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  1. I always struggle to start these things, so let's just pretend I had some kind of cool opening line, okay? Last challenge went surprisingly well for me, despite the fact I was pretty far into my deep dark hole of despair when I started it. While nothing has actually changed (yet) - I still haven't found a better job, graduated, gotten pregnant, or met any of my other goals - I am pleasantly surprised to report that I'm actually feeling...cheerful? Optimistic? Is that even possible? It has honestly been years since I felt like there was any real hope (legit think I've been on the downhill part of the roller coaster of life since about fall 2018) and suddenly there's a pinprick of faraway light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope it's not a train. This also means I feel pretty good about, as in the title, picking up the pace a bit. I'm going to try not to mess with last challenge's "category quest" set up too much since it worked so well, but also keep pushing myself forward - I was definitely getting a little bit lazy by the end of last challenge because it was so much "anything goes" and I could have done more than I did. Quest 1: Move! I got decent at moving around more frequently last challenge, but it's been 99% all short YouTube yoga and family walks (usually 2-3 miles, not terrible, and we live in a very hilly place so it does get the heart going sometimes - but I also know I'm not getting a ton of benefit for the hour or so it takes to do it at toddler pace). 1. Two workouts a week - again, counting anything that gets my "intensity minutes" tracker thing on my cheapo Garmin watch going (helpful to tell if my yoga/walk is actually doing enough to get my heart rate going, also sometimes records activities I hadn't thought about like playing "Mommy Monster" where I roar and try to chase my kid by running and dinosaur stomping at the same time) And one of those workouts should be... 2. Go running at least once a week, even if it's only a mile (or less)! RE says I shouldn't go more than 14 miles a week (running and walking combined) but at my level that shouldn't be difficult to stay under. Note for this quest: This might have to change after I talk to a surgeon (waiting to hear consultation date, but hopefully in the next few weeks) about repairing issues with my c-section scar - it never healed quite right and may be a factor in our fertility issues, among other things. If the surgeon says I should stop doing something, obviously I will stop doing that thing. Quest 2: Eating (slightly) Better So I'm slightly up on my weight (not bad, but a few pounds - still under 150 at my last weigh-in, but barely) and I'm really starting to feel the pull towards fitted summer dresses. If nothing else in my life is going well, at least I can look damn cute while navigating it, right? Plus, you know, having energy and all those other things I'm supposed to say I care about more than fashion (but if I'm being honest, it's like 50-50). I'd really like to get back to the 145 or less range. Also, maybe it'll help convince my kid to eat more than just cheese and raisins? 1. eat 3 meals a day, which for me mostly means "eat breakfast". Doctor says my natural 2-meals-a-day habit isn't good for pregnancy, so I'd better get used to it now. I've been doing okay with my overnight oats, but even just grabbing a banana will count. 2. Avoid drinking all my calories! No more than 6 sodas a week. This has been creeping back up (even though I'm only drinking the mini 8 ounce cans these days) and I want to make sure I don't backslide. That's only one day a week without, surely I can manage that without great stress, and I have an eye on dropping it to 5 before the end of the challenge. Also I'll also cap myself at 2 beers a week even though I'm pretty sure I'm rarely over that anyway. 3. Eat more plants (particularly fruits and veggies, I'm good at eating grains hahaha). This should get easier as we enter spring/summer. Hard part here is that I'm not honestly sure what my baseline is - I feel like it's not a lot at all, but it's also not zero - so I'm going to keep a food journal for the rest of week 0 and set an improvement goal from there. Having this on my mind does mean I'm more likely to eat these foods during my baseline week, but I'm going to try to be as honest as possible with myself about if I normally would have eaten that or not. Quest 3: Language Still the primary driving factor behind grad school and the career issues. The idea here is that more time in the target language = smoother interviews and an easier admissions to/time in my next grad program (yes, I'm the special kind of person who has a second MA all picked out already, it'd be stupid helpful for my career to have both and there is an excellent local program that will allow me to earn my degree in "Romance Languages" rather than just Spanish or just French). 1. 5 minutes of listening or practice speaking in either Spanish or French OR 3 pages of reading in either. Daily and could be mixed (for example, a 3 minute French video and 3 minute Spanish conversation with my husband would count as 6 minutes total for that day and thus a checkmark.) 2. Weekly journal entries in either Spanish or French, minimum 3 pages in the little notebook I just grabbed for this purpose (it's a pretty small notebook, I promise haha). All 3 pages don't have to be written at once, as long as they're written in the same week, but that could also be just one longer session.
  2. Goals: Exercise: Same as always. Languages: Finish Maître Thénardier for French, 2 days/ week for Russian. Learning Practicing: Draw something once per week. Cosplay: Finish setting up electronics on the wings, start construction. Finish the gentleman's Backlash hood, mask, and gems. Other: Make a walking playlist in iTunes - different from workout list. Learn 2 more quiet/ evening/ calm down songs. Slight tweak to the usual 4 hobby areas. I've been working on learning Maître Thénardier for over a month now, in part because it's so dense with slang, and in part because I feel badly singing full voice with kitty around. I need to get back to it, though - kitty can find another part of the house to occupy during lunch. I'm changing Learning to Practicing, because what's the point in learning something if you don't actually do it? A couple different people have mentioned they miss my little sketches, so I'm going to try to do those weekly. Cosplay is going to be the main focus here. I want to get the electronics for the Valkyrie wings done and start construction, which shouldn't (ha) be too hard to accomplish. I also want the last few bits of the gentleman's Backlash cosplay done and out of my way so I can focus on Valkyrie without distraction or clutter on my work table. Finally, I would like to get back to music more. I drifted away from music a bit when I was doing my masters (geez, 3 years ago, that's one heck of a trauma to get over) and didn't have the brain space to deal with it. I've sporadically updated my workout list with things I heard at the gym since then, but since I now have only my own music, I'm getting tired of listening to the same fairly limited playlist 6 nights a week. I'd like to get a playlist set up for just walking/ cardio, and then learn a few more songs for when I'm winding down in the evenings. I miss singing throughout the day and want to get back to it.
  3. Intro that I totally stole off my last challenge: Last month's challenge was slightly derailed by family drama. To summarize, the gentleman (husband) and I are in process of evicting his family out of the house he owns so he can sell it; fortunately, it's at the stage where we don't have to do much, just get reports from the evictions lawyer. Due to the time and costs that all that entailed, the "purchase supplies and tinker with them" stage for the wings got delayed. I finally ordered stuff this past weekend which should come in within the next couple weeks. The first steps, I think, will be to figure out how to program the arduino and hook up the servos and controller to move precisely and without fail. Since I have not mucked with electrical wiring since the time of Commodore 64 computers (yup, just dated myself), there will doubtless be a learning curve. My other goals are fairly straightforward; they've been with me in one form or another since before I joined nf. Exercise: 3 days' cardio, 3 days' weights at home. New rule - cardio inside if it's below 45° outside. Languages: Maintain French via continuing to learn Les Mis. Shift Russian to maintenance by doing bookwork 2 days a week. 3 is bonus. Learning: Check out and read at least 2 books on Scandinavian countries, just because. Cosplay: Figure out the wiring for the wings. Extras: Put up the "greenhouse" under the stairs. Lay out 3 more chapters of my favorite webcomic for print form. That seems like less than usual, but it is a shorter challenge, and holidays exist, so we'll go for that.
  4. 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!
  5. For the life of me, I can't think of a theme for this. Just another same-ol', same-ol' "challenge" to mark that I'm putting my time in to be a better person. Saw that sign at the gym the other day, and that's me, just paying rent on my health and mental well-being, and hopefully putting some down payments on a different career/ higher paycheck. State of the Hobbies: Languages: Daily F/R vocab, daily R grammar (new), bi-weekly R tutoring. Exercise: M/W/F weights, Tu/Th cardio and PT, Sunday PT. Cosplay: Winingas (leg wraps), helmet. Learning: Russian governance/ law class. Extras: Gardening: Add mulch to sheeting, cut back everything. Job hunt: Attend virtual job fair, put out applications. I am wallowing somewhat under a "what's the point of life" cloud. I have been an "I'm interested in everything, try it all" person for so long. I am working on calming myself down and focusing on hobbies I really want to get good at, but I find myself missing the "found a new thing to consume my every waking moment" rush. Not sure how to reconcile that.
  6. So, I handed in my dissertation. Yay! There is still a lot of bureaucracy to work through and, in a few months, my defence. But! It's time to focus on improving myself again. Right now I'm too hung over and unmotivated to come up with a clever theme, so I'll just stick to the basics: movement, dieting and learning. Moving: Tracking steps Working out Running The goal here is to move every day in some way or another. In particular, I want to walk a bit more overall. Last challenge I managed about 8000 steps per day on average and I want to get that up to 9000. Should be relatively simple by going to the grocery store more often. Next: my bodyweight workout routine is very scalable and I want to try to do it as often as possible with lowered intensity. Additionally, I want to go running about twice a week. But depending on the weather I might substitute a longer walk. Dieting: Tracking food Tracking weight At the moment I sit at 94kg. A year ago I was at 83kg... Well... In order to get back down, I won't follow any specific heuristics. I will track my food intake and try to reduce my calories a bit. But in this challenge, it's more about learning to be conscious about what I eat. In particular, I want to reduce my carbs a bit. I'll aim for under 200 grams per day, but, as mentioned, it's more about being conscious. Learning: Studying Practising the guitar I have to learn to use my new free time. In order to do that in a productive way, I will try to sit down every day for 15 minutes and learn/study something. That'll most likely be Polish, Japanese, Go or C++. Hopefully, I'll cycle through all of them regularly. And to have something more focussed, I'll try to practise the guitar for a few minutes every day.
  7. Background: Started with the NF BBWW in 2014, joined the rebellion with the Assassins in 2015, have tried many many things, but seem to be settling into weights since late 2017. Figured I'd check out the Warriors Guild and see what's up over here. Me: Used to be full throttle into everything, but age and finding niches have shown that focusing well on a few things is more productive and satisfying. I finished my Master's last year, and took a "refresher" course again over the summer, so I'm still sort of settling into "just" having an 8-5 job, rather than job and school and trying to shoehorn lots of hobbies into every second of spare time. Last year, after graduation, I pared my hobbies down to four: exercise, languages, sewing, and gardening. Then I got into thermoplastics, and tried shoehorning it into my restricted hobbies list by reclassifying "sewing" as "crafting," which really just meant I was overdoing it again. As we move into fall, I'm once again cleaning up and reflecting on goals and outlooks, and want to do a start-over. So... Goals: Exercise: Keep it up. Weights thrice a week, cardio/half-PT twice a week, full PT once a week. This is an established habit. Languages: Keep it up. I typically do Russian practice during lunch at work, Russian class via Verbling every other week, and maintain French via random articles and books. Thermoplastics: Started working on a female Thor cosplay ages ago (ok, ok, 8 months ago). Finished a bracer out of Worbla, waiting on not-humid weather to finish up Mjolnir, and started on a breastplate this past weekend. This had taken second place to sewing, but that's closed out so this is primary goal now. Shorthand: Something I've wanted to poke at for a while, and it's come up more recently, as I have to take more written notes for a new work project. Would like to do at least 5 minutes a day. Bonus goals: Not required, no deadlines. Nutrition: Tweak more carbs/fat into protein. Garden: Winterize the garden, plan a hands-off layout for next year. Wardrobe: Clean out, take stock, and sew or buy enough to make it through the end of fall and all of winter. (This is complicated by gains made lifting weights, which is a problem I'm happy to have). Clean kitchen/ cabinets: We tend to stockpile. Go through and make sure everything's still good, plan meals to use it. I realize my goals aren't exciting or innovative, but they make me happy so I'm sticking with them.
  8. ...is that a try-hard title? I feel like it might be a try-hard title. Oh well. I miss running, and I miss my LotR references, even though I'm not terribly clever with them. So here we go!! Fitness Quest #1 Goal: Run at least 8 times, slowly increasing to running a full mile at a time. Notes: I will have to be a little bit slow starting this, as I just got a tattoo yesterday on my left leg that can't be exposed to sweat for a little while. Hence the 8 times, rather than twice a week. I'd really like to average three runs a week, but between tattoo healing and baby, twice feels a lot safer. Grading: 7+ runs with at least one being a full mile = A 6 runs with at least one being a full mile OR 7+ runs with no complete mile = B 5 runs with one full mile OR 6 runs with no complete mile = C 4 runs with one full mile OR 5 runs with no complete mile = D 3 or fewer runs with a full mile OR 4 or fewer runs with no mile = F Fitness Quest #2 Goal: Continue to work on pushups (now with planking option!) at least 3 times a week Notes: My pushups are still working towards 3 sets of 10 completed reps of the side of the couch. Since I'm very close to this and haven't found a stable place to practice after that (I have a stool that's like the perfect height but has a tendency to slide out from under me...eeep!) I'm also accepting sets of 3 planks (on hands, not arms anymore!) with a goal of holding at least one for 20 seconds. I haven't actually tried it yet though, so that might be a silly goal and is subject to change as I begin practicing. Grading: 10-12+ practices in total (when adding both kinds of practices together) = A 8-9 practices = B 6-7 practices = C 4-5 practices = D 3 or fewer practices = F Nutrition Quest #1 Goal: 4 sodas or less during this challenge Notes: I did so well with the 8 or less quest last challenge (final score: 3.5 sodas left) that I really feel like I can make a big jump here! Grading: drinking 4 sodas or less = A drinking 5 sodas = C drinking 6 or more sodas = F Nutrition Quest #2 Goal: Eat veggies on pace with my son Notes: My son has started on solid foods! He's getting at least part of a puree every day, and while we're slowly working up to eating an entire container at one sitting, we're also slowly expanding the foods he's safely eaten. Due to allergy concerns, we've been told to only introduce one new food every three days. We've been starting on fruits mostly (the single-ingredient baby foods are mostly fruits...) but now that he's starting to have a decent list of safe foods, we're expanding into more veggies and grains. Which made me realize I eat about as many veggies as he does...oops? So I'm going to try to complete at least one of the following options every 3 days as well! My Choices: 1. eat a new fruit or veggie 2. eat a veggie-centric meal 3. have a veggie-centric side dish at least twice (Schedule: May 28-30, May 31-June 2, June 3-5, June 6-8, June 9-11, June 12-14, June 15-17, June 18-20, June 21-23 = 9 rounds) Grading: complete 8-9 rounds = A complete 6-7 rounds = B complete 4-5 rounds = C complete 2-3 rounds = D complete 1 round = F Life Quest #1 Goal: 15 minutes of language practice a day (on top of classwork!) and earn an A for the first 3 weeks of Spanish class Notes: I'm starting a summer Spanish class on June 4th! I want to earn an A in that class (not completed until end of July) and want to practice on my own time as well. However, outside of class I can choose to work on my Spanish, French, Arabic, or Burmese. Grading: 26-28 days of practicing = A 24-25 days of practicing = B 22-23 days of practicing = C 20-21 days of practicing = D 19 or fewer days of practicing = F Life Quest #2 Goal: Read at least 2 books Notes: I'm severely behind on my yearly reading goal. I want to read minimum 2 books during this challenge to help me at least not continue losing ground. In an ideal world, I'll read at least 1 personal book and 1 book for work. I picked up a few options at the library today but I'm not sold on my work-related choice and might end up changing it out. Grading: 2 books read = A 1 book finished, 1 book more than halfway through = B 1 book finished, 1 book less than halfway through = C 1 book more than halfway through = D 1 book less than halfway through = F
  9. Slight adjustment to hobby categories this time around. Goals: Exercise: Weights, cardio, PT, and Kenpo. Languages: French, Russian, and Japanese. Crafting: Practice Kenpo knives, 3rd pair of work pants, Mjolnir. It seems like less than last time, but if I have two craft projects going, my brain goes wonky and neither end up getting done in a timely fashion. This also doesn't show that I've rediscovered the joys of reading (although my tastes have changed drastically), and that the garden will be rearing its head soon. So I suppose the focus of this challenge is discipline in crafting and, as always, finding balance.
  10. The end approaches. After the last 11 ordeals, I have finally passed from the hands of the old master and onto the new. Although survival is not certain, I must persevere to the end. Less dramatic version: I'm starting book 12 of WOT and Brandon Sanderson has finally taken the wheel. The first time I finished the series, there was a year+ gap between me finishing book 11 and then next three books. I'm actually not certain I read book 12 at all. Oh yeah, goalz. Gym stuff - still cutting and expect me to gripe about that. My program is in the signature, but I'll be copy/pasting today's work in order to gripe more efficiently. Like so: Set 1 2 3 4 5 Range Wt. Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps Week 3 - 2/04/18 Day 1 - Bench Paused Barbell Bench Press 3 244 3 3 3 3 3 Chin-up 5 10 5 5 3 Dip 5 10 5 5 3 Dumbbell Snatch 8-12 60 12 12 12 Dumbbell Row 8-12 60 12 12 12 Not-gym stuff - Languages, languages, and more languages. Continuing in German and tackling Icelandic for reasons, but mrs laghail and I are visiting the Dominican Republic for a friend's destination wedding, so I gotta resurrect my beginner Spanish. No, I earnestly don't want to leave the resort, it's not that kind of trip. But it's only polite to be able to mangle basic phrases, plus, you know, neighbor to the south n such.
  11. Not a big 'do for the new year, just keeping on. Goals: Sewing: finish another pair of work pants. Exercise: kick the crud and resume weights and running, keep up PT. Thermoplastics: bracer is on hold 'til painting weather resumes; start Mjolnir. Languages: Add weekend reviews on kaniwani, keep at it. I know, it's not fun and exciting, but I'm in a good place and want to keep working at all of these things.
  12. Challenges: 21: Mar '17 - Handstands, languages, work pants #1 22: Apr '17 - Breathe, stat daily to do list 23: May '17 - Grey Jedi Code, maintain 24: Aug '17 - End of parkour and master's degree, bad nutrition advice 25: Sept '17 - Respawn, fix food intake, Kenpo 26: Oct '17 - Joined a gym, work pants #1, Halloween outfit 27: Nov '17 - Thor bracer, work skirt, Kenpo 28: Dec '17 - Mjolnir, Japanese, work pants #2 29: Feb '18 - Kenpo, languages, work pants #3 30: Mar '18 - Mjolnir, Thor bracer, Kenpo knife, gardening I'm not sure what iteration of myself I'm on at this point, but it's time for a new one. My gentleman and I are getting back into things we did before I started the masters degree, my body is definitely not in the same place it was back then (for the better), and neither are my hobbies. Since spring is almost here, I figure this is a good time to mark a next iteration, of sorts. Not a start over, but a new "this is my starting point" to gauge progress from, mentally and physically. Goals: Handstands: If I'm serious about my life goal, I need to get on this. Adding 5 minutes of handstand work on cardio days. Languages: After 10 weeks of focusing on the thesis, the languages and my area knowledge took a hit. I'll stick with the Japanese during lunch, but the 5 minutes of French/Russian in the evening needs to start with Duolingo, then progress to either online courses, history, or catching up on regional news. Sewing: As much as I love the results of sewing, I really don't enjoy actually doing it. But I need to. I will finish 1 pair of work pants this challenge. (I hope). My usual exercise and food regimes will continue, and hopefully I'll be able to add in gardening this month. We're supposed to have a rather large snowstorm starting tonight; I'm hoping it's winter's last hurrah and then real spring will come. Let's see how it goes, shall we?
  13. I'm taking a note out of @Jonesy's and @RogueLibrarian's pages and trying something new. Asa Pond takes on the mantle of an Assassin Assassins protect the innocent, fight the evil, and carve out a better future in the world. They do this in many ways - for me it will be: 1) Save the citizens: I signed up for a month of unlimited Krav Maga classes (paid already and everything). I should probably use them. Attend at least 2 classes per week of Krav Maga (starting January 15). Mission: Save 2 citizens per week (20 pts each - unlimited pts possible, 100 min) 2) Climbing buildings to escape enemies: One of the reasons I joined my current gym (other than getting recruited by the Kingsman) was because there is a huge climbing wall there. I have yet to use it and that needs to change. 1 Climbing session a week Mission: Avoid 1 enemy soldier per week (10 pts each - 50 pts min). 3) Eavesdropping I need to step up my language game - otherwise how am I going to know what my targets are saying. 2 hours per week of serious language study. Mission: Spend at least 2 hours per week eavesdropping on enemy plans (5 pts per hour - 50 pts min). 4) Collect Flags Other goals I have that are optional but important (2 pts each, 40 pts min): Spend 1 full hour cleaning X Spend 1 full hour studying X Get in a volunteering application. Read a full, real book (audible doesn't count) XX Spend time with a friend. Spend time learning something new X Change Bank Account Schedule an important appointment XXX 1 Session of yoga OR 1 cumulative hour of stretching XX 1 other type of workout (not climbing or Krav Maga) XXXXXXXXXX Cancel Old Gym Membership Take measurements and record for Team Havik Unpack and put away clothes from the holidays Grocery Shopping XXX Meal Prep XX Return Rented Violin Go to Book Club on the 18th *TBD*
  14. Hello Rangers! *waves furiously* In the spirit of a new year, and because most of my awesome friends here are Rangers, I thought I'd swap guilds for this challenge! (And possibly subsequent challenges, but don't tell the assassin's guild... ) I'm starting the year off with .... lots of work. Two auditions, my first professional trial, and at least two concerts in the month of January. Oh. And my 25th birthday. So I'll be busy. But, the challenge. Because even if I'm super busy with work, that doesn't mean I don't have the time or the inclination to do other things. I'm going to be doing a writing-based challenge, because I love those, and because I saw Rogue One and have been itching to write a fix it ever since. So... Meet Petra Andor. Yes. That Andor. She grew up trying to be just like her big brother, and she succeeded. She gets sent on the missions no one else wants to go on, the dangerous ones, the 'morally ambiguous' ones. {That gun? That's Petra's...} Challenge the First: Getting Away from the Bad Guys In a fit of momentary madness for which I'm currently grateful, I signed up for Run The Edge's Run 2017 Miles in 2017 challenge. What that means, though, is that I need to run an average of 5.5 miles a day every day this year. My first challenge is to run at least 170.5 miles miles in the month of January (5.5 x 31), and, secondarily, to run 25k on my 25th birthday (more on that later). In addition, because running from the bad guys is more than just being able to outpace them, I'll be doing a minimum of three non-running workouts a week (NF workouts, climbing, etc) Challenge the Second: Track Your Target I'm attempting to try tracking my food again. I'll count this goal a success if I track 5 days out of 7. Happily, my new planner has a little section at the bottom of each date that I have been using to write down what I eat. I'm anticipating this will be the most difficult challenge, as I'm least emotionally attached to it (even though I know it's an important habit), and it's the 'easiest' one... Challenge the Third: Understand the Locals Well, the locals in Ireland, anyway. I received a Rosetta Stone Irish subscription for Christmas, and I am *in love* with it. Seriously. Learning new and obscure languages is one of my favourite things... To complete this challenge, I will do some Irish learning six days a week. I'd love to know what anyone thinks, and I'm excited. 2017 is gonna be awesome! For the Rebellion, Stoney
  15. Main Quest To live a healthy and balanced life by exercising and trying to eat healthy. My motivation I've successfully dropped weight by counting calories so my diet will mostly be staying the same with 1200 calories per day M-F and then blow meals on the weekends. I've managed to put on some muscle in an effort to become stronger by weightlifting and I’ve discovered that I love lifting heavy things! I enjoy doing themed workouts and for this challenge it will be werewolves. For several reasons but mostly because 1. I love them 2. they’re the best fantasy monster and 3. they’re amazingly fast and incredibly strong beasts not to be messed with. This is perfect for a warrior challenge! Smaller Quests 1. Weights It’s time to get back to lifting all the heavy things! I’ve missed it, so it’s time to re-set and lift stuff again. I like it, it makes me feel better about myself and it’s got practical, real-world purposes. This time though, I’m going to be focusing on arms since another small quest will be devoted to legs. Werewolves are, first and foremost, destructive forces with incredible strength. Most werewolves are particularly strong in the upper body, although they’re really just all-over slabs of muscle. Scoring: x/5 (1 for each weight achieved) Bar Curls: 20lbs → 25lbs = with good form! Bench Press: 70lbs → 80lbs Overhead Press: 40lbs → 50lbs Pull Downs: 60lbs → 80lbs Tricep Pullovers: 20lbs → 30lbs Reward: +5 to STR (+1 for each completed) 2. Dutch I’m going to Bonaire in May 2017 and one of the native languages spoken there is Dutch (the island is owned by the Netherlands) so I want to try learning a new language. This time, rather than M-F for a set amount of time, I want to try just practicing daily. And since it’s the holiday season this should be a good challenge for this time of year. Not particularly werewolf-themed, however there have been stories regarding werewolves in the Netherlands. There are a lot of werewolf stories from Germany, so since Dutch is in the German language family, I’ll take it. Scoring: /28 Reward: +4 to WIS 3. Running I still don’t like running, but even I have to admit that it’s a good workout. And, it actually cuts my time I have to be at the gym down since I work up a sweat much faster. I want to run at least twice a week. This will also be my leg workout for this challenge. Not only are they incredibly strong, but werewolves are faster. Often faster than the human eye can even track. They are silent, deadly predators that not only rely on their inhuman strength, but also on their blindingly fast speed. Running is an endurance sport and werewolves do a lot of it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to increase my own speed by continuing to practice running. Scoring: x/4 Reward: +3 STA & +3 to DEX
  16. Last Time: F A I L. Not sure what happened. Time got all scrambled again. Brain is a bag of fish. Started taking supplement, it hasn't helped so far but it might still do something. Options will be re-evaluated once the supplement runs out, according to the results. In the meantime, time to get up and try again. again. This Time: Unfortunately for everyone who knows me, I finally saw Captain America: Civil War. Have not yet stopped screaming about Bucky. My brother is probably going to punch me through a wall if he hears me say 'Bucky', 'Avengers', 'Civil War' or 'Sebastian Stan' one more time. Bucky Barnes, man. Most personally relatable character since Merlin. Also utterly heartbreaking and everything about him makes me want to cry. Also gorgeous. Currently at the forefront of my ever-shifting lineup of most favorite/pondered/analyzed characters. Largely due to being the most recent to grab my attention. (Note: if anyone wants to shriek and flail or even actually calmly talk about anything related to Bucky or Civil War or anything of that sort (hell we can even talk about Jefferson) please. I'm here fo dat.) Logical Course of Action: We bout ta do a Bucky Challenge. The Set-Up ____________ It's become apparent this week that I'm on unsteady ground and will have to shrink my theme to suit. Gonna run this Challenge in two sections; Maintenance and Missions. (ERROR: currently in a quagmire again, not sure how this is going to go, will edit this for better stuff once I no longer feel like crying hysterically for no reason)
  17. The last regeneration of the lady called Scorpia fell into shadow (of course I'm not going to stick to one universe, what a silly idea) She fought in the great Time War! Battles were won, but ultimately everyone lost and she was left alone and broken. She was badly hurt and angry (Stuff got sucky). How did it come to this? But time in the safety of the Tardis helped her heal (a metaphor for anti-depressants obviously) by triggering a regeneration. Now it is time to leave behind the safety blanket of the Tardis (no meds yay!) and see who she is this time around. Who she will be and what she can make herself. Ahem, so yeah. Leaving behind the cliched overdramatic narrator, I'm trying to rebuild my life from the ground up. The past 7 or 8 months have left me unfit and a tad chubby. Antidepressants are wonderful, but my doctor wants me to try without them for a bit so it's all on me right now. Main Quest: Believe that I am totally awesome Goal 1: Yoga 2x per week. I have found some online beginners classes and I'm hoping that Yoga will not only get me active again but will be good for my mind, with all the calmness and endorphins and shizzle. If I manage all 12 sessions I get 2WIS (cos yogis are wise right?) and 1CON. If not, then I'll sliding scale it somehow. Goal 2: Make it to Rivendell. I got a fitbit a little while ago and I love it! I'm about half way to Rivendell already so I simply want to keep up the daily walking and make it to see the Elves. If I make it 3STA. Goal 3: Be able to bench 40kg. This one might be a bit ridiculous, but life is dull without a bit of ridiculous. I can bench 5x5 @25kg, just. If I can make even 1 rep of 40kg I'll be happy. This one is pass or fail. Hopefully it should keep me motivated to hit the gym reasonably often cos this one can't be squashed in at the last minute. Pass or fail for 3STR. Life Goals: Publish one of my short stories Just suck up the fear and do it. 1CHA cos being able to say I'm a published writer will definitely make me cooler and sexier. Get out of the house and socialise Once a week, leave my house and speak to another living human being for at least half an hour. People are nice and I need to stop fearing/being annoyed with them. 1WIS Wear a dress Just once. I want to and it should not be as scary as it is to pull on a nice dress and let people see my (gasp) legs. 1CHA cos dresses are hot. I think that covers everything, but I reserve the right to add things later or just completely change my mind and refuse to be judged on it, because who knows what sort of timelady I'm going to be this time around!
  18. Well well well, we meet again. Having fought my way through the first challenge, I find myself standing in front of the most secretive and most shadowy guild hall in our humble Nerdville. It seems like a million eyes are watching me from the shadows. I knock on the door, and it opens. I'm ushered into a dark room, and handed a file. "This is your target." To complete my mission successfully, I will need the strength and stamina to physically confront them, the dexterity to escape, wisdom and charisma (and linguistic skills) to blend in with the locals. Main Goal: Build Strength and Flexibility, and Consistency Goal 1: Bodyweight training 3X per week STR 2, DEX 2 I will be doing the BBWW or a HIIT Neila Rey workout if I'm short on time. Goal 2: Daily Yoga 30 minutes of Adriene Mishler or Erin Mott's youtube yoga. (For the second week of the challenge I'll have no internet, so I'll just improvise with whatever I can remember). DEX 3, CON 2 Goal 3: Daily Plank (yesterday's plank + 10 seconds) My ultimate goal is 5 minutes (in this challenge). STR 1, STA 1 Life goal: Daily activity on Lang-8. 1. Study Korean for 1 hour. WIS 2 2. Correct someone's English post. CHA 2
  19. Dear Druids, thank you for letting me play in your sandbox this round! Hello errbody! Welcome to the challenge in which Flea finally touches hers- er, gets in touch with herself. I don't pay enough attention to my body and what it's telling me, and I don't take enough time to focus on recharging and bettering myself. I have a tendency to just coast through the present while living mostly in the past or the future. Over the past 5 months I've started eating better and exercising more but not really paying attention to how I feel as a result. I didn't realize that running before work made my loathsome job more bearable or that I didn't feel so lethargic eating vegan for the last challenge. The longer I play around on NF the more I'm realizing my body is capable of some awesomeness but I'm definitely taking it for granted. On top of that, I'm headed to England for grad school in September. Grad school is stressful. Getting a visa and plane tickets and packing for a year is stressful. The prospect of making new friends when you're crazy shy and have a touch of social anxiety but you know you have to do it unless you want to spent a whole year alone in a dorm room the size of a closet? There's not even a word for how stressful that is. So this is me being proactive for once in my life and implementing ways to deal with stress & anxiety and be more aware of who I am, how I deal with things, etc. As usual I just wrote up an entire wall of text but still didn't manage to explain my goals very well. Cookies to everyone who's made it this far. Main Goal: Figure out who I am and what makes me tick. Goal 1: Daily yoga (+1 DEX, +2 CON) I took some free classes in college and loved the way it felt, physically and... idk? Internally? Mentally/spiritually? I did a 30-day challenge as part of a previous NF challenge, but didn't continue after. This time I want to lay the foundations for a lifelong practice. Proprioception. I love that word. I want to cultivate awareness of where I am, how I move, and really pay attention to posture/etc. I think I'll redo that 30-day challenge, then find other videos on YouTube. If anyone has suggestions of sites/videos/books, send them my way!Grading: 7x/wk = A; 6x/wk = B; 5x/wk = C; <5x/wk = come on Flea, you can do better than that! :\ Goal 2: Daily meditation after I wake up (+3 WIS, +2 CHA) Also something I've dabbled in but not really been consistent with. 5 minutes every day for week 1, increasing at least 1 minute each week after. Grading: same as yoga. Goal 3: Journal for 20 minutes before bed (+3 WIS) I've been journaling for almost 6 months but sometimes cop out with "Here's a summary of my day, I'm tired and it's bedtime now." I want to focus on other things like WHY I felt a certain way at work, or a random thought that occured to me, or why I felt anxious sending an email. Digging deeper into my feelings/thoughts/fears will help me understand, work around, and/or overcome obstacles in my life, find my motivation, and simply understand myself better. Grading: avg 18-20 minutes/day = A; avg 16-17 = B; 14-15 = C; <14 minutes/day = I'm not even trying. Bonus: every minute over 25 will count for half a minute, because if I'm on a roll I don't want to feel tempted to stop just because the timer's done. Life quest: Study ALL the languages! (+2 WIS, +2 CHA) I love love love languages. Figuring out grammar rules, learning new vocabulary, understanding bitchy YouTube comments... this is where I thrive.I was nearly fluent in French and at an intermediate level in Arabic but haven't used either in 4 years. (Fun fact: I have tattoos in both languages.) I've studied Spanish informally and could be so much better if I put regular effort into it. I want to learn a dozen other languages but won't get there if I don't start.Minimum 3 Duolingo lessons in Spanish or German, OR 1 chapter of Arabic or French.Grading: 7x/wk = A; 6x/wk = B; 5x/wk = C; <5x/wk = Look at your life, look at your choices...End goal: Self-awareness and world domination Thanks for sticking around! On y va!
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