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  1. This will be a multi-part challenge, spanning at least the first 3 challenges of the year. I'm keeping the first one simple, and will focus on some good foundational stuff. Like Lara Croft, parkour, climbing, combat, and outdoors exploration are all totally my jam. I even have a passing interest in ancient civilizations, and will likely be scrambling around some Mayan Ruins in the early spring. Main Quest: Parkour all of the things!!! Climb all of the things!!! Balance in mind-bending ways! Play with weapons! Look like someone who could compete on ANW. 2015 and how we arrived here: Major goals for 2016 My overly full schedule: Goals for this challenge: I'm keeping things very simple and foundational this challenge, as I already have an overburdened schedule. Goal 1 - Be agile like Lara (fitness) Lara can balance on challenging objects, pull up easily onto things, and perform flips without breaking a sweat. My goal is to collect an average of 10 minutes of skill work/day, the skill work divided between: Kipping pull ups, Rail walking, Front walkovers, Back walkovers, Forearm stand/scorpion, and weapons play. Right now, I can do kipping pull ups, but I get nothing at all from the kip as my technique is poor. But kipping is much more efficient in parkour and will also lead me to a muscle up much sooner. Forearm stand and scorpion will help with the core and shoulder engagement needed for handstands. Rail walking is important for parkour, and I constantly need to improve. I'll post a video of my current status with the walkovers. And weapons are fun! ungraded sub-goal: I'm horrible about prehab and foam rolling if I don't force myself to do it. So, the goal for this is to also average 10 minutes/day. Goal 2 - Proper fuel for exploration (diet) Surviving in the wilderness is impossible without proper fuel. This goal is simple: Track protein, and manage 110 g/day (I'm open to suggestions on the number. I weigh 145 lb). ungraded sub-goal: minimize soda and alcohol. Goal 3 - Stay mentally sharp in the wilderness (life) Lara had to be mentally sharp to explore, find new artifacts, do tons of parkour, and thrive in the wilderness. And this requires excellent sleep. For me, sleep is the foundation for improved productivity, good muscle recovery, and reduced anxiety for me. The goal is to set a solid bedtime routine, where I stop eating food after 8:30 pm, I drink some calming herbal tea, electronics are turned off by 10:00 pm, and I read after that until falling asleep. On weekends, everything can shift back an hour. The goal is 6 days/week of compliance with this plan. ungraded sub-goal: Make at least 2 animated graphics for Xcode apps. Continue working through tutorials and messing around with some of my partially finished apps.
  2. Main goal: Climb all of the things! Parkour all of the things! Thumb my nose at gravity! Make and post videos of all of the things! My schedule is already really full, so I'm not biting off too much this challenge, fitness-wise. I already spend a lot of time doing parkour, rock climbing, and yoga. When I can manage to squeeze it in, I also like hand balancing, playing with weapons, hiking, rucking, and playground workouts. I'm also trying hard to remember that rest days are important, too. Even if I don't have so many direct fitness goals, I tend to log and talk incessantly about the parkour and climbing and other shenanigans. Because PARKOUR!!! and CLIMBING!!! Goal 1: Stick to strict rations (food goal) Between all of the holidays, the Halloween candy, football booze, and my body trying to convince me to fatten up for winter, it's really tough to avoid eating like an asshole. But, for once, I don't want to just brush off this season as a "dirty bulk". So, it's time to stick with (what is for me) strict rations. 1a. Fix that breakfast. I typically eat an apple, greek yogurt, and some sort of breakfast bar. Not only is the breakfast bar unhealthy, but I'm also usually hungry well before lunch time. So, the goal is to have 5 days/week where I avoid any sort of breakfast bar or cereal, and instead replace that by cooking eggs or some oatmeal. 1b. Continue loving the crock pot. The goal is at least 6 batch cooked meals over the course of the challenge. Having healthy food in abundance tends to encourage healthy eating. 1c. Don't overdo the booze. I'm not being as strict as last challenge, but I'm still only allowing myself 12 drinks over the 6 weeks. Also, whenever I'm in a social drinking situation and don't really want to drink, but go along with the crowd, I lose a point. I can re-gain that point by either foregoing one drink for the challenge or by making a point of passing up some social drinking. Goal 2: Jump like I'm in Martian gravity. (fitness goal) At this point in my parkour training, I really feel that my jumping ability is holding me back. I was a decent (but not great) jumper before the knee blowout, and I unfortunately still haven't managed to even regain my old abilities. One of the better ways to jump higher is to add some weight to that squat. So, twice/week, I will do some sort of squat session. It might be goblet squats. It might be assisted pistols. It might be weighted bulgarian split squats. I also need to take better care of my knee(s) if I want to continue with training hard. But, I learned last challenge that if I don't make a goal of doing my prehab work and foam rolling, I just end up not doing it. So.... Goal is twice/week squat session and 5x/ week prehab. Goal 3: Science! (Life goal) Now that the kids are in school, I have much more time to return to my scientific roots. One of my future goals is to make a bunch of science and math educational apps. I have a lot of ideas. What I lack is some of the coding knowledge. So, the goal is to completely finish my Xcode 7 and Swift course. Goal 4: Become a data nerd -> Hack my headspace. (Life goal) Most days, the kids are in school, the husband is at work, and I'm spending too much time like this And to be fair, I am very productive. I just don't always deal very well with too much alone-ness and too much unstructured time. I'm prone to anxiety. I also have bouts of being overly pissed off and some bouts of seasonal affective disorder. Anyone who has followed me for any length of time knows that I'm the antithesis of being a data nerd. Usually I just wing everything and more or less remember what's what. But for once, I want to keep better notes, so I can see a pattern. The goal for this is to track what effects any of these have when I'm having mood issues and want to re-gain control of my headspace: calming tea, playing the piano, yoga, guided meditation, taking a nature walk, and any other methods I can come up with. I'm not going to expect results this challenge. I just want to get in the habit of recognizing the signs of a bad mood, trying something, and tracking how well it works. And here is the spreadsheet. Bonus: #1 - Get back in the habit of playing the piano. At least 60 minutes/week. Hopefully, this can double with goal 4 in helping with the headspace. Bonus #2 - Be resourceful! I'm going to shamelessly steal Raptron's Catch-em-all hand balancing fest. Because I can. Bonus #3 - Actually participate in the guild mini this time. I'll probably have some strong edits for this later. The new challenge thread was already exploding, and I wanted to get in on the action right away!
  3. What? Another turncloak assassin? Autumn is my favorite time of year, and I'm always looking for excuses to head outdoors for hiking, exploration, and other fun stuff. Plus, all of the parkour people seem to be here these days, so I'm going to Ranger it up for this challenge. A little about me: For each area, the goal is to reach 100 points over the course of the challenge. I'm expecting to do my usual parkour classes and climbing sessions during the challenge. But, I don't specifically get any points for any of them. Goal 1: Explore the area around the vault -hike on a trail that I've never done before (+20) (I love hiking, but I tend to go back to old favorites rather than try new things) -go climbing outdoors (+20) -attend an outdoor parkour meet up (+20) -go on parkour jogs of 2+ miles (+5 pts/jog) -go on a 2+ mile nature walk (+2 pts/walk) -go camping (+20) -go canoeing and fishing (+20) -collect new videos of doing parkour outdoors. (+5 pts/video) -do misc. outdoorsy stuff that seems to fit here (+? pts.) (new) -learn about the flora and fauna native to Shenandoah. Be respectful of the wildlife while camping. Try to identify plants and such while hiking (+5 pts) -learn to identify the local snakes, and learn about their behaviors (+5 pts) -learn about the native wildlife in Shenandoah 2. Avoid Rad Poisoning -only 1 alcoholic drink/week (mmm.. football booze) during the challenge (+5 pts/week with 0 or 1 drinks) -no soda at all (+5 pts/week) -try new recipes (+10 pts/recipe) (mmmm.. iguana on a stick) -do batch cooked meals in the crock pot (+5 pts/meal) -5 times/week, eat a serving of veggies first for evening snack (+5 pts/week) 3. Level up my game -be able to do Kong vaults with no hesitation (+20 pts) -learn a new yoga pose from the yogajournal.com Advanced Challenge poses (+20 pts) -30+ second rail balance or completely walk across the rails at the parkour school (maybe 25 feet long with turns). (+20 pts) -successfully land a lache that is far enough that I couldn't just reach and grab the next bar (+20 pts). -Climb a new route that is at least a 5.10+ (+20 pts) -Do something that absolutely terrifies me (probably from the parkour obstacle class). (+20 pts) -Weapon practice (+1 pts for each 15 minutes) -Progress through Age of Pandora. (+2 pts for every chapter finished) 4. Study the Big Book of Science: -swift or Xcode tutorials (+10 pts per non-trivial tutorial) -work through swift manual (+1 pt/10 pages) -complete non-trivial project Euler programs (+5 pts/program) (new) +1 point for project Euler program, but coding must be in Swift -resume Duolingo practice (+ 1 pts for every 50 XP on Duolingo). -make some sort of math education app for my kids to play with (+25 pts/finished app) -read (+5 pts/book) -do science experiments with the kids (+5 pts/experiment) 5. Keep the camp clean and comfortable: -Keep the house close enough to guest-ready that I never have to decline my kids' request to have friends over. (+5/week) -learn a new piano song (+20) -paint Russian doll minions (+5 pts/doll) - morning adulting before play - after getting kids on the bus, must take care of adulting tasks before hopping on the computer or relaxing (+5 pts/week) -uploading vacation photos and creating a vacation photo album for the kids (+10 pts). + ??? points for any other significant adulting, cleaning, or crafting related task. I'm sure things will come up during the course of the challenge, and I'll assign appropriate points to them.
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