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And so it Begins. The countdown to Shodan, that I have probably been trying to avoid for the better part of a year now. I didn't want to test in April (I had other fitness goals/baselines I'm trying to return to before the exam), but with Sensei apparently being okay with me teaching without a blackbelt and many, many, many people ganging up on me to test, I pretty much have no choice outside of a massive injury. And so here we are. My approach to my beginning degree. And as is typical, my body is still kind of a mess, so this challenge is all about preparing for the exam and the strain I'm about to take over the next 5 weeks. 1) Shodan Prep - 8 hours of class a week, plus yoga and November Project It's been a long, long time since I've been this active. I suspect it's going to suck, but I need it to polish things on my test, plus help with my flexibility, and up my endurance. I initially put myself as having 9 hours, but it's been so long since I've done more than 5 hours in a week, I don't want to burn myself out. Saturdays I have the ability to train for 4 hours in classes, and will probably do so as all of those classes involve people who I really like having eyes on me for Shodan prep. I figure I can make 4 additional hours otherwise pretty easily during the week, even if I take it light. 2) Physical and Mental Selfcare - Thursday night intensive selfcare. So I figure with all this activity, I'm going to be exhausted, mentally and physically. Mentally, I'm blocking off all Thursdays until the exam as hermit-time. I love the dojo, but it also means I'll be dealing with people for longer hours than I'm used to, even if the people involved tax me less than the general public. I also will take the time to do whatever stretching, foamrolling, and sleeping I need that the other days haven't covered. 3) Better Fuel - Paleo-centric Intermitent Fasting (16-8ish), Food purge I liked the 16-8ish window I had going on last challenge. Company being here screwed that up, but it works well for me otherwise. What doesn't work well is that Company shows her love in gifts, and in this instance a lot of the gifts were junk food. So I need to find everything she left behind and either store it out of sight or just straight up toss it. I feel bad, but when we started dating had told her after a while that would happen. Otherwise, mostly-paleo is the plan. I might try to figure out some easily prepped lunch plans, too. 4) Big Events: Major tasks and events for the upcoming challenge March 16th: Dojo cleaning and St Patrick's day gathering March 28th: Kanai memorial class at dojo March 30th: Kanai memorial seminar at NEA April 5th: Final Fantasty Distant World's Concert April 6th: Friend's shodan exam April 12: Shodan Exam April 13th: Sioux memorial seminar at Harvard Aikikai Figure out hakama size, order that and belt Schedule windshield tank repair March 25 Schedule 2 massages before exam March 20 April 10 Get haircut before FF Concert Final Jamaica vacation logistics So very busy the next several weeks. Plus side is that work is going smoothly (or at least as smoothly as science allows), so I can focus on all this stuff rather than having a split attention and panic. Onwards and upwards and to the Start.