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  1. "You have to give it a name." The words were a gentle tug, but she couldn't bring herself to open her eyes yet. She wasn't sure where she was, how she got here, even who she was… The Voice seemed to sense this, somehow, and continued speaking. "Yours is Shaar Al-Khatabi." Ah. That sounded familiar. She mouthed the words slowly, 'al-khatabi', as if pronouncing them for the first time. But they were hers, through and through. Shaar Al-Khatabi continued taking slow metered breaths, the air brisk and cold in her lungs and equally heavy in scent, each one a little less shaky than the one prior as she slowly began to extend her senses outward to her surroundings. Fingers of one hand pressed gingerly into the ground she lay curled on; slightly damp, cold, spongy. She turned her hand, feeling leaves and pine needles against her palm, and honed in on the sensation against her skin as she brushed them aside. And one eye finally opened, slowly, gingerly, to confirm her suspicion that she was in fact, outside. She blinked slowly, trying to clear her blurry vision in vain; sunlight dodged through a heavy nest of branches above to illuminate the forest floor, autumnal hues of leaves stretching as far as the eye could see, piled aside age-worn stumps and massive tree trunks and strangely stacked rock piles. It was all too much - sensory overload - and Shaar squinted her eyes shut again quickly, curling a little tighter into her fetal position. "I feel like I've been poisoned." Exhaustion reigned and each enunciation was a struggle, and barely audible as they passed her lips. But he heard. "I know you do." The words were soft, kind, and tinged with a thread of regret. They settled around her like a warm blanket, comfortable and reassuring, and Shaar quietly relaxed her limbs and opened both eyes this time to have her gaze settle upon The Voice. He crouched at her side, unthreatening, slight in stature and in shape. His clothes were a shambles of rags and there was something about him she couldn't quite place, and perhaps it was his youth that caught her off guard; he was barely a scrap of a boy. Their gazes locked for a long few moments - hers that of a wounded animal, lost and frightened and scared, and his of nothing less than loving kindness, and Shaar felt the world around her slow as her breath hitched in her chest. "We're all so proud of you. All of us." He reached out one small hand, settling it delicately on the crown of her head as he spoke, and at the touch a single tear slid from one eye, curving slowly along her cheek. "You've done so much. Seen so much. Come so far." His intonation light and airy, like the first flakes of snow drifting from the sky on a cold winter day. Like the brief oft-lost moments of the morning where the sun glitters newly across the ocean. The pad of his thumb moved slowly across her temple as he spoke; back and forth, rhythmic. "We've been watching you for a long, long time. You are so skilled in conquering adversity in your path. It's why We chose you. But this challenge… this one…" The Voice let his words trail off as he lifted his hand from her head and moved it to his side, digging amidst the scraps to retrieve what seemed to be some sort of box. It was circular in shape, barely the size of his small palm, and as he held it out to her Shaar regarded the item with a quiet curiosity for several moments before extending her own hand in kind, gently taking the item with dirty fingers. The box had a hinge on one side, and she turned it over and over in her hands a few times before slowly flipping open the lid, steeling herself for whatever may come out or be lying in wait inside. "This one is different." There was a moment of quiet shock, and bright green eyes widened as Shaar found that she was staring right back at herself from the mirrored lid. - this one is different - Time froze for a brief few moments as the words rolled in her head, and Shaar slowly understood the task that lay before her. She let out a slow sigh, tilting her head to one side thoughtfully, watching her mirror image do the same. "This one is different," The Voice reiterated, kind but firm. "And you have to give it a name." She answered in one smooth word, voice lilting with the syllables. "Karaoghlanlar." ---- Hi my friends, and welcome (almost) to 2019! And also welcome to the story of Shaar. A while back I stumbled upon my old Nerd Fitness character I made eons ago, and it seemed to come at the right time for me, as inspiration with what to do with myself moving forward. I've always loved writing and have tried narratives a few times but they've always flamed out. This one though... we'll see, I'll do my best! It'll evolve as I do, and I think that'll be easier and more flexible on my creativity. ( The Karaoghlanlar are the nine evil sons of the Mongol deity Erlik Knah, the god of death and the underworld! ) 2018 was kind of a shit show (kind of??) and moving forward everything is going to be, and needs to be, different. Things that I thought worked for me in the past don't anymore, and I've effectively set myself back to square one to figure out what does work, and how to reawaken and move forward. This challenge will be different too, because this time none of my challenges come from outside, but instead inside. I'm still kind of in a hard place mentally and need to effectively deal with myself and learn how to take care of myself better, and all over again. My first challenge is my biggest: 1. Drink Less This is the big monkey on my back right now, and while I don't drink to excess at all, I still drink more than I would like to and I know it's not good for me. It's not a healthy way to cope and I don't want to do that anymore. It's bad for my skin, it's bad for my weight, it messes with my sleep... I KNOW all this but it's still hard to avoid "just one drink" to relax, and then it turns into two, and sometimes three. DO NOT WANT ANYMORE. My goal here is to not go cold turkey, but if I do want to drink, do it only on the weekends. That's it. Simple, huh?.. 2. Move Intentionally I've become so sedentary due to a. not working yet and b. it being winter in New England, and it's doing a number on me. I feel it in my achy body and my energy levels and this too, is not what I want. I'm not sure what I -do- want fitness-wise anymore, but that'll come in time, and right now I just need to get moving. 30 minutes of intentional movement at least 4 times a week. This can be anything from yoga to mobility work to getting outside. Just do something. 3. Find What Works This last one is less pass-or-fail but more trial-and-error - my self-care toolbox is empty and I need to find out what fits in there now. The first 3 months of a new year are always the hardest for me mentally and emotionally, and I have a feeling 2019 won't be any different... I need to keep a close eye on myself and figure out how to navigate these tricky times now that I'm in a whole new world. That's it! I'll start small, and see where it takes me. <3 ALSO HEY HI SORRY SO SERIOUS SHAAR WHERE'S THE CAPSLOCK?!!?! RIGHT HERE MY DUDES~
  2. Moros

    Moros Reboots Like a Ranger

    Happy New Year Everyone! So, I'm finally back, and glad to be here. I am ready to reboot like a ranger: Ms. Moros is back to normal, and I can reboot my workout program. For a while, her situation was like this: Now, she's better, and I have been rebuilding quietly. Now, I am ready to get back into it. My goals are pretty simple: 1. Continue with my sleep and morning exercise goals 2. Create a healthy way to wind down in the evening, and better prepare for the morning 3. Focus on food - the 80% of the battle: Details are below the fold. I still need to add an appropriate award, but I need to think about that for a bit. Maybe some new NF gear?
  3. Hey ya all! Whimsy here. Been a member since 2017 but have never joined a challenge until now. Was active at the start, accomplishing quest after quest then ultimately ran out of steam and just stopped. ^^' This time I decided to join the challenge to give myself a sense of accountability and a feeling of friendly competitiveness. As for the title of my post, it is my mantra this year. Self-Awareness. I know I am overweight and I have formed bad habits. Self-Acceptance. I accept those as simply facts about myself. Facts that are not gonna go away or disappear magically no matter how much I wish them to do so. Change. And so I'm going to give my all taking the steps I know I need to do in order to change them for my own sake. It will be hard, I have tried changing numerous times in the past only to give up and bury my head in the proverbial sand. But this time, I am armed with the knowledge I have learned from those past tries and this burning feeling in me that is getting stronger and stronger each day I give in to my procrastination and bad habit of self-denial. My main goals these year are: 1. Fitness Goals - Lose more or less 66 lbs. 2. Diet Goals - Avoid unhealthy carbs (cakes, fast food, bread) and stick to my meal plan which involves eating more veggies and drinking more water. 3. Skin Care and Beauty Goals - Be consistent with drinking 2 mugs of warm water after waking up. Follow my daily beauty rituals. 4. Work/Money Goals - Since I work freelance, I need to be consistent with my working schedule. The past year I have been admittedly lazy, working only when I want to or only when I need money for something. This year I'm gonna make it so I work 6 days a week, 8 hrs a day. This is so I can save up money and be able to travel. In line with those main goals, my goals for this 4 week challenge are as follows: 1. Fitness Goal: -Workout consistently. -4x Full Body Strength Training/Week. -Yoga Everyday. Lighter yoga focused more on stretching during the days I have strength training. -Guided Meditation every morning. 2. Diet Goal: -Substitute quinoa instead of eating white rice. -Pace my meals. No eating/drinking after 2 hrs of every meal. -Restrain myself from buying and eating cookies and cakes. -More veggies and lean meat. -Be aware of the food I eat and drink. -No eating after 7pm. 3. Skin Care and Beauty Goals: -Drink 2 mugs of warm water after waking up everyday. -Wait 45 minutes before eating breakfast. - Maintain daily, weekly and monthly beauty rituals. 4. Work/Money Goals: -Work 6 days a week, 8 hrs a day. Adjusting my working time as needed as long as I get to work 8 hrs a day. -Save and appropriate money on the list of things/activities you need to save up on. 5. Additional Goal: -Sleep 6-7 hrs per night. Sleep early, wake up early.
  4. ShadowSilk

    Finding the Trail Again

    ShadowSilk's goals for this Challenge: 1. Stick to the MFP plan 2. Walk for 20 minutes a day, five days a week 3. Do the strength training plan Shaar made for me 3x a week 4. Get back to knitting. I like knitting. 5. Write 500 to 1,000 words a week on any one of my multiple sundry projects -- it doesn't matter whether it's OW or FF, just WRITE. 6. Do my affirmations EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
  5. h3r0

    H3r0. A New Year

    Hiro, hero for hire. Ruthless, intelligent, efficient. You have an impossible problem, then he's the man to call. Slim, trim, white button up shirt, cocky grin, completely self contained and self assured. He stays in peak physical condition through resistance training and daily activity. His home is very warm, cozy, and inviting. His days are spent working, solving problems with planning and calm efficiency. His nights are spent with his loving family and in his various pursuits and adventures. Level 1 (again) 2019 a new year and a new me. I will get my fitness back, no more having a great month of workouts followed by 3-4 months of inactivity so I have to start from scratch all over again. I just came off of a good month of 5x5 training and a dirty bulk, starting second month with HFT and a mini cut. (waistline got a little out of control) 2019: I will continue to work out every month for the entire year. JAN: I will workout 5 days a week. I will be organized and plan my days. January's focus is organization. I have a new daily planner and I will use it and set daily MITs. 2019: I will obtain my Lean Expert certification. JAN: I will use my planner every week day and attempt to use it on the weekends. I need some fun and adventure in my life. My life is very structured with WORK -> DINNER / BATHE KIDS / WORKOUT -> BEDTIME -> WORK. 2019: I will perform one fun activity or adventure every month. JAN: I will practice drawing once a week.