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  1. I feel like I've spent a lot of time the last few months building my alter-ego's awesomeness, which is definitely great and necessary, but ultimately not as much fun. Yay, I do the dishes right after dinner! And I drink lot of water! Good stuff but not .... exciting. So let's focus on super stuff this time. Finally! I feel ready to work on actual skills, not just basic strength building. First skill: I "lost" my pull-up ability when I developed a shoulder recruitment imbalance, and gee whiz, now that I'm activating the right muscles more, I can't do one again. I will slowly work my way through to this again, but with body awareness, movement prep, and follow up stretching. Second skill: Also shoulder related. Grumble grumble been effecting so many things grumble. I'm starting arm balance work by taking on crow pose. I want control in this before I move on to super stuff like handstands. Third skill: A continuation from previous and probably on going for a looooong time. Two different running goals of getting back to sub 30min 5K (or better), and run a 10K without time goals to begin with. I see alternating interval training and long runs in my future. Long term skill goals: muscle up, human flag, handstands, maybe a parkour class or an aerial skills class, running super fast and far. https://i.gifer.com/37sf.g My alter-ego's attire has been jeans and Ts for a while now. I need to feel better than that, so time to upgrade. But!... This super-suit can't restrict me in any way during my usual activities, or maybe add to risk. Also money, and fitting rooms are closed. Therefore I will be shopping in my current wardrobe to find things that are more put together than the usual grubbing attire, with an eye to shapes and styles that work for me so I know what to look for when I can go out. Or maybe what patterns to buy and plan for when I can effectively go fabric shopping if I can't find what I want (usual problem.) The related challenge is that I've been slow to get to my exercising and then I have to walk the dog, and I'm still not leaving the house for work, so by the time I shower, why bother? I will rectify this by having one glass of water, then one cup of coffee while hopefully checking in here, and then getting my sweat on first thing in the morning. And if I can't walk the dog in this suit then it doesn't fit my needs. Back to alter-ego https://i.gifer.c She's done a great job keeping my going, so the things my AE will keep at are; food tracking for calorie tracking for knowledge and to make sure I keep an eye on a few nutrient goals. tackle a few house projects, looking at painting radiator covers to start budget track and plan play in the garden
  2. Hello fellow scouts! It has been quite a while ... life has taken me away from NF and back to the laziness of my pre-marathon running self. Quest One : The Body I need to get back into doing something - while sleeping in is nice, it makes for around and unhappy scout! It is time to get back on that running horse and work the body back into shape! Goal : Work out every damn day! Quest Two : The Monster I've been eating poorly and drinking too much booze ... time to cut back and help the body get back into a better shape than round! Goal: Follow any bad meal with a good one! Goal: Don't have more than one boozy drink per meal Quest Three : 011 With the wife traveling more I need to work harder to make her feel special so I want to do stuff for her ... thinking planning date nights Goal: Two date nights with the wife! Life Quest : The Upside Down The wife and I are in serious talk about shifting city. We've gone month to month on our lease and are going to survey areas of the city we're looking to move to. I need to have some real talk with work and see about Goal: Nail down job shift!
  3. Lightning Learns Defense again the Dark Arts Lightning has decided that the best way to Level Up is to learn from the best. Who better to teach her how to defend herself and make herself stronger against the evils of this world than Professor Snape?! The great Professor has several curses, counter-spells and charms to teach the class so I hope everyone is paying attention! Wands at the Ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Duro (The Hardening Charm) Rather than letting someone else turn you into stone, Professor Snape suggests turning myself into a hard body before anyone else can! For this, Lightning will be taking the advice of some other great minds... the people behind Startbodyweight.com. She will be returning to her bodyweight progression and working out with an upper body and lowerbody split. 15 total workouts = an A+ (3 STR/1STA) Petrificus Totalus (body binding) Again, the goal is be able to defend myself against this spell and this time I will do it with some Yummy Yoga and potentially tortuous foam rolling. As there seems to be a student that likes to hit me with this curse regularly I will need to be proactive and keep myself loose and nimble. 3 days a week of yoga/foam rolling = an A+ (2 DEX) Reducio (a counter spell) Since I have been repeatedly hit with the Engorgio spell over the span of my lifetime I am very focused on mastering the counter spell, Reducio. This will take practice (no problem) and patience (big problem). Professor Snape sent me to the library to read about the great Muggle William Banting and told me to follow his wisdom if I want to understand the power of the Reducio spell. Follow the Banting Food List. Eat freely from the green food list, eat up to one serving off of the orange list (daily), and no more than two items off of the red list per week. Potential for (3 CON) points. Bonus points for keeping a food journal. Pass/Fail (1 WIS) Agua Eructo What better way to prepare for having water forcibly shot at you from a wand than by drinking copious amounts of liquid?! 6 Cups of caffeine free/ sugar free drinks a day. Pure water worth double points! Pass/Fail (2 CON) Life Goals Levicorpus There are some bullies running around Slytherin and turning students upside down. I have a fear of being upside down and don't want to embarass myself. So, just to be ready, I'm going to practice being upside down. I can use my headstand bench, spend time in the tripod pose, or use the rings to suspend myself. 3x a week (1 CHA) Slytherin Common Room Professor Snape wants me to keep an eye on some of my fellow students. So, I've signed up for the mini challenge and will be sure to participate every week. (1 CHA) The Professor would also like me to infiltrate some of the other houses and check on the 1st Years. So I will be following at least 5 new students and making weekly comments to them. There are a lot of Gryffindors I have my eye on too so I will be following many current students and making helpful comments to at least 5 of them every week. (2 CHA)
  4. I am going to properly fill this in when I have a bit more time so this is more of a placeholder as I want to at least get my goals set down seeing as the challenge has now started. Goal 1: get back into the routine if doing bodyweight exercises 3 times a week and for this six weeks I'm going to focus on upping my endurance so high number of reps for smaller number of sets. My targets will be for 2 sets of 20 push-ups, 2sets of 20 assisted one leg squats, 2 sets of 20 assisted pull ups and 2sets of 15 hanging knee raises. Of course, if I hit those targets before 6 weeks, I will move on to harder variations but I'd like to be getting some good rep numbers in first. My actual success with the goal though will be measured by the number of workouts per week rather than reaching certain rep counts as I want this challenge to be more about building good habits rather than hitting specific progress goals. STR +3, STA +2 Goal 2: continuing my already running 28 day handstand challenge, I hope to go beyond holding a one minute wall handstand which is the focus of that and try to get to 2 minutes and make some attempts at possibly managing some freestanding handstands. Like goal 1 though, my real target is to practice every day and establish the habit of getting upside down on a regular basis. DEX +3, Goal 3: increase my supple strength by doing active stretching every day. My introduction to bodyweight was through the first Convict Conditioning book so following on from that I'm going to be doing the three active stretches of the Trifecta in the second book- the various progressions towards bridges, L-sits and twists which tie in nicely with my longer term goals of eventually doing handstands, bridges and L-sits. CON +2, STA +2, Goal 4: get creative by doing some writing of any kind for at least 5 minutes every day. Some days it'll maybe sketching out ideas for stories, maybe I'll experiment with some poetry, whatever takes my fancy- I just want to do something creative. It may well be that my writing for the day will be an update to this thread, I certainly plan to update more often than in previous challenges, so in future I'm going to attempt to be more entertaining or interesting with my updates. I don't know how that'll end up or if there will be any kind of style running throughout them but I do hope that I'll have fun finding out. CHA +3 I'll try to do a bit more of a thorough explanation tomorrow, listing how I'll measure things and what I'll count as successes or failures and I might even try to find a way to link my title with what I'm actually doing as at the moment it's just really a mildly amusing misquotation of Spider-man rather than actually having anything to do with my goals. P.s. In future I'll also spell check before I post too!
  5. Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my favorite stories of all time and for my first NF Challenge, I want to invoke Aang and laugh at gravity. {For those who aren't familiar: The show was originally written for kids and aired on Nickelodeon, but it was so good much of the regular audience was made up of over 18s. My local bar in Brooklyn actually packed in a huge crowd when they played the final four-episode finale. The premise of this world is that there are four main superpowers in existence, and four separate nations or groups of people: The Water Tribe, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. Special people from each can "bend" their own group's element. Fun fact: The bending styles are based closely on four Chinese martial arts, respectively: tai chi, hung gar, northern shoalin, and baguathang.} My friend and roommate, C, introduced me to this show the very same week she took me and our other roommate, L, to a medley martial arts class. We joked about what kind of bender we'd be and I was the last one to figure mine out. C already knew she was Waterbender (a natural at Tai Chi, sensitive, graceful) and after a few classes not even the giant dudes could knock L down, even though she's tiny. She's totally an Earthbender. It wasn't until we started using holds that I found I could escape almost any situation, particularly with spinning moves. I'm a goddamn Airbender. Fast forward a year, I'm no longer in New York (which makes me happy and sad at the same time) and no longer taking martial arts classes (which just makes me sad). I will again once I'm settled into a new city, but for now while I'm being a bit nomadic I have to do my Airbender training solo. And Airbending is a lot of acrobatics. In the past I've done exercise I didn't love: Running, swimming laps, lifting weights—along with (excessively) restricting food. It never works for long because eventually my resentment that I have to slog through it every single day outweighs the benefits and I start making rude hand gestures at the whole endeavor. The irony in all this is that the times I've been fittest in my life have been when I've done only the things I like. Mostly? Acrobatic, gravity defying stuff. Here on in I will no longer be dragging myself to a gym. I will no longer fight myself. I am going to do what I enjoy. I need to ditch the desire to be routine. Many people seem to take comfort in consistency and repetition. For me routines are shackles. So instead of trying to do a series of movements or circuits a certain number of times a week I'm going to learn specific tricks. Task 1 Upside down things 1: Learn to drop into a backbend. Aim to practice every day, with a minimum of four times a week. My starting count in an up-from-the-ground wheel is a max of 10 "mississippis" in this pose, I'll aim to stay up just a few longer than feels comfortable at the time and take a count at the middle and end of the challenge. 2: If I master drop-backs before the end of the challenge, I'll move on to practicing my crow/frog stand and bound headstand balance times. I'm currently at about 3 "mississippis" for each. Points up for grabs in first 3 weeks: Strength: 2 Stamina: 1 Dexterity: 1 Task 2 Get bendy Splits are a mainstay of acrobats, ninjas, and basasses of all stripes, including Airbenders. And I want in. My starting yet-to-split measurements are right leg front: about 30 centimeters left leg front: about 30 centimeters horizontal: about 23 centimeters To get lower I'm going to do the following stretches (each for a total of at least five minutes) throughout the day as I take breaks from working and/or before bed: Forward bends Butterfly Pancake Pigeon with quad stretch Frog stretch Reclining Hero Points up for grabs in first 3 weeks: Strength: 1 Dexterity: 2 Task 3 Slash at the thyroid monster with food I have a bit of a tendency to restrict my eating when I want to see results and it's problematic, especially because I have a mostly-dead thyroid. In my early 20s (I'm in my late 20s now) while my thyroid was secretly doing the hereditary death-rumba, I found that to lose about a pound a month I had to workout at least an hour a day, seven days a week, and eat less than 1200 calories a day. I did this on and off for years until my thyroid totally died about a year ago and I gained at least 30 or 40 pounds in a couple of months while barely eating at all. It was awesome. Of course, once I got on the right thyroid medication and threw out the grains, things started to change without the need to starve and exercise to exhaustion. I promise to eat. I will eat when my stomach rumbles. EAT. EAT. EAT. Like Appa and Momo. Points up for grabs in first 3 weeks: Constitution: 1 Life goal Fight the complacency beast I'm a freelancer, which means buckets of freedom, and that's great. But to get more (and more interesting) work I need to do some hard self-promotion including cold emails, and that blows. I'd rather bathe in leeches than "network" but I really like having a bed indoors, so I will spend five hours a week pursuing new work. Points up for grabs in first 3 weeks: Charisma: 1 Wisdom: 1 Ready? Set? Yip yip!
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