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  1. Disclaimer: I won't be doing a "traditional" challenge this go around. This challenge is more directed towards "Life Goals" rather than "Fitness Goals". Feel free to scroll on by if it's not your thing. I cried the first time I read the script. I knew that it was a play I HAD to be part of. I cried a bit the next day when I was telling my boyfriend about how beautiful it was (much to his confusion until he realized that the emotions were from sheer passion for the play). I went to auditions on Monday, Jan 29th and was asked by the director to come back Tuesday, Jan 30th for the second night of auditions. I waited for the cast list for what seemed like an eternity. It was Thursday afternoon (Feb 1st), just about 15 minutes before the end of my work day when I saw that the cast list had been posted on Facebook. My stomach dropped and I took a deep breath before clicking on the link. I near screamed when I saw my name! I landed the only female part in the show! I came running out of my office in absolute hysterical joy, and my boss asked me to sit down because she thought I was going to faint! I have not acted (or been involved in theatre in any way) for over 5 years, but I miss it every day. Acting is probably my number one passion in life, but these types of shows don't come along very often. Most audiences prefer musicals and comedies, but I prefer dramas....plays that challenge me...let me stretch my acting wings. I cannot wait for rehearsals to begin! This will be, by far, the biggest role I've ever had! I pray for health, energy, and pain management so that I can enjoy this experience to the fullest. That being said, I had an appointment with my Naturopath this morning and we're adjusting my thyroid meds again (dropping one prescription altogether and increasing the dose of the other one). In 8 weeks, if my TSH goes down and I'm still in this much pain, she wants to run a Rheumatoid Panel. **Fingers crossed that the pain goes away before that happens** My goals are going to be VERY lax this challenge. My Naturopath gave me a free pass for diet for now. She said with all the eliminations I've tried over the last couple years, she doubts I'm having any specific food triggers. She said that food triggers are not subtle and I should know for sure if something was triggering the pain at this point. Since I avoided potatoes so well in January and was still in pain most the month, she doubts potatoes are the source of my pain. So YAY POTATOES!!! Not that I'm going to binge on them or anything, but I'm just glad I don't have to feel guilty if I eat them for now. Obviously, my diet has room for improvement (because pizza and cheeseburgers happen!), but in general, I feel I eat fairly healthy. But I've been so hard on myself because the scale keeps slowly creeping up, but she told me that was probably thyroid related and not to worry about it for now. Exercise has to stay pretty mild in the meantime. If the pain starts to subside, I can adjust accordingly (with being extra careful not to overdo it on the good days). Mostly, my goals for next month are to continue my tracking spreadsheet with how I feel each day as far as fatigue and pain. I'll track my workouts, and keep that the same as far as only walking or doing some light yoga. My #1 goal is going to begin memorizing the daunting amount of lines I have for the play. GOALS 1 - Memorization! 30 minutes every single day of studying the script. I'd really like to be off book before the director's deadline. 2 - Tracking spreadsheet Track pain levels, fatigue, etc every day Track workouts (aim for 3 a week, with forgiveness for not working out on rehearsal nights or days when the pain gets the better of me) So that's it. I'm starting now.
  2. Last challenge, I used the Idiot Jar to great effect - I only failed a goal four times over the whole challenge, so since that was under five fails, I didn't have to go to the gym in a terrifying leotard. This challenge, I'm going to be eyeball deep in preparations for my first Samhuinn fire festival. This is an annual night of fire spinners, drummers, acrobats, and miscellaneous monsters celebrating the change of the seasons in Edinburgh on the 31st of October, and I somehow managed to get into one of the performance groups. You're not going to get any spoilers from me on my costume (I signed a thing to that effect) except that there's quite a lot of leather. The preparations mean my previous training routine is up in the air a bit - I usually work out in the mornings, but practice is quite late at night, so my sleep schedule is all over the place and I need to use this challenge to get it working smoothly again. You may not see much of me this month, sorry! ILOVEYOUIAMSORRYIAMNOTREADINGYOURTHREADHAVEAGREATCHALLENGEILOVEYOU Goal 1: Remain capable of fitting into my costume. Same as always. I'm expecting/hoping to be about half a stone lighter by the festival, so my costume's adjustable, but I need to make sure I'm not too big for it, because there are some bits that might, er, ping off, if I expand from present size. - 1600kcal/day; bonus 200kcal after workouts, to be consumed straight after. - 5 freggies/day - 2 litres water/day - Prep at least one dish (4 portions) each weekend for the following week. Goal 2: Stay strong enough to pick people up. While I was sane enough to not apply for the acrobatic group this year, my group will be picking people up. I need to not drop them on the cobblestones, so although I did seriously consider suspending lifting training for the next six weeks (I'm knackered), I think it's best I keep it up. I need to focus on grip strength, maintaining ab tension, and squats/OHPs. Which fits in nicely with what I was doing anyway, so I don't actually need to change much: I'm switching back squats for front so I can work on stability with weight in front of me, and adding goblet squats too. I'm changing my dumbbell farmer carries from 3-4 sets of 80 metres to 8 sets of 20 metres, and aiming for heavier weights. (I'm doing [2x16kg] for the 80 metre carries right now, we'll see what I can manage for the short carries, but I'm planning to attempt [2x20kg] and work up from there.) Switching the usual bicep curls and shoulder shrugs on bench day for Arnold presses. Not sure why. Variety is nice. After a lot of deliberation, I'm temporarily cutting out deadlifts. I could argue with myself back and forth about what lifts are directly applicable, and wise use of my finite energy, and how the deadlift is about the best all round exercise you can do, but in the end it comes down to the fact that I still cock up my form sometimes, and I REALLY can't afford an injury. BUT we have a lifting session at the Edinburgh Nerd-Up on the 8th, and if I can confidently deadlift with decent form after that session, I'll add them back in to squat day. With group practice factored in, my workout schedule now looks like this: - Monday: Ab work, Goblet squats, Front squats, OH Presses, good mornings - Tuesday: DB row, DB bench press, farmer carries, leg press, Arnold press - Wednesday: Ab work, Goblet squats, Front squats, OH Presses, good mornings - Thursday: Proper rest - Friday: Rest/possible group bonding games that, like many things in my life recently, seem to mostly involve jumping and being confused - Saturday: Pick people up and be scary. - Sunday: Rest/any extra running about being scary planned for that day Goal 3: Sort out your sleeping patterns I was so happy when I finally got used to waking up at 6am. It is now screwing me over because practice runs very late sometimes. - Maintain consistent firm waking time of 6am (shakes fist) - Consistent firm bedtime of 11:00pm. - No caffeine after 5pm. - Caffeine restriction of 1 portion per day still in force (1 portion being considered here as 500ml soda, or 2 cups of tea, or 1 cup of coffee. I can have all the portions of decaf tea I want. Which is none. I want none portions of decaf tea.) Life Goal: We are not at home to Mr. Cock-Up. I would like to survive this festival, please. Therefore, I have some general goals related to that, but I'm not going to make myself add any more culture to my brain than I already am. - Do not be on fire - If already on fire, do not remain on fire - Do not strangle yourself with a spaulder strap - Do not take a hot flaming rod to the face (ho ho ho, fire spinning jokes. I'm not even fire spinning.) - FLAME TEST ALL OF YOUR COSTUME PARTS - Waterproof test your badass skull helmet to make sure you don't end up with a sadass blob helmet if it rains - Jiggle test your costume parts (I have learned from the mistakes of others) Tracking: - Idiot Jar. £1 in the jar for every bullet point failed per day. - Idiot Jar forfeit for this challenge is... yet to be decided. RIGHT! Challenge starts on Friday for me, because I'm off to my parents' tonight and they have neither barbells nor vegetarian food that isn't, er, hummus.
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