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  1. Well. I have begun to look at traineeships and job offers based on my studies so I guess one can say I am finally on my way to leave the Training Zone. Today (8 Sep.) I made a first attempt to find a topic for my second thesis. Technical difficulties prevented me from doing so, so I did some other things instead. Tbf I gave up a little easy. Working on that. At the beginning of the 2019/20 academic year, I had this lovely plan of having a job right out of my studies but when lockdown hit I still had not started looking at job offers seriously. My family kept telling me "I have a whole life to work ahead of me and I should enjoy being a student for as long as I can". I gave in - obviously I needed an INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF CONVINCING, struggling to make sense of what was/is happening around the world etc. - and took advantage of my privileged position (and overall economic spending and socialising habits). Finished the year's subjects. Finished my first thesis. Laid back for a while. Saw family. Treated my body and mind better than I had been these past 3 years. Played on the beach, swam, breathed in a bit of sea air. Finished an online novel. Read random articles on the www. Read a non-fic book off an on. Reorganised my room/the house/my head. Swam in a swimming pool and enjoyed that so much I overexerted my foot. Decided I don't want to swim in that swimming pool anymore for other reasons. Started a bullet journal. Started tracking my cash flow on paper instead of trying to get back to my digital method (program). Helping my mom with getting back on track after years of dealing with... Life stuff & spending quality time with my sis (5 y.o.) and helping her with her bilinguality.(*) (Did I mention she started to freely use any Dutch words she can think of with her teacher and class mates, and any kids she encounters at all? ) Anyway. The scoreboard is as follows: Notarial law: one course left (February-April 2021) Corporate law: one master thesis left (whenever I finish it) ________________ (*)Well, she understands a bit of english too and uses English words here and there so she is on her way on becoming trilingual, I think. ________________ As my current focus lies with doing inner work, breath, finding my center (gravity wise and values wise), simplifying, mobility, flexibility, unplugging and all that jazz, even more than it did during my first challenge with the Druids, I believe I will stay right here. All I know about the goals I will set this challenge (beginning): After some brainstorming, I came to the following SMART-ish goals (15 September): * Mobility exercises for wrists, shoulders/neck, and the fysio exercises for my feet. Every day, whatever I can get done in 10 to 35 minutes (depends on how much I have slept in). * Posture practice. Every day. * Procedure "cut the umbillical cord between me and my phone". I really feel tons better when I do not stare at screens a lot but especially so since I have started staring at a SMALL screen less. Every day: If I DO want to browse on phone w/o purpose: *sort gallery *sort Evernote inbox (50% of non-upgrade upload space used, delete old stuff esp) * Mindful eating / eating intuitively (NOT I.E. but using the principles/reading up on them). Every day. * Journal. That is a big part of the Carreer coaching. Also my personal self-reliance project. In that vein, I am also trying to be TRULY alone more and get comfy with myself again. Sidenote: Alternatively, read resources provided by carreer coaching... thing. * Clean between teeth every day. And have at least 1 hour between snacks or sugary drinks, use a straw etc. Moreover, I will be using MFP and Zero and looking at yoga videos to try, trying AM and PM routines and whatnot, but they will not be goals. These are the goals that get priority right now.
  2. After a bit over a year in Korea, I'm back in Colorado. The move was, as usual, discombobulated. I have things in storage scattered across the country, and need to find a permanent residence in a stupidly hot housing market. Darn you Denverites, invading Colorado Springs! Well, I can't control some of that, what I can control is: Tai Chi - I got the bare bones down of the 42 form before I left Korea. Time to start doing that again. Lets aim for 5x days a week for the 9 and 24 form, and 3x days a week for the full 42. I went to Korea trying to lose 30 lbs, now I'm working on 60 lbs. Good news is I can afford food prep delivery (cheaper than eating out) and am executing on that. Goal is to stick with the food prep plan and not arbitrarily deviate. 15 meals (3 meals for Mon thru Friday) and then the weekend to do with as I will. Lastly, I went from a stressful job, to a very stressful job. The difference is, I now have the mountains to escape to. Goal: 3 nights a month in the mountains. Car camping, camping, even a hotel room, just getting away from the grind. This is a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Long term goals are to do the Bataan Memorial Death March again, start overlanding, figure out where to live, find a Tai Chi group locally, and maybe grow a few more active hobbies. - Murphy's Roommate
  3. Tzippi Tastes the Vinegar If you've read the Tao of Pooh (and if you haven't, consider it!), you might remember the allegorical image referenced at the beginning of the Vinegar Tasters, in which three men taste from the same vat of vinegar, one tasting sourness, one bitterness, and one sweetness. These three are representations of the three major religions/philosophies of China, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The vinegar is life, and the men each taste it differently. Tai Chi, which I have begun studying and is a hugely positive practice in my life, is largely based on Taoist philosophy. I'm not going to get very deep into Confucianism, Buddhism, or Taoism, as I am at best a tourist and at worst completely ignorant of them. Instead, I am going to use my battered copy of The Tao of Pooh to look at what I want to do in my life, as I get a little deeper into my goals, study of Tai Chi, and continue to grow and refine. The "theme" of this challenge is halfway between using the three vinegar tasters as my models and metaphor, and using the characters from the Hundred-Acre Woods as the same. Taking my inspiration from the inimitable @sarakingdom and @Mistr, I am building on last challenge's success by adding tiny incremental goals to enhance my new habits, rather than adding a million new ones. “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” Body and mind - * Continue to support my Tai Chi practice with daily work, whether class, Tai Chi practice, or some other exercise. * Once per week, one weight workout or long walk/hike. Could be body weight, or a hammer. Poetry and Hums - * Continue with daily (more often nightly) five-minute+ meditation. Got Calm subscription, starting with the Pooh meditations. * Using my MyOmer App, count the omer every evening. * Once per week, one longer meditation. Try different stuff, report and review here. I may start with metta meditation: Rumbly in my Tumbly - * Three servings of vegetables a day. * Plant more stuff in the garden. Herbs? Will it get warm enough for cukes, zucchs, and tomatoes?
  4. Book: Water Also known as the Tale of Tzippi and the Too Many Tags I am returning to the Rebellion after a long battle with a demon of depression. The dark spirit swept in as I was weakened by becoming a mother. I am doing better now, and am just beginning to practice Tai Chi, which (along with the fine spring weather) is inspiring me to respawn here, as a monk. One goal under each bending style is a constant habit, one-two one-time goals under are straight up success if done. Thanks for the help refining my foals, @sarakingdom Goal One: Plantbending ☆ Eat 2 fruits and veg per day. (If this gets too easy, up it to 3). ☆ Research and plan an indoor greens growing system. ☆ Shop for weeStockings sized garden tools, pit on wish list. Goal Two: Waterbending ☆ Exercise every day to support Tai chi. On class days, go to class. Other days, Hammer, walk, yoga . . . ☆ Sweep back deck for morning practice. Goal Three: Cloudbending ☆ Harness the breath like an Airbender by Meditating 5 minutes daily. ☆ DONE. Get reusable travel mug again. A nice ceramic one with a silicone lid. ☆ For week with April 1st, make a new Gratitude BuJo spread. ☆ With first paycheck, sign up for Calm premium subscription.
  5. Hello!! I'm starting the next 4 week challenge a bit late, but I'm here! My goals for this challenge will be: -Doing yoga for at least 10 minutes every day -Walking outside 3 times per week -Doing meditation or Tai chi 2 times per week for 15 minutes I've been doing a lot of kettlebell workouts for the last few years, which I love, however, I just had my second baby and I feel like focusing more on grounding and connecting to my body/breath and slowing down/staying present are what I have been craving physically and mentally in the three months since I've given birth. I'd like to shift my perspective inwards right now while still staying healthy! Thank you for your support!
  6. Last challenge–while the Empress and I were strategizing our path to world domination over tea and crumpets– we decided that I needed to focus on some very specific things to be my truest self in 2019. Definition: (1) (adjective) ruthless in competition; ( 2) (adjective) violently agitated and turbulent; (3) (adjective) marked by extreme and violent energy; (4) (adjective) marked by extreme intensity of emotions or convictions; inclined to react violently; fervid; "FIERCE" is the acronym designed to support this quest, which I am intensely committed to achieving, in ruthless competition with myself, through the following means: FOCUS - Attend to one thing at a time, the most important thing. IMPACT - Choose the most important thing on the basis of its impact, and where its effects will accumulate and compound over time. ENERGY - Trust the Universe and my intuition. Follow the path of positive energy. Invite feedback. RESILIENCE - Proactively seek to become stronger and more resilient by regularly going outside my comfort zone. Balance stretching my limits with adequate rest, recovery and social support. CREATIVITY - Fuel the fire. Nurture my creative spirit. Make cool stuff that energizes me and helps others. EXECUTION - The time for planning and strategizing is done. Execute the plan! 12/31/2018 - My accountability partner and I are meeting later today, New Year's Eve, to wrap up our respective end of year retreats and have a focused work session on our plans for the coming year. I'll report back here with the results and my challenge goals, on New Year's day. The results of the New Year's Eve Accountability Buddy session: We didn't get as far on concrete goal setting as we had planned. We realized in our initial checkin that we were both still a bit scattered and conflicted on some of our goals. We shifted gears after discussing possible solutions, and ended up doing a "Draw Your Future" exercise. and worked with our respective Tarot cards for the day. Mine, of course, was the Empress. I used this particular version, chosen intuitively from a page image search results: Once we had more clarity on our "whys", we adjourned to do some individual work on goal setting and prioritizing during the week, with the agreement to have a followup accountability session next Saturday after our hike. We had planned a hike as part of our session, but it was cold (46 degrees Fahrenheit! ) and rainy yesterday in Phoenix and we were wimps. (Had not prepared adequately.) We made a pact that there would be no more bailing for weather in the future–beyond adapting time or location based on actual hazards like lightning or flash flooding–as we are going to be FIERCE in our training. To be continued. I am getting ready to go back to work tomorrow, so I'm interspersing writing this update with household chores.
  7. Shadowlion haS TEA and CruMpetS with the Empress Yes, it is another Shadowlion ACRONYM Challenge… Tarot challenge... and a Fire Fit challenge... with Truck Porn, Tai Chi, Tuxedo Cats, a little alliteration, and all lot of other stuff I threw into my tags As per usual, I am a little bit late getting my challenge together. It was a bit of a hectic zero week that included much craziness at work, stitches to my left index finger, and a cold. Typing is still a bit slow, so in lieu of a lot of words, so I will leave you with several pictures that I will weave together into a challenge over the next few days. https://www.wired.com/story/sanfrancisco-smaller-firetrucks/
  8. Well, last challenge had one win, several losses. I'm pretty okay with that. This cycle: maintain, 3 workouts a week. Bonus - add an extra. I'm reaching the misery equilibrium where being sore is normal. I'm starting to recover well enough to push harder or add another workout. Tai Chi - time to go introduce myself. It seems like the norm is to find people face to face - phone calls and texts are not going to work. Oh well, adventure time! Goal is to make first contact and start classes! Food prep - once more unto the breach dear Nerds! Eat more meals I cook than I don't - simple challenge, but oddly difficult. Life - I have a major life choice coming up with no clear right answers., I'm basically at the stage in my career where I have a lot of "chose your own adventure" options. I have one, maybe two assignments left until I retire and start another career. I think I'll keep following my own star, but I don't even know which options are open right now. By most standards, I've been successful but I'll always feel that one more thing, just out of reach, needs to be done. This is the last or second to the last roll of the dice and I want to make it a good one. More to follow. - Murphy's Roommate
  9. April 23 to May 20 Routines are sexy. I read this sentence somewhere and wrote it down as a motto for this challenge. This challenge I’ll start writing my thesis and getting some data at school. I’ll have to keep the momentum of last challenge to get this task done and keep going for my studies. I’m curious how well I’ll handle these tasks. Goal One: no snacks! I’ve been snacking again. So I’ll try to cut the sugar again. No chocolate, chips, cookies, or other artificial stuff for me. If I really need something I only get a cocoa. I should look up, what sarakingdom wrote about the cocoa in one of her old challenges. Goal Two: Exercise Aiming for three workouts a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. I can try to get in a missed workout on Sunday, but I don’t want to make that a habit. Bonus: Go to classes 2 to 3 times a week. Goal Three: Study So it’ll be 25 Hours this challenge und I’ll try to get in 20 pages during this challenge. Let’s see, how that goes. I’ll need a page tracker. Some old habits I had accomplished and how well I did last month:
  10. Well folks, it is about that time. I've got to get to another country, half my stuff or more is in those loveable cardboard boxes, and we are entering into the endgame on this move. My boss has cut me loose on more or less my own recognizance, letting my do all the administrivia that attends moving over seas, as well as make Tai Chi most days. It has been a tremendous windfall and pleasure, training with folks over the last few days. Great to find the more martial aspects of Tai Chi. Training with a former Golden Gloves boxer who now does Tai Chi is amazing. I am returning, slowly, to my very successful metabolic reset and follow on "eating healthy things because I like them" meal plan. The cross country drive and subsequent flight back were not helpful in eating well. Objectives: Pack the House - the Purge Must Occur! Get a Realtor Do Tai Chi - as Often as Possible Back on the Band Wagon - Eat the Tasty Things! Zippo Time. - Magic Man! P.S. For anyone confused by the title/meme, this references to taking off in a jet, which I felt was apropos to the theme.
  11. This is kind of an oxymoron theme for a challenge, buuuuut... allow me to explain. I have determined over the past couple of months that I am badly overextended in my day-to-day life. My work responsibilities keep growing (as they say, the reward for good work is more work), I have the potential to attend a Kung Fu or Tai Chi class 4 out of 5 nights per week, I have a weekly game night on my only off-day from the kwoon, and I've recently managed to pack in at least one online gaming session on both Saturday and Sunday, and sometimes more. Add that to the time I want to spend with my wife and dog, and I've pretty much managed to forget that I am, in fact, an INTROVERT. It's no wonder that I've been so exhausted, even after my recovery from the flu was mostly complete. So here's the thing. With part of my yearly bonus, I finally bought a Playstation 4. It's my gift to me for being me. I bought the PS4 pretty much only because I want to experience Bloodborne, a game directly related by blood (haha) to the Dark Souls series. In fact, I suspect it may be a direct successor to Demon's Souls, given that both DeS and BB are Sony exclusives and separate from the rest of the Souls games (but that's a discussion for another time). I've played it for a few hours already, and it's quickly earning a place among my favorite games. For those of you who don't know or haven't played it, Bloodborne is a Gothic/Victorian/Lovecraftian take on the Souls formula. The main character is the Hunter, tasked with cleansing the land of the great Beasts. Not a lot of the story is clear yet to me (and, knowing FROMSoft, it probably won't ever be) but atmospherically and gameplay-wise, tis a beautiful thing. During this challenge I'm going to be focusing on making time for myself. Quiet time. Resting time. Some of which will be spent slaughtering horrible Lovecraftian beasts. Because, frankly, I find it pretty relaxing. I have come to a place of understanding with the Souls games in that death/failure no longer frustrates me nearly as much as it should, because it just means another go and that I need to learn something. I do intend to go back to my Dark Souls 3 challenge at some point, but I can still only use a controller for short periods with my thumb/hand recovering, and so I don't want to commit back to the streaming until it's feeling better. I'll be practicing my Tai Chi. I now have the first 35 movements of the Yang 108 long form, which constitutes the entirety of what my Sifu has decided is a good 'short form'. It is a very good flow and I like it a lot. It makes me feel great to do it. I've found that deep meditation can either help or hurt, depending on the circumstances (some days it's actually more taxing on my brain than it is relaxing) so I'll be doing it sparingly with an eye on improving my concentration, rather than trying to consider it as a form of recovery. It also sounds like I may be joining in a monk's kettlebell challenge...? So that'll add some additional activity as well. Going to class is not part of the challenge, as it should be the default thing that I do when I'm not trying to conserve my sanity or being shanghai'd by work or other responsibilities. =============================== Primary Goal 1: Self-Care One night/week with no outside obligations. This will probably mean skipping a Kung Fu night or one of my weekend games, but if I don't do it I'm going to go crazy, so what can you do. Primary Goal 2: Tai Chi Practice 30 minutes Tai Chi practice, two days/week outside of Tuesday night class. I don't know how feasible this will end up being, but I'm going to try. It shouldn't be too hard. Even if it's just on the weekends it would be more than I'm doing now. Secondary Goal: Meditation A 15-minute meditation session now and then never hurt anybody. Count these when I do them. Any number greater than zero is a success.
  12. February 5 until March 11 So I decided to make 2018 my year and stumbled over this inspirational quote: The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today. I want to achieve some things this year and change the things, that made me loathe 2017. I've to write a detailed reflection, but let's start for now. Last challenge I got overwhelmed again, by focusing on too many goals at once. So I’ll only track three goals. I’ll still try to stick to my old habits, but I won’t track them actively for now. Goal One: Self-care All work and no play makes Luciana a dull girl It’s important to plan nice things for myself and take breaks. At the end of each day I’ll reflect about this goal. This includes mediation, socializing, gratitude, etc. Pass/fail for reflecting and doing something against stress symptoms, when I notice them. Goal Two: Exercise I’ll try to do some workouts at home again. I’ll start with 20 minute sessions and hopefully I’ll be able to increase them. And I decided to schedule a specific number of exercises at the beginning of each week and for each workout I miss, I’ll put 3€ in my piggy bank. The money will be used for a one year membership, if I don’t get my stuff done regularly. Zero week: I’m scheduling five 20 minute workouts. I don’t have many appointments this week and I want to start this challenge strong as long as I’m motivated. This week I would like to do some sun salutations again and do the 8 brocades at least once. There are no classes for the next few weeks, so I'm following some instruction videos on youtube. Goal Three: Study During my last successful challenge I aimed for 15 hours a week and studied 16,5 hours on average every week. I managed to get the 30 hours in the first two weeks of the last challenge, but then I got overwhelmed. So maybe I shouldn’t aim for 30 hours and instead plan with 20 hours of study time. I’ll track this goal with my paper tracker and at least once a week I want to update my spreadsheet here. My last challenges’ goals were:
  13. Well now. Down by about 10 lbs in 2 weeks. Yes, I have it to safely loose and I'm eating like I mean it. This metabolic reset thing is remarkable - no hunger, lots of greens, meats, and carbs. Very strict list of foods, some ridiculous green smoothies in the morning, it felt like I was throwing the rainforest in a blender, but hey it works! Goal is to make it through week three on the reset without deviating. After that, I'm going to go stupid for a day, then return to plan. Continuing on Tai Chi - 2 to 3 days a week. Time to start training again on the off days. That seems like a good idea - 3 days a week. Moving. Holy crap. 7 years of junk accumulation. I've gone through a purge before, this next one has to be epic. 30 minutes a night, cleaning/packing. An hour min every weekend day. I still expect a mad rush for 1 week in March to get this done, but if I put in the time I'll make a lot of progress. Well, time to kick the tires and light the fires! - Murphy's Roommate!
  14. Good morning Druids. This is more-or-less a continuation of the same challenge I did last time (Journey to Wudang Shan). The routine worked so very well, that I want to continue on with it. There is still plenty to challenge me within the same routine. So let's get to it. Primary Section - Tai Chi and Qigong 1. Continue Tai Chi and Qigong as a daily habit. The plan is to take some time each day to practice Tai Chi and/ or Qigong, in some capacity. 20 - 30 minutes of practice would be ideal, but I will make compromises with my other priorities in life as needed. Break it up throughout the day, as needed, whatever it takes. Make the opportunity. 2. Continue to refine my Tai Chi/ Qigong skills. This means taking in information wherever possible, from classes, seminars, videos, books, etc. I have signed up for a Tai Chi class with Community Education, but this does not begin until February. In the meantime, I will continue to self-train, read books, watch videos, and take in whatever information and training is available. My focus at the moment is on the Tai Chi 24 Form, and Spring Forest Qigong. Secondary Section - Meditation and Body Weight Training 1. Daily meditation. I've been doing this for nearly a year now. It is an indispensable source of relaxation and self-care. 2. Body weight exercises and yoga. I will do this three times per week. Body weight training focuses mainly on pull-ups and dips, using the "grease the groove" approach, where I do several sets of low reps spread out over a day. I generally do the yoga in the evening, or whenever I finish my last set of pull-ups and dips. This has been great training for upper-body and core strength. Tertiary Section - Bullet Journal I will keep utilizing my bullet journal to keep track of my daily tasks and priorities.
  15. Well, color me surprised. This little rock we call home made it around the thermonuclear death star (cause of, and possible solution to, all our problems - eventually when it goes nova) yet another time. On the bright side, I get to carry on carrying on Tai Chi and getting cold. On the awesome opportunity side, I need to move to the other side of this rock in 3 months, drop body fat (family wager - good opportunity for entertainment), get serious about internalizing Pose Running, and start deadlifting again. Sigh. Paring this down for this challenge my goals are simple. Get an appointment with a bod pod and find out my starting point. I've finished reading the Pose Running books, time to get coaching - so that is an appointment to set and keep. Lastly, take some warmup lifting days then get to where I can take a safe run at my one rep max. From there, develop a plan to work forward. I've been thinking of the meme to capture this, and the best I can do is some Blacklist. That about captures it. Adventure time. - Murphy's Roommate
  16. To be honest, gang, I'm feeling a bit Hollow. 2017, now that it has left us, officially goes on the books as one of my worst years ever. Like, top 3 worst-ever. It was full of stresses, destruction of property, financial catastrophies, the works. That's not to say there weren't a few points of light, but overall, it SUCKED. I am not at all sad to see it die. And, naturally, I woke up sick this morning to start off 2018 just the right way. Not a good showing, '18. Not at all. I really considered making this a very complex challenge, using HP to track how well I was doing against my goals, rewarding myself with little fake internet points for doing good things, and so forth, but honestly I can't bring myself to do it. A need to simplify has been creeping up on my brain over the past few weeks. I actually purged a whole bunch of useless crap out of my office a couple of weeks ago: I trashed years' worth of old PC game cases (most of which were online games whose servers have shut down) and a bunch of other junk too. So, instead of an over-complicated fiddly challenge, I'm going to pare it right down to the bone. 1. Burn the Effigy (Meditation & Tai Chi) These now go together, because one flows so neatly into the other. More, dammit, not less. They are good for me. 2. Declutter Inventory More throwing things away. Less crap hanging around. I'm sick of staring at it. I inherited the barest hoarder instincts from my mother (she's not a dangerous one, but still has a lot of trouble letting go of things and trinkets), and I shall not let them win. 3. Train For the Hunt Once I'm feeling better, I'm going to start adding some bodyweight strength training. I've figured out a place in my house that I can do pull-ups and rows without any additional equipment (except maybe a rope or sheet for the rows). This is something I can do in small sets to improve my life incrementally. I want to be able to do one full pull-up again before the end of the challenge. That's the extent of the goal. When I get there, I'll consider adding more next time. (Extra Goal) Decaffinate the Estus Flask So, my blood pressure has been testing 'pre-hypertension' for like a year now. I've cut down my salt intake, but it doesn't seem to be helping. Next target for culprit: caffeine. I love coffee. I really, really do. It's possible that as I am aging, I am developing a caffeine sensitivity. So, for January I'm going to try cutting my coffee intake severely. My Estus Flask shall be filled only with herbal tea or water for the rest of the month. The last thing I need is to develop some kind of chronic health problem like hypertension. Dark Souls has taught me one thing very clearly; something I knew but hadn't really internalized. Failure is the only way to REALLY learn.
  17. Good morning Druids, This will be my first challenge in the Druid Camp for quite some time. A desire to get into tai chi and qigong is the main driver behind this change. I've taken the odd tai chi and qigong class here and there over the years. Finally, after 12 years or so of awesome but somewhat damaging training in Shotokan karate and other "hard" martial arts, as well as a little parkour thrown in for fun, I'm ready to start down a softer and more regenerative path. Hence my so-called journey to Wǔdāng Shān, or Wudang Mountain (according to legend, the birthplace of internal martial arts such as tai chi). The challenge has two basic parts: Primary Section - New Habits 1. Make Tai Chi and Qigong a daily habit. Being new at this as a routine, I'm not entirely sure how feasible this really is, so this is part commitment, part experiment. The plan is to take some time each day to practice Tai Chi and/ or Qigong, in some capacity. 20 - 30 minutes of practice would be ideal, but I will make compromises with my other priorities in life as needed. 2. Continue to refine my Tai Chi/ Qigong skills. This means taking in information wherever possible, from classes, seminars, videos, books, etc. As I have not picked a dedicated class or instructor to follow a this time, I'm taking a bit of eclectic and all-inclusive approach. Secondary Section - Continue Old Habits 1. Daily meditation. I've been doing this for nearly a year now. 2. Body weight exercises and yoga. I will do this three times per week. Body weight training focuses mainly on pull-ups and dips, using the "grease the groove" approach, where I do several sets of low reps spread out over a day. I generally do the yoga in the evening, or whenever I finish my last set of pull-ups and dips. Tertiary Section - Bullet Journal During the last challenge I joined in an a Bullet Journal (BuJo) accountability group. I was brand new to the BuJo idea. The idea has stuck. I feel I gain a lot from it. Therefore, I plan to keep doing it. If there is another accountability group for this challenge, I will join in.
  18. 太極拳 -------------------------------------------------------------------- After the disaster that was the last challenge, I'm going to be working on my meditation and sanity again. I need to bring myself back inward; I've been stretched too thin for too long, and it's impacting every aspect of my life. 2017 is almost over, and it's a really weird feeling. Parts of it seem immensely long (we adopted the dog in August, and it feels like he's been with us for years!) and other parts seem impossibly short. On the bright side, I'm looking forward to quite a few things in 2018, but I need to get my brain house in order (and subsequently the rest of me) if I'm really going to be able to enjoy any of it. Over the past couple of months, I haven't been making it to my Kung Fu classes as regularly as before. Many times in the past, when I've hit a rough patch with a hobby or interest like that, my investment in it starts to fade away and I generally stop doing whatever it is. This is the first time in my life that I've experienced the opposite: not going made me want to go MORE. Now that the worst of the last few weeks is past, it's time to draw inward, become mindful again, and build a bulwark against whatever life is going to throw at me next. There are going to be several aspects of this, but the primary ones I'll be focusing on for this challenge are seiza meditation (I can't find a Chinese word for it) and my new Tai Chi practice! Last week I went to my first Tai Chi class. I've wanted to do it for years and years, but could never find an instructor. Now that my Sifu is offering to teach Yang style, I can't hardly pass it up! For the next four weeks I'll be working to establish a real meditation habit, as well as working my Yang-style. My medium-term goal is to compete in the Tai Chi division at the next tournament I attend (probably in the spring sometime) so I've got the winter to make it as good as I can. I really enjoy doing it and I think it's going to be great for rehabbing my injured knee, so I'm excited to keep going with it. (✘ missed, ✔ done, ☐ to do, bonus!) Goal 1: Stillness of Mind 10 minutes of meditation, 5 times per week. No need to go straight from zero to perfection. Let's just establish a habit. If I can hit higher than 10 minutes in a session, go me. Week 1: ✔✔✔✔✔ Week 2: ✔✔✔✔✔ Week 3: ✔✔✔✔✘ Week 4: ✔☐☐☐☐ Goal 2: Feel the Chi Flow Taiji form practice: 3 times through my current knowledge, minimum, 4 days per week. Tuesday Taiji class doesn't count toward this goal. Slow and purposeful is key here. Moving too fast is as bad as moving too stiffly. Week 1: ✔✔✔✘ Week 2: ✔✔✔✔ Week 3: ✔✔✔✘ Week 4: ✔☐☐☐ As a side note, I've decided to open up a battle log to track my longer-term stuff: things like tournaments, rank advancements, major accomplishments, etc. Right now they're kind of getting lost in the old challenge threads, so something that lasts across challenges seems like a good idea. Feel free to drop by there if you'd like.
  19. I had a run last week, and there is good news and bad news. Good news is I passed, and can still cover a mile and a half in a tidge under thirteen minutes. Bad news is my shins are a mess again, my ankle kicked back up, and I feel pretty chewed up. I could decide I'm not good at running and leave it at that. Instead, I'm going to find and take some pose running classes and fix my form. Several people that I consider knowledgeable on this not hurting yourself stuff have recommended pose running to me, it can't be any worse than what I'm doing to myself now. Goals: Tai Chi - continue Ending showers cold - continue Ice baths - I can't seem to get any momentum here, so I'm letting these go for now. Running - three sub goals Buy and read the pose running book Take the classes Practice Practice Practice I'd like to be able to run for the rest of my life, instead of being like a lot of guys I know. They were fit when they were younger, but are now just a mess of chronic injuries they fought through. For now, doing intervals just to keep running with minimal impact as I line the above up. - Murphy's Roommate
  20. Druids rock! Last challenge I rediscovered how much I enjoyed Tai Chi, discovered that ending showers cold is awesome, and generally enjoyed doing something different. This go around - Maintain Tai Chi 2 to 4x a week, schedule depending. My job has suddenly added a lot of travel, with vastly more on the horizon. Maintain ending showers cold. It really seems to fire up my day, and I like that. Add - practice Tai Chi (moving meditation and standing meditation) on days where I can't make or don't have class. Add - ice exposure. I dropped out the ice baths last challenge, have to get going on those this evolution. Add - running. I need to get my run times and weight back to reasonable numbers. Tomorrow I need to see what my mile time actually is now. Nanowrimo. Challenge- accepted! This should be an epic challenge. I have some huge life changes on the horizon - this is all prep for it, one way or another. - Murphy's Roommate
  21. After three years of doing challenges, I've decided that my long-run escapades might fit a bit better in a battle-log format. My plan is to keep doing light challenges, but the truth is there's a lot of stuff that I've done over these years that has kind of gotten lost in those old challenge threads: victories and failures, obstacles overcome and challenges that overwhelmed me. So, I'm Kyellan and I've been here at NerdFitness for a little over 3 years. About two months after I joined here, with intentions of practicing German Longsword HEMA stuff via the original texts (mostly on my own, since there wasn't a nearby club at the time), instead I got convinced by the people here to screw my courage to the sticking place and join a local Kung Fu studio, in the hopes of learning some basic martial work from a teacher, rather than struggling through alone. Subverting all my expectations, this local Kung Fu school turned out not to be your average martial arts experience. Instead of merely using it as a launching point for my other work, I fell in love with the practice, the discipline, the group combat therapy, and now I have a second family of martial artists, young and old, who I can't wait to spend my time practicing with four nights out of the week. Honestly, it's changed my life for the better in so many ways that it's impossible to count. It's the foundation that allowed me, in June 2016, to survive the Vermont Tough Mudder (along with my buddy @Oramac), and so many other things as well. There's no denying, though, that I'm a 6-foot-1 blond dude. Nothing's ever going to change that! So, here I am: one knight, learning the Shaolin disciplines. I primarily train Hung Gar, but our lineage also includes some Lau-family technique, as well as Bak Sil Lum (which is Northern Shaolin Kung Fu by way of a Southern stylist, so it's modified a bit). So, away we go!
  22. With this challenge I get back to level 10. So I had a few successful challenges and I've been slowly trying to get back into some kind of healthy routine. But now I want to try going back into the options and set the difficulty-level from easy to normal again. That means, I'll try to eat healthier and do more exercise and get in some more study time. For zero week I'll test out these goals and see, if I have to change anything. So I'm serving some hot new goals: Still love this gif ^^ Goal One: Food Overcome the Virus and scavage enough for food Since I changed my diet and incorporated moderate exercise, I haven't been getting sick so much anymore. Let's see, if this also helps when it's getting colder again. I'll start counting calories again and stop snacking. I don't want to gain more weight and also I want to have an eye on what I eat, because it will get more stressfull the closer my exams draw. - 5 portions of freggies - 3l of water - count calories - no snacks until December... Only birthday cakes, if I get invited to any parties. Goal 2: Exercise Don't let them outrun you For morning routine it's all right, if I get it in. Just do something for 20 minutes. If I get up earlier, I'll do more. But for now I just want to keep the momentum and try to stick to my new found routine during my new schedule. There are a few days, where I have to get out quite early, so it doesn't make any sense to do more days with this routine. But I can try to extend the sessions a little on the other days. And I'll try out Aikido this challenge. Let's see how it goes. - morning routine 3 times a week (5 tibetans, yoga, sometines also stationary bike for 20 minutes. It depends on when I get up and how much time I've left) - visit at least two sport classes a week (Tai Chi, Yoga, Aikido, ...) - go out and walk at least 5km a day on 6 days a week (I won't take my bfs gradfathers offer to drive me around) Goal 3: Study Get your stuff done and don't give in the lethargy There's some intense stuff going on this semester. So I'll have to up my numbers. - at least 30 hours a week (includes time I spent at university and drawing for my art exam.) Bonus: To-Do-Lists at least one item a day Bonus: meditation
  23. I'll mostly continue with the same goals. Goal One: Overcome the Virus and scavage enough for food drink 3l a day and more when I get exercise (track in plant nanny) 3 portions of freggies (paper tracker) reduce unhealthy snacks and take away (not more then once a week, paper tracker) ==> aim for six good eating days a week Bonus 1: prepare a bento for Wednesday Bonus 2: roughly start counting my calories again (preferably on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; track in myfitnesspal) Goal Two: Don't let them outrun you every day: walking or sun salutations or 5 tibetans ==> establish morning routine on Monday and Friday; 20 minutes sun salutations, 5 Tibetans and 10 minute meditation. I try to get it in once a week first and by week four I want to do that more regularly Tuesday: Tai Chi (classes because of public Holidays only on the 13th and 20th June) Thursday: Yoga (classes because of public Holidays only on the 1st, 22th June) Bonus: picking up the fire staff once a week for at least half an hour So I'm focusing on my at home workouts this challenge, because most of my classes won't take place. I'll take it as a Chance to make daily small workouts a Habit again. If I don't go to visit my parents at the beginning of June, I want to pick up my fire staff again. Let's see how it goes. Goal Three: Get your stuff done and don't give in the lethargy Study 15 hours a week again. Bonus for getting all my homework done by Saturday evening. Goal Four: To Do List I'm going to write to-do-lists again and set priorities. 28th May: Finish notes on presentation and discuss with professor 29th May: Finish editing all the photographs for my art project and get them printed 1st June: Hand in art project 3rd June: Finish gardening 10th June: Finish presentation for Monday 15th June: sign up for tests ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Challenge Retrospektive April/May Goal One: Overcome the Virus and scavage enough for food Grade: 75%, B (Last challenge: 62%, B ) I think I was able to get a healthier lifestyle. I didn't get the flu this challenge. I had some cheat days, but I ate less produced stuff. I baked my own cakes and was more in controle of how much sugar I consumed. Again it helped, that I'm tracking my water intake with plant nanny. With the freggies Goal I figured out, that smothies are a good way to get in fruits. This way you can still use overripe stuff, that's sometimes sold with a discount. And I managed to pack my own bentos in the evenng. So I didn't have to spent money on Cafeteria Food. I also realized that Rice balls are really cheap to make. So no more skipped lunch. So for next challenge I'll try to not get in so many cheat days.The rest seems to be fine. I'm definitely going to continue with this goal. Maybe I'm going to use myfitnesspal again. It's just really hard to measure what I'm eating. I'm not cooking alone for lunch. But I'll try to at least roughly track. At the moment I don't want to lose much more weight. I just want to try to not gain ist all back. Goal Two: Don't let them outrun you Grade: 86%, A (last challenge: 96%, A) I only missed one yoga class and added dancing to my challenge for half of the time.But I didn't walk as often as last challenge and that's showing in my statistics. I still have to get in more at home exercise. On rainy or busy days I tend to not walk so much. On These days I should at least try to get in 20 minutes of yoga or do my tibetans. I'm still trying to make that a Habit, so I'll definitely go on with this goal. We have one week off University at the beginning of June. Maybe I should try doing one of these every day for ten days in a row then. Bonus was dancing lessons. Goal Three: Get your stuff done and don't give in the lethargy Grade: 118%, A+ (last challenge: 92%, A) This challenge I got in my 15 hours every week and managed to reach my milestones. I'll try to continue the good work. And definitely helped me, that I was working on homework on days, where I had to go to lessons and save Tuesday and Friday for my papers. I'm not going to aim for higher numbers because of what happened last challenge. Last challenge i had one week with >130% and afterwards I wasn't able to motivate myself for the following two weeks. It's better to get my stuff done every week and not stress myself out about getting in as much as possible. Goal Four: To Do List I wasn'tz able to get in stuff in the morning. Maybe I should instead aim for doing most of my stuff in the evening and stop jumping out of bad in the morning and trying to get everything done. That's just stressing me and I feel that my sleep is less good, when I'm already thinking about the stuff I still have to do in the morning. Like packing my bag. I wasn't Walking as much as I used to last challenge, because I was late and then took his grandfathers offer to drive us. All in all I got more housework done than last challenge. It definitely helped to write to do lists regularly and set priorities. FINAL CHALLENGE GRADE: ~93% = A ANY OTHER NOTES / COMMENTS: I lost 3,5kg this challenge and got measured twice. I'll post my measurements in my battle log in the next few days.
  24. April/May Challenge (23.04.2017 - 20.05.2017) This challenge will be about time management again. I'll try to incooperate more changes into my schedule and try to get my stuff done while visiting classes. I want to finish my studies without more lags, so this will also be a challenge for my discipline. On the other hand I'll also schedule times of relaxation. I shouldn't take things as they come anymore. At least not, if they take up more then two hours on one day. And I'll force myself to procrastinate less on housework. Fun things are going to happen: I'm making a small cosplay of the Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland). I'm not good at sewing and can't put much time into this, but I like this charakter and I'm trying to create my own interretation. And I'm visiting my first ever cosplay ball on the 6th May. I started visiting a dancing course from university. It's not so good for newbies, but it's free and I want to feel a little confident about what I can do again and just challenge myself by trying out something new. I was never good with standard dances or pair dances in general. And it will also be a little odd to do this with I lot of people I don't know. My bf won't join me, so... I'm curious about it. Did my first session on Wednesday April 27 and although there was some frustration and one guy just let me stand there alone, when he realised I was a total newbie. But I still had fun and didn't let it get to my heart. I'm going to do some Tai Chi and Yoga again at university. Visited both classes in week one and both teachers remembered me annd seemed to be happy to see me again. That was really nice. After my next milestone, I'm going to visit a friend in Vienna. He's going to have a concert with his band and we want to cheer for them. And finally see the city again =) Goals: (More or less the same compared to last challenge) March/April – Continuity The zombies are still roaming the streets, so I'll continue what I've been doing so far and try to not lose my brain. I only changed my goals little by little since the beginning of the year building up momentum. This challenge will only be harder because of some milestones I set myself and my first course will start on April the first. The course has high reading requirements, that's why I try to get as much as possible done about two projects, I want to hand in on May 15. Goal One: Overcome the Virus and scavage enough for food With this goal I try to get healthier and improve my immune system. I'm getting a cold frequently. Therefore I’m trying to build some healthy habits and reduce unhealthy diet habits. I'm also trying to lose weight at the moment. These goals helped me to watch my portion size and I changed my regular meals. Usually I was skipping lunch and eating a lot for dinner. My bf usually get's back from work between 7 pm and 8 pm. We usually don't get dinner before 8 pm. Now I'm regularly eating a small lunch with my study buddy and have a smaller dinner portion in the evening. Unfortunately the salad in the evening didn't stick with me for last challenge. I'm buying less fresh fruit and vegetables at the moment, so let's see, how I can still make this happen. drink 3l a day and more when I get exercise 3 portions of freggies reduce unhelathy snacks and take away (not more then once a week) Bonus: prepare a bento for Wednesday last challenge: Goal Two: Don't let them outrun you I got back into walking regularly, but I didn't bild an indoor routine yet. It's hard for me to train outside of classes, so I'll try to do use the courses offered at my university. I can do them for free until I graduate. Let's take at least one positive thing from delaying my graduation. (Had to change my minor subject this therm. :/) Tai Chi Yoga As bonus I'm getting some dancing lessons until May the 6th. Let's see how it goes and if I can get these things into my schedule without feeling stressed again. last challenge: Goal Three: Get your stuff done and don't give in the lethargy I tried to convince myself to study almost daily and at least spent 15 hours a week on study related tasks. Last challenge I got in my 15 hours in 2 of four weeks. It's getting harder, because of my lectures. I'll try to do my homework every week, but I also want to have some progress with my papers. So I'm going to set specific days for my papers. They are priority. Of course it's not cool to miss some homework, but the tests won't start before August, so I'll make my papers my priority for now. I have to get this stuff don, if I don't want to delay my studies further. Study 15 hours a week again. Bonus for getting all my homework done by Saturday evening. last challenge Goal Four: To Do List This is an optional goal, so I won’t grade it. Instead of trying to get in five things and do some recreation, too. I'll try to get in some organisational stuff, housework and so on every day. At the moment I'm doing these things in the morning, when I get up at 7am or in the evening, when I get back from studying. Last challenge I managed to get the necessary housework done without taking a day of from studying. Let's do that again. last challenge
  25. Ok, Due to a severe attack of brain weasels aka the black dog (depression) last challenge I ended up bowing out before the challenge was complete. This challenge I'm going to keep things very minimal. PERKELE!!!!!!!!! Goals: Not to have to buy larger pants for the holidays - i.e. I want to keep my average food consumption below my MFP app goal of 2200 calories a day and make sure I'm getting at least 2 servings of freggies a day MEDITATE - minimum 10 minutes a day. Yoga - nightly sleepy yoga. Tai Chi twice a day. There that's it. That's all I'm doing until January. This is not going to be a graded challenge this is pass / fail.
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