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Theme for 2016 During a Solstice ritual with a couple of friends, I had a very clear image of a driving a stake into the ground. Attached was a leather thong that bound my ankle to the stake. I knew the image referred to a story I read many years ago of a Native American warrior, but I could not remember the details, only that it was an act of total commitment. Once again, the internet delivers: Attached to each dog rope was a picket-pin [used to tether horses]. The pin was driven into the ground as a mark of resolve in combat. When a Dog Soldier was staked to the ground in order to cover the retreat of his companions, he was required to remain there even if death was the consequence. The Dog Man could pull the pin from the ground only if his companions reached safety or another Dog Soldier released him from his duty. From "Cheyenne Dog Soldiers," by Richard Grimes I'm kind of glad I didn't remember the details of the story! The more I read about the Dog Soldiers the more respect I have and the more intimidated I become. Nevertheless, I am holding to my intuitive vision and planting my stake into the ground.Focus and Motivation No doubt this will be a challenging year. To in some small way embody the ideals and values of warriors of that caliber will be a tremendous stretch, one in which I hope I can use them as inspiration and example without faltering or giving any disrespect. I see my primary focus this year as being COMMITMENT. My primary motivation to get healthier (on all levels) and stay that way, is to be present for my family, friends, and associates. With the above in mind, and knowing that there are many changes coming to Nerd Fitness, I am keeping my goals simple and succint. I suspect that many of what would normally have been side quests will fit better into the coming "Epic Quest" system, and I am sure that DarK_Raider and Rurik are hatching mini-challenge plans and any number of other surprises for the future... Challenge Goals1. Go the Distance Average of 15 miles per week, for a total of at least 60 miles for the challenge. Going for easy level of difficulty still, just focused on increasing mileage for now. Carefully, steadily. 2. Wait and Watch for the Enemy; Stand Your Ground Squat 10 mins per day, 6 days per week, 6 hours for the challenge. This is to stretch and release tight muscles from sitting at a computer for so much of the day. Stand for increasing times each day I work at GP, starting with 10 minutes of every hour. This one is a tracking goal, not a total time goal for this challenge, at least until I know how much my bum leg will take per day. I purchased a new stand for my computer that lets me easily turn my regular desk into a standing desk. I plan to install that as soon as I return to work and add standing to my daily routine for the last 5 weeks of the challenge. 3. Eat to Win Lose 4 pounds during the January Challenge Do this by eating healthy foods - lots of fruits and veggies, moderate amounts of whole grains, small amounts of meat, and very little processed food, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of sleep, fresh air, and relaxation. 4. CyberWarrior Learn - Complete the cyber security course I am taking. Practice - Participate in at least one exercise through the AZCWR (Arizona Cyber Warfare Range). Share - Organize and promote the upcoming Code Sisters Cyber-Security Workshop. Not sure if I am going to build a story around this or not. I think I will wait until after the 4th to decide that, once I see the new features on Nerd Fitness. Hoka hey! (Yes, I know that's Lakota/Dakota, not Cheyenne, and it doesn't mean what Hollywood thinks it does... But it makes a pretty good war cry.) Let's go kill this challenge!