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  1. Recently, looking for ambient music and environment mixes, I stumbled across a number of Skyrim-inspired mixes, and I was inspired to start up an old copy of Elder Scrolls. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the game ... even as it frustrated me greatly at times. Being in a reflective mood, I realized that many of my struggles in the game have similar roots in my daily life. Long story short .... I'm back to focus on foundational basics: nutrition and movement. Some RPG fun. And dragons, trolls, and zombies .... oh my!! Longer Version A player can rush through Elder Scrolls and finish in 33 hours. Or you can take hundreds of hours if you explore the world, learn skills, make items, and do side quests. I always tended to be one of the players who are so focused on the main story-line quest that I end up at the end under-geared and under-prepared ... only to be frustrated that I can't finish. In the mundane world, I often have a similar problem in that I neglect planning and preparing for basic, foundational health in the rush to prepare lectures and labs and assessments. I sacrifice the good in favor of the urgent: the next batch of emails, the next meetings, the next thing that someone else "needs" (wants!!!) me to do. So ... this challenge is aimed at establishing a more productive cycle of preparing for monster encounters before going out to complete a quest. You need both to advance in the game and in life!! Drink Your Potions Between masking and days of back-to-back classes and meetings, I was often slightly dehydrated this fall, which contributed to sinus infections and the whole host of other symptoms: irritable, poor sleep, and increased DOMS. I don't want the spring semester to be a repeat of that. For Christmas, I was given a 32 oz water bottle with time/amount goals on the side. Going for 64 oz every day seems like too much, but I am willing to set a daily goal of 32+ oz. My course mentors may have to entertain the students while I run down the hallway for breaks .... Restore Health and Stamina In Skyrim, you can make mistakes with what you eat and drink. In fact, if you haven't played it before, you have to experiment with items and ingredients to find out what the results are, and some things are definite Frankenfoods ... with unexpected results. I've been eating a lot of less-than-nutritious stuff lately. In part because of the holidays and the hold-over attitude that cookies etc are a reward that I deserve etc. So, it's time to shift back to eating real, nutritious foods. I've set a goal that I will eat at least ONE serving of vegetables each day. Trust me when I say that this is a stretch goal. Train to Skill Up You develop skills in the game (and in life) by doing the activity. If you want to level up your skill with a bow ... you have to shoot at things. Shocking. I'll give myself props here because I didn't completely give up on exercise during the fall semester. I didn't do as much as I wanted, but I didn't stop either. In fact, until December 8th, my weight was holding at 158 (not quite the best weight of the year, but not shabby) because I was running and walking consistently. It was the strength training that I started really neglecting after Fall Break. This goal is multi-part, but I think I can manage: At least 20 minutes of exercise daily. Cardio, strength, yoga, staff spinning, whatever. Get to CrossFit class once per week. I am still often suffering from DOMS 3 days after class, despite water, protein, stretching and rolling. It's just going to take time to build up the muscles. 60 pounds on my lat pulldowns by the end of the month. When I can go to the gym with hubby, he can also help me manage the bands for assisted pullups. Prepare for Monsters!!! Truly, I spend enough time in the "tavern" that I can cook ahead and get ready for healthy food, drink, and activities of the following day. I am committing to taking Friday night and all day Saturday off of work (gasp!) so that I can cook ahead and have chicken and veggies prepped for lunches have a protein shake available for pre-workout have my devices charged and workout clothes ready for the week Long term goals for the YEAR of the Great Dragon Hunt Last year, I reduced from 168 to 156 (and bumped back up in the dumpster fire + train wreck of Fall Semester ....). This year, I want to get back into the "normal" weight category for my height, age, and gender: 150 (or less). And I want to do a pull up again, damnit. Those are the two measurable things that encapsulate a whole lot of life style changes along the way.
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