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  1. Hello all, Wondering if there are any K1 / Muay Thai kickboxers lurking ? - ET
  2. ... so this last year didn't exactly end on a high note. Dammit, Thrillho, we talked about this... It wasn't all bad! I got to spend a lot of time with my kids, we got to go sledding quite often and we played a lot of board games, and we had a pretty awesome and quiet Christmas at home, without any ridiculous northern Canadian mid-winter travelling (except when we got snowed in at my sister's during a freak storm for two days... which was actually still kind of awesome.) That said, I was sick almost literally from the first day of vacation until... yesterday. I exercised almost less than zero times. I ate like someone was going to take it away from me (they might have! No point taking any chances, right?) I really enjoyed my whisky, and all of the cheese I was consuming helped to soak up any negative effects from the hangovers. So I'm basically starting 2016 about as fat as I've been since BEFORE 2015. Not an auspicious start. So listen up, fruit cup! I ain't saying this twice! I've got eleven weeks from today until the Tiger Balms. That's about, what, two and a half challenges under the new system? That sounds pretty good to me. I think this is going to be a bit of a 'warmup' challenge anyways, while I turn myself around and try to develop some new habits. Some of those habits have already started... I made hummus and guacamole today so I can actually have a snack that's kind of sort of healthy, and they're both great additions to my wraps. I've got a turkey vegetable crock pot thing going to keep me in meals all this week. Back at the gym tomorrow morning, and MMA tomorrow night. And perhaps most excitingly, my Creative Writing course at the university starts Wednesday evening. Creative Writing? You're paying someone to tell you why the curtains were blue? Shut up, Titus. All of those inspirational memes with bullshit platitudes posted over blurry landscape photography that tell you to follow your dreams now and that things will always be difficult? They're kinda right, in a way. So this is my way of actually lighting a fire underneath myself to try and follow my dreams This course is the Tiger Balms of my artistic creativity. Even if I crash and burn and fail (which I may very well do at the Tiger Balms), it will still be something that I chose to do, and that I attempted. If I didn't do something just because there was a chance I would fail, then I would never do anything. Correction: I would CONTINUE never doing anything. So we're turning that around in 2016. On with the challenges! Thrillho's Neverlution Challenge #1 - Working Out Alone I have a punching bag and stand in my basement. I have weights, I have kettlebells, I have pads and wraps and gloves and pretty much everything else any decently motivated individual needs to turn themselves into a beast. That said, I also have a couch with blankets and I have three televisions with functioning remote controls, so those weights and kettlebells and things hardly ever get used. I work out at MMA because I'm in a class full of people, I work out at the gym because I have to take my son for his physio, and I work out when my wife's friend comes over to work out because they need someone there to keep them on track. But I don't work out when I'm alone, even when I have free time and nothing to do. I find reasons and excuses and distractions, and while nearly all of them are things that I CAN do and some even NEED to be done, they don't need to be done RIGHT THAT SECOND. I can be honest enough with myself that there are enough slack minutes in my home life that I can work out. Quite a lot. And I need to start doing that. (I think my last challenge had this, and I failed miserably.) Work out at home 3x a week (morning or night, doesn't matter)Work out for at least 30 minutesWork up a decent sweat Seems pretty easy when you spell it out like that, huh? Dumbass. Thrillho's Neverlution Challenge #2 - Proper Diet And Supplements Eleven weeks isn't a lot of time, but I can do a lot. I lost 20 lbs in only six weeks for Ellismania, and that wasn't really REALLY trying too hard. Salad wraps and blue cheese and eggs and laying off the carbs, and switching to green and black teas... it's amazing what you can do. But I need more than just weight loss for this challenge (since the weight classes are very accomodating), I also need muscle building. Protein after workouts is important. Creatine for recovery is important. I splurged a little bit and got some of the Onnit supplements recommended by pretty much everyone I know, and I'll be test-driving those all through the month of January (T+ and Shroomtech). Not nearly as concerned about weight as I am concerned about proper fitness, energy levels and a well-functioning system of mighty organs. Take my T+ and Shroomtech before every workoutTake my protein and creatine after every workout, and protein after MMANo empty breakfast carbsNo more work lattes (tea with one sugar cube is acceptable)No more tasty, tasty dessertsSmall dinners Ask your doctor if Getoffyourassadone is right for you! Thrillho's Neverlution Challenge #3 - Stretching and Flexibility One thing I don't do nearly enough of is stretching. In December, while I was at MMA before my body and life went to hell, I would start every class with inverted wall splits, back arches and wall-assisted handstands. I noticed improvements almost immediately, especially regarding balance, footwork and hip flexibility. Naturally these all stopped when I was no longer attending classes, even though I have more than enough room in my basement to pull this off. Heck, I have a huge wall next to my bed. I could do all of these when I get up and when I go to sleep. And it's about time I started. Stretching in the mornings, especially before workout days. EVERY DAY.Stretching in the evenings, especially after MMA nights. EVERY DAY.Attempted wall-assist handstands every day. 10 times or 10 minutes. Are a man's hips supposed to do that, Thrillho? Thrillho's Neverlution Lifestyle Challenge - Writing Always the biggest one, and yet the smallest one. I have a desktop. I have a laptop. I have a tablet. I have a phone. And yet, most of the writing I do is in my little notebooks when I;m at gymnastics with the girls or when I'm waiting to pick my son up from HIS MMA classes. Because any time I settle down to do some writing, there's always more things that need to be done on my computer... like idlegames. And organizing my music. And posting on NF. Or heck, maybe just watching something dumb on YouTube. There's always something to distract me. Which is a cruel irony, since the only thing I want to do when I'm working, or driving, or cleaning, or otherwise occupied, is write! I have all these great ideas when I'm in bed or when I'm in the shower or when I'm shovelling the driveway (Canada, hello), but at best I jot down a few core concepts and then goof off. When I do write, it's never anything 'serious', for various definitions of that loaded word, but just something silly to amuse me. But I've got a writing course coming up, and I'm assuming I'm going to need to write something for it. I know how much I can write when I put my mind to it, so it's about time I fill up the remainder of my silly free minutes with words, words, words. Attend every writing class, even if you're really sleepy and can make it up with the online webinarWrite at least 500 words per day (1000 always seems daunting, while 500 always seems super easy... but 500 might get done)Try to read what OTHER people are writingDownload and listen to "The Next Chapter" podcasts, at least once per day (CBC, amazing show all about writing)The podcast one might seem strange, but it's super inspiring to actually hear other writers talk about their craft. I want to be like that. Stretching, supplements and words? Oh yeah. Your life is real hard, buddy. It might not be that hard, but that doesn't mean it's easy. The easy road is always the road of sitting and letting life pass you by. Maybe you move your lawn chair so an overpass shields you from the sun by the freeway of life, but that's just putting in the bare minimum of effort to make your laziness that much more bearable. I'm 35 and I'm pretty sick of saying that I'll have time when I'm older. When the bills are paid off. When the kids move out. When I get into shape. When I finally have free time. Because it's been thirteen years and I'm still saying it. Teenaged me would dickpunch current me without a second thought. And he'd be right. Viva la revolucion.
  3. I fight Southpaw, which is just a shitty way to be in boxing. (I wish I started out Orthodox, but I'm not willing to go back and re-learn everything.) My coaches were also all Southpaws, so early on I thought I moved really well. That is, until I had to spar. Most of the time I, of course, sparred Orthodox boxers. Everything was just so awkward. The range doesn't seem right, the angles are weird, there are limbs everywhere limiting my movement, and I keep running straight into that uppercut. Being a Southpaw is always going to be awkward, but it also happens to be awkward for the opponent. The main thing I would like to share is the importance of the lead foot. Basically, in a fight between two athletes with opposing stances, the one with the lead foot to the outside has the advantage. As much as possible, fight for that outside foot position.
  4. I'm not great at themed challenges and pretty much all of this is going to be a stretch. Especially since I'm going to focus on martial arts and Kaylee is pretty averse to violence, unless it gets in the way of her and Simon :-) She's my favourite character so I'm going with her regardless of personality test results (usually I get Simon). It's all about the mechanics Kaylee understands mechanics and engines. I need to understand my Judo and striking practice the same way and that comes through practice and study. Judo and Striking - Work on turn-ins and footwork, learn basic striking and practice 3/weekly. Judo (should it actually happen) counts. Grading: x/18 Bend and stretch Judging by a few scenes where she's climbing on things to reach switches or access panels, she needs to be flexible and able to climb. I'll address climbing later but yoga is something I like to practice. It helps keep my irritable shoulders happier and helps with flexibility. 2 yoga sessions/week. Prasara yoga is my usual focus but if I feel like doing another kind for a change, I'll go with that. Grading: x/12 Quiet time in the engine room This is what Kaylee does to calm down and relax after Mal pisses her off. I handle stress somewhat poorly and meditation would help with retaining my calm in general. Meditate for 5 min per day to start, probably using the Calm.com app on my iPad . Also read Three Deep Breaths, as recommended by my Dad. Grading: x/43 42 for the meditation and 1 for reading the book. It's short. I like to meet new people, they've all got stories! In this sense, I'd to meet some new fictional people. Spend some time each week reading, or watching TV/Anime. Most notably, this is time to relax by myself and NOT spend doing chores, cooking, etc. I was recently reminded of the difference between recreation and relaxation. Relaxation does need to be scheduled or it doesn’t happen. Pass or fail each week. Besides, maybe if I spend some time watching more anime I’ll recognize more at the Anime convention next year and I haven't re-watched Firefly in a bit :-) Eh, I warned you all that these were likely to be a stretch.
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