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  1. Previously on my journey, I was a Pokemon master, who fell out of her universe to land in a strange place she now has to learn to call home. It’s called Hogwarts, nobody knows me here, and since I look kinda weird and don’t fit in, I have to rely on other things to get where I want to be. To quote the headmaster: “Really, Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I'm afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time.†I’m not channeling my inner Hagrid though, pleasant as that would be. I’m currently tiny little Snape, trying to get in with the cool kids, find a new home outside of the old one, a place to call home, and a place in the world. If I manage to do meet my goals, I’ll allow myself to slip into the skin of another person. I won’t do it the GoT House Bolton way, I’ll instead use a Polyjuice Potion. Which is only slightly less disgusting. There will be a lot of goals. But many of them are just things that I need in daily life. Habit building on a small scale. History of Magic: History of magic is boring. So is the school I’ll be going to. But I need to ace this. I’m smart. I really am, despite the decisions I sometimes make. It’s usually easy for me to learn things, but I’m lazy. I’m also not really looking forward to school because I’d rather just work, and because all the other people there will be 16-18. A big issue I need to tackle is the shame I’m feeling, and the feeling of being a big fat fail. Which will be put into big relief when 23 year old me is thrown at the same stage as all those little 16 year old girls. I need to get over myself and not let that put me down, I need to focus on what’s important, bring home good grades, study and make the most of this chance. I also need to not skip school or be annoyed at the classes I have to take (I need 120 hours of typing class. Which seems ridiculous to me in the age we’re living in, but I might just be the only nerd in that class that types more than she talks). I’ll have 2 days of school per week, which really isn’t much when I think about it. So! Goals: Do ALL the homework. Take notes in class & participate. Keep a tidy folder for school. If there’s an exam or other thing, ace it. Rewards: Knotgrass Powdered bicorn horn Potions: I’m eating healthy. However, I also need to eat smart. All the time I’ve put into researching bentos and whatnot can now finally be put to the test. Ideally, I’d like to have a meal plan. In fact, I might just type it up and add it here (since I’m writing this a week before the new challenge starts, chances are I’ll have it done by then). My mom is making all the dinner and whatnot, so there’s nothing for me to worry about. But I have to bring lunch to work/school with me now. I have a 90 minute lunch break, which means technically I’d have more than enough time to go out and buy a pizza. But I’m not earning nearly enough for that, and it’s lazy and unhealthy. I just bought a two-tiered lunch box that can keep food both cold and warm (we don’t yet have a kitchen at work, so no microwave or fridge) and I need to use it. Goals: Make a “Rosie Projectâ€-ish standardized meal plan. Bring lunch with me to school/work every day. (possibly not fridays, as I get off work at 1) Take pictures of the lunch. Rewards: Leeches Jogwarts club: Exercise. Life has just gotten a hell of a lot busier. I’d like to exercise three days a week, which isn’t much when you think about it. Ideally this means gym 3 times a week, but I have to see whether I’ll actually manage to drag myself to gym after work. If not, I’ll have to quit. I can’t afford to pay 50 bucks per month and then not go. Whatever the outcome, I need to do some form of exercise 3 times a week. Even if it’s just 5 minutes of hooping or a quick crazy-dance. Goal: Exercise 3 times a week. Rewards: Lacewing flies Astronomy: It’s a huge pain in the bum, having to get up in the middle of the night to stargaze. Or, in my case, go to work. My alarm wakes me at 5.30am, so I need to be in bed early. This has worked fabulously the past week, as I was always so pooped after work I just fell straight into bed. I need to keep at it. I remember this being one of my very first goals on Nerdfitness, and I function so much better when I go to bed at a healthy time. Goals: Sleep. Sleep a lot. Read more books. Find good books to read (suggestions very welcome!) Rewards: Fluxweed (picked at full moon) Herbology: I really don’t want to end up like Eloise Midgen and have my nose, big as it already is, be off center because I tried to curse my skin pretty. So I’ll go with the traditional route - diluted bubotuber pus. Also known as a good skin care regime. I’ve fallen back in love with a proper routine thanks to those awesome Korean cosmetics I ordered. And more are on the way, straight from San Francisco’s Face Shop. They’re incredibly light, look super cute and are a joy to put on the face. I’m currently using a wildberry foam cleanser, sparkling water apple juicy toner, peach sake serum and mushroom BB cream, all from Skinfood. But, as I said, more is on the way from the good friend that also introduced me to NF, who went and bought me a busload of stuff. I also do face masks more often now, because I bought a kilo of healing earth and can’t not smear it all over my face. Goals: Skin care every morning. Skin care every evening. At least 3 masks per week, ideally one every night (but I don’t want to overload my skin/have to buy even more products, so the minimum will be healing earth mask 3 times a week!) Rewards: Shredded boomslang skin (because obviously that's what you want after you've followed a strict skin care regime for 6 weeks) Hair from someone's head. This looks like a lot at first glance. But really it's just basic survival skills, be it for Hogwarts or muggle life. I've thought a lot about the things I want to do, and challenge myself to do, and things I'd like to experience, do or make. But what it comes down to is this. Habits that I need, desperately, to survive. And I need Nerdfitness in my life to help me with all of this. Because you’re awesome. Grading is as usual in Hogwarts: Outstanding Exceeds Expectation Acceptable Poor Dreadful Troll
  2. I need help finding a way to study, I keep getting distracted and doing other things.
  3. So, this will be my first full challenge in a while and it’s gonna be a good one! It will be a seven week challenge for me, starting yesterday (June 2nd). (June 20th) Well....school is taking up far more of my time and energy that I was expecting for this challenge. Do to that fact, I have modified my goals for the rest of this challenge. Hopefully these modifications will be enough, but if not, I'll change them again. Passing this class is my priority, but I don't want to let my health and fitness go down the drain because of it. (June 26th) Just a few minor updates. I am switching from Dr. Abravanel's "diet", which only allows for about 1200 calories a day (way too low for my activity level), to tracking my food intake. I am adding three days of interval training to my workouts. EPIC QUEST Get to 25% body fat (Currently at 39.96%) CHALLENGE QUESTS Reduce body fat by 1% Pass my Political Science class with at least a B CHALLENGE GOALS Goal #1: Watching What I Eat (CON+3) I will be tracking my food intake using My Fitness Pal. - 1650 calories per day - 105 grams of protein per day - 150 grams of carbs per day - 70 grams of fat per day Goal #2: Working It Out (STA+2, STR+2) I will be doing the Beginner’s Body Weight Workout three days a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I will start each workout with a five minute warm up, then do at least one circuit of the exercises listed below, and end the workout with some cool down stretches. I will be doing interval workouts on the elliptical three days a week: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. - 20 body weight squats - 10 push ups - 20 walking lunges - 10 dumbbell rows (using kettlebell) - 15 second plank - 30 jumping jacks Goal #3: Political Science (WIS+5) I’m going back to school. I have four or five classes (prerequisites and such) left to take before I can transfer. This will be the fourth time I’ve taken this class. The first time, I had to quit the class but didn’t know I had to officially drop it. The second and third times, I just didn’t finish the class. I WILL finish and pass the class this time. I am determined! Since it’s a summer class, the work/study load is super heavy, but I will not let that stop me! - Study 15 hours a week - Turn in assignments on time - Participate in online forums daily Goal #4: Working Girl (CHA+3) I was recently promoted from being a low level administrative position to being out division director's assistant. This means I really need to start dressing and getting ready for work. Not that I was going to work looking like a slob or anything, but I can definitely step it up. - No jeans, except for Fridays - No t-shirts - Wear heels or very nice flats - Hair and makeup must be done - Keep nails (fingers and toes) looking good Goal #1: Clean Eating (CON+3) I have (numerous times) tried to limit my food intake. Eating less/counting calories, going vegan, going paleo, eating no red meat, only having a smoothie until dinner…you get the picture. So I’m trying to make it easier on myself. Eat clean. The main concepts I’ll be focusing on are listed below. - Eat whole foods - Eat loads of fruits and veggies - Avoid processed foods - Cook at home as much as possible - Eat breakfast at home - Pack lunches the night before - Bring lunches to work - Reduce alcohol intake - Reduce sugar intake - Reduce refined grains Goal #2: T25 Brazil Butt Lift (STA+2, STR+2) I need structure when it comes to a workout routine/system/plan. Enter Brazil Butt Lift. I’ll be following the “Slim & Lift†program for the first four weeks and then the “Classic†program for the last four weeks. It’s going to be intense, but I know I can do it. Each workout session is about an hour long. I am switching from the Brazil Butt Lift program to the T25 workout program. Though the BBL program was nice (and by nice I mean intense and kicking my booty) it was taking up too much of my mornings. The workouts usually took about an hour. The T25 program workouts are only 25 minutes with a 3-5 minute cool down. I know a half an hour doesn't seem like much, but it will make a huge difference for me. - Six days a week - Workout in the mornings Goal #4: Hooping (DEX+2) I have been inspired by the lovely hooping assassins, I have added hooping to my challenge. - Practice every day for at least five minutes - Practice in the evenings Goal #6: Splits (DEX+2) I will be working on my splits this challenge. I used to have the most gorgeous split leaps, and now I can’t even get my splits all the way down to the ground. I’ll be doing the stretches/poses below to improve. Thanks Pinterest! - Practice every day - Hold each pose for 30 seconds (on each side, when applicable) - Increase hold time as body allows
  4. Well well, just couldn't stay away forever. Its been a long time since I did a challenge. Life has tossed me a few recently, didn't feel the need to add to the mix. But now, I'm ready. This is my challenge to finally get me out of the Adventurers( which are awesome) and move onto a more specific class. My goal was always to get to Lvl 5 before moving on because I just could not make a decision. That has been remedied. So here goes: Overall Challenge Goal: Ready to join a specific class. -Build good habits -Clean up diet -Real Pushups! ( I don't feel like I can go on without this) 1. Real Pushups +5 STR -15x 20lb dumbbell bench press- 3 sets ( currently max at 12 reps) -25x knee pushups- 1 set ( current max 12) 2. Never miss a day at the gym +3 STA -anything counts (cardio, trainer, bodyweight, class) -try 2 new classes ( these are free...duh) 3. Splits ( or something closer) +3 DEX -20 mins stretching 3x a week minimum (current depth....sad/pathetic/my squat is lower ) Diet. Clean it up +2 CHA - reduce daily sugar intake ( down to 0 in coffee, slowly) ( 1 less sugar per week until 0, not less coffee, i'm not crazy, I go to work before the sun) -unsweet tea ( usually half/half ), more tea at home, less crystal light etc -cut carbs to special occasions only ( don't buy any more potatoes/rice/etc, replace with veggies) Life. Start a Life Change +2 WIS -Get serious about my guitar- play at least one song a day -Budget diligently. Track spending, plan, save 100$ for Camp NF ( I want a t-shirt and gas money to get there) -school application and financials, plan to boss for reimbursement Prequel Mini Challenge Done +1 WIS Spreadsheet used to track everything. Will post on updates.
  5. I am coming out of hiding again. Things seem to have gotten out of hand for me mentally, and this weeks articel truly made me relook at my priorities. I am trying to do so many things that are ongoing, being in Afghanistan, going to school online, searching for a new job which includes late night Skype interviews. Trying to get back to truly being fit seems to be impossible to do. I realised that my biggest issue is time management, and truly sleep management. I am going to bed late, waking up at the last moment for work, and doing school in stolen minutes that make me feel overwhelmed and rushed. So this is what I have decided to do: I will reset my sleep schedule so that I wake up at 0530 in the morning. In order to achieve this I will get up no matter how groggy I am, this will have me feeling tired at night and going to sleep at an earlier hour than midnight. Second, I will cut out caffine after lunch, and limit caffine intake to tea and coffee. Third, I will start laying out my clothes at night, and prepping my French Press at night. I used to get up early for school work, and I am wanting to return to that schedule in order to feel like I have time for working out etc with my 6 day aweek schedule. So my fellow rebels, do you have any more advice? Please do not suggest products, or supplements, as the mail takes FOREVER to get here.
  6. Hi there! My name is Wren. I’m 25 and married with pets. I live in the desert of the Southwestern US, and am in school full-time working toward a BS in Elementary Education. I'm training with the rangers this challenge because it seemed to fit best with my goals. I’ve been on NF since the end of August this year, and completed about half of my goals in the last challenge. Hence, level 1.5 instead of 2! However, in that time I did manage to lose and keep off about 5lbs and 5% body fat. So that’s something. Anyway, I’m back again with some new goals and new ideas for my crazy busy schedule. This time around I want to make my goals more well-rounded in the direction of a healthy, balanced life. Instead of only focusing on exercise related things. I’m also changing the way I grade myself. I’m setting the exact numbers out now and will be grading based on total points at the end. Something new with this will be bonus points - real life extra credit! I will keep tally on this post for easy reference. One thing I am keeping from last time is prizes for myself. I didn’t earn any last time, and that’s ok. I like having a tangible reward for completing specific goals. Measurements related progress and/or reward are just too subtle to motivate me well. I’m also trying to focus more on habit-building, rather than measurements. I’ll be working these things into my schedule before the official start of the challenge to make sure they are do-able. (Separate tally sheet for that here.) If they need tweaking, they shall be tweaked! Motivation The zombie apocalypse! Ok, maybe not literally, but I am obsessed with zombie movies and tv, as well as camping and bushcraft type stuff. So it fits! I mainly just want to get stronger, and feel better. I can tell a huge difference in my energy levels and mood when I eat right and exercise often. I also want to tackle the Continental Divide Trail one day, bow-hunt, and generally be up for intense physical activity. Challenge I'm a Zombie Outbreak Survivor this challenge. Our group spreadsheet is here. Diet I was doing great in this department, at first… Then I fell off the paleo wagon completely and have not managed to really get back on since. So I’m going to start with something that is not too strict, and that I hope is manageable with my limited free time to plan and cook. I chose to set this goal up by meal, because I’m bad about skipping meals. So it should have the added bonus of encouraging me to start eating enough, as well as eat right. 2 paleo meals per day [+ 3 CON, + 1 CHA] 1 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 1/2, 0/2, 3/2 (14/14) 2 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2 (14/14) 3 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2 (14/14) 4 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2 (14/14) 5 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2 (14/14) 6 - 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2, 2/2 (14/14) Bonus points for remembering to log food for each day in my battle log! Awarded weekly. BP – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (6/6) 75-84/84 = A 67-74/84 = B 58-66/84 = C 50-65/84 = D <50/84 = F Prize: Any outcome within an A range gets me a potato ricer. Flexibility I love me some pilates and yoga, even if I’ve been flaking out on it a lot lately. Time to change that! This time I’m including at-home routines, as long as they reach at least an hour in length, in case I just can’t get to scheduled classes. 2 stretching routines per week [+ 2 DEX, + 1 STA, + 1 CHA] 1 – 1/2 2 – 2/2 3 – 2/2 4 – 2/2 5 – 2/2 6 – 2/2 Bonus points for walking to and from class! Or the equivalent distance if doing them at home, for each routine, awarded weekly. BP – 0/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (6/6) 11-12/12 = A 9-10/12 = B 7-8/12 = C 5-6/12 = D >5/12 = F Prize: Any outcome within an A range earns me a new fancy, full-support sports bra. Strength This is a difficult area for me, so I’m going to be pretty loose with it. A workout = a run of a mile or more, a 3-circuit BBWW, or an equivalent combination of other things yet to be determined. 2 workouts per week [+ 2 STR, + 1 STA, + 1 CHA] 1 – 1/2 2 – 2/2 3 – 2/2 4 – 2/2 5 – 2/2 6 – 2/2 Bonus points for remembering to walk the dog too! At least 5/7 days per week, awarded weekly. making time for homework and keeping up with my study schedule. (Mental strength!!!) At least an hour per day and 4/7 days per week, awarded weekly. BP – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (6/6) 11-12/12 = A 9-10/12 = B 7-8/12 = C 5-6/12 = D >5/12 = F Prize: Any outcome within an A range and I will buy myself an NF t-shirt. Life Goal I did pretty well in this category last time, when my goal was selling and/or getting rid of stuff. To the point where I don’t think I have enough stuff left to repeat it over a six-week time period again. So I’m going to go in a different direction. I’m going to go with house chores and maintenance, woohoo! It really needs to be done, and is the only “extra†thing I want to think about making room for right now. Especially with finals' cram-time and Thanksgiving falling into this challenge. It's going to sound like a lot, I know, but most of this stuff I’m actually pretty good about. I’d just like to get some structure in there and make sure not to forget anything. 1 vacuuming, mopping, laundry cycle, appliance dusting, bathroom/kitchen scrubbing, and garden check per week (7 items total, hypothetically 1 each day) [+ 2 WIS, + 1 CON] 1 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 0/1, 2/1 (7/7) 2 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (7/7) 3 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (7/7) 4 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (7/7) 5 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (7/7) 6 – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (7/7) Bonus points for remembering to completely dump the litter boxes each week! BP – 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 (6/6) 37-42/42 = A 33-36/42 = B 29-32/42 = C 25-28/42 = D <25/42 = F Prize: Any outcome within an A range and I’ll buy myself this camp water filter. Grand Prize Lastly, if I manage to pull off an overall A from the final tally, I will get a NF hoodie. I’ve been chasing this hoodie since last challenge. I’m determined to earn the damned thing eventually! 135-150/150 = A 120-134/150 = B 105-119/150 = C 90-104/150 = D <90/150 = F Looking forward to meeting the rangers and watching everyone's progress over the next few weeks!
  7. This is my first challenge ever, and I'm really excited to see how this goes. So, let's get down to business: The ultimate goal: Lose inches I've spent a lot of time worrying about the number on the scale, which I've realized recently just makes me crazy. I want to start lifting weights more to try to build up some strength, but I don't want to get too bulky (I'm female). How is this going to happen?! - Go to boxing class at least 3 days a week - Go to the gym and do a minimum of 25 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of lifting on days when I do not attend class - Eat a clean diet Life Quest: Stop beating myself up for failures and attempt to turn them into learning experiences. The motivation: My family has never had a healthy lifestyle, which has made it extremely difficult for me to commit to being healthy. Out of my immediate family, I am the only one who has never been considered obese or had an eating disorder. I want to show everybody that it is possible to commit to being healthy and enjoy the benefits more than the "sacrifices." I also really want my clothes to fit better. I have all of these really pretty outfits that I can't wear anymore and I'd love to be able to wear them again. Plus, I want to be confident when I go to buy clothes. I never buy clothes because I have to work towards drawing attention away from certain parts, like my arms and my stomach. I want to feel confident wearing a tank top! Woot. Here I go. I will post measurements and such later.
  8. Well helloooo, all you fine and foxy Monks! I'm back and ready for business to bust out this 6-week challenge before Christmas rolls around. Ohh yes, it's that holiday season challenge time. Will we be able to meet our goals while navegating all the craziness that this time of the year inevitably brings? Only time will tell! It's a rather good test for me though, because this challenge for me is all about BUILDING HABITS. If I can make these habits work in November/December, there's no way I can't make them work the rest of the year! Habits are built by taking repeated action, so I'm going to have to REALLY be bringing the action to make these guys stick. Goal #1- Muay Thai Training Punch punch punch. Now that my week has freed up substantially (I'm happy to say that my outpatient program for EDs is nearly complete!), I'll be able to make more MT classes. If the potential is there, it's up to me to realize it! Goal- Attend Muay Thai classes 2x per week. Goal #2- Fitness it Up! Getting those abbbbbs. Alright, not really. But I liked the rhythm I was getting into on the last challenge doing some exercise three days a week in the mornings before work. So Let's make that a habit, shall we? Goal- Interval Training/Conditioning 3x per week (for less than 30 min) (See? I've got a time cap on there and everything! Not only am I super responsible, but I'm gonna make it to work on time. Double super responsible.) Goal #3- Eat for a Happy Belly (bye, FODMAPs!) (Disclaimer; hard cheeses and berries are generally considered fine. Thank goodness, because they're amazing together) So all my life I've had a super sensitive stomach. In fact, it kind of goes beyond that, I have hereditary issues that have crippled myself and members of my family from the inside for as long as anyone can remember. For a long time I just sort of took pills and avoided dairy. But one of the big current advantages of my eating disorder rehabilitation is bouncing things off of a nutritionist constantly; now that I'm comfortable eating (because eating's the best), we're starting to focus on what's up with my insides, how can we heal them, and what kind of foods make me feel good or bad. Turns out there's this way of eating that's supposed to help folks with digestive stuffs, and it's about limiting FODMAPs, which are types of sugars (essentially) found in certain foods. I read the list, and things immediately began to click. So for the third goal, I'm going to give this as good a shot as I can to see if I start to feel better. I have high hopes! Goal- Eat more low-FODMAP foods on a regular basis (and cook at least 1 NEW recipe per week). I'm going to score this day-by-day. A day where I mindfully eat few FODMAP foods will be a win. THere will be some testing thrown in too, just to see how I react. It's an experiment. LIFE GOAL - Back to School Hahaha, alright, not actually going to school formally. A BA's enough for me right now. But I have this job, where I get to do the coolest things, involving making marketing art/designs for video games. I also have this insatiable drive to get better at stuff! So I want to supplement my skills with extra training, and find some great online classes that inspire me! Goal- Start and complete an online creative course. I've actually already chosen one! It's going to be a Learning to Storyboard class (which is super appropriate to my work, we do cinematics a lot), and I can't wait to start! Heck, I can't wait to start on ALL of these! I'm treating tonight as the first night of the challenge; after all, habits are in it for the long haul!
  9. End of the Year Habit Building Main Quest: Build Habits For a Life of Fitness Attend Krav Maga class twice a week. (Tuesday and Thurday.) Execute MadBarz Basic Beginner routine 3x a week Follow Body Building Revealed diet routine Side Quest: Bring GPA up to 2.8 or better Find an app that reminds me of homework Input homework after every class that has homework Complete homework as soon as I get home Motivation: I don't know why I started to lack in my habit of working out everyday. I was seeing results and I have a dream of becoming a fitness model and personal trainer. Maybe I didn't have clear goals, but now I do. So this time, next year, I can hope that all my hard work has landed me in a gym where I can start personal training. I just want to help people. I guess my ultimate life goal is to be a kick ass lifesaving firefighter. That should be my ultimate motivation. So every day of my life from now on, I will act as if my life and other lives depend on it … because it does. Just a side note: I will be recording my physique and progress via workout journals, pictures, and videos! I'll be making a YouTube Channel tonight! Hopefully I can get some subscribers! And Eventually I will make it BACK to the Assassins guild. This is my 3rd challenge, but the first challange I shall fully commit to!
  10. Not exactly weight or fitness related but here it is, I am 19 years old and up to a few months ago i never knew how to ride a bike, i always wanted to learn but never did and I went out and spent hard earned money on this really nice brand new mountain bike. i learned to ride, i love it, i ride to work and back ( used to just walk its only about a mile away) and its something that im really happy about. woot! learned to ride a bike, now i need to find some bike trails to ride around on. and my second woot which even bigger, i got accepted into my school of choice! went to community college for a little out of highschool and i just got accepted into my school of choice in NYC. gunna take alot of hard work to make the commute and do well but its going to be so worth it. thanks for taking the time to listen to my woot.
  11. Hey guys, this has absolutely nothing to do with my physical health at all. But I wrote a personal essay for this contest (the topic was "what is your passion and why?") and I WON! I won a beautiful, handmade desk. It's going to be perfect for my new house and for all the homework I'm going to have soon. I thought I'd share my essay here for fun. Enjoy! Narrowing down my passions to just one thing was more difficult than I thought it would be. I mean, after Pinterest, cute pictures of kittens, and British television, what else could I possibly be passionate about? My name is Kris and I am a full time student at Brigham Young University. (I get this little shiver of glee every time I get to tell someone that.) I'm a student! My road to student hood is long and convoluted. I graduated with my Associate's Degree when I was 17. The stress from completing two years of college during my senior year of high school burned me out and I ended up dropping out of school later that year. It was the biggest mistake I have ever made. Don't get me wrong - I did some amazing things while I wasn't in school. I married my amazing husband, gave birth to a beautiful and brilliant little boy and opted to stay home with him until he was ready to start kindergarten. To keep my mind sharp, I read everything I could get my hands on and I started taking violin lessons. But it wasn't enough for me. I felt like I was losing brain cells daily (and trust me - I need every single one that I have left!) In January, my time finally arrived. Toby, my son, was accepted into a preschool that allowed me just enough time to get a full 12 credits from BYU into my schedule. I was very nervous to start school again - it's been 8 years since I was any sort of real student, would I remember how to do it all? Would I survive my autistic 5 year old and 12 credits worth of homework and being in charge of making dinner, too? Starting school has been the most incredible experience for me. For the first time in 8 years, I feel like I am doing something awesome just for me. Raising Toby has been rewarding too, but it was a joint venture with my husband. School is something I get to experience. Every day I arrive on campus and I breathe in the scent of books, learning, and collegiate stress. I watch the little freshmen scurry off to their classes and smile at the opportunities they have ahead of them - playing the dating games, living with roommates, bonding over chocolate and boys and exams. I go to my classes and I sit there in awe as my professors share their knowledge. I try to soak up as much of it as I can. And while I'm learning about Spanish, I'm learning about myself. I'm learning that I love languages, that the sound of Spanish is beautiful and that I want to share it with my son. While I'm in my religion courses I marvel at the incredible world I live in and I want to share it with my husband. In my linguistics class I wonder at how our language came to be and why it is used the way it is and I want to share it with anyone who will listen! My passion is learning. You don't have to be a student to learn. You don't have to have attended 4 years of higher education. You can keep learning throughout your life, just by making time for it. Consider a topic you're interested in, go to the library and pick up a book on it. Do a Google search and start a blog teaching your topic (they say that teaching others helps you cement your knowledge further.) Anyone can learn, and anyone can learn anything they want. Isn't that amazing?! To know that even though you may never be the world's most advanced expert in ornithology, you have all this knowledge in your head for you to enjoy and to share with whoever cares to listen. How cool is that? I haven't chosen a major yet. I tell my husband that I want to be a professional student, but our bank account doesn't think that's very funny. I'll have to decide my path soon, but it's comforting for me to know that if I ever have the desire to learn about math (shudder), I finally realize that I have methods of learning at my constant disposal, even though I may not be in school forever. My favorite thing about being a student is the example I am setting for my son. My husband has a great job, although he's not a college graduate. But me being a college student has already impacted Toby - he tells everyone that "Mommy goes to school just like me!" (He asks me all the time if I get to play with toys like he gets to, or what I had for snack time.) It melts my heart when he says "When I turn 18, I am going to BYU just like my mommy." Because I am a student, because I have found my true passion for learning, I am a better person. I feel like the things I teach my son have more impact on him. I feel closer to my husband, who has supported me through the semester and even finals week without hiding from the Stress Monster I turned into. I feel like I am more myself, now that I am exercising my brain and learning and growing daily. I love school. I love learning. I love Pinterest and Downton Abbey and I wish I could somehow major in those. But until I figure out how to do that, I'm going to keep on taking as many classes as I can fit into my schedule, and I'm going to keep jumping for joy whenever Toby says "Mom, you rock at school!" -Kris
  12. Rob stood at the edge of a bluff, overlooking a forested valley. Set in the side of the cliffs on the other side of the valley from him, Rob could see a cave. If the information all those Bothans died for was correct, Rob should find Jim inside the cave. If the information all those Bothans died for was correct, the 10 miles that separated him from that cave were treacherous, and filled with traps. He ran when he could. Large, deep trenches had been dug into the valley floor. The trenches were the work of magic, for only the most powerful magics could have scarred a network of canyons. At times he could jump across the trenches, other times he catapulted from swinging vines to cross the canyons. The journey was difficult, but in time, Rob had traversed the valley and its network of canyons. Crouching behind thick shrubs, Rob could make out the entrance to the cave and he could see that it was guarded. Four powerfully built, but lightly armoured guards stood next to the entrance, two on each side. There was no way he could sneak around or behind the guards, a direct frontal assault was the only thing possible. I wish I had a bow and arrow… he thought. With a sigh, he stepped out from behind the bush and made his way towards the guards. When Rob was about 20 feet away, two guards walked out to meet him. Without word, they attacked. Rob ducked and weaved between blows from their heavy maces. His shield took a pounding while he swung his sword, leaving a red gash in the belly of one of the guards. The injury created a brief window that allowed Rob a chance to step back. It wasn’t long before the guard closed the distance with a furious bellow and he charged. Rob dodged, and just as he was about to bring his sword around, a loud voice boomed: "IT IS FINISHED!" All four guards vanished instantly. Confused and wary, Rob walked into the cave. It was dark, except for a flickering light in the distance. Rob ran. As he got closer, he could see the silhouette of a person slumped on the ground next to the fire. He ran faster, and soon reached the man he assumed was Jungle Jim. He was still breathing, but only barely. “Who….†Jim wheezed, “….are….. you…†he finished slowly. “Never…mind. No…. time… Here…. Take…†and lifted out his hand. Rob reached out his palm to take what it was that Jim wanted to give him, but as he raised his hand, Jim died. Rob quickly grabbed Jim’s hand before it hit the ground. Then there was pain and only dark. In the darkness there was a voice: “Warrior, in death, I gave you my life and all its experiences. The power I held is now yours. Go! You must head to the Island of Light and finish what I started…†Eventually Rob awoke and thought about what Jim’s voice had said. He could make neither heads nor tails of it. He had never heard of the Island of Light and if he did have Jim’s life and all it’s experiences, they still didn’t shed any light on what he needed to finish. One thing he did note, however, is that he felt stronger than he did before. Faster as well. He even felt bigger. Rob was sure that something had happened to him when he touched Jim’s hand, and he knew that he needed to figure out how to use the power Jim had given him – or even what it was. One thing he did know is that his failure to make it here on time had probably cost Jim his life. He wasn’t going to let Jim down again and Rob resolved to figure out what it was that Jim had started and finish it. Or die trying. His best bet for figuring things out was to go back to Jim’s gym and talk to Jim’s guards, so he wasted no time and headed back immediately.
  13. This is my first challenge so I am really nervous and itching to kick some ass, thus I'll skip right to the important stuff 1) Get fit +4 STA +1 STR Ok, I know, 'Get fit' sounds vague and a lot like a BAD goal, but bear with me I'll elaborate. At the beginning of last year I've started doing judo again, after a 10-year break. It has been an absolute blast and I've really enjoyed it, but now I've gotten this "crazy" idea: to compete in tournaments again(quite a challenge as everyone in my age group has mostly 10+ years of competitive experience).So to this end I've started visiting other clubs, who are big in competitive judo in my area. Training there is really hard, even more for me as I lack strength,stamina, pretty much everything. This is exactly what I want to change. I have a judo specific fitness routine, but it completely kicks my ass, so after much deliberation I've decided to first build some basic fitness. To do this I want to utilise High Intensity Cuircuit Training(HICT), namely Tabata Intervals(sprint) and the Scientific 7-Minute Workout. Tabata Interval: I've done these before and the completely kicked my ass. So I'll add two rounds every week until I reach eight rounds.Scientific 7-Minute Workout: Every two weeks I'll add a repeat.Grading: I'll do these exercises 3x per week (Monday, Wednsday, Friday) and for each done workout I'll give myself 1 Point, so ideally I'll have 3 Points after a week. If I get 75% of the points I'll pass. +4 STA +1 STR2) Loose weight Kind of ambiguous again, but the details follow now. At the moment my scale puts me at 74.4 kg (163.7 lbs ) which means at a tournament I'd fight in the category of -81kg, but I want to fight at -73kg. So in the next six weeks I want to drop my weight to about 70kg(154 lbs). In a later post I'll elaborate how exactly I plan/do this. Grading: This will just be graded PASS/FAIL +2 CHA +1DEX3)Get better at gymnastics Often times in judo training we perfrom gymnastic exercises, stuff like handstands, headstands, cartwheels, etc. This being my third goal you can probably guess that I am not all that good at them, thus I want to improve. My goal in the next six weeks is to improve in three specific exercises. Handstand: I want to be able to hold one for at least 15 seconds.Radwende: For this one I didn't find a translation so I'll provide a link for it: Radkehre: Same problem as the one above: Grading: PASS/FAIL for each move +2 DEX4)LIFE GOAL I am a terrible student. I do pay attention during class (mostly), but then in the afternoon I don't revise nor do I do homework.To add to this problem I am terrible at binge learning and thus only write average to bad grades, which isn't the ideal state of affairs considering my A-levels are approaching fast. Thus I want to change this. Revision: For the first three weeks of the challenge my main goal will be to revise everything I have done that day in class. I get 1 Point for each day I manage to do this.Homework: Starting with week four my main goal will be to do my homework daily. I'll still continue to revise. I get 1 Point for each day I manage to do this.Grading: If I manage to get 75% of all points possible I PASS, if not I FAIL. +4 WIS +1 CHA At the end of the challenge I will count together all my PASS and FAILs and if I get 3/4 PASS I will consider this challenge a success. I will track my progress with Lift and , of course, this forum. I am looking forward to pass this challenge together with all of you
  14. One long week had passed as Warwolf traveled North to the city nearest his village. He had recently been given his first mark, a prominent professor and combat instructor at the university there. The instructor spoke ill of the guild, and claimed them to be murderers and thieves. In addition, we was taking bribes from the City Council to fabricate noble deeds on the king's behalf while covering up the harsh truths of his injustice. He needed to be silenced... Goal 1: Run at least 1 mile 3X a week - +3STA +2 Dex Once he made his kill, Warwolf would have to flee the city walls and return to the guild on foot. The guards would no doubt be in hot pursuit so he was to build up his stamina so he could vanish successfully. Goal 2: Hit 4/7 workouts for the week. - +3STR +1 CHA Warwolf would need to be in peak physical to condition to best the professor if an altercation arose. He wanted to train constantly so there would be no doubt and no fear in his mind. Goal 3: Eat 80% Paleo - +1CHA +2CON A shopkeeper and assassin sympathizer was willing to let Warwolf sleep on a mat in his stockroom and pay him a small salary to clean the store while he was on assignment. He wouldn't be making a lot of money so he would only be able to afford fruits and vegetables. Goal 4: Stay on top of school +3WIS In order to get closer to his mark, Warwolf would have to get into the professor's class, which was of a high level. He needed to assimilate into the student body and get impressive grades to get close to the professor. Sorry about the delay folks, my birthday week threw me off schedule pretty hard and I'm just getting back on track now. This is going to be a tough challenge, I'm taking 5 classes, having formal band practice 4 days a week, practicing at home 3 days a week for the first time during a school semester, and still working 25hrs a week. I've shifted the way I look at things though. I'm choosing to do these things, no one is forcing me, so looking at this as a burden is foolish. I'm squeezing every last drop out of every waking minute and if that ain't living I don't know what is. My shoulder is healing nicely and almost back to normal, but I'm still really worried about pushing myself too hard on it. Good news is I've been able to find some arm/shoulder workouts that don't hurt so I can get started at building arm strength again. I'll update Tuesday with point totals (I have a spreadsheet on my comp at work) FOR THE REBELLION -Warwolf (updated point totals!)
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