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  1. At the end of week 1, my job will be moving up to London, and I've decided to follow my job which is going to be a big change in my life. I'll be going from a short drive to work to over an hour on the train each way, I'll be working in a new office with new people I don't know, the work itself will likely be changing (although I've got no idea on the plan or timescales for that). It's going to be a busy month, but I want to keep a challenge running to keep me from going off the rails, and also to give me more excuse to keep up with you wonderful people. Going to try and keep it simple and just keep checking in. Forewarning that this may not be the most upbeat or cheerful thread this challenge, so if you don't like listening to people whine it may be one to avoid. Keep Lifting - Lift 12+ times this challenge - 15XP This one shouldn't be too hard, I really enjoy my lifting program so I should be able to keep up with it. I will need to cancel my gym membership and join a new gym in London, because the current place doesn't open early enough for me to go there before I would have to get on the train. So gym shopping in week 2 could be fun! Don't drink like a dickhead- 15XP Since I found out my job was effectively being sold, I've been depressed, stressed and so very very angry. Unfortunately I do have a tendency to drink my feelings when things aren't going well. Add into that that insurance, and particularly the London market, is an area where heavy drinking is actively encouraged as part of building professional relationships. Then add in working with new people and needing to get to know them which will undoubtedly lead to office drinks. All in all the best outcome if I drink like a dickhead is that I make myself ill, and sad, and fat. Worst case I do that plus I do or say something so stupid I live to regret it. I have a vague mental list of things that count as drinking like a dickhead, including drinking at home (either before or after a night out), drinking beer that I'm not enjoying. If I have more than 5 pints I may well be drinking like a dickhead. If I have more than 6 I almost certainly am. If I find myself getting morose or getting angry I am to stop drinking and take myself the fuck home. Skill Work - 12+ times this challenge - 15XP I've been kind of inspired by the handstand stuff going on with NF at the moment. I haven't bought the programs, but I do want to work on wall walks and crow pose this month as progression towards a handstand. I've also been looking for a chance to work on L-sits for a few months now, so that will count too. Please send me any resources you have on these things. I will definitely be referring to these two: https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2016/10/17/a-beginners-guide-to-handstands/#more-1342745 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUZJoSP66HI (floor l-sit progression) Bullet Journaling - Daily - 10XP I really like the idea of this, it looks to be a simple way to keep track of life (and of challenge goals!), to keep a to-do list running, and hopefully make me a more productive human. I played with it last challenge before everything fell apart a bit, so I thought I would make it a goal this time to see if I can stick with it. That's all folks, wish me luck!
  2. What constitutes a Ranger? Is it the cloak and bow? Surviving in the outdoors? Adaptation? The urge to do ALL the things? It's all that and a lot more. Rangers come in so many versions that a concrete definition is practically impossible. Which is fine, because that's just how we like it! This thread is not about defining so much as describing and celebrating the concept of being a Ranger. This is a place to: Share your opinions and experience on what it means to be a RangerTell us about your Ranger heroes and archetypesDiscuss Ranger skills and how they can be applied by a modern-day humanShare tales, photos or videos of your Rangerly adventuresBut wait! There's more! We are men and women of action, not words. Let's have some fun in the spirit of friendly competition as we engage in rangering. Every week, one rangerly activity will be picked from the following list for people to try out. Remember, this is not a mini challenge, PvP or any other form of contest.
  3. Generally speaking, most of us probably know how to survive without depending on fast food and/or take-out. My cooking skills, and abilities, tend to fall in the realm of "apply fire, add tobasco, eat. If burned, add more tobasco." Ok, I kid - but not by much. With that in mind, the thought occurs that there might be others who are in a similar situation and actually want to improve their skills in the kitchen. So, post what you've got - websites, blogs, tutorials, whatever. I also wanted an excuse to post this neat website of "knife handling gifs (calm down - for the kitchen)": http://firstwefeast.com/eat/gif-tutorial-essential-knife-skills-with-a-mission-chinese-cook/ Found originally on the new Kinja food/cooking blog: http://skillet.lifehacker.com/introducing-skillet-a-lifehacker-blog-about-cooking-an-1683249301/+whitsongordon Also: I dunno how healthy this is, but it seems an interesting application for ramen: http://lifehacker.com/transform-ramen-into-a-crispy-breading-for-fried-chicke-1683252168
  4. Welcome to my 8th challenge thread I've now been on these forums for one year (anniversary on January 3rd) so I'll start with a motivational list of some of the things I've accomplished in that time:recovered from a shoulder injuryimproved Spanish listening and speakinglearned to walk across a slacklinetracked macronutrients for a weeklearned not to set overly-ambitious challengesheld a 10-second handbalancecreated a YouTube video of my handstand progressjoined a second gymnastics gymbought climbing shoes so I can go bouldering properlyentered a Spartan Raceincreased strength in the bench press by 30%15 pistol squats on each leglearned Olympic liftingbought gymnastics rings and started training regularly with them It hasn't been easy, and there are plenty of things that I wanted to accomplished and completely failed with... but the last challenge has been good. So while I have some momentum, I'd like to make as much more progress as possible... Challenge #1: BODYWEIGHT SKILLS: +2 DEX, +4 CHA These are 6 skills that I'm currently working on and I think may be possible by the end of the challenge: ring muscle-up: I maybe got close to achieving this last week, but I'm taking a break until January 5th to let my right forearm tendon recover from the stress I've been putting on it while practising this. bar muscle-up: some say it's harder than the ring muscle-up, but I find the wrist position slightly easier. I'm also taking a break on this until Jan 5th. upstart / glide kip: this move requires good technique and lots of core strength. I've done some work on the first part of the motion, but don't feel close to "getting" the move. It's one of those things that 6-year-old girls seem to find much easier than 1m85 men like me... archer ring pull-up: I can do the very top part of these, but not yet strong enough to do the bottom part... so it's clear what I have to work on +0.50 CHA: each hand, with ring starting above head height+0.50 DEX: either hand, full movement+0.50 CHA: each hand, full movementfrontflip: I've done these nicely on the bouncy tumble track onto a crashmat (and once without) but need more consistency and to tuck harder. +0.50 CHA: high safe consistent frontflips on tumble track without crashmat+0.50 DEX: high safe consistent frontflips on floor with crashmat+0.50 CHA: high safe consistent frontflips on floor without crashmatbackwards walkover: I can do this with my feet on a 60cm platform and would like to not need the platform at all. Need to improve back flexibility, core strength, and technique. +0.25 CHA: 40cm platform+0.25 DEX: 20cm platform+0.25 CHA: without platform Each move carries +0.25 DEX and +0.50 CHA. The last three skills can award partial points as described. Archer pull-ups and frontflips carry double points for double awesomeness. Challenge #2: SQUATS & DEADLIFTS: +3 STR I've found a couple of gyms where I can safely practise heavy squats, and I've recently improved my deadlift form. My legs are strong and can handle high volume, but I'd like them to be more powerful like in my old high jump days. Therefore it seems that now is a good time to work on increasing the weight I can squat and deadlift. From experience with the bench press and overhead press, I expect to be able to add 20% to each lift during these 6 weeks. SQUAT: currently max 80kg (176lb) - grade A: 100kg (220lb) - grade B: 95kg (209lb) - grade C: 90kg (198lb) - grade D: 85kg (187lb) DEADLIFT: currently 110kg before fixing form (242lb) - grade A: 130kg (with good form) (286lb) - grade B: 125kg (with good form) (275lb) - grade C: 120kg (with good form) (265lb) - grade D: 100kg (with good form) (220lb) Challenge #3: MENTAL CALCULATION TRAINING: +2 WIS, +1 STA At the end of last challenge I mentioned that I was working on a secret project - and this is it. In 2012 I was actually a competitor in the Mental Calculation World Cup, flying out to Germany to perform multiplications and cube roots etc. with the best in the world, and ranked in the top 20. The training itself isn't super exciting, so in 2014 I didn't enter the competition, and instead travelled around Asia haha. However, entries are opening soon for Memoriad 2016 - a huge mental sports competition that will be held in Las Vegas. If - and that's a big "if" - I can improve my arithmetic skills enough to qualify for the free accommodation etc. then I'll enter. One of the events is calendar calculations, for example calculating that 2015-Jan-01 is a Thursday. In the competition, you have 60 seconds to find the day of the week of as many random days as possible. My record was 24 dates in 1 minute with no mistakes. I've now improved my algorithm, but this means that I have to remember a code for every day of the year (e.g. Jan 1st => 5) and for every year in the century (e.g. 15 (in 2015) => 6) - quite a significant mental load. I'm going to be using the spaced repetition software Mnemosyne, along with a metronome to ensure that I can recall each correct code in less than 1 second. +1 STA for keeping up with the memorization procedure for the full 6 weeks (after which I should be finished, yay) The whole point of this is that I should be able to beat my best score (calculations in a minute), so I'll award myself +2 WIS for this: grade A: 35 (beating the current British record)grade B: 30grade C: 25 (beating my old record)grade D: 20 Challenge #4: AUXILIARY EXERCISES: +3 CON The other goals this challenge will make me do lots of pulling, core and legs strength training, so I want to do some moderate-volume work on pushing motions (bench, press and push-ups) to ensure I don't get any muscle imbalances. I would like to work on handstands when the (British) weather gets warmer again, so I should do some preparatory strength training for that. I'll also need to do some auxiliary exercises to increase my chances of success in Challenge #1 - bridges, high pull-ups, low dips, toes-to-bar, jumping drills etc. I'll award myself up to +3 CON (subjectively) for how conscientious I am with this. To get grade B I'd need to be doing some specific workouts 2x per week, as well as focusing on relevant exercises during gymnastics, weightlifting, etc. It's January 1st today, and I'm officially starting the challenge now Progress summary:frontflips consistent on tumble track: +0.50 CHAring muscle-up achieved multiple times: +0.50 CHA & +0.25 DEXsquat at 100kg (220lb): +1.50 STRdeadlift at 125kg (275lb): +1.00 STRcalendar dates @35/minute: +2.00 WIScalendar memorization: +0.75 STAauxiliary exercises: +1.50 CON
  5. Hi Everybody, I came back last challenge, after a long break. I succeeded; in the last challenge, rebuilding my healthy habits that I had let decay. I started my vitamins (everyday) again. I made strength training (3 X a week) a priority. I also made sure to eat right (paleo, and in a calorie deficit.) I am very excited to participate in this challenge and keep the momentum going. Goal: 1 Eat Right​This is absolutely critical to my success. I want to get into the 1XX's for my weight this time, and eating right is 80% of my weight loss. So I signed up a food delivery program, that delivers food to me that is paleo, and portioned out for me. Each meal is between 400-600 calories. I eat one for lunch and one for dinner. I supplement that with an apple for lunch and dinner, and for desert I eat a frozen banana dipped in dark chocolate (130cal.) This keeps me in the 1600 calorie range which is great for me to lose weight. If I eat extra food, or cheat I will come here and tell on myself. TL;DR eat my delivered food, don't be dumb. Goal: 2 Strength Training This has been a really enjoyable thing for me, It gives me incredible motivation. I started doing Strong Lifts (weight lifting program) last challenge and I love seeing the weight increase as I progress. I plan to continue that and I am still doing my circuit body weight work (after my strong lifts.) My body weight work is 10 Bulgarian split squats, 10 push ups, 5 pull ups, 15 leg raises, 10 back hyperextensions, I also throw 5 dumbbell curls (35lb) in. I then rest for a min and then repeat 3 times. I plan to increase intensity as it gets easier. I can add dumbbells to the split squats, do close push ups, increase reps etc. TL;DR Pick up heavy stuff and put it down. Goal: 3 Mobility This one is important My Dex is tied for my lowest stat for a reason. I have a hard time getting a proper squat grip on a barbell, and to be honest I'm just not flexible at all. I would like to change this, I know it can help prevent injuries and help remove some pain. I will do some mobility exercises I learned from the Mobility WOD website (which has become a paysite, anyone have an alternative?) I will also do some of my own stretching and mobility exercises to focus on the areas that I think will be most beneficial. TL;DR Become more like a rubber band Life Goal: Learn New Skills So yeah, I'm very happily married. Not looking for any girls, but I love the idea of learning skills. I haven't made a list of skills, I kinda want it to flow naturally from whatever is interesting to me that week. I plan to make them something I haven't tried before, and I want something tangible I can show after. Examples would be a new dance move, with video evidence or, locking picking successfully picking a lock, something of that nature. New things are usually scary to me, so hooray for getting out of my comfort zone. TL;DR try new things and learn stuff So that's the plan, now all I have to do is follow through.
  6. Greetings all! Just like the other logs, this Battle Log will help me keep track of things, but they will be outside of my first 6-week challenge, as I'll be updating that on this post here. My first entry into the Battle Log is something I whipped up: my skill tree! I put this together today and wanted to plop it in here to see what everyone thought. In keeping with traditional RPG logic, this one's simple: I know it's a bit big, but I'm happy with the tree and will be adding to it/changing things as needed. Let's do this!
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