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  1. The woods surrounding the enclave were lovely and peaceful, and the hallways in which she was permitted to stroll were equally so, but Chris-Tien found herself restless. While she accepted the need to recover from the days and nights spent in the maze, the paladin was keenly aware of the need to aid the faculty of Strixhaven against the bugbear wizard Murgaxor, who even now could be gathering his strength and materials .... and assistants .... for a deathly ritual deep in the woods of Witherbloom. Waiting and recovering were near the bottom of the list of things she wanted to do. But she had little idea of where she actually was located ... and the clerics and monks of the Cobalt Soul had taken her gear. To repair it, was the excuse they gave .... and Chris had to admit that it had suffered during her latest encounters. Fighting defensively, to wear out but not maim her ensorcelled friends, the paladin's armor had been dented and scorched to the point of potential failure. Her current benefactors were currently mending it ... as well as her body .... promising that one of their clerics would be able to teleport her to Phandalin far faster than she could travel by ship and horse. Considering the heat that came off the nearby fields, Chris was sure that the journey by normal means would take weeks, if not months. The climate here, so warm and dry, suggested that she was far south of Neverwinter. She just hoped that the cleric would be as good as he thought he was. This challenge is a refinement of the previous one, with some changes to the scoring and the return of a map of randomly generated terrain, which will instill some variety to the daily cardio workouts. The spreadsheet itself shows the updated scoring items and options. Since I did not engage and beat my Shadow boss, it is still out there .... skulking and awaiting a chance to strike, having become more powerful during the interim. 10% more hit points. Since I beat it on points with such a huge spread, I've tweaked the scoring to try to make it more important that I work on my nutrition goals. For fun, since I wanted to try out a solo D & D campaign, I will also be using the Wolves of Langston solo adventure as the basis for this challenge's story. I also have long wanted to try out a colleague's idea of making a class into a multi-player game .... so I'll be reading that book and thinking about refining the rules for gamifiying fitness and health. Plus, I'll be paying attention to what a a couple other very creative members of the Rebellion come up with. 😇
  2. Hello and happy Week One of the Autumn Vibes challenges. I spent Week Zero recovering from a cold that tried to kill me over Labor Day Weekend. Feelin' sorry for Cidran - he had the symptoms pretty badly last night. I managed to meet both of my unsaid goals this morning: I did some editing on my book, and for the first time in months I did a set of the NF beginner bodyweight exercises. Even with just one set, my shoulder got a spike of pain, so I also did Hinge stretches on my lunch break, and I'll do them again tomorrow morning. After my two-goal challenge last month, I really want a third challenge. It being the month of Bilbo Baggin's birthday (albeit not with the excellent party from last year), maybe I should feature my hobbit food goals of enjoying produce from raiding Farmer Maggot's fields. Surprise goal: I want to bike to the mall at least once a week. If I have the energy in the evening, that's good. If I have to go on the weekend, that's fine. And for doing so, I get to stop by Hot Topic and get a pin. 😉 Week 1: 💪 - success 📝 - success Tonight is game night sans a player, and I never told y'all how last week went. 😅
  3. Alright, Mags. You've got this. Don't back down. "Avens, Magnolia?" the quidditch captain looked up as he read her name aloud. A young second-year student with unkempt dark-brown hair stepped forward hesitantly. "Alright, show us what you've got." The next thing she knew, Mags was handed a broom and four other students were up in the air with the quaffle, throwing it around. "C'mon and catch it," one of them shouted. No! Mags wrestled with herself, Why are you freaking out? This is what you expected, wasn't it? Get up there and get it! She mounted her broom, kicked off, and sped up toward the other students, the wind whistling in her ears. She was almost to them. It felt great to be gliding through the air like this. Then the wind was blowing her hair in her face and she looked down. Instead of continuing to climb, she began to lower herself slowly, at a comfortable pace and anxious to get back on solid ground. "You're going the wrong way," one student above laughed, tossing the quaffle across the way to another. "I know!" Mags shouted back, holding tears in with a concerted effort. She wasn't sure if she was more scared of her immediate predicament or embarrassed for deciding to try out for the team when she knew she was afraid of heights. Why did I come here in the first place? She landed and handed the broom back to the quidditch captain. "Thanks for letting me try," she said sourly, trying to ignore the fact that she'd just made a fool of herself in front of one of the most popular boys in the school. Everybody knew Arch after last year when he led Gryffindor to win the house cup for the first time in four years. "Listen, Avens," Arch said as he took the broom before Mags had a chance run off, "I don't know if you've noticed, but you're the only second-year here. Don't beat yourself up for trying. If the heights bother you, work on doing handstands to feel better about being disoriented. Come back when you're ready." "Thanks." Mags walked to the greenhouses to work on an herbology assignment, but instead of being frustrated like she'd been only a moment before she was determined to give it a go and get onto the team next year. Now to figure out how to do handstands... ~~~~~ Thought it would be fun to write a character and base goals off of the story. We'll see if I've got the bandwidth to keep it up, but I do have a goal to shoot to do a handstand by next summer. Right now it's really just working off some excess weight and doing that by being consistent with staying ahead of my fork and getting out to move regularly. Plan is to do that for a while until it becomes second nature and then bust out my old Handstands course to work through over the winter/spring. If I don't get to the handstand by the summer, that's fine. The important thing is that I create something sustainable and stick with it. I used to be really tough on myself if I skipped days or overate or whatever but that wasn't a great long-term strategy, so trying to be nicer to myself and figure out how to be consistent instead. Fitness: Walk a minimum of 5x each week (anything counts). Nutrition: Shoot to keep calories under 1500 for 5 days per week. Mindset: Write a plan up for each day the night before. Will fill these out at the beginning of each new week for the previous week: Fitness Nutrition Mindset __ Su __ Su __ Su __ M __ M __ M __ T __ T __ T __ W __ W __ W __ R __ R __ R __ F __ F __ F __ Sa __ Sa __ Sa Looking forward to making some progress along with all of you here. ~Chaser Avens
  4. I'm not real bright and there's a lot I don't know, but there are a few things I've figured out. - I like a bullet list - Exercise is good for me, in the long and the short term. So I should do that. - I'm a planner and a perfectionist. If I don't have some kind of plan to execute, I won't do anything because little bits of here and there don't feel worthy to me. Whether that last one is factual or not doesn't seem to matter. My feeling about it is so strong that fighting against it has yielded no fruit. Therefore, I need an exercise plan. It has to be simple because I don't have a lot of time for such things, but if I have a plan to work I think I can make it work. The thing I will attempt this time will be walking. I like walking. The rhythm is soothing and it makes my muscles feel good, and it gives me quiet time to myself which is very lacking in the rest of my day. Let's make a walking plan - Sunday - there is usually time for a walk in the evening between the various activities. - Monday - I'm going to have to cut out another activity, that I was thinking about cutting anyway, but I am okay with doing that and making it work. - Tuesday - This is a no-go. By the time I get home from activities, it's bed time, and staying up late to exercise results in too little sleep. - Wednesday - I can make this work, if I'm very diligent and intentional about it. Possibly a treadmill might be involved. - Thursday - No-go again. There are always things going on and I can't squeeze them around to get a walk done. - Friday - hit and miss. We often but not always have things to do Friday evenings, but some fridays I have the day off of work so I can make that work. - Saturday - similar to Friday. If I'm actively looking for a time to take a walk, many times I'll be able to get it in, but not always. So where are we? 3 more or less sure days, and two solid maybe days. So 3 - 5 walks per week should be possible. I'll try to report here most days whether I've walked or not. I think I'm going to try to track how many walks I get in each week. I think that's about it. Happy Challenge everyone!
  5. Yeah, I'm apparently a Transformer now. For this challenge, anyway. I kinda got fired but not really right at the end of last challenge. Basically, my manager realized I had never been trained or mentored in how to perform the role I've been doing for the last two years (true! wish she could have figured that out before deciding to be hostile because I wasn't meeting her not defined expectations), and there was no way I was going to be able to fix the mess my part was in (probably also true, but not from my lack of trying, and I'm also not sure anyone else can fix it because it was fucked before I even started). So they're going to have someone else take over my role, and I've got until the end of the week to pick between two other positions, neither of them things I've worked with before. And, no matter which one I pick, they'll probably want me to move to Huntsville sooner rather than later (which I won't do). On the positive side of that, I've now got a chance to add something new to my resume for "free." And likely have a few months to find a new job. Ideally one that will let me delay moving anywhere until the end of the school year. So all of that is reconfiguration #1. Last challenge I aimed to eat 800g of produce every day. I didn't manage that. I did a few times, but most days I didn't pull it off, because that is a LOT of produce, and it takes a lot of planning to get that much in every day. It did, however, I think, produce the most consistent weight loss I've seen in a really long time. So, this challenge, I'm going to recalibrate a bit and set the goal at 600g per day. So, there's #2. I guess exercise-wise, the only reconfiguring is going to be trying to get more running in. I kind of hate running, though the more I do it the less I hate it, but Little Bug loves running. At least he loves running with me, anyway. And we just got a new, fun, running program. Marvel Move. It's like Zombies, Run! (by the same people), but super heroes. We only managed to try it once last challenge, but it was cool. Which I guess makes #3. And I need to not die. Here's hoping the rest of the Autobots show up to help me.
  6. I'm going to keep my same general goals/focus as pretty much this entire year, but just a tad bit more detail/deeper habits. It's the same habit, but each challenge I try to build on it slightly. Same thing here. Adding a Low/No-Spend September/October to help pay down debt and save up for some personal trips (Nov 2-5 and Nov 21-26) as I did last challenge with Heidi and Sovalis. During this challenge, I turn 32. The Man will be gone on his birthday trip (to see his NFL team play at their home stadium - a bucket list item and they happened to find tickets the weekend of my birthday). I believe our local Oktoberfest is that weekend so I'll likely go with Kers since T is going with the Man to the game. It's a 3-day weekend for me as its my 9/80 Friday off. I talked about possibly taking myself to go get my first helix pierced so it can start healing before my next one. *The photo is what I want. I cannot decide if I want all 4 or just 3 yet. But I was advised to only get one at a time and let each one heal at least 3-4 months before I get the next. My conch will be 3 months healed by my birthday so it's perfect timing for my birthday gift to myself 🙂 No Spend: Keep finding and using frugal methods to limit spending and don’t spend on wants - focus on bathroom remodel and other necessary items. All excess goes towards paying down debt. I went ahead and purchased some loot earned from last challenge (2 sweaters and my tourmaline necklace replacement as well as another conch ring as a backup in case this one unscrews and I lose it. It already almost happened twice so I'd like to have a backup so I don't have to get it re-pierced). I do want to look into maybe a couple of long sleeves but I'm waiting for places like Walmart or the discount stores to bring in their winter clothes. I don't need fancy expensive clothing, I just want warmth. With that said, I'll be mindful and make that type of spending intentional. It's one of those borderline between want and need but I get cold easily and not turning into a icicle is ideal. Keeping a monthly budget to track which bills have been paid and a paycheck budget that allows me to quickly identify what bills come out on what paycheck at a glance. I really miss being paid on the first and fifteenth. This bi-weekly stuff really messes with me. Nutrition: Focus on starting with smaller portions. Set utensils (or food, if finger food) down between each bite. Chew slowly and focus on the textures and flavors. Wait at least 10 minutes between finishing and getting seconds. Aim for vegetables daily, and, if possible, multiple meals. Workout: Stay active 5 days/week. Walk daily during workweek as weather allows with the pups and weekends where schedule allows. Train with kettlebell 3x/week (M-W-F schedule allowing). Aim for daily 10k steps and movement every hour during work days to avoid sitting for long periods at a time. Daily Finch Microworkout (10s plank, 5 pushups, 5 squats). Water: 85+oz daily. Upping it a whole 5oz from last challenge. Can I manage? Spiritual: At least ONE daily spiritual ritual. Stir intentions into coffee, pull Tarot or Oracle, do a spell, cleanse, give offerings, etc. Continuing this on as I learn to adjust and switch things up. Self-love: Notice a positive thing about myself and really appreciate it, no matter how small/simple/insignificant it may seem OR do something for myself as an act of love (foot soak, hair mask, face mask, etc.) Something I don’t do often, but that shows love and care for myself when I need a little boost. This hasn’t changed and I’m okay with that. I need to keep it until it becomes natural and that’s going to likely be a long while.
  7. Hellooo! Getting this in as a placeholder. I'm running my last challenge into 'zero week' as I got a bit caught out by a bunch of weekends away which drastically affected my points (or lack thereof). It's also keeping me a bit more on track this week which is good. So I've been pretty consistently under 11.5 stone now for most of the year which is great, and I definitely find this forum massively helpful to keep on track. For historical reference, I was 15 stone at the start of 2011 at which point I figured enough was enough, and did the classic 1200 calories + exercising to lose 4 stone in 9 months, which I then yo-yo'd back to 14, down to 12, before setling between 12-13 stone for a while until I found here in 2014. I'm generally happy with my size and fitness level now, though have had a few annoying injuries or general pain things going on (yay getting older!) most recently some weird nerve pain in my heel which means I've stopped going running in the mornings (which is VERY annoying but I don't want it to get worse). I've got an MSK referral in progress for hip pain I've been having for nearly a year (greater trochanteric bursitis) so am hoping I can tag the heel pain into that referral by asking if it's due to me changing how I walk because of the hip... I'll try anyway My September challenge is likely to follow the same format as previous - eating, exercise and sleeping, but I'd really start to try moving away from such rigorous tracking if I can as it's generally pretty exhausting! After I've seen whether I've passed challenge 35, I'll update here! Will note down any overeaty thing I have over the five weeks of the challenge, as I like to do!
  8. My main goal is weight loss, for health reasons as well as I want to look good (to me) naked. I'm in a struggle with this goal because it doesn't get easier when you get older. I don’t want this to be a focus for the rest of my life, I want to build some habits/routines so it becomes second nature and I don’t have to think about it. I also want to be around to watch my grandkids grow up and be able to do things with them, as well as things I enjoy as I get older, and I enjoy a lot of things! I work from home as an accountant. I have a full time job and a few side gigs, making sure I have enough movement in my day is important because it's very easy to lose track of time and I feel better when I move more! The Struggle is real! I'm going to take the time to do what I need to do, also making sure I get enough off-time, put in the work and effort that hopefully will lead to lower numbers on the scale as well as other health markers that are important. The Struggle... ( S )teps - ( T )rack - ( R )est - ( U )pdate - ( G )o - ( G )uitar 5x week- ( L )ift 2x week - ( E )xercise (treadmill) 3x week - Done - 🌈 Not Done - ⛈️ (this seemed more appropriate than a snowflake) I want to get my granddaughter's item I've been crocheting since before Xmas, finished. Yes, I’m still working on it. I want to get my bicycle fixed (tires are flat, not a tough fix) and take advantage of the bike trails around this area when the heat isn’t so bad. I want to take advantage of the fact I have a pool in my backyard. I want to take advantage of a lake less than half a mile from my house and the paddleboard in my garage. My personal life may be falling apart is slowly improving, I am doing my best to keep doing the same…therapy is a big part of this, journaling is another part. I'm going to continue doing this, as well as working on getting back to me and what I need in my life. I did lose three pounds the last two weeks of the last challenge, having COVID may or may not have helped that 🙄Changed my eating to low FODMAP and that seems to be helping a lot of issues I've been having. I'll be out most of zero week on a motorcycle ride to the Tail of the Dragon, I hope to take a lot of pictures to share when I get back! Oh, and I scheduled two 5k's and a 10k. Upcoming Items 9/24 - Pagan Pride 10/8 - Jax Pride 10/15 - Atlanta Pride 10/22 - WINE Stem 5k 10/24 - ? going to see grandkids 11/23 - Thanksgiving 5k 12/16 - Reindeer Run 10k
  9. Honestly, I'm not even trying to win the race, I'm just focusing on consistency. If I eat good food and move I win. Consistency is so much more important than performance. Furthermore, this is a positive look at consistency. I don't lose points for not doing things on a day, I get points for days I do them. That simple. Right now I'm doing darebee's 30 days of LIIT (Low Impact Interval Training). I assume they mean 30 days in a row, but I'm not letting perfect get in the way of good. Each day I do the workout I win. I'm currently on day four or five (haven't worked out the last three days and that's ok). When I get done I'll figure out what's next. Cooking is helpful, cooking real food even more so. I'm continuing to learn how to be gentle with myself. Last challenge I left one job and started another. I'm back on days, I sleep at night, I have weekends off (except when I'm on call). Now that I'm no longer angsting about a bad schedule I'm more aware of other stresses that were always there, but were ignored in light of larger issues. One new stressor is learning how to do a new-ish job; there is much more scrutiny of Chaplain charting in Hospice work than in Hospitals. It's nice to feel this stress though, it's from wanting to learn to do a good job rather than fear of failure. The former is new to me, and much more fun than the latter. I'm noticing a change in how I interact on the forums too, and I like this. The new job also is helping me interact better with my mother in law, who has Vascular Dementia and is on hospice care with another company than the one I work for. Many of my patients have a similar condition, and learning to work with them has helped me be with her. I like this. Blessings friend, your friendly neighbor hood paladin was never away, but even so I feel like I'm back. I bring hope to the hopeless. I bring love to the forsaken. I speak truth to lies. I shine light in the darkness.
  10. Now that September is here, and the kids have to go back to school again, it's time to fall back into the regular non-vacation routine. Except this time around, the routine is slightly different. The kids' hobbies have changed their timetables slightly, and particularly TimovieDaughter has expanded on her hobbies quite a bit by also wanting to play football now. TimovieSon has football practice twice a week, goalkeeper practice once, and a football match on Saturday morning. This is more or less the same as last year. TimovieDaughter now has football practice twice a week, a football match on Saturday morning, swimming practice once a week (there's overlap with football for the second swimming practice), two music classes each week, and piano practice once. That's busy as fuck, since there's *something* every day of the (work)week. We've only got Sundays off now. TimovieDaughter will have to make a decision by the end of the year, though. One of the hobbies has got to go. Preferably the music since it's not like she practices often at home unless being nagged about it by us. But not only are the kids' schedules busier now, Mrs. Movieman has just switched jobs. Her first day was yesterday. And while she's working a lot closer to home now (biking or even walking distance), she's got a bit more responsibilities to take on than in her previous job, and everything is new, so she has a lot coming at her right now. That also means that we still have to get a handle on what her routine will look like from now on. So, juggling all this will prove a challenge, especially if I want to keep up with everything. This challenge for me will be as follows: Bad Poor Ok Good Excellent Frequency Notes Intermittent fasting < 14 hours ≥ 14 hours ≥ 16 hours ≥ 17 hours ≥ 20 hours Daily Calorie intake > 4000 cal > 3000 cal ≤ 3000 cal ≤ 2400 cal ≤ 2000 cal Daily Ballpark figures are good enough Curfew ≥ 1.30 am ≥ 1.00 am < 1.00 am < 0.30 am < 0.00 am Daily Add 2 hours before non-working days Sleep < 5h 30m < 6 hours ≥ 6 hours ≥ 6h 30m ≥ 7 hours Daily Fitbit numbers - naps count for half Avg. sleep < 6 hours ≥ 6 hours ≥ 6h 15m ≥ 6h 30m ≥ 6h 45m Weekly Fitbit numbers - naps count for half Steps < 6.000 ≥ 6.000 ≥ 8.000 ≥ 10.000 ≥ 12.000 Daily Fitbit numbers Avg. steps < 9.000 ≥ 9.000 ≥ 10.000 ≥ 11.000 ≥ 12.000 Weekly Fitbit numbers Workouts ≤ 1 > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 Weekly Mini-workouts: 1/10 per exercise Distance < 15 km ≥ 15 km ≥ 20 km ≥ 25 km ≥ 30 km Weekly Walk to Mordor distance Similar to the previous challenges, but with minor tweaks to the curfew and the workouts, giving me ever so slightly more slack the coming weeks. And the weight is no longer part of this log. Which is not to say that I'm now maintaining. Just that I'm not going to fret about the week-to-week weight changes. I'm doing the weight loss PVP again, so losing 10 pounds to reach my second weight milestone is now a general two-challenge goal.
  11. Hoo boy it’s been an interesting few weeks. I was considering doing a marathon in a few months, but my situation is making it so that going running is a bit tricky. I can’t really get up early enough to go running before the house empties out in the morning, and it’s so hot during the day right now that I’m likely to get too hot. So I’m going to pivot again. My new goal is just to do the things. I know what helps. So the time has come for me to do them now that I have the time and energy to do so. I can’t really train for something without some kind of base level of fitness and that’s something I just don’t have right now. I’m going to work on it though! One thing that’s annoying is that I had to take zero week as a very clear rest week. I came down with a cold from Baby Jedi and it threw me COMPLETELY for a loop. And even throughout my annoyance, I’ll be making sure I’m resting as much as possible. I want to hit the ground running this week. As much as I can anyway. So onward to challenge notes: I think the basics are going to be important for me. I’ve been listening to/watching a lot of content from Chris Terrell, who is an absolutely awesome coach whose perspectives seem to work well for me. So I listen to his podcasts and keep an eye on his TikTok account and work from there. He also suggests basic calorie counting as a method of weight loss, but slowly and with the aim to build a lifestyle that works. And that’s really my goal, build a life that I can live. That’s not a short term solution. So I’m going to be building some habits that will (hopefully) stick with me for a while. Without and further ado, here’s the list! Drink 64 oz of water every day I haven’t been drinking enough water by any stretch. I’ve been tracking steps and water intake on my Fitbit recently, and it’s very very low. I’m living mostly on coffee at this point and that’s…. Not great. So my goal will be to drink all of my water that I need to every day. I may swap back to my water bottle because that holds all of the water I need for a full day I believe, but we’ll see. I will be counting the flavored sparking water that I like as well, just because there’s no reason not to. 3 Workouts a Week Based on the “Chris Terrell Philosophy,” a good start is three 20+ minute workouts a week. So that’s where I’m going to start. I’m planning on using primarily strength and cardio workouts from Obe Fitness and working from there. For bonus points, a fourth workout that’s more in the 10 minute vicinity can be added but it doesn’t take the place of a workout. Meal prep 2 meals a week I’m much better off if I meal prep my breakfasts and lunches for a week so I’m going to keep pushing to do that. Dinners my mom and I kinda do as we go through the week but I’m on my own for breakfast and lunch. Preprepped food makes it sooooo much easier. Meet or Under Calorie goals 5 days a week at least I’ve been tracking calories again, and I’m actually not stressed by it. I’m not focusing on perfect tracking right now, I don’t need that. I’m focusing on doing my best and trying where I can to improve things. I’ve already seen a couple of places where I’d like to make changes: primarily in my fat intake. I’ve been trying a couple of different things to see what I like as far as moves that I’m going to keep in my life, and a couple have even helped. The percentage of my calories coming from fat is s l o w l y going down. I also stopped using MyFitnessPal. I’m using a different tracker because MFP has some… really messed up connotations for me. It’s super triggering. Besides - basically none of it is free anymore which makes it significantly less useful for my purposes. So yeah, these are my basics for my challenge for September. Happy Fall Y’all and PLUS ULTRA ❤️
  12. Welcome to my challenge. As always, my challenges follow the roadmap laid out for the year in my battlelog. Each challenge focuses on some aspect that either helps support my roadmap journey or pushes me closer to the goal. I am only getting further from my goal at this point. I just got back from my annual family trip to the Minnesota State Fair. I refuse to get on the scale until after zero week. I was already at my highest weight since 2021 and I do not want to know what it is now after spending the weekend eating fatty foods on a stick did not help. That was following a busy summer of 'quality time' with the kids before they all went back to school. Quality time involved A LOT of eating out, eating pizza, eating ice cream, and other things instead of going to the gym. But now, it's empty nest season! It's now just DDG and myself. I am both excited for all the time hanging out with DDG but also a little sad to not be able to hang out with Peach. It's hard to adjust to having both kids gone. My challenges always sort of revolved around their schedule between my house and their dad's. I'd buy different groceries if Peach was at my house or not. But it's time for a whole new phase in my life. This challenge is all about settling into our own routine and also getting back to good habits. DDG and I both hoping to reverse some bad decisions recently and get healthier for a long life together. Nothing new here for goals, just the same daily and weekly goals from my roadmap. It works if I work it. The goals... Daily goals: Start the day with water Fast 15 hours Eat a freggy Move Read Tidy Log food Follow daily meal plan - which allows for 4 pieces of chocolate a day Weekly Goals: 150 minutes cardio 2 Strength workouts stretch 2x Batch cook Weekly Mean planning
  13. Wednesday This challenge is partly inspired by the fact that I binged the entire of season 1 of Wednesday on Netflix a couple of months ago, partly by the fact that Wednesday Addams is great in any incarnation, and mostly by the fact that I'm now officially part-time at work, and Wednesdays are my day off. But first, let's have a look at my 2023 road map: And here's how my last challenge went: So my goals aren't hugely changed, but I've rearranged them, amalgamated some, and tweaked others. The chronologist [+2 SAN] On work days, be in the office, or at my desk at home, by 08:35. On Wednesdays, schedule my full day, and stick to that schedule. ETA: if I'm not working from home or the office, and my day starts with a train journey, be on time for that train. The first part of this challenge is the same as last month - I start work at 08:45, so I need to be in by 08:35 so I can make a cuppa, log in, and start on time. My timekeeping is terrible, and it's worse on days when I'm easily distracted, so I need to work to stick with this. The second part is new, because I no longer work Wednesdays . I don't want that to become a day where I just lay about, so for this challenge at least I plan to schedule the entire day. Things I might do include: Drawing D&D prep, or creating D&D stuff Climbing (more on that later) Learn some coding Work on work training (if I need study time outside of work) Spend more dedicated time language learning Look at some voice acting stuff Visit my Dad/help him out with stuff Because this goal is so important, I'm not only putting XP on it. If I hit at least 80% on this goal, I'm also going to buy myself some extremely pretty dice (which I failed to earn last challenge): The second storey specialist [+2 STR] Do some hangboarding 3 times per week. One of the things I'm really looking forward to doing with my Wednesdays is going bouldering. I've only ever managed to make it once per week, so a second session will be absolutely brilliant (and will hopefully boost my climbing no end). I do hangboarding as part of my warm-up, so I should hit twice per week there, and the third session will be at home just to make sure I'm making the most progress. The cartographer [+2 CHA] Drawing, 3 times per week. Another thing I promised myself I would do when I got a free day is to spend some of that time being creative. I haven't done as much drawing this year as I would like, and with Inktober around the corner this seems like a perfect time to do it. I'll be including the drawing I do semi in-character at Pathfinder every week, so between that and Wednesdays I should only need one more session. The muscle [+1 CON] Track all of my food, every day, and have both a protein shake and a recovery shake every day. I've combined these two goals into one, because they were both really a bit easy on their own. Nutrition is always important, but I'll be running my first marathon the week after this challenge ends, so this is a particularly key training period to focus on it. Add the fact that I'll be running a Tough Mudder and the British Obstacle Course Racing Championships during this challenge, and adding extra climbing to my routine, and I need to make sure I'm eating enough and eating as well as I can be. The translator [+2 INT] Practice both French and Dutch, using Duolingo, every day. I had these as two separate goals last challenge, but I don't want to have too many goals in total, so I'm recombining them. The face [+1 SAN] Brush my teeth, twice daily, use electric brush and interdental brushes in the evening. I'm better at this than I used to be, but I still need the accountability to keep me doing this, so here it is. Well, I think that's about it. Let's get going!
  14. Hi all! I recently respawned and am hoping for some accountability and support during my second try at an epic quest. My first attempt petered out before it even left the Shire so to speak, so I want to actually make this one count. Never done a challenge before or even been on the forums, so lets give it a try!! I was tempted to make this themed around LOTR (it being my favorite nerd thing of all time), but in all honesty my fitness icon is Aloy from the Horizon series. Yes, yes, video game character and can therefore do anything/everything, but the thought that I could have even a smidgen of athleticism like hers inspires me greatly. My overall epic quest is weight loss, but in the meantime I might as well train like Aloy and get healthier in the process. Those giant robot dinosaurs aren't going to spear themselves, after all! Quests for the Challenge Timeframe: 1) As soon as my local pools open up again next week (curse you, annual maintenance), start swimming again 2x/week. I've been missing it so much ever since I took a break for summer vacation nonsense, and I am desperate to get back in the water. I worry that combining it with my strength training will burn me out, but I'm also hopeful that starting slow will help ease me into it. I used to go 3x/week, but I hadn't been doing anything on the days in between - that will hopefully be different this go around. 2) Attempt the level 1 workout Boss Battle by challenge week 4. I started following a 3x/week strength training plan using the NF Academy stuff, rotating between level 1 A and B, followed by the Water level yoga to cool down. It was a sporadic start but I have consistently done this schedule for 3 straight weeks - this is longer than I've ever lasted in a fitness routine! I'm excited where it will lead, but I'm also half-expecting burn-out to set in any day. 3) Continue daily food logs in MFP. 4) Eat fast food 1 or fewer times per week. If it does get to more than 1 time, pick a healthier option than my normal go-to (ex. grilled chicken instead of breaded, etc). 5) At least once before the 5 weeks are out, dust off my bow and go to my local archery park. I haven't taken my bow out of its case since my 5yo was born. Every time I play Horizon I want to get back into it, and now that my kid is finally in real school now is that time. 6) Continue journaling at least every other day (I use the Hero's Journal Legend of Istoria – anybody else??), cataloging successes and attempts. Hopefully I'm not aiming for too much/too little this challenge, but like I said I've never done one before, so we will see! I wish everyone the best of luck as the challenge begins!!
  15. Hi all My partner has mentioned NF on and off for the last couple years, but with a kind nudge from GP, it's time to focus on my health so I took the plunge and joined up. Since I'm starting late into the challenge, I picked things I've already been working, plus I signed up for Walk to Mordor. Goals for the rest of this challenge: 1. Take all my medication every day. 2. 1km a day (or 7km a week) for 'Walk to Mordor' 3. Achieve 7 hours of sleeps using my CPAP every night. Looking forward to getting to know everyone --Limey
  16. [Placeholder for goals to follow] I don't want to post my goals until after I get back from vacation or I will feel guilty about not following them while on vacation. Because that's how I roll. In the meantime.... (Soon) ETA: I want to really focus on slaying the sugar demon this challenge, especially because this is the last challenge before the holidays hit with a vengeance. I would like to be able to enjoy holiday treats with moderation. Last challenge, I made a small step in this direction by limiting (or attempting to limit) the size of the sweets I eat. This was not a co.plete success, but I think there was progress made here. I also made some observations about what factors contributed to fail days. This challenge will be addressing some of those challenges. Primary goal: Substitute fruit or yogurt for dessert 5 days a week. Desserts, when eaten, must be patisserie-sized. Hopefully allowing some treats will keep me from imploding, especially in the event of special events. Obstacle #1: Fatigue All too often I stay up much too late reading. It used to be less of an issue because as a homeschool mom, I set my own schedule and don't have to be up particularly early. Enter The Change™️. For no good reason whatsoever, I am now having difficulty staying asleep past 6:30 or so, no matter how much or little sleep I have acquired by this hour. The build up of fatigue tends to spill over into binging on food, especially sweets, to find energy to cope with the sleep deprivation. Therefore, I am setting a bedtime of 9:55 to help me get sufficient rest. Obstacle #2: Hydration I noticed a couple episodes last challenge when I felt compelled to eat, but the feeling went away if I had something to drink instead. I know that I chronically under-hydrate, so I want to set some goals to help me hydrate properly throughout the day. a) Drink 12oz of water every morning before coffee. Before coffee. b) Make a broth-based soup at least once a week. Stews, chilis, and other soup-adjacent dishes count as long as they are broth-based and not cream. I can eat cream soups, they just don't count for my scoring. This generally should result in eating soup 3-4 days a week, since I make a lot more than I can eat in one sitting. It also has the benefit of being quite satisfying for little calories, incorporate more veggies in my diet, and is hydrating! c) Enjoy a cup of herbal or spiced tea before bed, preferably outside as weather permits. I find it grounding to relax outside in the evening. It reduces stress and helps me avoid the general evening munchies tradition in my family. I was going to add more, but I think that's enough to start with. Too many moving parts tends to overwhelm. Happy challenge!
  17. After some personal battles combined with the start of the school year requiring me to adjust my routine, I am ready to get back at it... for real this time. My goals for this challenge remain the same as the last, although some specifics have changes. I will be channeling great warriors, both mythical and real, as my guides, such as Kratos, King Leonidas, Geralt, Achilles, Beowulf, and more. STRONGER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will have increased my physical strength by at least 10% as measured by an increase in number of reps to failure of kettlebell single-arm overhead press. HOW: I will pick "heavy things" up and put them back down for at least 20 minutes, three days a week; this will include mostly kettlebell training with some "greasing the groove" using resistance bands, random heavy objects, and my kids. Training will look like this: Sunday -- Benchmark (single arm overhead press to failure, count reps; 30 minute run, note distance) Monday -- Five rounds of: 200 meter run kettlebell clean and press x 2 each side goblet squat x 5 two-handed kettlebell swing x 20 rest 2 minutes Tuesday -- 30 minute run; record time Wednesday -- 5-10 rounds of: 30 seconds one-handed swing with left hand 30 seconds rest 30 seconds one-handed swing with right hand 30 seconds rest Turkish get-ups Thursday -- 30 minute run; improve previous distance Friday -- 15-45 minutes of: clean with left hand press with left hand one arm front squat with left hand one handed swing with left hand park the kettlebell, recover, repeat with right hand Saturday -- Distance run on trails; mark distance and pace FASTER: GOAL: By the end of this challenge, I will be able to run a sub-30 minute 5k as measured by a 5k run. HOW: I will run for 30 minutes at least two days a week, with a distance/endurance run at least one day a week and sprint/speed intervals at least one day a week (see 200 m run above). SMARTER: GOALS: By the end of the challenge, I will increase my daily use of Duolingo; I will increase my daily reading habit by at least 5 minutes a day; I will learn at least one new thing daily. HOW: I will set a reminder to complete at least the daily requirements to achieve a 30 day streak on Duolingo I will set aside at least 30 minutes of reading time daily I will use apps such as Humane and Kinnu to learn new information, as well as the NPR app and podcasts. CALMER: GOAL: By the end of the challenge, I will improve my mental health by reducing my angry reactions to stress. HOW: I will use a meditation app to increase my meditation/contemplative prayer practice from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. I will take 30 minute mindful walks to help clear my mind. I will write down what I am grateful for and create daily affirmations using the 5 Minute Journal app. I will practice a relaxing breathing technique (short inhale through nose, long exhale through mouth) and apply this technique in moments of stress and frustration. I will listen to music that elevates my mood.
  18. Right at the end of this challenge, I turn 40, so that's really really exciting! (jk i am fine with it... for the most part 😆 ) Anyway, the last few years have been some of the toughest of my life, and I'm really struggling with finding myself and figuring out who I am again. I’ve got some major life changes in the works that will help, but this challenge is gonna focus on the getting the fitness stuff back in order. I was really sick the majority of last challenge (...I somehow even lost 17lb ), but am feeling better again now and have full clearance to move forward with fitness stuff. It feels like most challenges have ended up like the trans-matter ray, though: I go in with the right intentions, getting some of the way there, but the results are, well, mush. And honestly, when it comes to me and just general feeling of life? And I would like for it to be closer there by the time I hit 40. And good news is: But obviously what I've been doing hasn't been working, and I recognize that. SO it's time for a different kind of challenge: I'm teaming up with @Rurik Harrgath on this, at least for the most part. Since we're both having health challenges, we've decided to make our main goals the same, because honestly right now we need to focus on the basics so we're hoping if we do it together it will help both of us. Anyway, So goals? Keeping them simple and schedule based: 1) Spellbooks/Nightly Scheduling/Follow the Schedule Most importantly: follow the schedule. We're shifting to an earlier schedule for the sake of winter mental health and for the animals, as its going to be getting dark by 430pm here very, very soon. 2) Walking every morning We had switched this to offer some alternatives, like walking through the woods here, but in order for this to count moving forward it needs to be a walk where we put the dogs on leashes and go somewhere for the purpose of a walk. If it's a bad health day, it's to the mailbox and back, which is at least at the very edge of the property. 3) Exercise in the gym every day I know, I know you say - every day is a lot. But this means a workout of ANY length, including a 100m row. If its a bad health day, walking to the gym (it's in a detached garage) and doing a stretch or sitting in there for a few minutes is enough. The goal here is to build the habit and get used to being in the gym consistently again. 4) Yoga every night We have the down dog app, so at least a few minutes. We set up a yoga room for this that is to be animal free. I love all the animals but with 4 cats and 2 dogs in the house, any sort of personal space is hard and one of my post lyme things is overstimulation issues, so having a room where we can remove as much stimulation as possible will be great. Plus I'm excited to not go out to my yoga room and find vomit all over my mat 🤮 5) 3-4 servings of veggies and protein each day I lost 17lb last challenge, down to 141 as of this morning, sooooo I'm gonna be tracking to make sure I'm getting enough food. So 3-4 servings of veggies, 3-4 servings of protein Just spezzy goals: 1) Focus on my nutrition certification and get at least 1/4 done (has to be done by end of year) 2) Finish getting my own sites (for farm and for myself) up and running 3) Meditation - working up to doing this at least 3-5 minutes/day 4) phone hygiene - i don't have specific goals but watch myself here 5) Secret side project I can't really talk about here. anyway happy challenge y'alllllllll
  19. Hi friends! My name is Sky, and I used to be fit and active and energetic, and instead am currently pregnant, tired, rapidly gaining weight and racked with anxiety. We're a couple weeks into the second trimester so I'm feeling like a human again, with lots more energy, although things like showering, bending over, and walking up and down stairs are getting challenging. And sitting on my tuchus for the last four months means that I have lost the last scraps of stamina and fitness that I had at the beginning of the summer, so even getting myself off the couch for walks is a lot of effort and frankly isn't happening right now. I would love to set some structured exercise goals for myself and kick my butt into gear, because I honestly don't love looking and feeling so sluggish and heavy. I have heard all about how physically demanding childbirth and parenting are, and I am absolutely not in the shape I want to be for what lies ahead. That said, my mental health is also not the best at the moment - my anxiety/OCD and emetophobia have skyrocketed in recent weeks and made my inner life pretty miserable. So instead of being a drill sergeant to myself, I want to strive toward nurturing and caring for myself, asking for help (including in prayer!), resting productively instead of numbing, finding movement that feels good, and enjoying the last few weeks of summer before the cold and darkness returns. This is going to be an unstructured challenge (more like a battle log) because I know I'm less likely to show up here if I set goals, don't meet them, and then feel ashamed of myself. So for now, all I'm setting out as a goal is, I would like to feel more nourished and supported at the end of this challenge than I do at the beginning. I'm keeping garden metaphors in mind and going to treat myself like a seedling growing into a new world for the first time and in need of lots of care and support:
  20. I took a few months off from challenges, and think I am ready to make my return now. I've also opted to claim this month as "RESTEMBER" and I've alerted all my friends and family that I am 'taking the month off from all standard commitments'. I finished up the last of the plans I'd made before hand, and starting now - have nothing on the radar except for the couple things I really really have hype for. Namely, our still ongoing VtM TTRPG game(s). Since I tend to do a bit better with challenges when I have a theme, I've thrown up a fitting title/theme that ties in what I need to do for myself, with the VtM lore. Iron Heart is one of the powers that some Brujah can wield. - Common among Individualists who quest for self control, Iron Heart fortifies the Brujah against supernatural powers that affect her emotions, her self-control, or her reason, while also allowing her to inspire others to resist such manipulations themselves. I have slacked off so badly with ... everything. My consistency has flown out the window, and so the idea of questing for self control and mastering emotions seems a fitting connection. What I want: Better mood consistency, more energy, returned confidence, better health. What gets me those things: Lifting weights, getting some general movement, and eating like a sane person, and spending time with music and art. I was hoping to hit the ground running on this tomorrow (9/5), but one, it's zero week. Two, it's the start of two weeks being short handed at work. Three -- I'm not feeling 100% today and someone I spent Thur, Fri and Sunday all day with, started feeling sick Sunday night while we were gaming, and tested positive today for the 'vid. So I'm on standby with that. So tomorrow, after some sleep and figuring out what's what - I will come back and set up more measurable goals. But I promised someone to get this up and going today, so here it is!
  21. Guess who has a new obsession?? I'm in Volume 4 — no spoilers! In between crying over RWBY and working on my novel, I'm setting out to stick to a simple workout routine: Run on Tuesday and Thursday, starting at 15 minutes and increasing by 5 minutes each week Do 20mins of yoga on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (let's hear it, Yogang!!) Hike or go for a 30+ minute walk on Saturday I didn't run this morning so, uh, we'll start on Thursday! I will be getting a shiny new notebook (in an excellent Yang flame color) as a DIY planner for the next quarter, which is the end of week 3. I will be tracking all of my exercise in this new notebook!! (And before it arrives I'll note it in my current planner.) I may also design and print a RWBY sticker for the front of it — I need to check and see if the Makers' Space on campus does clear die cut stickers. Since it's a yellow-orange, doing a silhouette of Yang would be great, though I also considered covering part of it with black tape for Blake (my favorite, though Yang is really vying for favorite right now). But then if I do the two of them I feel like I need to do a section for Ruby and Weiss because I really do love Ruby and Weiss a lot too, maybe the inside covers? And at that point I need more craft materials and I have a strict hobby budget I'm drawing from for this... Anyway, there's my relevant notebook gif. 😂 As I am only in Volume 4 it is challenging to find gifs for this challenge...I will be accepting submissions as long as they occur prior to Volume 4 Episode 10! (Yes, I will update you as I progress through the show.)
  22. When I was a kid, I took a personality test (this was in the days before social media...it was printed on a sheet of paper, and you had to write your answers with a pencil). It was one of those tests that asked you to imagine a journey, and to describe the things you saw on it. At one point, the adventurer came to a fork in the road before an impenetrable wood - one path was broad and smooth, and followed a gently flowing river; the other narrow and ascending to trace the edge of a rocky cliff. Which path would you choose? I said, "I go straight ahead, cutting my way into the woods." On the "other side" of the wall of vines and brush, I imagined a thick overhead canopy, but a cool and leaf-strewn floor with puddles of water from recently fallen rain. I bent and took a drink, then plunged ahead. In this phase of life I continue to emerge from years of contemplation in which I tried to move away from a more aggressive nature and make peace with the world as it is. To a certain extent, that has been helpful. But there is a part of me that has been neglected, and the long road to integration requires that I plunge into some difficult terrain from time to time. In this challenge I will continue to reintegrate martial arts practice, further re-wild my diet, and press onward in the way of the peaceful warrior. Body: Fuel - 6 cups of colorful fruits and veggies daily minimum (target 9), plus clean protein and healthy fat for balanced macros and calories. Hydrate - 4 liters of water per day (green tea counts) Strengthen - minimum 2x aerobic run & 2x taekwon-yo (taekwondo with yoga and pilates conditioning) weekly (Target 3 each) Mind: Sleep - to bed by 11, up by 5:30 on weekdays -- we're trying a shorter sleep window as a minimum and counting the fifth cycle as a plus. Happiness Project - prune dead end "wants" (projects I'll never actually do), practice mindful enjoyment when negative self-talk starts Read - non-fiction audiobooks on commute, fiction at night Soul: Home - do something daily to improve the family home, beyond chores (actual do it this time) Meditate - daily in morning or bedtime or both, micro-meditations throughout the day Friendship - stop to listen, ground anxiety, seek connection. No points, just doing my best. Happy hunting!
  23. Part way through this challenge, we will be vacationing at Disneyland and Joshua Tree National Park.Which means I get to ride the Incredicoaster. My Incredicoaster Challenge: Looking forward I've stopped writing down my daily and weekly plans, I want to start that again Climb to the top of the hill: Cardio, Continue walking, no real goal, just get some in, if I'm not rowing that day do a bit more walking Rowing: I want to finish the 24 day zone 2 and 5 rowing challenge goal is 2 days a week zone 2, 1 day a week zone 4 or 5 VIew from the top Strength train 3-4 days a week. This is fairly easy for me, I like strength training Going Down Work on looking incredible in my shorts for my trip Follow Eating Skills Good : Track in MFP 3 days a week, keep within my range Better 4 days a week, including a weekend day Best: Best days a week including a weekend day The Loop I don't like the upside down part of the coaster. I also don't like drinking lots of water. But some things are just part of the ride. This challenge I'm just going to track my water. Drink my big glass in the morning, and then track the liquids I drink. Any liquid counts (except alcohol) I will track in the Fitbit app. Good: track 3 days Better track 4 days Best track 5 days Side quests: Finish staining fence Begin preparing the garden for winter To do list for final vacation plans frames for pictures Other notes: On vacation I will not be working on my challenge goals. I will be enjoying my vacation. And probably getting in oodles of steps. The only real goals I have for eating during vacation is to eat slowly, and savor the moments.
  24. I’m Ranger Hal. I hike, snowshoe, scramble, climb, and do search and rescue. I was doing pretty good about getting out regularly until the beginning of August. Then for various reasons, I just sort of stopped. So I need to get started again. So here's the plan. 1. Walk 2. Put away outdoor gear (unless it's drying out) 3. Wash dishes 4. Leave for work by 9am For anyone that was following the backpack project, I did finally buy the pattern. I have started ordering some of the materials. So the plan is to continue obtaining materials and get some cheap fabric to do a mock-up to make sure I'm happy with it before I use the expensive outdoor fabrics.
  25. Hellllooooo, nerds! Welcome to the challenge I've been obsessing over for months, slowly piecing together as I experimented with my D&D themed challenges, the one that I am equally excited about for IRL reasons as I embark on what simultaneously feels like an unexpected yet inevitable turn in my lifelong journey. I am beginning the process of becoming an ordained deacon in the Anglican Church of North America, and so with that, I am embarking on a new phase of challenges where I seek to level up my cleric character, who is really just me, fully embracing my love of TTRPG. This is a more involved challenge format than I usually mess with, and will I stick with it long enough to actually hit level 20? Like and subscribe to find out! So, as with any good RPG, it all starts with The Three Pillars Combat My combat encounters are my workouts. I am going to be focusing on free weights, but any type of resistance training counts here. My original thought was to get 10 XP for every workout I complete. Then I thought to have more fun with it and pick a monster for each challenge, and every time I complete a workout I get to attack the monster, and for every workout I miss the monster gets to attack me. There will be a lot of trial and error this first challenge (and probably moving forward as well) as I figure out what combination of experience points work, finding the balance of getting some points just for completing a workout but also getting additional points whenever I slay a foe. My first enemy is the dreaded Slaad Tadpole. An AC of 12, 10 HP, +4 to hit and 1d4+2 damage. At a big bad 1/8 CR, each one of these ferocious beings is worth 25xp. Our fearless cleric enters the ring with an AC of 16, 12HP, and fights with a spear that gives her +3 to hit and 1d6 damage. Cardio workouts (mostly runs, but we'll see what else crops up) will be ranged attacks, so the sling comes into play with +4 to hit and 1d4+3 damage. Exploration For the exploratory portion of this challenge, I'm simply counting miles I run, bike, or walk. Daily steps don't count, just purposeful movement. 1xp/mile. So I don't get the base 10xp for cardio workouts in the previous section, because I'm getting mileage points here, on top of any tadpole damage I do. Social Encounters One of the things I want to get back after spending so much of the last 2 years focused on building my barn is to go out and see people again. So this is simply 20xp for every outing I have that isn't a family gathering (outings with my sister count as long as they're fun stuff we've decided to do [like going to see a show in Pittsburgh] and not just our normal hang outs.) Hit Points, Healing and Long and Short Rests I have, as previously mentioned, 12 hit points. Since I am DM as well as player, I'm going to be making stuff up as I go (for everything in the challenge, not just here) deciding when I take damage and for what. So if I miss a workout, the Slaad Tadpole gets to attack, if I get sucked into too much screen time, I'll pick a trap that I triggered, etc. But I might also use HP just as a somewhat subjective measure of how I'm feeling. For level 1, at full health I'm at 12, so if I start to feel like I'm at 6, that's a sign I need to slow down and do some healing. As a cleric, I have some healing spells, which we'll cover in the next post, and I'll also have some healing potions available, which I haven't fully ironed out yet. Additionally, I'll be able to roll hit dice on a short rest, which is exactly the same as it is in-game - a period of downtime at least one hour long during which I do nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds. Long rests came up at the start of every week, so on Sunday nights I can switch up whatever spells I have prepared for the week and my hit points reset to full. If I die during the week, I regenerate on Sunday night, but earn no experience points for the week in which I died. Stats I went through a bunch of different methods to determine my IRL D&D stats, and this is what I finally came up with: STR: 12 (+1) DEX: 15 (+2) CON: 11 (+0) INT: 13 (+1) WIS: 13 (+1) CHA: 14 (+2) To succeed this challenge and reach level 2, I need 300 experience points. As I get to higher levels and need more xp, I don't expect to level up every challenge, but for the first one, I should be able to get to level 2 in 5 weeks.
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