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  1. I dove in head first. I found an awesome gym; an awesome coach. This meet is starting to feel real. I'm not showing up expecting to win with 9 months of lifting under my belt. But I am expecting—between now and my last deadlift of the day on 11/5—to continuously surprise myself. I'm listening to the new Kesha album as I write this, and her first track has these lyrics: Been underestimated My entire life I know people gonna talk shit And darling, that's fine But they won't break my spirit I won't let 'em win I'll just keep on living The way I wanna live Powerlifting is not just a sport for me, but a physical ritual and (almost?) spiritual practice. I am not a super spiritual person, so I hesitate to say that. But training consistently and treating my body with respect is possibly the closest thing to religion I've got. I am done underestimating myself. Making myself smaller. Hesitating. Doubting. Powerlifting allows for me to access these parts of myself, and I can take it with me to other parts of my life. Anyway. My goal for this challenge is simple: Eat to support the gainz. Stop cannibalizing muscle. Since I joined NF, I've leaned out quite a bit (30% body fat to 22%). My weight has been hanging steady for awhile, but I lost a lot over the past few weeks with my new training program. I need to fuel to support the work. And I want to fill out the top end of my weight class. For this, I've enlisted the help of Renaissance Periodization. It is essentially macros plus easy meal planning plus timing. It takes as much decision fatigue out of eating as possible. I'm doing a "soft launch" today and tomorrow and going full RP on Sunday. I expect to gain 0.5-1 pound a week.
  2. Brutal Bears Downs Wailing Caverns Intro/Explanation: Week 0 Lady Anacondra Week 1 Lord Pythas Week 2 Lord Cobrahn Week 3 Lord Serpentis Week 4 Awaken Naralex Goals and Prizes
  3. She woke from dreams of running the fields with the black horse beside her. It was spring and the air held a luminous glow of power and happiness. Birds called, filling the air with the music of hope and Surakha's blood sang with the glorious thrill of the chase. Their path took them towards the banks of the river and she tensed, ready to turn. The black horse bunched powerful muscles and arched into a graceful leap to the far bank. Surakha turned sharply, skidding in the grass as she tried to change direction and stay dry. Her hindquarters went out from under her as the edge of the bank crumbled and she landed in a heap in the shallows. The mare let out a low whickering chuckle that slowly transformed into the bell like laugh of the human woman that stood in her place. Surakha shifted in kind and stood up, instantly colder in this form. "Damnit Ebon, you cheater!" she groused, crossing her damp and muddy arms over her chest. The Phouka sighed strolled into the water without even a wince for the spring chill in the swift flow. "Oh hush beautiful. There is nothing like a swim to follow a good run is there?" The phouka gathered Surakha into her arms nad pulled her to the grassy bank beyond. They tumbled together in a contented tangle of limbs and lips. Surakha tasted sweet grass on her lover's lips and smelled the warm scent of horse on her skin. She sank into the kiss... And woke in the cold dark of winter, her cave barren of even the remains of a fire. Her heart ached for the dream, but she said nothing, hiding her pain behind the cold and neutral eyes of the lion. Surakha laid herself against the cold stone and watched the snow whip in great clouds across the cave opening. I will find you my love. No matter how long it takes. In order to quest for Ebon, I have to show commitment, sacrifice, physical prowess, and general willpower towards success. My successes on my goals below will determine how well Surakha does in her search for her partner. · MAIN QUEST: Lose 4% of my body weight over the next 4 weeks. This comes to 15.2 lbs o Goal 1: Whole 30: In order to cleanse my body and improve my metabolic outcomes, I will be engaging in strict gluten free, grain free, primal eating. We used to eat strictly primal and my wife and I were both much healthier. Plus, my hypothyroid condition will be better managed. I will track all my food through myfittnesspal o Goal 2: Endurance Through Cardio: I used to be a runner and I loved it. Now, walking for any period of time causes pain and struggle. In order to improve on this, I am going to make a goal of 10 minutes of daily walking. This will have an added bonus of helping to reduce stiffness and leg swelling from sitting all day at work and reducing overall anxiety a little bit. o Goal 3: Getting Strong and Flexible: My back is a total mess. I have a messed up disk in my lower back that gets aggravated by long periods of sitting, say to do progress notes and therapy all day. I have found in the past that regular stretching and yoga practice makes a significant difference, so before I move on to strength training I am going to add 10 - 20 minutes of yoga daily. · LIFESTYLE GOAL: My lifestyle goals are going to be consistently about self-care. I am a psychologist and I love it, but the weight of carrying others’ pain all day takes a toll, and I have a tendency to neglect my own spiritual and creative health in favor of practical tasks. The most important things right now is building a creative outlet back into my life. o Creative Process: I am a writer. I have always been one since I started journaling in 3rd grade. I don’t ever take the time to write anymore. As such, I am making a goal to write for 1 hour a day. For the purposes of this challenge, this has to be creative writing or journaling of some kind, be it poetry, fiction, or other.
  4. Hey everyone. I have been obsessed with an idea of a while, and I wanted to see if there was any interest here on the community; basically I am a huge lover of D&D and MMO's, but honestly I can't play much, if any, anymore. I have been stuck on the idea of playing some fitness D&D. My goal is to try and bring together a group of five adventurers (including myself), and play through some campaigns. It would work something like this, each person in the party would be allotted a certain number of actions per day (though they must work for the class they are playing) and the actions bust me completed IRL to take affect in our story. So, for example I play a Druid and say we get attacked by a mob, so I transform into a bear and fight back-to do this i must do strength/warrior work out session, or I could turn into a stag and run (walk so many miles). The enemies would be use standard D20 attacks (maybe we could implement dice rolls for us and bonus to rolls based on workouts). So, that is my idea. I will DM, but honestly would love it if someone else would be willing or would help out. So, if you are interested please post and follow this thread (with your class, race, role, and maybe a few abilities-I will post some for myself below), and in turn we will would get a group, put our class and system into place, and then we will start fighting some bad guys. Any/all ideas are welcome and appreciated! Slot 1: Brutal Bears - Human Druid (Tank and back up heals) Bear From -Strength workouts (tanking)| Fox Form -geocaching(finding treasure and minor DPS) | Stag Form -(walking)Travel|Owl Form- Meditation and Yoga(Healing) Slot 2: Slot 3: Slot 4: Slot 5:
  5. To break the curse, to shed the stone For actions taken you must atone Free yourself from habits staid Run, walk, jump, dance, Fight with sharpened blade. A body reflects how we dine Whether mutton or breads, Sweet grasses, water, mead Or glowing elven wine. If a Halfling’s body you do seek Then with Halfling’s pride you must eat. "Hafling's pride Halfling's Pride... Do you think it refers to a specific food? my favorite food? A food that Dorashire trades in?" Noor paced the length of her cabin thinking. She knew that she had a fingerhold on some of the strings. Since vanquishing the fey and freeing Sovellis' mind, Noor had felt like her old self inside. It was time to make her body match her soul. She tugged the strings of magic through her fingers like yarn, tying and untying them as she moved. She spread her toes and stretched her arches, luxuriating in the feel of her bare feet no longer clad in magical stone. She knew that she was almost to a breakthrough, she cloud practically taste it. @--,--'-- What I have learned so far is that in order to properly balance my life, I need to make smaller goals that are easier to achieve. I am prone to pushing my body in ways that it doesn't want to be pushed.That never works, it always just leads to injury, pain, and unachieved goals. So I am going to take a page from Noor and model my goals after the rhyme that she has almost solved. I think this challenge might be a big one for Noor's curse breaking and for my own milestones. 1) To and Fro: one of the things that Noor takes for granted is her ability to walk anywhere. I used to be able to walk anywhere too- Chicago is all about walking too and this is the time of year that is best for walking. Since the last challenge, I have gained back some of my ability to walk, or at least my memory of how good it can be to move and to get places under my own power. My goal for this challenge is to walk for 40 minutes 3 or more times a week. At the half way point, if I am successful, I will add a 4th day. +3 STA 16 or more workouts completed +2 STA14 or more workouts completed +1 STA 12 or more workouts completed 2) Springy is What Halflings Do: I need to get more mobility and flexibility. Adding yoga last challenge helped somewhat but I am stiff and sore a lot of the time now that I am moving more. Starting work next week is only going to make me more stiff due to long hours of sitting. I am going to make 90 minutes of stretching a week a goal for this challenge. That's 5 - 10 minutes 5 days a week and a yoga class on the weekend. +3 DEX 482 or more minutes of Stretching +2 DEX 432 or more minutes of Stretching +1 DEX 378 or more minutes of Stretching 3) What Halflings Eat: I have to track my food religiously. I have never lost weight in my life without doing this. Plus it will help me maintain paleo eating and help me stay mindful of food. Food is one of my pillars of health. I love cooking, I love eating, I love sharing food with others. In order to make this pillar a healthy one, I need to remember why I love food and stop looking at it as a chore. +3 CON 38 or more days tracked +2 CON 28 days or more tracked +1 CON 14 days or more tracked LIFE GOALS 4) To simulate Noor's magical studies, I am going to take on studying money management. I am not trying to become an accountant or anything, but I want to have a better understanding of financial planning and I want to get my own financial ducks in a row. In order to do this I am going to complete the following objectives: a. Call Vanguard and get instructions on how to reactivate my online account so that I can get access to my retirement fund. b. Order all 3 credit reports so I can see where I stand and begin to clean up my credit c. Read one article from Money Magazine weekly d. Reread The Money Book for the Young Fabulous and Broke over the course of the 6 weeks. Each completed objective is +1 WIS LONG TERM GOAL I lost 8 pounds last month! I also found out that my thyroid meds were still too low, so hopefully I will be able to do even better with this challenge. In order for Noor to crack her spell and get smaller, I need to lose some more of this 200 Lbs, so I am focusing on reduction until I hit my first major milestone of 50 Lbs. Only 48 more pounds to go. (one) (two) (three) (four) (five) (six)
  6. Chapter 3- Phoenix Ascendant The curse ran rampant and the cleric, intrepid though she might be, fell to hew knees. Her body ached and her heart hurt. She sat there, not ready to bow but feeling so very, very heavy. Her mind reeled- what had she done wrong? What could she possibly do to make things right again? Her fellows, her confidantes, those she cheered on so gloriously had been abandoned in favor of disappearing. Running away when things became too hard; running because she (wrongfully) thought she could never change. "Coward," she spit, speaking words between tears, "you've always been a coward." You are no coward, dear cleric, a voice said, you did not run from them. Your friends, your allies, you did not run from them. "But I did, I ran from them and I turned my back on the gods. I have lost my patron's favor, my might is gone." Your might is not gone, your patrons have not abandoned you. You must try harder to truly lose the favor of the gods. "But I had given such inspiration, such encouragement to have faith in the path, what can I do now?" she sat up, dirt still on her hands and tears on her plain face. When she looked up she saw a bird, something haggard and molting. Something older than time, reaching its end- as all things end. How could she think herself as finding a new beginning when faced with something so haggard? I came because your patrons have faith in you. I came because the gods of our land know you, and know your strength and your worth- "But I no longer-" Shhh, she heard the voice say. The bird flapped its wings, hopping as if trying to fly only to fall again. It tried, but fell again. The cleric's heart sank and she crawled forward. She reached for the bird. She held it close. "Stop trying to fly, you can't," she whispered, her heart aching, "sometime things end and you can not fly. Accept it." The bird thrashed, wriggling itself out of her arms again. She tried to pick it up again but it flapped, it pushed away. "Please," she pleaded, "you'll hurt yourself, it's too long-" It flapped again and let out what the cleric presumed were its death throes. It fell, flapped its wings and struggled to its feet. The bird took to the air ever so precariously; it began to glow a golden warmth before that warmth became sweltering. The gold turned white and suddenly there was a pop, a sound- a sound of pure magic and it erupted into flames. The cleric only watched in awe and confusion and horror as the bird smoldered away into nothingness. Each feather consumed, each squawk consumed by the sound of something indescribable. It fell, all ashes, into a large pile. Nothingness, it seemed. Nothing but smoldering embers and remnants of what it had been. The cleric pulled her hands to her lips. "Why would the gods do such a thing," she asked the voice. Her tears were daring to come again- what was her patron telling her? She could not understand. Quietly, she heard a chirp, a sound like fire and magic. She scrambled forward to the source- the pile of ashes. Suddenly, a smaller, young hatchling hopped forth. Brilliant reds and ambers and golden flame. It took to the air, wings and tail and eyes blazing. Her crowed a victorious sound, invigorated with the sound of youth and vitality. She understood- a phoenix. The cleric had only thought them a myth, but she had witnessed one's rebirth, had witnessed something life-altering. Sometimes, dear cleric, we must fall. We must give ourselves to the fire so we may rise again. ~*~*~*~*~*~* ~~~<-@ ~*~*~*~*~*~ Hello, lovelies! I crashed pretty hard last challenge. It is in the past. It is an ashen, dirty past. A sordid past, one full of debauchery and- okay, I basically just had to do an extreme overhaul of the medications I take, so I was taken out by medical crud. That said, I am back, I am alive. I am a tiny fledgling bird that brings the might of elemental fire and I will rise into glory. Think Conchita Wurst- Rise Like a Phoenix. I'll post a link to the video when I get back home and have time to go do things. I am a little (a lot) late on this challenge, so I'm pulling a freshman here and carefully slipping in the back of the lecture hall and hoping my professors don't notice. Without further ado, I give you my challenges: Fitness Goal - Water World: Go swimming 3x per week I like swimming. I like water. I even bought a new, cute swimsuit that (I hope) looks good on me. I have purposefully avoided poking new and exciting holes in my body until swimming season is over. I will put my lack-of-piercing-having into good use and actually, you know, enjoy water. I don't anticipate doing laps terribly well, but I do like to piddle around in the water and generally stretch out a whole bunch. PASS: A : 3x per week B: 2x per week C: 1x per week FAIL: no swimming. BOOOOOOO! Reward: Armor upgrade: Buy yet another new swimsuit. Let's face it, I am like a dragon hoarding swimwear. I really like it, and I totally have a shopping problem that I'm not yet ready to admit to. Lifestyle Goal - My Spirit Animal is a Camel: drink 64oz water daily I did a challenge similar to this the first time I did this, but it was only 32oz. I did end up judging myself on the 64oz scale though, which is bad form. Even when I succeeded, I didn't succeed. Basically, I figured out a good way to make this work: 32oz at work, 32oz at home. Home bottle stays at home, work bottle stays at work. A: 64oz per day B: 46oz per day C: 32oz per day D: 18oz per day FAIL: no water whatsoever that day Reward: Potion bottles: No, seriously, I'm treating myself to another potion bottle if I do this. I freaking love potion bottles and they make me beyond elated. Lifestyle Goal - Foraging for food: 4 vegetables per day I live of cheese and bread. I basically live like a starving prisoner- I eat bread, I drink water, and I eat cheese. Sometimes, I eat yogurt. Sometimes. Basically, I load up on carbs and act surprised when I feel super bloated. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome- my body does not treat carbs nicely. Basically, if I can start putting some veggies in my body I will be a happy cleric. A: 4 veggies per day B: 3 veggies per day C: 2 veggies per day D: 1 veggie per day FAIL: You didn't try putting vegetables inside of you at all. Shame! Shaaaaaame! Reward: Swim the waters of mnemosyne: Go on a float trip! See if the room mate or the girlfriend want to come, but basically if I pass this challenge I am going to go out and have a freaking blast being out in nature and enjoying the fun of it. Nature is awesome, veggies are awesome, and I kinda want to reward myself with toasted marshmallows on a real fire. Personal Development Goal - Wearing the Woad: Wear makeup 3x per week A lot of people have some problems with makeup. A lot of people have the impression of "I don't have to wear makeup to feel beautiful. Screw society's beauty standards!" Well, I agree with you. You are right. You don't have to wear makeup to look beautiful or feel beautiful. I, however, like wearing makeup. I like wearing makeup because I like painting up my face and putting shimmery, sparklie colors on my eyelids or finding a new lipstick that is an absolutely gorgeous color of finally, finally experimenting with fake eyelashes. I also like faking bruises and making myself look like an old person. In short: makeup is fun for me. In shorter: makeup makes me feel good. I make all sorts of excuses as to why I don't wear makeup to work. I'm not trying to impress anyone. I don't owe anybody anything; I don't need to be held to some ridiculous ideal of women in the workplace while my coworkers just wear polos and khakis and they're considered work appropriate. Nobody is going to see me, so what is the point? The point is this: makeup makes me feel good. Makeup is fun for me. I am actively avoiding doing something that I enjoy, that is fun for me, and I can do every day to set the tone for the day. Usually, I avoid it because I don't want to get out of bed and I only make just enough allowances to put clothes on and go to work. When I look in the mirror, I see a person who is only minorly put together, who got to work/times with friends/dates with minimal effort. It impacts how I sit, how I work, and how I view myself through the lens of other people. I am afraid people see me as lazy or slovenly because that is how I see myself. I project my negative emotions about my appearance on other people. So, enough of that! We are not putting up with that crap any longer. This time, I'm wearing makeup because, gosh darn it, I like it. I spent a lot of money on this stuff (because this dwarf will shell out some cash if it's a good pigment) so I want to put it to good use! PASS: A : 3x per week B: 2x per week C: 1x per week FAIL: Not a single time this week. Not even a little eyeliner left over from last night. Reward: Sidhe's Blessing: Go play at the MAC counter! Get some new shimmer eyeshadow, a new blush, or maybe even see what the fuss is about this lipstick! Get the tools necessary to paint yourself up like you've been summoned to the courts of the fae.
  7. So, I think this is the best place to post this- I have an idea, and I am looking for some help. It is based off my time playing WOW, MMO's, and D&D. I was thinking about trying to get together a PVE challenge. We have PVP where we can compete, but I think it would be fun to do a 5-man PVE challenge with a few people. Here is my general idea: We take 5 of us and each week we come up with some challenges above and beyond out normal goals, these would include both a positive goal and a negative anti-goal: From there the week would be dedicated to collectively fighting a weekly raid boss, that would do heavy damage to us for each time we commit the anti-goal. Each person in the group would have a separate role in the party, such as: Tank: Damage mitigation for the Party 3x DPS: Damage to Boss (in different ways based on role) Healer: Goal heal the party I feel like this should be somewhat based off the guild one is in. Since I am a warrior I think I should play a tank, and perhaps Druid=Healer or DPS, Warrior=Tank, Scout=DPS, Assassin=DPS, Monk=Tank/Healer, Ranger=Tank/DPS, etc. This is just a general idea, but I think it could be really cool. Does anyone have any ideas or want to be a part of this? It would be awesome, so I please post on this forum and we will see if we can put something together!
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