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  1. Keeping it simple: I want to improve my morning productivity! How does a superheroine improve level up? She puts on her Supersuit. Every weekday morning I will put on my workout clothes (or clothes for the day) before I go into the kitchen. That will be my signal. I have battles to face, and I must be prepared. I've struggled with my updates the last couple months. I think the issue is, I've been levelling up for so long, that I actually have quite a few things I'm working on. And I write them down as goals, and feel like I need to write an essay every time I come on here. And I don't always have time, or energy. So, I will update whether or not I won my morning. If I want to report on other stuff, great, but it's fine if I don't. What is the other stuff? Hydrating, mindful eating, Bible reading, workout, sleeping, life😀 RIght now the workout I am doing is Strong Curves by Brett Contreras. And a rowing sprint once a week. Movement in there with rowing, walking, or gardening.
  2. [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!
  3. 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.
  4. The realm where humans live, Midgard is neither freezing nor fiery, and is balanced between chaos and order. It is surrounded by a sea in which lives the world serpent Jormungundr, and the only magic is that of nature and humans. I have a lot of fatigue, distraction and avoidance at the moment, and have not yet seen any improvements in energy from the exercise. Art and other projects seem out of reach at the moment. Alas. But what does Kratos do when he is injured or tired and cannot run? He walks. What does he do if the most direct path is blocked? He goes around. So in this challenge, I will do what small amounts I can in the four areas I identified. I have added a fourth category to address my recently increased weight and walking pains. Strength: Workout & Walk. I will continue with the rowing programme, as written. This is my priority, and may in fact be the reason for my current tiredness. It could take months to see improvements in daily energy, so I just have to stick at it. On non-rowing days I will do easy weights or a longer morning walk as my workout. I am training to train; that is, my goal adaptation is the ability to handle a higher workload. Walking adds to my volume without greatly increasing fatigue. It's also a very Midgardian/human activity. To increase volume further I will add short afternoon walks as well. Stoicism: Reframe & Read. I started well last challenge because of my mindset, but I didn’t make said mindset a formal part of the challenge. This time, I will try to tame my avoidance by framing difficulties and unwanted obligations as a form of mental training, and renew my commitment to choosing my own attitude each day. Hopefully avoidance can become acceptance. A good time for this is with the first cup of tea. It will be reframing tea. I will also read a single letter by the Midgard philosopher Seneca each day, and take notes. Spirit: Prayer & Practice. I will continue my morning prayer, but a shorter version without meditation, since I am low on motivation. And for the evening practice I will do the “somatic experiencing” exercises that the fatigue clinic prescribed for me, which are about feeling safe, present, and bounded in one’s Midgardian vessel. There’s no good time for this because I never feel like it, but I’ll set a timer for 4pm. Structure: Freedom and Form. The distraction addiction seized some ground these last few weeks. I was exhausted when I returned from Hamburg, but I also started using Mr Harriet’s old laptop, which has no internet blocks on it. I will reclaim a small amount of freedom back by avoiding the internet between 7-9am, with a block. I know it’s not much. Hopefully I’ll add more next challenge. In addition, I will take care of my Midgardian form by choosing between hunting/ gathering or textile maintenance daily. Sustenance: Menu and Measure. I plan to drop weight to help with fatigue and foot and knee pain. And also because I gained 7.5kg after returning to a mixed diet from carnivore, and I cannot pretend that all of it is glycogen and water weight. Also, my aching feet don't care if they're carrying water or fat; it's too much. From previous failed attempts I have learned many lessons and I believe I now have an idea of how to proceed. I’ll note daily whether I followed my eating plan. I’ll report weekly on my weight, how well I stuck to the plan, and whether the plan felt reasonably easy and sustainable. If not, the plan has to change. Walk on!
  5. Some mood musique We had some interesting discussions about French dietary habits last challenge (small portions, variety, satiety, quality, etc) that made me want to try a little French-themed experiment this challenge. It may seem like I have a lot of goals (especially after the last extremely simplified challenge), but some of these goals are things I do pretty well anyway and am just adding it to round out the theme. 🍞 Boulangerie An important aspect of French cuisine is fresh, quality ingredients, especially BREAD 😍. Sure, vegetables too, but we will work up to those. My goal is to bake my own bread twice during the challenge. I have no idea how long I should expect a loaf to last, and I don't want to overwhelm, so two is a good goal to start. The bread does not have to be French -- in fact, I can almost guarantee the first one will be focaccia -- but baguette may happen if I am ambitious. 🍰 Patisserie Desserts are de rigeur in France, even among the svelte, but portion sizes are miniscule compared to American servings. So my goal is to keep desserts to French standard portion sizes - two or three good bites. The best way to make this portion size feel satisfying is of course to take smaller bites and savor a quality dessert (no prepackaged cookies, trail mix, or other low quality "junk foods"). A square of dark chocolate is fine. 🛶 La TraverSeine There is an annual rowing event on the Seine in Paris in early September. Kayaks, canoes, even dragon boats may enter for the 15k "explore" event or 26k competition. The route goes under some 30 Parisian bridges and past most of the tourist traps: Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, etc etc. I...will not be going 😂. But, for fun I will pretend to be training for the event by indoor rowing twice a week (minimum) and actually kayaking at least once (hopefully the Poker Run mid-August). 🎨 La Louvre Continue my exploration of pen and ink art via the Inktober52 Instagram challenge. We are on week 29 (I think?) and I haven't missed a week yet! ⚜️ Lingua Franca Maintain my streak of foreign language practice on Duolingo (currently at 209 days).
  6. I was struggling to come up with a theme, or goals. So, I think I will just do an unchallege, and share my favorite Christmas carol I will be following NF's bodyweight Heroes Journey app at level 17 Working on rowing, Getting some movement in with GMB's Literal Immortality and walking I will be celebrating Christmas and the Advent season decorating cookies baking decorating the tree buying gifts Christmas movies parties singing
  7. I love Advent season. My family has lots of traditions and we try to make it a special time of year. Some of our traditions this year are not happening, though thankfully some still can. I will hopefully think of other things we can do to make this time of year a special time. I'm going to keep my goals simple. Goal 1 Ignite my Superpowers; My superpowers are the values I have pertaining to food and fitness (and other things too) I use them to help me make decisions. My superpowers are Joy, family, and self control. These are really helpful this time of year. Self control reminds me to use skills such as eating slowly, choosing whole foods to fill me up, delaying a snack to see if I'm hungry. Joy reminds me that I need to enjoy my food. This means to slow down and eat it. It means that the holidays are a wonderful time of year, filled with many sweet treats that remind me how sweet my life is. I need to enjoy those times and treats with my family(no guilt for eating the 'wrong food) I can also use my self control to stop me from being overfull, which does not bring me joy. Goal 2 Christmas Cheer Lots of things going on. I have several plans to make Christmas joyous. I am doing a scrapbook for my inlaws, plans to reserve a spot at driver through Christmas lights, baking. Usually I'm an Amazon gift shopper.This year I'd like to buy more local gifts at our stores. This is going to take more planning, so I need to get on it. Best way to handle this is to make a plan for each week, and follow through Goal 3 Song; I'd like Mr. Incredible and I to sing a Christmas song before dinner each night, so I'm going to try and remember that. Goal 4; Light; Same as last time ; Read my Bible in the morning, turn on Sunlamp, use blueblocker glasses at night Bonus: be the light to others, see how many people I can bring just a bit of cheer to. Edit to add fitness stuff: Doing the kettlebell program on the NF app- 3 days a week also doing Vitamin- this is recovery day, so if I feel the need to move, if I don't have time or don't want to, that's a fine option walking- being outside , even on gray days helps with SAD, so I'm going to try for at least 15 minutes a day , unless the weather is absolutely dreadful) rowing- I'm enjoying the rowing workouts from Dark Horse Rowing, so those will probably happen too. The KB program is my main goal, so these fit in as time and energy allow pistol : I decided I'm still going to work on getting the pistol squat. so I will do that at least 2 x a week
  8. Right after this challenge is the kettlebell sport world championship. It's in a giant sport complex just outside of Dublin on 23-26th of may. I'll be competing in second division, which for women uses 2x16kg kettlebells. (First division is 2x20kg, Pro devision is 2x24kg). I'll also be playing representative to my national federation and coaching my team. There'll be around 18 people from the Netherlands, at least 10 from my gym/team. We have no Pro lifters yet, but I do have 2 lifters in first division this year. So... challenge; 1. Train - every week; snatch 2x, jerk 2x, longcycle 1x, oly lift 1x, squat 1x, deadlift 1x - try to accumulate 100km of rowing over the 5 weeks - keep a lunges, push and pull counter 2. Sleep - keep folding laundry before bed - lower green bed time to 22:30, yellow to 23:30 3. Eat vegetables three times a day....... - at least one of which has to be green - and eat fatty fish every week Well I had to add a nutrition goal.. I have reasonably healthy habits that I have relied on for the past 3 years without making any kind of improvement.. I tried to drop some weight last challenge but I guess I'm just really not ready for that yet. I think I'll compete in a higher weight class for worlds and just focus on improving something small. Let's go!
  9. I have been planning on making a battle log for a while now. I have been in and out of the challenges for 3 or 4 years now. I have enjoyed them but I think for now I am done with them. I used to be bigger into lifting and rucking and then shifted into the world of IRONMAN. In 2017/2018 I finished two full IRONMANs struggled through a couple of GORUCK challenges and generally was not too happy with my fitness. This past year(2018) I have kind of been lazy and not focused much on a goal, I did a few sprint triathlons and a GORUCK light. For 2019 my new game plan is to hit the triathlon disciplines pretty hard while maintaining rucking and beginning a new linear lifting progression. In general I want to become stronger, fast, quicker, and improve my flexibility. I want to achieve a WOD daily with stretching. I have always followed a mostly 80/20 healthy eating regiment. I find this is not really good for me, I like to eat healthy during the week and then I would do an 80-100 mile bike ride on Saturday which would be followed by binge eating then usually a night of binge drinking. Sunday would be a "refeed" day. In order to really achieve what I am hoping for I need to follow a 100% healthy eating rule and maybe see it slip into the 99/1 range. I have a large amount of goal distances and weights I am shooting for. I won't post them until I achieve them. Same goes for other(mental)aspects of my year. For now I have a GORUCK light scheduled in two weeks, a tough/light in may, and a heavy in September. Tri's are just some sprints and a tune up half IRONMAN in march. I do want to get my "A" race sometime in the late fall for the half distance. I have no intentions of doing a full this year, that is for sure. I will post some book reviews as I finish them since I have reading goals as well as any other aspects of my hobbies that I feel like(gardening, cars, fishing, etc).
  10. This challenge will be simple. Not easy, but simple in it's approach. Goal 1: Errgy Day I'm Shufflin' "Get Gud" on the Erg Rower aka Concept 2 Rower. Use the erg 3x a week. I have a beginners program I'm going to try out for the duration of this challenge. If I see that I'm "enjoying" the program, I'll finish out the last 4 weeks because it's an 8-week total beginner program. Possible Points: +3 END, +1 STR Goal 2: Gettin' Wet with Active Recovery Swim 1x a week. Use that day as an active recovery day and focus on proper breathing mechanics and recovery. Nothing fancy here-just get in the pool and work off the current weeks soreness. Also, spend more time with your Cooldown after the workout. DON'T SKIP THIS PART! Possible Points: +2 CON, +2 DEX Goal 3: Un-Desk Yourself 3x a day, for each day I'm at work, work in the un-desking exercises and compliment with some walking and foam rolling. Possible Points: +2 CON, +2 CHA Goal 4: GtG Pull-ups Continue my attempt to GtG with pull-ups and get stronger and more shredded with each passing day. Test max pull-up, chin-up, dead hang and hammer pull-ups and try to beat these totals by the end of the challenge. Possible Points: +3 STR Bonus Goal: Finish Shark Story Just because I need to start finishing my projects and not leaving people AND myself on cliff hangers. Get it together, Wolfie! Bonus (Bonus) Goal: Accountability Work with my good pal @Sylvaa and help keep her accountable to her swimming routine Wolf
  11. This challenge cycle finds me home ... I think. At least, I don't have any scheduled travel at the moment. So ... since I'm home, and I got peer-pressured into joining a dragon boat team - I guess my challenge kind of writes itself, no? Goal 1: As always, Macros It's getting hot here in Doha already and my face can't fathom butter at the moment (refresher: was flying high on keto, went to Sri Lanka aka the land of pineapple and other fresh fruits where it was hot, face don't wanna keto during sweaty temperatures) It's back to low-ish carb paleo for me - at least for now. Old-school macros: 1500 calories (I'm actually aiming for 1350 here, but 1500 is maintenance) 70g protein 70g carbs (going for way under here though - I don't wanna return to my carby ways atm) 100g fats Goal 2: Activities Paddling at least 2x a week. Saturday mornings is a good technique paddle and throw in either Monday or Wednesday evening. 1 other active thing per week - I finally found a yoga whose time, location and price agrees with me - it's beach yoga within walking distance on Sunday evenings while DH is at BJJ. That, or my dragon boating team has a weekly bootcamp at that time. Eew bootcamp. Goal 3: Keep on top of my other shit Social life Adulting Social media Think about adding in something I can do for some $ or creative fulfillment (*cough* that dog rescue website design that got put on hold *cough*) Get my Residence Permit (hopefully) If that happens, work on getting my drivers license Plan our next travel - either Kiev in the late Spring/early Summer together or a visa hop weekend with a girlfriend in India in late Spring - or both, depending on what happens with life and visas and whatnot
  12. My challenges will be themed on my own hybrid class (bardadin). What is a bardadin? Well, it's a hybrid class I worked up. You see, I was a soldier once. Though I've leveled up from paladin (U.S. Army, 6 years) to bard (instructor, 2 years) I still love the strength and surety of purpose of my original class. This combined with my current class's love of people means that I have some very interesting outlooks on life! My name is Vaereyes. I'm a half-orc. I am a bard. I am a paladin, even though I've taken another class I maintain my oath. For this challenge I am firing off some sweet spells! Heroism- Paladin Spells Row 2-3 times/week Weight lift 2 times/week Do Strongman specific workout 1 time/week Prestidigiation- Bard Spells Get to work by 9 a.m. Monday-Friday Do simple cleaning of the common room two nights a week Leave one night a week blank for my sanity
  13. In an effort to do more cardio, I did a workout today in my employers small fitness center. I rowed 5,000 meters in 28 minutes, and finished out at 5,299 meters in 30:05! My NF goal is to do 5,000 in under 25, so that's in my sights. Amusingly enough, I was rowing on level 8 for the first 10 minutes, not level 5 like I normally do. My arms tired out so much quicker!
  14. Though I am long in the leg, I am short in the lung. (I don't enjoy traditional forms of cardio.) On a whim, I picked up rowing on day at a local gym. I found that I really enjoy it, and I didn't hate everything afterwards. Or taste pennies.
  15. THE SILVER ARCHER Chapter 2: Through the Mists of Time (Photo credit: https://greecewithfriendstravel.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/greece-zakynthos-coast-beach.jpg) The thick green mist was hanging heavy and close to the earth in the bottom of the valley, just a little dip between two hills that seemed to hold more mist than it ought to be able to hold. Trees grew around and over the hollow like a canopy, but not an inviting one. The shadows were too dark for my taste, especially contrasted with the brilliant spring sun above. "Mistral," I called, breaking into a trot to keep up with my teacher up ahead, "are you sure we have to go down there? It looks strange!" Mistral glanced at me as I drew alongside her, and her face crinkled into a smile under her warm purple hood. "Don't worry, Sky, it's all right. I've been here many times. It will be strange at first, but you'll learn your way around." "Learn my way around?" I slowed my steps and waved my arms to keep from sliding down the slight, muddy incline. "How big is this valley, anyway?" Mistral laughed. "No no, Sky, not in the valley. We're going through the valley." As we moved into the valley and closer to the tree-canopy, the greenish mist began to swirl softly out from between the trees and toward us, almost as if it were gathering us into a silent embrace. I grimaced and jumped backward a few steps, keeping my hand on my Silver Bow - somehow, I could sense a presence in this mist, or a consciousness - almost as if it were somehow alive. Who or what was reaching out to us? Was it friendly? Could this be another trick from my enemy, the Dark Elf? Normally when his presence was near, I could feel it in the constellation of icy-white scars across my right arm; but I felt none of that chill as the mist approached, only a strange churning in my stomach and goosebumps running down the back of my neck. Mistral, however, continued calmly down the hill and in between the two curling tendrils of the mist that began to encircle her. She did not seem to acknowledge the presence, but she did lift her hands slightly, as if in a defenseless gesture, as she passed between the first trees and out of my sight. "Come along, Sky," her voice floated back to me, a bit high and tense. "Stay with me, please." Maybe if I ran, I would avoid the touch of the mist. Quickly, I gathered up my skirt and trotted between the two swirls, ducking in between the trees - and stopping short with a gasp. Inside the canopy, the branches and limbs of the trees wound together in spiraling, intricate patterns to form a beautiful woodland cathedral. The sun shone vividly through the bright green leaves like stained glass, shimmering and sparkling like a shower of diamonds across the flattened floor as the wind passed through and fluttered the leaves. In the center of the cathedral, a deep, clear blue pool was surrounded by a circular pavement of flat, smooth stones. One of the stones formed the top of a staircase that led curving down the sides of the pool, into the water and far, far beyond my sight. Sudden panic burst in my stomach and I reached out to rest my hand on Mistral's arm. "Mistral, we - we're not going down there, are we?" Mistral seemed not to notice how high-pitched my voice was. "Not today - another day," she said absently, freeing her arm and walking toward the right side of the pool. "Follow me." As she passed by the pool, she bent low to dip her left hand into the water, touched her wet fingertips to her forehead, and then walked straight ahead of her, disappearing into the green mist. I took a deep breath and did the same - I bent down to dip my fingers into the water, which was surprisingly warm, and touched them to my forehead. As I walked straight forward in the direction Mistral had gone, I felt the water on my forehead begin to tingle and grow warmer, almost hot. The mist grew thicker until I could not see what was ahead of me - I could no longer see the trees, and when I looked down, I could not see the ground or even my feet. Heart pounding, I twisted my head to look behind me, and sure enough, I couldn't see behind me, either. I was completely engulfed in the mist. I breathed deeply and clenched my jaw as I kept walking forward, faster now, fighting the temptation to call out for Mistral. I could do this. She wasn't afraid; I didn't need to be either. We were almost through the valley to the other side. At last, after a span of minutes I couldn't measure, the mist began to thin. I could see my feet, and I could see the hazy outline of the sun above my head. We must have made it through the tree-canopy and back out to the other side. Mistral was up ahead - I could see her shape, still walking forward, now with her hood pushed off to show her short-cropped gray hair. I hurried up to walk beside her - but when I reached her, I stared. "Mistral, your clothes!" Gone were my teacher's handspun, faded robes - before my eyes, she had transformed into a warrior queen, her graceful neck emerging from a luxurious amethyst robe fastened at each shoulder with glittering golden clasps. A wide, heavy leather belt tightly encircled her slim waist, golden bracelets shone on each wrist, and a delicate golden circlet rested on her head. Every flutter of her light, flowing gown shimmered with grace; yet, somehow, she was also bristling with weapons - two daggers and a sword were attached to her belt, and the straps that crossed the center of her chest held a quiver and a slim golden bow. "What -" I couldn't even formulate the question. "How -" "You look quite nice yourself," she laughed, and nodded at me. "It's much more comfortable for this Mediterranean climate, don't you agree?" I barely had time to glance down and gasp at my own wardrobe change - I wore a long, simple white robe with a silver cord tied around my waist, a light metal breastplate that fastened tightly but flexibly around my ribcage, and a heavy red cape - before snapping my gaze back up and staring in wonder at the landscape that unfolded in front of me. We were no longer on the northern plains, or anywhere that I had ever been in my short life. We were standing atop a high ridge that dropped sharply down into the brightest, clearest green-blue water I had ever seen, vast waters stretching far out to the deep blue horizon. No clouds marred the perfect bowl of the sky above us, but a fresh breeze chased around us and swept out to the rocky islets far below our feet, where bushes, scrubby trees and brilliant flowers grew between white houses of all shapes and sizes. We had indeed passed "through the valley." Wherever we were, we were no longer in Middle Earth.
  16. Alright, Happy New Year Rangers! I realize I'm a bit late to starting my thread. So I'll cut to the chase on my goals: I respawned with the NF Academy missions, so my plan is to keep up with those for this challenge. Those are based on the e-mails that I will get weekly. Week 1 e-mail: Before Photos (25 XP) - This is a non-negotiable! You don't need to look at them, you don't need to hang them up, but you do need to take them. Measurements (25 XP) - Another way to track your progress. Find your Big Why and share it (25 XP for each ) Walk 5 minutes per day this week (100 XP) - Time to start moving! (4 days so far) Keep up with my rowing workouts that my buddy and I are doing. (3x a week) Yoga - I need to do some yoga - my body is getting tight. Schedule a time to meet with my old personal trainer about kettlebells.
  17. Today evening, I competed in my very first race since 2009. It was only a small, weird, not-to-serious event over a ridiculously short distance (aptly named "pasta sprint") - but still, it's a race. And it's a long time I ever competed. I must admit I went a bit nerd on this. Periodized and tapered training to peak on the "great day", loaded up on carbs and creatine the week before... and guess what: it worked. Placed 3rd in my run of 8, will probably rank 5th or 6th total in a field of 14. (Results are to be published tomorrow.) Expected a more embarassing outcome. I'm quite content with the result, especially, as I was nearly a second faster than my best training run. And on this ultra-short distance, a second is a long time. Maybe I might enjoy that kind of activity again. As long as I stick to sprints. I am not going to race again over the olympic distance. Never, ever... (say never).
  18. Okay, will start with a short intro. A system admin from Maryland (hence the name), 46 years old, married and three young kids (as of this writing, ages 7, 5 and 2). I enjoy (or have enjoyed), pen and paper rpg, board games, playing Irish Traditional Music on the Concertina and other sundry instruments I dabble in, Amateur astronomy and hope to build my own telescope soon). About 6-7 weeks ago, I stood on the scale for the first time in months and didn't like what I saw... I can't remember if I hit 290 or not, but I was definitely in the mid to upper 280's. I had hit that weight back in my 30s and used South Beach diet and exercise to get things under control... Once the kids came a long however, it became harder and harder to get out the door early enough in the morning to hit the gym and easier and easier to reach for sugar to push me through my fatigue. Now though I realize that if I want to see my kids grow up and have kids of their own, I need to turn the tide. At first I tried diet shakes... and I lost a few pounds... emphasis on few... and I was hungry... a lot. So last week, with my wife's encouragement (She fortunately has never had my problems, even with gaining weight after the birth of our children, she could only described as thin, and is definitely fit), I ordered a rowing machine. Then realizing that I might need more, I started some basic body weight training to supplement it on Monday (it also will helped me get into the habit of getting up and working out). I am also working very hard to minimize simple sugars and starches in my diet (essentially South Beach without the induction phase). A little sugar in my morning coffee and some OJ mixed with seltzer in the evening... the rest of the time it will be water for my drinks (i.e., no soda). Right now I am concentrating my diet on lots of protein and veggies with perhaps a little brown rice or other whole grains. Now, for the workouts. Monday -- Body Weight day 15 jumping jacks to get started. Followed by the following circuit twice. 15 inclined push-ups using kitchen counter. 15 single handed rows using a gallon of water for weight... for each side. 10 bum lifts. 10 Not sure what to call them... press back and arms against a wall and then move arms up and down... harder than it sounds. Tuesday -- Cardio day Climbed the stairs in my house 15 times... Wednesday -- Body Weight day Repeat of Monday's workout. Thursday -- Got the rower 1.5 hours to assemble. Rowed 500 "meters", about 5 minutes. Fridays will be my weigh in day. Friday (Today) Weight 281 (cool, I am seeing pounds drop again). Rowed 550 meters, about 5 minutes for warm up. Twice around the body weight circuit. More coming soon. -- Bill
  19. This challenge I'll be starting a new job! Which means I'm putting adulting and life stuff on the backburner to focus on settling in at work. It also means I can focus my entire challenge on fitness! As a celebration of new jobs and a (very welcome) return to a fitness focus, I thought it was time to have a theme again. What better than to pick up where my first ever challenge in this awesome guild left off, and do an Assassin's Creed themed challenge! To truly earn my place in the Brotherhood I'll need to work on the key aspects on Assassin-ing. Quest 1: Climbing A Thing. I will improve my climbing strength by reaching Level 4 on the NF Rings muscle up progression. I aim to get to this point by the midpoint of the challenge to be honest. UPDATE: I will improve my climbing strength by holding all four sets (of 5 seconds) of Rings Support Holds with perfect form. Perfect form = Palms facing outwards. I'm pretty strong with my hands in a neutral position, but when I turn out my palms the move gets much harder. Quest 2: Fighting Bad Guys. I will increase my fighting strength by practicing one element of the NF Rings mobility tutorial every day. There are 4 videos to choose from so I'll probably cycle through them day to day. Quest 3: Running Away From Bad Guys. Improve my cardio/sprinting capabilities by cutting 30 seconds off my 2km row time. Thats going from 9:31 down to 9:01. My eventual goal is 6 minutes, but that's some Master Assassin level stuff.. Quest 4/Bonus Quest: Assist The Brotherhood. Help strengthen the order by contributing to the Mini Challenge every week.
  20. WOW GUYS. I somehow missed that last challenge was my THIRD FREAKIN’ NERDVERSARY!!!! I can’t believe what a wild ride it’s been, particularly the last year and a half. Obligatory pre-challenge Raxie brainings & a bit of background under the spoiler. AND NOW THE MOST EXCITING THING!!! I also have decided to integrate D&D concepts into this whole character thing a bit more. Big Show finding his true hybrid class really inspired me to find mine, and I realized I have already been secretly telling myself what it is via my D&D game! I’ve been after the Dragon Disciple prestige class for a while now, and am finally pretty close to attaining it in the game. And it is pretty much how I see my level 50 self translated into real life. Essentially, this class has magical powers and can cast arcane spells (WIS based – aka completing my PhD) but studies dragons so intensely that they also grow dragon scales, can fly short distances and have claws, so can also tank (power lifting/mobility) and melee (body weight work) pretty darn well. Essentially my D&D goal is to cast buffing auras to my friends (meditation/yoga) while fighting and using my claws to touch spell debuff the enemy (boxing). I can’t believe I never noticed how much this aligns with what I want to be in real life!!! This gives me so much excite I can’t even put it into words. Here's what a dragon disciple looks like in their fully leveled up glory (I can't find any women versions UGH so you will have to use your imagination): For those who don't know, Prestige Classes in D&D are basically secondary classes that have extraordinary abilities associated with them that can only be leveled upon once you have met certain requirements in a basic class. I think I have met my basic requirements in my NF journey to start leveling up on a new path that builds upon my old one, but will get me to new places. It’s time. TL;DR This challenge will be focused on my foray into Rings and Headstands, thanks to a well-timed NF course release, while maintaining my focus on competing sometime next year (to be more solidified after the new year) in PL, and keep on cardioing for funsies and heart health. I have also realized I am a Dragon Disciple. While this definitely is not a respawn, it is certainly a new start. I am going after my prestige class, so I am starting at level 1 Dragon Disciple – but I am already at a high level of my base class (Timelady Siren) and will maintain that level, but it is where I want it and it’s time to move on to bigger better things. I will be tracking this path over the course of many challenges, so things I earn here will continue to carry over to future challenges! The rules below will show the things I'll be working towards. Also, as I say nearly every challenge cycle but it bears repeating, you guys seriously rock my socks <3
  21. So last week for the second year in a row I got to spend an amazing 5 days (+2 extra in Atlanta) in the woods with THE MOST AMAZING NERDS ON THE PLANET! Camp was yet again one of the most mind blowing experiences of my life, and the things I learned and the people I met and reconnected with will stay with me always. There's a hashtag on social media we use #CNF365 to represent bringing all the goodness we got there into our every day lives. My goals this challenge, and until the end of the year, are to do this hashtag justice. October is also going to be in INSANE month for me. I'll be going to Maine to check out wedding venues, then traveling for work for a few days, and then going on a southwest vacation with Mr. Raxie to hit up some national parks, followed by hopping by Camp Ranger Fitness with Tank and Wolfie, and visiting some nerds in Austin and Dallas in the next zero week. So really, I don't have many "normal" days this upcoming month. It will be interesting. So I'm going to keep things kind of flexible as in I have to do things a number of times per challenge - not per week. I also realized at camp that part of my blah feelings lately have been that I have a great habit base set up right now for my work outs, and now that I've been doing it for so long I need something fresh and new. So I'm going to be forcing myself into doing archery once a month from now on (I LOVE ARCHERY I just never let myself find the time to do it) and also try to check out boxing at my gym which I absolutely fell in love with thanks to @Cheechoe and her amazing classes! I've never taken any fighting classes before but somehow after that first class I found myself taking kung fu, Tai Quan Do, and self defense. This isn't something I think will turn into my number one thing (I love lifting too much) but I definitely want to explore my options here at home with getting it in as a fun side activity! Maybe eventually even once a week. Here are my goals for the entire challenge this time around: 11 SL workouts 2 Boxing lessons 1 Archery session 4 mobility focus days (with brand spankin new Kate G stuffs for my hips and more ROMWOD!) 4 Zombies, Row! workouts 16 meditation sessions Start my travel blog I've been wanting to start FOR EVER. And add an entry about CNF 2016 that I'll share with you guys too! But here's my real goal this challenge, which isn't something trackable. It's more about attitude towards MY LOVELY TRIBE OF NERDS. So confession: when I first joined Nerd Fitness in 2013 I did my best to keep my real self separate from my NF self. I didn't post any pictures, I wouldn't tell anyone my real name, but I did make progress. Then in 2015 I started making real friendships with some of you guys, added some of you on facebook, and started really diving into the community. I signed up for camp, came back, and was like screw it I will add everyone on facebook and post pictures of myself here and I DON'T CARE. But a small part of me has still kind of been like, my nerd tribe is separate from my "real" life - if someone called me Raxie on my facebook page (outside of the camp page) I was like OH GOD WHAT IF MY COWORKERS SEE THAT... or something I honestly don't know what I was afraid of. But after this year at camp, and the most unbelievable trip to Hawaii earlier this year with other nerds I am finally ready to admit it. You guys are my tribe and my people - my REAL life people. And you all do nothing but support me and help me along in this amazing journey. So, I will keep these connections open and I will approach fitness with the attitude that I am doing it with this amazing group of people who can call me Raxie all they damn please - because you all have leveled up my life. Even those of you I haven't had much interaction with - you've helped this community be what it is AND THANK YOU FOR THAT. I'm going to start being more honest with myself this challenge about all of that. If my "real life" friends and coworkers aren't cool with me being me, putting my health and fitness first, and loving some amazing folks I met on the internet that's too damn bad. And that's freakin that. I think this attitude will also help me get out of my blahs, because it will help me be less self conscious about diving head first into fitness and all the stuff I have grown to love over the past 3 years being a rebel here. So yeah, here we go!
  22. Last challenge went so-so for me. I have been doing really well in terms of continuing on with what habits I have built up for a while now, but I can't help but feel like I am coasting. I have 5 weeks to finish (i.e. start and finish) real training for the PL comp at CAAAAAAAMMMPPP! I've been powerlifting for almost 2 years now, but due to some unrelated injuries, some emotion stuffs, and a bit of just general slacking I have not progressed nearly as far as I would want to by now. I regularly deload or don't increase my weights when I'm feeling meh and just don't really push myself, in addition to cutting back from lifting 3x/week to 2x/week since I started a rowing program. I tried to ramp it back up to 3x/week last challenge but it just didn't work out because reasons. I also have been eating TERRIBLY. Well OK, not really that bad, but it most definitely cannot be classified as "eating clean" and I think this has been making my attempts at kicking more butt harder since my fuel source has been subpar. I even had a short moment of whininess where I tried to convince myself there wasn't enough time to train for the PL comp and I should just not do it. But that was brief, and I quickly convinced myself of otherwise. If it gets to be time for camp and I'm not feeling it, I'll assess the situation then. But for now I'm going to train HARD up until the last minute! How am I going to train hard you ask? I'm going to become a robot! Due to some budget constraints at work (which is paying for my PhD) I am not taking any classes this semester. I'm sad about it but I'm not going to let this extra time go to waste! I'll be using the bonus time during the day and weekends to hunker down and do what must be done like a well oiled machine. I will stop coasting, I will lift 3x/week again, I will increase my weights per my programming, I will not debate whether or not I will do these things on any given day because I am a robot and a robot doesn't question it's programming. I will eat clean food, because it is fuel, and that's what I need to keep it going. In short, I will get things done because I'm a Ranger and that's what we do. So, on to my specific goals. 1. Lift More & Lift More Often. Objective: Stronglifts 3x/week with prescribed weight increases (currently set to 5lb/workout but I do reserve the right to lower this to 2.5lb/workout at any point) Threshold: Stronglifts 2x/week with prescribed weight increases OR Stronglifts 3x/week but without the correct weight increase 2. Continue to be Rower 5 and Escape Those Swamp Zombies. Objective: Row 2x/week on the erg using the Zombies, Run 5k program Threshold: Row 2x/week on the erg, but one of the two times not being a ZR5K workout. 3. Go Hard Every Day. Objective: In addition to the 5 real workouts/week laid out above, have active rest days. This can be rucking, hiking, vinyasa yoga, ballet, swimming, a long walk, seriously anything that isn't just sitting on my butt. Only one of the two days can be restorative yoga/yin yoga. Threshold: Same as objective but both active rest workouts are restorative/yin yoga or something like it in terms of being not really that active. 4. Oil the Machine. Objective: Wake up with a yoga flow every morning. Anything more than 5 minutes counts. Also do a 15+ minute mobility routine every day before working out (i.e. immediately upon getting home from work). Mobility routines can be a long foam rolling session, a free ROMWOD workout (which I am debating subscribing to!), or something from Fit for Real Life. Threshold: Still yoga every day, but mobility sessions 5x/week only before "real" workouts and not on active rest days. 5. Fuel the Machine. Objective: Batch cook every week. 1 variance allowed per week. Also eat 100+ grams of protein per day. Threshold: Batch cook every week. 2 variances allowed per week. I'll be starting TODAY and making this a 5 week challenge. The only caveat to this is next weekend I am almost certainly going on a long weekend trip to NH to climb Mt. Washington. A lot of these goals won't be attainable on the trail or in camp, but as long as I don't eat terribly I'm preemptively giving myself a pass for those 3-4 days.
  23. Placeholder because Hawaii. I'm in it. Be back next Monday! Goals: Powerlifting something something Zombies Row and stuff NF daily (when not on vacation) Adult Ranger minis Catch y'all later nerds! sent from the depths of the Ionian Nebula EDIT: So here are my goals!
  24. joedog

    joedog returns

    Hello friends! I missed NF a lot but I think I needed a break since I had fallen in the habit of writing magnificent goals and not ever actually working on them. For those of you who are joining me for the first time, I have done some boxing but I'm currently an honorary monk since I'm not actively training a martial art. Right now I'm pretty active with my new rugby team. Last summer I realized that I was out of shape, about to turn 40 and would likely never play rugby again. Four days after my 40th, I got a message about a new team and would I be interested in helping get them started. I quickly went from "helping out" to "starting player". I'm hoping to transition into coaching soon. I still love playing but I really am getting kind of old and also really too out of shape. So that's why I'm here. As of right now, I need to keep playing since we need my experience and my brute strength on the field. (I AM the brute squad) Goal 1) Rugby practice 2-3 times per week. It will depend on how many practices we have scheduled. Goal 2) Gym 3 times per week. I'm doing rowing to build cardio endurance and strength training. Goal 3) Food. My eternal struggle. As usual, I know what I want to do, I just need to find the right way to structure it for a goal. I will get that sorted before the challenge starts. Goal 4) Rugby knowledge. I've got a level 200 coaching certification clinic on July 30. I need to make sure I'm prepared for it. This will include studying the materials, assessing my own strengths and weaknesses as a potential coach and coming up with a plan to improve my weak areas.
  25. Hiiiiiii all! I'm late to this challenge, as I'm just coming back to Nerd Fitness. I'd forgotten challenges were a thing! I've made so much progress in the past year, since first finding the site I've learned to barbell lift, had some success at maintaining regular workout schedules, and run three 5ks! However - I need support for the next leg of my journey, as I still struggle with procrastination, self-doubt, and lethargy. I know I need to have reeeeeally bite-sized goals, so I can succeed! Here are my goals for this challenge: Fitness Goals (3): 1. I signed up for an intro to rowing class!! It's taking place 3x/week for 3 weeks. I will make it to every single practice, and participate fully! Even if it's sometimes challenging. In the past, I've been a master of excuse-making and self-sabotaging when it comes to making it to practices of anything. I've always wanted to be part of a team sport, but I've lacked the confidence and self-soothing abilities required. This time, I know that I don't need to be perfect. I just need to show up every time, and do my best, and that will be enough. I've already made it to my first practice this week! 2. Being strong for rowing practices will require a couple of things. One is that I need to stop smoking. I am an intermittent cigarette smoker, usually stopping for periods of time and then bingeing. I've been in a very heavy smoking cycle, and I know it's not good for my physical health (duh). So, for the duration of this challenge, I won't be smoking any cigarettes! This will ensure that my lungs are good and healthy at practices. 3. Another thing I'll need is to drink enough water. So, during this challenge, I will drink at least 4 quarts of water per day. Two quarts before noon. (I'll also need to be eating high quality food - but I think I'll save that as an actual challenge for next time!) Level Up My Life Challenge (1): I'm so tempted to make bigger goals, but... This time around, my life challenge is to nurture connections that keep me going. I will do this by spending time with a friend (not my boyfriend) at least once per week for the duration of the challenge, and sharing honestly what is going on for me. HOoray!!! I do need to do things like make sure I get enough sleep, wake up earlier, etc... but these feel harder. For now, I think these simple goals will serve me well (especially the not smoking) ONWARD! p.s. forgive my awkward use of gifs. it's my first time
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