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  1. Happy New Year, everyone! "Kishi! What the hell, man, you disappeared last challenge!" Details. I had a meditation goal and I basically struggled with it until I found my way back to "Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Everyday Radicals," which imposes some external structures that I find useful for consistent meditation. As a result, I've been meditating more and it's been helping me. I feel good about that. So what am I talking about as far as slowing down? Well, in the course of my ongoing research about how to care for myself, I found out about this idea of caffeine cycling. Basic idea is to lay off the caffeine a bit - lots of low-caffeine days with some high days as needed. Highlights include cutting off mid-afternoon caffeine, instituting no-caffeine days, and regularly attempting to reset the sensitivity for it rather than coming to rely on it. Because I'm finding for myself that I don't really care for the degree to which I'm coming to rely on this stuff. I think my sleep is better when I'm not using or when I use less late in the day, and I worry that it's bad for my heart long term. So, my goal is to institute the "Green Tea Protocol" listed in the linked article - 2 days of coffee, 4 days of green tea, and 1 day of rest/decaf. The trackable for this goal is a 3 PM cutoff. Not sure how far the cutoff goes - might eventually go to 2 PM, then 1, but I want to take this challenge to watch myself and see how I'm doing. If my sleep improves to a satisfactory degree, then I see no reason to go any further, but that remains to be seen. The other hope in slowing down, ironically, is that I'll be better about being here and being present for y'all rather than focusing solely on myself and my problems. I find that the caffeine causes me to hyperfocus - very useful for work and training, but very difficult for transitioning over to being here. Here's to a New Year. I have a kind of Epic Challenge in mind for the course of the year which I'll write about once I can articulate to myself what the hell it is I'm trying to accomplish.
  2. Hello nerds and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! [image credit; pinterest] Welcome to my 2024 challenge~ My name is Shaar ❤️ and as of August of this year I will have been on the forums for 10 years! Nerd Fitness really changed my life; at this time 6 years ago I was the fittest and strongest I have ever been in my adult life. I was powerlifting and exercising consistently, dialing in my nutrition, and was sitting at 126lbs of strong determined fire. A lot has changed in the past 4-5 years for me - moving back to my home state of Massachusetts after the end of a long term relationship, the covid pandemic, juggling a new full time job that I enjoyed but was taxing and had a long commute, and most importantly, the sudden passing of my mom in late 2021 and all the trauma, stress, anxiety, depression, and eventually PTSD that came with that and having to deal with her estate as an only child. Y’all it did a NUMBER on me and I backslid more than I initially thought. Mentally, physically, emotionally, you name it. I coped in ways I probably shouldn’t have for longer than I should have and I let myself fall by the wayside a lot. There were a lot of breaking points that I never envisioned. 2023 was an eye opener for me and a year where I finally started to pick myself up, realize what was important, and gratefully have the avenue to pursue my better self again. With the help of my amazing husband I quit a job that wasn’t serving me, began taking care of myself and my home, and learned how to be FUCKING HAPPY again. My life has consistently been a wild ride and I’ve always been overcoming struggles and climbing mountains, but for a healthy chunk of last year I finally gave myself permission to stop climbing and just be, and slow down, and rest. And after it all, it’s just what I needed. I spent a lot of 2023 looking back - at the me I used to be, the life I used to lead, and just kind of reminiscing that I could never get back to that again. I got very stuck in a nostalgia loop and it rooted me in place for some time. But now I realize I don’t need to be back there, and instead I can move forward in a whole new way. AND I’M FUCKIN STOKED FOR IT The Lunar New Year for 2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon. According to the ol’ internet (and Chinese history), the dragon is related to success, intelligence and honor in Chinese culture, while wood dragons are full of energy and dream of changing the world. I feel like I’m going into this year with a lot of drive and ambition and positive vibes, and am ready to hit the ground running to make my goals an absolute reality. The only thing standing in my way is me and I’m ready to harness the energy of the dragon and get shit DONE. [image credit; pinterest] 2024 LONG TERM GOALS » Dump this 15 lbs I've accumulated over the past few years. Currently 5’3” and 150, and would be over the moon to sit at 135 again. I’ve already taken progress photos and am ready to see where I’m at in a few months with all my hard work!! » Find a part time job that serves me. » Continue on my monk Path of 100,000 Punches. (Currently sitting at 19,609 according to my app) » Gain enough strength and mobility to be able to kayak and bike again. » Continue reducing alcohol and keep it at a bare minimum. » Read more than 20 books. I read 26 in 2023 and after a few years of barely reading anything, I’m SO HAPPY to be back into this habit. ❤️ CHALLENGE GOALS I quietly started setting a lot of foundations for my 2024 fitness goals in November and December, and I feel I’m at the point where my habits are ingrained enough to start pushing myself! Log food EVERY DAY. I’ve been tentatively doing this since December but I’m ready to make it a habit and continue keeping a close eye on my intake. Right now I’m using Cronometer and it’s got everything I need, and a really good food database too. I’m currently working at a 150-200 calorie deficit for most days (so about 1600-ish) and it’s been working just fine. Seeing the numbers is huge for me and being able to visualize what I’m putting into my body has retrained my eating - and portion - habits a lot. 80+g of protein most days. It’s a challenge to cram it into every meal but with decent planning it’s been going well! I’m hoping to achieve this at least 5 out of 7 days per week. Intentional movement 5 out of 7 days a week. What this looks like for me right now is usually 2 lifting days, 2 boxing or kickboxing days, and one walk/run day. Rest days are generally just rest or maybe some extra foam rolling or mobility if I need it. The Mountain of Howling Fists (our personal gym) is kitted out with a rack, barbell, plates and dumbbells, as well as a sick FightCamp boxing and kickboxing setup with a standalone bag and tracked workouts, as well as all of the recovery and mobility equipment I could ask for. My weekly walk/run/intervals lately have been at the local Planet Fitness to take advantage of their treadmills Because Winter. I have all the equipment and access I could ask for so there really are ZERO excuses here. I’ve been tracking my workouts on a big white board and will post them weekly here for accountability! Continue alcohol moderation. I basically backed off of drinking last month except around the holidays. It hasn’t been easy but the benefits are ENORMOUS and it’s super important to me to continue this streak. Again I’m giving myself three drink tickets this challenge to use if needed and whenever, but only three. And there we go! Honestly bigger stakes than any challenge I've really done recently but I'M HERE FOR IT and it's time for me to push forward with everything I've got. Thanks for visiting friends ❤️ and I'm grateful to have you around for the ride! LET'S DO THIS and show 2024 who's boss!!!!
  3. Took a week for me to figure out the one thing I want to change, and the way in which I want to change it. I've known for a while now that I need to get up earlier. I'm pretty good at starting to for a bit, but it doesn't take: eventually, something goes haywire somewhere and I wind up being up late and needing to sleep late to make up for it, and before long I've regressed to the old mean. Meaning (harrrr) that I need a new mean. Instead of getting up at 9:30 AM, I'm going to spend the next few weeks focusing on just getting up at 9:00 AM. Get myself used to what life looks like there get a feel for making happen what needs to happen when it needs to for me to hit that target consistently. I don't need to be perfect, but landing there 80% of the time should get me somewhere like where I need to be. Exciting news on the job front. I put in for a promotion last week, which I've said before I'd be a shoe-in for. Didn't have the means to put in previously as HR didn't open up any slots, but when they did this past month, I went for it. It's a decent bump in pay and apparently the extra work isn't that much harder. Other good news is that the job opened up overtime again! It's only a little bit, but it'll help the paycheck and the caseload, and that's all I really want. Also, figured out that the head cold is actually just seasonal allergies based on its responses to medication, so I'm cleared to get back to the mats. Though I still need to figure out how to honor both the job and my desires. Because the writing's going well and I'm not willing to negotiate on that. Ah well. It'll be sorted. In the meantime: Goal: 1/1.
  4. You had been wandering the mountain trail for some time - or maybe it had only been a few hours? For some reason you were suddenly unsure as to just how long you had been out here in the woods.. This thought lingers in your subconscious, and you find yourself wondering if you are indeed lost, when out of the corner of one eye you spy the nearly hidden entrance to a cave set back amidst the grove of heavy trees. You approach the opening, a gaping maw of rock leading into a corridor of dusky darkness, and the fingers of one hand trail along the jagged quarry face as, for some unknown reason, you find yourself moving inside. Your eyes adjust to the darkness and as a few moments pass, you realize that there is a faint flickering light coming from somewhere farther down the path. As you move further into the cave, slowly, you begin to notice some strange bits of decor along the trail.. Rounding a small corner, a torch sits above what seems to be a side table of some sort, a small set of well-worn bardic knives the only occupant. The light glimmers off them invitingly and catches your eye; they seem rather loved and cared for. A basic wooden chair sits a few paces away, and a very well-worn and tattered ranger cloak has been folded rather precisely and draped over the back of it. A strange timepiece rests on the seat of the chair; interestingly enough, you can’t quite make out exactly what it is, if it’s a watch or an hourglass or perhaps something else as it seems to keep changing shape every time you look at it, but the image of sparkling constellations lingers in your mind as you head further into the cave. You eventually arrive at your destination, where the cave opens up into a small room - an unexplainable sense of calm comfort washes over you, and your eyes are drawn from the gentle torchlight flickering across the walls, to the meticulously placed equipment around the space, and finally to the small figure seated cross-legged on the floor. Facing away from you, small hands rest on bent knees, clad in carefully applied wrist wraps that seem older than the ranger cloak in the hallway. A dark ponytail spills down a slim back, partially obscuring swirling tattoos of what seem to be cats and flowers, and at the sound of your presence the head tilts slowly to one side to afford a glance back over one shoulder in your direction. Bright green eyes glimmer with some sort of determined mischief as they meet your gaze, and a small smile tugs at the strangers lips as they watch you, wordlessly inviting you in just a bit further. WELCOME FRIENDS! Thanks for popping by my new challenge that I am VERY EXCITED about!! I had fun writing up my little intro and paying homage to the things and classes I’ve aligned myself with on my fitness journey, but I am at a point where as of late I have been returning to my monk roots, and so as of this challenge I am donning my wrist wraps and posting up with the monks guild for the foreseeable future. As a history - I have about 15 years of experience in Taekwondo and hold a second degree black belt, about 6 months of boxing training (before covid shut all of our lives down), as well as some side training with various weaponry. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done any real structured training, but thanks to our new basement gym, I’ve been able to haul full force back into something I love and set my little monk-heart on fire again. And as I write this, I remember WAY back ages ago when I created my NF character, I referenced tucking away my little monk-heart. NO LONGER. It is time to FIRE UP! My monk roots also hold a strong undercurrent of Druid roots - growing up training and meditating went hand in hand for me - so I suspect this will start to dovetail more here as I progress. ANYWAY! CHALLENGE!! My previous challenge was centered around building out our home gym and getting back into the kickboxing groove. It was a HUGE success and I’m loving not having to rely on a gym membership to get my workouts in. My overarching goal for the next few challenges is to reach 100,000 punches. Currently my tracker sits at 8,027 - I know this will take time and dedication and is DEFINITELY a stretch goal here but it’s just extra motivation for me to keep working hard. Seeing the numbers add up is a big boost for me! My main goal is to complete my newest 4 week kickboxing program! Thus far I’ve completed the beginner boxing and beginner kickboxing training and as of this Friday of zero week I will be starting a 4 week kickboxing for weight loss program. The program is amazing and has already structured the workouts for you and includes warm ups, kickboxing, body weight conditioning, core, and recovery.. so my schedule for this challenge will be as follows: Friday - 55 minutes (5m warmup, 20m switch stance workout, 25m conditioning workout, 5m core workout) Saturday - 24 minutes (24m recovery session) - will add on foam rolling and additional mobility as needed Sunday - 55 minutes (5m warmup, 20m pure striking workout, 25m conditioning workout, 5m core workout) Monday - Rest Tuesday - 55 minutes (5m warmup, 20m burnout workout, 25m conditioning workout, 5m core workout) Wednesday - Rest (I MAY add in a light lifting day here depending on how i feel.) Thursday - Rest (foam rolling as needed) The way this is structured is great for me because I can drop the majority of my workouts on my days off (F-Su) and only have to worry about one longer after work day. I’m interested to see just how the weight loss bit pans out - I’m currently at 148 (5lbs down since the start of the year) but would really like to work towards dropping another 10 (i am 5’3”). My calorie output over the past month or so has been anywhere from 2000 - 2300 per day - which is GREAT for me as I work a mostly desk job - so keeping that going along with getting more heart rate zone minutes will only benefit me. ❤️ There are other side goals that while I’m not explicitly tracking myself or grading these, I want to keep in my periphery for habit building purposes. THEY ARE: Making sure I get enough protein daily. I’m not shooting for a number or anything at all, just being mindful of getting in protein in each meal. Hard boiled eggs or overnight oats for breakfast, batch cooking my work lunches, and being mindful about dinner. My nutrition is honestly pretty damn good but I’d like to stay aware of this. Keeping my recovery going to match my training output. IMPORTANTTTTT. My training has some recovery scheduled in but I am also an old-ass bitch with some extenuating injuries that I need to care for! If I need to do a little extra foam rolling or mobility as this progresses, I’ll listen to my body and make sure I do. Eyeballing my mental health as of late. I’ve had a few waves of anxiety and, moreso depression, that I want to acknowledge and keep ahead of. The third quarter of the year - July through September - is always a struggle for me. I’ve had a fair amount of loss in my life, whether it be of people or pets, or of things or ways of life, and it’s always ALWAYS fallen within these three months. I’m sure there’s something cosmic to be said of this but I’m not quite sure what that is; at any rate navigating this time with care and open-ness to my feelings and emotions is important and critical to me. Try to get outside a little more!! IF POSSIBLE!! This summer has been hell on wheels and between the heat, humidity, and deluges of daily rain (our town has flooded multiple times and road have actually cracked and caved in, phew, i am grateful we live at an elevation) it’s been pretty tough. I miss being outside in the sun for walks and am going to do my best with my off-days to do this. Phew so there we are! I’m super stoked for ALL of this and ready to KICK SOME BUTT with you nerds!! 💕💕
  5. Howdy, y'all! Getting in early on this one as I'm taking off to the beach in a couple hours and I don't know if I'm going to get the chance to post on time. In keeping with the last challenge, I made a point of redistributing my training tasks to win back some much needed time. I applied that the past week as follows: Monday: Simple and Sinister, Farmer's Walks Tuesday: Straddle Planche progression, Side Lever progression Wednesday: Rope Climb progression, Single Leg Squat progression, Manna progression Thursday: Hollow Back Press progression, Front Lever progression Friday: Simple and Sinister, Farmer's Walks Saturday: Handstand and Neck work Sunday: ??? It all sounds like a lot and very heavy until you realize that at this point it's just planks and push ups and inverted rows and super basic things at this point. But I tried it out and, uh, it worked like gangbusters! Everything's done really fast; nothing takes more than 20-30 minutes and I hit enough of my body to feel good for having done it. I've even been able to retain my qigong practice, although that too has changed some. Shi Yan Lei, whose work I'm following, wants like 5 different stances in addition to the qigong, as part of a combined program of qigong and kung fu. Well, I've already got enough leg work in my kung fu program as it is, and only 2 of the stances he provides show up in the qigong movements, so there's no real reason for me to faff about and waste more effort. And the thing is, the training workload as it was distributed last challenge had some substantial effects on my ability to get after the non-training portions - the meditation and the writing. So I want to attack those problems again, but this time with this new set up, just to see how it goes. For those who didn't follow along last time, it goes like this: Goal 1: Training Like it says on the tin. Qigong is going to happen as it does; I actually want to try to get to 3-4 times a week, which I think will be quite doable. This was another one of those things that suffered under the prior load, but really it's more a matter of being an opportunity than something I'm going to pursue aggressively. Goal 2: Meditation Gonna shift this goal a little bit and set a time of 2 minutes as my minimum. To be clear, even if I miss this goal, I'm still going to take my deep breaths at bed time and get some benefit. So it's not an either/or situation by any stretch. I just want to challenge myself to do more, and having a hard standard that I won't wiggle out of will help. Maybe. Or maybe I'll be lazy again. IDK. Goal 3: Writing I found a more detailed version of the Snowflake Method. I think I'm going to use this one, since it has a more integrated approach to character profiling and stuff like that. The old 6-step program on Reedsy that I referenced before was a good starting point, but it was also looser in a way that I had a hard time connecting with. I still think I can use their character profiler as a way to construct a dossier on my characters for reference, but it's hard to use for the planning stages, at least for me. My figuring at this point is, plan out -> write the damn thing -> fill out dossiers afterward with the information I develop. But we'll see. 1st step is to follow the plan. Those are my goals this time. It works out to being mostly a repeat of the last challenge. There is some stuff I want to do/get into, but I don't really have a realistic way of approaching that just yet, so that'll be something that hums along in the background. No worries. T-minus a couple days. See y'all when I do!
  6. 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.
  7. Well, okay, see, look. After the last challenge, things were good. Things were really good. So I just shifted gears and got onto the next thing that I wanted to work on like it was nothing. And it was so smooth that I pretty much just blended into it without ever really coming back here. I kept telling myself I would, but part of blending into things has been staying busy, so I kept breaking my word to myself that I would come back, and then a whole week was gone. It's been eventful! Among other things: I finally read all of Berserk. For those who don't know, Berserk is the quintessential dark fantasy and has been a major influence on a lot of games and media, most recently Elden Ring. It is a deeply dark and disturbing story, and it's not for everybody, but it's not cheap or schlocky in being so and I find it to be a genuinely profound and moving story. Had my job performance review for the last quarter and I've basically made huge improvements all over the place. In fact, I did so well that I've been removed from remedial supervision and, if I keep this up, I'll be on track for a promotion in the next year. My boss is super-proud of me; I think she wanted me to be surprised and pleased, but I'd kept such close track of my stats that when she said she was proud of me, I thought, "Damn right you are." Still not good enough for me to return to work from home, though. Like I said, I'm out from remedial supervision, but my improvement in my stats happened after the quarter numbers were in. So me being released from supervision was actually my boss going out on a limb for me (although I know she doesn't care for the paperwork, so it's not like she didn't want me out from under her thumb either); I won't be under consideration for working from home until the end of this quarter, and that assumes I stay on top of things. The future is not set in stone. Managed to finish building a magic system and now know it well enough to know what is and isn't a good idea at a given time. Sweet. Now I have to do it again for another system, because. So. At this point, with all cylinders firing, the goal is to make sure they keep doing so. That's going to mean self care, which means meditation and sleep. Meditation is the one I have the more direct control over ATM, so that's what I'll be focusing. I'm up to 14 minutes at a stretch, and I'm finding so far that weekdays are easy. Weekends are hard. No particular reason for it. I've been tracking the number all along as if I was in challenge mode, so I'll just jump in if that's cool with you. Goal: 6/9 As to a reward, I actually think I'm looking at some tube-style exercises bands for grappling work. Need to look into that more, but that's what I find compelling at this point, so. Sorry for being late! I'll be around to y'all just as quick as I can. Hope you've been well.
  8. 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.
  9. INTRO 'Olo, you lot! Welcome to my quiet little corner. I am Haniya (pronounced Hun-nee-yah) a Nerdy, Sporty, DND[currently watching Critical Role]loving, Comic book enthusiast with a penchant for arts, Video games, Books, Disney movies, music and Mystery Murder shows [Stranger Things, Sherlock, Killing Eve, The Umbrella Academy and Elementary anyone?] also Neil Gaimann because good omens is a fantastic show and is worth fangirling about. Today I have entered as a ranger to challenge myself. Hopefully, my experiment will help me build my habits and my body. I feel like my true self best fits in this sneaky, lean, strong and dangerously cool class because strength and stamina are the two things that I ideally want and we all wish to master. Hence, here I am and here I go! BACK STORY TIME: WE all know how our health is the MOST important thing in the world--physical, emotional and mental as well--especially when you've been obese half your childhood. Its hard to get back on that health horse when like half of your house hold isnt primed for it at all. Regaining my good healthy self has been a massive struggle, no less a bumpy roller coaster ride of high and lows. Well, I've been at it for quite a while with the NERDS--actually listening and enjoying the company of the people--thus, naturally, I come running back to thine fine health, happiness institute of fittitude! [Gedit] Even though i hate typing, i do try to update as often as I can. Well, anyways! I live in Pakistan (south east asia) where carbohydrate is as important and as common as air and I am not joking! OUR DIET AND CUISINE IS JUST FULL OF IT AND EVEN IF YOU TRIED, YOU JUST CANT SHAKE IT OFF AND IGNORE IT! BUT. I. WANT. TO. CHANGE. MYSELF. I DON'T WANT TO BE ADDICTED ANYMORE AND THAT'S MY MAIN MISSION HERE! BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY! I will go slow this time and not overwhelm myself as much as I am prone to so I'll just go over the basics of my mission. Cus. I. Can. And. I. Love. To. Sound. Very. Official. OH, SHALL WE MOVE TOWARDS MY BASE OF OPERATIONS?! *drumroll* OP 1: Take control of the wheel, agent! As the new agent of SHIELD, it is your duty to physically take care of what you put in your body. Filling in the shoes of Natasha Romanoff is going to be a hard job, recruit, so I suggest you take those shoes seriously and work hard! *There we go, guys. Big shoes to fill* So, clean eating and portion control is the key. Refined sugar and fried stuff is your ENEMY. IT'S YOUR HYDRA! You must defeat the bad side! *telegram* Recruit! We are not that cruel, you know, so we are allowing you a two day cheat treat. Aren't we cool?! Of-course, we are, we are SHIELD! OP 2: Find the lost Tomb of Rorustan You want to be the next Lara Croft? You want to go on adventures and move mountains like her, yes? Change the course of time and history like her? Then, you got to train like her! Her strong and Charismatic body took years and years of hard work and perseverance! Can you keep up? *CanI?* Journey to the lost tombs, human and bring forth power! My objective is to run and do body weight exercises (darebee and skipping rope) 3-4 times in a week with two days rest period. Walk for 20-30 mins daily. CAN YOU HEAR THE SPIRITS TALKING? YES! I DO! I CAN HEAR LARA CROFT! MASTER, I CAN HEAR HER WHISPERS FROM THE INSIDE, SPEAKING OUT TO ME (awksslipawaytoyonder) OP 3: Bend it like Korra! Before she was the avatar, Korra knew nothing of her powers and how to control them but with the help of her teachers and peers, she blossomed into the strongest being we know today! Want to Bend it like Korra? *Heck Yeah* then you must dedicate some time to your education; to learn and grow like the avatar. Daily one or two videos that'll inspire you or give you knowledge about the world and beyond. Study spanish: Duolingo and Memrise streaks, audio lessons from Pimsleur and YouTube video lessons. Dont forget to make notes in your notebook. Meditate to calm your souls. A clear and tension free mind is a happy mind! TAI CHI PRACTICE! Watch David Dorian Ross videos and practice along. New videos everyday to build your 103 long form practice. OP 4: "Be as flexible as Kamala Khan" SUPERHERO BY DAY, REGULAR GAMER CHILD BY NIGHT! Balancing your hero and human life takes a lot of work but you have to do this in order for the world to make sense plus, fun time is fun time! So, here are my humanly duties towards a good future:- Journal writing: habit tracking, Spanish progress and recording my days key features as bullet points to make my life easy Updating nerd fitness with my journey in the form of ratings A-F [A being super awesome and F Epic Wamp] and supporting new people and their journies! *POWER RANGERS, METAMORPHOSIS! Oh, wrong fandom* Read more books by adhering to the 50 books a year challenge: Give 1-2 weeks maximum to my current read by reading everyday for 20-30 minutes Focus on your hydration: Minimum 6glasses to up to 8 glasses. More water! LASTLY NEVER GIVE UP! Speaking of giving up, we all need some kind of push on our behinds, right? That's why I have certain ideals. Certain role models that I look for inspiration and motivation when I am feeling particular down in the ditch. These forces of good are there when i need them the most, to guide me through my epic quest I call life. Someone who I want to be: Inspiration Dice I have so many role models that I look up to! People who have proved to be gigantic and so bad arse--who don't need to be reminded of their worth! People who are amazing enough to inspire and motivate us all to follow our dreams and challenge our limits. They teach us that being kind, resolute, strong and brave--in the face of danger--is the most noblest of things you can do. So, so talented, so powerful and so stupendous. I want to be them and I am honoured to call them my idols: Lara Croft, Black Widow, Korra, Ellie Goulding, Aveline De Grandpre, Aloy, Merida, Captain Marvel, Avatar Aang, Dr 13 and Yasmin Khan, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Jim Kwik, Shuri, Okoye, Kamala Khan etc. I am not promising here but i will try to keep you guys up to date with my daily shenanigans and what-nots. Apart from that, I want to THANK you for YOUR precious time! And I might need you guys to help me with this challenge because my focus on them has been very rocky but I am ready to CHANGE MYSELF FOR THE BETTER! I SWEAR ON MY PRETTY LITTLE HANDS THAT I SHALL TRY MY HARDEST! *CUE RICK ROLL SONG* p.s: i love DND even though i am a complete beginner so talk to me about it or if you are looking dnd players then lets band together! I am all for an epic dnd session!
  10. Ivysley starts anew Hello all, it's been awhile since I participated in a 4 week challenge, and I realize I'm a week late to the party. I'm usually more of an adventurer (I love travel and hiking), however, my current fitness practice is more aimed toward the Monks (I believe, if I'm incorrect please tell me where I should belong!) A new ilovekickboxing gym opened in the city near me and while there is no sparring it is more than kicking and punching the air. I ended up winning a YEAR membership to it, which is awesome. I've gone 4 times since it opened the middle of July and have so much fun. The instructors are so encouraging. Who knew "nice power!" felt so good to hear! I was going twice per week with plans to increase to three-four times per week then left town for vacation and was sick for a week after returning home (I"m blaming my friends kids) so now I need to get my momentum back from a two week hiatus. The warm up is tough, the orientation class I ended up missing half the class because I had to keep stopping and spent a good portion of the class laying on the bathroom floor (it was coolest there) as I was close to seeing spots. Since then I've learned to pace myself during the warm-up and can make it through class with only short pauses. I end up soaking wet with sweat by the end of class and feel like a total bad@$$. Who knew roundhouse kicks were so much fun? I also need to get my nutrition back on track, I fell back into eating out most of the time. Though before vacation I was starting to make better decisions. My goals this challenge are: 1) Attend ilovekickboxing classes minimum twice per week. 2) No Fast Food (exceptions Subway, The Compadres) 3) Pack breakfast and lunch for work 2 out of 4 days each week 4) Complete baby quilt for nephew. If I complete a minimum of 75% goals I will reward myself with a new pair of boxing gloves. I currently have the free ones that came with the trial membership. I purchased hand wraps after the first class I did that I didn't have to stop to sit down for. If I can remember how to upload photos I'll post tomato face pics to help keep me accountable.
  11. Hey guys! Just wanted to reach out for your thoughts, again! I'm starting classes in the Fall, and while I've been in school for several years now so I know to balance that first. I'm not really a social creature, so I've already been dedicating my evenings to lifting and running. Now, I want to get back into combat sports. Specifically, I want to join our school's boxing and brazilian jiu-jitsu clubs. I have some previous experience in karate, kickboxing, and western boxing. Boxing meets 5 times a week and BJJ meets 3 times. Brand new to BJJ and have trained western boxing for roughly a year before my break. I'd say I have a good foundation for strength and conditioning balance on my own. Assuming there's no right answer since everyone progresses differently, how often would *you* say to train both? Edit: I found a sample schedule for the boxing club's peak season training where for their competing athletes, so I can see just how much their athletes train (boxing 4x/week, interval runs 2x/week, burnouts after practice 2x/week, plyos/stregth/bodyweight strength 4x/week). Both clubs condition their recreational and competitive athletes after practice with strength or conditioning and seem like solid organizations. All thoughts, criticism, concerns, question are greatly appreciated and will be heard.
  12. I finally found enough courage to join a kickboxing gym! Woot! I had my first class last night and I'm in love. I'm looking for recommendations for gear - both for what I can use at the gym (gloves, wraps, cleaner, etc) and at home. I'm also considering getting a punching bag. My roommate also does kickboxing so it will definitely get used. Also if there are any good videos or people to follow on youtube or podcasts, let me know.
  13. I have to start this thread by saying (and hoping I don't jinx it!) WE FOUND A HOUSE!! We have a contract, and a closing date (January 18th) we will have to see if third time is a charm...we also have pre-approval and closing costs but I digress, we had those with the last one but hurricanes happen... A lot of the below portion was typed out over several hours into an open post...if it doesn't all make sense I apologize in advance... I will be fine tuning and refining this before next week...but as I stated at the closing of my last challenge In my head I keep saying I need to ignore the scale and such and just do what I enjoy and makes me feel good...but that's difficult when I want to break down and cry every time I look in the mirror...I can't stand to look at pictures of me from 6 years ago, or heck, even 3 years ago...wouldn't exactly say I was healthy then but I think a combination of what I did then and what I do now...I know whatever I'm doing now isn't working so I need to rethink it...On January 2nd I'll be here 4 years...always thought I'd be closer to my goals by now, not further away. I used to be the person that went out and had fun, I need to do this again. The job that I had (restaurant management) left little time for eating (mostly done on my feet) and a lot of walking/moving, I need to do this again I used to be the person who didn't worry about what they ate, not saying that was the best thing for me to do because a lot of it was junk, but maybe I don't need to obsess as much as I do now... I used to only eat once or twice a day, when I was hungry....and stop when I was full...I need to do this again I used to be the person who worked a 12 hour shift, got her homework done, and still made time to do the things she really wanted to as long as her schedule allowed...if it didn't then I didn't feel bad about using the time to catch up on sleep...maybe I need to do this again as well... 1. Move every day. Back then they didn't have fitness trackers, but I was on my feet 10-12 hours a day so I know I got a workout in. I have a desk job now but I have a lot of leeway, during season this will be easier but during the off season it's too easy to sit at my desk and not do much. I want to start getting at least 10,000 steps a day, and one day of kickboxing a week. The first two weeks I will start with 6,000 steps (5k distance) and increase from there. 2. Eat when hungry, stop when full. Counting calories and carbs is not working for me. I need to stop obsessing over having breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I'll eat when I get hungry, if that means I don't eat breakfast then so be it. If lunch isn't until 2pm that's fine. The only thing is it has to be real food, not fast food, not junk. Mostly veggies and some protein. 3. Beyond checking in here (which I still intend to stick with 3x a week) I need to stop making plans and canceling them for whatever reason...be it my wife is working late, I talk myself out of it, etc...work obligations notwithstanding...or if sleep really is an issue (which should not be the case before season). I am also going to be taking that long-awaited (by my boss) vacation to set up my house after we close things should be a lot easier after this gets done...can't wait till I can open a door and let the dogs out into the yard!
  14. Because it's expected by now... So in the middle of the last challenge I lost my mind...and signed up for Kickboxing classes They are honestly a lot of fun, even though they make me realize how out of shape I am! Made some not so good food choices over the weekend and ended up with a flare up that made me realize why I don't eat those items anymore...time to recommit to myself and my challenge. I'm currently heavier than I've ever been in my life according to the scale this morning...that includes pregnancy (the first one I gained 50 lbs and was the first time I'd ever been over 200 lbs, currently being the second) Challenge 1. Kickboxing 3 times a week, only exception is holiday schedule or if I have a 5K (doing both would be better) Had to reduce kickboxing to once a week, the repetition was too much for my neck damage. 2. Portion sizes, even though I eat strict Paleo it has still been too much, keep tracking food and keep carbs under 60. Keep my Sun Basket subscription to help with this one because the easier I make it the more likely I am to stick with it! (One cheat a week is currently allowed.) 3. Hold myself accountable...since school isn't a part of my schedule anymore it seems like I'm at loss of what to do with my time. During season at my job I'm not at a loss of what to do with my time, but I need to hold myself accountable to checking in on my goals here, since we see what happens when I don't....I credit NF and the amazing people I've met here (and not wanting to let them down) with the progress I made before, and will again. Check in at least 3 times a week. My spreadsheet link is in my signature, as is MyFitnessPal. Yes my spreadsheet goes to the end of the year and you are welcome to steal my format if it helps you, I break it down into quarters, ymmv. Not comfortable with sharing my current measurements just yet, but plan on taking them at the end of every challenge with a +/- type thing... Upcoming 5K's 11/23 - Community First Thanksgiving Distance Classic (rain) 12/3 - Out of Darkness Walk(overdid it, could not move) 12/9 - The Super Run (rain) 12/16 - Terrain Race (with the current condition of my neck I don't think I'll realistically be able to do this one, plus $10 parking ) 12/22 - Run Santa Run 1/06/16 - Healthy Start 5k 1/13/18 - Best Damn Race (10k) 3/10/18 - Gate River Run (15k) 4/21/18 - Never Quit Run
  15. Hello! so I've been going to a kickboxing class once a week for awhile now but I want to train more, like x2 or even x3, but the class is only offered once a week and there aren't a lot of places that offer kickboxing classes, it's a small town. so any advice? I also lift weights x3 times a week and bike everywhere but I really want to get deeper into kickboxing!
  16. So. Got a bit lost in the reeds for a bit. Still sticking to some goals but fell way behind on others and with keeping up on the boards and then after a bit, there was just too much to catch up on and I kinda covered my eyes and went, "LA LA LA LA EVERYTHING'S FINE HERE!" You know, useful adult coping mechanisms. But. I missed you guys and I know that the lack of structure is what's keeping me from achieving my goals and then I feel cruddy about that, and in the end the *not* doing of stuff makes me feel bad enough that I'm willing to stop with the procrastinating and ignoring the problem and take up this freakin' challenge again. Okay. I'm going to pick up where I left off, and complete the challenge I didn't finish before. I've included it below in a spoiler so as not to bore those who already saw it. During my time away, I did well with exercise and diet, kinda okay with sleep, not as great with FlyLady, and totally fell down with Spanish. Seeing as I have less than 3 weeks before I leave for Argentina, this last goal is more of a Hail Mary play (or would it be María?) than anything else. All right guys, enough gabbin' and more goalerizin'!
  17. Man already this year is passing by fast! We have another awesome challenge coming up! I am BlackTezca, GIF queen extraordinaire and I had a rough last year. You can find all my lovely details from when I first arrived in space within From Lurker to (Newb) Rebel! I have also been training for galactic defending in BlackTezca's Daily Battle Towards A Much Better Year and started making my progress to recover from my Eclipse moment in BlackTezca's 15th Trial: An Artsy Geeky Amazon Survives Her Eclipse. That was a hard recent moment in my life that has not only left some scars, but could have also awakened from inner power to attune myself with an awesome new force for protection of the Universe. Out of the trash and into the awesome! Of course I can't do this alone! I have to build up a few friends to battle along side me and support me as I get stronger, more rested, more social and just all in all more awesome! Awesome enough to take on the Galra empire and prevent tyranny from ruling over the universe! I need to become a firm warrior fit with creativity as well! Not only will I be able to defend the Universe this way but it'll bring me closer to my one true goal...!! My Main Quest to be as POWERFUL and BATTLE READY as Wonder Woman Without further ado, let's see my new awesome quests for January 2017! Note that most of these are familiar, but this is to get back into the habit and get back into the Rebellion! It's always good to revisit the basics and what made things so great the first time around :D. Keith is hotblooded fighter with strength and agility to boot! Details: The Red Lion is perfect for this workout quest! This will account for any workouts I do! But not yoga or just walking anymore, pure workouts (which I did last challenge so building up here). Hoping to get in some nice Kickboxing time as well included here which will be awesome! Note that thanks to a trip coming up, skiing will be part of the package too! Contingencies: Sickness and travel pretty much. However considering the flexibility here, I should be able to do something! Walking, yoga, etc! Tracking: I'll be tracking the workouts using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) and this lovely thread will be updated as well. Grading: A for workout (Kickboxing and Muay Thai included) 4 to 5 times a week - 25 pts ( 1 Sta 2 Dex 2 Str ) B for workout (Kickboxing and Muay Thai included) out 2 to 3 times a week - 20 pts ( 1 Dex 1 Str ) F for all else Hunk knows how to eat to be the post heavy support he can be! Details: Time to limit sugar now and try to keep up my protein! This maybe a bit of a challenge considering that this is February AND my birthday is coming up this month too, but Hunk is reliable and sturdy; he can help me stay the course of caution with foods! I have hope! Contingencies: Oh boy! Getting back to eating 100g of protein and trying to limit sugar will be HARD this challenge: I have a break coming up later in the month (birthday trip to Breckenridge and Valentines). I'm not gonna go easy on myself this first week (Valentines day) but I may go easier on myself during the Birthday week! We'll see how it goes! Tracking: I'll be tracking the stretching sessions using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) with extra accountability done here. Grading: A for 100 g of protein and less than daily allowed sugar 5 to 6 times a week - 25 exp ( 3 Con ) B or 100 g of protein and less than daily allowed sugar 3 to 4 times a week - 20 exp ( 2 Con ) C or 100 g of protein and less than daily allowed sugar 2 times a week - 15 exp ( 1 Con ) F for all else Lance is one social butterfly of a sharpshooter! Details: I need to comment on the forums! I did not do so at all last challenge and I feel like I am out of place in the forums due to this! It's time to come back and leave gifs EVERYWHERE!! ALL THE GIFS FOR ALL MY FRIENDS!!! Or at least a lovely comment! I will be here for you my friends! I promise!! Contingencies: If I lack internet somewhere like on my vacation, that would be the only contingency. I may not even include the days I'm out since it's somewhat between weeks. We'll see!Tracking: Tracking to be done here! On the forums where I need to comment!Grading: A for commenting at least once on a buddy's challenge 4 to 5 days a week! - 15 exp ( 2 Cha ) B for commenting at least once on a buddy's challenge 2 to 3 days a week! - 10 exp ( 1 Cha ) F for all else Pidge is a gadgeteering hacking genius with a penchant for creativity! Details: Time to keep this up! Did a lot of model painting last challenge and while that will still be the case, I want to do some digital art again too! Maybe I need to start doing those short portraits I did during October before disaster struck...hmm let me consider that with at least doing sketches too! Need to get my muse back in gear! Contingencies: The usual! Friends being in town, going on possible trips else where, etc. Need to focus on painting! Tracking: I have an art Tumblr and I also have DeviantArt (WATCH ME FOR ACCOUNTABILITY). I shall use those and this thread to keep track. Grading: A for Arting (model painting mostly) at least 30 minutes 4 to 5 days a week - 20 exp ( 2 Wis 1 Cha )B for Arting (model painting mostly) at least 30 minutes 2 to 3 days a week - 15 exp ( 1 Wis 1 Cha) F for all else Shiro has had it rough and really needs to recover! Details: I have been working a lot...my back is sore. I haven't been doing too well with dealing with stress and just letting myself stop working and just go home. I need to focus on doing some relaxing actions. Stretch, leave work as soon as I have my eight hours (and not work over weekends), taking a bath, talking a walk, these will count for lovely relaxation actions. Contingencies: None! Just take a bloody break! Tracking: I will be using this thread for tracking my relaxation actions! Woo!!Grading: A for relaxation actions 14 to 15 days this challenge (work days!) - 20 exp ( 1 Wis 1 Con )B for relaxation actions 12 to 13 days this challenge (work days!) - 15 exp ( 1 Wis ) F for all else The quests are set! Let's see what my current measurements are for this challenge! Starting Measurements: Date: 02/13/2017 @ 7:00 am Weight: 155.6 ***Body Fat***: 26 Waist : 26 Waist @ Navel:27 Hips: 39 Neck: 12 Chest: 33 Left Bicep: 11 Right Thigh: 18.5 Wrist: 5.5 Forearm: 9 Not bad! A slight improvement over last challenge, even with how lazy I was this past week! With that's, let go defend the Universe! Time to form VOLTRON!! *** ***Awesome Summaries Index*** Week 1 Summary Week 2 Summary Week 3 Summary Week 4 Summary Challenge Summary
  18. Well. it’s taken me all week to get back in here, but I finally posted last month's challenge wrap-up and here I am! And ready for the new challenge. (I haven’t been entirely slacking off, I’ve been test driving this thing, kicking the wheels, running up the mileage...wait, I think my metaphor has just gone off-road.) I don’t know if many, or even any, of you have seen the movie the 13th Warrior with Antonio Banderas and Omar Sharif. It’s full of anachronisms and silliness and a Spaniard playing an Arab, but, ignoring all that, it’s one of the best dungeon crawl movies ever made. You have a party that meets at an inn, is given a quest, fights monsters and goes into a cave to beat the final boss. Essentially. There’s lots of funny bits and thrilling bits and it’s a great popcorn-muncher of a movie. The main character goes from being a courtier to a warrior and learns a lot along the way, and I hope to do the same this challenge - or at least get further along my path. My Goals Exercise: Grow stronger This will pretty much stay the same as last month. I’m going to vary the PT exercises at home a bit, as that was the only sticking part last time. 3 kickboxing days 2 Start Bodyweight days 1 BollyX day (or other cardio) 2 PT sessions 4 foam rolling or PT exercise days Diet/Health: Calculate what you can’t see 75 - 100g Protein intake Last month, for the second month in a row, I did well staying to my calorie counts, eating my fruit/veg, and drinking my water. I’ll keep doing those things, but since they’re already established habits, I feel I can let them go as goals. Now, as I end the “weight loss” phase of my diet and start the “muscle gain” part, I’ve set my daily calorie limit higher and I’m using the extra calories to try to get my daily protein intake to at least 75g, and, if possible, 100g. To this end, I’m now tracking the numbers. Since I don’t have weight loss to guide me any more, I’ll have to use body measurements and functional stuff like “how many X can I do now?” to figure out where I am. In other words, LOTS of tracking. Average 7 hours sleep per night So, I *thought* I was sleeping well. Turns out, I often was getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night. How do I know? Got a FitBit. And the numbers don’t lie. I am very bad at sleeping. Less than 7 hours of sleep makes for a very grumpy me. So I’m going to aim to have a weekly 7 hour per night average. Since it’s weekly, I can catch up during the week if I’ve had a bad night, but I need to meet the goal by the end of each week. Life: Do what you ought Spanish Later this year, I’m fulfilling a *very* long-term goal of taking my kids to Argentina, where my family is from. They have never been, which means there’s a bunch of their family they’ve never met. Last year I lost two of my uncles one day after the other, and I realized my time is short and I have no more excuses not to take them. Money, time, travel complications...these are stupid reasons to not go. So we’re going. The tickets are bought and everything. The only problem? My girls don’t speak Spanish. Or at least not well enough to be comfortable with it. They *understand* it, but since I’m the only native Spanish speaker in the house, and growing up here means English is still my stronger language...well, let’s say I’ve been slacker mom when it comes to making them speak it. It’s just so much easier to speak English. Well, that crap ends now. My goal is to spend as much time as I can speaking Spanish to them this month. I’ll encourage them to do the same, but right now they just need to hear a lot of it. Spanish radio, Spanish movies, Spanish games...whatever I can do. I’m having a tough time figuring out how to quantify this, but I’m going to start where I am and work things out as I go along. Any ideas for how to ‘grade’ this one? FlyLady Years and years ago, I joined FlyLady.net. For those of you who’ve never heard of her, FlyLady helps you get your house organized, even though you are are a chronically disorganized person. Which I am. The program really helped me get my house under control for the first time in -ever- and I’ve since fallen off the wagon and, though things have never gotten as bad as they were, my house is no longer a place that makes me happy. Too many unfinished things, too much chaos, too much stuff. I plan to start back at the beginning with her 31-day beginner baby steps program. I’ve already done the first 4 days during this Week 0, so I should be able to finish by the end of the challenge. That’s the challenge, folks. Wish me luck!
  19. New year, new challenge! I had so much fun on the last one, that this one is going to be mostly the same, just a little...better. Diet Goals Eat at least 1 fruit AND 1 vegetable each day. This is just a bit more ambitious than last time, where it was one or the other Drink 8 cups of water a day. Again, a bit up from the 6 cups of last challenge. Fitness Goals Kickboxing 3x/week. This stays the same. Physical Therapy 2x/week. I just started this for my new(ish) hip issue and my very old shoulder problem. This is already scheduled. PT exercises 5x/week. On the days I don't go to therapy, I need to do my at-home exercises. Bodyweight 2x/week. Notching this down a bit, because I tried to do too much last time and failed. Life Goals Coding 1/2 hour per day. I need to make this a priority; as in, this gets done each day even if other things have to slide. House decluttering/outstanding projects; 15mins or 1 small project per day. Not gonna wait until spring to do spring cleaning. Okay! Going to keep tracking my coding bricks on Monkey Tamers United, my calories/exercise on Loseit.com, and my bodyweight workouts on my StartBodyweight spreadsheet. 2017, here I come!
  20. I'm Lieutenant Dan. Fuck you 2016. Woo...it is a new year. A brand new spanking year that I desperately need. I have been out for the forums quite a bit last year for one main reason! Quick reminder for all of you folks who have yet to meet the Queen of Gifs; I am BlackTezca and I first joined the Rebellion back in 2014! I started out with my very first post in From Lurker to (Newb) Rebel! I also started a new battle log for the year titled BlackTezca's Daily Battle Towards A Much Better Year (We all need a much better year). I had a lovely challenge during my Golden age in BlackTezca's 14th Trial: An Artsy Geeky Amazon Goes Back to School!!! and the challenge ended up being a pretty damn good success! I was ready to kick the rest of Octobers' ass and really rock the rest of 2016 until...disaster struck. Monsters abounded... I know a lot of folks who have figurative (and literal) battle scars from 2016 and I have to say...I am one of them. Some of you may have know this already, but the hubs and I lost our clone, Ezekiel, better known to us as Zeke. Zeke was...too much for this small puny world to handle and went off to conquer far, far, far away celestial places. He will be miss, and his departure hit us really hard. That was the best, and the very worst, Halloween weekend I have ever experience. That was what I shall call, the Eclipse moment. If you are familiar with the anime Berserk, which was...fittingly, gonna be my October challenge theme, then you know the Eclipse moment. The moment where everything goes to literal hell in Berserk and the dark dirty world transforms into a Apocalyptic Fantasy horror landscape. I really truly believe that losing Zeke was that moment; sure I didn't lose an eye nor lost an arm, but things are definitely not the same anymore. I didn't go on a 2 year hunting down Apostles hiatus like Guts did, but I did have a hiatus so I can heal physically and start healing emotionally. Cause I'm back bitches!! Time to kickass and get back to my main quest! As we all may remember, I have one hero that I always admire, one hero that I aspire to be! Her movie is coming out soon (JUNE 02 2017) and as such I must prepare myself to follow in her awesome footsteps...!! My Main Quest to be as POWERFUL and BATTLE READY as Wonder Woman Without further ado, let's see my new awesome quests for January 2017! Note that most of these are familiar, but this is to get back into the habit and get back into the Rebellion! It's always good to revisit the basics and what made things so great the first time around :D. Guts will never stop, never yield. He is simply to simple minded, too stubborn, and too bad ass. Details: Still keeping things simple here. Just like Guts who will never stop to rest for his simple goals (vengeance against Griffith, protecting Casca, getting monsters to leave him alone), I too shall not stop! Time to get my ass back into gear and work out as hard as I usual do!...While taking rest days and doing some yoga (which I will count as well! WOO YOGA!) Contingencies: Sickness and travel pretty much. However considering the flexibility here, I should be able to do something! Walking, yoga, etc! Tracking: I'll be tracking the workouts using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) and this lovely thread will be updated as well. Grading: A for workout (including yoga) 4 to 5 times a week - 25 pts ( 2 Sta 2 Dex 2 Str ) B for workout (including yoga) out 2 to 3 times a week - 20 pts ( 1 Sta 1 Dex 2 Str ) F for all else Casca is a strong independent woman who don't need no man to kick some ass! Details: A woman with pride, strength and an efficient fighting style, Casca is a soldier through and through. She fights with finesse and often using her opponents greater strength to her advantage. I haven't been doing much to keep up with my own fighting skills and would like to get back into kickboxing and Muay Thai! Contingencies: If I can't make the Easton classes, I'll simply do a kickboxing work out at home with focus on good technique from Easton! Huzzah!Tracking: I'll be tracking the Muay Thai and Kickboxing using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) and this lovely thread will be updated as well.Grading: A for Kickboxing/Muay Thai 3 times a week - 20 pts ( 1 Sta 2 Dex 1 Str ) B for Kickboxing/Muay Thai out 2 times a week - 15 pts ( 2 Dex ) C for Kickboxing/Muay Thai out 2 times a week - 10 pts ( 1 Dex ) F for all else Ishidoro needs to bulk up and eat at least 100 gram of protein to catch up to Guts! Details: Lets' get back to focusing on eating all the protein (and watching my carbs and sugar and such). Ishidoro wants to steal all of Guts techniques and skills, but he needs to pump up for that! I mean the dragonslayer is about 400 pounds and Guts can swing that with one arm. For me to get back to the weight I use to lift, I need to eat more protein! Contingencies: None. I should be able to stuff my face with yogurt and protein bars if I need to and while I don't want to go over my calories too much, I'm NOT cutting. Thus the daily amount should not scare me. I need the protein, I need that fuel! Tracking: I'll be tracking the stretching sessions using MyFitnessPal ( username BlackTezca ) with extra accountability done here. Grading: A for 100 g of protein 6 to 7 times a week - 25 exp ( 2 Con 1 Wis) B for 100 g of protein 4 to 5 times a week - 20 exp ( 2 Con ) C for 100 g of protein 2 to 3 times a week - 15 exp ( 1 Con ) F for all else Griffith has dreams, ambitions...and let one year with a bad day lead to a pretty horrific decision... Details: Oh man...oh Griffith...you're a real piece of work. Turning from one of the coolest characters into one of the most shittiest assholes over the course of one ruthless, hateful decision. To be fair to him, he had a bad year. He was tortured for a year, left disabled and unable to fight or even speak and after being united with his friends and comrades, realized he had just become a burden. That sucks. Really, really sucks. I am not gonna be like Griffith and just hole up into myself, making horrible choices. I had a pretty shitty 2016. I have some healing to do. And while I have done a pretty good job so far, I need to stop putting off getting some grief counseling. Not sure what yet, nor when, but I need to get some grief counseling of some kind. Maybe to let it all out, maybe to hep make a plan, I'm not sure, but something could still help me get a handle on this loss a little more. Contingencies: None; I need to not put it off.Tracking: Tracking to be done here and I'll need to use this thread to do some research and let ya'll know how I'm doing so far.Grading: A for one group or individual grief counseling session this challenge - 15 exp ( 2 Wis 1 Cha ) F for all else Puck is real are so are demons, other elves, and magic in the Berserkverse! Details: Puck is the resident light in the darkness known as the Berserkverse. He provides the comedy relief and much needed lightness for the series as well as proof that there are supernatural happenings afoot. He is an elf that is visible to all but the blind and tries his best to support Guts and his crew. Due to his supernatural, magical nature, he best represents my art quest! Same old here; painting and art for 30 minutes a day, most days of the week! Contingencies: The usual! Friends being in town, going on possible trips else where, etc. Need to focus on painting! Tracking: I have an art Tumblr and I also have DeviantArt (WATCH ME FOR ACCOUNTABILITY). I shall use those and this thread to keep track. Grading: A for Arting (model painting mostly) at least 30 minutes 4 to 5 days a week - 20 exp ( 2 Wis 1 Cha )B for Arting (model painting mostly) at least 30 minutes 2 to 3 days a week - 15 exp ( 1 Wis 1 Cha) F for all else The quests are set! I should be honest and have some stats posted for the new year! They...ugh...won't be great, but here they are!! Starting Measurements: Date: 01/05/2017 @ 7:30 am Weight: 161 ***Body Fat***: 26 Waist: 26 Waist @ Navel: 28 Hips: 40 Neck: 12.5 Chest: 34 Left Bicep: 11 Right Thigh: 19.5 Wrist: 5.5 Forearm: 9 Ughhhh...I know these are looking great, but hey! Cut me some slack :P. I'm getting back into things and I'm already feeling more trim and also feeling better! Hurray! Let's get this challenge going! Time to fight against the Dark Ages and kick ass Berserk style! WOO!!
  21. Brief semi-place-holder. Yup I'm turning up this month. There's all sorts of life stuff (mostly good) trying to take all my time, but no, I'm going to 1) play that bass 2) actually do my morning injury prevention routines (back maintenance, dodgy foot mobility, arm flexibility) more mornings than not. 3) Exercise = make it to yoga, turn up at JJ and kickboxing, do some running All other things are optional (except for making it to work on time, that one is compulsory, oh and playing with cats, also compulsory). Am I all or nothing it again? Maybe..... But I do not like the nothing end of the scale. Good to be back, in preparation I got to the gym yesterday, and did my morning body maintenance today. Feels good. Now emergency practise (mighty hard music to learn by Saturday - a nice mix of Milhaud, Mozart and Schoenberg, but ouch, it is a challenge to learn).
  22. This month’s challenge is a lot like last month’s, with one addition -- I want to work on arm and upper body strength, so I’m adding a pull-ups goal. Spider-Man is the king of bodyweight strength, right? Fitness: Run/cardio twice a week Strength workout or kickboxing class twice a week Pull-ups 3x3x3: Three sets of three pull-ups, three times a week. Substitutions permitted for all but the pull-ups. Right now a set of three parallel grip pull-ups is very challenging but possible. Diet: Bring a piece of fruit or similarly healthy snack to work every day. (5/week) Life: Writing: 3+ hours per week (gonna need more than that, frankly), schedule two full research days during the challenge. Meditation daily (7/week) -- I've got this habit Bonus challenge: Make heavy bag for outdoor gym This year I've gone from "borderline doughy" to "skinny." I'd like to start approaching "wiry" and someday achieve "sinewy." PS: Gonna officially start this on Monday just because Mon-Sun bookkeeping seems to work better for me.
  23. I can't believe my Pokemon journey began a year ago today. I never thought it would take this long, but after defeating the indigo league only to be knocked out by the champion, I had a grudge to settle. I recouperated in Pallet Town before embarking on another journey, seeking strength and wisdom across Kanto's coast, under the mountains, through cyberspace, into the deep dark forest and amongst the islands. Now I'm ready to return to take out the Elite 4 and challenge the Champion again. Personal story (skip if you want to): In 2014 I worked hard to move past depression and anxiety. I thought I had succeeded until... In early 2015 I had a mental breakdown and lost my job and vocational education. I decided to give my life a major shakeup by planning a year-long international travel adventure on a shoestring for 2017. (Travel is a major cause of anxiety for me, so this is extra daring.) This gave me the rest of 2015 and 2016 to save up and prepare. One of my goals was to go from overweight and completely sedentary, to being fit enough to do seasonal farm work to pay my way while traveling. Somewhere along the way I joined NerdFitness and was surprised to discover a love of weightlifting and other badrangerassery. Exercise was not a magic bullet for me, but resistance training did help my depression, alongside other changes. A major motivator was laying down a base level of fitness in order to start Krav Maga (a martial art). In early 2016 I finally felt ready to start Krav Maga. But on my first lesson I tore a tendon in my (good) knee, setting me back both physically and mentally. (In my challenges, this is where I lost to the Champion). I eased back into fitness very slowly, being busy and afraid of re-injury, but about 7 months later, I am fully recovered and approaching my PRs again, on-track with financial goals and about to book plane tickets. There's just one thing left to do: smash this challenge. Week 0 - Lorelei (Ice type) Time to Unfreeze I've been feeling frozen in place and overwhelmed by all the things I have to do and could be doing. It's time to sort them out and make a plan. I'll be updating soon with specific goals. Also drinking a lot of iced tea (that goes for every other week too). Week 1 - Bruno (Fighting type) I will make sure I go to kickboxing this week and put in a solid effort. This is also the week to fight the mess in my room. Week 2 - Agatha (Ghost type) I will do something that scares me. Also, I will work extra hard on mobility this week. Week 3 - Lance (Dragon type) I will do something that makes me feel badass. And I'll have my birthday this week! Week 4 - Blue, the Champion This week I will pull it all together for a 100% week to completely, unambiguously beat the everloving daylights out of that Champion.
  24. I learned a lot last month about what happens when I get overworked and overscheduled -- to wit, my fitness plans collapse under their own weight -- so this month is all about getting a regular routine back. Discipline over motivation is the goal here: Schedule. Practice. Assess. Adjust. But keep moving forward with my eye on the targets. Agent 47 knows how to do this. This month's fitness targets are: Running & kickboxing for stamina BW training focusing on upper body strength, for climbing and because I want awesome-looking arms (Kickboxing is great because it does both. My legs look great these days you guys, not gonna lie) Running: 2x/week. I’m doing the Zombies Run virtual race at the end of this challenge, and I expect the weather to turn nice soon, so I’m adding in an additional day of running to my routine. I’m temporarily removing a day of strength training to compensate. Kickboxing or bodyweight workout: 2x/week. Either one counts. I want to get this up to a 3x/week habit ultimately, but this is more realistic right now. Fitness bonus points* for: Doing a suspension strap workout (I want to do this more; it’s fun and weird and feels assassiny to hang from things, and it offers you all the opportunity to make bondage jokes) Taking a kickboxing class after work, not just the usual Saturday Doing 3/week of either item Doing a wall climb Wear all black to work out Trying a new class. Karate and parkour are on my radar. Diet: Snack management and eggs. A friend just started up a tabletop RPG that'll be playing every couple of weekends. Last weekend I bought popcorn and pretzels, not too unhealthy, but then I sat there and ate popcorn for about three hours straight. Then we ordered pizza. During this challenge I bring a healthy snack (still working on what "healthy" means, specifically; please chime in) to all game nights, and eat it in moderation. Try out more than one new healthy snack. I also want to learn to eat eggs in some form. I have disliked eggs since I was a kid. (I'll eat them cooked in stuff if they're invisible; I just don't like them.) I'm a vegetarian and that's an easy and healthy source of protein, so I want to bust my picky eater habits on this one. I will try at least one egg-centric dish during this challenge. Writing: 3 hrs/week. If you’re following my challenges the rest of the year, you’re going to be hearing a lot about my writing progress as I finish a book I’m working on. I’m also proposing a new job description for myself at work that would represent a big change. Exciting? Scary? It can be two things. I'll file that under writing too, but only work on the book manuscript counts toward the hours goal. During this challenge I will: Make a sufficiently detailed production schedule during week 1 -- everything that still needs to be done to the book manuscript. Take two research days from work to write at home. (If I take a research day, I still have to write a couple of hours during the rest of the week.) Complete and submit job proposal. *there are no points
  25. I'm on a Pokemon journey seeking true power in the wild and mysterious corners of Kanto (superimposed on my town). For the story so far see my battle log. I sure love my points systems, averages, targets and grading. I want to set a goal, laser focus and smash it. But right now that's not the most effective approach. I have a well-established fitness routine and it's more important to try to balance my mental and physical effort to avoid burnout than to tick off a checklist. So I will be grading each week on effort rather than points. My routine: M - lift T - / W - lift, shopping T - gym/aqua, kickboxing F - nature walk, lift S - gym/aqua S - / The first week of the challenge I'll be returning from travel on Tuesday and having to work extra time to catch up, so my only goal will be to bounce back from that. I made and froze 2 meals and the ingredients for another batch to give myself a head start. My workout buddy has a weekly general workout program for the gym now, so we can go any time rather than being constrained by class times, though I'm still hoping to get to some aqua classes. I'd like to do some more pull exercises on the machines to balance out the amount of pushing and sitting at a desk I do. Also a bit of mobility work on my feet is becoming a necessity, and I've got an itch to go rucking. And the garden needs attention. Should be a fun/crazy time!
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