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  1. The Patrician's palace in Ankh-Morpork was full of twisting corridors and hidden offices, a veritable warren of civil servants, serious-faced clerks dressed in respectable if inexpensive suits with ink stains on the shirt cuffs. This room was no different, and that was unusual, because in fact it contained a division of the Dark Clerks, Lord Vetinari's much fabled (and occasionally much feared) somewhat-less-than-civil service. But, as Lord Vetinari said, everyone was equal in government service, and besides, if you could tell the difference, then they wouldn't come as a surprise, and everyone so enjoys a good surprise. (It was at this point in the cocktail party that Commander Vimes of the City Watch was heard to mutter, "Oh, yes, a good surprise, certainly. No one was objecting to a good surprise." At which, Lord Vetinari turned slowly. "I'm afraid I did not hear that, Commander. Perhaps you would care to repeat it?" Vimes cleared his throat. "The Watch does not enjoy surprises, sir. Good or otherwise. We are not in the surprise business." Vetinari nodded amiably. "Well, you certainly know your profession best, Vimes. I would not dream of telling you how to do your job." Rumor does not mention what Vimes said in response to that. Even rumor knows when to keep its mouth shut.) In the sole concession to the late summer season, a light breeze drifted in through the window the clerks had wrestled open, carrying with it the hint of cool open spaces and, regrettably, a faint scent of the Ankh. Even the latter was not as bad as it might be, however, as lately, in the summer heat, the Ankh had been disproving those staid provincial geography teachers who claimed that rivers, being made of water, did not catch fire, and thus the smell was a bit more charcoal than... well, whatever passed for water in the Ankh. A small, drab clerk with sandy hair entered the room and stepped through the rows of desks until he stopped next to one in the third row. "Ah, Miss Kingdom," he said. She looked up. "Mr. Drumknott?" she said, surprised. The Patrician's head clerk did not often venture into this office on his own. "I have a message," said Drumknott. "Er, from his lordship. His lordship's office, as it were. You are being temporarily reassigned." "Where? Why?" said Sara. This was not good news; or, at least, there were far more ways in which this was likely to be bad news than the alternative. "To public records," said Drumknott, "and because his lordship instructed it be so, of course." He placed a folder on her desk. Public records were, of course, private records, much like public schools. (And, occasionally, also like public schools, open to anyone who could afford the large fees. Lord Vetinari had standing instructions for all government employees to accept any offered bribe, and then - this was the important bit, which often escaped the notice of the profferer - to record the transaction in detail and report it to the appropriate office.) "Also," continued Drumknott, "his lordship wishes to know if you can swim." "Yes," said Sara, "although I'm unclear on why public records would req--" "He suspected that was he case," said Drumknott. "You are to take up the practice immediately." "Where?" said Sara. "I don't know," said Drumknott. "Perhaps the Ankh?" They stared at each other for a while. "You're attempting a joke, aren't you," said Sara, finally. "I choose to believe that is so." "Then what about the Young Men's Pagan Association?" said Drumknott. "They have a rather nice pool." "I'm not too keen on the Ichor God Bel-Shamharoth," said Sara, "and they're still a bit stuffy about women using the facilities, in any case." Drumknott hesitated. "I believe the palace has a training gymnasium for certain members of staff," he said. "I will inquire about a pool." "It's astonishing how many clerks need to work out and do blade training," said Sara. "Filing boxes are very heavy," said Drumknott. "And careful handling of knives reduces risk of papercuts by 87.2%. His lordship is very keen on preventing workplace injury." The irritating thing, thought Sara, was that he actually was. And he kept all the facilities open to both men and women, not to mention the hiring. And the guilds. What sort of tyrant was that? You couldn't even get properly worked up about his insidious and dictatorial regime before you had to admit to the unusual fairness of his hiring practices and workplace benefits.
  2. Mistr takes a step back I feel like I've been running too fast to think for months. This challenge my goal is to not push so hard. I want to take time to sit still and consider what I'm doing instead of just picking the next thing off my to-do list. I am starting this challenge late because I was on vacation last week. The "vacation" part was more of a hope than an actual restful time. I did get to do a bunch of fun things and went to my family's cabin on a lake. I brought along my computer and planned to have time to write my challenge and read what everyone has been doing. The only thing I did with my computer was send an email to my boss asking for time off for a dentist appointment that I forgot about. I did get my knitting project going again. I cast on (for the 5th time) and made it through enough rows that I think it is going to work. I learned some things that make the later rows look better than the first few rows, but I am not going back and starting over again. I did some exercise and some zen. Dumbledore and I did some exploring and had good conversations during the road trip. I would like to kvetch about stuff, but I don't have time for that either. Tonight I am going to the dojo for the first time in a couple weeks. I will check in when I can.
  3. Howdy! Kishi here. It's the start of a new challenge, and I really only have one goal: show up here. I'm sure I could really put together a bunch of stuff for a challenge thread, but truthfully, everything's kind of set as well as I can expect it to be for now. A lot of life at this point is really just about showing up and doing the work. But that part's easy. The hard part's showing up here. And while I'd be the first to say that challenges are "done" rather than "talked about," at the end of the day, I'm still part of a community. I don't feel like I've engaged enough for my own sake, and I'd like to change that. Now, it might sound too easy and too self-serving to set up a "show up and blog" challenge for myself, but the thing is, y'all are awesome, and being here reminds me of that. It pushes me to show up for others, and I'd hate to put a number on something like that and turn it into an obligation. So, with that being said: GOAL: 1/4 I had a bjj tournament this past Saturday. Not my first. Best showing, though: 1 round, 1:33. Yeah, it's not great. But the odds say that most of us what show up to do this have to lose, so it's not like I was unusual or something. Also, my dad showed up to watch, and while I hated losing in front of him, I actually felt overall positive on account of being able to explain what I did and how I lost. Sunday I went to open mat with video of my failure. They were cool about it and they've since decided to make me their pet project by fixing my two deficit areas - takedowns and pressure response. Which means I'm going to get chucked around like a ragdoll and have the life crushed out of me for the next x amount of weeks until I have demonstrated sufficient improvement. But honestly? It's damn decent of my friends to want to help me get better at something I care a lot about, and I really appreciate them for it. So, I'm going to keep working on these places and we'll see what happens. FWIW, I've reaped benefits almost immediately. Beyond that, the past few days have been relatively inconvenient, but not eventful per se. Landlord's putting new siding on the apartment and the contractors knocked out our Internet. So that took a couple of days to deal with. Had to go to the office on my out days (booooooo) but my boss decided to let me count Monday and Tuesday as my two days in and to work the rest of the week from home (YUSSS). Meditation and breathing have been good. Haven't been about my writing so much as I'd like, which is a shame because I'm at a really exciting part in the plan. I have a crazy notion that I could finish my plan in time to NaNo this thing in a couple months, which would be fun. You know, have an actual project to do instead of farting around and proving to myself again that I'm a writer. And, uh, yeah. I'll get around to y'all as I can. Because
  4. Finally getting back into a routine with the arrival of baby #2! It was recommended by @Sloth the Enduring to consolidate threads so I’m going to be posting my challenge and daily logs all right here. Still a bit sleep deprived but will be posting more soon. Thanks for all the well wishes!
  5. Last challenge ended with two big events, where I pretty much gave up on all the challenge goals. Even tracking them. This time, I will try JUST. ONE. THING. Yoga, every day. Ideally in the morning, before breakfast, but only hard goal is to do it every day. 5pt if before 9am. 4pt before 10am. 3pt before 12am. 2pt before 2pm. 1pt if at any time. +5pt if before breakfast.
  6. Mistr makes today better August will mark my 9th year in NF. I will also be turning 60 just after the end of this challenge. I am going to use what I have learned in the last several challenges and change my approach a bit. My goal for this challenge is to work on dealing as well as I can, one day at a time. This is a mental health challenge, not a physical fitness challenge. Sure, I still have plenty of fitness goals. I've seen that figure of how people lose strength in their 50s and 60s and it terrifies me. I want to lose the extra 10 pounds I've had since the pandemic started. I would like to get some sign that I actually am on the right track in how do zen meditation. All those things will fit in the implementation pieces of my larger goal. I was going to say that my job is more stressful than normal, but after two years I need to face that this level of work is the new normal and just deal with it. I am considering applying for other positions in my company. I am too close to retirement to want to switch to a different company. I am also feeling very risk-adverse, since I am supporting a family of four. Elf (my non-binary adult offspring) is looking for a full-time job again. I am sure they will find one soon. That will cover their phone, clothes, gas and incidentals. It would be nice if they could kick in for groceries, but I'm not holding my breath. I feel overwhelmed and show spikey anxiety behaviors when I try to look at all the things that I need to do. So I am consciously going to focus just on the next task instead. I can make it across the gorge and even enjoy the scenery if I keep my eyes on the goal and don't look down. I will not try to do All The Things. Instead, I will pick a thing to do that is fun or necessary. I will do that thing, then I will pick another thing. When in doubt, it is fine for me to pick an easy thing. Doing all chores does not make for a better day. Some of the things need to be fun things or my brain gets cranky. Small things count. I can do 5 minutes of zen, or knit one row. If I decide to let something wait, I will actually let it wait and not stress about it. I don't have to log everything, but it helps if I write down some of it to have a feeling of accomplishment. For the last several months I have been noting if it was a good day or not in my log book. I would like to have more good days.
  7. Well, howdy there, folks! I'm Kishi, an inconveniently itinerant monk. Good to see you again or for the first time, as it applies. I was scrolling through Facebook one night and I came across a piece about Felipe Costa, who's a BJJ black belt of some renown. I read something that struck me: apparently, he was a competitor who never won a "major" tournament up until he hit his black belt. I was struck by that - black belt takes a long time to get in this art, and to go that long and fight that hard without getting anywhere... well, maybe that sounds crazy, but I found some inspiration in that. Like a release from pressure. So when the word came down that there was a tournament up in September, I took 20 seconds of courage and applied for it. (and then thought about how, just because he didn't win a "major" tournament didn't mean he didn't win a "minor" tournament, or didn't medal or otherwise outperform a lot of people that I might not necessarily do, but we're past that point now). Now, you might think that I was getting ready to do a lot of crazy shit for training to get ready for this thing. I will be doing no such thing. For one thing, the new demands on the body would detract from training for the tournament. And for another, the last time I went out for tournament, I didn't even make it past the first fights in my divisions. I have no reason to believe that any particularly exotic training will get me where I need to go. Instead, I want to focus on my mind. Because I know that's where I tend to fail the most. The tournament's going to present a twofold problem - one, the weight of public performance, and two, my lack of intelligent aggression. The second of these is actually going to be easier to deal with than the first. Knowing that it's something to work on, I've gone out and rolled and started fighting better, at least with folk around my weight class who are similarly skilled. That can fly out the window at any time for a bunch of reasons, but the general trend is better and I believe it will only improve with practice. That means dealing more with the first. Which is more of a mindset confidence thing than anything else. I've picked up some resources about that which I'll be studying over the course of the next five weeks leading up, but it doesn't track neatly onto the challenge, and I'd rather it have room/time to work and be effective. But there is a challengeable way to approach this too: Goal 1: Meditation Keep that up. My blood pressure's gone way down thanks to this and I want to keep that going. Anything goes; regular practice is 10 minutes, but if I can only manage a few deep breaths before sleep, that's okay too. Ideally, I'd carve out another minute, just because I want to. Goal 2: WHM Breathing helps. Keep doing that. Goal 3: Writing Writing also helps. I'm not going to journal or anything so much as just keep showing up to write. Participation in any part of that process sets my mind at ease, and I want that. Beyond that, my training isn't going to change much. I've added a third day of skipping rope, but that's only for a minute. Not a lot of conditioning yet; this is going to be about building my connective tissues instead. I've also added suitcase and farmer's carries specifically to help with my lower back. This is a method that is apparently endorsed by Dr. John Rusin, who I'm inclined to trust given @Shotokan's past endorsement. I've also adjusted my stretching regimen to be a bit more challenging, which is helping me feel better. I'll also be going for the bamboo brush after all, but even then, I'm not going to be doing that much in terms of qigong this time. I'll be working on the first movement of that routine, but that shouldn't really constitute a strenuous load on top of the other stuff. I guess if I wanted to, I could make a fourth goal of sticking to my training and not changing anything, because that would be the hard part, but this mix honestly feels dialed in enough that I'm not going to have a compliance issue. Anyway. T-minus a few days until the challenge. Let's go to work.
  8. SYRRAN: [My name is] Arev. T'POL: That means 'desert wind'. SYRRAN: Does it. Why are you here? ARCHER: We could ask you the same thing. SYRRAN: I follow the path of Surak in meditation and study. Challenge goals: Walk Meditate Study Train traditional Vulcan arts Walking is, well, walking. But I'm going to add some light exposure goals, stolen from Andrew Huberman. He says they're the one important thing to do, so on the list they go. Blackout from 11pm-4am, and sunlight early in the day. Meditation, I will technically count anything, but I'll mostly be using Plum Village's pebble meditation, minus the pebbles, and possibly plus swords. I think that's a set of metaphors that Vulcan could go for. They're big into religiously significant mountains, and, like, water, and space and stuff. Maybe I'll add some rest tracking. Studying for challenge purposes will be mindset stuff, encompassing Zen, martial arts, and ADHD. Also I have a book that I want to go through that should fit in there, sorta. I'm keeping a reminder for the dopamine increment habit, because it's not quite sticking yet. Martial arts is sort of limited, since I cannot study space naginata. Even aikido is not really available locally. Heck, even other stuff is a little hard to come by. So we'll work on strength and mobility. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Those pictures contain a lot of weapons for a supposedly pacifist planet, don't they?" Yes. Yes, they do. We're not falling into the soft Zen trap this challenge. The Needs of the One Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Total Walk Evening Blackout Morning Sun Meditate Take a rest break Sleep deficit < 7h Study Dopamine Increments Strength Mobility Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Total
  9. I started the previous challenge weighing more than I have ever weighed in my life. After a regimen of strict paleo, I ended the previous challenge down 10 pounds. Let's see if I can keep the downward trend going while introducing some new rules to improve sustainability... The Meal Plan should following pretty strict full paleo rules, except: Social: Don't let The Meal Plan interfere with choices about where to eat in social situations. It should never come up in conversation unless someone else initiates it. As a corollary, don't let The Meal Plan interfere with choices about what to eat in social situations. I should be able to find something to eat that perfectly or nearly perfectly conforms to The Meal Plan without making a big deal about it. 80/20ish: Cheat meal or cheat item(s) in a meal is okay once or twice a week in non-consecutive meals. (Should this be non-consecutive days?) With more of a macro lens I could consider just the aspects of the cheat meal that actually cheat. (ie: if you consider a fajita then really only the tortilla is against the rules, but the tortilla accounts for nearly half of the calories!) The occasional dessert should fall in this category. It seems like I have no real problem with ice cream, whereas I probably should avoid glutenous desserts During this past challenge I was only tempted to cheat when I was hungry, so it's likely that by eating the paleo parts of the meal first I will curb most of this desire I was ready to allow up to 1 cup of rice with any meal and not consider it a cheat, but 1 cup is ~200 calories(!), and I don't trust myself yet to know how to limit the rest of the meal around it. Please weigh in on how realistic you think the rules are. I think I will do better with some strict limits, so I will probably have to add corollaries to the 80/20 as I go. Let me know if you have any good ones. Thanks in advance for supporting me this challenge! I've stocked up my Bat Cave with fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Let's do this!
  10. Monk related discussions! *Note: You can participate in guild discussions regardless of your chosen guild. Monks can kick your ass with their fists and feet, and they can do it before you even know what's happened. Incredibly agile, lightning fast, and loaded with power, Monks specialize in martial arts to stay in shape and destroy the opposition. * Fictional example: Neo (The Matrix); Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill); Black Widow (Marvel) UFC Fighters Georges St. Pierre & Ronda Rousey * Real-world example: UFC Fighters Georges St. Pierre & Ronda Rousey * Typical Activities: MMA, BJJ, Karate
  11. I've been in this really annoying cycle for the past few years. The cycle goes like this: 1 Getting a wake up call about how far my fitness has fallen, 2. Diving into workouts that are too intense for my current level of fitness, 3. Getting hurt, 4. Having to rest for several weeks, to heal 5. Getting comfortable with laziness, and ceasing healthy behaviors. And repeat. Let's just try it again. The goal right now, is just to workout ..... at all. I don't care the schedule, frequency, style, program. Just to workout at some point in the week and to let that build.
  12. I currently weigh more than I've ever weighed in my life. I can't remember the last time the scale has trended down. The scale isn't everything (blah, blah...)--I know. It's also true that I am the strongest I've ever been and have more muscle mass than ever. I'm not sure what my ideal weight is; it has to do with being unhappy with my gut and waist size, not dreading clothes shopping, etc. I think I'll know it when I see/feel it. I work out pretty intensely three times a week in full Warrior mode and on the weekends I practice tai chi, but I need to make some changes in the kitchen as well. My diet isn't horrible. I don't really eat all that many processed foods, but I probably eat too much. I eat until I'm full instead of not just until I'm not hungry. This challenge I'm going to experiment with something. I have one goal: Eat full paleo every day. The last time I did this was about 10 years ago, and it worked very well for almost a year, until I just stopped. While it was working I felt great, better than great--amazing! The more I stuck to the plan the easier it was to stick to it. The more progress I saw with weight loss the more productive I became in every other aspect of my life. So my experiment is to recapture that sense of indomitable progress and productivity. I tend to make my challenges too complex and they just kind of peter out at the end. This time my goal is one day at a time with no rollover judgment or guilt, and just see how I do and how I feel afterward. I'm actually starting today, after some preparatory shopping over the weekend, but I have ideas for the next grocery run as well. Hey, I want you all to look at me when I say this... . . .
  13. LOL Right now progress is slow, but I am making progress and its good progress. I turn 50 in one year. I sure don't feel that old and I have a plan to make sure I don't feel that old for a very long time! Keep doing what I have been doing: make the next best choice that I can right now eat what is good for my body and try to not overeat exercise when I can don't overwork myself but stand up for the folks who work for me Love my family, friends and myself all the time Slow, smooth and simple! https://www.mindbydesign.io/slow-is-smooth-and-smooth-is-fast/
  14. Well, howdy there, folks! Good to see you again, or for the first time. I'm Kishi, a monk prone to itineracy and general quietude. I hope you are well. I had a challenge last time and I disappeared. Unfortunately, I can't say it's because I was really doing my challenge, but fortunately I can say it wasn't for any dramatic reasons. Life just got busy, and instead of developing my meditation like I told myself to, I found myself falling back on a lot of other challenge habits like my cleaning and my writing. I'm pleased to say those are all doing better, and my own drilling/shadowboxing/chess and such are doing better too as I've been prioritizing mat time and responding to the input I get from people. Also, the reward I chose for myself came to make less sense, and I just didn't feel driven to press the reset button. I guess to continue the game metaphor, I got lost in the side quests, and by the time I cared about my main, the game was over. But you may notice I have a meditation tag again, along with some others, and I reckon that deserves some explanation. My reasons for meditation, beyond the mental health benefits, are also physiological: I have heart issues to worry about at the ripe old age of 36, and meditation is a useful practice for heart health. Fortunately, there's good science to say I need less of it than I've been trying for to get the benefits I want. Which is good news. More is not always better; sometimes it's just more, and in order for more to be better, sometimes it has to be less. Because less is more. Huh. Right. Cool. There's some other stuff going on too. I've finally returned to striking sparring, and it's proving to be a real shock to the system. The caliber of striking here is relatively high compared to what I've seen in a while, and it's Thai-Dutch style boxing, which means high volume striking at close range with the head as a viable target. It's a lot to work with, and this in a hot academy in the opening of an NC summer. It's not going to get colder. So I need to work on my conditioning; going back to the GST folk, the two recommendations they have are running and skipping rope. Running would take a lot of time and wouldn't come with the coordination benefits or the raw lightness of foot that comes from constant bouncing, so skipping rope it is. Another thing I need to work on is my recovery. I've been using glucosamine to help out with joint pain, and while I did find an effective brand, it's also pricey, and I'm getting real sick of having as little money on hand as I do at the end of the month. (especially since my job is just being icky with pay right now). So I'm looking into recovery methods and found the work of a Shaolin monk named Shi Yan Lei, which I'm finding fascinating on account of his pedagogical preferences. He has a book on qigong for longevity, which I'm willing to gamble would help with recovery, so I'mma do it. My goal with this is to deal with and prevent joint pain over time without having to go the supplement route. Between this and the mobility training in GST, I'm hopeful. The goals are as follows: Goal 1: Training The qigong routine calls for 3-4 times per week, but before I even get into that, I need to learn to breathe. Shi Yan Lei calls for a kind of "reverse breathing" in his method, which is a kind of chest breathing for energy. I need to practice that first before I even get into adding extra movement. Also, the skipping rope is going to be done 1-2 times per week to start with, per the recommendations of the Jump Rope Dudes and Crossrope. These will be very small practices: 5 breaths, and skipping for 1 minute, because what I need is consistency right now and something to build on. These are being lumped onto/into my general training as it stands, so this is really about making the logs simple. Goal 2: Meditation Meditate 10 minutes a day after whatever nightly stretching I'm doing. I've fallen into the evening routine of coming home from mat time, showering off, and stretching while warm. This is a really freaking nice way to end the day. Meditation afterward would suit, I think. Goal 3: Breathe So, out of left field: the Wim Hof Method, which is fantastic for grappling because it teaches you not to be afraid of time without air. I just grapple better when I'm doing this. I like grappling better. I like the lack of fear, and I'm already taking cold showers these days just as it is. Might as well complete the process. As to my reward? Well, if I get the breathing right, I'll be taking the next challenge to begin work on movement. But Shi Yan Lei isn't just talking about movement. He's also talking about massage, with a possible avenue toward Iron Shirt training. This would be incredibly useful and has been something I've tried to cultivate on my own without any success. The Shaolin method for this training involves the use of very specific brushes to massage the body. The first step would be a bamboo brush. This is used in conjunction with the qigong program anyway, so once I've demonstrated my seriousness to myself, I'll reward myself with the brush. These goals excite me. Can't wait to get started... so. Might as well.
  15. I had plans for this challenge. I am not using them. It's time for a special monk challenge. I need to get in touch with my inner girly monk, and I will be using my blond guru for this. After all, aikido is about elegance, and who is more elegant than Miss Piggy? Miss Piggy's Life Lessons Spirit, Determination, Grit, Confidence, Pursuit of Dreams, Beauty, Being Tough, Kicking Down Barriers with Martial Arts, International Star, Best-selling Author, Diva Kicking Down Barriers: Strength and Mobility I will lift the one I love. I will stretch the one I love. Spirit: Meditation I will meditate. (That's meditation depicted there, right? Pretty sure.) Toughness: Prioritize Sleep and Rest I will sleep well. I will schedule rest breaks timed for better performance. Kicking Down Barriers: Eat Enough I will eat enough for my metabolism to run right. (And maybe try to get some data.) Determination, Grit, and Confidence: Know What I Want I will practice knowing what I want. (This will be partly in a journal, but I also want to practice knowing what I want when I hit roadblocks in the dayor encounter task resistance, so this will evolve.) I will practice rewarding myself for incremental progress on goals to reinforce grit. Diva: Look Fabulous I will incrementally increase my fabulosity. And possibly refuse to age. International Star and Bestselling Author: Art is Important I will make art. I will make things around me beautiful. Diva Bonus: Be a Rockstar I will give myself bonus points for being more rock n' roll. Templates Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Totals Strength: At Least One Exercise Yoga Walk Eat Enough Sleep: Full Lights Out by Midnight Meditate Dopamine Increments Write Schedule of Rest Write Down What I Want (in a Journal) Make Art Make Something Pretty Fabulosity Improvement Bonus: Rock n' Roll Totals While that is a lot, most of it is things I am doing or have been working on, or fun things. It's more about noticing what I do that serves a goal, or opportunities to do something that serves a goal. I am a busy person, being a big international star, so I will just do what I feel like each day, and track it. After all, why should moi do anything she does not feel like, hmmm?
  16. Late to the party again. The last challenge went better than I expected. Lot of workouts and average of over 80 minutes a day of training time. Most days had three or more workouts and even some days up to five workouts and over two hours of training. It went exceptionally well. This time around, I am going to try something different and put my entire challenge focus on one thing, Karate training. Karate training 5 days a week is the plan. I do some type of Karate training every day already but the plan is to go through an entire class five times a week. I have some good notes from my current training and I will use those for my training structure.
  17. Mistr respawns - Summer 2022 I was going to write my challenge while I was on vacation last week. I was also going to start exercising again. Lots of projects I intended to do on vacation did not happen. Quite a bit of fun stuff did happen, so it wasn't all work. Keeping with making a fresh start, I am just going to write goals and not refer to where I was before. 1) A little bit is better than nothing. Sure, it would be great to do 30 minutes of exercise and zen every day. There are some days when I can do more and others that are overbooked. Just 10 minutes of zen is much better than nothing. I can do a few minutes of stretching and a walk around the block most days. 2) Keep up with logging. Having a record of what I did helps me keep track of progress and points what I might choose next in rotation. Writing down projects and chores lets me see how I used my time and feel better about it. My first task here is to get the tally pages set up in my current notebook (after I write my notes for yesterday ). I have all sorts of things I want to do and need to do. For now, I will work on seeing what I can actually do.
  18. So for those not watching the Instagrams, it's been 9 months since moving across the country. Job is great but the pay is insultingly-low. I had to take a second job at a CrossFit gym, which is great and fun and easy, but it cuts into my jiu-jitsu time and leaves me pretty exhausted. I'm also in school because I need to finish this degree. I've pretty much filled my schedule out so I won't have time to entertain the negativity my brain tends to drift into--I just turn them into memes and release them into the wild. (Doc took me off amphetamines, which I kind of miss because it makes me productive and social for like 2 days, but crashes me for a week.) Anyway, I'm not even going to attempt to exhibit any semblance of self-control; I'm just putting one foot in front of the other, hoping the world ends before my next billing cycle. I'm thinking I'm just going to work on home SOPs that I can mindlessly follow every day so I can have bandwidth for all this shit I put on my plate. I've been pretty much "winging it" with everything, and I'm finding that the basic stuff tends to get forgotten because it's not done intentionally. Just need to check whether I did it or not. 3 DAILY TASKS Track my sleep - it doesn't matter how many hours, as long as I have the estimated number on record Drink water - I just need to record what I'm drinking that's not energy drinks, coffee, or diet soda Exercise - even though I usually have the opportunity to get a workout in, it's been intermittent; maybe the intentional exercise help me with the studying For the first time in my life I'm living in a furnished apartment. Dining table, couch, coffee table, bar stools. I have no idea how people maintain a clean living space; my space always degenerates into a dump. I'm trying to address this. Nobody's visiting, but I think ultimately it distracts me from being productive and I just end up lying on the couch playing Last Fortress: Underground for three straight days instead of studying. 3 WEEKLY TASKS Tuesday and Thursday laundry and dishes Sunday trash and junk mail Jiu-jitsu once a week - just show your face 03JUL - 7 hours sleep / trash 04JUL - 4 hours sleep, 2 drinks of water, jiu-jitsu 05JUL - 7.5 hours sleep, 1 drink of water / laundry, dishes 06JUL - 5 hours sleep, 6 drinks of water, CF WOD 07JUL - 9 hours sleep, 1 drinks of water, 08JUL - 5 hours sleep, 2 drinks of water, CF WOD / laundry 09JUL - 5.5 hours sleep, 4 drinks of water SLEEP: 7/7, WATER: 6/7, EXERCISE: 3/7 CLEANING: 1/2, TRASH: 1/1, JIU-JITSU: 1/1 10JUL - 7 sleep, 4 water, jiu-jitsu / trash 11JUL - 5.5 sleep, 3 water, KB CF WOD 12JUL - 6.5 sleep, Row 13JUL - 9.5 sleep 14JUL - 5.5 sleep 15JUL - 4.5 sleep, 2 water, KB 16JUL - 8 hours sleep, 1 water, lift SLEEP: 7/7, WATER: 3/7, EXERCISE: 5/7 CLEANING: 0/2, TRASH: 1/1, JIU-JITSU: 1/1 17JUL - 9 sleep, 18JUL 19JUL 20JUL 21JUL 22JUL 23JUL SLEEP: /7, WATER: /7, EXERCISE: /7 CLEANING: /2, TRASH: /1, JIU-JITSU: /1
  19. First challenge since probably 2019 so I'm a bit rusty. My goals long term are to get into good enough shape to have a competition session in karate which I haven't been able to do since 2018 because of injury and we'll... a plague. For the short term my goals are based on consistency. Just building in the daily habits that will take me where I want to go. The specific measure able goals I have for this training is. Karate training: 3 days per week. I'm training with a very experienced sensai and I want to prioritize that. Some general movement every day: 10k steps and some kind of strength/mobility/conditioning every non karate day. Take my dang vitamins: I know through testing that I'm deficient in vitamin D and magnesium and it shows on the days I skip. I'm not in a place where I need to worry about weight classes or anything at this time so I'm really trying to build in the sense of structure and consistency I've had during past competition sessions.
  20. I missed the last challenge... I needed the break and I am recovering from all that happened the last two months. To summarize: Spring break, semi-new management position at work, shoulder surgery and continued recover, two illnesses of my own, eldest spawn's medical journey continues and now we have a large forest fire that is ~5 miles from where i sit at work and just 10 miles from my house. My asthma is angry these days with the smoke. https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8075/ (actual picture from the fire FB page) So much on my plate and oddly I am calm, patient and happy. This challenge will be a KISS -- keep it simple stupid -- challenge! My goals are simple: Do my PT and any other exercise that sounds like fun to me, when I am able to breathe. Accept that I can't do all the things, all of the time and be OK with me as I am in the moment. Eat smaller portion sizes Be prepared to evacuate and when the call comes (because I think it will with the wind and warm temps predicted) pack up the important things and head out of town with a sense of peace and understanding. The 3+ hour drive to my parents place can be a lovely drive with all the family and critters! Keep doing the things that are necessary to be a leader at work, not just a manager. That is it nothing special or fancy. Simple and easy. I'll check in here when I can and I won't stress when I can't or I forget.
  21. Vetinari sighed, and put down his pen. "Drumknott," he called towards the outer chamber. The clerk entered noiselessly. "Yes, my lord?" he said. The Patrician waved at the papers on his desk. "Take these away. I'm..." He trailed off, and rubbed his goatee distractedly. Drumknott cleared his throat. "Bored, sir?" He gathered up the papers on the desk into a neat sheaf. "One does not get bored of ruling a city like Ankh-Morpork, Drumknott," said Vetinari in a tone that would, in other men, be described as slightly peevish. No one ever described the patrician of Ankh-Morpork as peevish. At least, not if they valued a scorpion-free existence on the outside of the dungeon walls. It was, however, the time of year when a certain... restlessness set in. It was the same every May. One would have to be fairly close to the Patrician to notice this shift in mood, and that was precisely where most people strove not to be. Drumknott noticed. "I have taken the liberty, my lord," said Drumknott. He placed a thin file folder in front of Vetinari, and carefully squared it up. "I thought one of these might amuse." Vetinari opened the folder. He flipped past the first sheet, plucked out the second sheet for further perusal, then the third, flipped past the fourth, and paused on the fifth. "Interesting," he said. "She has been away quite some time, has she not?" "Indeed, sir," said Drumknott. "I understand she will be reporting back to work soon. The Dark Clerks have cleared a desk for her. Do you wish to send down an assignment?" "Oh, I think we should have a very special assignment waiting for Sara Kingdom," said Vetinari. He smiled thinly. A Challynge yn Foure Partes Parte I: Clerking "As a wizard, I must tell you, Havelock, that words have power." "As a politician, I must tell you I already know." I'm reading two books that talk about writing as a mental transformation habit, which I was surprised to find, cuz I've been toying with the idea of "write it down or it didn't happen" as a core principle of thinking through plans and problems - basically, the idea that if you don't make it tangible, you're probably kidding yourself on how clearly and well you really thought it through - and writing as a way of finding out what you're not aware you think, the act of recording as a necessary part of the thinking process itself. The first is inspired by Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way", but brings in more research-based stuff, and the second is one of the researchy books it's based on. So I will be hauling out the notebooks and doing a lot of writing. There will be some basic journalling to clear my head and figure out what I'm interested in these days. There will be weekly (and possibly daily) planning and review writing on sets of questions and stuff, to make myself do the job clearly and fully, and bypass the lack of focus going on. There may even be an experiment with expressive writing as a way of processing and clearing the head of various bits of negative flotsam and jetsam it stalls out on, or has to keep handling. (Doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs, but the science is good.) Basically, a lot of writing. A ton of writing. Parte II: Monking "Time has stopped for everyone but you," said Sweeper patiently. "Actually, that sentence is wrong in every particular, but it’s quite a useful lie." Lately, I've been managing to sleep purely by doing very deliberate physical and mental stillness meditations in bed. It's ridiculously hard. This is not normal for me, at least in recent years, so it's a big sign that my meditation habit needs to come back in a big way. If my brain is buzzing that hard when I'm trying to sleep, it's probably jangling that hard all the time, and that can't be helping anything. So I'm gonna learn how to stop time and get some stillness back with meditation. Parte III: Patrolling Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles. This part is simple. Walking. I will patrol my city. Parte IV: Assassining The Assassin moved quietly from roof to roof until he was well away from the excitement around the Watch House. His movements could be called catlike, except that he did not stop to spray urine up against things. Strength and mobility training, for scaling rooftops and things. The strength training will start with a continuation of the previous challenge's isometric stuff: horse stance (static squat), planks, ITWY exercises, and some bridge. When my schedule gets wrangled into shape, I will try to get some daily yoga before bed, but it's not gonna be a week 1 kinda goal. It was a Guild of Assassins, after all. Black was what you wore. The night was black and so were you. And black had such style, and an Assassin without style, everyone agreed, was just a highly paid arrogant thug. Pure bonus material, but I think some wearing of black and stylishness should get points. A lot of aikido teachers will tell you to focus on elegance, and putting the focus on the process rather than the goal tends to improve the efficacy. I've noticed this with writing, too; a focus on elegant handwriting tends to slow down and smooth the jangly bits in the brain and the content becomes better. Ye Planne The plan is not to jump into doing all of this at once, because I'm currently at very low capacity for getting things done and adding things to my list, but to step up how much I'm doing during the challenge. Some goals aren't even on my list for the initial week or two, and the rest, for the first couple of weeks, I'll be fine with hitting them half the days. Doing something half the days is better than zero of the days, and I'm going to need some time to try to find a good schedule time for them. Wrangling my schedule, especially when it comes to sleep, is turning out to be a big obstacle, so I'm starting by doing just what helps get that stabilized better. Template: Week 0 Day 1 Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Meditation Journal Written Plans & Reviews Emotive Writing Exercise Walking Strength Yoga Assassin Style Bonus
  22. Well, okay, see, look. After the last challenge, things were good. Things were really good. So I just shifted gears and got onto the next thing that I wanted to work on like it was nothing. And it was so smooth that I pretty much just blended into it without ever really coming back here. I kept telling myself I would, but part of blending into things has been staying busy, so I kept breaking my word to myself that I would come back, and then a whole week was gone. It's been eventful! Among other things: I finally read all of Berserk. For those who don't know, Berserk is the quintessential dark fantasy and has been a major influence on a lot of games and media, most recently Elden Ring. It is a deeply dark and disturbing story, and it's not for everybody, but it's not cheap or schlocky in being so and I find it to be a genuinely profound and moving story. Had my job performance review for the last quarter and I've basically made huge improvements all over the place. In fact, I did so well that I've been removed from remedial supervision and, if I keep this up, I'll be on track for a promotion in the next year. My boss is super-proud of me; I think she wanted me to be surprised and pleased, but I'd kept such close track of my stats that when she said she was proud of me, I thought, "Damn right you are." Still not good enough for me to return to work from home, though. Like I said, I'm out from remedial supervision, but my improvement in my stats happened after the quarter numbers were in. So me being released from supervision was actually my boss going out on a limb for me (although I know she doesn't care for the paperwork, so it's not like she didn't want me out from under her thumb either); I won't be under consideration for working from home until the end of this quarter, and that assumes I stay on top of things. The future is not set in stone. Managed to finish building a magic system and now know it well enough to know what is and isn't a good idea at a given time. Sweet. Now I have to do it again for another system, because. So. At this point, with all cylinders firing, the goal is to make sure they keep doing so. That's going to mean self care, which means meditation and sleep. Meditation is the one I have the more direct control over ATM, so that's what I'll be focusing. I'm up to 14 minutes at a stretch, and I'm finding so far that weekdays are easy. Weekends are hard. No particular reason for it. I've been tracking the number all along as if I was in challenge mode, so I'll just jump in if that's cool with you. Goal: 6/9 As to a reward, I actually think I'm looking at some tube-style exercises bands for grappling work. Need to look into that more, but that's what I find compelling at this point, so. Sorry for being late! I'll be around to y'all just as quick as I can. Hope you've been well.
  23. Mistr edits her story My goal for this challenge is to reframe my story so that I feel better about my life. I had a bad week in April. Not that anything actually happened, just that I was super stressed about things at work. The tasks I needed to do were not harder or less pleasant than usual. There were a couple instances of poor communication coupled with my brain telling me stories that put the situation in a bad light. I felt stressed because I was worried about bad things happening, not because anything was going badly at the time. I know historically that I want to do more things than can fit in a day or a week. I am not doing myself any favors by overestimating what I can do, then being disappointed that I didn't do everything. Just because I sometimes have very productive days does not mean that I need to feel bad about having less productive days. I have a lot more control over how I feel than I want to admit. In my last challenge I focused on doing just one thing at a time. That made a big difference in reducing my stress. This time I am going to continue doing one thing at a time and also look at the stories my brain is telling. I know that "I'm tired and I want to go home" really means "I don't want to deal with this". The impulse to get food rarely has anything to do with being hungry. There are other stories my brain wants to tell me that need editing too. If I am going to have a good life, I have to frame my choices to fit the new narrative. No waiting for anything external to change. Supporting goals: Get enough sleep Sit zen every day Both of these things help me notice what my brain is doing and give me the resources to do editing. All the other recommended activities like eating healthy and exercising are optional. I would love to be able to keep a regular schedule of doing them, but that might not be feasible. I will make the choices that look best on the moment and do what I can to set things up so tomorrow is better.
  24. "I am become terror, the unseen predator, a rupture that obliterates without warning. Alone, the hordes of Enoch will fall before me. but together this entire planet will fear us. The Anomaly alters us each in our own ways but we are drawn down the same road into the dark heart of creation. We will find the Source - whatever it holds, whatever it takes." Here are my Mantras for Survival... [Cover is for Cowards]: You're a biological sledgehammer; act like one and chuck yourself into the fray! Go pound sand, dirt, or pavement like an Outrider through daily mileage, whether walking, running, or rucking. [Powers On Tap]: Feel that tingling in your fingertips? Your powers are ready to be unleashed. Don't keep them waiting! Master my Anomaly Power through five workouts, be they Muai Thai or Kettlebell/Dumbell, bodyweight or other. [Kill to Heal]: There's no use sitting back and licking your wounds; want your health back? Go out there and take it. Violence breeds vitality (and the meek never actually inherit the Earth), thus keep to Rurik's Guidelines to Vitality: daily tracking, eat more veg, join the Weight Loss PvP. And finally, a guiding philosophy to add - you have to [Think Aggressively]: Complete some form of daily stretching like yoga. "You waste your gifts, trying to win that meaningless, endless war. You're not like them anymore." "So what, I should play at being a god, like you?" "I... am not playing."
  25. Late to the party again but better late than never I guess. This time around, I started thinking how does Batman train. He's either out saving the city or rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. When does he have time to train? I am guessing, for him to keep beating bad guys he has to train whenever he can. If that's the case, I am going to train like my favorite Batman, Christian Bail. He was in good shape and not willing to ever give up until the job is done. 1. Train Karate five days a week My formal Karate classes are really taking me to the next level but with only two formal classes a week, I need to ramp it up to keep working on all the new things I am learning. Five days will be a little tough but what would Batman do? 2. Micro workout 3 times a day, six days a week. I am making so many gains from these short workouts spread throughout the day and I want to get a little more structure. For the last couple months, I was doing two or three a day along with my regular hour long workouts each day but I need get them in six times per week since I seldom did them on the weekends. 3. Mediate 45 minutes per week. I have fallen behind on my meditation but it really does help so I need to step it up this time around. Extra Credit: Read the book I am trying to finish at least 30 minutes a week. I am having a hard time getting in time to read my book. Even though I read a great deal each day for work, my personal reading has fallen off and this time around, I need to get back into the reading grove.
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