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  1. Hi. I'm going to vague post a bit for now, and I apologize, but having thought about what I want I basically have to conclude that I don't really have the time to explain everything in detail. The very short version is that I've spent the past week thinking about what I want for this challenge and concluding that I've got a lot of interconnected problems that may require some relatively drastic solutions. I'm tempted toward drastic changes now for the first time in a long time, not because my life is particularly bad right now but because I feel a pretty profound sense of disconnect between where I am now and where I want to be in terms of my health and personal development. The good news is, moving on from my situation doesn't really require any sudden dramatic shifts. Slow and steady and consistent change suits my temperament better, and I can get after it. Having got the heavy movement (my strength and conditioning) dialed in for the most part, it's time for me to turn to two other kinds of movement: daily movement, or Mobility, and martial arts, or Play. These will be my goals for this challenge. Goal 1: Mobility I don't like how sedentary I've become. It's bad for my waistline and for my mind, and I need to set a boundary for myself here to get up and move. The standard of 7,500 steps is a little too drastic right now for me to take, not because that much walking is hard but because that much walking is long. There is one way to get that many steps a day though in a relatively short amount of time: the Dreaded Running. Which I'm not convinced is a good short term idea to just jump into, but I think in the long run would actually be very beneficial for me. That's probably more Epic Goal than anything, but the first step (hah!) toward that is carving time out of my day to get away from the job and move. So, goal is to get a half hour every day of walking. That's it. Goal 2: Play You ever have friends who were your enemies? I'm kind of there now. I have a lot of wonderful friends whom I love very much and whose lives I want very much to be a part of, but they're getting in the way of my mat time and so I'm becoming less and less the person I want to be in order to be more and more the person I think they want. There is a solution to this, and it's one I've been holding off on because I don't think I'm worthy of it, but avoiding it isn't making me more worthy of it, so I'm just going to have to do it, and that's this: I need to make a point of doing noontime classes for martial arts whenever I can. The one day I've been doing it consistently, it's been good for me because I get to honor both my obligations to myself and to others. I need to do that more. Along with that, Goal 3: Study Dedicated study of what I learn. Detailed notes on the things I'm taught so that I can keep engaging with what I'm learning and internalize it better. And... yeah. That's that for now.
  2. Howdy, y'all! Getting in early on this one as I'm taking off to the beach in a couple hours and I don't know if I'm going to get the chance to post on time. In keeping with the last challenge, I made a point of redistributing my training tasks to win back some much needed time. I applied that the past week as follows: Monday: Simple and Sinister, Farmer's Walks Tuesday: Straddle Planche progression, Side Lever progression Wednesday: Rope Climb progression, Single Leg Squat progression, Manna progression Thursday: Hollow Back Press progression, Front Lever progression Friday: Simple and Sinister, Farmer's Walks Saturday: Handstand and Neck work Sunday: ??? It all sounds like a lot and very heavy until you realize that at this point it's just planks and push ups and inverted rows and super basic things at this point. But I tried it out and, uh, it worked like gangbusters! Everything's done really fast; nothing takes more than 20-30 minutes and I hit enough of my body to feel good for having done it. I've even been able to retain my qigong practice, although that too has changed some. Shi Yan Lei, whose work I'm following, wants like 5 different stances in addition to the qigong, as part of a combined program of qigong and kung fu. Well, I've already got enough leg work in my kung fu program as it is, and only 2 of the stances he provides show up in the qigong movements, so there's no real reason for me to faff about and waste more effort. And the thing is, the training workload as it was distributed last challenge had some substantial effects on my ability to get after the non-training portions - the meditation and the writing. So I want to attack those problems again, but this time with this new set up, just to see how it goes. For those who didn't follow along last time, it goes like this: Goal 1: Training Like it says on the tin. Qigong is going to happen as it does; I actually want to try to get to 3-4 times a week, which I think will be quite doable. This was another one of those things that suffered under the prior load, but really it's more a matter of being an opportunity than something I'm going to pursue aggressively. Goal 2: Meditation Gonna shift this goal a little bit and set a time of 2 minutes as my minimum. To be clear, even if I miss this goal, I'm still going to take my deep breaths at bed time and get some benefit. So it's not an either/or situation by any stretch. I just want to challenge myself to do more, and having a hard standard that I won't wiggle out of will help. Maybe. Or maybe I'll be lazy again. IDK. Goal 3: Writing I found a more detailed version of the Snowflake Method. I think I'm going to use this one, since it has a more integrated approach to character profiling and stuff like that. The old 6-step program on Reedsy that I referenced before was a good starting point, but it was also looser in a way that I had a hard time connecting with. I still think I can use their character profiler as a way to construct a dossier on my characters for reference, but it's hard to use for the planning stages, at least for me. My figuring at this point is, plan out -> write the damn thing -> fill out dossiers afterward with the information I develop. But we'll see. 1st step is to follow the plan. Those are my goals this time. It works out to being mostly a repeat of the last challenge. There is some stuff I want to do/get into, but I don't really have a realistic way of approaching that just yet, so that'll be something that hums along in the background. No worries. T-minus a couple days. See y'all when I do!
  3. Hi! So this past Tuesday, I had something of an epiphany. I went home to help my dad out with some chores about the place. Nothing strenuous in particular, but it reminded me of an old guideline from Simple and Sinister about testing yourself against unusual and unorthodox demands every now and again. This has always worked out for me to being a matter of serving others somehow, because everyone needs help with moving their couch. I found that I missed the program a great deal. I've also been working on losing some body fat per the latest iteration of Berkhan's Leangains protocol, which is basically all protein all the time. He's suspicious of "fuckarounditis," or trying to train everything and ultimately training nothing. My latest measurements indicate that I'm actually gaining fat on this protocol right now, and that's a matter of compliance more than it's anything else. The past month has been remarkably social, and I've not had all that much opportunity to be compliant. I can't do anything about the social component beyond damage control, but I can do something about my training, and I think it's worth it. New plan is to hit S&S on as near to the daily as I can. GB training is going to be broken up some as a result - no more core movements and one upper-body movement per day, plus one leg movement and 1-2 days of handstand work. Reason being that GB's protocols call for integrated mobility, and in their core series they all ultimately work out to having a lumbar flexion component that Pavel warns against. S&S in its current iteration fortunately can make space for this - once I get back to lifting the 32, the recommended days drop off from daily to 3-4 days per week, and I can return to core training then. In the meantime, the work I'm doing will build me toward a Hollow Back Press, and a Straddle Planche, which are non-flexion core strengtheners which would be good to have a base in by the time I get to the point that it matters. Fortunately, everything should work just fine, I think. The past few days have felt pretty good in terms of me getting what I want. Now the trick is to work in qigong and stretching, which I think I can do as long as I'm focused properly on it. So here are the challenge goals: Goal 1: Train Bit of a gimme, but consistent logging is good for me when I make changes like this, so I can confront myself and be honest about what's happening and whether I like it or not. Goal 2: Meditate This fell off in the past week. Dedicate 10 minutes a day to relaxing my mind. This feels like something I can get after now, but I'm reserving the right to adjust if needed. Goal 3: Write This fell off in the past week too. No excuses, and the good news is that when I've done work, it's been good, deep, structural work. I've been figuring out what kind of cast of characters I need and who they are in relation to the structure of the story, which is good to do. Now I need to keep going. I don't really know how to quantify it at this point beyond "just sit down and do the thing," but I think I can do it. And, yeah. I've been writing down what I do on the mats afterward and that alone has been helpful, but I've had a hard time with actually doing the homework of reviewing videos and taking notes. This could be better. Just a matter of making time, really. Can do. Will do? That remains to be seen. But, uh, yeah. T-minus a couple days. Let's go.
  4. Oh look, I'm doing this thing during 0-week. Most excellent! It's almost like my life is falling into some semblance of order. Almost. Y'all what been around a while should know that it never lasts. The big thing that's causing me to change is that I'm dealing with some ongoing gluteal pain that's responding to stretches and home treatment, which is why I'm not going in for PT just yet. It's mostly okay, but there have been some times where it's got to be a bit much. Like, on my recent drive to Gatlinburg, I basically spent 5.5 hours sitting in the car and it got pretty painful, to the point that it actually impacted my mobility until I was able to stretch out some. Also, I'm a little dissatisfied with my current training regimen. For those just tuning in, I've been using Pavel's strength-endurance program The Quick and the Dead for my base and been doing that 3 times a week. For the other four days of the week, I've been rolling 4D20 and scheduling random work and rest days based on the results. Work days have morphed to mean the GMB vitamin program (15 minutes) plus another thing, generally skipping rope or Turkish Get Ups. There are some other minor add-ons based on my specific situation, but even so, everything's done rather remarkably fast and I'm glad. Believe it or not, I actually really like this way of doing things. I think my prior drive to "work every day" was based on old programming principles or else were based in some unaddressed insecurities that I've been working to meet and manage, and I feel like compliance is super-easy and I'm totally not burnt out. But it's not perfect. My dice, it turns out, are very generous to me, and I tend to roll a lot of rest days. (oh no, what a nightmare. 🙄) And based on both recommendations and prior experience, I tend to give skipping rope priority, because if I'm only getting one work day a week, it feels right to give it there. What that's working out to is less time with TGUs. And why does that matter? Well, in the short term, TGUs are to grappling what skipping rope is to striking: a kind of fundamental full body movement with a ton of carryover and benefit to the sport. I don't want to leave that benefit on the table. In the long term, I'm going to want to get strong in TGUs because one day I'm going to want to try to build some muscle with kettlebells and pretty much every source I can find on the matter aims for low reps and heavy weight. Enter the Kettlebell, the Ur-program in such matters, requires a 32kg swing and a 32kg TGU before allowing adherents to begin. What's a boy to do? Well, I feel like the answer to this problem lies in this program here, which I've referenced before. You might notice that he combines Quick and the Dead (QD) with another program, Simple and Sinister (SS), which is a swing-TGU focused program. His setup involves two SS sessions and one QD session per week of training. I think there's something to this for me, so that's what I'm gonna do. As to the other 4 days of the week? Well, there's GMB like I said, which at this point is mostly about movement quality and skipping rope. I did, however, buy their recovery programs, and I feel like I could be using those rest days to actually dig into recovery work and also work on flexibility and stretching. So. Enough navel-gazing. Let's get to the brass tacks. Goal 1: Training Seems appropriate to make a training goal again since I'm switching things around. Also, I have come pretty close to some compliance issues recently, and I want to smooth that out if I can. Goal 2: Meditation This was a struggle last time. I got toward getting better at it, but I really feel like I do better with a meditation habit, and I want to cement this in place. So. We will remain at 8 minutes this time. Goal 3: Clean Goal remains because I've still got a serious lack of floor space and a serious surplus of dirty surfaces. I'm getting better at both, but that's breeding some complacency, and I know me too well to let myself off the hook on this just yet. The prior arrangement of cleaning and moving a box per week (as a boss) worked good. No reason to mess with it now, beyond expanding what surfaces I clean. And that's that. Should be good.
  5. Because there is never too much kettlebell awesomeness, I am starting up this group again. Nothing formal, just for people who like to play with kettlebells, or want to learn more. Share what you do, accomplishments, or questions. Several people are working on Simple and Sinister right now, while others have their own workouts, and some are competing. Since I started the group, I'll share what I am doing. I hadn't done anything strength training related until about 4 years ago, when I joined NF. I did some bodyweight stuff, then added in some sledgehammer training, and then started with kettlebells. Right now I am working on Pavel's program Simple and Sinister. It consists of two exercises, swings and Turkish get-ups. The Simple goal for a woman is to be able to do `100 55 lb. swings in under 5 minutes, and 10 35 lb. TGUs in 10 minutes. My personal goal is 44 lb swings and 35 lb TGU. After I hit that goal, I'll most likely switch programs for a bit, but I would like to eventually be able to do 100 55 lb swings. So this challenge I will work at building up to be able to do 5 (each side) complete TGUs with the 35 lb and decreasing the swing time with my 35 lb. The swings I had to step back, even though I had already hit the 5 minute time, I was really unhappy with my form. So, I worked on my form and am now working on the goal, while still maintaining my form. That's my story. Share what you are doing and your goals.
  6. Late to the party. So I disappeared for a little over a month. I fell into a Fallout black hole and I have no plans to get out of it. I'm thinking for the next 3 weeks I will work around this and integrate my life into this, rather than the other way around. At least for now. 1. Quest Log When I start the game, it's all over. I have no concept of time. The goal will be to make a list and rough schedule of things that need to be done that day (setting alarms on the phone) BEFORE starting to play. 2. Simple & Sinister The busy person's workout. And since I'm busy being a Commonwealth Minuteman, I'm going back to this program, attempting a minimum of 2 days a week. 3. Nourishment I'm forgetting to eat. This is not good for my plans to get yuge. The goal is to hit 2'500 calories a day. Hopefully this is enough to get me started in balancing my life. War never changes...
  7. Strength and Stamina These are the the simple goals that I have for 2018. I have a few others but these are my two big physical goals. And the path to eternal glory is paved with habits. So creating the habits that lead me to increased strength and stamina are key to my success. But first, who am I??? I am strong. I have stamina to do all that I want. I hike and ruck. I know French. I have a clean and de-cluttered house. I am proactive. I eat paleo. I learn (re-learn) new things. I am grateful. I love life. I will not rely on the scale for anything more that a single data point. As an engineer (who should have had a stastitics minor or two) I know that there is not enough information in a single data point to make any conclusions. So I will use other forms of measurement to assess my progress. I will take the dreaded photos and take measurements too. I may not share them at this time but it will be my starting point! I will be focused on habit building for a core set of activities that just need to be part of me. I exercise regularly! BJJ --> 3-4 days a week Simple and Sinister KB workouts -->twice a week Hike and Ruck with the dogs on the weekend I will eat paleo most of the time. - I'm going to do a quasi whole 30 in January. There are a few sources of sugar that I don't worry about that just don't fit into the whole 30 rules. So I am going to do it my way. Year long goals for 2018 include: Re-learn French with my kids Declutter our messy home Procrastinate less Be grateful Re-learn to shoot a bow I'm not going to focus on the 2018 goals in January too much. I want to focus on the food and exercise habits first. Anything more than that is a bonus! I have a workout schedule in my planner for the month already. And once I get home I will create a meal plan and pick out some new recipes to try this month. This month is about habit building, cooking new yummy foods and taking care of me and mine!
  8. Elastigirl sits at the edge of the pool, dangling her feet in the cool water. It’s been a long summer of chasing villains and saving the city, and she is glad to finally have time to relax. I could just sit here all day, enjoying the sun and people watch, she contently thinks to herself. BZZZZ- her wrist watch vibrates and screeches. She closes her eyes, and ignores it. She’s chased all the villains away, really what ever it is can surely wait. BZZZZ BZZZ BZZ, it blares again, then flashes the code 911. Alert now, she sits up and looks at her watch, reading the rest of the text. Calling all Superheroes! Godzilla rampaging through our downtown! He’s destroying everything in his path! People are fleeing in terror! Urgent help needed or we will all die! Without a second glance back at the pool, Elastigirl, rushes off to save her city. She is a superhero, and saving people is what she does. My challenge this time is written as a boss battle. I need to get enough hit points to destroy Godzilla and save my town. I will have a short break as I take a long weekend to go on a camping adventure to see the solar eclipse. 1)Last challenge I made a list of things I wanted done by summer end. I successfully completed some, and worked on others Some of them I'm having a bit of motivational problems, so I'm assigning points. Goal: summer stuff Work on Hawaii scrapbook 2 HP each day I work on it- 30 bonus for completion Spent time on Algebra 2 -2 HP each day I work on it- 30 bonus for getting to chapter 5 Planning Disneyland trip 2 HP each day Camping trip 2HP each d 2) Deadhang 60 seconds a day- can be done in sets 25 point bonus for 20 days 3) Morning Routine and Experiment I'm going to continue my morning routine of reading the Bible and praying first thing. Last month I experimented with working out after breakfast. I'm going to try that again. But, I'm doing a different workout, so it may not work as well. Either way, I'll workout before computer time, because that just works better. No points for this. For the Bible, I have a big point reward at year end, and the other stuff I want to leave room to see what works Win Points: 0-45 points Lose- City destroyed- Elastigirl has to clean up mess- spend one hour cleaning garage 50-74 points – Godzilla is hit in the head and dazed. He’s been slowed down, but it will take more to take him down: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Sea-Tragedy-Whaleship-Essex-ebook/dp/B000OZ0NWQ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&coliid=I3OKRJE0CI7P4I&colid=2FXN9I8R0TTC&qid=&sr= 75-100- -Godzilla has been seriously wounded. He is strong though, and refuses to give up. Though he can not do much damage, he still continues a feeble fight.prize https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IVJK8JK/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I22MUGLSIR9NPT&colid=2FXN9I8R0TTC 100+ KNOCK OUT! Godzilla has been knocked unconscious and the threat is no more Prize https://www.amazon.com/Womens-Tropical-Floral-Graphic-T-Shirt/dp/B071DM4GY3/ref=sr_1_14?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1503701144&sr=1-14&nodeID=7141123011&psd=1&keywords=moana+t+shirt+women Other stuff: I'm going to be working on my Simple and Sinister goals with the kettlebell, and going through GMB's Element program. I have an accountabillibuddy for the Element's Program, and the deadhangs. The accountabillibuddy group for the deadhangs is a continuation of the pushup one last challenge, where we did pushups every day. Some people are doing daily push ups, and some are doing daily deadhangs. The link is in my signature for both.
  9. Kishi

    Kishi Says Balance

    Still reeling from my Feelings on this game. So, that's the theme music. Deal with it. So, basically, I've been struggling with balance. Sleep and food and weights and martial arts. It's a lot of fun, but the truth is, I want to skew more toward martial arts. And, looking down the line, one other thing that I'm going to want to do is to get into flexibility training. Right now, there's no way that the current schedule is going to let that happen. Also, I'm about as heavy as I was back in high school, and it's not muscle that's making the difference. I want to fix that. I looked into all the various things I'm doing, and I've realized that there is a way to do it, but it's going to involve a pretty radical shift. It's going to involve stepping off of Leangains, setting my own calories and macros, adjusting 5/3/1 to 2x/week, and adjusting GB to fit that, as well as making sure that I get enough sleep. Fortunately, this isn't even remotely impossible. I remember the past experiments and what they've taught me. And I think I can do it. To be clear, it's gonna be tough. But I spent most of last night hyped up on the idea and brushing up on the things that I think I know. I think I can make this work. But it's going to involve a lot of discipline and some effort on the front end as I adjust the things. But I genuinely think there are rewards to be gained from trying this. I think I'll be able to do Judo on Wednesdays again, and the habit of going back there will make further training possible. I also think I'll be able to avoid the wait at the... weight... racks, and just be able to focus on going out and kicking butt and taking names. And hey, who knows? I might just be able to finally find my way to the not-Kali that we offer at the dojo. And maybe even getting this writing ish figured out too. So. Here are the goals. They're training goals... except they're life goals too. Hooo boy. GOAL 1: HOMEBREWED INTERMITTENT FASTING Caloric average set at 1950. Macros adjusted to suit, based on past experimentation that has shown me what my body responds to. GOAL 2: PRACTICE Monday: Rest Tuesday: KB snatches/GB(SLS) and Karate Wednesday: GB(Core) and Judo Thursday: S&S/GB(Upper Body) and Karate Friday: 5/3/1 BP and DL Saturday: S&S/GB(Handstand) Sunday: 5/3/1 Squat and OHP Now, this looks like a lot. And that's because it is, in fact, a lot. But it's not as much as it looks like. Most of this is actually over and done with pretty fast - anywhere from 5-20 minutes. The stuff that takes longer is slated to take place on days when the time should exist for those things to be done with their due diligence. These adjustments have been made based on my observations of the gym's peak times as well - Wednesday is a stupid-busy time to do barbell training, for instance, so compensate by doing something quick that doesn't require any equipment at all. By contrast, Friday and Sunday are relatively dead times, and I've never had trouble getting a rack on those days. I also think that doing 5/3/1 twice per week feels more Soviet anyway. Wendler says that there's no need to do deloads unless "you need to" and that frees me to wave my training up or down based on the input that my body is giving me. Honestly, the trickiest part about this is the nutritional aspect. I've stacked it so that I have a lot of lower calorie days, with Friday and Sunday being the days for lots of calories. It's not as crazy as it sounds, though - work loves to feed me, coworkers love to feed me, fam loves to feed me, and there is food everywhere. Honestly, it's pretty rare for me to have a week go by the way I plan it, so I've basically planned for it to go sideways. BRING IT. GOAL 3: CLEANLINESS Get the room cleaned up. Get the gi taken care of. Get the extra clothes gone. Get some frickin' sleep. (what. sleep hygiene is a thing). With the sleep in particular, I want to make a point of getting down to bed before midnight on the weekends. I just don't gain anything by being up that late, but I do lose a lot of time and momentum. GOAL 4: WRITE So, hey guys, writing characters is actually forcing me to think and dig into my story and it's making me better. But, I'm still struggling with consistency. Like always. So, we're going to make this stupid-easy - just work on one character every day. It can be the same character if it has to be, but Always Be Character...ing? Welcome to English, where everything's made up and the grammar don't matter. And with that, we enter into what might be the strangest adventure yet.
  10. Zero Week: Looking to see what works. Continue with GB Foundations, and hit Swings and Getups with volume waving. Try to finish off Mind Tools. Get some studying in.
  11. Kishi

    Kishi Says Clean

    It's fun to do music in my challenges again. I missed it. So, gonna keep this short and simple because I've started parts of it and I'm on a short amount of time. Yes, time. I was staring at my schedule - all the things that I wanted to do and want to do still - and it finally occurred to me: life would just be easier with more daytime in it. And the way that happens is to go to bed earlier. But it's not just about going to bed earlier. The truth is, a lot of my life is messy. I'm thinking about that a lot I guess because, well, my bro and I are looking at moving out of the parent's place. Yup, that's right. Now that Dad's back to dying as slowly as we can ask him to, it's feeling a little crowded under this roof. He, I, and a third roommate are looking at places where we might want to live where the rent doesn't suck. And I want to leave this place as well as I can. That'll be a lot easier if I clean my end of things up more. So. Clean time, clean house. Let's get to it. GOAL 1: CLEAN UP MY TIME - BED BY 11 GOAL 2: CLEAN UP MY SPACE - ONE WALL OF MY ROOM EACH WEEK GOAL 3: CLEAN UP MY GUT - ONE SERVING OF SAUERKRAUT A WEEK GOAL 4: CLEAN UP MY CATALOG - FINISH UNDERTALE TO MAKE ROOM FOR ME: ANDROMEDA Bonus-That-Isn't: 4 written pages a week. And with that, we're off to the races.
  12. So yeah, being an adult is bullshit. I guess I'm either stressing myself out too much or not enough. My HRV is constant most days, then a huge drop on one accompanied by skin inflammation. Might just be adjusting to the move. Haven't lifted, but I've been walking a lot more, apparently. Anyway, I'm looking to focus on the micro level and just getting a little bit done each day, because time management is murdering all my progress. I will be continuing my previous challenge, focusing on knocking out 2 modules a week. PERKS: My time management is garbage. I signed up for Mind Tools and have a 12-unit Time Management Learning Plan. 1. Managing Interruptions 2. Activity Logs 3. To-Do-Lists 4. Prioritization 5. The Action Priority Matrix 6. Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle 7. The Pickle Jar Theory 8. Effective Scheduling 9. Personal Goal Setting 10. Golden Rules of Goal Setting 11. Treasure Mapping 12. Overcoming Procrastination I should be on the last half of the last semester before graduating. I barely made it through the first half, and I'd like to cruise during this half. Focusing on a little every day instead of my usual cramming, I will allot 2.5 hours a week for coursework outside of school. ATTRIBUTE: I got a bit carried away with the GymnasticBodies and tried to really plow through the skills. I'm already on Foundation 3 for lower body, and really moving along for Manna, Side Lever, and Rope Climb, to the detriment of my other skills. The priority is to at least hit one GB skill and one kettlebell skill per day. No rush. Enjoy the grind. I shall be utilizing a similar accountability spreadsheet as I use with the people I'm coaching.
  13. Kishi

    Kishi Says Run

    Hi guys! So, it happened like clockwork, just like I said it would - the fat loss stalled out on 02/11. That was kind of weird. Knowing my body as well as I do, being able to have it down to the day. Wasn't quite prepared for that. So now I need to figure out what to do next. I could lower the calories, but the yield on that is going to be comparatively small at this point. I don't have a lot of reason to do something like that. But I still want to cut. The temptation is to attempt recomp, but everything I've ever seen about that assumes a specific training modality to go with it, and that's not me anymore. So, I don't think a traditional recomp is in the books for me. Instead, I'm going to try something different. Once, a long, long time ago, I tried my hand at Leangains. This is the father of most IF protocols that you see being bandied about in the fitness world these days (with Pilon's Eat Stop Eat being the granddaddy). I didn't stick with it because it didn't work because I didn't understand a lot about what it takes to make most nutritional protocols work. And interestingly, the cutting protocol would still wind up being more calories than I normally take in anyway, which I suspect is where I need to direct my efforts next. So, you know. Maybe do that and see what happens. There's a bunch of other stuff too. I need to fix some problems with my body, and the dojo's moving. There will be more training opportunities, and the more time I can spend on the mats, the better off I'll be. I'm going to have to account for that. I want to be the best martial artist I can be, but I also need to be the best me I can be for the people in my life who need me. In addition to promotion being somewhere in the cards this year, I've been challenged to participate in the TSC coming up in a couple of months, and the Dragon OCR coming up after that. One other rub as well, and probably the most significant as far as the year's Epic Quest is concerned. I need to honestly assess my finances and determine whether or not I need to pursue alternative income in addition to what I'm bringing in now. On paper, I'm making a lot more money than I was, and I'll admit I've got a lot more breathing room than I previously had. But in practice, a lot of what I make goes to taxes and benefits, and taking up my car payment in addition to putting away for savings and paying my folks for what living space isn't exactly making things easier. Why would I need more income? Because the goal is to free myself before the year is out. Right now, I'm thinking I might be ahead $150 to $200 a month, and that's not gonna work. I could probably cut back on the quality of food and such like that, but truthfully, that's not a cut I'm willing to make, and I don't know what else I can cut that I'm willing to. (I don't need a gym membership. I don't need to eat well. But, well, I make my choices and I'm willing to live with the consequences). Fwah. Okay. So. I need to get stronger, run farther, fight better, acquire currency, and not get sick no matter what. Because the world needs the best of all of us, and even me. Piece of cake. Goal 1: GAIN LEANLY Basically, Leangains is a super-flexbible IIFYM diet that focuses on intermittent fasting and maximizing whatever metabolic processes are engaged on any particular day. The temptation to misuse this flexibility is awful. Goal is 90% adherence to macros on any given day, and to not get so bent out of shape when I get invited to eat outside of my chosen eating window. Goal 2: RUN Running doesn't suck. Since the goal is to get better at distance, I will take up the 100m-800m run protocol as listed in this article. I can use the treadmill at the gym for this - I no longer subscribe to earlier statements I made about losing hamstring strength. I already know I can do 100m at 12 mph, and could probably do it faster if the damn thing could keep up with me. Goal 3: SNATCH The goal is to get to the point where I can do snatches for five minutes straight. Most of what I've got to play with as far as KBs go mean getting good w/ the 24kg, but... I don't know whether to go for the Novice or for the Open divisions. (Novice is 5 minutes w/ 20kg versus the Open's 24). Either way, I need to get good with the 24, and I need to get to a point where I can snatch continuously for time rather than treat it as power work. I miss my hang cleans. Goal 4: WRITE AND EDIT I think that whatever path I take to acquiring extra currency, it's going to involve doing things that I do already. Bump up the writing to 4 pages and figure out (and take) what steps are necessary to freelance as an editor. Okay. Okay. Here we go.
  14. So, the idea after last challenge was to celebrate New Years and come on strong here in the new year. I had every reason to believe I would. The training was fun, molding itself around what I wanted it to be, and I was pushing hard and everything was great. And then last Monday I got a scratchiness in my throat. It spread from there and it's only now really on its way out. I've followed Sickness Protocols, which means no training if it makes your symptoms worse. Well, shock and awe, training did. Even yoga did, although that might have been a case of the wrong yoga for the situation. Wrong medicine, etc. Anyway, the past week's been kind of slow and boring as these things go. I'm honestly feeling kind of stir-crazy, raring to go back to work, which is better than the alternative I guess. Not exactly the start I wanted to the year, but it's not about how you start. The big goal for this year is... ulp, financial. I'm finally in a position to start attacking this thing that's been around my neck for years. With that freedom... man, I dunno what I'd do. What a wonderful problem to have to solve. Of course, can't attack the whole thing in one challenge. This is gonna take a while, and TBH I don't know if I'm going to get the whole thing done or not. But any steps taken are better than no steps taken. Here are the goals for this month: GOAL 1: DON'T GET HURT Not training for a week has been good for one thing - that golfer's elbow is pretty much resolved. I want it to stay resolved. Especially given that my training has shifted over to this practice-based thing. I've been thinking a lot about training and pain and strain and injury and how all of that ties together, and basically there are some places in the body that need to feel something, and there are some places in the body that need to not feel something. I really need to be mindful and get the difference, understand where a sensation is coming from and what it might mean. On those lines... GOAL 2: SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEP Yeah, this has to happen more. I think part of the reason I got sick is that I just got wore down. My sleep schedule is a mess, if I'm honest: I get 6-7 hours when I need 7-9, and I freak out if I try to get more - my body wakes up crazy early if I try to do more, like I'm afraid that I'm going to miss out or something. Goal is to have the screen off by 2245 every night. I don't need the distraction of this thing to keep me awake, and I could be way more efficient than I've been. GOAL 3: WRITE One page a day. I need to do more than what I've been doing. No real blurbs or anything, but yeah. GOAL 4: LINE UP FINANCES So I've got the money going out to all the places. Now the goal is to consolidate as many of them as I can, so that they come out on the same day. I want as few surprises looming in the wings for me as I can manage. I have a feeling life will throw enough of those at me without my leaving myself open for them. By the end of the challenge, the goal is to have as many of my bills coming out at the same time of the month as possible, that time being the 1st of the month. And... that's the game this time. Okay. Let's see what happens.
  15. I'm back where I belong with my beloved Assassins. I have a renewed understanding of my long-term goals and the motivation to achieve them. Let's Go! Simple and SINISTER Challenge Goal #1- Tighten up my diet Keeping with the Simple and Sinister theme I'll be doing a Whole30 and tracking my food every day. E.V.E.R.Y Day That's no sugar, no grains, no legumes. Goal #2- Get Stronger Follow the Simple&Sinister kettlebell workout. 4x and week plus 2 additional workouts of my choosing. Yes, 6 workouts a week. Goal #3- Recovery 4 Cups of water/herbal tea Foam roll after every kettlebell workout Life Goal- Gratitude/Positivity End every challenge update with a list of things I'm thankful for or daily accomplishments.
  16. Placeholder, because I have a marathon [I did not train enough for] in three days. Goal is to finish my GymnasticBodies Foundation One course (because I've been slacking on my Hollows) while working on those elusive Handstands and some Tumbling (both modules I also purchased). My gym membership just ended and I'm going full-Assassin this challenge. BUILDING THE ASSASSIN BODY Log GB exercises (foundation core and upper body, handstand, and movement) once a week, kettlebells once a week. SKILLS BJJ twice a week, 21-day Dry Fire Practice modules. CHARM I joined the 30-day Art Of Charm challenge, and I have 10 modules to complete in it. LIFESTYLE Slowly working on becoming antifragile, and I'm starting with getting rid of trash around the apartment.
  17. The lions sing and the hills take flight. The moon by day, and the sun by night. Blind woman, deaf man, jackdaw fool. Let the Lord of Chaos rule. Aiyaa. I must hate myself. There's 47 different POV characters in this book, and the prologue is 30K words. But, lots of cool things happen here. Can't deny that. Anyway, the month's work is cut out for me. NaNoWriMo is up in about a week, and I got a GoRuck to perform. We're coming down to the wire in terms of how prepared we're going to be for that (and by we, I mean me. I'm sure @RisenPhoenix has this in hand). So, let's set the pieces on the board. One more dance along the razor's edge finished. Almost dead yesterday, maybe dead tomorrow, but alive, gloriously alive, today. Rand is an appropriate training stand-in again. He winds up wanting to build a school for men who can Channel, which is a thing not seen for thousands of years since the men who can do magic in this setting wind up going wildly, destructively mad. Still, his rationale makes sense - if the world's going to end soon, nobody's gonna live long enough for that to happen, and he might as well face it with as many allies as he can make. Fortunately, my circumstances are far less severe. But training is training, so training I shall do. We are going to tickle some Aes Sedai under the chin, rescue a mule, and put a snip-nosed girl on the Lion Throne. Oh, yes. That’s Aviendha. Don’t look at her crosswise, or she’ll try to cut your throat and probably slit her own by mistake. Two quotes for this guy? I didn't mean to, but the picture's too good and the cropped version of it is through the Wiki just doesn't play nicely with the code here. But it's appropriate anyway. Mat is the Writing Goal for this challenge. Yes. This is because he is going to tell a big story that's going to be very important toward the end of everything. And he can't stop talking. I cannot tell you the weather will be what it should tomorrow. I can tell you that Perrin and I will do what needs to be done, whatever can be done. And I don’t need to tell you that you will take what each day brings, whatever it is, and be ready to face the next. That is the kind of people the Two Rivers breeds. That is who you are. So, I've been dillydallying about with my money, which I shouldn't have been on account of the fact that this money has purpose and reason. I need to fix that. I have the tools I need to set it all up so that everything comes out automatically, without me having to even think of it. I have my savings account set, and my car payment set. But I still need to arrange my student loans, which means I have a few different difficult phone calls to make, as well as getting my credit card set up to be paid for. It feels like a difficult thing to do because it feels like what I'm doing is signing away a lot of money... but it's not that bad. And that's the point of it anyway. Student loans and credit card. Three lines I need to set up. One per week. That should do it. And while I'm at it, let's see if I can get some of the extra things coming out to not come out anymore. What is too absurd to believe is believed because it is too absurd to be a lie. Egwene Al'Vere is a young woman who once thought she would marry Rand. That didn't turn out to be true. There were much bigger things for her than that. Anyway, she's the reading goal. Which feels small - she's a real badass, actually - but then I remember what I'm reading, and suddenly I can live with it. 0 Week to warm up and we'll go from there.
  18. With his coming are the dread fires born again. The hills burn, and the land turns sere. The tides of men run out, and the hours dwindle. The wall is pierced, and the veil of parting raised. Storms rumble beyond the horizon, and the fires of heaven purge the earth. There is no salvation without destruction, no hope this side of death. It's such a happy story. Did I mention that? Just, this amazing, joyous thing. You'll want to dance after you read this. Anyway, things are not getting any easier for our heroes. Rand, having survived and been marked by his time in the Wastes returns to the west with an unstoppable army at his back. He sees his enemies, and he must stand against them. Let's get our game faces on. "Do you finally begin to trust me?" "I trust you like a brother. Until the day you betray me. You have a parole for what you have done, in return for your teaching, and a better bargain than you deserve, but the day you turn against me, I will tear it up and bury it with you." Rand is the catch-all for my training this time around. I am presently training with a mind toward building muscle, to take advantage of eating at maintenance and giving my body a break. I don't know if that'll last to the end of the challenge - if I find that I've put on too much bad weight to come with the good, I'll switch back to cutting, and my training will switch to reflect that. But as I mentioned to the Giant who has stopped in to see me, training to take advantage of the amount of food I'm eating now is a lot of fun. Beyond that, though, this challenge is going to be mostly about cementing myself around the new schedule and the commitments I have and figuring out just what I can get away with now. Holding your ground is not the same as going backwards. Everything always changes. The best plan lasts until the first arrow leaves the bow. If that sounds kind of like Napoleon or something, well, that's kind of on purpose. Mat accidentally'd his way into taking a level in badass last book. He survived something way back in book 1/2, and even though he was healed in 3, it left him with some holes in his memory that he was never okay with. He wanted those holes filled up. He was not specific with the right people as to how that would happen. Mat has a funny way of finding himself in the most chaotic places and situations. It honestly reminds me very much of my job. I want to do better at it, and I have a very concrete way of figuring out how to do that. I want to focus on working cases in the following order - priority cases, opening the new cases, developing the old cases. This is a set of numbers that's probably going to change as time goes by, because it's kind of chaotic. I will set a baseline of working the three priority cases I have now and completing opening procedures on the three cases that I will be assigned that follow, for a total of at least 6 cases per day. Beyond that, I'd like to touch on at least the five oldest cases in my queue, for a total of 11 cases per day. This may or may not be a realistic thing - it can be a lot to work on any given case, given what evidence has come in, what you have to do to reach claimants, to say nothing of the other behind-the-scenes stuff. Also, given the rather personal nature of these things, I'm afraid I'm going to have to be kind of vague in terms of talking about it. I won't be able to give you much more beyond what I've done. It's all I have to give, guys; sorry for that. If you must drown or ride a lionfish, you ride and hope for the best. Siuan Sanche is a hard woman who's made a lot of hard choices to be who she is and where she was. The former Amyrlin has been deposed, and is forced to make of her life what she can. I'm kind of torn between making a goal of not being late to anything and making a goal of getting through Deskbound. The latter wins out in the end for me because being a professional about things just seems like a very poor goal to think about. Of course I'm going to be on time for things - I have a grown-up job now. Being late is becoming foreign to me. But what is becoming familiar is a chair. That is unavoidable at this time. Maybe, eventually, I can do a standing desk, but at this stage it doesn't make much sense to ruffle feathers. So, I will make do with what I have. Get through Deskbound, run assessments, apply. "I mean to deal with the world as I find the world, for as long as I can." Why, yes, that is Moiraine again. And yes, those are portentious colors for a portrait, as if something terrible is about to happen to her. You shouldn't read anything into that. She is still seeking after stories, still writing, even as the world marches toward Tarmon Gaidon. She's a believer in a cause, marching toward something that she can barely see. Rand by this point sees her as a manipulator, someone trying to pull his strings for the White Tower, and this is true. But though she's sacrificed much, she never does so with thought to herself and what she might have wanted. She's a hard character to like, but she's just as hard to dislike when you see who she is and what she does. And why. And the things that she dares to do as a result of her sense of purpose and what she's trying to do... she's really incredible. Anyway, the reading and writing goal goes here. Time to take the week and see how it plays. Cool. Let's go.
  19. Welcome to Week Zero. Back during May's 4-week challenge, I had intended to do six weeks of kettlebell training as a lead-up to my Tough Mudder on June 18th. Unfortunately, about halfway through I ended up terribly sick, and it threw a wrench into all of my plans. So! Now that the illness is behind me and Mud Day (as I affectionately call it) has come and gone, I'm going to give my kettlebell the six weeks that it deserved. I was already seeing changes at the 3-week point, and I'm really excited to see what a full six weeks can give me. Since Mud Day, I have relaxed from a 500+ daily caloric cut to a maintenance intake level to help myself recover from the incredible stress of that day. This has been mostly good for my recovery, but I'm now ready to return to my normal habits and go back to the losing phase. I'm taking this week to get my eating habits back on track, and to re-set my kettlebell baseline (workouts on Thursday and Saturday mornings). I'll be targeting Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for my kettlebell workouts, as I was finding that every other day was pretty much ideal for starting out. I have Kung Fu classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so this is by no means my only workout, but a supplement to my regular activity level. For the purpose of science, I will not be doing anything else consistently different for this six weeks. I just realized that the previous sentence is not exactly true. In order to maintain the price of my medical benefits for work, I have to log 'workouts' via MapMyFitness, because it's the only device/app combination I currently own that works with the system they've established. This means I will also be adding regular 30-minute walks 2-3 times per week to my activity, because they get more 'points' than if I self-report my Kung Fu training. To this, I will be adding 3-5 kettlebell workouts per week, depending on how I improve and how I'm feeling. I will be paying close attention to my body's signals through this, because I DO NOT want or need any kind of injury. Two weeks after this self-imposed challenge completes, I will be boarding a plane for two weeks in Europe with my lovely wife, so I'm pretty invested in being uninjured and in excellent shape when September 6 comes around. Here goes!
  20. The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. For centuries, gleemen have told of The Great Hunt of the Horn. Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages. And it is stolen. And so we begin. Book II. In which a powerful relic is lost, and a powerful enemy is found. The last challenge went really well. A lot of things that I didn't expect to go right went... well, right. It's a series of facts and such that, to be honest, change a lot of things. I know now that I will be able to afford to travel and do the GoRuck in Boston. I know now that this training has a purpose, and a reason beyond fighting the entropy of long, long sits. And, as one might expect, however, there were complications attached to this - a change in the time I get up, and a change in my schedule, and a change in my training, and as such a change in my diet. In other words, I found something, only to lose a bunch of other things. Not really a big deal, because I can find those things again - I've done it before - but it sure does seem to fit the tone of the book, so here I go. Always something new, always something I didn't expect, and sometimes it isn't horrible. Poor Rand. He learned in the last book that he is a wielder of saidin, the tainted, masculine half of the One Power. He is marked as a doer of sorcerous deeds, doomed to madness and the worst death. But there is more to it than he knows, more than he can even accept... The Rand part of this challenge is to search for the new routine. Once it is found, I must do the new routine. This may sound like something that has a lot of the challenge as a whole wrapped up in it, but the truth is, it's really just about adjusting to a new schedule. Part of that means making the new schedule, and although I have it made up, it's not really complete yet. It will change again in a couple of weeks, once I begin the new job and see what there is to see. At present, mornings are devoted to meditation, prayer, postural practice and stretching, and handstands. I've altered the handstand training so that I'm not doing hollow-body work directly anymore. There's just no time if I mean to do this more days than not, and honestly, getting myself to the point where I'm standing in a perfect handstand will do all the same things anyway. So, what I'm doing at this point is dropping my time back down and bringing myself closer to the wall, to learn to control my kick-up and to get more used to the idea of full body tension as a straight line. Midday work will be about skill practice with the uchikomi, and shadowboxing. Maybe some skipping rope - wouldn't be hard to bring that along, but don't quite know where to fit it. Nighttime is Perrin's problem. I will wager two silver marks to two from each of you that I can beat both of you at once, just the way I said. You can't have fairer odds than that. There are two of you, and one of me, so two to one are fair odds. Mat, of course, has his own problems. He picked up an evil artifact in the last book, and it is slowly killing him. The good news, though, is that he will lose this dagger and regain his life. The bad news is that his troubles are only getting started. Part of his recovery is that he has to eat. He is surprised at how much he ends up having to eat, how much the Healing of his wounds costs him. Likewise, it is the same with me. I have been stuck at a plateau for the past three months in terms of shedding fat and getting lean, and this has been a function of a mismatch between my body's demands and my meeting them. Fortunately, I am back on familiar ground with me being mostly sedentary again. Unfortunately, I'm me, and I'm always keen to experiment with things. On days when I'm just doing handstands and S&S, I am dropping carbs and calories down low - 50-100g for CHO, about 1650+ total intake. I will be saving my carbs for the end of the day to help me feel full and satisfied. On days when I'm formally training, I will reverse everything - 30-50g of Fat, about 1950 calories for total intake. This is simply for now - if I get hangry, or if I feel like my energy is super-stinkin' low, I reserve the right to adjust. I also refuse to deny myself the pleasures of company - hence me being so low and hard on myself. Just in the past week, I've had three glasses of champagne, homemade BLT, and junk food. Please, please don't be afraid for me. I promise, it is unwarranted. And also I think my mother is going to sabotage me - I mentioned that I wanted to see if I could go lower safely and she said she didn't think I had much left to lose. I assured her that I'm being safe - and I am, really - but I doubt she believes me. Now I get to have that problem that all the other Nerds have when they live at home. Yaaaay. A young wolfhound must meet his first wolf someday, but if the wolf sees him as a puppy, if he acts the puppy, the wolf will surely kill him. The wolfhound must be a wolfhound in the wolf's eyes even more than in his own, if he is to survive. And what to say of Perrin? Poor man. He hears wolves in his thoughts. It wasn't his choice, but whether he likes it or not he too is being dragged along by virtue of who he is in the Pattern. But it's more than that too - he made a vicious axe, and he is strong with it, but it makes him sick inside and he knows not who he is. Perrin's challenge for me is all about iron - every day that I can, I want to be touching the iron. It can be S&S, or it can be strength training, but in either event it is possible to do something every day. It's a very simple, straightforward way of doing things... but that doesn't mean easy. I've stayed with you long enough, Rand. Why would I stop now? You see, I like you. I would like you even if you weren't ta'veren. Maybe I like you despite it. You do seem to get me neck-deep in hot water. In any case, I'm going with you. And I don't think you can really stop me. And at last we come to one of my favorite characters. Loial is an ogier, a gentle giant of the forest. He loves trees and growing things, but he also loves to read. He's traveling with everyone because he wants to see the world, although he didn't get permission to leave home before taking off on this adventure. But in addition to being a kind young man of 90 years, he's also a writer. He wants to chronicle the events as they unfold. He knows that being around people who literally warp reality as they go is bound to change things, and he wants to write that story. You can see where this is going. Read the next book, yes, but also write and work on my own thing. @erosan challenged me in @Starpuck's thread to write a more ethically nuanced take on the themes of Star Wars and like an idiot, I accepted that challenge. Unlike an idiot, I seem to have stumbled on some wonderfully gray ways to explore those ideas and to tie together a bunch of things that I never thought I could into a single project. Read and write. Read and write. ... I think that about does it for this round. As usual, it looks like much, but it is not really. Let the Dragon ride again upon the Winds of Time...
  21. Simply put, my goal right now is to get strong. I am following Pavel's Simple and Sinister workout, and working toward the simple goal. I will also be working on increasing my pull up numbers. Add in some ab work, lots of walking, a bit of ring play, some rucking, geocaching, and a bit of flexibility work, and you have a happy Ranger bear. Goal 1 Track Food 6 days a week (this is pretty much a habit now. Just listing it here for accountability) For the next several challenges I will be eating at maintenance. I will all pay attention to my body, and if I am hungrier I will eat more, and not hungry eat less. I will track weight and measurements to help me determine if I am on track. Track water 8 glasses of water( or decaf/herbal tea) a day during the week (weekends excluded, I just want to make it a habit during the week. I’ll work on weekends next challenge)This is a hard one for me, and if I succeed I will get a prize. Not sure yet what the prize is. Goal 2: 5 Turkish Get Ups (per side) with a 35 lb. kettlebell 100 swings with a 35 lb bell in 5 minutes Setting a performance goal is tricky. Setting a specific goal gives me something to shoot for, but it is sometimes hard to predict how long it may take. So, plan is, I will do the work to get me to the goal, and hopefully I will reach it by the end of April. If not, well then, I will work on it next month too. Goal 3 Try something new. It can be a food or an activity, just something to remind me that life is an adventure, and it is good to get out of routines once in a while Adventure Goals:The idea isn't to get all of these done. Just ideas to help motivate me. Pick out counter top paint Shop for living room chairs Finish planning San Francisco scrapbook Finish S.F. scrapbook Do a geocache puzzle Look up a geocache quest- called geotours now, found a fun one in Fremont Find 3 locations nearby to go caching-found a good spot with enough to keep us busy for a while Find 2 location an hour or so nearby to go caching Find 3 hikes Find 2 fun local things to do Make a meal for someone who is sick/just had a baby-signed up to bring a meal for a family with a new baby Volunteer somewhere Look at travel blogs recommended in Level Up Your Life Memorize Philippians 1:1-15 at verse 7 Finish Desiring God by John Piper about half way done plan garden order seeds re-read parts of garden book- doing on an as needed basis go geocaching twice-once at beginning of challenge walk somewhere different go on a hike hike to a waterfall
  22. Across the board, I'm aiming to do these things daily, with the understanding that sometimes I won't be able to manage. HOWEVER, I have a firm goal of doing these things at least every other day. Never miss two in a row! I'm breaking the details for each of these out into separate posts. 1. Handstands - five good ones each day2. Kettlebells - Pavel's "Simple & Sinister" routine3. Develop a Healthy Routine - start putting some things on autopilot Life Goal - Play a Ukulele Song from Memory REWARD - A real kettlebell!If I get at least a C in the Kettlebell goal, and I decide I'm sticking with kettlebells, I'm getting a real 35lb kettlebell, to replace the much lighter rock-in-a-bag I'm using for get-ups.If I get an A, I'm getting a 50lb as well, to replace my marble-filled, duct-taped cinder block that I'm using for swings. If I get at least a C - I'm getting a real 35lb kettlebell, but I keep the rock-in-a-bag 20lb weight.If I get an A - I am getting a real 20lb as well. Regardless, I can use the 20lb and 35lb together for 55lb two handed swings, so I am done with the cinderblock stuffed with chunks of marble. I got myself a 50lb and a 20lb, a little early, because I'm doing well with 50lb swings but my DIY 50lb is falling apart. They'll arrive at the end of the challenge. Just means I definitely have to get the A! I CAN DO THIS! DEFERRED GOAL: The Christmas PudgeWhile I would like to drop this extra five pounds of fat I gave myself as a very special Christmas vacation present, for January I will just be making a reasonable effort to eat on the healthier and lighter side of my normal diet and see how it goes. I'll also be experimenting with different easy-to-prepare and pre-made meals, because lack of enthusiasm for food prep is a primary factor in poor food choices. However, there is only so much I can focus on at once, and while annoying, my weight is really not a high priority at the moment, so there is no formal goal. If I'm not happy with my weight at the end of this challenge, the next challenge will include specific diet goals and food tracking. (The vacation was totally worth it, and I came back really looking forward to getting back into the game.) PREVIOUS CHALLENGE:Weasel Gets Things Done Nov-Dec 2015Healthy Sleep habits: B+ (87.7%) Primal Fitness Blueprint A++ (104.5%) Eat Some Damn Vegetables! A (94.2%) Laundry A++ No problem. Mission accomplished.Order of the Stick - SUCCESS!
  23. It was one of those cold, clear nights of winter that find most people huddled in their warm houses, watching the glow of their televisions while eating popcorn. But not this group. They had chosen a spot deep in the woods, far from civilization. The only lights to be seen were the stars above and the the campfire glowing brightly, around which they sat. Enjoying the warmth of the campfire they sat quietly around it, once in a while pausing to grunt at one another, or to take a drink of their ale. It was into this group that the stranger entered. Dressed entirely in black, she stealthily made her way into the campsite. Her goal was to blend in quietly to this group, observing them from a distance. She had heard tales of their heroic feats, and wanted to see if there was any truth in the rumors. She sat down, close enough to hear and watch them, but hopefully not close enough they would notice her. As she sat, the wolf that had been sitting amongst the group, turned to face her. Slowly, deliberately, the wolf began to walk toward her. She remained motionless, waiting to see what the wolf would do. As the wolf reached her, it turned its’ face to the moon and let out a long,low howl. The wolf’s howl alerted the group to her presence. They all turned to face her, grabbing their swords and axes, preparing for a fight. Calmly she stood up, removing her hood, she said “ Please, I come in peace, I have heard of your heroic feats, I too seek the harder path,the one tread by heroes. I seek to learn more of your Ranger guild. From out of the dark, a bearded man wielding a flaming sledgehammer appeared. “Who are you and why should we allow you entrance into our Ranger guild†he demanded. Not daunted by his fierce looks, she replied†I am Elastigirl, Slayer of Omnidroids, Destroyer of Syndrome, Hero of Metropolis†One of the group who had been sitting closest to the campfire stood up, “I have heard of her, I will vouch for her bravery and goodness†The sledgehammer wielding man turned to him, “Chaplain, you would vouch for anyone. You see the good in all. You would have everyone be a Ranger. Turning back to her, he gazed at her silently for a few moments, as if trying to read her mind. She confidently returned his gaze, knowing that just as she had much to learn from the Rangers, she also had many valuable skills to teach them. After a few moments he spoke again, “Very well, since the Chaplain himself vouched for you we shall let you in for a little while. But understand, the Rangers are an elite group, and if you wish to take part in our mission you must prove yourself†Elastigirl nodded her approval. “Very well, I accept those terms, give me any challenge and I will complete it†This challenge I am switching over from Assassins to Ranger. Right now, my big focus is on kettlebells. I am following Pavel’s Simple and Sinister program. My big goal right now is to be able to complete 10 full Turkish get ups with 35lbs in under 10 minutes and to be able to do `100 44lb. swings in under 5 minutes. I have been working on this for 6 months, and am still in the process of working toward that goal. My goals for this month are focused on things that will help me reach my big goal, look good doing it and, have time to pursue life goals, and a bit of Ranger adventure along the way Goal 1: Track food 6 days a week Points 4-5 days=5 points 6 days= 6 points 7 days= 6 points plus a bonus day to use on another wee Goal 2: Workout plan; Focused Flexibility from GoldMedalBodies. There are two main poses I am working to improve. My task is to do two stretches for each pose, and foam rolling.I will do the stretches at least 4 days a week. Simple and Sinister: Swings 4 days a week; Turkish Get Ups 3 days a week, the 4th day I can choose a different strength workout. Points: FF done= 1 points per day SS done= 1 point per day Goal 3: Track progress: Focused Flexibility: pictures week 1, end of week 2, and end of challenge Simple and Sinister: videos week 1 and 4 Points 2 per picture/video Goal 4: get up at 7:30 at least 4 days of the week Points: 5 points a day Goal #5 Ranger Initiation Be a Ranger (Ranger yoga, rucking, sledgehammers,bro-crow, etc) Video/photographic evidence at least twice Take part in at least three of the Ranger mini-challenges Points Completion= 10 points Life: turn extra bedroom into craft room 10 points Scrapbook; finish vacation scrapbook 10 points Look up hikes/ plan fun vacation ideas 10 points Update Epic Quest for 2016-10 points WEEK 1 point total 43 points WEEK 2 point total 58 points 180 points= Elastigirl proves herself Ranger worthy and will reward herself ; prize still undetermined 170 points= Elastigirl proves herself Ranger worthy, but she feels as if she could have worked harder,so she does not buy any reward.
  24. The first part of the challenge I am off on an adventure. We are going to see the California Redwoods, and Crater Lake. Nearly half of the remaining old growth trees are in the Redwood forest, they can live to be over 2,000 years old and over 375 feet tall. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, this beautiful clear blue lake was created by volcanic activity and is surrounded by 2,000 foot high cliff. We are going to spend time hiking,geocaching and enjoying all the beauty. When I made my Epic Quest List , I included these because even though they are within driving distance, I have never seen them (I think we stopped by the Redwoods when I was little, but all I remember was the statue of Paul Bunyan) I've been trying to think of my challenge, but truth is, my brain is on my trip. So consider this a prelude to my challenge. I'll finalize it more when I return. Tenacity Game: I will still be working toward my Simple and Sinister goals, but I think I will keep it to 3 days a week so I have time for sledgehammer stuff, and outdoor play, and some handbalancing stuff, and rings, Videos;Didn't make the pull up video of my TGU or pullups so that still needs to happen, and now that I have a way to do better videos. I need to make more swing videos. And I think it would be fun to have some videos of me doing outdoor stuff so maybe that too Tracking Food: going to focus on this challenge on losing weight, not wanting to think about that now though, cause vacation. But on returning home I will have the plan
  25. MAIN QUEST The Game Continues: The town of Metroville, grateful for having once again been saved from destruction in the hands of evil villains, wanted a special way to honor Elastigirl . The town’s mayor created a game with Elastigirl as the heroine. Game play allows the player to take on the role of Elastigirl, and therefore tap into her superpower of Tenacity. In order to win the game, the player will have to accomplish many feats. This will require tenaciousness and determination. The evil foes- Shiny Object Distraction, It’s Too Hard and You’ll Never Make it- will be constantly throwing their weapons. But, if the player sticks with the game long enough, they will be able to eventually win the trophy and Unleash the Power of Tenacity. I have been working on the main quest of this goal for 4 challenges. I decided that I needed to tap into my tenacity in order to keep me motivated to stick with it another challenge. I have broken the big goal down into many smaller goals. The last challenge I completed 2 more levels. I plan on completing more levels this challenge. Most likely I will not reach the game final this challenge, but will make it closer than ever before to finishing the game. Game Objective : Swing 44# lb KB 100 in 5 min: 5 reps, each side,35# TGU in 10 minutes Level 1 : 35# 100 one handed swing 6 min- badge-COMPLETE Level 2: 35# 100 one handed swings in 5 min-badge and unlock prize-Yoga socks-COMPLETE Level 3: 30# 5 reps TGU in 10 minutes-badge and prize unlocked-lacross ball-COMPLETE Level 4: Beserker Round- 30# 5 reps TGU in 10 minutes, 1 minutes rest and 35# 100one handed swing 5 minutes- Beast trophy and unlocked prize- starry night socks Level 5: 3 full 35# TGU-badge Level 6: 5 full 35# TGU- badge and unlock prize-yoga stretching band Level 7: 5 full 35# TGU reps in 10 minutes badge and unlock prize-juggling balls Level 8: 44# 100 one hand swings 10 minutes-badge and prize mug Level 9: 44# 100 one hand swings 8 minutes-badge Level 10: 44# 100 hand swings 5 min-badge and prize-TBD Final Level-35# 5 reps TGU in 10 minutes, 1 minute rest and 44# 100 one handed swing in 5 minutes-mug Game Win badge Goals to help me on the journey to the main quest: 1) Track food 4x a week to ensure getting enough calories and potassium Reward: each week I complete all 4 days, I can buy a Kindle book and take a day the following week and instead of being a responsible adult, curl up with a good book and read. 2) Box breathing. : 3 minutes , 6 days a week; and try at various times during the day I did this last challenge and found it relaxing and a great tool to help with my breathing between swings. I want to really cement the habit this challenge. 3) Video myself at least once during the challenge during warm up, doing TGU and swings, so that I can get a good idea of my form Life quest: Video my pull up for this thread; http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/38996-ladies-can-you-do-a-pull-up/. I can do a pull up, I just haven’t videoed it. For some reason, it’s a bit intimidating to me, I’m fine with video stuff that I am working on, but if it is an accomplishment I worry that it’s not good enough. But I just need to do it.
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