart Lifter Sssmart Lifter activates for the duration of the working set. This seemingly small buff reminds the lifter of all the times they haven’t used a weight belt and the injuries that followed. Way to go, dummy! On the plus side, this buff gives you a 50% boost in confidence immediately thereafter. This increases an additional 15% if you flex on ‘em. Bonus Buff: Berserker Mode If paired with rock music, there is an additional 5% chance to hit a PR. Chance to break out in an air guitar solo equals 100%! Enchanted Azure Knee Sleeves of the Rickety Bone Mage Type: Epic Knee Sleeves Description: Bone Mages, while very powerful and deadly, are one hit away from becoming a pile of dusty bones. Most bone mages wear protective cloaks, light armor and dope up on copious amounts of vitamin D3 to ensure their precious skeletons stay together without tendons and muscle. Well placed knee sleeves while carrying the whole team on their back ensures a couple more seconds in the fight and prevents early onset of Osteoporosis. You’re still a glass cannon but maybe now you’re closer to bullet proof glass! Stats: +2 to CON Special Ability: Ass-to-Grass When you slide these knee sleeves on you have a 33% chance to get ass-to-grass on your barbell squats. Knee popping may be a thing, but nothing says “deep squat” like when your juicy, marshmallow butt hits your calf muscle. Bonus Buff: Lawn Mower If you manage to go ass-to-grass on an entire set then there is a 80% chance your next set mimics the last. All reps on the previous set must be lower than 90 degrees. How loooooow can you go?! Obsidian Wrist Wraps of the Master Assassin Type: Legendary Wrist Wraps Description: Whether striking from the shadows with a well placed knife to the spine or vaulting on rooftops like your Ezio Auditore, master assassins have been stalking their prey for centuries. These wraps don’t just protect your wimpy little wrist joints - they solidify them! Stabbing unsuspecting foes in the back is hard work, ya know?! Also, they just look cool as hell. Throw up your cloak hood and sharpen your hidden daggers cuz shit’s about to get messy. Stats: +4 to DEX +2 to STR Special Ability: Gym Reaper Once these wraps are synched tight you all of a sudden feel like the baddest motherfucker on the planet. Nothing can stop you. Especially exercises that require the use of wrist wraps, like: the bench press. You gain a 90% boost on your arm durability and stability for the duration of your workout. You also increase your likelihood of not needing a spotter by 6%. But, who are we kidding - you should use one anyways! Situational Buff: Commander Taggart Special When performing reps of 5 or lower, you have a 55% chance to bare your teeth and dig yourself out of the hole when things get heavy and difficult. Never give up, never surrender! However, if you bounce the barbell off your chest to get the rep then that % drops to 5%. Bonus Buff: It’s a Wrap! Every time you re-tighten these wraps there’s a 20% chance that your recovery time receives a boost. It starts at 1% and works its way up to 5% for a total of 5 stacks. If you manage to get to 5 stacks, then lactic acid has no effect on you….at least until the next day. I never said this would cure DOMS! T-800 Terminator Hi-Tops Type: Unique Item Note: You can only have 1x unique item equipped at a time. Description: Come with me if you want to live. Introduced in 1985 (and just a year after The Terminator hit theaters), the Nike Terminator’s were the first signature shoes introduced to a specific college basketball team: the Georgetown Hoyas. These unique hi-top sneakers offer a myriad of benefits, including saving John Connor and sometimes trying to hunt him down depending on what timeline. Either way, Skynet has a back-up plan and showing up naked through a time portal is priority #1! Like well built killing machines, these sneakers give you the ability that seemingly reinforces all the bones in your body, making you nearly indestructible. When paired with lifts like squats and deadlifts, The T-800’s are absolute tanks and offer a unique skill unlike any other sneaker out there. So, flip-trick your sawed off shotgun like the badass you are and let Cyberdyne Systems know who’s boss: Hasta la vista, baby! Stats: +2 Vertical Jump +1 Speed +1 Agility +1 Ankle support +2 Squats Special Ability: I’ll be Back! When active, you gain a 5% strength bonus when performing Back Squats and a 2% strength bonus to ALL back exercises. If you go 3+ or more sets of Back Squats, there’s a 20% chance to activate a buff called: WD40. This buff essentially loosens up your joints, specifically your hips so you can get lower with each rep and hit a squat groove that would make Shakira jealous. As you know, these hips don’t lie. Unique Skill: Weed Wacker When wearing these shoes and squatting, your chance to activate the special ability Ass-to-Grass is increased by 25%. If you are already wearing an item that has this skill then the overall chance of activation is an additional 30%. You might as well start up your own lawn service after this! Unique Skill: Neural Net Processor CPU With this unique skill, you are able to learn, assess and reassess your form with different ways to tweak your lifts to your benefit and advantage. This ability to “learn” and prevent bad habits is huge as a seasoned lifter. This is a passive ability and is always active so long as you are wearing these shoes. This automatically garners a: +1 Squat +1 Bench +1 Deadlift +1 Olympic Lifts +1 Overhead Press Battle Armor of the Fallen War Hero Type: Celestial Weight Vest Description: The WOD known as “Murph” is legendary in its own right. Named after the fallen war hero, Michael Murphy, “Murph” was the epitome of courage and selflessness. You only WISH you could be as badass as him. In honor of this brave soldier, anyone wearing a 5.11 Weighted Vest has a 5% for the piece of gear to be legendary status or higher. Those bastards lucky enough to get a celestial type are in the 1% of the population. However, the celestial perks on this chest rig only works when performing the “Murph” WOD. But, if the “Murph” WOD is done with this vest, it unlocks a vast amount of abilities for 29 hours after the workout is completed. Outside of that, the perks are standard and downright basic. #EmbraceTheSuck #ThankYouMichaelMurphy Stats: +1 Pull-ups +1 to Rucking +1 Grip Strength When “The Murph” ability is active. *Note: these perks, skills and abilities only activate on the completion of the “Murph” WOD using this vest. These advantages only last for 29 hours.* +2 STR +2 END +3 to Push-ups +3 to Pull-ups +3 to Squats 50% boost to confidence 50% boost to sleep recovery 100% boost to “sense of accomplishment” Special Ability: Honor thy Fallen When completing the “Murph” WOD, you gain a sense of pride and integrity that wasn’t there before. If you think this workout was hard then try to remember those that have fought bravely for your nation and sacrificed themselves so you could remain free. Do NOT take this lightly. The DOMS you feel are only a small reminder but upon completion of this workout, there’s a 14% chance you recover 14% faster than you normally would. Special Ability: One in the Tank After completing this workout, there’s a 5% chance the next time you do this workout that you’ll gain a fraction of the perks that are only active when the WOD is already completed. This could easily garner a better overall time each time you decide to do the “Murph” WOD if you’re smart about it and keep up the consistency. Special Bonus Buff: Inspire the Masses No one should go in alone and when completing the Murph, or upon full completion, there is a 60% chance that your hard work inspires others to join you. It’s much easier to have a teammate encourage you to keep going than the negative self-talk sabotage that happens when you're flying solo. BRCC Black Multicam Snapback/Warrior Poet Black Multicam Snapback Type: Rare Description: Nothing super special about these hats. They do what they are supposed to do: keep the sun out of your eyes and the hair out of your face. If you’re one of those guys who can pull-off a backwards hat, then kudos to you. Women find it sexy! But my guess is…you’re not one of those lucky few. Sorry, Charlie! Stats: +4 to “Keeping Hair out of Face” +2 to “Keeping Sun of of Eyes” Bonus Buff: Flip it in Reverse If you look good wearing a cap backwards then you are rewarded with a 35% chance to activate the Billy Badass buff. This ability gives you a +1 STR when performing sets of 3 or more on any exercise. All this to say, guys and gals: I'm letting my creative freak flag fly. For the most part, the perks, numbers and % don't really mean a whole lot. I will try and incorporate all the gear stats into my workout write-ups just to satiate my creativity and keep me engaged, though. Thanks for reading through everything if you made it this far! Time to kick ass on another 5-weeks! *BONUS CONTENT* Half way through this challenge, I will implement what's called: A Challenge Respec. This allows me to re-allocate my skills and goals in a way that I see fit and/or benefits me in the long run. Chances are, I will activate my "Mistborn Themed Challenge". This isn't necessarily here to make @Elastigirl happy, but I'm sure she'll appreciate it either way . Wolf
  11. I'm closing in on 4 years in the forum now, having done my NF Introduction back right before leaving The North. I've finally been able to catch-up on updating my original training log, Third World Warrior: The Eight-Year Training Log (after some technical difficulties deleting like 2 years of logs) and I'll be using the Daily Battle Logs to both track my training and consolidate my challenges. I have been all over the place most of my life, hence many challenges with Rangers, but my issue is that I feed my training ADD and just ride the tides, making hay when the sun's out. Because of this I've gained proficiency in many things, but I'm having trouble tracking if I'm actually getting better in any of them. Hence, a long-term log. I've always been a fan of public training logs (for myself). I was never worried about how my competition was training, I was always focused on what I was doing. However because of this I tend to buy my own BS. A long term training log tracks progress, and allows others to call me out whenever I'm becoming too full of myself. (Perhaps having an Epic Quest might be of use as well, to keep the goal the goal.) I've always been very stubborn and secretive, even to my coaches. This can also cover training while I use 4-week challenges to work on life.
  12. Hi! So this past Tuesday, I had something of an epiphany. I went home to help my dad out with some chores about the place. Nothing strenuous in particular, but it reminded me of an old guideline from Simple and Sinister about testing yourself against unusual and unorthodox demands every now and again. This has always worked out for me to being a matter of serving others somehow, because everyone needs help with moving their couch. I found that I missed the program a great deal. I've also been working on losing some body fat per the latest iteration of Berkhan's Leangains protocol, which is basically all protein all the time. He's suspicious of "fuckarounditis," or trying to train everything and ultimately training nothing. My latest measurements indicate that I'm actually gaining fat on this protocol right now, and that's a matter of compliance more than it's anything else. The past month has been remarkably social, and I've not had all that much opportunity to be compliant. I can't do anything about the social component beyond damage control, but I can do something about my training, and I think it's worth it. New plan is to hit S&S on as near to the daily as I can. GB training is going to be broken up some as a result - no more core movements and one upper-body movement per day, plus one leg movement and 1-2 days of handstand work. Reason being that GB's protocols call for integrated mobility, and in their core series they all ultimately work out to having a lumbar flexion component that Pavel warns against. S&S in its current iteration fortunately can make space for this - once I get back to lifting the 32, the recommended days drop off from daily to 3-4 days per week, and I can return to core training then. In the meantime, the work I'm doing will build me toward a Hollow Back Press, and a Straddle Planche, which are non-flexion core strengtheners which would be good to have a base in by the time I get to the point that it matters. Fortunately, everything should work just fine, I think. The past few days have felt pretty good in terms of me getting what I want. Now the trick is to work in qigong and stretching, which I think I can do as long as I'm focused properly on it. So here are the challenge goals: Goal 1: Train Bit of a gimme, but consistent logging is good for me when I make changes like this, so I can confront myself and be honest about what's happening and whether I like it or not. Goal 2: Meditate This fell off in the past week. Dedicate 10 minutes a day to relaxing my mind. This feels like something I can get after now, but I'm reserving the right to adjust if needed. Goal 3: Write This fell off in the past week too. No excuses, and the good news is that when I've done work, it's been good, deep, structural work. I've been figuring out what kind of cast of characters I need and who they are in relation to the structure of the story, which is good to do. Now I need to keep going. I don't really know how to quantify it at this point beyond "just sit down and do the thing," but I think I can do it. And, yeah. I've been writing down what I do on the mats afterward and that alone has been helpful, but I've had a hard time with actually doing the homework of reviewing videos and taking notes. This could be better. Just a matter of making time, really. Can do. Will do? That remains to be seen. But, uh, yeah. T-minus a couple days. Let's go.
  13. I decided that I wanted to just redux this challenge since I didn't even scratch the surface of the other one and I wasn't too set on the goals when I went back and thought about it. They were too vague and I don't want a work goal in there because I feel like it'll stress me out in the long run. The previous week was kind of a wash due to the ice storm that hit Texas, too, and my workout schedule was messed up because of it. I did manage to get a garage workout in with my neighbor. It was cold but I had a good time either way. Did some benching. Did some chin-ups. Did some rowing. There's been a lot of changes recently in my life. We are having to move because my landlord is raising rent by $700. We figured rent would go up but the house we live in is NOT worth the additional funds. We love our neighbors and neighborhood but can't justify spending that much more on a house that is due for lots of upgrades, has foundation issues, 1-car garage, etc. when other houses in the area going for the same rate are bigger and better overall. It's tough because we've been in our house for almost 3 years now and moving just sucks. Costco told me a couple weekends ago that they were taking away my Saturday off because someone in the department is flexing their seniority and wants Saturday's. This really messes things up because I've had Saturdays off since Feb 2020 and working 2 jobs makes that one full day off crucial. I'm deeply unmotivated to work at Costco as it is and now this...I'm trying to remain positive and level headed about these changes. It's tough. Other than those things, the wolfpack is doing well. Orin ended his basketball season with his 2nd grade team scoring 19 of the 21 pts they had and beating their opponent by 4 pts. He's a stud. Racer ended his basketball season with a win and scoring 9 pts, almost matching his season high. And this coming weekend is the last game for Orin and Declan for their 10 and under team. ALL. THE. SPORTS. I've been super proud of Declan playing basketball and trying something new. He's not really into sports but he goes to the practices and puts forth the effort. Heather and I are doing really good despite my work schedule. Atlas is growing like a weed. He's VERY chunky. Trixie is a handful but it's only because she just doesn't listen worth a damn lol. She's very smart and independent. Jamison is also doing great. He's a big kid at 5 years old. Now that I've laid down the life update - let's get to the goals: [POWER] 1x a week KB Metcon while wearing 20# weight vest Tu/Th get in 20-30min walk with 20# weight vest 20+ min nap M-F [WISDOM] Listen to one non-fiction book during the challenge Veggies with at least 1x meal a day 100+ oz of water - DAILY [COURAGE] Pack leftovers each day - 2x a week eating out maximum Apply at Sam's, HEB or check the Costco closer to me *EDIT* Stay with the challenge. Don't ghost the forums! Let's dive in! Wolf
  14. Last challenge one of my goals was to reflect on and review my goals and priorities. I didn't talk about it much, but I did spend a lot of time on it and wrote a lot of it down in my bujo. My overarching goal for the next decade or two will be to be the best parent I can be, which in my opinion also includes being the best person you can be, so that still leaves a lot open. One of my main problems is that I could easily write a list of 5000 things I want to be working on so I've decided that I have to pick just two to focus on for each quarter of the year (aka 2 NF challenges). And they have to fit in the theme for 2023, which is mental health (or rest, rhythm, routine, reflection). For this quarter my first goal will be to improve my physical health and performance, I already got started with taking my training very seriously again, now it’s time to improve food intake. My second goal will be to become a better boss, even though I'm just my own boss and kinda Jaap's boss and then the interns/volunteers, but I want to improve there. So the goals for this challenge; Goal 1: Physical health and performance daily: take vitamins, make intentional choices about food, review/reflect weekly: write out my training program in my battle log, make a meal plan, prep some food just once: make a doctors and a dentists appointment, make healthy non-perishable food available at work Goal 2: Become a better boss daily: weekly: review plans, make to do list, check on clients just once: flesh out the daily/weekly things, set up asana, make a cleaning/maintenance list, figure out an opening and closing routine for the gym, review interns/volunteers needs Side note; I'm also allowing myself two fun goals for 2023, one of which is to ride 5000km on my bike, which is an average of about 100km a week. The other is to read a lot of books- I'm not sure how many yet, I'll figure that out in the next couple days.
  15. Hi! I'm writing a novel this month. For those of you just tuning in, this is not new. I've done this most years around this time, but I think this is the... 2nd ever time that I walked in with a really concrete idea of what I wanted to do and where I wanted it to go. (the first time was a sci-fi riff on Ragnarok meets A Yankee in King Arthur's Court. I would definitely not write it the same way this time, but I should probably go back to it someday since it's the story that taught me the most). As you might imagine, though, that's my only official goal. As if the other stuff is going to be put on hold; it won't be. But keeping all the plates spinning with this new wrinkle going on is going to be challenge enough, I think. Goal is 50,000 words. I will provide my word count here as my goal for the challenge. I do note that the challenge cuts off on 11/26. I might carry past it. I might not. I don't know if I'm going to finish the draft before I get to 50K, so if I do, I'll consider the challenge a success. Had tournament this past weekend! Best showing yet - got to medal contention and went the distance on that match, even winning points, which is the first time that's ever happened. I still didn't win. It was fine. I showed growth, and when I went to class yesterday I was recognized along with a bunch of other people for having gone out and done stuff. Yesterday was also our last day in the old building. They're going to the new building tonight; they're still capping class sizes, and I thought I'd have an errand tonight that it turns out I don't, so I reserved a spot on the waitlist. Might not make tonight. That's okay if it happens. Also, last night was Halloween! Went to hang with my friend for Sci Fi night; the Halloween tradition when that happens is for us to sit outside with Adult Beverages and pass out candy along with treats for the adults. This year, the entire cul de sac got in on it and it wound up being more of a block party than anything, especially since there weren't that many kids on account of inclement weather. Today is the first day. I will update with my word count later.
  16. Howdy! Kishi here. It's the start of a new challenge, and I really only have one goal: show up here. I'm sure I could really put together a bunch of stuff for a challenge thread, but truthfully, everything's kind of set as well as I can expect it to be for now. A lot of life at this point is really just about showing up and doing the work. But that part's easy. The hard part's showing up here. And while I'd be the first to say that challenges are "done" rather than "talked about," at the end of the day, I'm still part of a community. I don't feel like I've engaged enough for my own sake, and I'd like to change that. Now, it might sound too easy and too self-serving to set up a "show up and blog" challenge for myself, but the thing is, y'all are awesome, and being here reminds me of that. It pushes me to show up for others, and I'd hate to put a number on something like that and turn it into an obligation. So, with that being said: GOAL: 1/4 I had a bjj tournament this past Saturday. Not my first. Best showing, though: 1 round, 1:33. Yeah, it's not great. But the odds say that most of us what show up to do this have to lose, so it's not like I was unusual or something. Also, my dad showed up to watch, and while I hated losing in front of him, I actually felt overall positive on account of being able to explain what I did and how I lost. Sunday I went to open mat with video of my failure. They were cool about it and they've since decided to make me their pet project by fixing my two deficit areas - takedowns and pressure response. Which means I'm going to get chucked around like a ragdoll and have the life crushed out of me for the next x amount of weeks until I have demonstrated sufficient improvement. But honestly? It's damn decent of my friends to want to help me get better at something I care a lot about, and I really appreciate them for it. So, I'm going to keep working on these places and we'll see what happens. FWIW, I've reaped benefits almost immediately. Beyond that, the past few days have been relatively inconvenient, but not eventful per se. Landlord's putting new siding on the apartment and the contractors knocked out our Internet. So that took a couple of days to deal with. Had to go to the office on my out days (booooooo) but my boss decided to let me count Monday and Tuesday as my two days in and to work the rest of the week from home (YUSSS). Meditation and breathing have been good. Haven't been about my writing so much as I'd like, which is a shame because I'm at a really exciting part in the plan. I have a crazy notion that I could finish my plan in time to NaNo this thing in a couple months, which would be fun. You know, have an actual project to do instead of farting around and proving to myself again that I'm a writer. And, uh, yeah. I'll get around to y'all as I can. Because
  17. For those who are new or behind, my main goal is weight loss, for health reasons as well as I want to look good naked, and fit in clothes I used to. I love 5Ks and kettlebells. I'm struggling with this goal because it doesn't get easier when you get older. I work from home, (3 jobs) as an accountant, so making sure I have enough movement in my day as well as not eating "all the unhealthy things" is important. It's very easy to lose track of how much time I've been sitting trying to solve an issue. Not having "all the unhealthy things" in the house also helps. I struggle to get enough sleep so that shall remain on the list until it's no longer a struggle My last 5k (on the 6/5) was a real wake up call. I've let a lot of things go since the pandemic, I could barely move for three days after doing it, I was not trained for it and in retrospect I probably shouldn't have done it. I've decided the best way to motivate myself is monetarily...it worked last time when I hired a trainer, so I've decided to do that again, through an app this time that will write a program based on the equipment I have. I have four days of weights/bodyweight workouts, and I'm making my step goal a priority again. I'm also going to start tracking for the month that I paid for the trainer for, at the end of four weeks I'll see where we're at and if it's worth the expense to keep going, I'm feeling pretty sure it will be if I stick to it. So while it worked to motivate me to work out, I wasn’t really enjoying it. I’ve decided to go back to the 5k training plan I used in 2019 that worked better than anything else I tried…it calls for one day strength training, three days ‘running’ (intervals at your pace is suggested) and one to two days cross training or rest days. Checking in to hold myself accountable is key to this being successful, I don't want to have to post bad news here. I plan on posting daily to make sure I'm on track where I need to be The Plan...Still more changes Cardio - The 5k training plan that worked in 2019 (3 interval runs, 1 strength training, 1 walk day Rest - Sleep (7 hours a night) - sleep is important Update - Post in thread at least three times a week. - self explanatory Steps - Hitting my 7500 steps a day goal, minimum Track - Food (stay in deficit) track in MFP Extra - Rides, 5k's, events, and life events go here - because fun makes life worth living Duolingo daily Done - 🌈 Not Done - ❄️ Upcoming Events 6/5 - Atlanta Pride Run - Done in 59 minutes 9/25 - Summer Sizzler 5k - virtual due to prior commitment 9/25 - Fall Finish 5k - see above 12/10 - Mud Girl Run in Jax - may change this to Atl. since no one wants to join me
  18. Hi I'm KB Girl, 34 year old mom of two littles (5&2), gym owner, kettlebell sport coach, avid Harry Potter fan fiction reader, novice gardener and lifter of heavy things in many shapes. I struggle with juggling too many things I want to be doing and things I feel I should be doing. The overwhelm does my mental health no good. In the past bullet journaling has helped me keep that overwhelm at bay while also helping me focus on all the good things in life, so I want to get back my regular habit of using it. Main quest: use my bullet journal Perfectionism is standing in my way, there are so many things I have used my bujo for in the past and I also have many ideas for how I could be using it and now I feel like I have to pick all of that back up straight away.. which is bullshit. I think that if I give myself permission to start small that I will gradually pick things back up and start new things. Plan: write down one good thing about the day, every day, ideally right after the kids fall asleep and I've cleared some space for it if necessary. Side quest: pick up running I dislike starting running because.. well its painful at first isn't it? I've always toyed with the idea of pushing through that initial phase because it would be very beneficial for my kettlebell lifting, but never felt motivated enough. This has changed in Porto when two of my teammates would go for a run together in the morning- it seemed like such a great way of doing some extra sightseeing. I love being outdoors, running could be something I'll love. Plan: start small, on Saturdays when my 5yo is in swimming class and on Wednesdays after lifting heavy things. Bonus challenge: grow and cook good food! This one is simple! I shall learn all the things about the growing and the cooking! if the stars align I might even write down in my bujo what I'm learning aka what went wrong and what I'll have to do different next time Plan: there is no plan! just winging it. Also give me all your recipes involving lettuce, because I have so much lettuce to eat!
  19. For those who are new or behind, my main goal is weight loss, for health reasons as well as I want to look good naked, and fit in clothes I used to. I love 5Ks and kettlebells, I'm struggling with this goal because it doesn't get easier when you get older. I work from home, (3 jobs) as an accountant, so making sure I have enough movement in my day as well as not eating "all the unhealthy things" is important. It's very easy to lose track of how much time I've been sitting trying to solve an issue. Not having "all the unhealthy things" in the house also helps. Checking in to hold myself accountable is key to this being successful, I don't want to have to post bad news here. I struggle to get enough sleep so that shall remain on the list until it's no longer a struggle. I've been a workaholic as long as I can remember, mostly because of past experience and not wanting to have to count on anyone for things I need. D (my wife for those new here) and I have had many conversations about this. She understands my feelings because she's the same way, but we also know the importance to our relationship for us to be able to depend and count on each other. This is a very long winded way of saying that we need to remember to step away from work and have some fun, riding our motorcycles are a huge part of this for us, and for right now our every 4 week trips to FL also count towards this. The Plan...making a few changes that I feel are needed Cardio - Treadmill 3x a week, and one kettlebell/strength workout a week - I'm going to start getting up at 5am and working out again, bonus this time is I don't have to drive to the gym Update - Post in thread three times a week. - self explanatory Track - Sleep (7 hours a night) and Food (Just track) - sleep is important, you would think going to bed at 9:30 that 7 hours would be easy! Tracking food is a pain, I dread entering it in MFP, so if I do I do, but I will continue to put it on my spreadsheet Extra - Rides, 5k's, events, and life events go here - because fun makes life worth living Done - 🌈 Not Done - ❄️ Upcoming Events 4/10 - Spring Sprint 5k Unfortunately skipped this one, D wasn't feeling it 5/21 - Terrain Race 6/5 - Atlanta Pride Run 6/12 - Summer Sizzler 5k 9/25 - Fall Finish 5k 12/10 - Mud Girl Run
  20. Honestly, I didn't plan this, it just kind of happened on its own. Hello! I'm Kishi, sometime GL of the Monks and newly itinerant wanderer. Nice to meet you. I've wandered into the Assassin's Den because I'm trying to learn how to play with movement, and I hear y'all the best around for that kind of thing. Specifically: I am learning myself how to juggle. Why? Because I want to. And also because it's got a lot of benefits that should in theory carry over to martial arts. My situation is thus: I have settled down at a local academy that teaches both BJJ and kickboxing; it bills itself as a Muay Thai school but it is, in fact, Dutch-style kickboxing, which means less knees and elbows and more long combinations whilst standing in the pocket. I enjoy it very much. It's a new set of challenges, and coming from my background it's a lot to adjust to. But there's a problem: we have a space that is too small for the amount of students that we have. So we can't actually spar, which means that as much as we drill and drill and drill, it's actually really hard to develop the skills I need to develop myself further. Since I can't get what I need at school, I'm on my own. And my belief is that the attributes required to juggle - hand-eye coordination, mental processing, relaxation, fluidity of motion, etc. - will have carryover to my main thing. It's no replacement for sparring or anything like that, but perhaps when the time comes I will find that I'm a little sharper than I thought. And worst case, I'll have some fun along the way. As far as goals go, I'm more of a process guy. Ideally, I'd like to pick up a three ball cascade: But I don't have a deadline for it. The journey will get me there when it does. The real trick is showing up. So my goals will be as follows: Goal 1: Juggle 10 Minutes A Day Most likely to be done as two five minute sessions at different times of day. Half credit for one session, full credit for both. Goal 2: Shadowbox Mostly with the idea of staying up on the balls of my feet and keeping my pelvis scooped so that I have tension in my stomach. This is opposed to my Shotokan upbringing, which is big on these long, fencing-style lunges. They can work together. But they won't if I don't put in the work to make them. Goal 3: Grappling To be broken up again between standing work and ground drills. Half credit for one, full credit for both. Goal 4: Clean 1 thing per day So, I've had an issue with my place which is that I have entirely too much stuff. I don't like it. I don't like the lack of space and I don't like how it makes this place feel. I want to be rid of as much of it as I can. In the past, I've tried to go through an entire box of stuff, but that turned out to be too much. Gonna try again with this and see about getting rid of just one thing per day, with the idea being hopefully to finally start clearing some space out. Rewards Because I find that I like them, especially those things that help me get better at what I want to do. 80%: Juggling Balls. I decided to start with tennis balls. That was... a choice. By showing up to practice, I will unlock tools that will make the whole thing easier. That'd be dope. 90%: New Rashguard. Something like this. I like the design, and I could use more. But definitely make sure it's white, because it's a signifier of rank, and I'm crazy, but not stupid enough to show a rank I haven't obtained. I'd get beat up for that. 95%: Djembe Drum. Another thing that would help my martial arts and also make me a more expressive human being. Drumming is a good way to study rhythm, which is better than speed. Depending on how much space I clear out, there's a whole range of options to choose from. Nothing too fancy, though. I'm not looking to master it. I just want to play. And... yeah. That'll do it. I'll make my round to everyone as I can. See y'all when I do!
  21. Okay, so, uh. First off: Happy Holidays y'all! Whatever it is you celebrate this time of year, I hope it rocks socks. Y'all probably noticed I disappeared from the forums for a while. Kind of related to the heart thing, but not on account of anything that actually happened. Kind of got in my head about it for a while, and the last month's been a pretty transitionary period with return to the office and new school and... just a lot. With everything going on I found myself just rolling with it; I didn't make a conscious decision to step away, but it happened anyway. OTOH, I got stress-tested. (it was stressful! But I passed! Cardiologist isn't worried about me and I'm due for another appointment in April). I've had to return to the office, where I found that I can really neatly do all the things I struggled to do at home in terms of writing and napping and meditating. All that time spent out there, however, has made balancing all the disparate elements of my training a little hairy. That's not anything new. It's been a lot, really. And taking care of all that caused me to neglect the forums here instead. I don't think that's fair of me to have done, but I also think it's arrogant of me to assume that I'm really that necessary to the goings-on around here. Either way, done is done. I'm back. I'll try not to drift again. As far as goals go, a lot of it is down to schedule and time-management. Stuff I tried to work on but didn't stick. I'm paying a price for that now. I'm also trying to figure out what effective balance looks like, mostly because I don't want to fall into that martial artist's trap where I live to train and neglect everything else that needs to be done. So, in the spirit of the holidays, just gonna take it easy and make a goal of getting down to bed by midnight. That's it. That's my one goal. I'm not saying that everything else will manage itself necessarily, but I feel like the earlier I get to bed, the more time I have, and the more time I have, the more opportunities I can take to get done what I want to. It's also the one thing that's really challenging me right now. Like I said, the office structure takes all the challenge out of the other stuff. It presents its own challenges in turn, but an early-to-bed, early-to-rise challenge probably will do more to address that than anything else. And if it won't, well, the only I know to find that out is to try. I'll be around to y'all as I can. Wish you well.
  22. Sorry for the late arrival. I knew what I wanted to do, but I'm kind of having a hard time squaring it with the general mode of daily practice and new habit formation and stuff like that. But whatever. If I wind up in a better place because of what I do here, it almost seems like de facto I had to overcome something, right? So a challenge it is. For those of you who were around last time, hi! Welcome back! For those just tuning in for the first time, I'm Kishi, sole surviving Guild Leader of the Monks. We don't talk about what happened to the other two. Sadly, I'm not some sage figure, so I can't give you much in the way of answers, but I like to think I help with asking different questions. Things last challenge took a turn for the dramatic. I got diagnosed with heart disease, the striking program I was going to got shut down, I had some tumult occur at work, and the training program - so meticulously programmed - collapsed on contact with the real world. Much of last challenge was spent picking up the pieces and carrying on, and I'd like to think I did so relatively well. And the situation has changed. Since then, I've started on a low carb Mediterranean diet, but it's low carb enough to really be a Keto Mediterranean diet. Interesting results so far - my waistline is shrinking (probably water weight) and I've got a lot of slow burn energy as documented by rolling for about an hour and a half without any dip in energy or performance. Which is interesting, but for all I know could just as easily be chalked up to more technical rolling and generous rest. I have designs on veganizing this at some point, because it sounds like a challenge, and vegan diets are tied to good outcomes for the heart also, so this sounds like a real possibility, but given all the everything that's getting thrown at me this round, that's more likely something that's gonna phase in over time. Because a lot's happening, y'all! I'm going back to the office; I misspoke when I said last challenge it'd be 11/8; it's actually going to be 11/15. And it's a phased re-entry, so over the course of three weeks, I'll be adding a day, so first week will be one day, second week two, and so on until the 4th week, when I just go back to fulltime. Why's that complicated? Because one, the holidays will be starting around that time, and two, I'll be starting up at a new school, meaning new logistical challenges to overcome. The theme this time is about balancing the books, because I've decided I want to upgrade my computer. I took a look at the new school and I realized that there's only one no-gi day there, so I'm basically done as far as no-gi grappling attire is concerned. But before I start putting away for a new computer, I want to make sure that my finances are in good order. I think I've got some expenses coming out that I don't need to, and there's no reason to keep throwing money away. I also want to go further in my meditation and to make time/space for my writing - hence, balancing the books. Goal 1: Meditate Bumping up to 9 minutes. Goal 2: Balance the Books Might wind up being something of a gimme. Ideally, find one thing a day and do something about it in my finances, whether that's regular savings or finding and disposing of an extra bill I don't need to pay anymore. I really don't think I've got that much to do, but honestly, if this makes the challenge easier for once I'll take it. Goal 3: Write Gotta get back to butt in chair time. It's worth doing. Just gotta do it. At this point, just gonna focus on getting to my writing; no word count goals just yet, just carving out space. And, uh, yeah. That's really it this time. Let's get to work.
  23. Oh look, I'm doing this thing during 0-week. Most excellent! It's almost like my life is falling into some semblance of order. Almost. Y'all what been around a while should know that it never lasts. The big thing that's causing me to change is that I'm dealing with some ongoing gluteal pain that's responding to stretches and home treatment, which is why I'm not going in for PT just yet. It's mostly okay, but there have been some times where it's got to be a bit much. Like, on my recent drive to Gatlinburg, I basically spent 5.5 hours sitting in the car and it got pretty painful, to the point that it actually impacted my mobility until I was able to stretch out some. Also, I'm a little dissatisfied with my current training regimen. For those just tuning in, I've been using Pavel's strength-endurance program The Quick and the Dead for my base and been doing that 3 times a week. For the other four days of the week, I've been rolling 4D20 and scheduling random work and rest days based on the results. Work days have morphed to mean the GMB vitamin program (15 minutes) plus another thing, generally skipping rope or Turkish Get Ups. There are some other minor add-ons based on my specific situation, but even so, everything's done rather remarkably fast and I'm glad. Believe it or not, I actually really like this way of doing things. I think my prior drive to "work every day" was based on old programming principles or else were based in some unaddressed insecurities that I've been working to meet and manage, and I feel like compliance is super-easy and I'm totally not burnt out. But it's not perfect. My dice, it turns out, are very generous to me, and I tend to roll a lot of rest days. (oh no, what a nightmare. 🙄) And based on both recommendations and prior experience, I tend to give skipping rope priority, because if I'm only getting one work day a week, it feels right to give it there. What that's working out to is less time with TGUs. And why does that matter? Well, in the short term, TGUs are to grappling what skipping rope is to striking: a kind of fundamental full body movement with a ton of carryover and benefit to the sport. I don't want to leave that benefit on the table. In the long term, I'm going to want to get strong in TGUs because one day I'm going to want to try to build some muscle with kettlebells and pretty much every source I can find on the matter aims for low reps and heavy weight. Enter the Kettlebell, the Ur-program in such matters, requires a 32kg swing and a 32kg TGU before allowing adherents to begin. What's a boy to do? Well, I feel like the answer to this problem lies in this program here, which I've referenced before. You might notice that he combines Quick and the Dead (QD) with another program, Simple and Sinister (SS), which is a swing-TGU focused program. His setup involves two SS sessions and one QD session per week of training. I think there's something to this for me, so that's what I'm gonna do. As to the other 4 days of the week? Well, there's GMB like I said, which at this point is mostly about movement quality and skipping rope. I did, however, buy their recovery programs, and I feel like I could be using those rest days to actually dig into recovery work and also work on flexibility and stretching. So. Enough navel-gazing. Let's get to the brass tacks. Goal 1: Training Seems appropriate to make a training goal again since I'm switching things around. Also, I have come pretty close to some compliance issues recently, and I want to smooth that out if I can. Goal 2: Meditation This was a struggle last time. I got toward getting better at it, but I really feel like I do better with a meditation habit, and I want to cement this in place. So. We will remain at 8 minutes this time. Goal 3: Clean Goal remains because I've still got a serious lack of floor space and a serious surplus of dirty surfaces. I'm getting better at both, but that's breeding some complacency, and I know me too well to let myself off the hook on this just yet. The prior arrangement of cleaning and moving a box per week (as a boss) worked good. No reason to mess with it now, beyond expanding what surfaces I clean. And that's that. Should be good.
  24. Hi! last challenge I focused on physical activity and it was good to have a single focus like that, so I'm going for another focused challenge. Fixing my living spaces edition. I will of course continue training/daily miles and report on those too. ETA: I'm going to subjectively give myself points for everything and then every 100 points I'm getting myself something nice. Like ice cream. Declutter / Find a home / put away The title says it all. I'm going to report on what I did and I'm going to brainstorm things I'd like to get done and how I'm going to make that happen. Deep cleaning Last week I did the bathroom walls and that was kinda nice. There are more projects like that- let's see how many I can do. Can't remember the last time I vacuumed under the mattresses or the couch! Routine I'll draw up a weekly chores list in my bujo and get that done.. and I'll track the daily routine things I have (starting the day with a load of laundry and emptying the dishwasher, kitchen and toy clean up when the kids are in bed, tidying up while cooking, gym kitchen+toilet before I go home) and maybe I can add to those.. and I'm giving myself points for random chores like I dunno, emptying the diaper bin. Bonus: bed time Jaap says he's going to go to bed at 22:30 at the latest starting Monday, might as well see if I can join him
  25. Time for another challenge: Lots of goals, probably too many.But the sun is shining, and I'm pumped and ready so let's so what happens: Thanks to @milythael for the challenge set up idea Fitness Strength: Exercise : Kettlebell press Baseline : can press 30# bell three times Strength goal: press 30# 4 times, 5 for bonus Plan; Follow ETK for presses with 25# bell, test with 30# on week 3 and 5 Award: 1 point for strength for 4 times, 2 points for pressing the bell 5 times Exercise L-sit Baseline ??? test and video on week 1 Plan Follow NF L-sit level 10 , 4 x2 seconds , 2 x a week, video week one and week five Goal: 2 x 10 seconds; Award: 1 point for Dexterity for at least one 10 second hold, 2 for 2 10 second hold Charisma: You may ask why running fits into Charisma, Because, in my mind , a Ranger should be able to run at least a mile. I want to not only be able to walk the miles, but run a bit as well. I'm slowly starting a bit of running. I did this a while ago , and dropped it.Now is the time to pick it up. It didn't work to do rowing as cardio, and do the volume I'm doing of pressing.. So running seemed like a good thing to take up.It's my third fitness goal, and it's also third in importance. If I'm tired, or pushed for time, this is the one that will be dropped. I'm not tracking it. Points are awarded just by pure how I felt it went, not SMART at all. Also, I'm re-reading Kelly Starrett's book Ready to Run, and trying to implement some of it. Exercise Jogging Baseline: 1 minute jog, 3 minute walking Goal; improve that Award; 1 Charisma Exercise Mobility work; spend 10 minutes a day doing mobility work award: brag about it here Preparing/Life Bible: keep up with Bible reading, memorize Ps 91:4 Goal memorize verse, keep up with reading Award: 1 wisdom Weekly plan; Each week (Sunday evening or Monday morning) I will write out the things I need to do to win the week .5 awarded each week for 80% completion Daily write out a plan no award, Food: I'm working on implementing the skills from the book "Eating Skills...." By Josh Harris Here's my plan for this challenge Implement my food values of thankfulness, mindfulness , and joy. My goal is to set out the amount of food I want to eat. Eat it slowly and enjoy it. and delay 15 minutes before having second. Most of the time I will have 3 meals and 1 snack. If I want seconds, or more than one snack I will; wait 15 minutes; during that time find something engaging to do (drink tea,read a book, do a chore, do something fun) Then I will decided if I want the food.Sometimes I will say yes, sometimes no. If I say yes, I will sit down and enjoy the food. Every evening I will write 1-3 sentences on how the plan went. Award for doing this about half the time; 1 wisdom. 80% of more completion = 2 wisdom
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