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  1. Suddenly the machine was wobbling... In a few hours the shops out there were expecting deliveries, and they weren't going to arrive. The government couldn't sit this one out. A city like Ankh-Morpork was only two meals away from chaos at the best of times. Every day, maybe a hundred cows died for Ankh-Morpork. So did a flock of sheep and a herd of pigs and the gods alone knew how many ducks, chickens and geese. Flour? He'd heard it was eighty tons, and about the same amount of potatoes and maybe twenty tons of herring. He didn't particularly want to know this kind of thing, but once you started having to sort out the everlasting traffic problem these were facts that got handed to you. Every day, forty thousand eggs were laid for the city. Every day, hundreds, thousands of carts and boats and barges converged on the city with fish and honey and oysters and olives and eels and lobsters. And then think of the horses dragging this stuff, and the windmills... and the wool coming in, too, every day, the cloth, the tobacco, the spices, the ore, the timber, the cheese, the coal, the fat, the tallow, the hay, EVERY DAMN DAY. And that was now. Back home, the city was twice as big. Against the dark screen of night, Vimes had a vision of Ankh-Morpork. It wasn't a city, it was a process, a weight on the world that distorted the land for hundreds of miles around. People who'd never see it in their whole life nevertheless spent their life working for it. Thousands and thousands of green acres were part of it, forests were part of it. It drew in and consumed... ...and gave back the dung from its pens and the soot from its chimneys, and steel, and saucepans, and all the tools by which its food was made. And also clothes, and fashions and ideas and interesting vices, songs and knowledge and something which, if looked at in the right light, was called civilization. That's what civilization meant. It meant the city. Was anyone else out there thinking about this? Was anyone important thinking about this? Suddenly the machine was wobbling, but Winder and his cronies didn't think about the machine, they thought about money. Meat and drink came from servants. They happened. Vetinari, Vimes realized, thought about this sort of thing all the time. The Ankh-Morpork back home was twice as big and four times as vulnerable. He wouldn't have let something like this happen. Little wheels must spin so that the machine can turn, he'd say. But now, in the dark, it all spun on Vimes. If the man breaks down, it all breaks down, he thought. The whole machine breaks down. And it goes on breaking down. And it breaks down the people. Terry Pratchett, Night Watch My machine is wobbling, and little wheels must spin so that the machine can turn. Right now, it all spins on me. If I break down, it all breaks down.
  2. Well, here we are! I'm officially in the Assassins now! This is my second challenge and I'm really looking forward to it. Last time, I had a lot of successes, a few failures, and at least one major milestone. I worked on some pretty simple, straightforward goals, kind of building a foundation for later adventures. This time I'm going for something bigger and more exciting. I'm going to do my best to continue my goals from last challenge but my main focus is different. I've wanted to become skilled at parkour ever since I first tried it several years ago, but then my wrist troubles started and I couldn't work on it for ages. Now that my wrists are a bit better and I'm much stronger than I was before I think it's high-time I get back in the game. Overall Goal: In a nutshell, I want to be a ninja IRL. That is easier said than done, especially when you have an ongoing wrist tendinitis/tendinosis situation. I want to take direct steps toward that goal, including building strength, improving flexibility, finding ways of dealing with boredom, and getting bionic wrists. No, seriously, if anyone knows where one can get bionic wrist replacements please let me know. My specific challenge goals are: Goal #1: Practice a parkour technique at least once per strength workout (which I will be doing 3x per week), and work on at least two different techniques per week. Goal #2: Do eccentric exercise for my wrists 4-7 times per week and continue learning about tendon injuries and how to help them heal, hopefully to see some improvement by the end of the challenge. Goal #3: Do light exercise at least once per week on an off day, including either parkour practice or flexibility/mobility exercises for my notoriously tight hamstrings. I will also be working on some more general goals, such as: Getting back into cooking and making more veggie-based meals, especially from interesting recipes from unusual cuisines I don't often get to have. Continuing to learn new exercises for my workouts and find activities to help myself deal with boredom so I won't feel like I have to resort to snacking. Reboot the creative part of my brain which has basically gone into hibernation since my wrists went bad to avoid the awful experience of having a huge inspiration and being unable to pursue it or do anything with it. I'm still fairly limited in the amount of drawing/writing/typing I can do so I'm not sure exactly how I'll do this or how successful I can expect it to be, but I do have a little more freedom than I used to and I would really like to start feeling more like myself again. So, there you have it. The next chapter in my quest to become an action-hero ninja begins here and now!
  3. Hello there, maybe some of you can give me insights on how to gain the ability to control your body and become more flexible? In a sense of pole dancing, yoga, gymnastics, possibly parkour - it all seems so undoable to me and I'd love to have this controlled strength of gymnasts who can slowly lift their legs off the ground to a handstand or jump up from lying flat on their back. I think it might be a fallacy of mine: It all looks like you do not need a huge amount of sheer strength to do it. But maybe you do. Because usually gymnasts do not look that muscular, some even look slightly overweight. I can lift weights, and I get stronger, in a sense of I can lift more weight, but bodyweight exercises, including yoga, are much harder for me. A) because I lack the flexibility and B ) the strength. I simply have no idea, no plan, on how to go about it or if it is possible to improve since it feels so futile. I can't even do a side plank and lift a leg for longer than 5 seconds. Back in school when I was a teenager we had to do this: So many were able to do it but to me it is still a mystery how you can even pull yourself up. My body feels like an uncontrollable sack of potatoes most of the time, even when I do a bit heavier lifting. I'm also sure I never really tried hard enough for a long period of time and that the effort it needs for something that looks easy is quite high. So do you have any ideas on how to start? Do you think Insanity is helping here? Because I always enjoyed those videos a lot and improved a bit. Any other plans or ideas? Like... actually starting with yoga? Does it really improve? I also stretch, but only from time to time, it used to be 4-5 times a week after lifting, but never noticed any difference in my flexibility.
  4. Hey guys, I wanted to tap into the collective Assassin Brain here and ask for your input. I'm planning on building an iPhone app [eventually android too] for parkour workouts. It's going to be free, and I'm hoping really fun. I havn't even built my first iphone app yet, so this is a ways off [although this is what I am planning to do for work eventually]. But I'm in the planning stage, and I've always found that having a fun project makes learning a new programming language a lot faster. I really like the format of the Gain Fitness app as far as the way it walks you through it, and for customizing your workout plan, but I wanted to build something parkour-specific, similar to the WOD from APK. I was also toying with the idea of making some sort of storyline aspect like Zombies, Run. [but obviously not zombies, becuase that is already taken.] So my question is this: What would YOU like to see as a feature of an iPhone parkour app? in addition to workouts, something like a mapping feature for user-imputed jam sites? I'm open to any ideas, i'm in the brainstorming phase!
  5. Hey guys, I'm curious how you train if there are are no classes or groups in your area. does it feel weird to train by yourself?
  6. HELLO; Dollism again and I am here for my third challenge. Just to recap, my goals are directed toward getting over my over-burdensome fears of everything (effects of PTSD). I would also like to develop a fluid motion in my body mechanics. While it is true I would like to lose weight, I am more focused on not being too scared to jump from one log to the next when I go to the beach or thinking everything is unsafe. I don't want to be without a healthy amount of fear but I do want to feel as though I am fearless. To accomplish this my goals will be focused on learning Poi Spinning, Ballet, and Parkour. NOW THEN; Sadly, during the last five-week challenge I fell down a couple of stairs and broke my finger (spiral fracture). Thankfully it was just a finger but it still affects and limits my exercise choices. To head in the right direction my goals for this 5 Week Challenge (that I am starting in the midst of) will be: Diet/Fitness Quest(s): 1. Attempt to do as many reps in the following routine as I can possibly do (Maximum of 10); And do it at least twice a week (prefer every other day). Bodyweight Squats Leg Lifts ( On Back; Both Legs) 10 Reps Each; 2 Sets 2. 30-60 Minutes Jogging or Biking at least three times per week. 3. Yoga at least four times per week. Work toward daily. Avoid poses that stress hands. 4. Drink ten cups of water per day, at least. Push or sixteen for BONUS. Level Up Life Quest(s): 5. Finish the book "Fit For Life" that I just started. BONUS: Purchase Kitchen Scale. If anyone has any exercise ideas that avoid hand use but still will help with building the skills I need for parkour, let me know. For those of you who are curious about how I broke my finger (of all things) when I fell down just three stairs or how I even managed that: I shall share the story to satisfy curiosity. I was at my friend's house and it was dark out. I am night blind and can't see at all in the dark. I had told my friend several times he needed to install railing or at least a porch light but he never got around to it. It started raining and I love the rain so I decided to go outside and step into the rain so I could feel it. Bad idea. I couldn't see anything, so when I went to take a step down the stairs I missed one step and toppled down them. I landed directly on my ring finger. On top of that, to hide my shame, I pushed myself and rolled a few feet and pretended I did it on purpose so I could "lay in the rain" which I often do. My friend knows I like to lay in the grass when it's raining so I figured it was a good cover story. Sadly rolling is probably what turned the break into a spiral fracture. THE END.
  7. Hello friends! I'm back from an absolutely amaaaazing vacay to Iran, I absolutely loved it. I saw a lot of beautiful architecture, beautiful landscapes, bonded with my friends and ate a lot of food. A LOT of food. It was great. I might do a little write up, if you guys want, or perhaps just throw a link to my pics. What about this challenge? The main thing is to get back into a routine after barely having moved for almost two weeks. I got a nasty stubborn cough just before I left for Iran which didn't help. But now I feel fantastic and coming back to spring being springy makes me all happy and enthusiastic to do all the things! Which is a problem for setting goals, as I can't quite pick any ones to focus on. Super simple goals it is. 1. Morning movement - I feel like this is a key habit to make my day better so I want to make sure I pick it up again. 2. Do MOAR things - I'm not quite sure how you all manage to juggle so many hobbies, but if you can make it work, then maybe I can make my lazy ass do more things too? Nothing specific, I just feel like it's time to use my brain a little more again. 3. Positive actions - Because I really liked this one. I'm late so let's go!
  8. Guys! Good to see you. It’s been a while. After being active, on and off, in the community from 2012 through late 2017, I dropped off the face of the map. I left mainly because of an ankle sprain that laid me out on and off until September 2018. The injury forced me to set aside my dreams of recovering my old parkour skills for a few months... and then a few more. Since then... it’s been tough to come back, and I’ve suffered physically as a result. I’m no longer as lean as I used to be. What’s more, although I’ve tried to re-implement my old exercise and diet routine, I’ve proven to be a little less... sticky with them than I used to be. It turns out, habits are hard! And then, this last November... I turned 30. So folks, now that I’m a Real Life Adult, it’s time to take care of my sheet. All right, let’s dig in. No fanfare, no theme. 1. Work out 3 days per week, all four weeks. I use a bodyweight progressive strength routine, as is pretty standard among well-informed fitness nerds (you guys!). Usually I make more specific goals for strength, and I do have several goals for the next few weeks. But for this challenge, I’m trying to solve the problem of habit-building and consistency, not just improving performance. So I’m going back to the very basics. Work can get crazy and mess up my schedule, so I won’t hold myself to a particular daily schedule for this challenge goal (although I do plan to work out MWF). I don’t care if I do it on odd days or even if i just eff around and do handstand practice rather than my whole routine; as long as I get a workout in three days per week, I’m winning. 2. Track food intake EVERY DAY. No excuses! Again, I’m going dead simple to focus on habit-building rather than getting too ambitious. However... I’m going through a cut cycle to lose bodyfat. My typical routine is to cut fast, at a 1k calorie deficit, and track my bodyfat with tape measurements and pictures over time. So I’ll be tracking that process here! 3. Build a set of parallettes, and a balance trainer. I dipped my toes into the waters of DIY a few months back when I built my doorway pull-up bar. From scratch! Out of galvanized pipe! That I cut and threaded myself (mostly)! Since I work out with bodyweight, I work out at home, in my apartment. That means I need to provide my own equipment. Since I plan to start training L-sits and get back to parkour training within the next few weeks, that means I’ll need a set of parallettes and a balance/precision trainer, probably something like the railings featured here. This is a bit of a blend of an exercise goal and life goal. But it’ll be fun! 4. Implement my budget. I want to be good at budgeting, but I’m kind of not. I have a very nice, super-reasonable budget laid out in an Excel spreadsheet on my laptop... and I have done exactly NOTHING to put it into action. I win at this goal if by the end of the challenge, my bank accounts are automatically withdrawing money for spending, savings, and retirement; and if I’ve updated my 401k and IRA investments, which I’ve been putting off for about six months. Bonus Achievements: Attain 3x5 Pistol Squats. I used to be great at these. I was no Waldo-esque pistol monster, but I could hold my own! Unfortunately, at 30 my knees are significantly weaker and creakier than they were at 25. Right now I’m doing partial negatives and ancillary exercises to build strength. But I plan to get them back, and if I can manage them within the next month I’ll be ecstatic. 3x5 chest-to-bar Pull-ups. My eventual goal is a bar muscle-up, but these will be a necessary first (baby) step. These used to be easy, but haven’t been easy in a while. Currently I can do 2-3 in a set. 3x3 Wall Headstand Push-ups. I did this once upon a time! I won’t get this one during this challenge, but I want it here to remind myself I WILL GET IT BACK. Hit 14% Bodyfat. If you think this makes me sound vain, you’d be correct. But I want it back. 14% is near the top of my ideal bodyfat range for myself. I perform better and I just feel more attractive. Eventually I wouldn’t mind hitting 10%... I was within a whisper of it only once, back in the days of my training log... but I know it will take a couple of cuts to get myself there, and I’m not ready for that just yet. Post (or repost) 2-4 recipes here during the challenge. You are talking to a man who loves cooking to the point that it’s driven him insane. How insane, you ask? Allow me to cite a short list of things I make from scratch on a semi-regular basis: chicken stock, fresh pork sausage, pasta, most kinds of rice noodles, bagels, sour cream, Sichuan chili oil, lacto-fermented pickles, duck prosciutto, and slabs (SLABS!) of pancetta. Still not convinced? Allow me to show you the carbon dioxide tank I keep under my sink for DIY seltzer water, sparkling wine and cocktails; my 20-pound, eight-inch wide granite mortar and pestle; my pantry collection of food-grade acids; and the fact that my next big planned cooking gadget purchase is a centrifuge. All this is to say... I like to cook, and I take great pains to experiment in the kitchen so that when I’m cutting fat, I’m still eating meals that taste great. However, I haven’t done a great job writing down recipes or techniques that work, so I have a tough time planning good meals in advance. To that end, I’d like to use this challenge to post a couple of recipes that I’m having good success with. They can be things I’ve put my own twist on, or they can be straight-up reposted from a resource I use a lot, like Serious Eats (but I’ll try to give my own take on those too). It’s a lot to bite off for one challenge, so it’s a bonus goal... but one I’d like to have some fun with. And that’s it! For now at least, this will replace the old training log I kept from 2013 to 2017. That log holds a lot of records from when I actually used to be good at this stuff, so feel free to take a look! But it’s time for me to focus on Future Paul.
  9. I still need to eat better, snack less, move more, and lose weight. I've almost certainly been going through some levels of depression over the last year, but I'm hoping that the warmer weather and extra sunlight will improve my mood. Either way, it's time to quit whinging and start doing again. I will certainly still talk about parkour and silks, but I'm going to focus on basic exercises for this challenge. Challenge goal: Pay my debts These are the exercises I "owe" each week and must pay off: 1. Pull ups - 20/week 2. Push ups - 50/week 3. V-ups - 60/week 4. Squats - 100/week (but can choose regular, sumo, or side to side squats). 5. intense cardio/HIIT stuff: 10 minutes total/week (burpees, mountain climbers, jumping exercises, etc.) 6. walking - 30 km/week, with at least 1 ruck/week 7. If I miss silks class, then I also owe some silks conditioning work at home. Bonus debts: 8. I need to learn one new crochet technique each week. So far, I just know basic stitches, which is great for scarves and blankets, but not much else. 9. 1 hour of piano each week On the eating front, I'm planning to re-give up soda. I'm also going to try something new with the evening snacking: I will get myself a reasonable portion of food to eat, including some healthy things like carrot sticks or cheese, and then I will not under any circumstances let myself get up for more food. I'm a bit bummed, though. Right when I was going to gather the kids so we could head to the parkour and silks gym, my son came in crying with a scraped up face, cut, and lump on his forehead. So, no parkour tonight.. Maybe parkour on wednesday, though.
  10. 2018 was a giant shitshow for me, and I'm hoping that I'm finally ready to get my life back in order. I'm at my heaviest, weakest, and least healthy that I've been since I started on NerdFitness. Bleh. I know my habits have been awful, but I'm also not sure how much of the low energy and other issues is from the Tamoxifen. My main goal for 2019 is to have vastly fewer doctor visits and medical procedures than 2018. But, since I don't have control over that, here are the goals I actually have the power to make happen: -Test for Level II in Aerial Silks -Lose 15 lbs -Regain my dead hang pull up -Get some sort of data science professional certification -Conquer at least one of the piano songs that I've always wanted to be able to play. -Fix my sleep health issues, so I'm properly rested and energized each day. To meet these goals, I'm going to start small and think more like a noob for this challenge. That means, I'm going to focus mostly on movement every day and healthy eating, with the hopes that I'll lose some weight. Goal 1: Yoga or Darebee each day that I don't have silks or parkour. It doesn't need to be really challenging, and it doesn't need to be more than 15 minutes. I just need to get back into the habit of sweating every day. I'm not planning to push myself to pick challenging workouts. One of my problems over the last 6 months has been picking things that I used to be able to do but were currently too hard for me, get frustrated, and then abandon the workout partway through. Instead, I'm going to stick with easier workouts and finish them. Goal 2: 25 km of walking per week. Yeah, it's cold and nasty out. I still need to just suck it up and do my walking. Goal 3: Engage the pressure cooker. I just got an instant pot for x-mas, and I've already tried a few amazing recipes. For this goal, I'm going to try 2 new, healthy recipes each week. I generally end up with a lot of leftovers, so this ensures that I have a lot of healthy food available all of the time. Goal 4: Limit the treats and sweets. I'm only allowed one serving of sweets each day at a single designated time. At all other times, the junk food is off limits. For now, that's it!
  11. I’ve never done a daily battle log thread, and I’m not sure if I’m going to use it “properly” as I’ll most likely be doing the bulk of my updates in my four week challenges. But I wanted to start a thread I could refer back to regarding my big picture, year long goals of what I want to achieve by the end of 2019, and updates of how I’m moving forward towards them. If I’m not doing a challenge (missed the start date, felt like too much pressure, Ect) I’ll try to keep updating in here to keep momentum going. The title is a reference to the fact that due to my synesthesia (associating colors and numbers) 2019 is a very nice bright shade of yellow. So I’m going to make it a good year. My big goals: Atain a B1 level in French I have many reasons for this, practical and personal. I live in an area that’s bilingual French/English. More than Half of the customers at my job speak French. My coworkers first languages are all French. I am able to get by because my small town is pretty anglophone and almost everyone ALSO speaks at least a little English (and I have about a two year olds ability in French and we get by) But there’s definitely like 15% of our customers that don’t speak any English and I struggle. I want to be able to really serve our full customer base in a complete way. I’m sick of having to ask coworkers to help me translate things. Since I’ve started working there, job descriptions have come to say “bilingual French/English mandatory” I’m not going to LOSE my job over this, but it’s telling to know that if I was reapplying to my job now, I wouldn’t get hired. I have one coworker who hates me, and one of the things she complains about is my lack of French. I want to prove her wrong (petty reasons count!) I have a friend who is francophone and although her English is fantastic, I want to talk with her in her FIRST language. Also her family only speaks French and her mom just seems SO NICE and I want to talk to her SO BADLY??! My area is pretty anglophone but the town nearby where ALL the fun things are is super francophone. I want to go take art classes and parkour classes and all this super fun classes and workshops but they are all in French. I set B1 as my level goal because it will be a comfortable level for conversing and functioning, and also because a B1 score is usually a requirement for college studies and if I decide to go take some courses at the CÉGEP I’ll need that level of proficiency. On a bigger picture note, I’ve always wanted to be fluent in at minimum five languages. French was never on that list, but given where I’m living now, it seems only logical that it become one of my five languages. So working on this goal is working towards my big picture life long “who I want to be as a person” goals. Improve my mental health I wish I had a better SMART goal for this, but I’m kind of new to the idea of my mental health and I don’t really know what specific things I can work towards. This wasn’t really something I’d realized I needed to work on until recently. I had a really, really bad last summer. One of my friends has been saying for the last two years that I should really consider therapy (one late, sleep deprived night she got me talking about stuff I don’t usually discuss. I told her like 2% of my history and she was like “sweetheart that’s some pretty serious trauma” and I was thinking lol yikes that’s nothing.) I finally caved and went to a psychologist and I found out I really do have a lot of things to work on (apparently having suicidal thoughts multiple times every day is not something everyone does?) I’ve been diagnosed with C-PTSD which is a subtype of ptsd, and the treatment is very long but there IS treatment. For years I’ve oscillated between “there’s nothing wrong with me” and “I’m so fundamentally flawed there’s not point in trying to fix it” but I’ve finally come to “there’s definitely stuff wrong, but I can do something about it” I don’t really have any specific goals, but it’s important to me that I keep working and making steps toward improving in this area. This past summer was very bad and I barely survived it. I don’t want to slide back to that again. Loose set of ongoing goals: Continue going to therapy regirally Stick with/improve my meditation habit Have regular, ideally daily, physical activity that involves skill-building Pursue potential medication (this is nearly always an early part of treatment to go on meds temporarily until the skills to cope are developed in therapy- I’ve hated the idea of meds but as part of a bigger picture treatment, I’m trying to be more open) Get a pet or volunteer with animals Cultivate my friendships Increase my cardio to be able to run for one hour straight This one isn’t really a running goal, but the running aspect is more of a benchmark to test. I do enjoy running, but I wouldn’t call myself a “runner” as my main sport. However, cardio is my weak area in everything I do (parkour, staff spinning, hockey) I hate having to stop my skill practice because I’m wheezing. I want to improve my stamina both by doing these sports more intensely and also by running, to the point where I can run for one hour straight without having to stop for a walk break. I know I can accomplish this easily in this year if I don’t slack, as when I finished zombies run 5k, I was running 50 minutes straight, and that’s an 8 week program. I haven’t run in like....months so I’m starting from scratch, but I can do it. Since I’ve moved to the frozen north, my outdoor sport has been basically zero for 9 months of the year, and that’s not enough to build stamina. I’ve now bought myself some solid winter outdoor gear and I’m ready to start just going out there anyway. Restart and complete zombies run 5k Do lots of stamina skate drills Basically if it’s warmer than -16 and the wind isn’t blowing, I GO. Develop some plan for when it IS colder than -16 and still doing SOMETHING inside to keep the habit flowing. Finally get my splits Getting full front splits (striving towards middle splits too, but I’m farther away in that one) is my specific and measurable goal. I’m about six inches off with my left leg and four inches off with my right. I think this is realistic and attainable in a year. Big picture reasons for this is that I need to stretch every day for injury prevention. I’m super, super tight in my entire body but mostly hips and shoulders. Because of this my body is not very resilient to issues in my sports and the slightest mishap can cause injury and it’s super frustrating. (Also, I learned that this muscle tightness is a symptom of my C-PTSD and regular stretching is part of my treatment plan so it’s also working on goal number 2. Multitasking for the win!) Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
  12. Self-indulgent whining.... Goals are going to be super simple: 1. Go to parkour and silks classes according to schedule, even when I don't want to go. I'm currently doing 2 classes on each of Saturday and Monday, and I can't let the blahs stop me from going. Yesterday was a perfect example: I didn't want to go, but went anyway, and after the fact, was glad that I did. Part of the grade will simply be showing up. The other part will be attitude when I'm there. This means that when I'm doing parkour open gym, I need to focus on rebuilding my skill base rather than getting frustrated about things I can no longer do. 2. Do a big workout on either Wednesday or Thursday each week. This means pull ups, push ups, core, and grip. I'm going to set a goal and then if I can't complete it, drop down to an easier version of the exercise rather than abandon ship altogether. 3. Splits stretching at least 2 times per week (not including silks classes). It should only take 5 or so minutes, so there's no reason for me to skip this stuff. 4. At least one meal per day needs to be salad or something healthy and home-cooked, even when I don't feel like it. 5. Soda at most once/week. I drank soda for many years. I gave it up shortly after starting nerd fitness. But, in the last 6 months, I've resumed the habit.
  13. I really, REALLY, want to be able to do gymnastics and parkour. A little backstory, I used to be in gymnastics but it was only for two years. I really loved it though and wished I could've stayed longer. That was when I was 12 and now I'm 27 and a mother. I know I need to lose a lot of weight and train in body weight exercises as well as bring my flexibility back up. But my worry is, I completely fractured my ankle when I was 18. I jumped from a tree because I was stuck and couldn't get down. I ended up getting surgery and now have two plates and six screws in my left ankle. On top of that I've noticed my joints haven't been as strong as they used to. I know that could be because I'm 5'8" and 236 pounds. Am I OK to learn gymnastics and parkour still? And is there ways I can improve my bone density?
  14. Sooooo about a year ago -- almost exactly! -- my wife and I were getting ready to move house. We packed our entire home into boxes, got ready to sign the papers, and ... delay. A few weeks passed ... more delays. As frustration and stress built up, I started missing strength workouts, and, well ... Two months later we finally moved, and the summer was gone, along with my entire will to live, let alone to work out. And somehow, falling off the wagon (or the horse, or whatever, choose your metaphor) stuck and I didn't get any consistency with my workouts for the ensuing year. But, we're in the new house now. And the new house has this big, gorgeous backyard. And I've been dreaming of turning it into a playground as much for me as for the kids. So when Old Man Winter finally relinquished his clutches, I started building, and I ended up with the beginnings of what I'm calling my anti-gym. Why an anti-gym? Because I hate the gym. I've tried them several times in my life, but they make me miserable. Say nothing of the time it takes to get back and forth driving there; just the whole mentality of a gym makes me squirrelly. Which means that the idea of a garage gym isn't going to help me out either -- which is why I think when I fell off the horse last summer, I stayed off. But I'm getting back on the horse, now, because I built some equipment that is designed to make working out fun again. Let's meet the contestants! (With some help from my little ninja-in-training, who loves my new "toys" almost as much as me.) Precision / Balance Trainers! These were my first project, and as you can see, they're pretty simple; just 2x4s slapped together with screws. All the balance training of a proper 4" balance beam with none of the terror of falling four feet to the ground or racking yourself. These can be lined up simple balance beam style, staggered side-to-side for agility drills, or laid out in parallel for precision jumps. My kid loves these, but it was starting to rain when I took this picture, so he was busy taking shelter. Pull-up / Swing / Ring support bar! Okay, so this is my only piece of actual workout gear, but you can't get better functional strength than the pull-up. Another pretty easy install. Just a four-foot section of black pipe (spray painted, to calm down that dust) with a couple of flanges screwed into my deck posts. I had one of those door-frame hangers, but this is way sturdier and lets me relax into a full dead-hang. It's also hella fun to practice laches off of it, and I imagine one of these days, if I get bored with that, I can hang my rings off it as well. Slosh Pipe of Pain! Do you know what a slosh pipe is? I didn't, until I started poking around on Eo3fitness's DIY pages. The slosh pipe (of pain!) is just a PVC tube capped at both ends and filled about 2/3 with water. Which makes it impossible to balance. You can't lift it off the ground the way you want to, because the top gets feather-light while the bottom seems to meld with the earth. Once you do get it aloft, it swerves on you and the feathery side rockets toward the ground. What do you do with a slosh pipe? Well, whatever, really. Put it on your shoulders and squat it. Tuck it to your chest and lurch around your yard like you started your July 4th cookout at eleven AM and now it's noon and you've got no brews left. Make a remedial obstacle course (for instance, with those precision trainers up there) and weave through it. Core, legs, balance, even a little bit of grip. This thing has it all. Knife-Throwing Target! Less workout tool and more straight-up fun, the knife target was a fun little project for a couple hours on a weekend. Basically, it's a bunch of 2x4s sawed off and stuck grain-side out into a frame and propped up on a hastily-assembled tripod that wobbles like a newborn goat. The first time I sunk a knife into this thing, I was hooked, but the misses are almost fun -- the clangs drew the neighbors out with that what-the-hell-is-that-guy-up-to-NOW look. Which, you know, fuel for the fire. Vault Box! By far my biggest build so far (and likely my last one for a while -- the wife is starting to get suspicious of all the time I've been spending in the workshop), the vault box is this quasi-pyramid thing. Low enough that this almost-40-year-old can get over it with some degree of awkwardity. High enough that it may never not challenge me to get over it. Incidentally, I spray-painted "get over it" on the top, and it's pretty satisfying telling the sprout, when he gets wound up, to go outside and "get over it" a few times. Metaphors, amirite? (The reverse side has some handholds tacked in for the kids. They're fine.) Anyway, we're a UGA family, so I had to represent, even if my spray paint game isn't all that. Sounds weird, maybe looks weird, and I damn sure look weird hopping over it, but ten quick passes over the box is enough to get anybody breathing hard. Janky Old Tire! And, oh yeah, can't forget about the tire I rigged up some time ago. A 99c eyebolt in the sidewall plus a tie-down strap makes a heavy sled for dragging or chucking around the yard. Giving the sprout a ride in it is fun for him and extra resistance for me. And just check out his form. It's like he learned from somebody who knew what he was doing! The Anti-Gym! All in all, six stations, most of which have multiple functions, right there in the backyard -- where the kids love to play to begin with. Upon further review, this month is not the month to be undertaking a challenge, as I'm gonna be out of town way too much to make proper use of the anti-gym. I'll still be using it, of course. But we'll do the challenge next month when I'm not in other countries for half of the active time. So... I'll be back.
  15. This is my second challange! However, part way through my first my iPad wouldn't let me log on Hopefully it's better now. I do figure skating twice a week. Parkour is so fun I would also like to get back into body weight exercises, and maybe try out some jogging. I know I started late, hopefully I will be on time next time xD I chose to do parkour because it combines everything I wanted to do but couldn't, however it is a high impact sport and I have dodgy knees. Not the best idea? I am very much an assassin. For one, the name just calls to me. Then, obviously parkour. However, I really would like to improve my strength. I am pretty flexible already, especially with ice skating, however I still would like to improve. And just about anything else. Main Quest Improve parkour - I love parkour/freerunning, however I haven't been doing it for very long, and YouTube is my best friend on this goal. Sub-Quests Fittness 1) Find the time to go to the park once before the challange ends for the sole purpose of practicing parkour. When at my caravan, go every day while the weather is ok. (Don't want no dying now, do we?) Fittness 2) Complete a body weight workout (I am currently using this one - https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/beginner-body-weight-workout-burn-fat-build-muscle/ ) at least three times a week (weekend off of needed). Aim for the circuit completed 3 or 4 times by the end. Diet 3) keep up the no refined sugar at all in school, and in no more than a week have no other times at all (honey instead!). Level Up Your Life 4) Get a -minimum- of 8 1/2 hours of sleep a day, better having 10 hours. With the holiday coming up, this shouldn't be too hard. (For future, if at least some of these tasks are completed, include for fittness specific parkour moves I would like to improve on. Perhaps specific stretches as well?)
  16. I'm continuing with the Hogwarts theme, even though I might not be around much over this next challenge. This time, it's going to be a very simple challenge. 1. Do something to improve my pulling power or grip strength every day. 2. Do something to improve my flexibility every day. 3. Do something to improve my computer skills every day. 4. Do something to help my mental well being every day. None of these really need to be much. I just want to stay on track with doing at least a little bit. Otherwise, I'm doing parkour class on Saturdays, Silks class on Saturdays, parkour open gym on Tues (when possible), with hopefully some strength yoga every Sunday and a strength session every Thursday. I also have to tangle with spring break, my son's birthday, my husband's birthday, some computer stuff I'm doing for the parkour gym, a huge science convention (just attending, but it will clog a weekend), and a ton of kids' activities.
  17. Hi guys and Gals, Lokes' here again! Been away for about a year or even more... Sorry about that. Just Remember that even though I was away, my heart was still with you all, because I kept referring this beautiful group of people to almost everyone I knew (Not a smart move for a Rebellion, but we're so strong that everyone knows we exist and we still fight the Evil). So, I wanted to recharge and find that fun way of living life. Which of course, led me back to you. And from now on I'll be sure to stick around. I think that my major problem in here was the hiatus between challenges and I must set up smarter quests, in the measure sense. I have a hard time tracking, well, anything. So, I'll restart at 0 (Been to long, tutorial needed), and I'l make sure to set up my challenge nice and proper Also, funny enough, I recently wrote my purpose in life/code of conduct, and I want to share it with you: I am a sheer force of positive emotions, a lone rebel fighting to place some sense in the world. I will not bow before adversity and I will speak my mind when something is amiss. No matter who stands with me, no matter the cost. because "those who mind don't matter and those o matter don't mind". I will turn the world much brighter than it was before I came along. I am the spark that will light the flame of positivity that will make the world a better place. I will succeed. Battle by battle, until the war is won.
  18. I'm continuing my studies at Hogwarts, with many of the same themes. Hopefully, this time I don't pull a 3rd year Hermione and bite off more than I can chew. New Classes: Herbology: Goal is one new cooking recipe each week. Also, evening snack must include a veggie. I'm hoping to reduce and make my snacking healthier, and add a little bit more excitement to my diet. Arithmancy: Goal: Complete the entire 3rd problem set 8 problems selected from the 3rd problem set on cryptopals.com or from projecteuler.net (difficulty rating must be 40% or higher). Complete at least 3 more chapters in my crypto book, along with the corresponding problem sets. History of Magic: This is where I'm putting my sleep goal. Sleep has been terrible lately, so I'm going to revisit some tried and true methods of improving my sleep. Drink tea and stop eating at 9:00. Reading only after 10:00. And, here's the meat of my challenge: I'm joining the Quidditch team, and I'm determined to win the Quidditch cup. Quidditch is largely going to represent my (flying) goals of parkour and now silks classes. I'm also going to gain points for any supplemental activities that support parkour or silks. Gryffindor (courage): + 10 points for every new flow or new thing attempted at parkour. +10 points for doing anything at the parkour gym that scares me. + 10 points for doing anything at a greater height than I normally would. Ravenclaw (intelligence): + 10 points for drilling down into techniques at parkour or silks class. + 20 points for any home reviews of technique. Hufflepuff (kindness (to my body)): + 20 points for any yoga or mobility work. I'm not flexible, and it's hurting my performance at the parkour gym. Slytherin (nastiness): + 20 points for strength workouts. The goal is to net 200 points in each, and see which house wins the cup!
  19. My hype meter has been at an all time low, and it's time to fix that. I also have been trapped in that cycle where I'm sitting at a computer too much, mindlessly eating and drinking like an asshole while there, and moving a whole lot less (in part from minor but recurring injuries). As a result, I've put on 10 lbs (and not the good kind ) over the last year. I've also been in a huge Harry Potter groove, since the family just returned from a trip to Harry Potter land in Orlando (which was awesome!!!), and we're currently introducing the kids to D&D with a Hogwarts setting. So, it's time to add more discipline and structure to my life by returning to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 1. Transfiguration: I will learn spells to transform my unhealthy meals and snacks into healthy ones. I generally need to eat more veggies, more salad, more eggs, and more homemade stews. For tracking/goal purposes, I will limit myself to one small sugary snack per day, and I will eat at least one substantial serving of veggies with each meal. 2. Potions: I will drink only 3 calorie bearing drinks per week..... which means I will need to drink a lot more water. The goal for this is to find ways to make water more appealing. I will experiment at least once every week with making infused water. I will also try at least 4 new tea flavors, to see what might be appealing. 3. Defense Against the Dark Arts: I've been getting too wrapped up with regular life to set aside time to workout each day. That needs to change. So, I'm going to defend against the dark art of laziness with some constant vigilance. Every day, I need to do at least 30 minutes of exercise. It could just be yoga or even putting on the weight vest and walking laps inside my house. 4. Charms: Cast "Wingardium Leviosa" by lifting myself up in the air. I need something new and shiny in my workout routine. Right after my parkour class, I had been doing open gym, which largely has turned into teaching and directing traffic for all of the kids doing open gym. Instead, there's an adult aerial silks class happening at the same time. So, I'm going to re-take the silks intro (since I've already forgotten everything), and then start taking silks classes. The most convenient time to do the intro will be January 20, since there's already an instructor event at the parkour gym. The goal is to do that intro, and then after that, take silks rather than doing parkour open gym. 5. Stick to the Schedule: A large part of the problem is that I've been getting too wrapped up with life things to set aside time for working out, cooking, and all of the other things I need to be healthy. This will likely be even worse over the next few months, since my husband and I are studying for the OSCP exam. My goal is to set a fairly rigid schedule, just to make sure everything gets done. And that's it. Hopefully, I can get back on track and regain my hype.
  20. I am a long time fan of the Assassin's Creed game (I got Origins for Christmas!!!!) and I've been keen on exploring more Parkour although there isn't an easily accessible class or group that I can attend, so I've found a workout that focuses on the exercises needed for Parkour as a starting point. I'm also still keen on the acrobatics side of things, and my two big focuses for the year are handstands and splits. Now rather than taking the challenges on the fly one at a time I've put together a 2018 Challenge tracker for myself (link for accountability) and each challenge throughout the year I shall try to tailor towards the overall goal. So to break it down: Overarching 2018 goal: Follow the Creed - increase strength and flexibility like an assassin. Current Challenge Goals 1. Cardio: complete 350,000 steps and cover 25km in "deliberate" distance (i.e. go for a walk or a run). I'd also like to see my resting heart rate decrease from 65 to 61 (where it was at in December before the holiday slump hit) 2. Strength: Complete 1x beginner bodyweight workout per week, and 2x parkour strength workouts per week. Make progress on all the specific movement goals in my challenge tracker. 3. Good eating: Eat veggies every day and say no to dessert/sugar/chocolate 15 times when I would normally have said yes. For those interested, the Parkour workout I found is this one:
  21. Recently I was inspired by seeing a couple of snowshoe hares in the woods up north. They were between their summer and winter fur colors (as above), which I found fascinating. They are survivalists, enduring all four seasons in extreme situations, with numerous predators and competitors. They have to be highly skilled (and a bit lucky) to survive. But mainly it was their alertness and mindful movement that inspired me. They reminded me that I've really been neglecting quadrupedal (QM) in the parkour training. A major part of this challenge will be a constant reminder to myself to include QM practice in my training. Another major aspect of this challenge will be defeating urge to back down or give up. The past few weeks have been hard on my body, and I'm not entirely sure why. I suspect I have been fighting off an infection, one that thankfully I have shown no other symptoms other than fatigue. I suspect the road trip up north I took last weekend took its toll, so I might be feeling the effects of that as well. Lastly, I also suspect it is just the change of the season that's affecting me. It's dark for longer in the morning. Days start out cold, requiring a jacket, but quickly progress to short-sleeve shirt weather by afternoon. And there's the temperature in my car if it's been sunny all day. It might as well be summer. That kind of wild variation throughout a day really seems to play havoc with my body. It makes me not want to move or go out. It also makes my body take a little longer to recover from workouts. Because of this, I am allowing for a somewhat lesser quantity in my workouts for this challenge, in the hope that the quality of my workouts will not suffer, and so that I can maintain a level of consistency. Part of not giving up or backing down (for the long term) is knowing when to slow down or dial back just a little bit (in the short term) in order to endure. I think I am currently at a point where this is necessary. Part 1 - The Daily/ Weekly Tasks: 1. Practice parkour, minimum of twice per week. I will shoot for three times per week, as I always have, but I am giving myself permission to opt for twice per week when I feel it will be better for my body. On days where the weather doesn't cooperate, training indoors with bodyweight exercises will suffice. 2. Practice Quadrupedal Movements (QM) with each parkour workout. Especially work towards developing the QM gallop. This can be done indoors on days with poor weather. 3. As always, daily meditation. This has become quite old-hat, but it's worth mentioning because it's worth doing. 4. Compliment each mediation with yoga and/ or qigong. I find adding a little moving meditation to the sitting meditation is very helpful. 5. Remember to play and have fun. Mix things up from time to time. Play with "ninja stuff" like shuriken, bokken, and nunchaku (I have recently made a assortment of bo shuriken from 7 and 10 inch nails - they are quite fun). Part 1 - The Daily/ Weekly Tasks (REVISED 10/30/2017): 1. Bodyweight exercises, three times per week minimum. This will continue until I am feeling up to snuff to continue outdoor parkour training. I plan to use the "grease the groove" approach to training rather than a fixed number of sets and reps done in one sitting. I plan to alternate between pull-ups/ dips and push-ups/ bodyweight squats. More days of training may be added, if feasible. 2. Play with weapons! Three times per week. Because being a ninja is fun! Shuriken, nunchaku, bokken, unarmed (my fists and feet are weapons)...all of it is fair game. 3. Daily yoga, qigong, and meditation in the evenings. This helps me stay physically and mentally put together. The physical side may be dropped once or twice per week, if needed to recover from injury or soreness. However, I have found that in most cases even a small amount of yoga or qigong, even through injury, is more beneficial than 100% rest. Part 2 - The Bullet Journal: This is a brand new thing for me. I saw it advertised by Jonesy in the Assassin's Den. I figure it's worth a shot, as I could really use a boost to my list-making and overall organization. I have joined the accountability group for this. I have no idea what I'm getting into. That's ok. Here goes nothing...
  22. I wasn't sure whether I would participate in this challenge, and I'm going to aim more for fixing my mindset than specifically doing more. Over the last year, I've had a bad tendency to stick with the easy path, rather than challenging myself. This is possibly why I've been so meh with everything. So, I'm going to avoid the low hanging fruit and make a point of challenging myself. 1. Exercise: Whether it's parkour, jogging, yoga, or just a home strength workout, the goal is to push myself in some way or try something new. For parkour, I need to try new moves or new sequences. For yoga, I need to return to hand balancing or challenging routines. For jogging, I need to push my pace a little more or push myself to just keep running after I want to stop and walk. For home workouts, I need to push for more reps or harder moves or something new. Every workout must involve pushing at least a little bit in some way. 2. Coding: I'm teaching myself python right now (as well as SAS), and I've once again been sucked into Project Euler. I've solved 61 of the problems, but they've mostly been the easy pickings. The goal is to push myself by completing at least one challenging problem each week (along with at least 10 easy problems). 3. Piano: Every time I sit down to practice, I need to either work on polishing up some challenging sequence that I've kind of been cheating on/slopping through/pressing the pedal while playing stuff and hoping for the best , or I need to work on a new, challenging song. That's it. Keeping it simple this time.
  23. I've always valued the feedback I get at Nerd Fitness. I've tried challenges, though, and haven't done well with them -- they take too much of my time, which is already pretty limited. I also tend to use them more as progress logs than habit-building tools. I don't really have a lot of trouble with willpower at this point: if I'm writing about my experience and have the perspective to pick my goals, I'll build the habits I need. So with that in mind, I thought I'd start a workout log so I'll have a lower maintenance way to track my progress and get feedback. Right now most of my goals for the next 4-6 weeks are based in my gymnastics and strength training, so the majority of this thread will be my workout logs. I may shift or add more types of notes as my goals shift. Legend Since my training is primarily bodyweight, I use a notation that allows me to log a lot of variables. I log weight (if used), sets, reps, my rate of perceived exertion, and my form quality. Form: a: high-quality form maintained throughout the set. No issues or very minor issues b: one form flaw, which I was able to notice and correct during the set. c: one or more form flaws which I noticed but was not able to correct during the set. d: crappity crap. Ended the set because form broke beyond margin of safety or my quality standards. I have certain form standards for each exercise I do. It's not always "perfect" form, it's a matter of what I know I need to work on or what I consider a minimum for safety. I'll try to note them down for posterity. RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion): I shamelessly stole Waldo's system for grading his RPEs, which he outlined in his blog post. For that matter, my form quality notation is also based on his. Waldo being something of a pioneer of bodyweight training on these boards, I've also borrowed a few other aspects of his notation: /: denotes left/right reps in a set of a single-limb exercise. For example, 5/3 reps on a pistol squat means 5 reps on my left leg, 3 reps on my right. (): used for my eccentric exercises where I need to note both reps and time under tension. For example, a set of pull-up negatives shown as 3(6s) is 3 reps of 6 seconds each. That's about it. Any notation keys I might miss will go up here.
  24. I'm back from vacation, I (hopefully) have found some new motivation, and I'm ready to get back in the game. I also haven't really improved much with the parkour over the last 6 months, and I'm finally in a mental place where I'm ready to step up my training. Goal 1: Learn to Zig Zag I have been slacking on getting cardio workouts, which in turn makes me less agile when doing parkour. I HATE cardio, but the goal is to force myself to do that at least 3 times/week. Parkour class counts. So does HIIT or shadowboxing. I might even *gasp* go for a jog. Goal 2: Work that dragon ass I've struggled A LOT with knee and hip pain over the last few months. When I did some research and some physical tests, I found that I have an anterior pelvic tilt along with relatively underdeveloped posterior chain muscles and overdeveloped quads. I've already started on the road to fixing this, and I'm already seeing progress. I have stretches for the hip flexors and calves that I need to do. I also have great exercises for helping activate the glutes and hamstrings. I also have started really trying to fix my squat. I had assumed that poor ankle mobility and short calf muscles were the reason I would fall backward or tend to shift weight to the balls of my feet when doing AtG squats. But now I have other avenues to explore. I can actually do a good form squat if I'm front squatting a light dumbbell. The goal is to accumulate time over the week in a deep squat as well as stick with the physical therapy-esque stuff. I will start with a goal of 15 minutes per week in deep squat, and see how that goes. Goal 3: A Girl must Cook I got lazy. And then went on vacation and ate out for a couple weeks. And for whatever reason, it seems harder to cook when the kids are home. But I need to clean up the diet a lot. The goal is to do at least one batch cooked recipe per week and eat out at most once per week. Goal 4: I drink and I know things. While it would certainly be *fun* to have a goal of drinking, it doesn't fit with my goals. The thing I need to drink is protein, and the thing I need to know is how much protein I've been getting. My muscle recovery has been poor, but I also have been much lower with the protein intake than I ought to be. The goal is to track protein and drink a protein shake each day that I lift or do parkour. Bonus: Be mighty like Brienne Work on upper body strength by doing pull ups and grip training work. The goal is to start doing a GtG approach where I have to do a pull up or hang on something anytime I go under the pull up bar or go down to the basement.
  25. I've been away from Nerd Fitness for a while, and away from the Assassin's Guild even longer. Years perhaps. Anyway, lots has happened since then. I finally returned to karate and earned by shodan, which was a big deal and at the same time not at all a big deal (you know what I mean). Still, I'm happy to have reached that milestone. I decided to take a break from karate over the summer, and returned to hacking around in parkour. Now my hacking around has turned into a full tilt fascination and pursuit of more parkour skills. My goals here are two-fold: 1. Practice: Training in parkour 3 - 4 times per week, whether working skills or conditioning, has been a good fit. I'm progressing, and maintaining good balance with the other priorities in my life. I will simply keep to that. I aim to grade this on a sort of 4.0 scale, just like in school. 3 practices per week will equal a 2.0 for that week, while 4 practices will equal a 4.0 (difference between earning a "C" and an "A"). 2. Cartwheels: I will spend some time specifically practicing cartwheels at least one time per week. I've just started trying cartwheels, as it's something I've never done in my life, and it seems like a good place to start for future techniques like flips and handstands.
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