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  1. I missed the last challenge but still got it in some great workouts for the last six weeks. I am trying to find a good way to keep track of my workouts but I haven't found and easy way to do it which and many times, because of the multiple workouts per day, I cannot remember what I did by the end of the day. Anyway, this time around, I am going to keep focusing on the chaos workouts and continue to do at least two workouts per day with the focus on the following: 1: Get 10 strict pull ups by the end of the challenge. Since my squats and lunges have improved with my current workout, I am going to apply the same method to pull ups. If I remember correctly, I was able to do 28 pull ups when I was 17 during a fitness test which was 38 years ago. The end goal is to get to 30 consecutive pull ups overall but if I can get to 10 over the next five weeks, I know I can keep increasing that number going forward. 2: Mobility training three times per week. I am seeing a lot of improvement since I started doing The Simplistic Mobility Method and the only thing that is holding me back is consistent training. I get one or two of these workouts in per week but I need to up the game. I also found some interesting Qi Gong training on Youtube that I started doing which is similar to moving meditation. 3. Three Karate classes per week. I have two formal Zoom classes each week but I need an additional class, on my own, to work on what I am learning in the two other classes. I do a good amount of kihon and kata throughout the week but an additional, structured class will go a long way. Extra credit: Mediate at least three times per week. This is one area that I have been lacking in over the last year or so. I was doing so well with headspace everyday for over three years but I started to feel that it wasn't helping. I have a couple of apps and some Youtube videos that interest me and doing them three times a week should go a long way.
  2. Who is this chick? The Challenge! I know what works. I know what's struggling right now. I know consistency is the key. I am not sure what 'theme' I am feeling right now - though I do know I tend to be a little more motivated when I have a fun theme tacked into my challenge. But for the sake of getting SOMETHING up here today, let's list the basics. Food needs to tighten up again. The Autumnal Slide™ has occurred as per usual. Exercise needs to be more consistent. Specifically strength sessions, which were the first to get swept under the rug. I'd like gratitude (or devotionals) to be a daily habit. I'd like to put more time and energy into getting my art skills dusted off. Goals then... Move! 6x/week. 2 Strength Sessions a week; but don't have to be picky about what I do on them. *Less than 2 and I lose too much focus and it gets hard to maintain. 3 is okay, on occasion. 4 is right out. Fill the rest of the days with some heart pumping cardio for mood, lungs and veins! BUT! Leave 1 day to rest/chill/stretch. Eat Well Daily! 7x/week Food tracked via MFP or in BuJo journal. I'm not in a totally bad place with eating, and since exercise is oddly the struggle point, we're leaving this tracking loose. Heart & Soul Stuff! 7/3x/week Soul stuff- 7x *Let's really work on perspective, and focus this year. Devotions have been a really good way for me to start remembering promises and truths. As someone who struggles with doom-crafting and spiraling what-if scenarios for the stupidest things, this is very important to get to a better place with. Devotions or gratitude journals count toward this, and should be done daily. Heart stuff- 3x *Art! I think art is one of my heart's joys when I stop berating myself about being good or bad at it. Just need to learn to enjoy it for what it is. The skills will come in time (or they wont), but that shouldn't stop me from doing it. Art can be anything creative minded, but I should really prioritize time with the wacom tablet because I let those skills get mega rusty. Painting, and photography can also count. Okay. That's it. Maybe there will be a theme later, or maybe not. Next step is to fill out the BuJo.
  3. My favorite class to play in D&D is a rogue. My favorite book series is about an assassin. My favorite tropes in anime / fantasy / etc, are the sneaky, do good from the shadows types. One of my favorite game series is Assassins Creed. Assassins are relied on to work alone, but they have a strong network of people supporting them with info, details, contacts and everything else. And my at work gym is off limits until we're allowed to break the "Firewall" between the warehouse and front office so... more bodyweight than not for the time being! We're going Rogue! Don't tell Tank I am here. [/looks around nervously ...] My goals will remain largely the same as last challenge. Honestly, despite the chaos, I did a ridiculously good job of still working out, eating healthy, counting calories and enduring. (Even dropped about 5lbs during the challenge.) The only bits that suffered last time around were art during the final week and the budget - which is all shades of different for the time being. And that's okay. {Headquarters of the 11th Hour; location undisclosed.} "You have been too long gone from our fold, Starpuck. Perhaps we should see if you are still worthy of being a part of this elite organization. You once held the title of the Unerring Bolt- that position has since been granted another. So here, take these blades. You will be required to prove proficient in dual wielding going forward. If you succeed in passing the Masters tests, you will become the Twin Blade." [GOAL ONE] Your Body is your Weapon - Make sure it is Honed I've been granted the following resources for my re-training: 50lb Dumbbell // 2 x 25lb Dumbbell // Pull up bar (door style, once it comes in and I get it set up) // 12lb and 15lb Kettlebell // Resistance Bands (Therapy Style) * Strength Train - 3X / Week * Move - 3X / Week Strength will be a lot of learning and advancing body weight options, and using the few weights I have to add some resistance to things. Move - let's be honest... I am pretty hooked on Beat Saber (dual wield connection see?) and I am burning plenty of calories with that game! Walks, maybe some Dance Central, and other options might come up, but the point is to just get the heart rate up and a sweat going. [GOAL TWO] Your Body is your Armor - Make sure it is Strengthened Food. Continue to track calories (as it has become an easy thing to do once more) and focus on putting nutritious things down the hatch. * Track Calories - 7X / Week * Matcha Daily - 7X / Week * Fruits & Veggies - Be Conscientious about focusing on these. [GOAL THREE] Work from the Shadows - But let the world see your good deeds. This will be about continuing to share videos, art, stay in contact, and possibly delve into Twitch Streaming. No particular weekly goals will be had here, just a list of things to work on and see what I can figure out. * Art Lessons 1X / Week * Art Practice 3X / Week * Continue to share Video Game videos. * Add more dialog to game play for content sake. (Hard with Beat Saber) * Get green screen sorted out and work on bettering light and recording options with that. * Get familiar with Roll20 * Do some live chat workouts with friends. * More to be added... Might be some project goals here once I get that sorted out. But let's not get crazy! Now then, time to find my old bunk room and make sure my hooded cloak is still in my chest...
  4. I don't pay much attention to new years (my most hated holiday) but I do love me some Nat 20's, and at least this new year brings that to the table. Hah! Table... love it when it happens on accident. Anyway. One of the best chances to get a Natural 20 in gaming, is if you roll with advantage. You get to roll with advantage if you have a certain skill set, or strong proficiency, or if the situation you're in presents you with a reason to make the task easier. It's never just a random thing. In other words, you have to do something to set yourself up for the advantage. For me, my single biggest factor in rolling with advantage, is the arcane school of "Consistency." We're starting this new campaign off with a goal of becoming proficient in consistency once more. The goal for January is to start building consistent habits. Key word. Build. I'm not looking to pour the cement on Monday the 6th, and immediately have The Sears Tower (er Willis Tower... whatever it is now.) I realize that habits are built over time, and that there will be missed days and slips and slides. So I am going to be tracking a LOT of things to start; but also not worrying about a set number of doing them each week. Active abilities: Exercise, broken into the following - strength, cardio, stretching, active recovery, other. Self Care abilities: Night time routine, consisting of the following - teeth brush, teeth floss, wash face, mud masks, 11pm lights out time. Creative abilities: Sketching, tablet art, art lessons, D&D prep, other. Food abilities: Tracking calories, or, on occasions I cannot - intuitive eat in place of tracking, planned indulgences. Some of these, I will start off with setting goals to do them so often because without that, I might get lazy. But we're also going to focus on flexibility. Move 5x a week, sure! Maybe I really want 3x to be strength but I end up with my hip nagging me, or a sinus infection that makes heavy lifting really unappealing and perhaps not the right choice for my body? Fine, but don't let good reasons turn into cheap excuses. I still get credit on 'moving' if I opt for stretching or yoga that day instead of the lift. Things like that... In August, I was doing really well with my pull up program, and I set a goal of being able to do Tom Holland diagonal walking pull ups... I will have to work hard to get back to that but I think I can still make it for the goal date of End Game's Anniversary. (April 26th) That's basically 4 months. If I lose the weight I've gained and get back into the strength routine, that should be plenty of time. I have everything plotted out in my new, bigger, better 8x10 Bullet Journal, so my check in's here will be either a snapped pic of the bujo, or a quick 'alls well' and some deets on anything that came up. Once we get through this first challenge, we'll see how things are lined up for #2.
  5. I am so completely unfocused, lazy, overwhelmed, and under-motivated. So I steal a fantastic quote from Critical Role Campaign 1. I can't think about this too hard, or else it will fail. I really should go through my life and either set better boundaries on my schedule, or, take this challenge and learn how to quit things. The worrisome part of that idea, is that there is 'quitting because it makes sense so I can focus on something else' and 'quitting because I've chickened out'. We only want the former. So. There is one rule to this December challenge. Every morning. Wake up. Write out the plan for the day in BuJo. [And any 'do this week' things too] And then do my best to stick to it. (Excepting reasonable flexibility and sense.) There are things I'd like to get back into better habit of, but if I say I must do them this many times, and I start to fall behind, I will be all the Moop. So we're just going to write them down as 'Think about these things' and if I also do them. Great! Parts of the Plan - Eat better. - Exercise consistently. (Stick to Strong Lifts, it'll work!) - Get back to art stuff. You like it! Keep at it, you will keep improving. - Make time for friends and family. - Invest in church stuff. That's it. Nice. Simple. Not overwhelming.
  6. "And so we have come full circle. The road journeys ever on, yet we note such anniversaries with thought and reflection. Perhaps it is time for our ranger to take bold new steps; to push further past her known boundaries and find new futures. For that, we must embrace the mindset and discipline of the monks, and the chosen tradition for Starpuck, will be the Way of the Empty Hand..." It was the September challenge of last year that I took on the goal of 100% or bust. I gave myself a heck of a reward as incentive (D&D terrain tiles) and I managed to pull it off. Not only that, the consistency proved the best part of that arrangement! Four weeks of effort set into motion what would become 4 months of forward progress. I lost 20 lbs and several inches. I gained strength. I felt great! I was tracking my food so consistently that I only just broke my MFP streak of 320 days. (There were a handful of only half tracked days in that span, to be fair and honest.) And the best part? I only ever gained about 3lbs back over the next 8 months. I have hovered between 140-143 at worst, ever since. I maintained! WIthout rage, or tantrum, or frustration, or guilt, or feeling deprived. It also gave my body a nice long time to get used to things at that point. And now? Now we step back in to a little bit more focused work. Way of the Empty Hand Monks of this tradition are masters of doing more with less. They focus their minds and determination on what can be obtained with both hands free, rather than with grasping onto the equipment and goods that other adventurers might rely on. They learn that the hand must remain open and empty, in order for it to grasp what challenges lie ahead. (So it's a play on Open Hand... which is a D&D tradition that exists.) Here's how it equates to my Ranger challenge: 1. Empty the Hand that holds the iron. - I already work out and that doesn't need much help in maintaining. Maybe being a bit more focused would help... but the actual doing is getting done. So, lets start working on some actual programs, that are pre-built, that I can follow and gain some guided strength and mobility. I also want to add either yoga (have the NF yoga, so that makes the most sense) or maybe some Tai Chi to build some slow down / balance / strength / mobility into my body. 2. Empty the Hand of mindless food indulgences! - Food wise, I do the right thing 85% of the time. It's not straining me at this level, but I also know where I can tighten that up. Game nights. Namely, I tend to have a snack always in hand during game nights so I need to learn how to 'empty the hand' during the 2-3 sessions per week I play in. I think I might even indulge in a little side game of getting some 'monk hand wraps'. Every snack I eat at game night wraps around a digit of mine. The goal being to not end up with the whole hand wrapped! *Ok, that might need some work, but I think I can do something with this. I also want to tighten up a bit on my choices of food. More lean protein, more veggies. I'm pretty good at this, but if I can get to a point where I crave grapes as a sweet snack, instead of cookies, all the better. (That might not happen, and that's okay. But I'd like to just continue to add more wholesome foods to my palate.) 3. Empty the Hand of whim buys and indulgent purchases. - Spending. My car is paid off and I want to focus on savings now. I have an app that is appropriately called 'Spending Tracker'. I have had mixed success with this one. I am great at tracking fuel, groceries for work and dinner costs. But once I forget a meal out, or a whim buy of a new notebook for D&D (this happens more than I want it to), I tend to stop tracking those things. And THOSE things are what most need tracking. This will help me tighten up my spending, AND accurately see how much I spend per month on necessities versus desires. And THAT helps me see the bigger picture on what housing costs I can afford. 4. Empty the Mind of thoughts of Perfection. - Art stuff. Sooo I guess a pencil in hand doesn't fit the empty hand analogy. But I can get deep here and say that it also implies a Monk of this tradition must empty their minds of preconceived expectations on themselves based off of others. IE - stop being so upset over how good or bad you are at something, and just focus on continuing to learn and progress. This will tie in to the monk discipline side of things. That's what I'll be working on this go around. I am going to focus things down a bit more precisely as the day goes on. I'll be using my pre-written BuJo to set this all up and keep track of what is getting down on what days too. The goal is 90% - because it's a 5 week challenge. And that's going to give me some wiggle room without it being rage-inducing. Which, it hasn't been in a long time, but I would rather set an attainable goal and surpass it, then set a really unfeasible one and then give up after having to wiggle early on it. Along the way, I hope to bring my monk along for the ride over on @Jarric 's adventure! Hopefully he needs a monk in his group. And oh! The bonus goal we're reaching for here ... see, yesterday I met a Jester at the Ren Faire. I called out to her and said, "Jester, do you have any donuts?" And she comes over, and says, (in perfect Jester voice) "Wellll actually I do!" and pulls out a prop donut. Then a prop lollipop! She was so spot on ya'all. My friend, who has Jester as his fave, missed her, but we found her again later. I apologized for bothering her again, but said that my friend would really love a picture with her. She obliged. And then said, "Do you know about the Traveler?" and I answered, "Of course! We're going to Traveler Con... the one that might be at the volcano!" And she just right back and forth with the banter. Then she pulls out a hand made, color printed pamphlet on The Traveler, and hands it to us. I was so inspired by this little gem of a cosplayer, that I think I've decided to cosplay as Beau for my next con. And that's a super bold move for me, but I want to try it. *nodnod* This challenge will help me get there.
  7. 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.
  8. [Everything that happens in Dragon Age happens in Thedas, though there are some realms beyond it. It's basically like Middle-Earth in Lord of the Rings, or Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls. Fun fact: Thedas was originally shorthand for “The Dragon Age Setting,” and the nickname stuck.] And now you know where the name Thestas came from! "THE STArpuck Setting" see? (pronounced Thess-tiss) I'm super struggling to come up with a theme right now, though I feel pulled strongly to a D&D angle again. No doubt because this weeks art practice led to a sort of new subrace idea, which has me super juiced for all things creatively D&D-ish. I also am bored with my current 4 week/day/habit tracking method in my BuJo, so I think I might do a map tracker again. That was pretty fun. There are a few things I feel no longer need tracking, and that's hecka cool. There are also things that while I don't need to track, the visualization will keep me encouraged to keep at it. When it comes down to it, I just like coloring in little dots in my journal. This next bit of 4 weeks is going to be a challenge because, I am attempting to up my calories one more time (to true and proper maintenance) before I hop back onto the cut program starting in March. *GULP* I KNOW my weight might tick up a few pounds, but I should will NOT worry about that. So what am I doing here then? Exercise - 5x / week (No less than 2 lifting sessions per week.) Art - 5x / week (Going to try being less rigid on what TYPE of art happens, whether it be pencil sketching or tablet time... either counts.) Sleep Moar Better - 5x / week (Lights out, in bed, no screen on, by 11:20 on MTWFS - This allows me wiggle room on the two D&D nights per week that RUN until 11pm.) Self Care - 1x / week (Here's a new one! While I maintain myself fine, I don't ever get to pampering. This could be a night of fun sister mani/pedis, or a massage, or a bubble bath with candles and a book... something that focuses on luxury treatment for the Puck.) Selfie Sharing - 1x / week {An old one returned. In creative terms, I'm going to call this "Shattering the Mirror" because I see myself inaccurately right now. I've lost almost 20 pounds, I've trimmed and toned and strengthened, and I still see myself as really thick and fluffy in all my spots. I *feel* much better, but I can't break the visual hang ups. So I am going to force myself to look and see.) (Guys, what is the alt code for boxes, the ones below I stole from Rurik, and they make weird formatting!) Exercise ☐☐☐☐☐ Art ☐☐☐☐☐ Sleep ☐☐☐☐☐ Pamper ☐ Selfie☐ So, let's just get going then shall we? First thing we need is ... a character! Oh hello! What a cutie! Now... a name... (always harder) Sebastienne Delarieux (Tienne for short, Sebi to her closest friends.) And, finally ... an adventure... To the recipient of this note, whoever you may be, There is at your disposal, the opportunity to earn coin, prestige, even fame, should you oblige the offer herein provided. Take this signet ring to the city of Peramth, discreetly find entrance to the Gilded Cage, and present it to one Lady Nighthawk. She shall reimburse you kindly, and offer you your next task if you so desire. -V
  9. We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming to Bring You ... Something completely different from anything you have ever seen in a Starpuck thread. Guys... my friends introduced me to Bee & Puppycat, and The Bravest Warriors. I am so hooked it's not even funny; and so, I will use this challenge to proselytize further, these wonderfully bizarre and absurd shows, which I normally don't care for, but somehow got addicted to! Starpuck is... the bravest warrior! Why? Because we are full into the middle of winter, and she has NOT gained weight! She has in fact, held the line over the holidays, EVEN while increasing her caloric intake, and is doing all the things! YES! She must simply continue to maintain this epic show of determination and keep at it. So let's keep focused, shall we? GOAL #1 - Keep up the exercise habit! Move with intent 5x a week, get at least 2 lifts in per week. This is a doable number for me. Often times, I might get a 6th day in, but it's not mandatory. Sometimes my 6th day is just me running around, cleaning, organizing, cooking, etc, and that earns me a pretty good amount of steps, so that's cool too. I'd like to keep some focus on the strength training, because I get frustrated having to re-earn past gains, so that's why 2 a week is a must. I'd love 3 a week, but I notice better workouts when I get more rest days too. Still tweaking the approach! EXERCISE 5X/ WEEK GOAL #2 - Keep up the homecooking! ~~Don't stop, home coooking, hold on to that ... cookbooking?~ This slacked a bit over the holiday weeks because scheduling + parties and outings got so crazy. What that in turn accomplished though, was absolutely solidifying that I prefer home cooked food now. Like. All the time. 3/5 meals out made me super sick, and that is unfun. Along with this goal is to maintain the tracking, which has still been, absolutely no stress for me. It's really weird guys. Gonna keep rolling with it. TRACK DAILY 7X/WEEK HOMECOOKED 2X/WEEK (At friends.) GOAL #3 - Night time routine! Recovery happens during rest, muscles grow during recovery, therefore, I should get on with this proper rest thing! I already brush my teeth every morning and night, but I'd like to get into a solid and long lasting relationship with floss. It's very hot and cold for me, one minute we're in a great place in our relationship, the next, it's been weeks since we talked. (I know, gross...) I realize that flossing every night might be a big jump for me, so I am going to say 4-5x a MUST, but aim for nightly. I'd also like to take care of my face skin! So 4x a week, wash up and put on some nice nourishing night cream or something. Then! Bed time! Lights out 20 minutes before I want to be asleep. The goal is 8 hours of total in bed time, but on nights of D&D or what not, that becomes harder... so all OTHER nights, let's get it right. FLOSS 5X/WEEK WASH FACE 4X/WEEK BED TIME 11:20 3X/WEEK -- WITHIN 15m OF GETTING HOME ALL OTHER DAYS (Non gaming days, in bed lights off at 11pm, gaming days, in bed/asleep as soon as humanly possible after teething... NO SCREEN TIME after getting home!) GOAL #4 - Creative Outlets need Nurturing! I've been contemplating a hefty project, and one thing I know for sure is that I need to keep expanding those comfort zones artwise. That means, drawing things I suck at, and ending up with sucky drawings, that over time will improve - instead of just doing the things I have gotten better at already. Same old routine here. SKETCH DAILY WORK ON THE TABLET 4X/WEEK * ART LESSON 1X/WEEK D&D PREP AS NEEDED Other things on the list, but not tracked. 1. Keep up with the Scripture Memorization (We getting that rolling again guys?) 2. Keep up with the budgeting and house money savings. 3. Learn how to use my 3D printer and start printing awesome things.
  10. A dungeon crawl is a type of scenario in fantasy role-playing games in which heroes navigate a labyrinthine environment, battling monsters, solving puzzles, evading traps, and looting any treasure they may find. I thought this an appropriate theme for this challenge because I often struggle in Sept/Oct as the sun vanishes, the days get shorter and the schedule gets busier. I have pinpointed my trouble areas, now it's just a matter of navigating them. And to quote one of the Twitter folks I follow: The goal of DnD is not to level up in order to overcome a challenge. Its to solve challenges in front of you with the tools you have in place. I will conquer this dungeon with the tools I have in place, and by doing so, gain experience and level up as a side effect! Goal 1: Battle Monsters In order to handle the monsters I will face in this dungeon, I need to be well trained. That said, too many battles in a row will leave an adventurer exhausted, so I need to plan smart. Lift 2-3x / week Move 2-3x / week With hockey starting, I will not have a static schedule. I would love to get into 3 lift days a week, but it's really hard to juggle when I might end up with 2-3 hockey nights on one weekend. (Not likely, but could happen.) I also know that getting to the gym for a lift session on the weekends fails 80% of the time, so I cannot count on it. Therefore, the strategy on this monster is this. Non hockey Friday = Lifting on MWF If hockey on Friday, then lift TTH. Bike, run or dance on the days that do not include lifting. Goal 2: Solving Puzzles The biggest puzzle in this dungeon is to figure out how to stay consistent so I can lower my BF% some. This means tracking calories, and playing with the numbers - even when the data I collect doesn't immediately shout out the answer to the problem. Sometimes you get info from several chambers before you get the answer to the riddle. Track calories daily, even if they are grossly over. 7x/ week Cook at friends house for two meals there a week. 2x/ week Goal 3: Evading Traps This is about evading the weakend trap! The subgoals here may change from week to week as I find out what works best, but here is the starting plan. Avoid the honeybadger polymorph trap on game nights. 2-3x/week -- Above accomplished by the following. 1) Have sandwich makings and healthy snacks at Q's house for game nights. 2) Plan meals by Wed, so I know what I am eating, at what time on Sat/Sun. 3) Allow and plan for, one 'fun' meal per week. Limit fast food Iced Coffee's to 2x/week. Goal 4: Document the Journey for the Archives This is added in to account for the art goals and habits, as well learning to juggle the various commitments I've set up for myself. Sketch daily. 7x/ week Practice on tablet. 4x/ week Art lesson. 1x/ week D&D Prep. As needed, but at least 2x/ week Church Group. 1x/ week (Mondays.) Additional goals, that I don't want to make weekly due to stress inducement! Keep at the nightly teeth routine. Get the budget sorted, for real. Use Good Budget - limit money spent, track where it goes. Weekly plan out the weeks events, schedule and plans for food so it is not tossed aside due to 'last-minute-itis'.
  11. As many of you know, I attempted my first 50k run at the end of last month and had to DNF 13 miles in due to injury. Recent trips to a physiotherapist uncovered an issue with the tendon in my left glute and a minor issue with my IT band. Due to the nature of the injury, I've got a lot of restrictions on what I can do right now. I'm not going to lie, I've been dealing with a lot of frustrations and emotions because of this and I've also struggled to find the motivation to do the things I can do. But what better way to get motivated than a new challenge! And to paraphrase Lisa Simpson, with crisis comes opportunity. A Crisitunity, as Homer calls it. This challenge will mostly focused on my rehab, with a side goal of working on my upper body strength. I'm not allowed to do any exercises that put excessive load on my glutes, so for the next 2 weeks (the time till my next physio visit), I can only strength train my upper body. As I don't know what my physio is going to prescribe at my next appointment, these goals are likely to change later on the challenge. But for now, this is my plan of action. Stupid Sexy Flanders It's a glute injury, so my rehab is all about the butt! I have a list of exercises and stretches, some I have to do daily, some every other day. So this goal is to simply do the exercises as prescribed. I made my rehab plan into a spreadsheet. Here it is. I'm sharing for accountability. Each square needs to be filled in by the end of the day. If not, give me some hell. The only exception to this is the running plan. This is all dependent on how my first run attempt goes. If I have any pain during or in the 24 hours after the run, I cannot increase the running intervals. "Overshoot the Extreme! Max the Envelope! And so on" Strength Train 2-3 times a week I neglected strength training during my race prep and the only training my upper body got during that time was boot-camp classes once a week. I used to have some nice defined muscles in my arms and shoulders I want to get them back dammit! This is my opportunity to do just that. ii. Pull ups Pulls ups are another exercise that I've neglected horribly in the last few months. They are really helpful for doing OCR's, so I need to get better at them. Currently I can only do one jumping pull up. I'll be training these 3 times a week so with any luck, by the end of this challenge, this will have changed to doing multiple pull ups, hopefully from a dead-hang.
  12. Greetings humans. I am Optimus Prime. I have witnessed many humans accomplish great things and show exception strength. So it is now time for I, the leader of the Autobots, to undertake a similar journey. I've been working out for a while now but I'm tired of all the bros and meatheads. I wanted to find more nerdy/geeky fitness people so that's how I found NF! My main quest for this 4 week period is the Russian Fighter Pull Up Program for 30 days. https://www.strongfirst.com/the-fighter-pullup-program-revisited/ The way it works is that you first test yourself to see how many pull-ups you can do in one set. I got 11. Each day (minus rest days) you'll do 5 sets of pull-ups. You start with an all-out set and then subtract a rep each set after. Long rests in between. Ideally, 10+ minutes so it can be done throughout the day. I will be starting at 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 The next day, you add a rep to the last set 11, 10, 9, 8, 8 The day after that, add another rep to the second last set 11, 10, 9, 9, 8 And so on. This is what my program will look like: Day 1 11, 10, 9, 8, 7Day 2 11, 10, 9, 8, 8Day 3 11, 10, 9, 9, 8Day 4 11, 10, 10, 9, 8Day 5 11, 11, 10, 9, 8Day 6 Off Day 7 12, 11, 10, 9, 8Day 8 12, 11, 10, 9, 9Day 9 12, 11, 10, 10, 9Day 10 12, 11, 11, 10, 9Day 11 12, 12, 11, 10, 9Day 12 OffDay 13 13, 12, 11, 10, 9Day 14 13, 12, 11, 10, 10Day 15 13, 12, 11, 11, 10Day 16 13, 12, 12, 11, 10Day 17 13, 13, 12, 11, 10Day 18 OffDay 19 14, 13, 12, 11, 10Day 20 14, 13, 12, 11, 11Day 21 14, 13, 12, 12, 11Day 22 14, 13, 13, 12, 11Day 23 14, 14, 13, 12, 11Day 24 OffDay 25 15, 14, 13, 12, 11Day 26 15, 14, 13, 12, 12Day 27 15, 14, 13, 13, 12Day 28 15, 14, 14, 13, 12Day 29 15, 15, 14, 13, 12Day 30 Off Then, take 2 days off and test another rep max. My goal is to do 16 reps in one set by the end of the program. But my reach goal is 20 reps. My starting stats are 6'0 and 170lbs Side Quests: 1) Sleep 8 Hours a day. I know it should be easy, but sometimes its easy to stay up late! 2) Take a green food supplement every day. Again, it's easy to think I get enough veggies. But it doesn't always happen. This is more of a guarantee that I do get enough greens each day. Let's see what happens!
  13. Greetings Humans For the next 30 days, I am going to be doing the Fighter Pull Up program. Read this if you are unfamiliar: https://www.strongfirst.com/the-fighter-pullup-program-revisited/ I was able to do 11 reps in one set. So this is my program: Day 1 11, 10, 9, 8, 7Day 2 11, 10, 9, 8, 8Day 3 11, 10, 9, 9, 8Day 4 11, 10, 10, 9, 8Day 5 11, 11, 10, 9, 8Day 6 OffDay 7 12, 11, 10, 9, 8Day 8 12, 11, 10, 9, 9Day 9 12, 11, 10, 10, 9Day 10 12, 11, 11, 10, 9Day 11 12, 12, 11, 10, 9Day 12 OffDay 13 13, 12, 11, 10, 9Day 14 13, 12, 11, 10, 10Day 15 13, 12, 11, 11, 10Day 16 13, 12, 12, 11, 10Day 17 13, 13, 12, 11, 10Day 18 OffDay 19 14, 13, 12, 11, 10Day 20 14, 13, 12, 11, 11Day 21 14, 13, 12, 12, 11Day 22 14, 13, 13, 12, 11Day 23 14, 14, 13, 12, 11Day 24 OffDay 25 15, 14, 13, 12, 11Day 26 15, 14, 13, 12, 12Day 27 15, 14, 13, 13, 12Day 28 15, 14, 14, 13, 12Day 29 15, 15, 14, 13, 12Day 30 Off I am currently 6'0 and 170lbs. My goal is to do 16 reps in one set by the end of the program. But my reach goal is 20 reps. I will be using this thread to check in daily and make sure I get the sets done!
  14. I am still trying to decide on how to round out this challenge buuut the primary focus of this challenge shall be my current weak points that are causing me to flounder and flounce sadly in aerial: grip strength, lack of chin up/pull up., lack of endurance in the air. (I am also still sort of doing a cut in that I still have a little bit of tummy chub I am working on losing, but I would really rather make sure I have enough food to fuel my workout schedule and lack of sleep so I am more doing maintenance + trying to eat more veggies and don't eat like an asshole. I'm more about intuitive eating than tracking and it's been making me lose teh fats so far sooo HEY stick with what works I suppose!) ANYWHO!! GOALS!! Grip training and static holds- Hang from my baby silk for grip training on all my off days from workouts (and also possibly on days when I do something not grip heavy like dance or working with my trainer if I have time/ energy!) When working on grip training also train static hold in both bent arm hang and straight arm/ dead hang, with both silks together and with both silks separately( and also if I have enough juice in my arms do bent arm hang and straight arm/dead hang on pull up bar for extra credit.) Pull up training - 3x per week minimum work on pull up/chin up stuff. This can be negatives, jumping pulls, band assisted pulls or whatever. Aerial day and trainer day will most likely count for 2 of these days and then I need to mix in at least one more day of this in the week (may shoot for 2 days since I am currently doing trainer day on Monday and aerial on Tuesday.) Life Goal- Lipstick - I never wear lipstick and I'd like to because I like the way it looks. SOOOO GOAL TIME! Wear lipstick at least 1x per week. I'd love this to be on a work day but if it is just me wearing lipstick around the house on the weekend to get used to how it feels then that's still something! This totally worked for me with getting myself to wear eyeshadow (which I now do 90% of days) soooooo here's hoping I can get myself to do this at least a few times a week as a habit!
  15. 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.
  16. are snacks not the most important food of the day? here are some goals! Food. consume 25g fiber on weekend days. plan out what will be available to make this happen each Thursday eat out or take out less than 5x over challenge. eat SNACKS from home before anything at work (unless they’re providing lunch). SNACK ideas are welcome. currently it's a banana, clementines, and strawberries. Exercise. 5 workouts per week. mix of lifting and cardio sessions pull up bar play 6 min per week. must do on non-work days. yoga on the weekends (65 mins/week total). read/watch a new mobility article/video each week. Other (not as important as snacks) things. plan when drinking – no more than twice per week 2/7: supper club (plan to drink) 2/10: friend adventures (plan to drink) 2/11: pup’s birthday! 2/14: VDAY 2/17: dinner and ZZ Ward (plan to drink) 2/18: brother’s birthday! 2/23 – 2/25: VT trip (plan to drink 2/24) 2/25: apply for officiant license 2/26: dentist 3/3: mail invitations 3/4: boda borg 3/10: pack for bachelorette 3/11: friend’s baby shower (get gift!!)
  17. AND DEADLIFTS!!! A new challenge is upon us, and I have decided to not go so crazy on themes and stuff this time around. Ok, I lie a little... there's still gonna be lots of D&D talk, and references to Critical Role, and general badassery that's often inspired by games and stuff, and of course gifs! Something I have struggled with since- ...forever, is consistency. And for serious, just tonight, it dawned on me; "Starpuck... you can't have an epic character, if you keep changing campaigns. You'll just keep hitting level 5 and then starting over." So this challenge is going to be about grinding out some starter mobs and figuring out which quests are worth digging in on, and which ones are are pulling me away from the end boss. Goal #1 - Nom like Nott "I find the pitcher of cucumber water, I dump it on the floor, and I eat all the cucumbers." ~Nott Goal: 5 servings of produce per day, every day. I'm going to be delving into Intuitive Eating this challenge, but something I want to work on is getting my produce in. I've improved HUGELY over the past few years, but I'd like to really get a solid habit of reaching for fruits and veggies first. I'm fond of veggies, but I haven't found too much I like in the way of fruit. Suggestions will be welcome! Goal #2 - Train for Adventure "I'm a Ranger; we don't min-max, we just kick ass." ~Starpuck Goal: 5 workouts per week; aiming for 3 lifts. Strength training is important for a bunch of reasons, but also because I think it really gives me a boost of confidence. I'd like to focus my workout efforts on the lifts, but if a schedule comes up that it makes sense to have only 2 lifts, but 3 other workouts I'm gonna just roll with it. Goal #3 - Hone skills, keep the mind sharp. Goal: Plot time for artwork (4x/week) and D&D prep (2-4 hours/week). I would like to take my art hobby to the next level. That means I need to keep the practice up weekly, as well as push myself out of my comfort zone. I'll be looking for books or tutorials, and possibly, look into purchasing a more "grown up" program. Art 4x a week needs to be maintained. Sketching practice counts. D&D work I'd like to put in 2 hours on off weeks, and probably by necessity a bit more on weeks I have a game to run. Goal #4 - Study my Spellbooks Goal: Read through Intuitive Eating Because, let's be honest guys... 2+ years of counting calories isn't actually getting me anywhere. Is it too much, too little, the wrong kinds? Who knows! Clearly, ancient mankind did not need such formulas, so the body must know how to do this on its own. If nothing else, I am confident the book will help me address where my poor connections to food are, and give me insight into fixing that. I am going to try to read 15-30 minutes before bed on weekdays, and see if that also doubles up and helps me sleep better. That's it. Keeping it simple and not too crazy. These are all things I've been mostly doing. But this time it's about doing them with consistency and conviction. So, let's get rolling!
  18. Is anyone planning to participate in the Tactical Strength Challenge? Its a world wide competition that you go to a gym around you and submit your numbers. The events are: Deadlift; 3 attempts at a one rep max Pull ups; 1 attempt at max reps, strict KB Snatch; 5 min max reps each arm I'm planning to go to Victory Fitness in Greenwood, IN to compete.
  19. Sooooo, this is kind of a reboot, well okay it's a complete reboot. I've been off the challenge boards for .... a long time (has it been a year? or even longer??) and I wish I could say I kept fit in the meanwhile but I didn't I did well in many other ways, got independant in my work and love it, even though it means temporarily less income. Deepened my meditation practice and love it, both in my work as well as personally. In consequence dropped a lot of stress, tension and short temper with kids, I guess my whole family loves that At the same time I got lazy though in terms of fitness. Budget cuts led to dropping the pole classes, I didn't kick myself to do any at home, started going to yoga classes again instead which are cheaper and closer by, but somehow didn't make it there regularly either (many excuses, but none really valid) and now I lost so much strength and gained so much weight back that I look a far cry from my profile pic So no more of this!! If I could change shape before, I can do it again! After all I am a fire dragon Will start slowly to make sure I have no excuses and build up over the coming challenges some more. What is really important to me is that fitness does not prioritize over work. Simply because work means income and as much freedom I have being self-employed and working from home, as tempting it is to procrastinate on anything that doesn't have a scheduled appointment and oooof I'm REALLY easy to fall for procrastination! So in the past whenever my fitness picked up, my work slowed down and right now I simply can't afford that. A good balance it will have to be. Ideally I'll shed some body abundance and gain some financial abundance instead Will still give it my best, of course, will just have to give my best on both work and fitness. You guys will hold me accountable, please shout at me when I slack and just ask me if I'm truly giving it my all. Thank youuuuuuuuu Here goes Shape Shifting Part 1 My motivation theme for this series of challenges (I might need more than one ) is the world of His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. The people there have demons each which are like a part of their soul that lives in a separate body yet close to them all the time. The demon is usually in the shape of an animal and children's demons can shift from one animal shape to another quite often and easily. As they turn to teenagers the demons then settle on one shape which they will stay in for the rest of their lives. For the series of these challenges, I'd like to become as flexible, courageous, energetic and curious again as a child. So I will aim for three shapes of demon to have part of me turn into: Octopus - Strength If I feel a bit squishy around my middle, I might as well get strong squishy Octopus are awesome beasts though... strong, nimble and very adaptive. I'll have to build versatile strength for this one. Daily 10 Doing 10 chin ups from tip toe, 10 knee push ups (yes, that's how weak I've gotten ) and 10 knee tucks from hanging - every single day, no excuses 120 minutes of yoga / week Becoming not just strong but also nimble again, one session at a time. Yoga classes go over 90 minutes, so I have to go more than once or do some extra at home to achieve this. I know it will be so worth it! Caribou - Endurance This goal is mixing fitness and work, it's my "just keep going" goal as every step will get me lighter on my journey and closer to my work projects 10 000 steps per day counting with my fitbit over course of the day; working from home I get max 3000 - 4000 steps per day, in order to get the 10 000 steps in I have to go for about an hour walk, which will have the extra benefit of fresh air and temperature resilience, yay 30 minutes writing per day I've been asked by quite a few people now, if I can't write a book on meditation as they love my guided ones... and yeah I'd totally love to do that, have just never ventured out to actually do it. I get inspired and all enthusiastic and as soon as I sit down to write anything, all the doubts rush in and tell me I don't have anything worthwhile to say and the whole blablabla. The thing is I won't know if I have it in me or not, if I never write it! Have started writing notes and snippets over the last 18 months and now it's time to give it some more shape. It doesn't matter if I add more snippets in those 30 minutes or structure and assemble what is there already, as long as I spend the time focused undistracted on the project. Eagle - Farsight 45 minutes or more personal meditation per day, to detach and rise to larger perspective again; the goal is to surrender into the unlimited field of the loving intelligence that creates life and co-create from there. Venturing into unknown possibilities again and again until I dare do more of that in every day life as well. This practice varies from day to day in how well I can open up for it, but in general it makes me really happy, confident and inspired, plus I do feel a strong health benefit as well. Currently I use the meditations of Dr. Joe Dispenza, very cool stuff! Let's go conquer water, land and skies Happy challenging everyone and thanks for having me back
  20. Good morning Druids. This is more-or-less a continuation of the same challenge I did last time (Journey to Wudang Shan). The routine worked so very well, that I want to continue on with it. There is still plenty to challenge me within the same routine. So let's get to it. Primary Section - Tai Chi and Qigong 1. Continue Tai Chi and Qigong as a daily habit. The plan is to take some time each day to practice Tai Chi and/ or Qigong, in some capacity. 20 - 30 minutes of practice would be ideal, but I will make compromises with my other priorities in life as needed. Break it up throughout the day, as needed, whatever it takes. Make the opportunity. 2. Continue to refine my Tai Chi/ Qigong skills. This means taking in information wherever possible, from classes, seminars, videos, books, etc. I have signed up for a Tai Chi class with Community Education, but this does not begin until February. In the meantime, I will continue to self-train, read books, watch videos, and take in whatever information and training is available. My focus at the moment is on the Tai Chi 24 Form, and Spring Forest Qigong. Secondary Section - Meditation and Body Weight Training 1. Daily meditation. I've been doing this for nearly a year now. It is an indispensable source of relaxation and self-care. 2. Body weight exercises and yoga. I will do this three times per week. Body weight training focuses mainly on pull-ups and dips, using the "grease the groove" approach, where I do several sets of low reps spread out over a day. I generally do the yoga in the evening, or whenever I finish my last set of pull-ups and dips. This has been great training for upper-body and core strength. Tertiary Section - Bullet Journal I will keep utilizing my bullet journal to keep track of my daily tasks and priorities.
  21. Soooo, someone might have just finished watching Soul Eater... The thing is? For being as quirky as it was (it was also very, very good) it touched on a lot of topics that I seem to be struggling with lately (always); like fears and bravery, facing what scares you, learning to be less than perfect and finding your path. I decided it would be a good theme to help me finish off the final challenge of the year. STUDY LIKE MAKA [] Track calories daily, aiming for clean foods, and a calorie goal of 1800. [] Art stuff 4x/week and one must be some kind of tutorial. It's time to stop coasting on both of these goals. I can't discern if the formula is working, if I fudge the numbers every weekend. TRAIN LIKE BLACKSTAR [] 2-3 Strength / Week [] Walk on off days. [] Mobility daily, using Adamas mobility flow (10 minutes) There will be weeks I can do 3 strengths, and weeks where only 2 make sense. I joined my local Strong First gym's Healthy Through the Holidays challenge, and there is a mobility flow in there that can be done daily, in about 10 minutes. Since my knee is feeling better, I am not going to push back into running just yet. I want to determine if it's my weight lifting or running that caused that, so this challenge, no runs. BE CALM LIKE KID [] Daily prayer/quiet time 5m. [] Seek balance. First one pretty self explanatory, I need to learn to slow my roll. It can be a 5 minute focused breathing drill or quiet talking with God. The second one is about balance my schedule. Kid loves symmetry, so I need to be more balanced with my days out vs in, and big planned times vs relax me times. DEAL WITH IT LIKE CRONA [] Identify and face fears, and share them in here when they come up. This one will be less 'active' a goal, and more of an, 'as it comes up'. Hard to track numerically, but easy to share. I also made a pretty fun challenge tracker in my BuJo for this one! (This is because I had hours to do it while on vacation.) ALRIGHT, LET'S DO THIS!!
  22. This is it. Cold baths are here. It's been nice to know you all, I'll see you in the afterlife. Kidding. I'll post a challenge. Or something. I guess.
  23. Welcome to the Rowdy Raven! Pull up a chair, hear a tale or two... or maybe snag a bit of juicy gossip. If you're looking for a good meal or a stout ale, you're in the right place. If it's riches, fame or glory you're after, well in that case... There's a fella upstairs; black cloak, thick beard and eyes that can pierce steel. He might have a task or two for ya -if you've got the skill to handle it. Years ago, a friend once told me: Stop just admiring all these awesome women characters you get so into, and be one for yourself. As I am still riding quite high on the RPG/D&D creativity wave, I thought; what better way to do that, than to create my own real world adventure to go on. Here's the next catch though... what is a tabletop adventure without a party? So I am throwing out my Looking for Group /yell and offering this. Having a hard time with challenges lately? Know that you want to keep up on NF, but updating your own thread is being a bear? Need a little extra motivation to remember to log in and poke about? Then come to the Rowdy Raven and meet up with a few other young adventurers that want to change the world- starting with themselves! I will be putting together an adventure to help motivate myself into becoming the hero I so often admire in my games, books, movies, and anime. Using real world goals to theme a fantasy narrative! I've no idea how well this will come together, but I am excited to venture out and become! "The table upstairs huh? Alright... well, I guess I should go see this man... Right. Ok. Going now..." "and... ok, going now!" "For real this time, I am heading up to talk to the man!!"
  24. Hypothetically speaking, in January, a friend and I are going to put together a ridiculous silks/rope routine that is going to be heavily focused around amazing feats of strength--straight arm/straight leg inverts, flag, front and back body balance, iron cross, etc. That means in the next couple months it's time to tighten up, get stronger, and generally stop faffing about so I don't make a fool of myself. I've just gotten back from a work conference during which there was tons of food and beer and I re-gained the 5 lbs I've lost over the past 6-8 weeks. Hopefully most of it is water and weirdness from being outside my normal dietary and sleep routine and I'll get back down quickly. In the mean time, let's make January as easy as possible by doing hard things now. Dietary Control No drinking - as mentioned last challenge, I am drifting toward a place I don't like with alcohol consumption. Fortunately, after 4-5 days straight filled with lots of beer, I'm ready to give my liver a break. No alcohol for the duration of this challenge. Stay within calories - Beer, crepes, fried everything--the last week has been a smorgasbord of poor food choices. Time to make some better ones and stay below my goal calories. Protein consumption is a secondary goal, but no stringent delineations on this one, more like assessing where my current intake lies in order to figure out where my diet needs tweaking. Strength and Endurance Squat - I love circus, but it's hugely upper body focused. I'm missing my squat booty. Time to address that. Lower body workout at least once a week with a glute focus. May bring back some Strong Curves workouts in order to focus here. Pull ups - Hugely important for circus, of course. Throwing in a few reps of chins/pull ups during my muggle workout (I think I'm realistically only going to get one per week) will help in a grease the groove kind of fashion. Sub-maximal sets, lots of rest between, no where near failure (I get some pretty good tendonitis in my elbow when I over work these, so I'm going to be super cautious) My Circus, My Monkeys Open gym - Every Monday. Work on dramatic feats of circus strength. Eventually, choreograph and plan routine with Circus buddy. Class - Every Wednesday. Go. Learn. Exhaust yourself. Splits - 2 minute split drills each open gym and after each muggle workout I think that about covers it...
  25. Posted April 12, 2013 Jammer: "I'm not really cut out for this, sir." Apollo: "Me neither. Sometimes you gotta roll the hard six." Jammer: "What does that mean, sir?" Apollo: "I don't know. It's something my dad says. Just don't shoot until I tell you to." BSG - Season 2, Episode 2 Pretty fitting title and saying for my 2nd 38th challenge. My first last challenge I approached sort of half-assed, quarter-assed so now I gotta RE roll the Hard 6. (See, I just mixed gaming with BSG.) Fitness Goals Strength Train: 3X / WEEK Sweat!!! 3X / WEEK Eating Healthy No honeybadger moments. Life Goal Budget Related: Keep track of ALL purchases in BuJo. Collect data, find trends. The above goals were what I did on my second challenge back in April 2013. Guess what weight I was when I started? Yup. Same as I am today. I guess in one sense, keeping within the same 5-8lb spread for 4 years isn't so bad in the long wrong, right? Anyway. By the end of that challenge? These were the results. So, I am going to go back to the beginning. While I am not currently doing C25K, or plan to, I will still utilize the 3x a week SWEAT as motivation. Also- those 'strength' days were largely play ground workouts, that lasted no more than 45m. I have a gym in my warehouse now- rings, pull up bars, and weights. I am set up for success on that front. The food? I opted for not tracking calories and just eating cleaner. I likely UNDER nourished that first time around, but I am smarter now, more experienced. My TDEE has not changed over the last four years. When I am strength active I burn about 2200 a day, when I run or bike, it hits about 2400, and when I hockey I can tip to 3000. I can easily adjust my intake based on those well established averages. I have a vacation starting on the 18th, and then a very crazy ten days. I will make the best choices I can, given the surroundings I am in. I will not stress and nitpick over every calorie into my mouth because that makes me macroniacal. Hockey season is starting up too, so that will also help. And, a big difference between then and now? My gif game is a lot stronger! ROLL A HARD 6 YOU SAY?
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