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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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!
  7. A day late, but not a dollar short. Yet. Howdy, everyone, hope it's been well with you! I'm sorry I'm late coming in. I had a hard time coming up with a challenge because, well, if I'm honest, I'm content with where I am right now. I'm well-healed, back on the mats, I'm engaging with friends and asserting my boundaries when I need to, and... well, I mean. Life is pretty good! I mean, beyond all the ways in which it isn't, but, you know, that's life. Still, there are advancements to be made. I'm keeping some spaces clean, but I want to clean out more, and I know what I gotta do next from there. And, I need to get moving on my writing again. TBH, that was just two things, and I had a really hard time coming up with a third. And then my dear sweet sci-fi friend decided to fill the hole in his soul with a Tough Mudder in Baltimore in a few months. He needs a team, and I wasn't going to let him go alone. Or at least, that's how I'm operating right now, because he's not sounding too terribly committed to it right now. Either way, I figure if I'm careful about it, putting on some miles won't hurt me any. But that's something I have to do, which means I lose one of my days for rolling dice. Boooo. But OTOH, the dice-rolling mechanic is really nice for a way to randomize my off-days, and I've liked it a lot. So. I have three goals. Goal 1: Clean. Keep my sink clear and expand it to cleaning the sink surfaces themselves. They're kinda grody. Get 'em clean and keep 'em that way. Goal 2: Write. Surgery and recovery in the last month really knocked me off my course. I'm itching to get back to this. I'm cleaning up some planning stuff and restructuring the story a bit, which I think is going to clean things up rather nicely, actually. Goal 3: Train. Almost seems like a gimme, but, well, I got something on the horizon now, and that needs to be met. At this point, the constants are Quick and the Dead sessions 3 times a week, and on one day a week I'm going to go for a ruck. Tough Mudder recommends being able to run/walk 7 miles, so I figure if I can clear that under load, I'll be good to go. Truthfully, this goal could be called "Ruck," but I want to go keep it consistent in terms of scoring with the other goals. Why, you ask? Because I want to try my hand at rewarding myself again this time. I may have just cursed myself with this, but doggonnit, everyone else gets to have rewards and stuff, and I want some too. Since I'm not realistically going to get around to getting boxes moved any time soon (having to get my car troubles managed still, although they're coming along very well), I want to look into doing something else that'll help my training. Looking at my school's schedule, I see that they do no-gi training in addition to gi training for grappling. But in order to do that, you have to have a rash guard, for hygiene and safety purposes. So. If I manage an 80% success rate overall, I will reward myself with not one, but two freaking rash guards. Because that's what my schedule works out to having time for right now. So this means that out of a 105 total possible points, I need to score 84 or better. And how'd I start off? 1: 0/1 2: 0/1 3: 0/1 Yeah, it ain't exactly auspicious. I blame the holiday. Went home to see my folks and ate good food and spent the day chilling out rather than getting after my goals. Oh well. It's not about the start; it's about the finish.
  8. Hey there everyone! Your neighborhood Kishi back at it again. I kind of dropped off at the end of last challenge. I have a reason for this. So, the challenge didn't end badly, but OTOH it didn't go as great as it could have. I gotta go for now, but I'll explain more later, and I wanted to stake my place. Sorry I left y'all in the lurch, and I didn't even thank people for stopping. Sorry for that too. I'll get around to you when I can. It'll be sooner rather than later.
  9. There will dawn a day when these hostile hours, these days of hatred and violence, seem the faintest of memories, but dark and steep and long is the road up out of hell. So do not tire, do not despair, do not abandon your brethren, and do not forget that through this darkness we and we alone carry the light of freedom. We must defend it with every cell in our bodies. If not now, when? If not us, who? - Dark Age Welcome Howlers and Pixies! Welcome to my bloodydamn challenge! I've been looking forward to this for the last month it seems and I'm excited to unfold everything for y'all....FINALLY!! This challenge, sticking with my previous challenge will pull from my all time favorite book series, The Red Rising Saga. There are 5 books out right now: Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star, Iron Gold and Dark Age out right now and to briefly explain the books, it's like Sparticus and Star Wars had a battle hardened baby together, and that baby went on to try and conquer the world as Julius Caesar. The books are fantastic. The action is absolute. And the story is engaging unlike anything I've read. Go check it out! I’m currently about a quarter of the way through with Dark Age and it’s been intense! Below will list my goals in detail and even farther down below that will list possible challenge goals I can achieve during these next 6-weeks (including Zero Week). I'm so happy to have you along for the ride and I hope you are as excited as I am to get things rolling along Prometheus KB program- Audentes Fortuna Juvat - Fortune Favors the Bold. Follow the 4x a week program = 10 points per week. (10 pts extra for every 100 push-ups I do) +2 MIGHT, +2 DEX M/Tu/Th/Fr Monday: 10 x 5 double KB front squat (heavy) o 5 x 5 clean and press (double KB) (heavy) o 5 x 10 dips (not weighted) Tuesday: o 10 x 5 single-leg KB deadlift (heavy) o 10 x 5 chin-ups Wednesday: o Mobility and Burritos Thursday: o 5 x 10 double KB front squat (light/medium) o 5 x 10 clean and press (double KB) (light/medium) o 5 x 5 dips (weighted) Friday: o 5 x 10 single-leg KB deadlift (light/medium) o 5 x 10 chin-ups Saturday: o Mobility and Burritos Sunday: o Mobility and Burritos 10-30 min brisk walk daily - Alis Aquilae - On Eagle’s Wings. Daily walks using nasal breathing only = 10 points per week. (10 extra points for hitting 50k steps throughout the week) +1 PERCEPTION, +2 CONSTITUTION, +1 INTELLECT Meal Prep/Pics- Res, non Verba - Actions, not Words. Post food pics 5x a week minimum = 10 points per week. (extra 10 pts for not eating any sweets that week) +2 RESOLVE, +1 INTELLECT Before/After pics of hair and daily body weigh in’s - Per Aspera, ad Astra - Through hardships to the stars. 10 points per week for daily weigh-ins. Bod and Hair pics must be posted before midnight 03/21/2021. +2 PERCEPTION Daily Mobility/stretching - Pulvis et Umbra Sumus - We are but Dust and Shadow. 4x a week minimum = 10 points per week (typically on training days) (5 pts for every extra day) +2 CONSTITUION *BONUS* Razor Training - Virtute et Armis - By Valor and Arms. 10 points extra for any time I get 10+ minutes of sword kata/practice and/or 10 min of battle mace and tire work +1 MIGHT, +1 DEXTERITY Levels to Achieve: Howler- 75 pts Peerless Scarred- 150 pts ArchImperator- 225 pts Olympic Knight- 300 pts The Reaper- 400 pts Challenge rewards: Howler- Howler hat Peerless Scarred- workout shirt x1 or THIS ONE or THIS ONE ArchImperator- workout shorts x1 Olympic Knight- New Shoes *TBD* The Reaper- new KB/or pair of DB’s (I must have 6-weeks of perfection to achieve this goal) I'll see you Howlers in the Vale! Wolf
  10. Bit late with this challenge because I don't want to challenge. This afternoon while I was taking a break and reading some challenge threads, my 4 year old decided clothes were over rated and she'd much rather strip and then pretend to body paint herself with water.. and I just... shrugged and figured it was a problem for future me to clean up all the water and get her back into clothes etc. And that, my friends, is exactly how I feel about my goals and dreams and ambitions; something for future me to deal with. It's not that I'll do nothing- moods and energy are actually a bit better and I've been doing more things- I just really want to completely go with the flow. On bad days I'll stick to my appointments and keep the kids alive and on good days... Maybe I'll do some (deep) cleaning or my taxes or eat some extra veggies or paint a wall or go for a 2 hour hike. Who knows? I'll probably update dear diary style. Maybe throw in a list of positives? maybe I'll just write stories about my kids. It's all up in the air! Nobody knows what tomorrow brings and I will just go with the flow. For now. Things I will be doing; - strength training and kettlebell sport - going outside as much as I can manage - keeping up with my bujo Things I'll hopefully do; - our taxes - some work stuff I've been neglecting - improving/decluttering living spaces - sorting photos - get started on improving cardio - celebrate my birthday
  11. Man, I disappear for like a month and y'all gotta go and change things. Huh. Neato. Reminds me of the old days. When last I was here, I was working on a novel for National Novel Writing Month and had just gone through the Book of Five Rings, which essentially worked out to being re-skins of the same challenge about 5 times in a row. I didn't plan it that way, and I think it was a little lazy of me looking back, but I took some good from it, and given all the everything around here in the past year, I reckon some consistency was actually rather called-for. And why did I disappear? Well, no particular reason. I just found myself out of things to say, and work got busy for a while and they rolled out some new processes and platforms for us which has taken some getting used to, and... yeah. What's new with me? Well, since the weather turned cold, I've pretty much just been sitting around, and between the lack of activity and all the holiday food, I've officially crossed the 25% body fat line and have become obese. Which I didn't see coming, but TBF I should have. Non Exercise-Activity Thermogenesis is a thing, and I've not been doing it, and between that and Hashimoto's (read: a finicky to dead metabolism), it was really only a matter of time. But that's hardly the only thing that happened. I rediscovered some movement drills from back in the old days of my training and my hips are good and loose and snappy for kicking now. I rediscovered that I like media! I like shows! I like watching them! I like bingeing them! There is content that is worth watching and reading! I refined my planning process for writing novels and the planning for this draft is well underway. I cooked for my family's Christmas Dinner! I did Green Bean Casserole and this time I had the guts to par boil green beans and fry my own onions, which was a major step for me. Despite my metabolism being dead, I've finally got my thyroid working again, so it's not all bad news on that front. Basically, I've spent the last month just kind of coasting and relaxing, and doing so has kind of allowed me some perspective on what I was doing before and how I want to shake things up. So, without further ado, my goals: Get my body fat percentage to sub-25%. Totally feasible over the course of the month. According to my measurements, I'm sitting at 25.8% with a 3% margin of error, give or take. That means reducing calories, but I can't do a real cut like everyone else does; my thyroid does not forgive that kind of thing. Instead, it's better to figure out a lower weight, figure out what maintenance looks like there, and then program my calories as such. Fortunately, I've got very good at calculating my numbers, so the goal is to stick to 2200-2300 calories for the duration of the challenge. I might dip a bit below that, but certainly I don't mean to go below 2100. New Kettlebell Program yeaaaaaaaaah. Long time observers would be shocked if I wasn't back on my bullshit of trying something new. Strongfirst released a program for sedentary people after one of their coaches at a similar experience to me. The article's worth reading, but the basic gist is to do some one arm swings every hour on the hour for 8 hours a day. This program is specifically designed to work alongside everything else as a plug-in for sedentary folk, and while I'm not swinging enough weight to necessarily burn that much fat, I can definitely tell that I get the "Tonic Effect" off the dosage (ie a sense of physical/mental refreshment and a heightened sense of focus). The other useful thing about this is that it gives me something to work my shadowboxing and other practices in with. But this is gonna be a daily goal, along with the others. One Page Of Planning Per Day. Pretty much what it says on the tin. One page of planning per day. This is actually easier now, since I took the time to figure out my Great Swampy Middle, so I basically have a bunch of dots to connect as opposed to having to make up the dots as I go (which was a real problem last go 'round). It goes without saying that I've got a bunch of extra training on tap. I gave up CaliMove's program because it's not designed to be friendly with martial arts, which will be a concern for me in the long run. I did Athlean X again for a while but it made my shoulder feel janky and I didn't like it, and it didn't stop me from getting obese (between training and nutrition protocols), so to hell with it. GMB's Elements program and Simple and Sinister are the two programs that are designed the most to give me the most what I want, so these will be what I do. It doesn't hurt any that they've both revamped pretty hard; S&S did so first with a revised edition and GMB's updated their Elements program for its release on their new training app. My shoulder feels better with their training, and the challenge can be ramped really easy and really well if you engage correctly with it. So... yeah. Anyway, here in the interregnum between challenges, my goal is to get through the holiday food and get some proof of concept going. And oh, hey, in the meantime, we're all together in one place now. That's pretty neat. Reckon I'll make the rounds and try to see to y'all. It's good to be back.
  12. First of all - Hello Warriors! May I join your training grounds for some time? I realized my training fits here way more than with Rangers since I gave up on running. Not the best way to start a new year with an injury, but shit happens and this time it happened to me. On Nov. 28th I botched a turkish get-up attempt with 40kg kettlebell, dropping it on my left index finger. Luckily bones were mostly intact, but I spent almost three weeks wearing a splint due to soft tissue damage. Right now I regained about 30% of finger mobility, and I guess about 10% gripping strength. Yesterday I finally decided (after a month of involuntary break) it's time to get back to throwing the iron around. I follow "Simple&Sinister" program doing it three times a week (instead of daily - I know, I'm a sissy ). Before injury I was about to start progressing from 32kg kettlebell to 40kg. This is my long term goal - to perform proper S&S routine on my 40th b-day in May, with 40kg, weighting 80kg (giving me 50% BW load). I like even numbers Accepting I'm forced to do two-handed swings as my left hand can't stand even 16kg swing, I started swinging 32kg. So far, so good. But then I got on the ground and prepared for get-ups. The backslide is real I managed (barely) one set of 32kg get-ups and needed to go down to 24kg to finish the routine. I hope regaining strength will be faster, but this sets me back quite far behind in my long term plan. Goals for this challenge are: - rehab the finger with exercises my doctor gave me (basically - flexing and extending it repeatedly to the point of pain) - at least 5min a day, besides using it as "normal" as I can - get back to 32kg kettlebell for get-ups by the end of the round, by consistent training sessions - correct the form of get-up - which was probably the reason of botching that heavy attempt Have a wonderful Challenge you all!
  13. Silver Ranger The journey was taking them longer then they had ever though possible, and been even more treacherous than they anticipated. But, the band of elves, humans, and halflings trusted their leader, and knew she would find their goal. As they momentarily paused to rest, their guide the Silver Ranger, looked for tracks in the woods. She had been a Ranger for a long time, leading many others on similar quests. She had helped dwarves locate hidden gold, tracked villains who had managed to elude the sheriffs, and even found lost children. The band she was leading now was in search of the infamous dragon, Zylon, the Firestarter. He had razed many towns with his fiery breath. Flying over towns, terrorizing them , breathing his evil fire breath and burning their towns. Then he would fly away to his hidden lair. Gloating in his lair, waiting , and then returning yet again on his path of destruction And so this band had hired the Silver Ranger to track the dragon and find his hidden lair. They would kill the dragon, and use the gold that the dragon horded to rebuild their towns. The Silver Ranger surveyed the forest, studying it for signs of the dragon. Quickly she climbed one of the trees, so she could get a better view. As she reached the top of the tree, she spotted what she was looking for. Some of the branches had been broken off by something. Most likely the dragon’s tail. They were on the right track. She climbed down the tree, and nodded to her companions. They picked up their bags, ready to continue the journey. The other day when we were geocaching, a cacher signed with the handle the Silver Raider, only I thought it was the Silver Ranger. I immediately loved the name, and decided to claim it. Since I no longer color my hair, I thought the Silver Ranger fit me perfectly. Just at the time Covid hit is usually the time I spend a bit of time losing the extra dark winter pounds I added on. But instead of doing that, I ate more and moved less, and so gained so more weight. After I did that a bit, I decided it was time to rein it in. I didn’t have the mojo to be super strict, so I read Josh Hillis’ Book Lean and Strong ,A Guide to Eating Skills. It is intuitive eating with some guidelines, which is a perfect fit for me. At first, I didn’t even try and lose weight, I just practiced skills such as paying attention to my hunger. This challenge I am focusing on losing weight. Seems like 2020 is the year of learning to adapt. I mean, I had decided to do 10,00 steps a day, and was going great, and now we have smoke from wild fires, so that’s out until it clears. 2020 seems to be a journey where you clear one hurdle, and two more obstacles show up. With that in mind, , my main focus is going to be on implementing the skills. I hope (and think) that the outcome will be weight loss, but if I learn to implement wise decision making around food, I will be ahead. Even if I stumble a bit, if I keep moving forward a little bit, I will eventually reach my goal. Tracking: The book has tracking sheet for skills and guidelines. It is pretty basic, and I will fill it out. The main skill I am working on is listening to my body’s hunger cues. The guidelines (not rules!) are things like putting my fork down between meals, stopping half way through the meal and assessing how full I am, and using my senses to think about the food Also in the book, are journal exercises that have you think about your values( what I will from now on refer to as super powers) in regard to food and fitness. I have two more weeks , so I will finish those. After that, each week (bonus for doing it on Monday) I will spend a few minutes reflecting on those super powers in the prior week, and how I might use them in the upcoming week. Not a long time, just about 5 minutes Cover the miles One of the most effective ways for me to lose weight is to walk. I’d really like to do 10,000 steps at least 6 days a week. * Right now we are living in smoke land, so that’s on hold, but hopefully I’ll be back at it Plan for the Journey Each week I will pick some of the main things I want to accomplish for the week, so I know what to focus on I put this is spoiler form because this whole thing is getting long.My super powers that I rely on
  14. Hi! I'm KB Girl. Even though it's a lame name it's still quite accurate because i want to be the best kettlebell sport coach there ever was... and I'd like to be a somewhat decent athlete too* Currently i'm 6,5 weeks post partum, so this challenge i'll mostly be working on getting some strength and endurance back. *Because being an athlete is not fun exactly... but it's challenging and awesome and worthwhile. This video is from one of my best memories ever, my set during the european championships of 2018 (amateur category). The cheers from my teammates are amazing! And we had such a great time overall. Goal 1; move everyday Everything counts, but the following should be done at least once a week; Heavy deadlifts, kettlebell snatches, hip work, longer walk Goal 2; co-ordinate Honestly with 2 kids and one so young not much is being accomplished in our household.. but we do need food and clean clothes, and despite the gym being closed we do have work to do… and we also need to take care of each others wellbeing. For this one I’d like to sit down with Jaap for 5 minutes every evening and discuss our small, realistic goals for the next day, so we can help each other achieve them. (Work/home/selfcare) Bonus goals; Writing Finish pregnant and post partum athlete course Do artsy things in my bullet journal to wind down Re-organise my clothing and pack away pregnancy stuff
  15. I need to get down to basics. 1. Bike rider - Races or no, I need to ride. If I’m not a biker, what even am I? 2. Kettleballer [sic] - I got stronger over the winter. Better to keep it than lose it. 3. Teacher - Keep in touch with my students, maybe provide some learning. Keep the school habit going with my own kids. 4. Hausmann - Mrs. Sloth is working more than she did in the beforetimes and I’m home all day. I ought to do my fair share around here.
  16. The Uncertainty is getting to me. I remember the before times, and wish they could go back. I think to the future, and know this will eventually end. Right here, right now, it feels like we are locked in a never ending cycle. There will come a time when I scream defiance at the universe and decide to Ranger the Heck out of my circumstances. Right now, as I write this challenge before the previous one ends, I know what will help is to lean into the angst and acknowledge it. What better way to do that than to post songs from Angst Rock? Angst Rock is the name I made up for Rock that feels angsty to me. It can include Pink Floyd, much of 90s grunge and Alt, and a few other things. It may very well be that I get to determined before the challenge ends. If so great, but I know what I need to post now is Angsty. This is the definition of Angst to me. It's the song I play when I want to remember what it was like to be a teen and think that no one understands me. Goals: Continue with KB workouts. I wasn't as consistent with three workouts a week in the previous challenge as I was in the two before it, but I did enough to move up. Therefore, I will keep doing the NF Beginner KB workout. The first round will be with my 20lb bell, the 2nd and third will be with my 15 lb bell. This is a step up from last challenge, where I was doing all three rounds with the 15lb bell. The goal is 3 times a week. Comfortably Numb is the superior Floyd Song, and arguably more angsty, but this feels more strung out. Goals: Yoga 2 to 3 times a week. Has to include frog pose and forward fold if I make it up, videos do not necessarily have to include frog pose. Whatever your views of country music, you can't deny some of it is Angsty Goals: Walks For goodness sakes, do some. I've not been going on walks for far too long. The goal is to rebuild the habit. How can you angst without a Nirvana Song? Goals: Continue to lean into intuitive eating. Lately I've been in a stage of letting myself have things I've long denied myself. I've been on this IE journey for some time, and have found things to let myself have. Right now I'm leaning into chocolate and cookies. This is fine. It's part of the process. The point of these songs and this acknowledgement of Angst is not to surrender to the Angst. It's not giving up. It's validating the Angst and myself for feeling it. Rather than a surrender, it's a declaration of war. I will not fight the angst head on. I will accept it and myself and find meaning in it. Universe, you cannot bring me down by inducing angst, you can only make me stronger, for I will integrate these feelings and love myself in so doing.
  17. Well, what an interesting place the world is in right now. I used my GL powers to post this thread early, though some of you can only see it when the forums went live. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, this is magic. All that to say the world as it is right now may not be the world as it is when the forums go live, so my apologies if anything is out of date. As some of you may know, I work as a hospital chaplain and volunteer as a police chaplain. That means I'm paying both personal and professional attention to the pandemic. It also means that I will still be going to work and won't be as isolated as many during the time while we try to flatten the curve of infection rates. As I prepared to write my challenge, I knew I would address the virus and the measures to combat it. The alliteration I mentioned from the title refers only to the title. Schools are shut down at least through April 3rd, and may be closed longer than that. My wife is a teacher, and is doing a form of working from home. Fortunately she will get her full salary during the shutdown. We are very blessed as we will both keep getting paid during the uncertainty. As a matter of fact, I'm going to call the virus situation The Uncertainty for the rest of this post. I may or may not remember to keep up with that for the rest of the challenge. Before we focus on the challenge at hand, let's look at lessons learned from the previous one. Kettle Bell Workouts went really well. I stayed consistent with them, and they are working for me. I'll keep going with those. I started Invisalign to straighten my teeth. That means I have trays that I change out each week that work to straighten my teeth. Most teeth have knobs glued to them to give the trays something to grab onto and push or pull. I can only eat with the trays out, and floss and brush before putting the trays back in. That inconvenience, coupled with the fact that the trays need to be on 21 hours a day or more to be effective, means I'm limited in when how often I eat. So far it hasn't been too bad, but as I write I only have one week of experience with them in. Yoga is proving to be a challenge, I made some semblance of doing yoga most days, but it wasn't for very long. Moving forward, here are my goals: Do the Nerd Fitness Beginner Kettlebell workout on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It has you do Halos, Squats, Overhead Press, Swings, Rows, and Reverse Lunges. Doing the prescribed reps for each exercise constitutes 1 round. Two challenges ago the goal was to start, but not go past the first round. Last challenge the goal was to start the second round, but not do more than the second round. This challenge the goal is to do the first two rounds and start the third. If I complete the third round that's fine, but the goal is just to start it. The Uncertainty won't affect this much because I own some Kettlebells. Nutrition: This one is nebulous, both because I'm still getting used to the Invisalign trays and because the grocery stores here haven't fully recovered from panic buying. I'm going to try to cook as much as I can and bring food from home to work. Beyond that, I may have to adapt pretty frequently due to The Uncertainty. Our city just ordered that all restaurants go to carry out or delivery only, so hopefully that will curtail our restaurant activity. Yoga: Twice a week I will do Yoga of some kind. This is where I want to put the focus of habit making. Starting it is easy enough. Now I want to focus on getting some quality and quantity. Walking: As long as it's safe, I'll go for a walk with my daughter strapped to my chest (She's six months old, so strapping her on isn't as weird as it would be in a few years) once a week.
  18. Until Mrs. Sloth changes her mind on trying for one of them quaranteens I’m going to be focus on getting #quaranjacked. #2kettlebellsandamicrophone Details: Day 1: KB Snatches Day 2: KB Strength Day 3: KB Mobility Biking whenever I feel like it and have time. My body is used to 10,000 steps a day. Gotta figure out how to get those in so I don’t get the quarantine 15.
  19. A couple of challenges ago I applied to a local amateur cycling team. Last challenge they rejected* me in favor of younger, hipper riders. We all know what comes next, a rag tag team of misfits trains hard and gets it's revenge. This is the part where the training montage happens. Grinds/ Strength Day - 2 or 3 days a week Double Racked Squat KB Rows Double KB Cleans Push Ups - I prefer OH Press, but my shoulders are weak and fragile. Hanging Knee Raise or Hanging Leg Tuck Ballistics Day - once or twice a week KB Swings, I might experiment with snatches. Cycling - 3 days a week, an hour each is the bare minimum standard Probably all on the indoor trainer in front of terrible movies. Yoga/ Mobility - I hate yoga so much, I have to figure something out here. *I seriously can not fathom why they are limiting participation at all. Non-Fitnessing Stuff Keep using a daily planner to make sure I'm not neglecting anything important. Keep the checkbook balanced. Here's a re-post of my introduction from the holiday challenge: • I like bullet points • I love big quads (and glutes) • I’ve been around NF forever, almost as long as @Elastigirl so long ago that if you emailed support @Steve answered. • I’m in my second half-century • I’m not as fast as I used to be • I’m 100% slow-twitch (hence the name) so I never was fast anyway • I teach sixth grade science in a city public school, I’m adequate • I have a better wife and kids than I deserve • In the summer I love to do marathon mountain bike races • In the winter I like to do nothing • Those last two facts are incompatible • I like working out with kettlebells, sandbags, and sledgehammers. Also battle ropes, but I don’t have one • I seem to witness or experience more than my fair share of minor odd events • we foster sad-sack dogs and get them adoptable • I don’t like the challenge system and instead tend to write about any of the above items plus tacos. And here's a re-post of my apparently premature re-cap of the last 8 years of fitnessing (thanks for the reminder @loire ). • When I got here I was at least 205# /93kg (I quit looking at the scale after 200); race weight is 168# / 76kg. • I couldn't bike more than a couple miles without stopping even at the cities' easiest trail. • I tried weightlifting. It wasn't helpful. • I learned the ways of the sledgehammer, I got fitter and stronger and leaner. • I learned the ways of the kettlebell, I got more stronger. • I got back in shape, mostly. • My first race back I was approximately 397th out of 400. They were packing up the venue when I came in. • My mom, aunt (second mom), FIL all died of cancer the same year. I spent a year just sitting in hospitals, nursing homes, and living rooms. My body was so jacked up from constantly sitting that I couldn't walk down stairs and one day I fell down them. • I started doing yoga in fits and starts. • I started getting back in shape. • I blew out my back and broke a knuckle the same summer. • I started getting back in shape. • I got back down to race weight. • I started playing D&D again. • I got fast enough to finish in the middle of the pack again. • Somewhere in here I went to Texas and met a bunch of cool nerds. I've also had the pleasure of hanging out with @The Most Loathed , @Bearlee , and met up with the Minnesota nerds. • I crashed on my head hard and spent most of the next month napping and avoiding bright lights. • My brain got wonky, I quit working out so much and lost fitness. • My weight went back up (currently down to 183#). • I started getting back in shape. • Somewhere in here I did several hammer races. Hammer Racing with @EricMN , @Rooks , @The Most Loathed , @Shello are lifetime fitness highlights. • I got an unofficial 3rd place at an underground 24hr road race. • My team got 3rd place in a 24hr. mountain bike race - after a million years I finally podiumed. • I'm getting in shape again. Thanks for all of the support nerd friends.
  20. I had a whole challenge thought up, but then I said, “meh, I don’t want to deal with all that,” but here’s what I’ll be doing. Background: In 2017 I did a lot of kettlebells over the winter, but little biking. I entered the season strong, but it took me a while to get my biking going. In 2018 I biked a lot, but did little else. I hit the ground running and had a lot of endurance, but I never rode with power. In 2019 I didn’t do much of anything and the season sucked ass and now my body is jacked up. Imma try and balance things out a bit this year with some classic RKC programming. A Day - grinds (strength - get ups, trap bar, OH press, Inverted Rows done in ladders) B Day - ballistics (conditioning - KB swings, rotational lunges, Shovelglove) C Day - recovery (that damn Yoga) At least 3 days a week, 12 hours after the other training, Zone 2 cardio on the trainer or outside on a real bike. Non-fitness goals - use my daily planner and checkbook ledger every day to keep my life in check. I’m a big believer that challenges should only have one focus and this seems like a lot for me, but that damn yoga is the only new thing, the rest is about improving consistency. I’m on a road trip; fitness during zero week will be focused on aerobic capacity work on the bike and trying not to eat like a complete asshat. Here’s a song I like:
  21. This is pretty much what is happening. I have no idea what is going on, and I can't seem to get anything done. So, I'm just going with one mission right now, which is to hit my daily Swings and Get-ups. Weight doesn't matter, it's a binary yes or no status. Other tasks may come later, but only secondarily, as I need an anchor on reality. WEEK 1 Sun - NO Mon - Swings only (i.e. NO) Tue - YES Wed - NO Thu - YES Fri - NO Sat - NO WEEK 2 Sun - NO Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat WEEK 3 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat NO WEEK 4 Sun - NO Mon - NO Tue - NO Wed - NO Thu - YES Fri - NO Sat - NO On a positive note however (as to not to be a complete downer), there have I guess been some positive changes. Our youngest has been relatively well-behaved and trainable lately, I've cleared out most of the branches we have in the front of the house, I finally got new glasses (after wearing prescriptions from 2013) and am even learning to use contact lenses, and I've finally reached StrongFirst Elite status.
  22. I am Chris Tarly (formerly Curl Brogo). I have been on the NF Forums for over six years now. My primary goal is and was to lose weight. And I've managed some progress in fits and starts and have been yo-yo-ing for all that time between 240 and 270. I have decided that to kick off the new year (2020) I'm starting over with a a hard reboot, and I'm joining the NF Academy. This challenge will focus on racking up XP points in with the NF Academy, then I have a few other goals that don't fall under that umbrella: writing, meditating, and homesteading. NF Academy: This is my big fitness goal. There's a lot going on here. I've got a lot of missions and quests and tasks dealing with mindset, nutrition, and workouts. I am going to focus on applying the "Never miss two in a row" rule to these three things. Mindset: Never skip morning stretching and Zazen (daily) two days in a row. AND Never miss eating a mindful breakfast (daily) in my mindful eating space. Nutrition: Never skip bringing a homemade lunch to work (M-F) two days in a row. Workouts: Never skip a weekday workout (M, W, F) two days in a row. I must keep this up until the end of this challenge. I will allow 3 strikes total. Missing doing a thing 2 times in a row is one strike. And you bet, not getting it the third time around is another strike. If I make it to the end of the challenge with < 3 strikes, I can open my treasure chest: That's $50. And I know those denomination actually look a little sketchy, like 2-3 drinks, $1 tips for the ladies, and a private dance... no. $20 is for two group boxing classes at this gym in town. The rest is for a trip to my new favorite Bar-cade, $20 will get me a couple drinks and the singles are for quarters so I can play the retro arcade games. Fitness Sidequests: For the weekends NF Yoga Saturday: Do a NF Yoga session on Saturdays Big Mind Sunday: Do a 45+ min Zazen session on Sunday Chinup play: Do 20 min of chinup/pullup assistance exercises Clean the Apartment: Todo list, to complete before the challenge is over Clean out wardrobe and give old clothes to goodwill Clean bedroom including under the bed Clean THE WHOLE bathroom Declutter (to GW) and clean the office Declutter (to GW) the office closet Declutter (to GW) the living room Declutter and clean the kitchen Clean the floors Writing: I'm still working on the novel I started for NaNoWriMo. Heh. I still haven't 'won' Nano. I really want to at least finish Part 1 of the novel which should be done around 50,000 words. Track word count. I wanted to do one hour a day, but I don't think that's doable with work and all the other goals happening. I'm still going to post about is so it stays on my mind. Starting word count: 42208 Homesteading: Right now I'm researching buying a fixer upper in the country where I can garden and have chickens. I'm looking at USDA guaranteed home loans, and am researching lenders. This will be an evolving To-do list. I'll aim to cross one thing off each week. Contact Lender A -- I tried a few weeks ago, then they recently tried back... I'll get in touch with them during week 1, then we'll see what's next regarding if I qualify vs. what I need to do to qualify Research realtors/companies TBD
  23. Quadzilla won’t be happening, but I’m too addled on NyQuil to come up with a new theme. This training block was supposed to be about building quads of heroic proportions, however I’ve been nursing Ebola (or perhaps a minor chest cold) and tendinitis for a couple of weeks now. I don’t know what the heck I’ll be doing even if I ever do get healthy. I’m continuing to diet, but with my greatly decreased activity my weight is ooching up. So I have the worst of both worlds, constant hunger and increasing fat. *sigh* Since we’re mixing and mingling this challenge and there may be new folks about, here’s a bit about me: • I love bullet points • I’ve been around NF forever, almost as long as @Elastigirl • I’m in my second half-century • I’m not as fast as I used to be • I’m 100% slow-twitch (hence the name) so I never was fast anyway • I teach sixth grade science in a city public school, I’m adequate • I have a better wife and kids than I deserve • In the summer I love to do marathon mountain bike races • In the winter I like to do nothing • Those last two facts are incompatible • I like working out with kettlebells, sandbags, and sledgehammers. Also battle ropes, but I don’t have one • I seem to witness or experience more than my fair share of minor odd events • we foster sad-sack dogs and get them adoptable • I don’t like the challenge system and instead tend to write about any of the above items, plus glutes and tacos.
  24. Hi Nurds. Since we have an all-guild mashup, I'm going to go ahead a re-re-introduce myself. I'm Chris Tarly. Up until the beginning of last challenge, I was known as Curl Brogo (among other names, check my sig). I joined NF 6 friggin years ago as an overweight grad student. Over those six years there have been many trials and tribulations over weight loss, becoming a massive beefcake, then anxiety and depression, and getting through days with jobs I hate and family members who annoy me (I did the move back home thing a few years ago, it was not fun). I've spent a lot of my time with the warriors, but now I challenge mostly with the adventurers. Now I work as a machinist and I'm writing a Fantasy novel, while trying to not turn into some kind of obese potato shaped slug. Onto the challenge. Here's the big deal... I'm switching to night shift! On day shift, which is scheduled (loosely) for 5 am to 5 pm, I tried to get extra hours by going in early, then burning out because I'm not a morning person at all. And right now I need 45 hours just to make ends meet. I'd prefer to be getting 50+ so I can have a savings again. Now I'll be scheduled to come in at 3pm. I have to get 10 hours normally, but I'll have Fri, Sat, Sun evening off unless I want overtime on Friday. I'm optimistic. I used my long weekend to push my sleep schedule back. I like it. I might never again need an alarm clock. But this is a time to build awesome new habits. Goal 1: Exercise 3 days a week -- kettlebell and barbell complexes Weather permitting: go on coffee walks around the neighborhood. 1 pt. per workout +1/2 bonus point for coffee walking 15 total points. Goal 2: Stick to macros 2376 calories, 201 g Protein, 60 g Fat, 258 g Carbs Always bring a lunch (dinner haha) to work. 1 point days on target (within error of +/- 200 calories, 20g for Pro/CHO, 10g for Fat) 1 point for bringing dinner to work. 33-36 total points. (depends on how many days I actually work) Goal 3: Keep Writing I stepped up and tried NaNoWriMo this year. I kept at it but didn't make it to 50,000 words. But I started a fantasy novel that I'm keen to see through to the end at my own pace. I don't see myself getting to the end of this book until I hit nearly 150,000. Add 300 words minimum to word count everyday... no matter what* Add 6300 words minimum to pass (2100 / week) Add 12600 words -- awesome! (casual congratulatory) Add 18900 words -- excellence! Reach double the current word count [78,194] -- awesome! (formal literary) Word Count: 39,097 excludes plagues, family emergencies, and apocalyptic phenomena I feel like I should have one more goal, but I think that's because I usually have a sleep goal, and now I don't need one. Ha ha!
  25. I got nothing, so you get a pic I found. I’m trying to stay on a strength-building kettlebell program (Dry Fighting Weight) without wandering off. I’m hoping to ride my bike some. If all goes well I won’t eat like a dumb ass.
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