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  1. I'm still recovering from getting sick last week, and while I feel better each day, I don't have much bandwidth for a fancy challenge post, so here goes: Cook as much as possible Eat as Intuitively as possible Do KB workouts when possible Walk when possible
  2. In the last challenge I chose to hover my progress on my KB workouts rather than have a stall forced upon me. It worked, and I started progressing again, but then consistency suffered. In the last two weeks of the challenge I only got one workout per week. While I'm not beating myself up for that, I am seeking consistent workouts. I have goals: 2-3 KB workouts per week. I do the NF Beginner Kettle Bell workout. I'm currently using a fifteen pound bell, and very slowly adding reps rather than racing to the top. I found two challenges ago this helps with consistency. 5 words. Something else I want consistency in is writing. I have a google doc set up, and the goal is to write at least five words a day in it. It's something specific, and I'll reveal what it is at a later date. Cook, and continue with intuitive eating. A word of warning, don't come here hungry. I tend to be...descriptive about the things I cook. Those are good, solid goals.
  3. This challenge is all about cultivating the quiet strength of balance, and I can’t think of a better time to set that intention than at the new moon just before the Autumn Equinox. I’m focusing on the core elements that sustain me and bring me peace, security, and the quiet strength to be who I am in the world. Heal as I can, when I can. Eating Wellness Wednesdays Sometimes the gym Do not give in to despair. Writing (Dissertation is 12, 343 words as the challenge opens) Classwork Connections Allow no one to choose combat for me Sleep, regularly but also often Schedule as little as possible by the clock and calendar. Meditation, including small bits of sitting throughout the day.
  4. Many children of the 80s revere "The Lady" as the finest helicopter in existence. I am among them. Fixed wing aircraft must maintain a minimum forward velocity in order for the air to move over the wings fast enough to create sufficient lift to keep them in the air. Should an aircraft slow the to the minimum speed safety devices should warn the pilot they are at "stall speed." If the aircraft dips below stall speed, the wings will no longer generate sufficient lift and the aircraft will fall from the sky. Rotary wing aircraft, however, generate lift by moving their blades in a circular motion at very high RPM. If the tail rotor provides sufficient force to counteract the rotation of the main rotor, the helicopter can hover, appearing motionless in mid-air. Maintaining a hover is considerably difficult, as constant adjustments must be made to allow for the natural air currents around the aircraft. In fitness, when progress stops unintentionally an athlete is said to have stalled. However, when someone stops their progress intentionally, they can call it a "hover" and make it the theme of their challenge. I've been slowly progressing with KettleBells after a complete respawn. I'm writing all this out a week before zeroweek starts, and assuming I'll be at six reps for all exercises on the NF beginner KettleBell workout. My plan is to stay at six reps for at least four weeks beginning with zero week before adding anymore reps. I'm doing this to let my body adapt so I can improve safely and steadily, and also to work on form on the reverse lunges. Those who have followed me in the past know the only thing I hate more than burpees are lunges, and the only thing I hate more than lunges are burpees. I still don't get down to full depth on the reverse lunges, my knees freak out and I stop about halfway down. I'm going to work on getting lower in the lunge. I'll shoot for two to three KB workouts a week. Stretching or going for walks on off days are a bonus. I'll also keep cooking. Those of you who don't know me, be warned. Don't come read this thread if you are hungry.
  5. I spent the last part of last challenge with breathing issues due to Saharan Dust. I didn't get any fitnessing in due to that, but wasn't very consistent for some time before. Since having a child I've let fitness take a back seat. This isn't helpful. I'm going to rebuild, and completely let go of old expectations that held me back. Part of me thinks I should still be as flexible and strong as I was back when I was powerlifting and doing tons of Yoga. I'm not powerlifting anymore, and while I may pick it up again (ha) in the future, it's not on the radar and I'm ok with that. What I do want to stick with is Kettlebells, some flexibility work, and walking. Part of letting go means focusing on consistency of workouts rather than progression or results. To that end I'm going back to the smaller (15 pounds) of the two bells I have (the other is 20) to signify it's better to consistently do "beginner" workouts than to sporadically do more advanced ones. I'm still on the NF Beginner KB workout. I don't care if I move past it or not. What is a priority is consistent workouts. Ideally, a week consists of two or three Kettle Bell workouts, one or two stretching sessions, and one or two walks. That's not hard. That's ok. I don't need hard, I need consistency. I'll also cook and eat intuitively. For those not familiar, it is inadvisable to read my updates if you are hungry. Less this: More this:
  6. We're going old-school this challenge. I am back on my game with 3+1 format, outlines, and checklists. In so many ways, I feel like I'm back where I started in 2012, and I'm taking my cues from the Universe about where my energy and focus needs to be: gym, healing, and my studies, just like my original challenges. Yep, everything else is still here and waiting: finances, legal stuff with my daughter, daily housework and life management. Here's the thing though: I don't care. I mean, I care enough and it will be dealt with as it arises, but it is not my focus, not anymore. I almost named this the IDGAF challenge. Still might. Tracking, because I like it, and it helps me stay present, centered in here and now, and also because I spend too much time on Twitter. Tracking my challenge is a much better way to engage with myself and my community. See something that you're doing too? If you want a daily accountability buddy, give me a shout. Nothing sophisticated and no shame, just simple "did you eat yet" or swimming emoji and reinforcement. Meages and I did this for sleep a million years ago, and it was fantastically helpful. Also, random #reasonsnottoquit, because I need them. Possible drop of random #HeidiKoan, because I need to remember them. Mind Maybe classes, maybe not. Figure that out. Read 1 book from the dissertation shelf each week .(Edited 8/3. There is no need for this structure or this focus. There are many things waiting, including the dissertation shelf. If I get to them, great. If other things are tugging at my sleeve, I'll deal with those.) Writing. I've fallen out of the daily writing habit and I need it back. Bonus: there's a fantastic bakery 3/4 mile away that I can walk to and then take over a table while I write. Body Eat Make something and eat it every day. Saturday vegetable pickup Weekly instacart for gap items and meatballs Wellness Wednesdays: Milk Acupuncture or Massage Everything after this is bonus, because I keep forgetting how deeply exhausted I am. The gym, daily. Anything below counts for bodywork. One star for going, because I'm not really motivated by stars, I'm motivated by results. Restore: sauna and hot tub and steam room. Daily weigh in Build: swim, weights, core exercises Walking. When I walk, I discover things. I don't know why, but it's true anyway. Back to that, preferably daily. For consideration: Flexibility: there's a free yoga class downtown twice a week, Monday evening and Friday morning. Friday was always my favorite. It would be neat to go again. Bonus: it's .75 mile away from the Loft, so walking is a real Possibility. Soul *Meditation. Five minutes? Fifty minutes? All good. Focusing more on #reasonsnottoquit and #HeidiKoans than on a formal practice. At some point I want to (re)consider (re)joining a T'ai Chi/ Qi Gong / Aikido class. This is not that challenge. *Sleep. I go back and forth on putting this at Body instead of Soul, but there's something going on with my Spirit that requires a lot of rest.
  7. Praxis is about doing, not about an event per se, but about the doing of being. This challenge is a relatively blank canvas for me, an open landscape that I developed and nurtured last challenge. There will be a lot of looking back from many years past to see what truly supported me in being, and then working with doing that. Thanks for being along with me on the journey, Friend. ❣️
  8. I turn 40 on the Thursday of zero week. Accurate or not, that seems to me to be the beginning of middle age. Middle age gets a bad rap in the US, there is the mid-life crisis in popular media, for example. I have decided not to fear the onset of middle age, but to accept it. I have also decided I'm not worried about whether I have a "dad-bod," a big gut, or to focus on my waistline at all. I accept my body as it is. I really don't have too much trouble accepting my appearance, aside from how large my stomach looks when I see it at any other angle than straight on. Having said that, there are some functional aspects of it being as big as it is I don't care for. One is that when I bend over, the excess fat presses on my diaphragm and makes breathing more difficult. I'd like to tie my shoes without holding my breath. The other is clothes. I have a long torso which makes finding clothes difficult. I'm about 6 feet tall, but only have a 30 inch inseam. I have to buy tall shirts so that my shirt tails don't keep slipping out of the front of my pants. Also, the waistline of my pants wants to slip down off my mid-line down under the gut. The problem here is that my torso is so long this often exposes the bottom part of my belly if my shirt isn't tucked in, or even causes the shirt to come un-tucked if it is. Those two problems are my main motivation for having a smaller stomach. One thing I do like about aging is the experience and wisdom I gather along the way. It's fun being able to help people with things I know simply because I've been around longer than them. As I type this out, I realize that "Distinguished" is more about attitude, and how I carry myself, than it is my body size. Aging realisticaly means my body-care is more is more and more important as time goes on. I can feel the wind changing to indicate I'm coming out of my COVID slump. At the end of last challenge I began to feel confidence come back, and determination to stick with movement and nutrition. I'll continue embracing intuitive eating, while cooking as much as possible and relying on restaurant food as little as possible. I'll stick with the NF Beginner KB workout, aiming for 2-3 sessions a week. I'll continue with Bare Minimum™ stretching (30 seconds forward fold and 30 seconds frog-pose) 2-3 times a week, preferably with more stretches than the two required ones. I'll try to get some walks in. Here are some gifs because gifs. In honor of the theme, but only tangentially related to it, all gifs below are from the google image search "Middle Ages Gifs" The search algorithm really seems to like Hieronymus Bosch:
  9. I've not been happy with my weight or my activity level lately. This is not about body image, I can see many positive things about my appearance. This is about function. I have enough extra weight around my waist that it pushes on my diaphragm when I bend over and makes it hard to breathe. I don't like that. I have enough extra weight that makes it harder and more tiring to move. I don't like that. I'm not moving as much as i used to, and it negatively affects mood and energy levels, I don't like that. What I do have is this amazing community, and the knowledge that the only way to lose is to give up. I like that. This article about not giving up is very helpful. Therefore, I'm not giving up. I'd rather do 10% of something than 100% of nothing. Goals: Yoga, Walking, KettleBells, Cooking. Do them. Preferably regularly. Here are some gifs:
  10. Greetings In this challenge I will be keeping it pretty simple Running/exercising: follow the training program I worked out in April up to the date of my 10k race, then come up with a new one. Eating: sensible eating at the start of May. Its my birthday soonish and I'll just eat whatever then and afterwards I'll go full paleo, no exception, no excuses, just lose some weight, fatso. Meditation: not really. I have a couple of weeks left on my subscription to the app. I'll be listening to the remaining courses but not planning to make meditation a big part of my life, just probably trying to explore the implications a bit more in my day-to-day. Or something. Dancing: starting out fairly easy: I'll practice some dance for 5 minutes a day - probably the running man just to get used to the leg coordination (I think that's what is going on in this picture 👆 right.... Right?) After the race I will go much harder, aiming to get passably OK at one thing (I am thinking the piu-piu dance) Not kelladactyl level good or anything but not actually shamefully shit. I'll settle for that. I feel good about this goal. I don't know how it'll end up but it'll be fun to try and I am going to throw myself into it. Ad Victoriam!
  11. This challenge begins during a time of converging paths, each with their own pressures: PhD classes, interpersonal conflict, editing work, physical challenges, emotional balance, spiritual wholeness. At times it feels like I am navigating under a starless sky, and all I can do is trust the sails and be grateful that the water lifts the boat. I hadn't meant to make an Earthsea challenge, and it's been forever since I read the books, but here we are. Writing often reveals the Way; as Ged found, words have power to restore balance to what has been upset. The way will open.
  12. I was wondering what to title my challenge and I decided I'm doing the same challenge I've done for quite a while, so I'll just slap a theme over the inital post. I doubt I'll stick with it much past zero week, but here we are. For those unfamiliar, Pucca is a Series from South Korea. Seasons 1-2 are available on Tubi, a free streaming service (with ads, but they are tolerable) and season 3 is on netflix. Season 1-2 Intro: Season 3 End Credits: There are apparently not a lot of Gifs easy to find. Goals: Eating and Cooking: Pucca lives with her Uncles in a Noodle House called Goh-Rong. The uncles use good ingredients and cook with passion for their craft and love for the food and their customers. I often talk about cooking on here, and I do hearby warn thee not to read my thread while Hungry. I also have been working on learning Intuitive Eating for a couple years now. I'll try to cook 5-7 times a week to feed myself and my family. Kettle Bells: Pucca is essentially a One Punch Man type character in that there may not be an upper limit to her strength. Indeed, by the end of season 3 villains are terrified of her. I can get stronger by maintaining consistency with Kettle Bells. Done properly, they let you get in strength and cardio at the same time. Yoga: Many Pucca Charcters are more Martial Artist than Yogi, but Yoga is a goal. I'll do the Yoga program on the NF Journey App. That's it, I'm not gonna overcomplicate things with more goals.
  13. Last challenge I realized I have compassion fatigue and early stage burnout. This is not surprising given my profession (Hospital Chaplain) and the state of the world (pandemic), and the fact that our team of chaplains at my facility was at 50% strength for some time. I have a session during zero week with a counselor to begin addressing the burnout and compassion fatigue, and one chaplain who was out on leave is coming back, and we are getting another chaplain transferring in to bring us up to full strength. I also have a week off from work during week 4 of the challenge. Those will help. Good news from last challenge is that I got my A1C back down out of the pre-diabetic range. What will help along with the counseling and week off is Not Giving Up (a title I also considered for the challenge) on fitness and nutrition. I will stick with walks, KB workouts, and Stretching. I will continue to cook healthy meals and eat intuitively. Also, as I write this, the leaves have finally finished coming off my red oaks and I can already see the buds of new leaves on the tree. We are in the waiting stage of winter (such as it is for South Texas) and The Vernal Equinox will happen right after the end of the challenge. So as the plants wait for spring to bud forth, I wait for the effects of continuing on with fitness and nutrition to become visible. This is a challenge of patience, of healing, and of hope. Always hope. P.S. I tend to write about what I cook in ways that induce hunger, so don't come here if you are hungry, and even if you aren't hungry, it's not a bad ide to have a snack to hand before checking on my thread. You have been warned.
  14. Snow Falling on Warm Ground When I sit Let the thoughts come. Welcome them even! With an open heart, I can receive them Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. When I am work, Let the chaos come. Welcome it even! With a centered heart, I can embrace it Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. When I am play, Let the obstacles come. Welcome them even! With a calm heart, I can resolve them Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. When I am in the world, Let the difficulties come. Welcome them even! With a full heart, I can release them Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. This is a mindset challenge. My goals are about restoring my heart and spirit after a long and difficult dark night of the soul, one that feels as though it is finally beginning to recede. What I learned on my path through Hell is that I have no enemies; there is no fight. I am an agent of the Spirit. Simplicity: storage unit; monthly housekeeping; local food subscription for 2021. Peace: the path forward to togetherness with Vivian; continued thoughts and efforts with the boys; meditation. Integrity: the dance with the job*; begin doctoral classes Restore: acupuncture; massage therapy; milk and honey and yummy goodness; meditation. Initiative: paralegal for those facing eviction; research proposal for honesty project Teamwork: rely on my advocates, the attorney and TheTherapistsThree; maintain contact with my Jedi Council; the morning call; and the Forum Friendship.
  15. (We're just gonna pretend this came at the end of Terra Prime and not that other episode that came after but did not, in fact, actually happen) I really like Star Trek, and with the new stuff out this year have reignited my love for same. I was wondering what to do for a challenge theme, but this is it. As it has been for a while, I'm really just slapping a Star Trek Patina over the same challenge I did for most of last year. Kettle Bells The NF KB workout has goblet squats, so this works. I'll do the KB workout 2-3 times per week. Yoga Yoga is good. I'll shoot for 2-3 sessions per week. Intuitive Eating Eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. Also, don't read this thread if you are hungry. Trust me. Walking I'll go for walks with the baby when possible.
  16. Not sure what this challenge holds for me, so I'm coming in with an open heart. Stay tuned, because this is the mindset that usually means the doors get blown off. ❤️
  17. I've put my narrative energy into the Mini Challenge this time around, so here is a place for me to report on daily activities: Goals: Cook and eat intuitively. Do KB workouts. Do mobility stuff or Yoga. Those three things are the core of my fitness plan right now. Here are some gifs because my initial post is simple.
  18. Intuitive eating, KBs, mobility work, walks, and meds are all working right now. Meaning, my BP is controlled, my waistline is slowly going down, my energy levels are up and I'm feeling better. Therefore, the theme of this challenge is: I'm gonna keep at it without letting up or overdoing it. I will also keep my fingernails cleaner than above. Intuitive Eating: I finally feel like I am getting better at not only being aware of my body cues of hunger and fullness, but actually taking appropriate action based off of them. I'll cook as often as I can, and eat out as little as possible. KBs: The NF KB workout is doing well for me. The Goal is 2-3 times a week with this workout. Mobility Work: NF Prime is doing a mobility challenge that started week five of the previous challenge and runs through this one. The goal here is to stay up with the challenge. Walks: Once or Twice a week I'll go on a walk of at least 1 mile with the baby. It would be nice to strap the baby on, but stroller is acceptable. Meds: This one is easy, stick with meds (hasn't been a problem, but I mentioned it above so I'm making it a goal).
  19. An analogy I'm rather fond of is comparing progress or healing to chopping down a tree. Each individual swing of the axe seems to have very little individual effect. However, if one keeps swinging, eventually the tree will go down. It will feel like there is no progress; if one judges the effectiveness of an individual swing by whether or not it brings down the tree there is a huge set up for disappointment. When the three does fall, giving the credit to the final swing dishonors every other swing that came before. Each swing of the axe is equally important, for they all contributed to the fall of the tree. With that said, here's how I will be swinging the axe. Workouts: I'll shoot for three KB workouts a week. It doesn't really matter how many reps or how heavy the bell, what matters is I consistently work out. I'll shoot for three stretch sessions a week. At least 30 seconds each of forward fold and squat are what are needed to get credit. That may not seem like much, but consistency even with those two stretches have positive benefits over time. Nutrition: I'll keep cooking as often as I can. I'll eat out as little as possible. Because of my pre-diabetes warning, I'll have as little added sugar as I can. As a warning, I often describe what I have cooked in ways that make people want to eat, so I advise you to come to this thread well fed.
  20. I'm sick of Covid and Covid accessories. The vitriol has become more tiresome than the virus. I also work as a hospital chaplain, so there we are. My wife is a High School Spanish Teacher, and school will "Start" during this challenge, though at minimum the first three weeks will be online. However, life still happens. I've taken my warning signs of pre-diabetes seriously, and plan to continue with that by cooking at home as much as possible, eating out as little as possible (which includes delivery of prepared food), and having as little sugar as possible. I plan to do Kettlebells following Nerd Fitness' Beginner KB workout, and to do yoga. If the budget allows it, I'll get the bike I was given last challenge set up and buy a helmet and start riding some.
  21. How it Should Have Ended is a great series on Youtube. In it, they point out plot holes and places where characters from Nerd Movies act like idiots. Here's an Example: I thought it a fitting theme because I'm at a turning point. Last challenge at the beginning I was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure. At the end I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. I can either make changes to prevent diabetes, or I can do nothing and get sick. As a hospital Chaplain in a town with a diabetes problem, I see the results of un-managed diabetes all the time: patients on dialysis because their kidneys got damaged, patients with neuropathy, patients going blind (I don't encounter that as often), patients loosing toes, feet, even legs to un healed wounds, poor circulation, or both (see that all the time). I always told myself if I ever get pre-diabetes I would deal with it before it got to full diabetes, to avoid the complications of full blown type II diabetes. That way the movie of my life doesn't have a diabetes-problems sub-plot. Goals: Kettlebells: Keep swinging them. The goal is 3 times a week do the NF Beginner Kettlebell workout with a 20# bell in the first round and a 15# bell for the next two rounds. Yoga: Stretch 2-3 times a week. Walks: Take them. Nutrition: I'm going to eat as though I have diabetes. The focus is on unrefined carbs, plenty of veggies, some fruit, and good protein. I'm American, I'm gonna get fat in my diet . To get there I'm gonna make baby steps. The Baby step for this challenge is the nutrition goal I had when I came back to NF in 2015: no more than three restaurant meals (in house, take out or delivery all count) a week. Some bonus goals here: Try overnight oats as a breakfast option. If I do frozen breakfast, do carb-free versions. Realize that sugary treats exist, and I'm not saying I'll never have them, just acknowledge they won't help me treat pre-diabetes with nutrition (the intuitive eating book does say if you eliminate foods because of allergy or whatever sugar is to diabetes it's not the same as restricting it for dieting) find convenient healthy snacks, especially for work (I'm going to stop protein drinks and bars for a while because too much protein can be hard on kidneys) Good things I'm already going I want to stick with and or strengthen Keep using Emeals "Healthy 30 minute meals" plan. They have a diabetes plan but it looks boring. Keep focusing on the intuitive eating ideas of listening to hunger and fullness signals (especially fullness signals) and honor both make decisions about what to eat in the grocery store rather than the pantry Those are some good goals for now.
  22. The Uncertainty is getting to me. I remember the before times, and wish they could go back. I think to the future, and know this will eventually end. Right here, right now, it feels like we are locked in a never ending cycle. There will come a time when I scream defiance at the universe and decide to Ranger the Heck out of my circumstances. Right now, as I write this challenge before the previous one ends, I know what will help is to lean into the angst and acknowledge it. What better way to do that than to post songs from Angst Rock? Angst Rock is the name I made up for Rock that feels angsty to me. It can include Pink Floyd, much of 90s grunge and Alt, and a few other things. It may very well be that I get to determined before the challenge ends. If so great, but I know what I need to post now is Angsty. This is the definition of Angst to me. It's the song I play when I want to remember what it was like to be a teen and think that no one understands me. Goals: Continue with KB workouts. I wasn't as consistent with three workouts a week in the previous challenge as I was in the two before it, but I did enough to move up. Therefore, I will keep doing the NF Beginner KB workout. The first round will be with my 20lb bell, the 2nd and third will be with my 15 lb bell. This is a step up from last challenge, where I was doing all three rounds with the 15lb bell. The goal is 3 times a week. Comfortably Numb is the superior Floyd Song, and arguably more angsty, but this feels more strung out. Goals: Yoga 2 to 3 times a week. Has to include frog pose and forward fold if I make it up, videos do not necessarily have to include frog pose. Whatever your views of country music, you can't deny some of it is Angsty Goals: Walks For goodness sakes, do some. I've not been going on walks for far too long. The goal is to rebuild the habit. How can you angst without a Nirvana Song? Goals: Continue to lean into intuitive eating. Lately I've been in a stage of letting myself have things I've long denied myself. I've been on this IE journey for some time, and have found things to let myself have. Right now I'm leaning into chocolate and cookies. This is fine. It's part of the process. The point of these songs and this acknowledgement of Angst is not to surrender to the Angst. It's not giving up. It's validating the Angst and myself for feeling it. Rather than a surrender, it's a declaration of war. I will not fight the angst head on. I will accept it and myself and find meaning in it. Universe, you cannot bring me down by inducing angst, you can only make me stronger, for I will integrate these feelings and love myself in so doing.
  23. (The song has 10 years in the title and it's my favorite band). Hard to believe it's been ten years gone since the first challenge. I haven't been here the whole time, but I've been here for more than half. I joined NF in August 2012 after simply googling the phrase "Nerd Fitness." I was looking for a way to get fit, hoping to join the Army National Guard as a Chaplain. That didn't happen, and I'm ok with that, but I did find NF and joined the forums. I archive binged Steve's articles up to that point and started commenting on threads in the forums. A new challenge had recently started, and I wanted to get in at the beginning of a new one, so I started a battle log (that now I can't find). It felt like forever till that new challenge came around (This was the days of the 6 week challenges), but I joined the adventurers in the challenge (Links to all my challenges in signature) that started September of that year. At that time the Adventurers were the newbie guild. I did two challenges with the adventurers till my back got sore and I did a challenge with the druids in the beginning of 2013 that I dropped out of because I wasn't being consistent. After that, I left the job I had at the time and dropped off the forums because I had been accessing NF from work. I didn't really get online at home back then. Around 2015 I realized my now ex and I were headed for divorce, so I came back to the forums. I thought I got back on some time in March, but judging by when my temp battle log started, it was actually late June that year. I spent a lot of time welcoming newcomers in the Rebel Introduction Section. My first challenge back, and the first with the Rangers, was in July of 2015. During that challenge I made this post where I talked about getting a divorce. I had a lot of support. I also mentioned buying some Scotch and Cognac in that challenge, I still haven't finished them yet. Sometime in late 2015 I became an ambassador for the Rangers. I also started doing battle speeches in the Ranger General chat threads. 2016 was a building year, and the year I met my now wife. I got to go to Camp NF and meet several people from the forums. Not long after I became a Guild Leader for the Rangers. In 2017 I got married, and some people from NF came to the wedding! In late 2018 I became the Guild Leader Admin/Forum Commmander. In 2019 we bought a house had a baby. Now here we are at the 10th anniversary of the forums. In some ways 2020 is a respawn year for me. With the house and the baby last year my fitness consistency got away from me. I'm heavier than I've ever been as well. However, the first challenge of the year was all about consistency, and I set myself up to win by making the challenge very winnable. All I had to do was start a Kettlebell Session to get full credit. A single forward fold and single dip into frog pose were all I needed for yoga credit. Walking out of the house with the baby strapped on was all I needed for credit for baby rucking. I'm going to build on that success in this challenge. Here are my goals for the current challenge: Strength and Conditioning: I will do the Nerd Fitness Beginner Kettle Bell workout. Whereas last challenge I needed to start to get credit, this challenge I need to complete the first round and start the second round (1 rep is enough) to get credit. If I finish the second round, I'll stop there. I'm using a 15 pound bell, because with Kettlebells, it's not how heavy they are, it's how often you swing them. The goal is 13 KB sessions as described. Flexibility: Yoga time. In the last challenge all I had to do was a forward fold and frog pose for credit. This challenge I have to START (not necessarily finish) a yoga video for credit. NF Yoga Water A is preferred, but not mandatory. The goal is 8 sessions. Distance: Baby Rucking. We have a baby carrier I can use to strap the baby on and go for a walk. Last challenge I just had to get out the door. This challenge I just have to get to the mail center around the corner. The goal is 4 sessions, but if weather is inclement Yoga can be subbed. I don't mind going for a walk in bad weather, but I don't want the baby to get sick (First time parent syndrome). Nutrition: The main focus on nutrition is going to come in a few challenges once I have fitness consistency locked down. For now I have the untracked goal of continuing to cook regularly and minimize restaurant trips while continuing with Intuitive Eating. Let's Ranger this challenge!
  24. Well, what an interesting place the world is in right now. I used my GL powers to post this thread early, though some of you can only see it when the forums went live. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, this is magic. All that to say the world as it is right now may not be the world as it is when the forums go live, so my apologies if anything is out of date. As some of you may know, I work as a hospital chaplain and volunteer as a police chaplain. That means I'm paying both personal and professional attention to the pandemic. It also means that I will still be going to work and won't be as isolated as many during the time while we try to flatten the curve of infection rates. As I prepared to write my challenge, I knew I would address the virus and the measures to combat it. The alliteration I mentioned from the title refers only to the title. Schools are shut down at least through April 3rd, and may be closed longer than that. My wife is a teacher, and is doing a form of working from home. Fortunately she will get her full salary during the shutdown. We are very blessed as we will both keep getting paid during the uncertainty. As a matter of fact, I'm going to call the virus situation The Uncertainty for the rest of this post. I may or may not remember to keep up with that for the rest of the challenge. Before we focus on the challenge at hand, let's look at lessons learned from the previous one. Kettle Bell Workouts went really well. I stayed consistent with them, and they are working for me. I'll keep going with those. I started Invisalign to straighten my teeth. That means I have trays that I change out each week that work to straighten my teeth. Most teeth have knobs glued to them to give the trays something to grab onto and push or pull. I can only eat with the trays out, and floss and brush before putting the trays back in. That inconvenience, coupled with the fact that the trays need to be on 21 hours a day or more to be effective, means I'm limited in when how often I eat. So far it hasn't been too bad, but as I write I only have one week of experience with them in. Yoga is proving to be a challenge, I made some semblance of doing yoga most days, but it wasn't for very long. Moving forward, here are my goals: Do the Nerd Fitness Beginner Kettlebell workout on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It has you do Halos, Squats, Overhead Press, Swings, Rows, and Reverse Lunges. Doing the prescribed reps for each exercise constitutes 1 round. Two challenges ago the goal was to start, but not go past the first round. Last challenge the goal was to start the second round, but not do more than the second round. This challenge the goal is to do the first two rounds and start the third. If I complete the third round that's fine, but the goal is just to start it. The Uncertainty won't affect this much because I own some Kettlebells. Nutrition: This one is nebulous, both because I'm still getting used to the Invisalign trays and because the grocery stores here haven't fully recovered from panic buying. I'm going to try to cook as much as I can and bring food from home to work. Beyond that, I may have to adapt pretty frequently due to The Uncertainty. Our city just ordered that all restaurants go to carry out or delivery only, so hopefully that will curtail our restaurant activity. Yoga: Twice a week I will do Yoga of some kind. This is where I want to put the focus of habit making. Starting it is easy enough. Now I want to focus on getting some quality and quantity. Walking: As long as it's safe, I'll go for a walk with my daughter strapped to my chest (She's six months old, so strapping her on isn't as weird as it would be in a few years) once a week.
  25. Perfectionism has overcome consistency in 2019. To start 2020 well means reversing that. In the last year I moved jobs in a lateral transfer from one hospital to another (I'm a chaplain), and my wife and I bought a house and had a baby (in that order). While it was an amazing year and a good one, it was stressful, and my fitness consistency went away. I never gave up in that time. Even so, I haven't worked out in so long I'm really feeling the effects. I want to try something different this time. Since consistency is more important than individual workouts, I'm focused on building consistency rather than building strength or endurance. I coined a phrase last year, "What matters with Kettlebells is not how big they are, but how often you swing them." This whole challenge is focused on building consistency. To that end, I'm redefining success for the purposess of this challenge. My goals have nothing to do with finishing workouts. Instead, my goals are all about starting them. To that end, one single rep of a KB workout counts as a win. A single forward fold of 1 second or more counts as a Yoga workout. Setting foot out the door with the baby counts as baby rucking. Furthermore, I'm not going to allow myself to complete certain workouts. The Nerd Fitness beginner Kettlebell workouts call for 3 rounds of 6 different exercises. I'm not going to allow myself to do more than one round of the KB workout for at least the first two weeks. If I've been consistent by that point, I may up the number of rounds, or I may not. No yoga sessions longer than 25 minutes. No more than a mile walking. Why am I giving myself full credit for barely doing anything and forbidding myself from doing more? Simply put, I want to punch my perfectionism in the face, shove it on the ground, kick it in the gut and make fun of the cartoons it watched as a child. Perfectionism unchecked will keep me from starting a workout for fear I won't finish it, thereby robbing me of the benefits of what I would have done before I gave up. I can work on strength and endurance one I have habits built. The reason I'm not letting myself do very much is I don't want to burn myself out. Starting slow means staying consistent, and consistency is the best way to win at being healthy. I'm also looking to build a routine. As such, here is what a week looks like in terms of fitness: Monday Morning, KB workout Tuesday Morning, Yoga Wednesday Late Morning, KB workout Thursday at some point, Baby Rucking Friday Late Morning, KB workout Saturday Late Morning, Yoga That might seem like a lot, except I'm keeping each individual workout small and short. I'd rather have the habit of doing something six days a week than one or two days of more intense work. Intensity can come later. Consistency is key. Here are my goals: 12 KB workouts Started (that gives me room for three days not to do them) 8 Yoga sessions started 4 Baby rucks Started Stick with Intuitive Eating. And that's it. At some point workout intensity and nutrition will become focuses, but that's for later. Now is for building consistency.
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