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  1. No-theme November! But I do have a set of skills or aspects of life that are going pretty well, that I’d like to maintain, plus also some stretchier shinier new things that I’d like to start up or improve. Maintain (no special order): morning routine (shower before coffee, gratitudes and flexes before opening email) mini glow-up (sunscreen each morning, face yoga, omega-3s, properly clean face each night) track food Lunch prep on the weekend Keep consistent with coaching workouts (3x/week). These are full body but current goal is to get an unassisted pull-up! stay active (biking, water running, dance practice, general running around, doesn’t matter. Most days I can hit my goal of 650 active calories) sleep like a champ (in bed by 1030 at the latest, drift off to sleep meditation if hubs is still up or agrees that i can have it playing in the bedroom) Levelups (in order of importance): Macros (currently around 40% carb, 25% protein: shoot for 33/33 split) mobility work (GMB or similar flows) Calories in <2000 That’s it!
  2. Finally, finally, finallyyyyy..... I am back on the forums for good this time!! HOO BOY HOWDY TL;DR - hi friends, I’m Shaar, longtime forum member, local bard (and occasional time-mage), and CAPS LOCK CRUSADER, that’s been wayward for a few years due to the Chaos Rodeo that is Life. [a little more details under spoiler tag to avoid wall of text] Cue to today where I’m admittedly struggling a little! My job has been exhausting and overwhelming for me after everything I’ve been through, and I get very tired during the week very quickly - it’s affecting my fitness and gym schedule too. Heck I even finally bought myself a bicycle three weeks ago but haven’t had the time or energy to take it out yet, and that makes me REAL SAD. So I met with my supervisors recently and was very honest and open with them, and I’ve been given the blessing to drop down to part time work - three days a week. I’m super grateful for this because financially we are in a very privileged place where I can make this decision to step back and slow my life down again. It’s also HARD for me (i am a proud little shit) but lately I’ve been slowly able to come to the realization that... I’m not young anymore shaar you dingdong! Past Me coulda maybe done all this shit and kept on trucking but I’m not Past Me anymore, I’m not 25 or 35 anymore, I’m 42. And it’s time to start ACTING LIKE IT. This challenge is all about adjusting to my new schedule, re-learning how to slow down, and be able to start taking better care of myself. I’m getting older and need to get comfortable with settling into a different chapter of my life - and being okay with not being all FULL SPEED AHEAD all the time! Each week I’d like to post a checklist of my goals for the week and keep this thread updated with HOW THE HECK I’M DOING, even if I’m hardcore failing, ‘cause that’s ok too. (And also part of the process.) My main goals are to get settled into a comfortable - and sustainable - gym schedule. I love lifting weights but it’s become increasingly hard on my body lately. Whether that has to do with my schedule being so jam packed or just me getting older remains to be seen, BUT I need to work with the concept of not pushing myself to my limits all the time, but keeping it more real. I have a BICYCLE now so hopefully take that out for a few spins before it gets too cold here toooo~ I NEED to add more mobility and yoga into my life. I feel like an old oak tree a lot and I’m going to be able to have the time lately to take more care of myself. Yoga, foam rolling, even just laying on my acupressure mat for 20 minutes, anything that will help my recovery!! Keep drinking water, keep eating generally balanced meals, keep the drinking ONLY TO WEEKENDS, keep your anxiety in check, keep getting decent sleep, and keep working on enjoying myself!! I’m going to have more time on my hands to balance all of these things and make it work for me and holy HECK am I looking forward to ittttttttt. I’m REALLY STOKED about this new chapter in my life and I’m just really over the moon that I’m able to make these changes and just lead a more enriched and healthy existence mentally, physically, and emotionally. Anyways that's it from me for now, more updates very soon and I can't wait to catch up with all of you nerds!! ❤️❤️ I MISSED YOUUUUU let's do great things together!!!
  3. My calendar gets busier as the weather gets nicer and we welcome spring! I am looking forward to these adventures after such a long winter. We are currently still doing keto though I am currently pushing for us to do more of a “low carb” 80% of the time thing. We agree we like that our blood sugar levels seem more stable so I’m okay not adding carbs back in completely but I’d like the option to be there. Mr.R and roomy are still losing weight so they are happy. I’m holding strong at 269-271lbs. I need to start tracking…. I said that basically all last challenge. Challenge Quests - Do “Molding Mobility” routine 5x / week - Walk 2x / week - Paint 1x / week - Meal Plan 1x/ week Challenge Goals - Make the outside patio area a place we want to spend time - Add some “curb appeal” to our house (front yard/garden freshen) [in progress] - Finish Monty painting - Finish Percy painting [in progress] Important Dates May 3 - patio furniture delivered May 10 - Daisy’s 17th birthday May 11 - Daisy’s hoof X-rays finally + chiro May 12 - Fly fishing lesson To Do - Important Dates edition - get wading shoes - take out cash for Daisy chiro - apply for new Daisy insurance - bundle up horse blankets before May 26 - renew OE membership - print insurance forms (vet appt) - contact fishing guide
  4. Push myself. Notes & Observations Journaling. Stop waiting for the perfect notebook to do it. You have more than enough sexy leather bound ones to start. Cardio. How the hell do you expect to keep up this "crime-fighting" ordeal if you can't keep up one night a week? The heart and lungs are just as important as your biceps and traps. Mobility. This one is puzzling. You always feel so good after a Smooth Panther routine...why not do them more often? Fuel. 5x a day is doable. I've already started and it amazes me how quick my body adapts and fast my metabolism gets going. I've become a great white shark... Strength. No excuses for Tues/Thurs. I have a good DB set + KB's + weighted vest/pull-up bar. I can get a good workout in before I leave for work. No need to go to the gym. I have my own "Batcave". Wolf
  5. “Hidden in the chaos is the element, waiting to strike like snakes. And I'm there too. Watching. 2 years of nights have turned me into a nocturnal animal. I must choose my targets carefully. It's a big city. I can't be everywhere. But they don't know where I am. We have a signal now, for when I'm needed. When that light hits the sky, it's not just a call- it's a warning. To them. Fear is a tool. They think I'm hiding in the shadows. But I AM the shadows. I wish I could say I'm making a difference, but I don't know. Murder, robberies, assault- 2 years later, they're all up. And now this. This city's eating itself. Maybe it can't be saved, but I have to try. PUSH MYSELF. These nights all roll together in a rush behind the mask. Sometimes in the morning I have to force myself to remember everything that happened.” The Batcave · Go to the gym 4x a week · The Focus: Speed and Power i.e Compound Lifts, Olympic lifts, KB’s, calisthenics The Batmobile · Cardio 2x a week & Mobility Daily · The Focus: Running, Walking with Heather, Swimming or Metcons (using KB’s), #SmoothPanther The Utility Belt · Daily Vitamins and Veggies · The Focus: Leafy greens, complex carbs, D3, fish oil, zinc, vitamin C The Cowl · Daily meditation, journaling and putting an emphasis on SLEEP · The Focus: 5min minimum for meditation and micro-naps are encouraged Wolf
  6. It's autumn. I need to do the things. And I need a bit of discipline and structure about it. But the supportive mentor variety. So I need to get the dojo mentality back into my life. This fire dude will do, cuz of all of them, he's the one who has his adulting game on point. Hopefully there will be autumnal moon cakes. (Of the inauthentic low-carb variety. This is Avatar, you're lucky they're not on fire.)
  7. I missed the last challenge but still got it in some great workouts for the last six weeks. I am trying to find a good way to keep track of my workouts but I haven't found and easy way to do it which and many times, because of the multiple workouts per day, I cannot remember what I did by the end of the day. Anyway, this time around, I am going to keep focusing on the chaos workouts and continue to do at least two workouts per day with the focus on the following: 1: Get 10 strict pull ups by the end of the challenge. Since my squats and lunges have improved with my current workout, I am going to apply the same method to pull ups. If I remember correctly, I was able to do 28 pull ups when I was 17 during a fitness test which was 38 years ago. The end goal is to get to 30 consecutive pull ups overall but if I can get to 10 over the next five weeks, I know I can keep increasing that number going forward. 2: Mobility training three times per week. I am seeing a lot of improvement since I started doing The Simplistic Mobility Method and the only thing that is holding me back is consistent training. I get one or two of these workouts in per week but I need to up the game. I also found some interesting Qi Gong training on Youtube that I started doing which is similar to moving meditation. 3. Three Karate classes per week. I have two formal Zoom classes each week but I need an additional class, on my own, to work on what I am learning in the two other classes. I do a good amount of kihon and kata throughout the week but an additional, structured class will go a long way. Extra credit: Mediate at least three times per week. This is one area that I have been lacking in over the last year or so. I was doing so well with headspace everyday for over three years but I started to feel that it wasn't helping. I have a couple of apps and some Youtube videos that interest me and doing them three times a week should go a long way.
  8. The last challenge was an eye opener for me. Training more than once a day with short workouts and one longer workout at night was one of the most productive challenges I have done since I started doing them on here. It was a great learning experience and this challenge will be a continuation of the what I did but with more structure relating to timing and number of workouts per day. I still need to tune what I am going to do each workout but that's the chaos part. If I feel like bands, I do bands,. If want to do the sandbag or kettlebells, then I do. If I want to do the dumbbells or barbells, you guessed it. I have so many things to choose from, I won't know that to do but that's the best part. Captain Chaos approved! "Dunn dun DU-UH-UHNNNN!!" 1. Chaos training 5 days a week. At least three workouts a day but more if possible five days a week. I need to get the last workout in earlier in the evening because the late workouts before bed are keeping me too amped up to sleep. The early workouts are normally around the 10 to 15 minute mark but I am looking for at least 60 minutes a day going forward. 2. Karate training 3 days a week. I am training on two Zoom classes a week now but I want get in an extra class on my own each week. The Zoom classes are getting more intense and I feel like I am starting to feel like a beginner again, which means more training. 3. Recovery with meditation and flow training. Training as much as I did during the last challenge pushed me harder than before and a few of those days, I had some issues recovery from the workouts the day before. It wasn't the physical recovery, instead it was the mental recovery. I have a new meditation app that I want to explore and I have been studying the Flow training course that I bought some time ago and never really looked at until recently. Extra credit: Publish at least two videos for my training websites. This is something that I have wanted to do for years and even though they will be very short videos, I need to start somewhere and break away from the analysis paralysis. I guess I am really dating myself by positing a picture of Captain Chaos but Cannonball Run is one of my favorite movies.
  9. Since the last challenge was I mayor success, here I am again. The most important part is still getting at least 20 minutes of moving in each day. However, I gonna add a few more things this time. Waking up shouldn't be this painful, right? Since I started to go back to the gym, I stopped doing yoga as often which my body doesn't like so I will do either yoga or DeFrancos Agile 8, four times a week. Being old sucks. Yoga or DeFrancos Agile 8 four times a week What's that spindly thing holding up your head? I lost a lot of seize on my neck, it's not even funny, so I gonna gain it back by hitting it three times a week. I can do this at home so it shouldn't be that hard. Train my neck three times a week How much energy is too much energy? I have a problem which might be worse than me getting drunk daily (which I'm over). I drink far too many energy drinks and it takes away from my well being and increases my anxieties (might be just a nocebo tho) but with a resting heart rate that's damn close to 3 digits, I definitely shouldn't drink them. Also shitting liquid fire isn't nice Drink as few energy drinks as possible
  10. I'm late to the party again but showing up is better than not showing up at all, right? I had a big life change happen just before the new challenge started and I am currently unemployed. It was a stressful time leading up to it and it not only impacted my time but also my health. I was not sleeping well, my resting heart rate and blood pressure were a little elevated, my mind was all over the place and my energy was almost nonexistent. I was able to still workout but not at the same mental or physical level as before. The last two weeks have been incredible. I have been more active, doing things around the house and my heart rate and blood pressure are better than ever even though I turned 55 after my last day at work. My weight has dropped about 3 pounds, and I am noticing a decrease in stress related inflammation. I am eating better and am working toward a modified Keto diet. For this challenge, it's time to get my training back into high gear. I have been focusing on mobility work, lower body strength and core work, which is already progressing nicely. Karate is still my main focus, but I am starting to branch out from structured Shotokan roots and am focusing on the feeling of the techniques instead of the perfect form at the end of the techniques. The next part is starting my video channel of short videos that show the training techniques that I have learned over the last 17 years and offering some Shotokan Zoom classes. 1. Mobility, lower body strength and core 5 days a week. I have a good workout in place, but I want to keep it consistent. I will outline the workout shortly, but the goal is to do it 5 days a week. 2. Karate training 5 days a week for 20 minutes. I do more than 20 minutes of training, but I also want to have enough energy to do the goal above. I am starting to do kata throughout the day to focus on the feeling of the movements. 3. Create a plan for the videos and Zoom classes by challenge end. This has been in my mind for some time now and I already have a student that I train through Zoom for some time now. Extra credit: Dig deeper into a relaxation and flow state. Even though I am more relaxed than I have been in many years, I want to get back to mediation and try to mix it with stretching. I have a program that teaches flow state that I haven't started and that is something that I have wanted to do but didn't have the time until now.
  11. Suddenly the machine was wobbling... In a few hours the shops out there were expecting deliveries, and they weren't going to arrive. The government couldn't sit this one out. A city like Ankh-Morpork was only two meals away from chaos at the best of times. Every day, maybe a hundred cows died for Ankh-Morpork. So did a flock of sheep and a herd of pigs and the gods alone knew how many ducks, chickens and geese. Flour? He'd heard it was eighty tons, and about the same amount of potatoes and maybe twenty tons of herring. He didn't particularly want to know this kind of thing, but once you started having to sort out the everlasting traffic problem these were facts that got handed to you. Every day, forty thousand eggs were laid for the city. Every day, hundreds, thousands of carts and boats and barges converged on the city with fish and honey and oysters and olives and eels and lobsters. And then think of the horses dragging this stuff, and the windmills... and the wool coming in, too, every day, the cloth, the tobacco, the spices, the ore, the timber, the cheese, the coal, the fat, the tallow, the hay, EVERY DAMN DAY. And that was now. Back home, the city was twice as big. Against the dark screen of night, Vimes had a vision of Ankh-Morpork. It wasn't a city, it was a process, a weight on the world that distorted the land for hundreds of miles around. People who'd never see it in their whole life nevertheless spent their life working for it. Thousands and thousands of green acres were part of it, forests were part of it. It drew in and consumed... ...and gave back the dung from its pens and the soot from its chimneys, and steel, and saucepans, and all the tools by which its food was made. And also clothes, and fashions and ideas and interesting vices, songs and knowledge and something which, if looked at in the right light, was called civilization. That's what civilization meant. It meant the city. Was anyone else out there thinking about this? Was anyone important thinking about this? Suddenly the machine was wobbling, but Winder and his cronies didn't think about the machine, they thought about money. Meat and drink came from servants. They happened. Vetinari, Vimes realized, thought about this sort of thing all the time. The Ankh-Morpork back home was twice as big and four times as vulnerable. He wouldn't have let something like this happen. Little wheels must spin so that the machine can turn, he'd say. But now, in the dark, it all spun on Vimes. If the man breaks down, it all breaks down, he thought. The whole machine breaks down. And it goes on breaking down. And it breaks down the people. Terry Pratchett, Night Watch My machine is wobbling, and little wheels must spin so that the machine can turn. Right now, it all spins on me. If I break down, it all breaks down.
  12. Hellloooo! Your friendly neighborhood flipperdoo is back for more lifting, mobility, gymnastics, and vegetable eating. Same bat time, same bat channel. I've added an intentional outdoor time goal to this challenge. Given that it IS spring, I imagine it will be relatively easy to complete as long as I remember that I am making it a priority -- and that I tough it out and go for walks in the drizzle when the weather is not so nice. 😝 I also want to be able to take full advantage of our yard and porch as the weather warms... plus maybe start to plan actual social events, pending how the vaccine rollout goes in the next month or so as everyone in the state becomes eligible. 🤞 1. Train: 4x lifting and 1x gymnastics or "other" workout weekly 2. Mobilize: Dedicated upper back/thoracic mobility work 1x and hip mobility work 1x weekly 3. Outdoor time: Accumulate 3+ hours of outdoor time during the work week 4. Vegeetabuls: Big serving of vegetables 5x per week 5. Spring cleaning: Get through my outstanding to do list + add more to it with a focus on improving the apt and our outdoor spaces (porch and backyard) It's Easter this weekend, which I almost entirely forgot about! But I ordered a ukrainian egg decorating kit (with the wax and dyes) to do this weekend with my roommates and a BFF. I'll also probably pick out a fancy braided bread to make. And I'm thinking lamb. I've been leaning into making extravagant holiday meals this pandemic and don't intend to stop now. 🍽️
  13. Affinity - a similarity of characteristics suggesting a relationship, especially a resemblance in structure between animals, plants, or languages. Hi guys. Last challenge was just a little overwhelming for me to keep up with. This is not to say I didn't do well because when it was all said and done, I think I performed adequately. I just got overwhelmed tracking everything on top of balancing out my schedule AND posting it all daily. I just don't have that kind of time, lol. I wish I did but I don't. With that being said, I'm going to focus on a smaller challenge that just cover's a few things and allows me the freedom to post as frequent (or infrequent) as needed. This challenge will be covering some affinities I hope to continue gardening over the next several months. But the best part is, is I'm not locked into anything, so if I change my mind, then WOOT WOOT! I can do that . Here are the 4 affinities I'll be focusing on: Brawn - Toughness Reflex - Mobility Fortune - Luck Discipline - Control I also have a couple of goals I want to complete this year based off each affinity. And here they are: Brawn 275# Rack Pull 250# 350# Back Squat 225# Bench Murph WOD w/ 20# Weight Vest Sub 10-min mile Reflex Full Saddle (with back on the ground) Full Straddle (with chest on the ground) 30+ streak of mobility (this will change once I hit that streak) Fortune Start our savings account Invest (could be anything. Need MOAR research because I want to be smart about it) Tithe 10% of each paycheck Discipline Limit junk food whenever possible Try and complete 30-days of no junk food Daily Devotionals and Bible Study Controlled bed time during the week (11pm). Stop staying up watching YouTube! Continue growing hair (so far so good!) Lean more towards a Paleo way of eating. Try to eliminate dairy and gluten when possible. Get under 10% BF #Wolflean, I can definitely see this list growing, but I've been thinking more long term goals recently and this is the most immediate list that came to mind. As for specific challenge goals. I only have 2: Workout Sleep Yes, I do have a problem with sweets from time to time, but outside of the couple times a month it drags me down, I eat really clean. It's not an issue for me to eat good...especially when I set my mind to it. So, along with making sure I get enough sleep Monday through Friday, I want to make sure I can continually hit 4x a week in the gym. It doesn't happen as often as I'd like and I'm annoyed at myself lol. More sleep = more energy = more gym time. Plain and simple What I am reading: Battle Mage by Peter A. Flannery This is a really good book. If you like dragons, then this is your book. If you like epic battles, then this is your book. What I am watching: Black Summer (on Netflix) I'm on a HUGE zombie kick right now for a couple reasons. I love zombie stuff and have loved zombie stuff since I was little Army of the Dead is coming out next week on Netflix and I'm SUPER stoked! I finally watched Train to Busan...WOW. Amazing zombie movie. Aaaaannnnnd, Back 4 Blood is coming out this year and its one my most anticipated games in a long time! I can't wait! Castlevania What's not to love? It's incredibly violent and the animation is superb. Season 4 drops on Netflix this week. Resident Evil 8: Villiage I'm watching a YouTuber go through the whole game. It's been a blast to watch! This was lengthier than I anticipated but I haven't updated in a while and thought my initial post would be best served for that purpose . Happy Challenging, Nerds! It's good to see my wife @PrincessMononoke back on the boards. She's been working very hard since February to establish healthier habits and the results truly speak for themselves! She's lost like 40lbs so far! If you haven't checked out her challenge, you should. She's funny. And I think she's suuuuuuuper sexy! Cheers, y'all! Wolf
  14. After missing two challenges because of work and well, more work, I am back. Oddly, during those two missed challenges, I had some of the most consistent training. It isn't anything earth shattering but the workouts were good and the 15 minute morning workout has because a habit that helps me through the workday. It's time to stop typing and start training because it's good to be back. 1. Close all three rings on my Apple watch seven times a week for the entire challenge. This Apple watch is a devious little device. It makes me workout and get up and move like a little drill instructor on my wrist. Closing all three rings each day is a serious boost to my training motivation and this time around, closing those rings seven days a week is a want to do but a requirement. 2. At least one extra Karate class a week. I haven't been to the dojo for in-person training in over a year but I have at least one Zoom class each week. On top of that class, a second class each week is the goal here. Another Zoom or my own training class in my home dojo will suffice but either way, a full hour of extra, structured training is the goal. 3. Publish at least one blog post per week. I have been battling this goal for what seems to be years now but this time around I know I can do it. Extra credit: Any type of mobility or strength training is a plus.
  15. A quick introduction: In my former life I was a massage therapist, but stuff and all... Now I'm playing at being a feral housewife, improving my gardening and preserving skills, and caring for one dog, one cat, and one husband. Last challenge I only earned a passing mark by sticking to my stretching and shoulder strength/mobility work; everything else was great, but didn't earn extra credit. This one continues similarly. The aforementioned shoulder work seems to be a product of pushing into harder work before I had proper base strength (pull-ups before I had good posterior shoulder stabilizing strength), combined with not doing all the beneficial stretching and mobilizing work before or after. Yep, duh. Ok, now that the groundwork is set, on the the real stuff! Getting grounded: play in the dirt and get the garden started. mental grounding by mindfulness and awareness work develop ground/base strength in all ways before moving on. spending grounded in value, not price Finding balance: balance budget by playing in the dirt. Don't need to buy if I can grow garden for balancing effort, cost, and use (easier to grow and what I'll actually use/save) balancing productive vs consumptive energy (somewhere there is an NF image about balancing what you consume with what you produce for mental health. Imagine that here) balance strength and flexibility. Same topics but more fleshed out... Fitness I'll continue the shoulder health work. IF I don't continue with improvements, I WILL be seeking PT after this challenge. There, said it, now I'll have to follow through. Right? I'll return to calisthenics strength work with a focus on control, not pushing forward for exciting goals. Controlled arm balances and scap activation hangs will feature here. Back to running! Woot! I was pleased that I was still able to run a 5K last week, didn't worry about time. Also, trying to be lighter on my feet. Healthy Eating I finished my Walk to Mordor and still have "tracking things" energy to spend. This will go to tracking calories for a bit. Other stuff is focusing on vegetarian breakfasts and lunches while maintaining certain nutrition goals. Garden Use the auto-generated garden planner that I pay for. Look ahead to be sure I have the things I need, like fertilizer. Learn preservation methods, canning etc ahead of time so I'm prepared when the time comes. And have some fun along the way.
  16. Just about every place I go outside for walks or runs has frozen ponds or canals which have been singing a lovely song consisting of frog-like croaks, creaking, and echoing with sounds like a large spring bouncing as the ice fluctuates with the changing weather. This challenge I expect to hear a lot of singing because I need to readjust my fitness for a bit and plan to be outside a lot. thing #1: I have the beginning signs of a developing shoulder issue which seems connected to over use of Lat Dorsi, slacking scap setting work, and questionable posture. I'm going to tackle this and hope I can do some recovery without needing to go to PT. I promise that I will see a professional if I don't have significant improvement over the next few weeks. thing #2: Why can't I bring myself to do stretching and mobility work? I know it is so helpful in preventing injury, sorta like in thing #1. Betcha if I had been more devoted to prep work before and stretching after strength work that wouldn't have developed. Argh. Ok.... So this I will do. This challenge will only receive a passing grade (yes, I do grade each and every one, with notes, in my challenge journal) if I do: task 1: stretching and mobility like I planned to last challenge, using GMB and SoC recommendations. Daily. task 2: do shoulder strength and stretch from rehab plan of other shoulder, and scapular setting techniques from GMB and SoC- must limit upper body work to minimal maintenance. E/O day. That's it for official tracking. Other stuff that will be happening: continue budget tracking and adjusting focus on outdoor cardio instead of strength (spend time with the singing ice) plan and prep garden when able repair dining room wall - learn/decide what to do about plaster vs dry wall explore meditation and mindfulness off the computer at night, so find something to do that isn't knitting or crocheting. I need to rest my hands and forearms . Puzzles, games? avoiding alcohol continues Final thought for now
  17. I'm coming off of a pretty successful challenge at the beginning of the year, but that is in part because I made my goals super simple and not terribly difficult. I wanted to build a couple solid daily habits, and since I have kept them up without reporting here every day over the last week I suppose that means I'm on the right track so far. So this challenge I am keeping the same format, just adding another daily habit. 1. Hike outside at least one mile per day. I am trying to get ready for longer hikes in the next few months. Last challenge I usually did between 1.5-2.5 miles each day. I can usually make time right after work. I've been wearing a 20-pound weighted pack (with something like these inside) a couple times per week as well, to get used to that. 2. Studying or doing exercises from my Latin language textbooks for fifteen minutes. I'm working out of Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata. Volume 1 is called Familia Romana. I have read up through chapter 26 of 35, but in those last chapters my comprehension is very poor. I've started going back to the earlier chapters and doing more exercises in a notebook, writing a lot more than I had been the first few times through. 3. Strength or mobility work for fifteen minutes. This is the new one. I need to work on these two aspects of physical fitness that I have let slide during the recent months of lock-downs. I'm planning to alternate between a circuit of mostly body-weight exercises and other activities to get more mobile and active.
  18. What's up, nerds! Here's a little about me, and the rough challenge plan: I'm a competitive ballroom dancer, my day job is as a data and business strategy nerd for an energy company. I also teach college kids how to dance, and love spending time with my wonderful friends and/or BF in between all that stuff. I'm also a raging personal finance and econ nerd, so feel free to ask me a question and enjoy the rant that follows. It's been a rough past month or so since the new year started - a lot of excrement has hit the fan at work in terms of projects, and I got to file my first HR complaint (which has since been resolved, mostly to my satisfaction). I'm also recovering from a sinus surgery since last Thursday - have my post-operation appointment this Friday. I also caught COVID shortly before the surgery (don't worry, I was fully recovered and put no one at risk by getting the surgery). Recovery's been slower going than expected, but I already was planning on a fairly slow ramp back up to normal activity levels for this whole challenge as part of a larger physical conditioning plan (which I will post here, eventually). The gist is that this challenge is all about getting back to my pre-surgery, pre-covid, pre-winter holidays levels of dance activity. This won't really be tracked, per se, but I'll report on it via my daily active calories, as measured by my smart watch (do smart watches have documented measurement errors when they estimate calories? Yes. Am I assuming that the same watch is going to err similarly when the same person chooses from a similar menu of activities on consecutive days, and therefore I can still use it to inform my tracking? Also yes). Other areas of focus will be, daily: Making time for sleep (7+ hours made available) Meditation (at least 5 minutes just calming down with my thoughts) Mobility (10+ minutes every day, both as part of an evening wind down ritual and as a periexercise activity) Planning out my time (in the morning, at the start of the day, and also on Monday morning or Sunday evening at the start of the week) Taking a walk outside (my mental health is way better when I leave my apartment and go outside every day) Once the daily ones are back and ticking along: 3x a week, ankle prehab and a basic pilates routine for some work on the two highest leverage areas for me as a dancer Start experimenting with ways to take some of the biggest distractions that keep me from working deeply (aka "getting in the zone") during the work day and give them a set time and place in my day so that I'm not doing them willy nilly (e.g. refreshing email, social media, etc. - the usual offenders that let us do paradoxically both a lot and nothing at all during an 8 hour work day) (edit 02/11 - this was ambitious for this challenge, lol) I'm hopeful that this won't be an especially ambitious challenge, and I'm also not holding myself to account on any goals until I feel more recovered from surgery - it's been slow going and while I *hope* I'll be fine by the end of zero week, the body will heal on its schedule, not one I try to impose on it. EDIT: Adding in my yearly planning stuff from last challenge, plus some challenge plans (spoilered for length) Here's what I laid out in late 2020 / early 2021 as the rough list of things I wanted to build this year - it starts with foundational habits, then builds to other life habits, and also some projects to tackle. Anything in blue is currently in progress and a focus, anything in green is a solid habit, anything struck through has either been completed (if it's also green) or deprioritized to "not this year" status. And here's some challenge plans for this one and future challenges:
  19. I'm continuing my efforts from my last challenge to become more myself again, also known as becoming purple. In order to reach that end I need to feel more in control of my world. I will seize control again! And hopefully rediscover some of my darkness along the way. Maybe I'll set up a goth metal workout playlist. I'm going forth with a refreshed attitude, ready to put in the effort and have fun too. Using my handy challenge journal, planner, and financial journal, I will TRACK ALL THE THINGS! Pretty basic stuff actually. Fitness: I will stretch consistently after exercise. I will do GMB mobility work 3 days. Strength training is a given at this point, as are walks. If I can't do my running I will use darebee for HIIT money: I've never had an official budget. That ends now. I'll start by tracking all the money in and out while I do some reading about budgeting. Food: I plan to set up an iron-focused thread on here so I can easily revisit recipes that work for me. Still, reducing alcohol, junk snacks, and meat. Keeping the momentum on veg proteins, water, and planning. My daily planner now has a daily to do list including; daily dare, DuoLingo, 20 min minimum cleaning, $ tracking, kitchen nightly clean, fitness, stretching. Finally I will very soon be setting up a battle log for over-arching yearly goals. Very soon.
  20. What’s up nerds! It’s your friendly neighborhood ballroom boy / data and Econ nerd / calisthenics dabbler here for another challenge, I’ll add a longer preamble (with rough goal priorities for the next year), but basically... My goal this year is to first build the foundations I’ve perennially neglected that over time cause my best laid plans to fall apart over time, THEN build on top of them. Specifically, my usual stumbling blocks are mild sleep deprivation leading to an energy crash or injury, slow building anxiety leading to a need for a hard reset, and insufficient time allotted for rest leading to burnout (of course, they all help reinforce each other, AND they’re all sneaky problems that are hard to spot as they slowly build up). To that end, I’ll have a few main goals this challenge; The place where it all starts: Make a plan how I’ll spend my time each week, with a special focus on making time for sleep (7.5-8 hours a night) and rest (some breaks each work day, plus some in the evenings and on weekends). A pitfall I’ve fallen into with planning is that I typically approach it from asking, “how much time can these things take to all fit into my week?” Typically, this leads to me packing too many things into the plan then being disappointed when I don’t do everything I planned. The better question that I’ll aim to ask is: “How much time does this thing need?” This will force me to make hard calls up front and be ok with the amount planned - and hopefully short circuit some disappointment (and maybe also make some low value activities drop out of my life). This goal will be squishy and hard to concretely evaluate, and that’s ok. All I’ll hold myself to is making a plan each week and reflecting on what actually happened each week so I can keep learning how to better plan. To make this a little more exciting, I’ve bought a new planner to tryout in the new year. Get good sleep: I want to get in a better habit of winding down every night and getting good quality and quantity of sleep - I’ll report on things I’m trying and my smart watch will keep track of my sleep quantity for me (God bless automated data collection). Mobility daily: I ask a lot of my body as an athlete, and I owe it some daily maintenance. As a bonus, some types of mobility work make great evening wind down activities so it helps the sleep goal. 10 minutes or more of mobility a day, plus at least 5 at the start of each dance practice and at the end of each conditioning workout. Pretty straightforward, just need to keep myself from “I don’t wanna”ing out of doing it. Mindfulness daily: This has an unbelievably good impact on my stress levels when I do it. But once it’s worked for a while it’s easy to forget why I made it a daily habit in the first place! So the goal here is not to forget, 5 minutes or more of mindfulness daily (typically in the form of praying the rosary). That’s it, that’s the challenge! I’ll also be working on rebuilding a strength and aerobic conditioning baseline and writing about it (along with dance practices) but they won’t be goals per se.
  21. What a weird year! I'm feeling kind of ambivalent about Christmas this year, but I'm excited about New Year's. I don't have some kind of Pollyanna thing about everything being better after 2020 is over. I just really love the hope and promise of the New Year holiday. It's probably my favorite night/day of the year. I've got a couple goals for this mini challenge but will probably add some more...or maybe not. 1. PUSH-UP challenge! A couple friends and I made our own push-up challenge that runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas. The idea is you do as many as you can in one set on Thanksgiving (scaled however necessary), train like a beast, and then re-test on Christmas day. I did 14 negatives for my test. I'm doing a training plan I saw in an old issue of Trail Runner magazine. Basically 40 negative push-ups each workout (every 2-3 days) in sets of 7-10 with decreasing rest intervals each workout (starting with 1 min). 2. BuJo/Art Journal Set-up. I've gotten into sketching/doodling in a BuJo-like format. This is the first time I'll be setting up a journal for a new year. I'm not sure of all the pages I want, but I know I want a 2021 cover page, year calendar, monthly future log, and then NF challenge overview section. I'll try to at least get those done during this mini. 3. Clear out the old. I just went through a big flooring and painting project. While doing that, I piled up a lot of stuff in the spare bedroom. Now I'm wondering if I even need all that stuff. I'm gonna treat this as a "sushi list" project. I'll make a list of 10 or so things to deal with, and then I'll take care of them when I can. It might not all get done during this mini challenge, and that's fine. 4. Kindness. I want to think about being kind rather than nice (although in most cases you can certainly be both). I don't think I'll write much about it here, but it's something I want to think about. 5. Mobility. I'm going to try sitting on the floor for at least 30 minutes every day. I did this for quite a while and somehow got away from it. It's super easy to do (e.g., while eating or watching tv), and I think it's good for me. I basically need to spend less time slouched on my couch or sitting at my computer station. Some other things I'll be doing (not making them specific challenge goals) Decorating for Christmas. I'll definitely be home a lot to enjoy it, so I should do it. The sooner the better. Quick Strength program...I just finished going through the 8-week program. Gonna re-start it. Have pages set aside for it in the new BuJo so I can track how I improve on specific workouts over time. Running...lots of running. "Last mile." A couple of us are going to do a hard mile some time between Christmas and New Years. The specific day will depend on weather and our schedules, so it might be this challenge or might not. I got this idea from a friend who does it. He was talking about how it lets you put everything out there on the track and kind of symbolizes leaving behind the old year. It appealed to me.
  22. The last challenge was a mind opening learning experience for me and I hope to continue that in this challenge. Even though Shotokan is the style that I have trained for over 16 years now, the time away from the Dojo has given me the opportunity to find and learn some different ways to move my body and still get the results I am trying to achieve. This also gives me a good amount of content for a blog post too. 1. Close all three rings on my Apple watch for the entire challenge. Technology can be an interesting motivator. Using the Apple for the last few years has driven me to workout more than I used to before I had it. It has three daily goals which include Move which shows the number of calories burned while moving. It has Exercise, which shows the number of minutes that some type of exercise is being done and Stand which is standing for at least a minute an hour moving around. I currently have it set for the following: Move: 600 calories, Exercise 30 minutes and Stand for 12 hours. These are the same settings that I used for the last challenge and it was a good balance of being able to reach the number and still force me to workout even if I don't feel like doing it. 2. Kick the WaveMaster three times a week. One of the new things I learned during the last challenge was doing a Taikwondo side kick is better for my body than a Shotokan side kick. Changing the position of my stationary foot puts my body in a better position for power and height than the Shotokan side kick that I have been trying to improve for the last, well since I started training. Five to 10 kicks with each leg for front, side and back should be enough for me to continue to improve without making my legs too sore to train. I learned that if I do full out side kicks too many times in one session, it takes a toll on my legs but it is fun. 3. Get back to meditating every day. After reaching a long time streak of 1250 days of straight meditation, I missed one day and then it went down hill from there. I used to do it every night before bed and I missed one day and the streak was broken. It does help me sleep better and I feel more rested when I wake up so I need to get back in the groove. I was doing Headspace but I recently found a discount on Calm and want to try to see if it works as well. Extra Credit: Publish a blog post!!! Enough said.
  23. Yeah, I'm back again for another crack at this habit making thing. One thing that can be said of me is I at least don't give up for good... even if I'm terrible at follow through >_< But one day, this may stick, so I'm going to keep forging on. This challenge has a few incentives to stay on track though, so that will definitely help. I am currently in the thick of a 6 month diet bet, that I have already paid in full, so if I want to see my money back, I need to get my butt in gear! I also am signed up for 4 more 5k runs this year, one each month - August, September, October and November. Again, already paid for these, so if I want my money to not go to waste i need to train and actually see some progress. I liked the set up I had the last time I did one of these challenges, so I will be setting a spreadsheet with different goals and each time I complete one I get the assigned number of points for that item. My total of points at the end will determine my grade for the challenge and also my rewards. I'll be linking the spreadsheet eventually and at least weekly post my current point total and the highlights of the week, but in the meantime some of the goals that will be on the sheet will be: Complete c25k training 3xs a week Complete Beyond Flexibility mobility exercises 3xs a week (will likely be completed after or before run as my stretching. I am focusing on the "I just want to feel good" focus which is an upper, a lower, and a full body mobility exercise each week) Log all food eaten and drinks drank - this can be done on paper, in mfp, or just photo logged, this challenge I am only focusing on tracking what I eat and when, not so much the calories yet, because that gets overwhelming fast. Starting next week I will also be completing the Core Play exercises as well. I will also be working on 10 minutes of drawing practice daily. I'll also be practicing being patient with myself, so I will not beat myself up over not reaching 100% completion, it's not healthy. But as long as I do SOMETHING everyday, it will be building those habits and creating the me I want to be.
  24. The last challenge went well overall and I believe that it's because I really didn't have a specific plan for training. My decision of not taking an in person Karate class made me feel a little lost but I finally started to get back on track after a few weeks passed. I can still get in good training even if I am not in class and I can still learn some new things as long a my mind is open. With that said, this challenge is all about just doing something and going with my gut instead of my mind. I often heard that the gut is the other brain and it seems to be pretty smart and many times smarter than the one in my head. 1 - 30 minute workout for 30 days The Apple watch has had a big impact on my training and the information it contains has kept me moving even when I don't feel like moving. I found that getting it makes me feel guilty if I don't workout and I think getting at least 30 minutes of workout time is a good place to be. I have done it in the past and even had a pr of 75 days in a row but over the last few months those numbers have dropping and it's time to get them back up. 2 - Find time for sleep I have had sleep issues for years and I notice that if I have even 20 minutes more sleep in a day, I feel much better overall. The goal is to get 6 hours and 45 minutes of sleep each week night and one weekend day. 3 - Read 10 minutes a day This part of the past challenges has been going well and I want to continue it going forward. Extra credit: Publish that one elusive blog post. I almost had it in the last challenge and I think I can do it this time around.
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