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  1. Sorry for the late arrival. I knew what I wanted to do, but I'm kind of having a hard time squaring it with the general mode of daily practice and new habit formation and stuff like that. But whatever. If I wind up in a better place because of what I do here, it almost seems like de facto I had to overcome something, right? So a challenge it is. For those of you who were around last time, hi! Welcome back! For those just tuning in for the first time, I'm Kishi, sole surviving Guild Leader of the Monks. We don't talk about what happened to the other two. Sadly, I'm not some sage figure, so I can't give you much in the way of answers, but I like to think I help with asking different questions. Things last challenge took a turn for the dramatic. I got diagnosed with heart disease, the striking program I was going to got shut down, I had some tumult occur at work, and the training program - so meticulously programmed - collapsed on contact with the real world. Much of last challenge was spent picking up the pieces and carrying on, and I'd like to think I did so relatively well. And the situation has changed. Since then, I've started on a low carb Mediterranean diet, but it's low carb enough to really be a Keto Mediterranean diet. Interesting results so far - my waistline is shrinking (probably water weight) and I've got a lot of slow burn energy as documented by rolling for about an hour and a half without any dip in energy or performance. Which is interesting, but for all I know could just as easily be chalked up to more technical rolling and generous rest. I have designs on veganizing this at some point, because it sounds like a challenge, and vegan diets are tied to good outcomes for the heart also, so this sounds like a real possibility, but given all the everything that's getting thrown at me this round, that's more likely something that's gonna phase in over time. Because a lot's happening, y'all! I'm going back to the office; I misspoke when I said last challenge it'd be 11/8; it's actually going to be 11/15. And it's a phased re-entry, so over the course of three weeks, I'll be adding a day, so first week will be one day, second week two, and so on until the 4th week, when I just go back to fulltime. Why's that complicated? Because one, the holidays will be starting around that time, and two, I'll be starting up at a new school, meaning new logistical challenges to overcome. The theme this time is about balancing the books, because I've decided I want to upgrade my computer. I took a look at the new school and I realized that there's only one no-gi day there, so I'm basically done as far as no-gi grappling attire is concerned. But before I start putting away for a new computer, I want to make sure that my finances are in good order. I think I've got some expenses coming out that I don't need to, and there's no reason to keep throwing money away. I also want to go further in my meditation and to make time/space for my writing - hence, balancing the books. Goal 1: Meditate Bumping up to 9 minutes. Goal 2: Balance the Books Might wind up being something of a gimme. Ideally, find one thing a day and do something about it in my finances, whether that's regular savings or finding and disposing of an extra bill I don't need to pay anymore. I really don't think I've got that much to do, but honestly, if this makes the challenge easier for once I'll take it. Goal 3: Write Gotta get back to butt in chair time. It's worth doing. Just gotta do it. At this point, just gonna focus on getting to my writing; no word count goals just yet, just carving out space. And, uh, yeah. That's really it this time. Let's get to work.
  2. In 2020, almost everything went different than planned. In 2020, my challenges didn't go well and I feel like my fitness has stagnated. In 2021, I'm going to do my challenges differently: I'm going to set myself some "milestone" goals for the year and relay my challenges to complete them. No more "do x training y times a week" goals, but "complete goal z this/next/later challenge". Hopefully it will give me more focus and make me feel more accomplished. I want to complete at least 1 milestone per challenge (8 or 9 total in 2021). Long list of possible milestones: For this first challenge, I chose the following goals: Complete this challenge: Get to 5 push ups How: train push ups 3x per week Minimum effort: do 3 sets of push ups on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday Preferred effort: do a full strength-workout on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday Complete next challenge: Hike 20km How: increase mileage each week Minimum effort: take a 5km/7.5km/7.5km/10km/10km hike in weeks 1/2/3/4/5 Preferred effort: as minimum effort, with 2 extra 30-60 minutes walks/hikes that week Complete later challenge: Get the front splits How: stretch every day Minimum effort: stretch hip flexors and hamstrings every day, test splits once a week Preferred effort: as minimum effort, with GMB's mobility workout on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday
  3. I start on push ups a lot but never follow through, not sure why because push ups are one of my favorite exercises. Maybe because they are super hard and my mind discourages me very easily.. I am mentally weak, so I need to improve that too. My question is; should I go back to trying desk push ups, wall push ups, or knee push ups? I have read that knee push ups are not very effective. Ill list the options with how many I can do at one time. 1. Desk Push ups 20 (with desk push ups, it's on an older wooden desk and I am paranoid it will fall apart or something) 2. Wall Push ups 15 3. Knee Push ups 10 4. Regular Push ups 3
  4. I have lots of good reasons to go into the Navy: I want to see the world, I want to be able to call myself a veteran, I want to get an edge applying for federal jobs, and I want help paying for a masters of social work and to take spanish classes. I've been a retail pharmacy tech for 5 years and have grown to really, really, REALLY hate the field, mostly because of the poor pay and instability. Things will be running smoothly, then all of the sudden, I'll get cut to 10 hours a week and I have to job hop. I often work clopenings, so I get anywhere from only 2 to 12 hours a sleep in a night and I have a big belly because I live on fast food and comfort eat a lot. I've recently cut out sugary drinks from my orders, but I still have a fast-food diet because I never have the time or energy to cook. I'm 40 pounds overweight and am not sure where to start, but I know I need to meet all requirements for a medical waiver to even be considered for the military, especially a selective branch like the Navy or Air Force. Army isn't out of the question, but I am drawn to the Navy and Air Force first, and especially the Navy. My mother had me on ADHD medicine and antidepressants as a teenager, and I'm paranoid that if I lie about that, I'll be caught, but I also know I'll need approved for a waiver if I disclose that information about me. I'd really like to lose 40 pounds in 4 months, and be passing at least the minimums expected for Navy boot camp, but the better I can be, the better chance I'll have of getting a waiver. As for a class, I think either Ranger or Scout lends itself to the workouts I'll need to increase my strength and endurance, but moreso endurance. If there is any other information I left out, I'll be glad to fill you in if I ask. I'm glad to be here, and hopefully, I can get out of this career field I hate and into something better. (In case anybody is wondering, I am a man.)
  5. Time for this Pirate to start sailing her ship! 2017 has been remarkable in many ways, and now is the time to finish it strong! I am somehow gathering myself from a weird place of emptiness: My master's degree is almost completed, and I guess I always thought I would have a job that matches my education by now and I would stop studying. Instead, I'm still pursuing studies that I love, and I have two jobs (library and laundry). Finishing university was always the X on the map, but now I see that there's no treasure here - just the beginning of something new. I must admit that this feels... Tiresome? I always imagined that I would reach some ready state by the end of university, but now there's just more sea, and now I have a degree I studied for 6 years, and I still want more. I admit that I have some feelings of jealousy and envy when I look at some other people, but I'm trying to turn frustration into inspiration. I'm thinking that the point is not to get over the sea, but to learn to love travelling it. After all, you can travel pretty much anywhere you want by sea, and it offers an endless amount of surprises...! Winter is here, and I have a few months of sailing ahead of me! Time to make a plan and sail towards the Summer Islands - I'm fairly sure where to find them. 1. A Pirate's Life For Me A pirate makes her own way in the world. It is hard to know what the way looks ahead, and uncertainty is a constant companion. I gave this a thought on the bus at 5:40 AM this morning, thinking about how on earth I was on the bus at 5:40 AM, going to work Then I remembered a NF article about antifragility, and I asked myself: do I want to be a victim here, or do I want to take this as a possibility to become tough as nails? To show myself by experience that I have what it takes to take care of myself and my finances? There are things I can control, but there's a lot more that I can't. I want to start training my mind to adapt, to replace the question "why?" with "why not?", and discard the idea that I think I control everything. I want to learn how to embrace uncertainty! This also means that I need to let go of the idea of what I thought I would be, and just allow myself to become who I actually am. It is difficult, but I'm gonna do my best and have faith in the fact that things usually work out in the end I'm going to track this by reflecting my thoughts here at least 5 times a week. Yes, that's right: another "Ensi has feelings" challenge coming right up!! :DD Week 1: o o o o o Week 2: o o o o o Week 3: o o o o o Week 4: o o o o o 2. Keep The Ship Afloat This is my fitness goal. It consists of going to work 1-3 times a week at the laundry, and in addition, completing a strength training workout 2-3 times a week. I'm gonna keep working on regular push-ups; I have no set date when to reach my goal, but the goal is to reach 8 - 8 - 8. With luck and good health, it could be possible by the end of the year! Work Week 1: o o o Week 2: o o o Week 3: o o o Week 4: o o o Workout Week 1: o o o Week 2: o o o Week 3: o o o Week 4: o o o Note: It is not the point to get all three every week. These are simply for tracking purposes 3. Chart The Sea I don't have a map, and so it is more important than ever to keep a weather eye on the horizon. - make study plans, and stick to them - keep an eye on job opportunities - make a budget - come up with ways to automatize Fort Foxy (make house cleaning easier, declutter etc.) 4. Cherish The Loot It's the darkest and coldest time of the year, which means that I need to get rest, have some fun, and keep in touch with people both offline and online. I think I have the online version covered I also need to plan for rest time, and spend some time offline just hanging out, doing yoga, going for walks and such. I spend a lot of time on my computer with my studies, so taking some time offline should do me good. ** As you can see, I have no diet specific goals this time around. I have done diet goals so long that it just doesn't feel necessary anymore - and I understand that my issues aren't with food, they're with getting enough rest, and taking care of my mental health. I'm going to take it easier with my workouts for the rest of the year to save some energy for work and studies, as well. My workouts have been very effective, lately, and now I'm gonna pay more attention to rest Push-ups and SHWIMP SHWUATS are totally happening, though!! So, that's it. YARRRR! gosh that "yarr" was awkward I'm gonna just jump right off the ship byeee
  6. KnitJoy

    KnitJoy

    Hello again! I'm pretty sure I failed the last challenge but I'm back. The goal this time is to exercise and maybe finally achieve a push up! Goals: 1. Push-up: I will work on GMB's push up progression for 5 minutes each morning after my alarm goes off Monday-Friday. 2. No Electronics after 8:30: At 8:30 I put away all of my electronics and start getting ready for bed. 3. 3 Posts a week: I will post 3 times each week on NF. At least 1 post will be to my own challenge thread. Reward: A healthier, stronger KnitJoy, the joy and satisfaction of a push-up, and a t-shirt. Let's see how week 0 goes!
  7. Calling all people who want a fun push up challenge! The idea is to do 10 push ups a day until the end of challenge. Any type of push ups you want to do count, be incline , decline, diamond, regular, etc. Let's have a group to encourage one another. Tagging @zenLara, @NeverThatBored, and @obax
  8. --- Strength, flexibility, functionality. Assassins want it all. The only tool needed is you. --- It is the year 2217. Cybernetic technology has reached the public domain. Government and terrorists alike are scrabbling to buy up and use any and all technology in the fights against each other and to control and scare the general public into submission. The general public are sick of having their lives thrown around between the higher authorities and have taken matters into their own hands; creating private armies and training to fight for the underdogs and people unable to fight for themselves. Friends of mine were part of these armies but I had no intent on joining. Not until we were walking down the street one day and attacked out of the shadows. My friend and her superior fighting skills was fine but I was hurt. I woke up 6 days later to find they had upgraded my badly damaged right leg with the very same cybernetic equipment that had started this war in the first place. I would be back stronger then ever they said... Once the technology was fully fused with my human body. It would take weeks before I was ready. Once I was, I would be working for the very same Private Military as my friend. They were the ones who paid the cost of the still-rather-expensive technology now holding my shattered ankle together... And I would be working to pay that debt off. Cyborg Assassin Wannabe Step 1. Hand-to-hand combat training. While I'm waiting for my new leg to heal I gotta get up to speed with my basic training skills. QUEST 1: Bodyweights Erry Day. After surgery with 8 screws and a plate added into my leg, I am 4 weeks into 6 weeks of no weight bearing, and started doing some basic fitness on the 1st of February. If I can't use my legs I might as well catch up my upper body and core strength up a little bit. All strength will be helpful upon my glorious return to fighting the government roller derby. Do +1 push up, tricep dip, clamshell every day. Do +5 seconds of Superman hold and V-Up hold every day. Step 2. Stay Limber Simple enough. Assassins gotta be ready for anything. Having cold muscles is the best way to get beaten in combat. QUEST 2: Warmup before each exercise session. Do a dynamic full-body warmup before doing exercise. I'll be using the one we do at training before skating. It moves the whole body and is great. Bonus points for doing it more then once, during the day, between technology sessions. Step 3. Know Thy Enemy If I'm going back into battle I have to know what I'm up against. Knowledge is power? QUEST 3: Be one with the Derby I also don't want to lose touch with my teammates and the sport I love so my next goal is to watch a few games of roller derby on the internet every week, taking notes if I like, to see how the pros play the game and what I can incorporate into my practice when I do finally get back. I will also try to go to training despite being unable to skate, because I can help the others and observe any new stuff they might learn. Bonus points for taking notes while watching games / watching training. Watch 2 games of Roller Derby weekly. (Preferably on Monday & Thursday, before training) Bonus points for taking notes at any time, or watching extra games. Step 4. Be ready at all times. Assassins always have to be ready to jump up and go somewhere, just in case. QUEST 4: Be a responsible technology user Most of my couch-surfing activities will inevitably involve the TV, Xbox or my computer, so if I'm going to be staring at screens for the next 3 weeks I need to do so in a responsible manner. This means no all-day marathons without eating or moving because that's just not healthy. 10 minute breaks every 1 hour of technology. So far it seems to be quite effective. I am forced to get up and do things like eat, or do my body weights exercises; things I could / would put off for "one more quest." Bonus points here for any extra self-care I might do while I'm stuck at home. Might as well spoil myself a bit with this forced holiday of mine. 10 minutes of break for every 1 hour of technology use. Bonus points for extra self care done. Doing nails, face scrubbing, meditating, etc. --- Strong, functional, and flexible - I was all of those things. At the end of 2016, my body was (becoming) a weapon! 2017 was going to be my year of kicking ass and taking names in Roller Derby and life and 11 days into January I had to go and break my ankle. Phooey. So I've had to take a step back* and figure out how to continue getting stronger and better while I can't actually walk. Or work. Or drive, or skate or even leave the house without help. Being at home is terribly unmotivating for me so I've returned to the rebellion for the goal-setting and motivation that I need to actually do something, instead of just sitting on the couch bingeing on Dr. Who and not moving for 6 weeks. *haha! It's funny because that's how I broke my ankle. Near the end of this challenge (on the 27th) will be my 6-week post-op appointment with the surgeon that operated on my ankle. He will hopefully say I can start weight-bearing with the moonboot on and doing some basic ankle exercises. I completely underestimated just how much I enjoyed being as active as I was, so this challenge is all about keeping up some sliver of exercise without stressing my ankle. I need it to recover so I can get back to skating and working and going to the gym!!
  9. I'M BAAAAAAAAACKKKKKKKKK! As you may have noticed I was totally MIA for December because life was NUTS and then I was sick and also I wanted to hermit to get some downtime from life being nuts. OOF. BUT DECEMBER IS OVER MY FRIENDS!!!!! I took my December hibernation break to give a long hard think to what I wanted to work on for the coming year. And my conclusion is HEY WHAT ABOUT ALL THIS OTHER STUFF YOU WANTED TO DO before you got TOO BUSY with all the dance shows and more dance shows and more dance shows. Like, all your OTHER goals? Yeah THOSE! DO THOSE YO. Some examples: 1. Wanted to work towards doing a Spartan Trifecta. Had to eliminate running to save all leg muscle impact for dance. 2. Wanted to be able to do a pull up. Had to stop doing aerial because I couldn't fit it in with my dance schedule or lifting schedule. Stopped any work on hanging stuff along with the aerial. 3. Stopped lifting for 2 months because my rehearsal schedule got too hectic and the human body can only do so much exercise. 4. Stopped doing aerial for 6+ months because of rehearsal schedule. 5. Stopped doing most bodyweight workout stuff including push ups and squats and crazy core workouts because of rehearsal schedule. So basically I was doing gnarly amounts of exercise, BUT NOT THESE THINGS. And I MISSSSS THESE THINGS. I decided to skip the winter show because I need a break to do these things AND I also just need a damn break from having rehearsals. Burn out is bad. We must avoid burn out! Anywho!! Without further ado: !!!!GOALS FOR THIS CHALLENGE!!!! GOAL 1 - AERIAL Aerial at least 1 x per week (long term goal: get back to intermediate level aerialist so I can get to doing creative stuff) GOAL 2 - Bodyweight Training Bodyweight workouts at least 2 x per week and must include pull up progression work/hanging (long term goals: be able to do unassisted pull up, be able to do 30 push ups in a row & long long term be able to do handstand push up) GOAL 3 - Running Run at least 1 x per week -- this will be slow and run/walk for starters! (long term goal: be able to run half marathon distance so I can do longest Spartan length) GOAL 4 - Lifting Lift at least 1x per week (Long term goal: Awesomeness? I would like to be able to bench and squat my own weight on the bar for starters!) LIFE GOALS - Lipstick! Wear at least 1x per week to work. Bonus point if you find that special straw you bought so you can wear lipstick and be able to drink things without it fading and BRING IT TO WORK. Declutter! Continue massive room overhaul project. I can't decide how I am going to set parameters on this. Let's say must spend at least 30 minutes a week on room decluttering. (I usually will keep going as long as I can get myself started so likely will do more than 30 min/week!)
  10. Happy December all! Well, it's close enough hehe. Carrying on from the November challenge, I'm keeping it simple. My goals are to amass gains by doing the 20 pull up challenge and the 100 push up challenge. Below is the itinerary for the next few weeks. As last time, everyone is welcome to join in! Week 0: Exhaustion Test. Do as many pull ups (either unassisted or assisted) as you can do in one set. Record this number. Do the same for push ups - as many as you can manage in one set. Push ups can be incline, on your knees, or full plank style, whichever you are able to do. Week 1: Start with week 4 of the challenges. (I've decided to stick with "easy" game mode to ensure that I'm having fun. "Easy" mode is the far left side column.) Week 2: Go through week 5. Week 3: Do week 6. Week 4: Final exhaustion test. Here are my previous exhaustion test results from last month: Pull Ups: Week 0 - 10 assisted. Week 2 - 1 unassisted, 17 assisted. Push Ups: Week 0 - 10 full plank style. Week 2 - 23 full plank style. In addition to the pull up and push up challenges, each week I'm going to be buying the ingredients for two recipes from the Nerd Fitness Academy "cookbook" and cooking them. My goal here is to eventually cook all of the recipes, putting the ones that I like into a bookmark folder for future access.
  11. The lions sing and the hills take flight. The moon by day, and the sun by night. Blind woman, deaf man, jackdaw fool. Let the Lord of Chaos rule. Aiyaa. I must hate myself. There's 47 different POV characters in this book, and the prologue is 30K words. But, lots of cool things happen here. Can't deny that. Anyway, the month's work is cut out for me. NaNoWriMo is up in about a week, and I got a GoRuck to perform. We're coming down to the wire in terms of how prepared we're going to be for that (and by we, I mean me. I'm sure @RisenPhoenix has this in hand). So, let's set the pieces on the board. One more dance along the razor's edge finished. Almost dead yesterday, maybe dead tomorrow, but alive, gloriously alive, today. Rand is an appropriate training stand-in again. He winds up wanting to build a school for men who can Channel, which is a thing not seen for thousands of years since the men who can do magic in this setting wind up going wildly, destructively mad. Still, his rationale makes sense - if the world's going to end soon, nobody's gonna live long enough for that to happen, and he might as well face it with as many allies as he can make. Fortunately, my circumstances are far less severe. But training is training, so training I shall do. We are going to tickle some Aes Sedai under the chin, rescue a mule, and put a snip-nosed girl on the Lion Throne. Oh, yes. That’s Aviendha. Don’t look at her crosswise, or she’ll try to cut your throat and probably slit her own by mistake. Two quotes for this guy? I didn't mean to, but the picture's too good and the cropped version of it is through the Wiki just doesn't play nicely with the code here. But it's appropriate anyway. Mat is the Writing Goal for this challenge. Yes. This is because he is going to tell a big story that's going to be very important toward the end of everything. And he can't stop talking. I cannot tell you the weather will be what it should tomorrow. I can tell you that Perrin and I will do what needs to be done, whatever can be done. And I don’t need to tell you that you will take what each day brings, whatever it is, and be ready to face the next. That is the kind of people the Two Rivers breeds. That is who you are. So, I've been dillydallying about with my money, which I shouldn't have been on account of the fact that this money has purpose and reason. I need to fix that. I have the tools I need to set it all up so that everything comes out automatically, without me having to even think of it. I have my savings account set, and my car payment set. But I still need to arrange my student loans, which means I have a few different difficult phone calls to make, as well as getting my credit card set up to be paid for. It feels like a difficult thing to do because it feels like what I'm doing is signing away a lot of money... but it's not that bad. And that's the point of it anyway. Student loans and credit card. Three lines I need to set up. One per week. That should do it. And while I'm at it, let's see if I can get some of the extra things coming out to not come out anymore. What is too absurd to believe is believed because it is too absurd to be a lie. Egwene Al'Vere is a young woman who once thought she would marry Rand. That didn't turn out to be true. There were much bigger things for her than that. Anyway, she's the reading goal. Which feels small - she's a real badass, actually - but then I remember what I'm reading, and suddenly I can live with it. 0 Week to warm up and we'll go from there.
  12. With his coming are the dread fires born again. The hills burn, and the land turns sere. The tides of men run out, and the hours dwindle. The wall is pierced, and the veil of parting raised. Storms rumble beyond the horizon, and the fires of heaven purge the earth. There is no salvation without destruction, no hope this side of death. It's such a happy story. Did I mention that? Just, this amazing, joyous thing. You'll want to dance after you read this. Anyway, things are not getting any easier for our heroes. Rand, having survived and been marked by his time in the Wastes returns to the west with an unstoppable army at his back. He sees his enemies, and he must stand against them. Let's get our game faces on. "Do you finally begin to trust me?" "I trust you like a brother. Until the day you betray me. You have a parole for what you have done, in return for your teaching, and a better bargain than you deserve, but the day you turn against me, I will tear it up and bury it with you." Rand is the catch-all for my training this time around. I am presently training with a mind toward building muscle, to take advantage of eating at maintenance and giving my body a break. I don't know if that'll last to the end of the challenge - if I find that I've put on too much bad weight to come with the good, I'll switch back to cutting, and my training will switch to reflect that. But as I mentioned to the Giant who has stopped in to see me, training to take advantage of the amount of food I'm eating now is a lot of fun. Beyond that, though, this challenge is going to be mostly about cementing myself around the new schedule and the commitments I have and figuring out just what I can get away with now. Holding your ground is not the same as going backwards. Everything always changes. The best plan lasts until the first arrow leaves the bow. If that sounds kind of like Napoleon or something, well, that's kind of on purpose. Mat accidentally'd his way into taking a level in badass last book. He survived something way back in book 1/2, and even though he was healed in 3, it left him with some holes in his memory that he was never okay with. He wanted those holes filled up. He was not specific with the right people as to how that would happen. Mat has a funny way of finding himself in the most chaotic places and situations. It honestly reminds me very much of my job. I want to do better at it, and I have a very concrete way of figuring out how to do that. I want to focus on working cases in the following order - priority cases, opening the new cases, developing the old cases. This is a set of numbers that's probably going to change as time goes by, because it's kind of chaotic. I will set a baseline of working the three priority cases I have now and completing opening procedures on the three cases that I will be assigned that follow, for a total of at least 6 cases per day. Beyond that, I'd like to touch on at least the five oldest cases in my queue, for a total of 11 cases per day. This may or may not be a realistic thing - it can be a lot to work on any given case, given what evidence has come in, what you have to do to reach claimants, to say nothing of the other behind-the-scenes stuff. Also, given the rather personal nature of these things, I'm afraid I'm going to have to be kind of vague in terms of talking about it. I won't be able to give you much more beyond what I've done. It's all I have to give, guys; sorry for that. If you must drown or ride a lionfish, you ride and hope for the best. Siuan Sanche is a hard woman who's made a lot of hard choices to be who she is and where she was. The former Amyrlin has been deposed, and is forced to make of her life what she can. I'm kind of torn between making a goal of not being late to anything and making a goal of getting through Deskbound. The latter wins out in the end for me because being a professional about things just seems like a very poor goal to think about. Of course I'm going to be on time for things - I have a grown-up job now. Being late is becoming foreign to me. But what is becoming familiar is a chair. That is unavoidable at this time. Maybe, eventually, I can do a standing desk, but at this stage it doesn't make much sense to ruffle feathers. So, I will make do with what I have. Get through Deskbound, run assessments, apply. "I mean to deal with the world as I find the world, for as long as I can." Why, yes, that is Moiraine again. And yes, those are portentious colors for a portrait, as if something terrible is about to happen to her. You shouldn't read anything into that. She is still seeking after stories, still writing, even as the world marches toward Tarmon Gaidon. She's a believer in a cause, marching toward something that she can barely see. Rand by this point sees her as a manipulator, someone trying to pull his strings for the White Tower, and this is true. But though she's sacrificed much, she never does so with thought to herself and what she might have wanted. She's a hard character to like, but she's just as hard to dislike when you see who she is and what she does. And why. And the things that she dares to do as a result of her sense of purpose and what she's trying to do... she's really incredible. Anyway, the reading and writing goal goes here. Time to take the week and see how it plays. Cool. Let's go.
  13. It has been months since my last challenge and I think it's time I came back to it. I was really happy and fit when I was participating and I really want to recapture that. Without further ado, may the Hunger Games begin! Clean eating until Halloween [CON +3] I have recently gone to Chicago to visit my parents. As one does on vacations, I ate like an asshole and gained more fluff. Again. To be honest with myself, it really makes me angry how much I have let myself go this past year. I am hoping being on NF again will light a fire under my ass to improve. Things I will be focusing on: No sweets No bread/pasta products Stick to Primal for majority of the challenge Keep calories in 1800-1900 range; don't break 2000cals I foresee cheat meals during this time, because life happens. That being said, no more than one cheat meal per week is permitted. I'm trying to curb my eating here Run 3 times a week, for a mile [CON +3] Hot Chocolate 5k is happening on October 2nd (OMG SO SOON) and I have not practiced at all. Actually, I am utter crap at running and I always wonder just why I sign up for any races to begin with. All in all, this one is only 3.1 miles so I should train at least a little. One mile three times a week should be sufficient training. I'm only glad there are treadmills at work so I don't have to run outside at 8pm (which is when I am done with my daily activities) Even though the event happens in the middle of the challenge, I will continue running. I strongly believe that being able to run a mile without stopping is an important skill to have. Minimum 64oz per day, pre-workout [CON +3] This is a habit I have struggled to form for a very long time. I live in Colorado, so 64oz of water should be a bare minimum for somebody of my size and activity level at such elevation. It rarely happens so this challenge shows up all the time. One of these days I will do this without constant reminders. Today is not one of those days. Tomorrow doesn't look good either. Let's hope I'm better at this at the end Note: Tea, coffee, and juices do not count. It needs to be WATER. 50 push ups a day, 5 days a week [STR +3] It wouldn't be a challenge without an over the top exercise section. This is it. I remember knocking out over 800 push ups in a week once (it hurt, it was for a mini, I lived to tell the tale), so 250 should be no problem at all. That's the theory, at least. I will try doing these at work only, so I can have a breather over the weekend. That being said, it gives me two extra days to accomplish my goals in case something pops up. Do something weird/different/new once a week. [WIS +3] I've noticed that I don't really do anything new and exciting, almost ever. I am very cozy in my daily/weekly routine and I hate change. I also love new things. But wait! Contradiction! How? I enjoy having experiences, but I'm already entering into the 'old fart' category where all I want to do is sit on my ass and be lazy all the time. Let's go do stuff instead! Some new things I plan on trying in the coming weeks: Get a Wyoming key chain (which requires traveling there) Try escrima Check out the newest exhibit at the Museum of Nature and Science Go to Red Rocks (for a workout or otherwise) Let's go!
  14. Greetings, fellow rangers. Please, ignore the fact that I am 10 days late for this challenge. I was just going to wait for the next one, but yeah. Screw that. I am a 25 year old living in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, who actually has this whole exercising/healthy living thing down. I Crossfit 4-5x/week, I don't eat like an idiot 80% of the time, I enjoy martial arts, meditation and I own a pair of Kettlebells for those times I am bored at home doing nothing. I am 5'2'' and currently weight 55kgs (110lbs). I decided to give NF challenges another chance because I absolutely suck at setting goals for myself if there is no accountability involved. So, for this challenge, my main goal is to do a proper push up. Yeah. As a newbie crossfit addicted, I am learning to do all these awesome things with my body (I can squat 120lbs, deadlift 160lbs and swing a 20kgs kettlebell with awesome form and a smile on my face), but I can't still do a decent, honest to God, push up. With that in mind, here are my quests for this challenge: Strenght Quest - Master the push ups by training them EVERYDAY. 5 sets of 5 reps, following the Convict Conditioning progression. Dexterity Quest - Stretch my hamstrings EVERYDAY for at least 10min. - NF Yoga 3x/week. Constitution Quest - Aim for 1800-2200 calories a day. - Eat at least 110g of protein everyday. Inteligence Quest - Finish reading the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. Wisdom Quest - Meditate everyday for at least 10 minutes. Charisma Quest - Reach out to a different friend/acquaintance everyday. It can be via Facebook, e-mail, SMS, whatever.
  15. "The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time." So, here's the thing. I've read Lord of the Rings and some Game of Thrones and I know that there's lots of good stuff out there. But believe it or not, neither of those were really my first epic fantasy. Oh, I mean, sure, I read LOTR as a kid, but like I didn't get it, you know? A lot of it just went in one eyeball and out the other. I think I learned more about it reading the commentaries than actually reading the book itself the first time. What I'm trying to get at is that, for me, the first fantasy series that I really grokked on any level was the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. What is the Wheel of Time about? Basically... it's a free for all. A battle of the sexes caught up in the battle against annihilation. Man versus woman versus Evil. It's epic and awesome, and it's the kind of series where I go back and reread and always find something new to take from it. And with the news coming down that the legal hurdles have been cleared and that a TV series is somewhere in the future, well... the days I have to actually finish reading this thing are numbered. So, let's dig into this. The books have three protagonists at their center, each of whom represents something admirable. Although I don't know if I'll continue with the series as a theme for my challenges, I think I can make do with this lot to start. Rand Al'Thor. "I am tired of running. Tired of you threatening my friends. I will run no more." Rand is a stubborn fellow. He and his friends come from a place where stubbornness is a way of life. Dig deep and hold your ground. My body is adapting to the work at the store. Now I must make my mind follow suit. Set the day's training agenda, and stick to it, no matter what. I always regret something rushed, but I never regret something done late in the day or in the night. Matrim Cauthon. "Blood and bloody ashes!" Mat's a bit of a contrast with the others. He hears the call to adventure and, after the first one, spends a good amount of time trying to run from the call. The call, sadly, knows where he lives, and very often beats him to the place he is trying to go. This one's all about locomotion. I heard there was a GoRuck happening up in Boston in November, and while I don't know if the money's going to come together to make it happen, training as if it could or would is probably going to benefit me. So, there are two things I need to grow comfy with. Moving with a pack, and swimming. So: Find and acquire 6 bricks for the pack Acquire and begin applying Total Immersion Perrin Aybara. "We don't talk about being men, we just are." ("That's why you make such a bad job of it.") Despite his size, Perrin's actually a very gentle young man in the beginning. He is known for being deliberate and careful with his thoughts, and given how the journey changes him, this is a Very Good Thing. Continue mental training with an emphasis on awareness and correction of emotionally useless states. Moiraine Damodred. "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills." Oh, Moiraine. The first real badass. More Gandalf than Gandalf to me. There's no hiding that she has a story to tell, but when we first meet her, she's trying to learn stories and to understand and read the Pattern of the world around her. So, a reading challenge. Finish The Eye of the World by the end of the challenge. Don't laugh. It's a big book and I read slow. Though maybe I should pick up something about speed reading if I can. Maybe that would help. ... Time to throw the dice...
  16. Hello fellow assassins (or rebels, warriors, rangers, scouts, adventurers and druids)! Welcome to my 5th challenge Just a quick recap, let's take a look at what I've achieved so far: The first challenge I participated in was in January. I know it sounds like one of those New Year's resolutions, but it wasn't. I was a desperate binge-eater, I was more than 96 kg (height: 164 cm), and could barely climb a flight of stairs without getting winded. Now, I have only binged twice in the last 4 months, I'm down to 89 kg (perhaps even less, I'll give the exact number in a few days), and last month I never used stairs except when I had to carry heavy stuff, which means I climbed 4 flights almost every day! Also, today I realized I can go into deep bodyweight squats and lunges! I'm still working on my push-ups and pull-ups. The progress is slow, but I know someday I'll be able to do them properly! Let's take a look at my new goals: Goal #1: Have 2 "clean days" a week, which means I won't eat any kind of junk food for 10 days in total in the next 5 weeks. On the remaining days, I'm limited to one "pack" of junk food (chocolate, chips, etc.) a day as usual. For those who are not familiar with my method, I'm aware this "pack" thing can be tricky (there are HUGE packs, and small ones, after all) but it works for me. Goal #2: NF Academy Level 2 work out 2 times a week. I can't say I'm enjoying working out, but it has kind of become a chore. I don't enjoy working out itself, but I love seeing the progress, so I'm going to stick to it. I don't have specific days for this, I prefer working out at home, so I do them whenever the house is available. I just make sure it's 2/2 at the end of the week. Oh, and the Academy workouts have got updated and I LOVED the new program. Goal #3: Mindful eating. One of my worst habits is not watching my favorite shows without eating something unhealthy. So, no eating while watching. No exceptions. Life Goal: Washing my face every night. I don't have a serious acne problem although I have oily skin, but I can definitely level up in skin care! Also, this time I tried to make a simple Excel table to track my goals. Here's a screenshot:
  17. I did this crossfit WOD last year for the first time. Since then between my xfit classes and NF challenges I'm getting stronger so I decided to set a goal for myself to improve my time and/or performance this year. It's just around the corner now so for this challenge leading up to Memorial Day I'll be working on the four components. Exercise: +2xp per practice 1. Run continue 3x C25K training. I'm starting over at the beginning but working on more challenging terrain. 2. Pull Ups 3x weekly practice. assisted rep (jump up). 3. Push Ups 3x weekly practice. elevated. using darebee push up challenge. 4. Air Squats 3x weekly practice. using darebee squat challenge. Diet log meals daily into myfitnesspal. keep protein around 100. watch the carbs. Life: +2 per practice do something fun (be social and/or work in art journal)
  18. My biggest problem isn't that I don't know what I'm doing. It's that I know too much, and in so knowing, forget how little I know. I have a bunch of different programs that all want to work together. But I haven't really done the work of putting them all together properly, and it's been to my detriment in the past. And it's trying to be now. Still, as it's been pointed out to me, I'm wise enough to know when something is working and when it isn't, and there's no shame in making adjustments on the fly. Putting a bunch of pieces together and adjusting quickly as I need to with the aim of building something better? Sounds like Tetris to me. Okay, so. Goal 1: Nighttime Meditations I originally tried to do a program with the idea of switching between various forms of meditation. Parts of it were interchangeable, but, ah. I didn't know which parts. Since I have some time for meditating set aside in the morning, I'm going to use it for shorter exercises. The longer part, the thing I let slip because it didn't belong, was the longer time of stillness which I find that I need. Goal 2: Writing Making writing a goal last time was a good idea. But it's incomplete. I didn't write every day like I wanted to, and I want to break the curse of the five missing days. To spice this up a bit, we're going to move my standards a bit, so that I'm doing more for minimal, nominal, and maximal standards of performance. Goal 3: NO MORE CHEAT DAYS You can't build what you want by just doing what you want. No. You have to make the blocks fit together, earn the spaces and such. This will not be easy, with my folks being prone to celebration at the drop of a hat, but that means all the more reason for me to do my diligence. Goal 4: Condense Training Whether I like it or not, I'm not really going to be in charge of my schedule much longer. So, I have to work with my training to make it fit everything. There's lots of reasons to do this - for starters, the present modifications I've done make for a very lopsided training split; A day is short and B day is long. That bothers me, because I feel like I'm trading efficacy for peace of mind, and that's not what I need. Additionally, I'm finding that the handstand work I tried to cram in doesn't really fit together with the pike presses. It flirts with failure too much, and that bothers me. And in addition to that, I have a very physical job coming up, and I've got to balance what I'm doing out here with the demands of the work there so that I can be effective. On the other hand, though, playing around with fatigue is proving to be just loads of fun. You'll see as we go. Anyway, the name of the game here is to not let any one training session exceed an hour in length. Ideally, bring it down somewhere between 45 and 60 minutes. I will be timing these sessions to double-check myself and make sure that I'm not being too crazy. ... Yeah. Yeah. Okay. This'll work.
  19. I will make this look pretty later... 1. Push daily push up practice. follow darebee 50 push up challenge workout. 2. Pull daily pull up practice. using schedule from this article to set up my workout. 3. Pace start running on different terrain to get ready for first 5k. using darebee 8 weeks to 5k for daily workout. My long term goal is to improve my performance/time for the Memorial Day MURPH. These three workouts should help me with all the parts (the run challenge includes squats on the off days). Also want to do daily journaling. more on that later. must head to yoga...
  20. I've been doing lots of research on the Middle Ages, and have been thoroughly enjoying all the wonderful manuscript illuminations and marginalia. And so, I want to share them! I have three big goals for the next 5 weeks (starting now!), so with no further ado... Polgara Goes Medieval! Run Like You're Being Chased by Creepy Marginalia! One of my big yearly goals was the run the Zombies, Run Virtual Race 10k in the next 2 weeks. Actually, the goal was to train for the 10k. However, work and life has been really crazy, and I haven't been doing it. I will likely still run the 10k vr, but I will not be well prepared. To further complicate matters, I'm having some foot pain. My left foot, on the top has been very tender. I sort of suspect extensor tendonitis, except it doesn't hurt to raise my toes - it hurts to curl my foot down and around (very hard to explain). Anyways. I suspect one of my daily pairs of shoes, so will be avoiding them, and icing the foot. Hopefully it doesn't sideline me too much. So, the goal for the next 5 weeks is to complete 4 weeks of the 10K training plan, and 1 week of 10k race and recovery! (to be modified due to injury as required). Week 0 : 1, 2, 3 Week 1: Zombies, Run Virtual 10k !!! - recovery run? Week 2: 1, 2, 3 Week 3: 1, 2, 3 Week 4: 1, 2, 3 Shop So You Don't Have to Carry It On Your Back The other thing that has really suffered due to my crazy work schedule has been proper grocery shopping and meal planning. I know how to do this, but I'm not making it a priority. So. This is a priority. And to make it clear to myself, I am giving myself a sa-weet prize if I meal plan and shop all 5 weeks! If I meal plan and do one big shop, I get to buy myself either or This is happening! Don't Get Chased By The Honey Bear! Sweets are my downfall. I have had luck with a couple of different strategies in the past, but they haven't proved sustainable. For this challenge, every serving of sweets I eat need to be paid for with push ups. The first serving a day costs 10 push ups, the second costs 20, and it escalates from there!
  21. My challenges this year are improving and I am sure that this will get better the less time I spend being ill. However, this challenge is going to be slightly different. As I will be doing a lot of campaigning this challenge for upcoming local elections and trying to rest and take care of the rest of my life at the same time. I'm going for three simple but important challenges plus I am going to add my own mini-challenge per week. Goal: Reason: I created a goal to travel by foot more than I did in 2014. What a perfect time to put a focus on that part of the challenge than during an election. I will still be going to the gym and whatever else but there won't be the same focus on it as I may not be able to go as often. What: Track (via my phone and runkeeper app) 20km walking (about 5k a week) this should be do-able but may have to add in extra walks How: Track my walks while out delivering leaflets and any extra walking I do Bonus points: Extra walks, particularly in nature Motivation: I need to beat my 2014 self! Goal: Not to give in to temptation Reason: While I tend to eat quite well, my eating habits of late have tended towards junk food. This is not good for me or helping me stop being ill. What: Remove as much junk food (high calorie - low nutrition, generally just not good for you) as possible. No take-aways and when eating out choose something that at least has vegetables in it (as far as being vegetarian will allow me). I don't have enough fridge or freezer space for much meal-prep (though I still need to read that NF article) but I will keep making my healthy lunches. Evening meal I need to work on as I am mostly feeding myself at nights for now. How: Say no, plan ahead, buy fruit etc. for snacks. Tracked on myfitnesspal. Bonus points: Actually saying no to junk food. Making it through the whole month without junk food. Motivation: To feel better. To be better. Goal: Keep on top of life Reason: I'm going to be busy this month. I need to make sure I don't neglect other things in my life and includes me/ rest time as well. What: List! I love lists. I have done something similar to this in previous challenges but I have decided to bring it back as it feels appropriate. How: I will make a to-do list every Sunday for things I need to do that week including rest/me time each week. Keep track of what I need to do and not just leave it all for a day off. Bonus points: Bonus points for every day that I finish my to do list early. Motivation: It gets stuff done. I like lists. I will feel better. Mini-challenges Week 1 - Every morning get up 5 minutes earlier than normal and do as many push ups as possible. Week 2 - Update my challenge thread every day Week 3 - Week 4 -
  22. ☆☆☆ ☆ Main Story, Goal 1: get back to pre-wedding weight (Goal 2: Pass avg fitness test Goal 3: 25% or less body fat Goal 4: gain post apocalyptic survivalist fitness level Goal 5: ???) Quest 1: Workout 3x a week! (09/12 +3STR, 07/12 +2STR, 05/12 +1STR) Quest 2: Primal 80/20 + 90g max weekly avg + 1500 max weekly avg! (3/4 +3CON/1CHA, 2/4 +2CON/1CHA, 1/4 +1CON) Quest 3: Weening off dairy! 10oz max weekly. (3/4 +3CHA, 2/4 +2CHA, 1/4 +1CHA) ☆☆☆ My motivation ☆☆☆ 1. I want to be a good example for my sisters and future children 2. To optimally manage my mental health 3. I want a healthy relationship with food 4. I want to be more comfortable in my skin 5. To be able to better participate in walks, hikes, and other outdoorsy things I once enjoyed 6. To be able to be pregnant safely and have the energy to play with my child (disclaimer: I have jacked up ankles and very literally weak core muscles that don't even activate properly when exercised, so if I got pregnant while being in my current physical condition I likely could render myself immobile) 7. I want to be able to protect myself 8. To better my chances at having a long and healthy life with my loved ones 9. My husband 10. Myself ☆☆☆
  23. This challenge is going to be an unSMART D.U.M.B. goal version of what I've been doing anyway. 1. Ride my bike - most days, do some intervals sometimes, mostly on a trainer. 2. Push Ups, Pull Ups, & Abs - once in a while, I might do some mobility while I'm at it. 3. Project: Best Ass Twin Cities [P:BATC] - when my legs have some freshness in them, I'll do some goblin squats, lunges, and of course glute bridges, maybe some jumping jacks for Wolfie. 4. Eating - Don't eat stupid stuff, try to keep track.
  24. Hi! Can someone comment/critique on my form here? To be honest, I'm not 100% sure what I should be doing with assisted one arm push ups. Where should I be putting my weight? On the "assisting" arm? Or the lower one? If you have any cues to help that'd be great!
  25. ☆☆☆ Challenge 4 ☆☆☆ ☆ Main Story, Goal 1: get back to pre-wedding weight (Goal 2: Pass avg fitness test Goal 3: 25% or less body fat Goal 4: gain post apocalyptic survivalist fitness level Goal 5: ???) Quest 1: workout 3x a week! (09/12 +3STR, 07/12 +2STR, 05/12 +1STR) I am finally ready to do full workouts. Steve's beginner body weight workout is my focus. Of course there are options, but I enjoyed the body weight exercises from last challenge so much I wanted to make it a focus. Quest 2: primal 80/20 + 100g carbs max weekly avg + 1600cals max weekly avg! (23/26 4/4 +3CON/+1CHA, 20/26 3/4 +2CON/+1CHA, 17/26 2/4 +1CON) Kind of busted on the carb goal the last half of the challenge so keeping it around til it sinks in. I also took a look at my cals from last challenge and got a general idea of where to start with decreasing it a tiny bit at a time to get me use to cutting back and watching cals. Weekly averages are nice cause it covers social events and times when I just want to share a drink with my friends. Quest 3: Weening off dairy, 14oz max weekly! (4/4 +3CHA, 3/4 +2CHA, 2/4 +1CHA) So some potentially gross facts: my skin sucks. Like big time. My goal is to throw out the dairy to see if it makes any difference. Plus I discovered my all time trigger food for binge eating: icecream. Oops. But I have to ween off because to go 100% free suddenly made my brain panic and eat ALL the dairy... so baby steps. Bonus: drink more freaking water! .5oz per lb minimum! By the way I am SUPER dehydrated like all the time and did I mention my skin sucks? ☆☆☆ My motivation ☆☆☆ 1. I want to be a good example for my sisters and future children 2. To optimally manage my mental health 3. I want a healthy relationship with food 4. I want to be more comfortable in my skin 5. To be able to better participate in walks, hikes, and other outdoorsy things I once enjoyed 6. To be able to be pregnant safely and have the energy to play with my child (disclaimer: I have jacked up ankles and very literally weak core muscles that don't even activate properly when exercised, so if I got pregnant while being in my current physical condition I likely could render myself immobile) 7. I want to be able to protect myself 8. To better my chances at having a long and healthy life with my loved ones 9. My husband 10. Myself
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