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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....