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Sisu, Sweat & Systems [ShadowLion]
ShadowLion posted a topic in RangersAAAARGGGHH! I missed the cn3wton's Return of NERDHAMMER!!!!!!!! I knew I'd been away too long, but oh that hurts... Soooo, I thought I'd be back in mid-April. Best laid plans of mice and shadowlions... A lot has changed. In mid-May, I left both businesses I was involved in, for several reasons, but foremost among them was the fact that the stress was doing bad things to my health. It was a really hard thing to walk away. However, I couldn't keep going the way I was going. I've spent the last month looking for a "real job" and start at one I am really excited about this coming Monday. I'll be working the full stack of a web-based healthcare product, on everything from what a user interacts with in the browser on the front end, to the database and cloud server on the back end, plus doing associated data visualization and reporting. It's something that I wouldn't have been able to do a year ago, not at that level, anyway. It will be a great opportunity to use and expand my existing skill set and I'm really looking forward to working on the team they have in place! That is the frame around this challenge. I'll be adapting to a regular, M-F, 8-5, commuter schedule and to working in a mid-sized corporation at the same time I am coming back to Nerd Fitness. I plan to ease back in with some modest goals and, well, NerdHammer!!!! Four goals: (I'll be filling in the remaining details later tonight, 7/5) Walking - lots of it. I will know more next week on whether I will have a treadmill desk or not! It's one of the listed options/benefits, but I don't know if that will happen immediately or not and I will need to ramp up my efforts as I see how I respond to it. Goal is to go from at least 10 miles of walking in Week One to 15 miles of walking by Week Four. BW strength training - ease back in... Goal from Week One break in week of two light, easy workouts of one set of 2 - 4 exercises each, to Week Four, three workouts of one plus set of 4 to 6 exercises each. Food - Eat healthy lunches all through the work week. Plan to pack lunches at least 4, preferably five, times per week. Not sure what team culture will be at new job, though. Hoping I can eat in all the time, but may need to adapt that. Will count a carefully chosen, health-conscious meal out as a win. Keep food log to verify. Classes - I have a Python programming course and a nature illustration course that I am taking online. Python deadline is July 21. I have until August 9 on the art class. Going to aim for Aug. 5 to coincide with challenge.
ShadowLion Goes Wild!
ShadowLion posted a topic in RangersLast challenge I discovered my inner Amazon... This challenge, I go really wild! ShadowLion Wild. As in Wildland firefighting, getting out into wild places, And letting my inner wild woman out to play... Experimenting with new foods, Trying out some assassin guild type exercises, Playing around with gamifying my challenge and Various aspects of my daily life In order to break out of some ruts and Take my productivity to the next level. Fun. Play. Experimentation. 40 Weeks to Fire Fit continues, and that quest remains my prime focus. But this time, the standard firefighting fare will be supplemented with more fun, more chance, more variety. It's time to mix things up. I am past the halfway point, but still in the long middle of my 40 week quest. Fatigue was beginning to set in. I overextended last challenge, and while it was a success, it was also a tremendous struggle to keep on track. This challenge, I have a enlisted a personal trainer, I've stuck my neck out and gotten back in contact with my old department, and I've been letting friends and family know my plans. I'm all in and there is no going back. I will succeed or I will fail. Publicly, undeniably, and in the not too distant future. I have 18 weeks to my goal date, and another 6 weeks or so beyond which there will be no possibility of retesting for the season if I fail to hit my first target. I've been going through a process of questioning and weighing my abilities, strengths and weaknesses, potential, will, and motivation. Asking myself: Who are you when you face the fire? When the task wears on you and weighs you down? Can you hold both the sublime... And the ridiculous... The joyous and the tragic... in your heart at the same time? Do you know in your heart of hearts who you want to be? Your strengths and your weaknesses? Your one superpower? And where you stand in the line of history? Who went before you? (Women firefighters in a training exercise, Pearl Harbor, WWII) Who stands with you now? And who will come after? What I've learned has brought me back around to the same place I started, but with a different perspective. So, maybe it's really a spiral. I am certain that I am on my path, whatever the outcome. And the way I have been following that path has been reasonably effective. However, I now realize that I have been caught in number of paradoxes. I have been being very conventional and methodical, when my nature is intuitive. As an independent sort, I have been doing practically everything myself, even though the nature of what I want to do depends on teamwork and cooperation. And, I am very motivated by social good and interaction, even as I need quite a bit of quiet solitude to be happy. I've been trying to domesticate a Shadow Lion! It's high time to shake things up, get back to my roots, and be my quirky, nerdy, eccentric self! And while I may need to moderate my more absurd character traits and excesses somewhat to get along well in society, I've gone a little too far, gotten a bit too conventional. So, while the firefighting theme will continue throughout, and there are many ghosts of quests of challenges past that will visit here, this challenge is going to be quite a bit different from the ones that have gone before. Shadow Lions dwell in the world of the fantasy novel that I continue to write. And write. They are much like mountain lions or jaguars in that they are more solitary than African lions, and they are almost universally black or very dark brown. For good reason, as their favored prey animal dwells in and around caves. They are a sentient species, with a number of unusual abilities. To learn more, you'll have to read the book. Someday. So this ShadowLion's intentions for her challenge center on being a healthy animal--taking care of those simple, bare necessities like getting plenty of the right kinds of foods, being physically active, and providing for enough sleep. Those are the biological imperatives laid down by Mother Nature. Beyond that, every shadow lion must be true to her own nature. By turns curious, fierce, playful, and philosophical, a shadow lion seeks wild places. Solitude, scenery, and sunny spots in which to snooze are seriously significant. A shadow lion does best when she is coaxed, not forced, to be structured, when she has freedom to roam and play, and when she has options as opposed to an overwhelming number of choices. A shadow lion can be incredibly focused once her prey is selected, but her natural curiosity can lead to getting sidetracked. Many interesting and enjoyable sidetracks...butterfly...that rustle in the bushes...oh, and... Ahem. And, shadow lions have an abiding interest in protecting their homes from threats. (You knew I'd find some way to get back around to it...) This ShadowLion has a very particular interest... So yes, the 40 Weeks to Fire Fit Quest continues, but is themed a bit differently. It will be structured much more around the things that a ShadowLion needs to be a happy and healthy animal. It will emphasize fun and wildness and freedom and chance. ShadowLion Goes Wild FITNESS QUEST I have enlisted the help of a personal trainer. Currently, I am scheduled for 5 strength workouts and 5 cardio workouts per week. My cool downs will be 10 minutes of stretching/yoga, warmups will be 10+ minutes of tai chi/chi gong, belly dance moves, exercise biking, brisk walking, and/or jump roping. I have two rest days per week and they are to be "active" rest. I will base my numbers off these plans and adjust if needed, based on my trainer's instructions. I had intended to go for 5 mins daily handstand prep practice this challenge, but am thinking it would be best to wait on that for now. ShadowLion is Strong, Yet Supple __/40 (+4 DEX) Spinal columns that can twist and bend, limbs that can absorb the shock of pouncing upon an unsuspecting deer from an overhanging tree limb - shadow lions blend strength with suppleness, speed, and agility. (ShadowLion has assassin tendencies, despite being a ranger.) Belly dance, yoga, and various stretchy, bendy and assassiny exercises go here. The number accounts for four days early start on the challenge + 42 days - 6 for the Tai Chi sessions in the following sub-goal. Yoga, anyone? ShadowLion is Dangerous __/6 (+1 DEX) Sharp claws and pointy teeth give shadow lions plenty of weapons at their disposal. My weapon of choice this challenge will be my Tai Chi saber, or broadsword. Once per week as active rest. More for warmups or additional active rest = bonus. But, hey, where is the Fire Fit Strength and Endurance? I am considering those as primarily under my accountability to my trainer and therefore ungraded here. I will track these things on my spreadsheet and on my thread, however. I am trying to put my points on the things I would be most apt to skip or gloss over *cough* warmups *cough* and things that aren't specifically included in my trainer's plans for me. NUTRITION QUEST ShadowLion is Sleek 1 pt for each % body fat reduction, Goal=2-3% (+2 to 3 CON) Only caged shadow lions are fat. In their natural habitat, they are not only supple and dangerous, they are sleek and shiny. They eat what they need and only what they need. They eat a healthy, nutritious and natural diet. Yeah, I know. These aren't shadow lions, or even cats, but they sure are cute! IIFYM ShadowLion Needs Protein (Tracked, but Ungraded - Just an excuse to put in an otter GIF) Last challenge, I learned that I wasn't getting enough protein and my macros were less than optimum. I will be tracking this for my trainer's review and keeping these numbers in my spreadsheet. I am still not sure my actual goal grams. Will post that here when I know it. MOAR Protein! RECOVERY QUEST ShadowLion Needs Plenty of Restful Sleep __/42 (+2 to 3 CON, whatever left after points awarded for the "Sleek" goal) Sleep is critical with the training regimen I am on. I have improved over the last few challenges, but I still need to do more. I am upping my goal to 7+ hours sleep per night and I cannot compensate for more than 1 hour's deficiency on a following night. My method of averaging last challenge gave me too much wiggle room. I will count this goal from the official start of the challenge, as I am still doing some schedule adjustments and rearranging of my sleeping area to be ready for these changes. I am still thinking if I should add some sort of "quality" modifier, as well. MOAR sleep. ShadowLion Needs Wild Places and Solitude to Contemplate the Universe and Dream (Tracked, but Ungraded) This is a "get outside and get some sunshine" goal for mental health and for Vitamin D. As long as I follow my trainer's plans, I will get more than enough. And, as we are now into the nice part of the year where I live, I am taking time to sit out on the porch in the mornings and journal, plan, and contemplate the coming day. If tracking reveals an issue here, it will become a graded goal next challenge. This quest also relates to my old "Get out of Dodge" goal as updated in my "Grab Bag" goal to get out of town and enjoy wilder places than metro-Phoenix. I am also doing as much of my cardio outside as possible, and doing it in parks, nature areas, and urban trails. LIFE QUEST ShadowLion Loves to Play ShadowLion likes otters. They are excellent role models. ShadowLion Needs More Fun in Her Life; ShadowLion Needs to Remove the Obstacles to Having Fun __/25 (+5 CHA) In order to have more fun, ShadowLion must deal with her "toads" - those obstacles that must be removed, responsibilities that need to be addressed, projects that are procrastinated upon. These are those unpleasant, ugly, obnoxious things that drain energy and take up valuable mental and physical real estate. This is the next step forward in dealing with last challenge's "ShadowLion STEAMS GRAPES" goals of taking care of Systems, Time, Energy, Attention, Money, Space. This time the focus is on taking care of as many "dreaded tasks" as I can manage. By doing that, I will earn points to indulge in my "Grab Bag" goals. Those are all the things I would have thrown in this challenge as fun, exciting, "I want to do/try this." I can, if I earn the right and the time for them by dispatching an equal number of points in toads. The better I do with managing my time, the more toads I can take out and the more fun I can have as a result. My method of awarding points is detailed in the reserved posts below.
ShadowLion STEAMS GRAPES
ShadowLion posted a topic in RangersShadowLion STEAMS GRAPES Forty Weeks to Fire Fit (40W2FF) Continues With The "Firefighters Love Acronyms" Challenge SOPs, ICS, PASS, PPE, SA, LCES, SCBA, ABCs, and so many more... Oh, yes, firefighters love acronyms. Acronyms, mnemonics, and a host of other memory aids help critical information stick when things get chaotic. Important, even life-saving, information can be missed or forgotten in the heat of the battle if there isn't some system to track everything. Chaotic is a pretty good description of my life right now. I'm a bit overwhelmed and I have a lot of things I'm juggling. I don't want to miss anything crucial and I need to make improvements in a number of key areas. Thus, Acronyms. They will help keep me focused on my mission critical tasks and let me keep my priorities clear and well-defined. Acronyms are also how I will be writing my personal "SOPs" or "Standard Operating Procedures" for this challenge and beyond. For what are SOPs but a set of well-thought-out and firmly established habits? Precisely what we are all trying to do to succeed in leveling up our lives. I have lots of motivation! I have some big goals and looming deadlines. I am well aware of how soon mid-March will be here, when my 40 Weeks to Fire Fit will be over and I will either have succeeded in my Quest or not. I still have much to accomplish. [insert calendar here, a la forkboy's excellent example.] A major overhaul of my systems is in order. ShadowLion As in previous challenges, I am using the protagonist of my fantasy novel as my personal rangerly role-play inspiration. STEAMS I need better SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) to balance and manage the following: Time - Eliminate inefficiencies and poor distribution of effort; Implement a realistic schedule, review and adjust current deadlines accordingly. This will be accomplished by finishing my time audit, implementing a schedule based on the audit and sticking to it. I will learn to say, "NO," and to use my time and technology more effectively. No more free-flowing musician's hours and artsy fartsy dreaminess. This is "Git R' Done" time. Energy - Diet, Exercise, Rest These are at the core of my Quest. Awareness/Attention - Meditation, journaling, and/or breathing exercises - 15 minutes per day, at least 6 days per week. Money - Long-term I know I need more savings, and to invest in my startup business and myself. Short-term, to be finished by the end of this challenge, I will do the Fix My Finances 31 day program to figure out how to achieve the longer term goals. Space - Clear the clutter. 30 minutes per day, 6 days per week, or equivalent/average. This is Stage One of a longer term strategy of moving towards minimalism, that will be better defined as I work on my SOPs and Epic Quest. GRAPES The methods I will use Goal Tracking - I find spreadsheets (and other tracking aids and methods) very helpful. Spreadsheets were particularly helpful and successful last challenge. It will continue. New tools will be added, MyFitnessPal, in particular is showing good results during my trial run for Zero Week. Real Life Role-Playing - Make my goals stick by gamifying. Accountabilibuddies - Accountability with friendships. It works. PVPs - 20 pound challenge, Heroes v. Villains, No Soda, and YAYOG - These are the central components to my diet and exercise goals for "Energy" above. Epic Quest - Time to review and rework this in light of all that has happened in the last few months. Systems Thinking - Apply my existing knowledge of various systems approaches to management, like ICS (Incident Command System) and Agile sortware development. Learn more about Agile and related methods for additional ideas. The major obstacles to achieving my goals this challenge are also GRAPES Good is the Enemy of the Best - Not going for the top 20%. Trying to do all of the things that are enticing, and not selecting just the best. Realism - Or lack thereof. Too many commitments, too little time really translates to I have just as many hours in a day as anyone else - how do I choose to use them? Attitudes - Resistance, Stubborness, Excuses, Impulsiveness Procrastination - Wasting time because I'm tired or resisting the discomfort of the doing of the thing. Not recognizing that and just dealing with it. Do it, delegate it, or ditch it. Adult up. Expectations - Trying to be perfect, trying to do everything. Sleep Issues and Opposite Schedules - This is a difficult obstacle in my household. My partner and I are on very different work/sleep schedules. This is an external logistical problem as opposed to the others, which are primarily internally generated. It is up to me what kind of grapes I have by the end of this challenge - wonderful wine that will age well, or a batch of sour ones moldering away. One more thing before getting to the kitties and the nitty-gritty of the goals and scoring... I have been missing structural firefighting a lot lately. I'm not quite sure what to do about that, other than to recognize it and roll it into the realm of future possibilities. I have experience and training. I was focusing on wildland training because I felt that was more realistic goal given my age and would be my first choice if I had to pick only one. But if I end up in a small department, as I was before, I will need both (plus EMS) again. I was getting caught up in mental debate over it while looking for pictures for this thread when I found this: She's 68. I've got time. So, in addition to the usual wildland truck porn and forest fire scenarios, you're going to get some structure fire science and apparatus, too. The Lineup: Motivational Mondays Truck Porn Tuesday Women in the Fire Service Wednesday Tactical Thursday Fire Science Friday Safety Saturday and Fire Funnies on Sunday... And, as always, random sightings of wildlife, kitties and other cute critters Oh yeah, the goals. Work Out Like a Firefighter STA-1, STR-1, DEX -1 This challenge overlaps Weeks 16 - 21 of my "Forty Weeks to Fire Fit" program, subsequently referred to as "40W2FF." Most of my activities this time will be part of the PVPs I am participating in, plus any Rangers or accountabilibuddy mini-challenges. My real challenge is to stay within my limits and not let my enthusiasm get me injured. The Durability training, warmups and other preventive measures are designed to avoid injury or overuse, which has been an issue for me the last couple of challenges. Endurance (STA-1) __/18 This six week challenge will be a combination of exercise biking, brisk walking/hiking, swimming, and jump-roping to build my stamina. I can start hiking soon - the weather is starting to cool! The days are still 100 degrees plus, but the nights are getting down into the 80s regularly. Strength (STR-1) __/24 I will be using the bodyweight conditioning program in YAYOG program and PVP this challenge. My ultimate goal by the en of 40W2FF: Durability (DEX-1) __/18 Comprehensive set of warmups, mobility/stability, and â€œprehabâ€ exercises for an older female athlete. Bone-builders (including jumping exercises); spine/shoulder/hip/knee exercises to maintain joint health; dynamic stretching to increase ROM and overall flexibility; specific exercises for identified weak areas including head/neck/spine alignment and bi-lateral muscle balance, ankles, wrists/hand/grip, pelvic floor, and elbows. I MUST warm up before every exercise session.. Eat Like a Firefighter CON-3(+) I will fuel my body with high-quality, nutrient dense foods with an eye to maintaining endurance and muscle, while trimming off excess weight. I will use the food tracking on MyFitnessPal from the YAYOG PVP to good effect here. Also, the No Soda and the 20 Pound PVP will be part of this goal. Body Composition Mission (1 pt awarded for each % bodyfat dropped, if I can drop 4% then I will take a point from somewhere else. This is a problem I would love to have...) This is my most Mission Critical Goal this challenge. I NEED to drop weight to achieve the progress on fitness goals that I need in the next two challenges. Trying to move the excess bodyweight is the primary reason for the elbow injury that has plagued me over the past three challenges. I could have probably had my first pullup by now but for that, and been ready to go on the HotShot Strength Program in Week 29. That will be a close thing now, if I can achieve it at all in the 40 week time frame. My 40 week end goal is a bodyweight of ~150#, +/-5# as long as my body fat % is at 20% or less using the U.S. Navy Body Fat Calculator. This tends to be a little under actual, so a DEXA scan would be even better, acceptable BF% < 24%. Goal for this challenge is to drop my BF% by at least 3 percentage points, to 31% or less. This will be from a combination of fat loss (primarily) and lean mass gain. (The following was calculated using US Navy Body Fat Calculator, it is an estimate. I think the calculator is somewhat overestimating my recent fat loss/lean muscle gain, but that it will all even out by the time I reach my goal weight.) Current Body Composition - 09/14/2014 Total Mass: 185 lbs. Lean Mass: 121 lbs. Fat Mass: 64 lbs. BF% = 34% Waist = 35" Hips = 42" Neck = 16" Height: 5'6 3/4" Short-Term Goal Body Composition - 10/26/2014 Total Mass: 174 lbs. Lean Mass: 122 lbs. Fat Mass: 52 lbs. BF% = 30% Waist = 32" Hips = 40" Neck = 15" Height: 5'6 3/4" When Joined Nerd Fitness - 05/31/2013 Total Mass: 206 lbs. Lean Mass: 107 lbs. Fat Mass: 99 lbs. BF% = 48% Waist = 42" Hips = 46" Neck = 16" Height: 5'5 3/4" LONG TERM GOAL (Estimated) - 03/08/2015 Total Mass: 150 lbs. Lean Mass: 120 lbs. Fat Mass: 30 lbs. BF% = 20% Waist = 27" Hips = 37" Neck = 14" Height: 5'6 3/4" Ungraded extra - Achieve another 42 days of my 365 total on the No Soda PVP. Starting at 154 days, going for 365. Should hit the halfway point during Week Five of this challenge. Rock the Acronyms Like a Firefighter STR-2, STA-1, CON-1, CHA-3, WIS-2 As I said before this is a MAJOR OVERHAUL. I will salvage what I can of existing systems, but there is a lot that will simply be discarded during mop up operations. STEAMS (STR-2, STA-2, CON-1, WIS-1) S is for SOPs (STR-1) By the end of this challenge, create a working draft of a set of personal SOPs, including a set of new morning and evening routines that support the new life I am building. T is for Time (STR-1) By the end of Week One, have a new working daily and weekly schedule in place. At a minimum it will include set business hours and deadlines for various projects, including the Fight the Fire app and my iOS course homework. Also by the end of week One, I will have completed the first ebook that I have checked out on Amazon's unlimited service and implemented the time saving ideas that I choose from it. I will do the same with the remaining five books over the remaining five weeks. This sounds like a lot, but they are shortish productivity books, primarily on ways to use to-do lists. If I can find a good technological tool for time tracking, that will be a plus, as will getting my kanban board back on track, and/or applying other agile or lean tools and methods. E is for Energy (CON-1) This is mostly covered in my Fitness and Body Composition Quests above. The one thing that needs addressed in this section is Rest/Sleep. I must get at least 45.5 hours of sleep per week; this will be graded. Given the ongoing work schedule realities at home, I am not going to grade my curfew, bedtiime and lights out, but I will track them for further data and to see how I can make improvements. A is for Awareness/Attention (WIS-1) At least 15 minutes per day of meditation and/or journaling/sketchnoting/mandala or other drawing/visual journaling method M is for Money (WIS-1) Complete the Thirty-One Days to Fix Your Finances 31 day program to figure out how to achieve the longer term goals. S is for Space (STA-1) At least one half-hour per day (on average) of decluttering and improving my personal space (includes car, computer, drives, devices), and/or scanning papers/books and towards my ultimately paperless office and digitized media library. This beyond my daily 15 minute clutter patrol and regular household tasks. I am losing precious time dealing with clutter and maintaining things I don't need or no longer use. It wastes huge amounts of my time and energy, so it gets its own category. I know better than to carry unneeded gear in my pack or on my truck. I need to treat my living space the same way. Have less, to do less, to be more. Of the above, I anticipate Sleep ("E is for Energy") to be one of the most crucial, as well as one of the most difficult to achieve during this challenge. I want to be: But, if not that, at least: Play Like a Firefighter CHA-3 Firefighters work hard and play hard. Lately, I have been telling a lot of other people that they need to have more fun in their life. I need to take my own good advice... Make working out more fun... Make eating more fun... Make rest and recovering more fun and my daily life more fun... Create more, relax more Thus the very social aspects of GRAPES (PVPs, Accountability Groups, and Role Playing), and the inclusion of my creative and recreational goals under my Epic Quest. GRAPES (DEX-1, CHA-2) These methods are largely ungraded, as most are already integrated into the objectives in STEAMS. However, E is an exception. My Epic Quest is the logical place to append my creative and recreational goals for this challenge. G is for Goals Tracking R is for Real Life RPG A is for Accountabilibuddies P is for PVPs E is for Epic Quest S is for Systems Thinking Continue Creating the "Fight the Fire App" (CHA-1) Ultimate Nerd Cred. Take the iOS programming course...once per week. Create Something (CHA-1) Writing and Arting. At least once per week per each. With Crossguild Artists Creativity AllLevel Art Collection. I've been itching to do some artwork for the games, try my hand at some graphic novel style artwork to go with my writing...I'll be happy to just get some sketching in to clarify my story ideas for myself and my writing group. And that is the other piece of this - Digital Storytellers meetup counts (every other week), plus a little more writing on top of that. With everything I've got going I don't expect to do a lot, just some. I'm thinking somewhere between Wonder Woman comic book art and a grittier more photo-realistic look for my bad ass ranger/warrior woman heroine Which brings us to those other fun physical skills that didn't fit into my Fire Fit Goal... Tai Chi and Other Fun Physical Activities (DEX-1) At least once per week. Tai Chi Saber, belly dance, whatever, as long as it is fun! GRADING: The specific, measurable steps that correspond to the above goals and objectives will be graded with the standard A, B, C, D, or F system using the usual percentages. How do I manage to turn these topic posts into such ginormous brain dumps? I don't know. It is getting a little out of control. Just a couple of thoughts before I close, though. I started this thread on Sept. 11th, anticipating that I would get it done that day. Didn't happen. You always think there is tomorrow... Those dreams that you carry around in your head, they need to happen sooner, rather than later. Make time for what is most important to you. Tell the people you care about how you feel. Every day. Love you guys. I appreciate all your support. You inspire me to keep at it when things get tough. Now let's get out there and destroy those obstacles and be awesome!