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I have decided to continue my LotR themed challenge since I am in the midst of a 30 day challenge that is relevant to what I was struggling with last time. I'll copy and paste my challenge goals below: I have been wrestling with the urge to read the LotR series again, so what better way to motivate me than to theme my challenge after LotR. I could use some inspiration and heart from some of Tolkien's heroes. As this challenge progresses, I will no doubt be channeling some of the traits of some of my favorites, specifically the race of Men because I find myself identifying most closely with Tolkien's human characters. . Lately, some... temptations have arisen, so it is also fitting to work through a challenge that themes these temptations as the pull of The One Ring. And so it begins. Goal 1: Resist The One Ring "Not if I found it on the highway would I take it I said. Even if I were such a man as to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this thing was when I spoke, still I should take those words as a vow, and be held by them. ‘But I am not such a man. Or I am wise enough to know that there are some perils from which a man must flee." -- Faramir For this goal, I will be channeling Faramir, who is without a doubt my favorite of the characters who successfully resists The One Ring, even though he had reasons outside of the Dark Lord's power to take it from Frodo. I also identify with Faramir's struggles to make his father proud, to know that he isn't the favored son, and his choice to be peaceful and merciful by nature: “I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” Without getting into specifics, this goal focuses on recognizing when and why these temptations occur: what triggers them and what is the best way to resist them. Faramir's quote above also brings to mind scripture: "But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." -- 1 Timothy 6:11-12 learn about these temptations and what hidden dangers lurk within them set boundaries and barricades against temptations; arm and fortify yourself against the attacks of the enemy be brave and stand strong when you can, but have an escape plan remember BRACE: Breathe, Remember the truth, Accountability Call, Escape the situation if you get lost, call out to your fellowship of brothers to help you find the way again fast and pray to build discipline celebrate victories and milestones, but remain resolute and do not lose your temperance Goal 2: Build Strength, Wisdom, Courage, and Heart to Become Who You Were Meant to Be "But I am the real Strider, fortunately. I am Aragorn son of Arathorn; and if by my life or death I can protect you, I will." -- Aragorn For this goal, I will be channeling Aragorn because of his strong heart, his wisdom, and his courage, which grows as he breaks free of the shame of his father and steps into his destined role as heir to the throne of Gondor. Aragorn is aware of his flaws and weaknesses as a man, but he strives to do good by serving others. He faces peril, inspires others into battle, and fights courageously for his fellowship. None of this would be possible if he had allowed himself to get weak or distracted or lose his self-control. He is also faithful to the cause of defeating evil and to the love of his life. He is watchful and alert, wise and intelligent, humble and modest by nature but also mighty and proud when necessary. Some aspects of this goal will look familiar if you have followed me for some time. awaken before dawn pray/meditate/study scripture & other books of wisdom fast daily (intermittently) eat whole foods (mostly plants) drink at least 64 ounces of water daily WHM breathing daily (I really need to get back to this; it clears my head and may help stave some of the temptation triggers) read at least 30 minutes every day (LotR, of course) spend at least 30 minutes every day in nature strengthen the body (stones, log, sandbags, cinderblocks, sledgehammer, buckets) spend time with my queen; this includes going to bed with her and not staying up late Goal 3: Rebuild Your Heart and Your Kingdom "For he was a gentle heart and a great king and kept his oaths; and he rose out of the shadows to a last fair morning." -- Aragorn, speaking of King Theoden Theoden is a good example of someone who, as he grew older and more tired, allowed himself to become misled and lost sight of his true purpose as king. It corrupted him and led to the usurping of his kingdom by evil forces. Once he is set free of this spell, however, he steps into his role as king and, in spite of the bleak outlook, fights for his people and for the good of all Middle Earth. For this goal, I am both literally and figuratively referring to my "kingdom" (as in my home, my domain) meditate on/reclaim my purpose as husband and father (as "king") spend time with daughters; hug them, play with them, go on adventures with them keep my current house in order: clean daily, keep the yard clean and mowed, make necessary repairs work on the other house, as well, at least twice per week; be assertive but clearheaded when any obstacles arise
Okay, so, in keeping with the spirit of simplicity, I've got one primary goal for this challenge. I'm going to walk 50 miles in August. This means that I probably have to do 5k, 4 days a week. That would put me at about 51 for the month. I might mix it up a little: throw some bike miles on there (once I have my repair kit) at the same 3 biking: 1 walking ratio that I used previously. There will probably be some dog hikes in there too. I went back and did the calcs: last month I put around 42 miles on the clock, which is good. That should make 50 a bit of a stretch, but an attainable goal. My long-term plan is still (in a few years) hiking one of the Highland Ways with my daughter, once she's old enough, so I'm going to have to throw in a few all-day hikes somewhere in the future to make sure I'm building the longer endurance as well. I figure kiddo should be at least 5-6 or so before we attempt something like that, so I've got some planning time. Plus, assuming we can get past the damn COVID thing, I've got a trip sketched out for next year anyway that is time-dependent, so it has to come first. Other than that, I've decided against actually tracking calories. I'm going to focus on keeping on what I'm doing, meals-wise. The high-fiber, non-meat lunches, two meals/day and just generally trying to cut back around the edges is the plan for this challenge. I'll re-examine at the end of this one and see if I really need to log calories, or whether I can manage this on my own. So: eat better and walk 50 miles. I think I can do it. Current Progress [❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚❚] 8.72/50 miles
I’m Ann of Vries, often Adventurer and occasional Ranger. I decided it was time to do my semi-annual “holiday” to the Rangers Guild. I’m an American currently living in London with my British husband and 2 year old son (more on him later). However, this urban status is to be short lived as we are in the process of purchasing a woodland property in the magical Wye Valley/Forest of Dean and expect to move there this autumn/winter (move date TBD). (You may not have heard of the Forest of Dean, but you’ve probably seen it. A lot of movies and TV shows have been filmed in its faerie tale woodland.) Meanwhile, I’ve been on a pilgrimage of my own to follow my heroes the Fellowship of the Ring on their Walk to Mordor. During the last challenge, I just missed my goal of arriving at the Trollshaws (211/221 miles). For this challenge, I will put my chin up and continue my journey. The recent months have been difficult—there’s been the global pandemic crisis, of course, and myriad challenges caused by Lockdown restrictions in the UK. My husband was unemployed at the beginning of the pandemic but thankfully found a new contract in the midst of it and has been working from home—which presents its own challenges. (He will eventually be commuting to the Midlands part-time and working from home part-time, probably starting early next year.) Oh, and there’s all of the issues of moving house as well, which isn’t easy even during the best of times. But then there is also my toddler, the Enting, who is in the throes of the Terrible Twos and can foil my attempts at lengthy walks and... well, anything and everything else I’m trying to accomplish! The Challenge: Find the Entwives There are a great many tasks involved in any moving of home, and this one of course is no different. We need to keep on with the solicitors, get the building survey done, go through our things, decide what’s going with us and what’s going away, set up a removal service once we have a date, etc. Part 2 of this search for the Entwives is to Find Joy in Growing. The Terrible Twos have been pretty hard on me. I want to remember the joy of little Entings instead of spending this time always feeling exhausted and frustrated. Beyond Rivendell I’m about 100 miles from Rivendell, but I intend to get much further beyond it. My goal is 205 miles—which should take me just past the “6 Days Past Rivendell” milestone on my Walk to Mordor app. This is based on an average of 6 miles a day starting in Week Zero. These miles are taken straight from my Fitbit—they include any puttering about, errands, long walks, chasing of toddler, etc. I stick to challenges better when the record-keeping is easy and straight forward. Learn from the Rangers They say that you’ll be chasing your toddler until you’re exhausted and in a way that’s true, but I’ve found that doesn’t seem to include going on long walks which has always been my principle form of exercise and was fine when he was littler and less mobile since I could just put him in the carrier or buggy and go as far as I wanted. Add in Lockdown restrictions/social distancing in a big city, husband working from home, preparing for selling/buying/move of homes, and I’ve found my weight frustratingly ticking up. I need to find alternatives I can do in a shorter time frame—preferably that don’t require much (if any!) kit change, new equipment, or set-up since I just don’t have time for that (and I’m trying not to buy things when we’re about to move). This is an exploratory goal. I aim to try different things over the course of the challenge with intent to choose one (or some) to continue with by the end. They don’t have to be formal “exercise.” One idea I have is just playing “tag” with my toddler in the park. (Suggestions welcome!) Maintain or Lose I want to either maintain my current weight (which is admittedly a touch higher than I prefer), or make progress on it going down. I’m already a pretty “clean” and healthy eater, so I feel that weight gain is mostly about my activity level. Ever on we go....
I've got 7 more weeks to go, theoretically, it could be more or it could be less, and there are still some things I need to do to prepare for Wolvie's arrival, so a great part of the challenge will be focused on that. Goal 1. Prepare Wolvie's arrival. - Wash crib reducers ✅ - Wash clothes ✅ ✅ - Wash nappies ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ - Assemble and attach crib to bed ✅ - Buy the few items still missing ✅ ✅ - Prepare hospital bag ✅ - Prepare questions for my next medical appointment ✅ - Finish writing my labor plan for the hospital (still need to collect some more information on a couple of topics) ✅ - Mental preparation ✅ ✅ ✅ Goal 2. Be active every day if possible. - Walking every day - Spinning babies stretches every day - Yoga 4-5 days a week - Try to do at least some short bodyweight workout once a week ✅ Goal 3. Stop it with the news. I need to pay attention to the end of confinement updates, but I don't need to look at my news feed so many times a day. Every time I feel the itch to open the site, I have first to do some other thing for at least 15 minutes: reading, drawing, practicing icelandic, or playing a game.