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  1. I always think "I want to do a cool themed challenge, but I just don't have a good idea for a theme." I overlooked the obvious, Ninjas! I've realized (with some help) I need a good goal to work towards, something to help drive me. I can't take a martial arts class for the time being, BUT being a ninja is not just about the martial aspect! I'm going to do a challenge that will help me be a better ninja. (No, I'm not quitting my day job anytime soon.) Ninja Climbing Ninjas, on occasion , have to get into places without using doors or gates. Teamwork is awesome, but I don't usually travel with a squad. Plus, climbing is fun. I'd love to have a gym closer than 2.5 hours. I'm at the beginning, so any strength I gain or weight I lose is gonna be beneficial. But it's more motivating if I remember I'm doing it to be a better climber, instead of just to not be fat. I especially need to work on my upper body and back because they're weaker, but my core and bottom aren't far behind. Rather than have a specific movement goal I just need to work. I will strength train twice a week, at home or at the fitness center. It's looking more and more like it'll be at home. Ninja Evenings When I wake up in the morning, I want to feel like this: Not this: (though maybe not as angry as Ralph, js..) Ninja's get gobs of stuff accomplished each day. In order to do that, they have to establish some form of routine to be prepared. I have been focusing solely on my morning routine. Every time I get it established my lack of sleep screws it up. I need to establish a good evening routine that will help me ease into bedtime as well as help me be adequately prepared for the next day. I'm hoping that an evening routine will not only help me be more prepared but also help get Turtle (my puppy) into a routine that lets me sleep through the night. Because these 4 am potty breaks are getting old. Especially since when we go outside, he gets distracted by deer, doesn't pee, and then goes back in the house, only to remember, once I'm under the covers, that he still has to pee, and we have to do it all again. << not my amused face Contrary to popular belief, Ninjas need sleep. Even the 4 legged ones. I'm not sure what all I need to do in my routine. I know I need to do the basics, lay out tomorrow's clothes, lay out tomorrow's food, fill up my water bottles for the next day, and brush my teeth. I think I'm going to take the dog out whether he has to go or not. Maybe even a short walk? We walk when I get home from work. I don't want to have to crate him at night, but that may end up being the best way to build that habit for him. I want to try walking at night, first. The problem is, a walk, especially when it's this cold gets both of us out of sleepy mode, and to be honest, he's better at going to bed early than I am, and he tries to get me to go. Maybe I need to look at what time he decides we should go to bed. That might be the bedtime I need. lol So for the next few days, I'm going to track what I do in the evenings. Oh, except tomorrow I leave to go to my bf's. So tonight I'll track it, and I'm going to look up other people's routines. I think Tim Ferriss(sp?) has some interviews with people about morning and evening routines. If nothing else, I can start with the basics and see what happens. I will set an alarm for 9:45. I will lay out my food and clothes for the next day. I'll walk Turtle for about 10 minutes. Ninja Balance It's pretty common knowledge that ninjas need good balance. My balance isn't terrible, but it's not prodigious. I'm sure it's gotten worse in the last year or so since I have rarely even stood on one foot, let alone held a kick or even stood in tree pose for more than a couple seconds. I love the warrior poses and would be thrilled if I could do flying warrior: I think it's feasible for me. Maybe. But I need to start with a more attainable goal. I need to work on my Warrior 3: Warrior 3: I can do it but not well, steadily or for very long. So for this challenge, I'm going to work on improving it. I plan to use the warrior warm-up flow from here: http://www.athleta.net/2010/03/29/the-5-warrior-warm-up/ I used to lead part of our TKD group in this before we started class. It will be a good way to focus on the details of each pose really well. Warrior work at least twice a week. Tree pose at least once a day, 6 days a week. Ninja Lair I have 3 beds. I live alone, and I very rarely have more than one visitor at a time. I also have 2 air mattresses just in case I was to get more visitors. I am going to get rid of the bed in my extra room and turn it into my workout escape room. No puppies or children allowed. Okay, maybe the girls. Especially if I get rings or a yoga trapeze. Getting rid of the bed is step one. That will happen before the end of the challenge. Shouldn't be too hard, I'm giving it away. In Summary: 1. Strength training 2x/week 2. Begin a basic evening routine every night at 9:45 3. Practice the warrior flow 2x/week. 4. Get the extra bed out of the way.
  2. It turns out I'm quite awful at keeping up with forums consistently. But I'm back until further notice, with a mission and a vengeance. EDIT 1/5/2014: Still bad at keeping up with forums. But, I'm back again. Original early 2013 post in the spoiler, but for current 2014 nonsense, start here.
  3. Hello NF! It’s been far too long! My fault, but I’m going to make a sincere effort not to fail this time. Here’s the background short version -- I’m 29 years old. I had a stroke at 28 and it SUCKED. I got physical therapy and made dietary changes that helped me bounce back and recover from that completely. (YAY for no long term damage!) I’ve got two kids, 10 and 3, who are my pride and joy. I’ve got a wonderful wife who loves and supports me. This site changed my life in November of 2012. I lost quite a bit of weight, learned about this amazing thing called parkour and committed to a healthy lifestyle. I felt great about my first challenge and had good momentum. Started at 206 and got down to 179 lbs via Paleo and exercise. Had an amazing opportunity to train in Shaolin Kungfu in my second challenge and loved it, but had to quit due to a close friend and his wife passing away unexpectedly, leaving a daughter behind with no job and a house payment and bills that needed to be paid with no one to help. Enter my family…and a LOT of personal sacrifice, including KungFu. I tried coming back for a third challenge in April and never really got started. Again life stepped in and I made other things priorities. (We’re never too busy, we just prioritize something over getting fit or eating right.) FAIL-sauce on my part. So yeah…that’s me and a quick synopsis of my journey on here thus far. Now you’re probably saying to yourself, “Well what makes this time different?†That’s a very valid question, so I’m going to give you a very valid answer. “Greed.†Yeah, I know, I know…greed is bad right? Well, not all the time. I’m greedy for a longer life. I’m greedy for more time with my family. I’m greedy to feel better and have more energy. So yeah, I’m greedy…I want more! And yeah, I’m greedy in the traditional sense too…there is money involved… a contest at work. So yeah, no false pre-tenses, no bs, let’s do this. The contest is whoever loses the most body fat % by December 20th, 2013 wins $1100.00. So yeah…that’s a LOT of money. That’s plenty of money to add a nice new toy (or several) to my new man cave. (I recently finished my basement.) I’m at 26.5% at 196lbs, so I’ll need a pretty significant drop to win this thing. Either way, I’m getting healthier, which feeds into the other greed I listed above. Win-Win even if I lose and don’t have the most BF% lost. So, here we go… Drink Water and ONLY water!!! – Short and sweet. No soda and no beer. Eat clean! Paleo only! – Clean eating to power strong exercise! Exercise! - Starting Convict conditioning, running with Zombie 5k, and doing Parkour! Life Goal: Get promoted or get a new job! – Things are in flux at work. Lots of position shifts…but none of the people that need to go are being moved….i.e. it’s getting rather toxic.I’m up for a promotion for a job that I am over qualified for and have been doing the work of since I got into my current position. If I don’t get it, I’m looking for a new position where I’m getting paid what I’m worth and valued.Toxic workplace = bad news bears. So, that’s it. Hope you’ll join me on my journey. There will be lots of fun along the way. Attached are two pictures, one of my lunch today and one of me (note: I’m not the green leafy one) Oh yes, and one more thing... I'm Batman!
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