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  1. Hola! Former Lurker, now official noobie rebel here! It's been pretty interesting and exciting to read up on the challenges and the fitness tips here that I finally decided to take the plunge and come out of the shadows! I'm Puerto Rican, but raised a military brat, so I can't say I was raised on the island. I'm used to moving around a bit during my childhood, teenagehood,, and beginning of adulthood, before settling down in beautiful, high altitude, low oxygen, Colorado. I'm pretty short with a quick temper (prone to rages at things I read on tumblr), and while I never been heavy, I'm definitely not thin either, so I (and my husband...and my friends...and ALL my family members) consider me a dwarf. I'm a geek by interests and a geek by profession (programming FTW). I love anime, cinema (especially the superhero genre or animated films), and while I'm not a hardcore gamer, I love RPGs (Dragon Age, MMORPGs like SWTOR), action adventure games (Diablo franchise) and playing god (Sims). I'm also very curious and I like to learn about...random topics; if I hear a term or concept that is interesting, I end up reading as much as I can about it on the net (Like Warhammer 40k. No idea what it was until the hubs mentioned it, spent hours reading about). So that's all cool and all, but I haven't gotten into why I am here. I'm here cause while I've never been large, just average, I never been really fit, or seem strong. I weigh more than I am comfortable, I carry more fat than I'd like, and if I don't watch my diet, I can end up diabetic (though my nuclear family is fit, the older generation are not and it's in the genes). Sure it's not a big deal, I guess, but I want to feel strong physically and mentally. I want to feel like I can protect myself and the people I care about, and I don't really feel like that (Jesus I sound like a shounen protagonist). Towards the end of the summer I decided to work out regularly, doing a variety of HIIT, bodyweight strength training, some yoga for flexibility and to help with back pain (being a programmer does that to ya...), and finding kickboxing workouts to de-stress. Most of these work outs I do at home and have progressed from doing 30 minutes to 45 - 55 minute work outs 5 to 6 days a week. Since I get sluggish after work, I've taken to waking up early on weekdays to make time for my workouts. I've always been drawn to kickboxing and martial arts because of the stress/rage relief it provides, and from watching boxing growing up. I like punching, kicking, etc, and what I would like to do, hopefully this coming year, is find a gym to train (my face is too pretty for sparring , but I love the moves and the increase in coordination). Working out has been easy for me to pick up (it's always easy for me to go back to working out, even though I'm a code monkey), but the biggest change I'm doing, the hardest change, is my diet. I thought I could just eat less, but still what I'm used to eating (chocolate, sugar, processed bread, lattes, cocktails, fried things, the usual). However, that didn't help me LOOK fitter. I thought I could out-fight or out-HIIT the food I ate. Nope. When Nerdfitness finally spelled out what I've been so desperate to ignore, that you CAN'T out-run your food, it sunk in. Not only that, but the kind of calories I put in really did matter. So...*deep breath* I'm cleaning out my diet, cutting the carbs (especially processed ones), no more diet ginger-ale, and the hardest one, my weakness...cutting out as much sweets can I can. Ain't gonna lie, it's tough but has to be done. My goal is to, like I said, feel strong, and eating those kinds of food won't give me power or make me fit. I added a progress bar, aiming less for the numbers on the scale, and more for how much muscle I have over my body fat. I'm pretty damn late for the challenge, but I have plans for the next one coming up and I will be ready. Due to the kind of training that helps me relax the most and is the most fun, I consider myself a monk, though I wouldn't mind getting in some muscle building either . If I be more like Chun Li, or Lucia Rijker: I'll be pretty darn happy. I mean I have the hair at least. Oof that was long. Excited to be here and to work with yas. Peace!
  2. The rooftops flew beneath my feet, each one passing faster than the last, swift leaps closing the distance between each. Today marked my first assignment as an Assassin. The kill was high profile, too. A very big deal. ​ One of the state senators was a very corrupt man, embezzling the very state he was meant to serve into poverty. The people had suffered enough for his greed, and today he would repay them with his blood. I was almost there, almost to my destination. The moment of truth was so close that I could practically smell it. Just one more rooftop... My foot caught on the edge of the roof, and I went tumbling down the side of the twenty story building, thin air the only cushion I had from the pavement below. The pavement, looming closer, closer, closer... "Otaku! Get up, girl. You've got to be the hardest sleeper in the camp..." My eyes snapped open, a sheen of hot sweat making my entire body feel sticky, ill. It was just a nightmare. I wasn't ready to go on missions for the assassin's yet, I was still an initiate. I'd only dreamed of the fall. I took a deep, steadying breath as I threw the wool blanket off of myself and swung my feet over the side of my small cot. Reality was coming back to me along with the stiffness in the muscles of my back and arms. I shook away the fatigue as I rose, making my way out of the cabin I shared with twenty or so other assassins. I didn't bother to dress, as I'd fallen asleep in my clothes the night before, too bone weary to change. Porridge would sit wrong on my stomach after my night terror, so I skipped past the line of familiar, groggy faces waiting for their hard earned morning meal. Instead I made my way 100 paces to the north, where the bare bones of a once great estate stood. The Villa di Auditore, which once loomed over the village of Monteriggioni, was being restored to it's former glory. The Italian branch of Assassin's hoped to utilize it, just as our ancestors had, and I'd traveled to Italy with some of my American comrades to take part in the occasion of rebuilding it. Because no one could know exactly what was going on outside of our forces, the entirety of the villa and adjoining town were being reconstructed by sheer manpower. Once construction was complete, I would be one of the newest assassin's to be staying on, training here. But that was farther off. I pulled on a tool belt and made my way to the structure to help some of the other early birds set up support beams. 'This is what will hold up the Villa later on, in all it's splendour and glory. Simple beams and a strong foundation.' Much the same was true for me. I knew what the assassin's were, and I was a part of them. My feet were officially wet, but it was the strong foundation I needed to build now that would take me into the future... Woohoo, challenge 2!!! I'm glad I signed on today and saw it -__-; So, can you tell I've been playing Mirror's Edge and Assassin's Creed 2? =D I can't help myself. Okay, now to update these things and add more details to them. GOAL 1: Make good on that gym membership I've just dished all that money on. I'm thinking three times a week isn't too much to ask for, and if I can't make it, reciprocate with BW training at home. While I'm there my main focus is going to be to work up a nice sweat and gradually inch my way over to the free weights. Yes, I'm intimidated by the free weights. I know, bad Otaku. =D Haha. I go to a commercial gym (Planet Fitness has a damn good membership deal and I'm cheap XD), so after reading Steve's article, How To Work Out Properly In a Commercial Gym, I just had to laugh at how spot on he was. Rows of treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals (sp?), and stair climbers in front of tons of weight machines in front of a HUGE wall mirror. And the free weight section? I'm going to assume it's that little square platform up those stairs in the corner? Yikes. But hey, at least most of the machos are checking themselves out in the mirror downstairs. STR:2 DEX:2 STA:1 GOAL 2: Burpees! Yes, I've gone insane. I'm going to do the Burpee progressions throughout the duration of the challenge. Personally, I just don't think I could make it through 100 days yet. XD So, for this challenge, the idea will be to start with 1 and continue for six weeks without missing a day. STA:3 GOAL 3: This is going to be a general "eat healthier, and more consciously" kind of goal. Usually, when I look at dieting, my focus is on the things I can't have (which means I look at them more, and then I WANT them more. Hello, chocolate, okay?) This time around I'm just going to say, "Okay is there something healthier I could have instead?" and "Wait, what's the right portion for this?" Also, last challenge, I was trying to cut out coffee, thinking naturally that when I was thirsty, I'd reach for more water instead. Sometimes, this was true. Other times I didn't drink ANYTHING and wound up dehydrated a lot more frequently. This time I'll be consciously taking in more water. The ultimate point will be to reduce my overall body fat percentage, which is currently at 21% (according to a DIY method from online, but hey it's good enough.) I'd like to reduce the percentage by 2% a week, which is how I'll be measuring this goal. I don't really think this is too much, but it's a start at least. CON:2 CHA:2 GOAL 4: Driving. I hate driving. It's quite possibly the least pleasant thing I've ever experienced. However, I'm almost twenty, dying to be independent, and... my permit expires is three months, which will leave me with no legal form of ID, so a driver's license would be kind of handy. Specifically, I want to drive at least once a week, even if it's just around my neighborhood (which is quite extensive.) If I pull this off, I will drive more in the next six weeks than I have in the last year. WIS:3 So this time around I'm also going to utilize LexPhoenix's consistency list. so its like: Goal 1: X/X Goal 2: X/X etc. Hopefully this will help me to keep on track a bit more this time around. (Edited for details in the goals.)
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