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  1. Decisions I made during the last challenge: 1. I think I need to switch gyms. I'm currently with Planet Fitness, and I hate it. One of the things that brought me out of bulimia 6-7 years ago was barbell training; and I miss it terribly. Planet Fitness doesn't have any; but there is a new gym close to my house that is an old school gym that has many. Also the new gym claims to be open 24 /7, actually open 24/7. If it is that will help a lot because, most of the time I don't seem to be done with my day, in a way that I could workout until 8 or 9 in the evening, (when my planet fitness closes). I got some client payments last week and I'm financially stable right now, so I'm going to go check out the new gym tomorrow. 1 (a). Recently, Steve posted something on the NF Facebook page about working out every day of the week being easier than working out 2-4 times a week. And I realized, for me at least, that's true. When I worked out everyday, there was no question as to whether or not I'd workout that day, I didn't need motivation or even really a schedule, it was just a question of what the workout would be. I've been very cautious to workout every day again because I didn't want to retrigger the bulimia. (My purge method was excessive exercise). But if I make a workout everyday schedule with less intense, recovery, days; I'll lessen the risk of constant injury, and won't go overboard. 2. I really need to eat more, earlier in the day. I habitually eat very little during the day and then eat everything in the evening. But on the rare occasion that I eat enough during the day, my dinners at night become very reasonable, and I feel better overall. 3. I still need to drink more water and get more sleep. Goal 1: Workout every day. Goal 2. Eat more, earlier, in smaller portions, and everything should be clean Goal 3. Water-6 cups at least; Sleep -6 hours at least. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Work Work Work Work Work Jujitsu (AM) Church “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ “ Cardio Resistance Jujitsu (PM) Life Group Errands Cardio Resistance Endurance or Speed Hams (RDLs) & Chest Yoga Abs Yoga Endurance Hams (RDLs), Lats & Delts
  2. In the before times, the Monks had a local apothecary thread designed for discussing various health and injury related questions, and how to adapt training around them. In the interests of sharing the love, I've bought a new medical thread second-hand, cleaned it up, sanded it, repainted it, and given it a bit of a 22nd century polish.
  3. Greetings and Salutations, friends! My name is Ryan and I go under the moniker "Wild Wolf". But, most people just call me Wolfie. I've been Rangering since 2014 on and off, seeing many highs and many lows during that time frame. I've also been apart of Nerd Fitness since 2012! Recently, I was feeling really good about my challenges until about November of last year. I was laid off from my day job which sent me into a spiral of self doubt with a sprinkle of depression. I AM the provider for my large Wolf Pack™ and when I heard the news I was being let go (along with 120 other people) I started to panic. Between a mortgage, bills and everything in between that needed to be paid, I set off to find another job ASAP. Little did I know it would take me over 2 months to do so! I finally landed a job in late January, and my official first week was last week. My mood has drastically changed and I feel like I'm starting to gain some traction. FINALLY! During the time period where I didn't have a day job, I started a book series called: The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. Now, these are EPIC FANTASY style books, with some reaching over 1100 pages long. Yeah.... big ass books. I started listening to them on Audible because the 4th book in the installment, Rhythm of War, was about to release. I consumed books 1 (Way of Kings) and 2 (Words of Radiance) in about 17 days, lol. I couldn't stop listening! I'm nearly finished with book 3 (Oathbringer) and looking forward to hopping on to book 4 right after. To give you a brief summary of what The Stormlight Archive is, please read THIS. I only link the summary of the series because I would end up taking 15 pages to explain it myself, lol. The books are AMAZING! My challenge, however, deals with the Immortal Words that each Knight Radiant must speak, starting with the First Ideal: Life before Death Strength before Weakness Journey before Destination It is within these words that strives a code to live by, A foundation, if you will. There's so much meaning in these words that I think about them almost daily. And, what exactly do they mean to me, you ask??? Life before Death: Living each day to it's fullest. Don't wait for tomorrow to get something done, or forgive someone, or tell someone you love them. Don't let a day go by where you regret NOT doing something. Strength before Weakness: To me, this doesn't really have a lot to do with physical strength. This is choosing to be strong in those moments of weakness. This is choosing to do the hard thing over taking the easy route (which isn't always the right path). This is building up a mental capacity to kick each day in the nuts and never let stress or anxiety or depression to bring you down and make you question your self worth. Journey before Destination: I forget to enjoy the ride of life sometimes. I worry too much about the end results instead of relishing in the journey that gets me there. Smile at the little things. Don't take life so serious because it WILL weigh you down. You have a choice. DON'T. LET. IT. This is what my respawn challenge is about. I speak the Immortal Words and hold fast to the First Ideals each and every day. My Goals: Stay Active Stretch/mobilize DAILY Time Management Feed the Creative Monster™ That's it. No fluff or crazy shenanigans. Just get back to basics and stay engaged on the forums. So, let's drop in and get ready to kick some ass! Wolf
  4. Sometimes things are a lot. This year so far has definitely been that. Illness, extended lockdown rules, isolation, work stress, body image issues, relationship insecurity, more illness, more lockdown, and topped off by the sudden death of a friend. I mean, that all sounds pretty awful, but I want to point out there has been a lot of good also, and many of these issues are being worked on. This challenge is basically about maintaining a steady level of functionality and good quality of life whilst making major changes and working on issues before they turn into major disasters. Simple, right? Maybe. Guideline One: Gotta Eat Eating is essential to life, funnily enough. Skipping meals is not a good habit to be falling back into, and unfortunately it's something I've realised that I'm doing more and more. It has a noticeable physical impact. Also not good. So: I am a person who eats in the morning, after coffee, of course! I am a person who eats in the afternoon and evening. I am a person who eats when they are hungry. I am a person who recognises not eating is self-destructive. Guideline Two: A Little Vanity Helps the Sanity Fairly self-explanatory, I need to keep on top of my self-care. This also is sliding, and it is likely because I rarely leave the flat for reasons other than work. Also not good. I am a person who recognises that they feel better when they take proper care of themselves. Guideline Three: Movement For the Soul As mentioned above, there is some difficulty in leaving my flat right now. That needs nipped in the bud. I am a person who feels at home in nature. I am a person that enjoys walking. I am a person comfortable in almost all weathers. Guideline Four: Creation I'm not saying D&D has been a lifeline, but... D&D has been a lifeline. I am a player in one campaign, my wonderful Sunday group, and I've found that I am getting into the roleplay side of things far more than I expected. It's been great fun developing my angry dwarf! I also run a small campaign where I'm getting to stretch my roleplay antics and try new things, and I am thoroughly enjoying the worldbuilding aspect of it. It's at the point where I'm considering creating a PbP too... I am a person who revels in creative work. I am a person who actively makes time for creative work, but does not let it consume everything. I am a person who enjoys trying new things. I am a person who wants to share my creations. I am a person who enjoys the social aspect of that sharing. So I've got no actual goals, but that's just fine with me. Goals can come once I know the general shape my life is going to take once these decisions have been made and the dust begins to settle. Goals can be made when I know I'm in a stable enough place to put in the extra work to achieve them. I did debate coming back here, but eventually decided it was for the better that I did, even with a kind of non-challenge. I like it here, and the extra accountability is essential right now.
  5. [SOMEDAY IS TODAY] They drifted across a vast landscape. Directly below, stretching endlessly outwards in almost every direction, was a forest of the like they had never seen. Immense trees with impossibly thick, red barked trunks reached up towards the sky, deep green canopies spreading below the blazing might of two suns. Below, though not so far as to be called small, other canopies reached up with many hands. Some were broad leafed and fluttered in the light breeze, some were sharp, like needles, and some were narrow. It was impossible to put a name to every shade of green the leaves showcased, or every shade of brown prevalent on the trunks. In one direction, opposite the twin suns, far away enough to be faint, yet large enough at a distance that they must indeed be true giants, a mountain range rode the horizon. White capped, grey and purple flanked, and entirely unlike anything they had ever seen before. "This age has passed." The deep bass rumble sounded more like an earthquake than a person. "This age is yet to come." They frowned, opening their mouth- -a hoarse, pained grunt escaped them, quickly followed by a low moan of pain. Colours blazed before their eyes as dizziness swept across them, though they quickly receded. Yeti lay still, shivering, blinking back stinging tears of pain. When they could see clearly, it was to realise that they were staring up at a roughly hewn ceiling, one entirely unfamiliar to them. Slowly, carefully, frowning as they did so, they turned their head to look around. They weren't in the alcove. They were in a grey room that looked as though it had been upended. Every cupboard door had been left open, the contents spilled across floor and work surfaces alike. One wooden chair sat against the wall, two others were on their sides in the middle of the mess. Dried puddles of blood littered the floor. They frowned. Dull pain rippled across their forehead. Vague memories of stumbling into the room surfaced, of desperately searching for something to stop the bleeding, stop the pain. It seemed like they'd managed, but not with any degree of finesse. Looking down, they saw they'd managed to bind their left knee and that the bleeding had indeed stopped. It might have been better, however, if they'd managed to use some actual bandaging instead of what seemed to be the bedspread. Yeti sighed, then winced as that brought a bubble of pain. Broken ribs. Perfect. They felt their chest carefully, but couldn't find anything beyond the mass of mottled black and purple bruising. Maybe that was good, maybe that was bad. They didn't know. So they began to move, slowly, carefully, inch by inch, until they sat slumped against the wall, shivering and panting. "Birds?" The word escaped in a plaintive, broken voice. Choked and hoarse, wavering with unshed tears. Nothing answered their question, and there was no sign of either fallen feathers or whitish scat to indicate that they'd even been inside. The irritating, overly loud, and oddly faithful companions had gone. With that thought, the tears finally began to fall.
  6. Hello there friends. I have been gone a bit. In early September I ended up in the ER, thinking I was dying of a heart attack. Instead, it turns out I had advanced gallbladder disease that had been ignored for a decade, because every time I had sought treatment for the symptoms, it was dismissed as an anxiety/panic attack. I spent September thru December radically changing everything about my diet, and discovered that an aggressively low-fat, high-fiber diet is the best thing I could have done for myself in many ways. Wish I'd learned that years ago, really. I built myself up to walking 4.5 miles at a stretch, feeling great and doing well. I dropped 20 pounds and overall, felt pretty good. Sadly, a medical problem ignored for a decade does not go away so simply. Even though I chased away the worst of the symptoms, the root of the problem remained, a ticking time bomb waiting to send me back into the ER with another attack; or worse, rupture and sepsis, and a high risk of death. Two days ago I had surgery to remedy the problem, and now I am laid up and resting. In theory, I will be back to (mostly) normal in one week, with a full resumption of my strength in three weeks. Around the end of this challenge, in fact, which seemed serendipitous. So, I am here. Wounded, but unbeaten. Ready to convalesce and then reclaim my strength again. =============== Goals, goals! Right. It is a challenge, after all. 1) Walk 1 mile before 1/20 (my follow-up appointment) COMPLETE! 2) Walk a full 5k before the end of the challenge COMPLETE! 3) Lift my daughter on 2/1 (three weeks post-surgery) COMPLETE!
  7. I'm turning this into a six week challenge because I can. Also, this series of challenges has growth as a central theme, and growth is continuous. Last time around I did indeed experience growth, and with that came knowledge. I'm putting that knowledge to use in this challenge and taking on a more freestyle kind of format. I do have goals, and in-particular I want to get myself into race-shape before I kick my season off at the beginning of January, but I'm taking a slightly more relaxed and reactive approach in order to accommodate the unexpected events that keep cropping up and my emotional and physical reactions to them. I've gone back to paper and pen, planned the next section of this path of mine, and given myself some guidelines in order to help me keep moving forwards. This challenge I will run. This challenge I will do yoga. This challenge I will lift. This challenge I will do body weight exercise. This challenge I will also study, read, knit, draw, cook, clean, and work towards achieving the best balance in life I can. If there is one hard and fast rule that can never be changed then it is this: there is no such thing as an unacceptable or wasted day. Rest is vital, emotionally and physically. GOALS AND GUIDELINES Run, but only on days off (almost always twice a week) Work out, but only before work (and just twice a week for the next six weeks). Also included under this goal is grip working, specifically working on my grip with cold hands. This can be done up to three times a week for the next six weeks. Study, at least half an hour on days off and at least fifteen minutes on workdays (and on work days, always before work) Keep stress low. Make time for fun and creativity every day, especially after work. And that's it. There are more things, but they're like background noise at the moment. The above is what I am primarily focused on. It is my hope that keeping things relaxed like this for a short time will help me make and keep the habits I'm trying to form, and then next time around I can work on SMART goals. In addition to all of that, I will update daily and check-in with others as often as I can. Doing that is one of the things that helped keep me going when things got tough and tiring towards the end of last challenge. Let's see how this plays out.
  8. I sat down today to brainstorm my next challenge and couldnt do it. I was unable to tell what my priorities are. I want to get into Cross Fit again, I want to write book #2 and I want to spend time with my dog in nature. I want to recover from back surgery, I want to get to 99,0kg, I want to prep keto meals, I want to stay away from addictive behavior, I want to be financially stable ( teach more).... I don't see how I can get all of those things done at once since I have mental health issues that make me feel overwhelmed easily, and I am unsure about priorities. So I will use this challenge to try out different versions of a regular week and hopefully at the end I will know what I want a regular week to look like. So this might happen ( or not ) being keto and reaching 99 kilos are non negotiable. I will reach this goal ( if I don't fuck up!!!! ) during this challenge after working on it since June. After that its maintenance for a while. The energy then can go towards other goals. dog walks are also non negotiable and I will do a short walk 5 times a week and a long one 2 times a week.. I have a garden for her to play and pee in, but still, this is the minimum to be a good dog mum! ( weekly steps will be counted towards Walk to Mordor ) If Cross Fit doesn't work out I will probably add to my walking goal and try more hiking with the pup. the bodyweight stuff was hard to do by myself and I suspect I need a group setting to kick ass. So Crossfit ( with scaled down movements!!!! ) it is. I texted my coach and asked him if I can go to class tomorrow and Friday early morning and to make up for it, clean the box for two hours on Wednesday morning. (He had the same deal with me when I first trained there years ago. Its because I cant afford the fee) He hasn't seen my text yet but I hope to be able to start tomorrow and experiment for a week or two or three 😉what a life with Cross Fit on top of all the other stuff would feel like. If I cant do it this week I will do it next week. Am scared shitless about this decision but cant wrap my mind around the question if I can manage this - unless I actually try it out. recovery is also not optional and I will have to develop a stretching routine and include some PT stuff. Maybe: Minimum 1/ week( plus after workouts) To be determined later. concerning smoking and drinking I will repeat my goals from last challenge and a) track my alcohol, b) have a goal to smoke not more than 24 cigarettes / day. I wasn't consistent enough to lower the number last challenge and will stick to 24 until I do it regularly. finances are looking better since I took on more students. Goal now: Be consistent. Also budget wisely and don't order crap! If Im overwhelmed Im allowed to scale down here though... mental health is most important. writing is probably optional although I really really really want to do it. Will try out some writing goal later this challenge. Maybe find some regular writing times??? I will adjust my goals every week and see how I feel experimenting with the different priorities. Maybe I even surprise myself and manage to do all at once in a reasonable sustainable way?? Its great to start from zero. Hopefully its gonna be as fun as I think it will be!
  9. Some days are difficult, everything is a fight and no win feels like a victory. Some days are easy, everything flows and smiling is no effort. Some days are empty, I don’t know where those ones go or how time manages to melt into the abyss unnoticed. Some days are full, a frantic maelstrom of stuff and things that don’t mean anything alone but add up to exhaustion together. And some days don’t pass at all, they linger in awful silence, stretching across weeks until the clouds finally move on and emotions creep back in. Healing is not an easy or linear process, it’s an active process that requires an unearthly amount of work and the threshold for a good day varies wildly. Overall, it’s not entirely surprising that I’m getting my ass thoroughly kicked by my mental health right now. Which why it’s time to start a new chapter and put the focus where it belongs. There are three general areas that need watching. The first, and most important, is self care. Everything from getting out of bed before 3pm to treating myself when need be to remembering to write down any appointments I need to keep. Anything and everything I do to ensure I’m a functional person, and maybe even a happy or comfortable person from time to time. The second is food. There has been a slow improvement here, but as with the recovery process as a whole, it has not been linear. The third and final is fitness. I’ve taken a step back from just about everything out of necessity. Anything that could possibly become something competitive has had to go as the sheer negative impact it had on my mindset was overwhelmingly… not good, to put it mildly. What I don’t want, however, is to have my fitness stagnate and vanish entirely. So I’m figuring that out also. None of this is really about chasing a goal or achievement, it’s more like a restoration of self. So we’ll see how it all goes.
  10. To say this year has not gone to plan would be a colossal understatement. There have been many unexpected turns, and yet somehow things have found a kind of balance. Yes, I've suffered through less than ideal circumstances, but the good that's happened has been equal to that. Life, however, continues to be unpredictable, and that's why I've come creeping back to the Rangers. I spent a lot of time hiding out with the Druids and the Assassins, and that's done me good, but my current direction calls for another change. ... what that direction is however, I do not know. What I do know is that this struggle has not been for nothing. And I also know that if I allow myself to slip back into complacency then I will remain stagnant. I have the means, motivation, and time to put serious effort into improving myself, improving my fitness, improving my way of life. I'm not the person I was even two or three months ago, much less the person I was last year, and that's a change I welcome and will encourage as best I can. It'll be a bit of a scattered approach to begin with as I find my footing, but over the coming months I'm hoping to figure things out. Goal One: The Houseplant Principle It's easy. For a plant to grow, it needs the right fuel. Sunlight, water, maybe some plant food, and kind words. I need to relearn the basics to help me grow. This is stuff I should be aiming for on a daily basis. Sunlight: I started going out for daily walks again a few weeks back and my therapist is delighted and insistent I continue. Even if the weather isn't great, out I go Hydration: Two litre minimum, at least half must be water Food: Three meals per day. No limitations as lock down limitations have taken many choices from me Kind words: My default is negative. My default is to blame and berate myself. While I can't stop that cold, I can catch it and question it. It's far from a measurable goal, but something to aim for regardless Goal Two: The Scout Variant I live next to a forest now. That makes me incredibly happy. It also makes a convenient location to walk and run. The former I have no issue with, the latter I've been avoiding. Well, no more. But we'll start small. Two runs per week. 6km minimum distance in total, so 3km per run, which makes for a manageable target Goal Three: The Once Per Day Rule And this is where all other exercise goes. There must be some form of exercise done every day. It doesn't have to be a full workout by any means, especially if it's a day I'm running, but it has to be something. Yoga, bodyweight work, lifting, mobility, kettlebells, anything. I'm not all that bothered about progression right now, I'm aiming to keep myself moving and figure out what my body is happiest doing. Whatever is done must be tracked. Written notes to be taken at the time, summary to be posted with update Goal Four: The Talking Method Self-isolation has ever been a damaging coping mechanism for me. Then the country went into lock down and that became my way of life against my will. And I found my voice in a way I have never experienced before. I can't take all the credit for that, I had a lot of help, but it happened and I don't want to lose that. So I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing away from here and just add the forums back in by way of daily check-ins. I'll try for every morning until such time as I get broadband back, which isn't until June. Limited to phone data until then, which isn't great. Also not having much fun trying to post using my phone, I've yet to get the hang of it! Not-Quite-a-Goal Five: The List Not only do I have a small collection of projects and things that I want to do, but I basically live in a building site right now and I am absolutely loving it. Nothing is finished and there is always something to do. Admittedly I'm limited by this extended lock down, but there is no reason I can't actually put some thought into the progression of The List. Again, not something really measurable, but it will help me keep track of what I'm doing and when and how. For the moment I've tried to narrow it down to things I can do during the lock down. So far I have the following: Finish painting the living room walls. They've had one coat, they need a second Sand down the skirting board, door, anything that's been given a coating of glossy of plain white paint Buy and paint at least one bookcase. Currently 300+ books are stacked on the floor Check all bathrooms, reseal if needed Fix the commuter bike or build a Frankenbike hybrid, something that will be enough to get me to and from work Sort out bins, ensure all recycling bins are cleared of rubbish left by the previous tenants and other people Get rid of the endless piles of cardboard overwhelming the hall and kitchen Find or buy drill parts, put up the bedroom curtain rail Modify bedroom curtains to make them blackout or near enough Repot plants and rearrange so everyone gets the amount of sunlight they need Finish sofa blanket (also acquire a sofa) Organise workspace, go through paperwork and destroy what doesn't need to be kept Fix desktop computer, salvage working parts of it's beyond repair Sort out the odds and ends box as best as possible with the current limited storage options List to be amended as needed. And that's that. Simple goals, some more guidelines than anything else, for an admittedly complicated time of life. I'm starting from zero week (and measuring my weeks from Monday to Sunday) as I think it's for the best that I don't delay.
  11. I actually had my challenge post for this challenge written out 3 weeks ago. I had a plan, I was going to do things, and it was going to be awesome. And then the world turned upside down. I'm working from home, the gym is closed, the boys are doing school from home, and everything is canceled. Everything. Is. Canceled. Which means, if I don't want to go do my exercise activities, I don't have to and I won't feel guilty about it (because I'm letting my team mates down, or wasting money by not going to sword class)! How long have I been posting about how exhausted I am? The answer is years. I have been pushing myself to (and sometimes beyond) the limit for years. I have said, more than once, "I wonder how well I could play derby if I wasn't tired?" So I'm going to take this enforced down-time as the gift it is and sit on my butt to see if I can actually recover enough that I don't feel run down all the time. No schedules (beyond work, so, not completely doing nothing), no plans, just taking it easy and listening to my body. If I feel like going for a walk, or skating around the block or something, I'm going to do it. But nothing strenuous, unless I really want to. My one and only goal for this challenge is to drink enough water. Because I have been terrible about that lately. I'm not going to go crazy with my diet, but other than not eating things that will make me sick, I'm not going to worry about that right now, either. So yeah, I'm gonna get my recovery on!
  12. Hello Rangers! I have a new side kick! Q was born 5 weeks early, surprising the heck out of us, and spent 1 week in the NICU. Today's his actual due date. Pregnancy was absolutely miserable, and got worse as time passed, and I'm SO DAMN GLAD to not be pregnant anymore. Baby's been pretty darn good so far, and not nearly as troublesome as other Q's out there... And he's much cuter (obvi) Plan-- Body: Shower daily, plus Exercise, at least one of the following PT exercises at home, and at the office once weekly Yoga via the studio's zoom classes, and possibly on my own Dance via the studio's zoom classes, as long as I scale it and don't hurt myself Barn - groundwork just to start Yardwork - lots of leaves to rake, sticks to pick up, and need to prep the raised beds for vegetables Walk outside when the weather is decent (+/- stroller and Q) Mind: Meditate - Headspace or general mindfulness Gratitude Read (currently The Calculating Stars and An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth) House chores Soul: Connect with friends and family Do something creative Play with my oracle cards This is all just variations/extensions of my routine for the January and February, so it should be doable. Mr Vibrant went "back to work" today - but he's working from home for at least the next two weeks, probably more. I'm on maternity leave until June, and am giving myself through the summer to determine if I'm for real going back to work or if I'm going to stay at home with my side kick. Also plan: check in here at least twice a week, don't just skip out like I've done with most challenges. Report on good food choices. Share arts and cute baby photos if requested. Also also plan: keep mental health in check during social distancing and all this shit, by doing the above. Edited to change out exercises
  13. What do you guys do for post-workout nutrition? By that I mean the first thing you consume after a good workout. I've recently taken a liking to a quick baked sweet potato in the microwave usually with some greens.
  14. Everything has a tendency to feel fresh and new and exciting when a new year dawns, more so when a new decade comes upon us. The temptation to throw every hoarded goal out there for people to see is overwhelming. ...but I picked this year to be very, very quiet. Recovery is first and foremost in my mind, both physical and mental. Admittedly the latter more than the former, but the former does help massively with the latter. the goals [opening tasks] Some things need to be done no matter how much I dislike the idea, and that is to figure out where I am with just about everything. Measurements, photos, and any other data I think I might need. All needs to be collected and put in the battle log during zero week. food I've managed to create a somewhat successful weekly meal prep habit and I am confident that will hold. The next thing to tackle is my depression eating, or rather, depression lack-of-eating. Hot having anything other than a quick snack or even nothing at all isn't a good thing at the best of times, and it's outright damaging when you're working eleven hour shifts six days a week, sometimes more. So to begin with I have two targets to hit daily: 2000 calories 2L water That's it for this round. Observations will be made. Adjustments will happen next time. fitness Having racing out of the picture for the next twelve months means I get to set my own pace and spend a lot more time on building from the ground up. Which I need. I'm sure at one point my body was fairly well put together, but I have broken it a lot since then, and neglected it even more so. So, again, going for very simple things, focusing more on habit building than anything else. Fifteen minutes daily mobility Four yoga sessions weekly Two workouts weekly A single walk weekly That, at least, I know I can fit into my schedule no matter how hectic work gets. wellbeing The goals are, again, very simple, as is the why of it all. I'm not in a good place. Actually, I'm in a fairly awful place, and it's incredibly difficult to keep pulling myself up and out of every awful place I end up in. It's tiring. I want to get back to a place where I can believe life has something to offer other than hurt and misery and isolation. It's going to take time, but I think I'm stubborn enough to stick it out. Nightly meditation to clear my mind Morning meditation to calm any fear or anxiety present Daily positive affirmations (do not need to be unique ones every day) Do something creative daily Talk daily. Even if I feel like I have nothing to say, even if it's only a bare bones account of my day and not much more. Whatever it takes to keep from silence Ten minutes of cleaning/daily household work Very much back to basics, focusing on both what I enjoy doing and what will help me maintain balance in my day to day life. Admittedly this whole thing is somewhat frustrating. Being set back by a major breakdown isn't exactly a new thing, but I usually don't have plans that I'm on the verge of putting into action when it happens. Part of re-working this challenge and actually going ahead with it is to help myself realise that holding onto the guilt and the anger over it is at best useless and at worst self-destructive. Ideally, I'd like to be ready to push on with my original plans at the end of this cycle, but I'm acutely aware that this challenge covers a period of tricky and often turbulent time for me. So I'll settle for holding steady. Really, I'm continuing my festive theme of survival. Got to get a handle on that before I can do anything else. So that's what I'll do.
  15. metanoia (n.) the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life Or all of the above. It’s another step along the way to become the person I want to be, the kind of person I know I can be, if I give myself a chance and enough support to grow. A large chunk of this journey has been moved to my battle log as it’s more a day-to-day, goalless kind of thing. Though that does technically mean I have to find myself some goals for these challenges. Like so: Goal One: The Pistol I used to be able to do pistol squats. Only a couple on each side, but still… My progress in that area has reversed drastically over the years. I can just about wobble to the ground on each leg, but it is a very shaky wobble and I cannot rise up on either leg without ending up on the floor. As far as I recall, I managed to figure out pistols the first time around through brute force and ignorance. There will be a fair amount of that this time around, but there will also be some specific mobility and balance work. I can do this, I just need to help my body remember how. Aim: Do a whole pistol squat on at least one leg (more likely to be the right leg) by the end of the challenge (ambitious, not the end of the world if it doesn’t happen, but I’m determined to make sure it does!) Goal Two: Downward Facing Dog My heels do not now, nor have they ever, touched the ground in the downward facing dog pose. All signs point to my not-so-great mobility and general lack of flexibility. This is where the specific mobility work mentioned in the first goal comes in, and I’m hoping that since there are two outcomes resting on it that it will encourage me to actually get it done properly. Aim: Three times weekly leg mobility practice Goal Three: Vegetables Seriously. I am not getting enough in and it has a noticeable impact on my insides and my energy levels. This is basically a repeat of my food goal last challenge. Aim: Five to ten portions of vegetables daily Side Project: Guitar Something to force me to have some fun, even on the days I feel like crap. I can kind of play guitar. Very badly. I’ve wanted to improve for ages but have never actually made it a priority. Until now. I’m committing to ten minutes a day, five days a week minimum. Doesn’t matter what I’m doing so long as I’m playing for ten minutes. And that’s that. Keeping it simple goals-wise in an effort to help myself actually stick to things (as well as continuing the things I’ve tried to incorporate into my life already), especially when life gets rough and the stress climbs higher. I’m going to also aim for five small updates per week to try and keep me a little more social and connected.
  16. A Bit About Me: This is my first challenge as a Druid as I was previously a Ranger, but Druid fits in with my needs better now and it’s been a couple of years since I’ve done one of these challenges. My health hasn’t been great and for 10 years I was unable to eat normal food without getting very ill, I have finally this year gotten to a point where I can eat like a normal person without getting ill at all woo!!! And now it’s a matter of getting the rest of my health sorted. My beautiful dogs Winston (French Bulldog) and Hank (Beagle x French Bulldog) help with my stress and moods but I need to put more effort in managing this myself as well. The Challenge: Nutrition Quests After Work Snacking & Desert: I have a tendency to overdo this massively and it feels like just have no control and I think this is why my weight is climbing: Don’t overdo it e.g. instead of eating 2 rows of chocolate, a packet of chips & ice cream in one sitting only eat one of these things in one sitting and don’t overdo the portions. Treats are ok but not all the time and try to choose healthy options e.g. instead of always reaching for something sweet and super calorie dense every day try to add better options like air popped popcorn etc. Fitness Quests Walking: I like walking but I just don’t do it anymore and I want to make it a part of my everyday life: 3 days a week aim for a minimum of 5 minutes. Before or after work stop further away from the front entrance instead of right in front of it. Yoga: I have been told that exercising in a gentle way will be more beneficial for me and I thought Yoga would be a perfect fit: 1 day a week at the minimum but hopefully more. Done by either printed routine, an app or a class that I can follow/attend. Level Up Your Life Quests Meditation: This would help me so much and is what my body really needs, it would help my body to learn to not to run on stress and hopefully lift my mood: 3 days a week using my Calm app. If I feel like I just don’t have time 1 minute breathing exercise counts. Exercise Physiologist Stretches: If I don’t do these my chronic pain will never stop/get better: 2 days a week at the minimum.
  17. Hello all! Sliding into the challenge a week late, again. A lot has happened in the past 3 weeks: between going to a wedding, packing up, moving, buying and building furniture, work, and all sorts of stuff, I didn't really plan out a challenge until like... yesterday. The good: I am about 95% moved into my new apartment! There are some small things that I need to get from my parents' house still, kitchen stuff, mostly. (My roommate and I don't have a microwave, so I'm bringing my old university one back with me!) I'm keeping up with my mobility training as well as my Polish practice. The bad: My knee is still painful at times and because running and even walking for extended periods of time still hurts, I haven't been able to run anymore. I still need to get to the doctor's-- I just need to fill out the paperwork. Work has also been stressing me out lately, because I have so much to do and almost no time to do it! Because I'm the "pretrial and arraignments" attorney, I'm in court basically from 9-4:00. Not counting the hour lunch where I get some much-needed socialization with my coworkers (and even then, there are days where I do work at lunch), I get maybe an hour of desk time a day. I've actually started taking work home with me so I can do legal stuff in comfy sweats on my couch or at the kitchen counter. I actually wrote an 17.5 page motion and memorandum over the weekend. 7 pages Friday night, 7 pages Saturday morning, and another 4 over the course of Sunday evening and Monday evening. I need to figure out how to find the time to get things done so I'm not at work from 7:30 a.m. until at least 5:30 each night! It probably won't happen, but it's stressing me out that I have so much to do and no time to do it all. And that brings us to this challenge. Despite my knee being injured, there's still plenty of things I can do! Perhaps this challenge would have been better off in the Rebels' territory, rather than here in Ranger land, but I like y'all too much to want to leave! My overall focus is "recovery." Hence the title of the challenge! I need to do recovery work-- not just my knee, but also in other aspects of my life! I want to recover my workout habits that have basically dropped out of existence over the past month, and I want to do some emotional/mental/spiritual recovery as well. I'm trying to split this into 3 parts: Mind, Body, Soul. We'll see how it goes! Mind: - Keep practicing Polish every day-- either Duolingo or Rosetta Stone Mini Task: redeem that Rosetta Stone groupon I got for my birthday! - Read at least one book this challenge. I just started reading Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda, so that's going to be my book to finish this challenge Body Just because I can't run right now doesn't mean I can't do things! I can still do upper body stuff. I let depression and a bad mindset set me back with push-ups and pull-ups, and while I can't do pull-ups right now (a hex bolt for my pull-up bar got lost in the move! And I don't want to use it until it's 100% secured because I don't want to risk it, and me, falling), there are other things I can do! - Do push-ups training 3 x a week. My goal is to get back to 5 sets of 15-20 knee push-ups by the end of the challenge. Today's sets were 7-10-10 - Do handstand training at least 2x a week. Didn't do any today or yesterday, but I will try to do some tonight! - Keep up mobility training every day. I'm hoping to make mobility training a more regular thing in my life. I like doing it in the morning as a good start to my day! - Mini task: Fill out the new patient paperwork and drop it off at the doctor's office so I can go get examined and get a referral to get my knee looked at! Soul Work has been getting overwhelming and stressful, so we're going to do some self-care work this challenge! - Journal: yes, I keep saying it, but it's actually helpful when I actually do it. The goal: journal 2x a week - Knit: it's something relaxing to do that's not work, and I can sit and watch TV while I do it. That totally counts as me time, right? - Cleaning: a clean home is a happy home! Spend 5-10 minutes a day tidying up somewhere in the house. - Find a place: I'm hoping to start regularly attending services at my local Universalist Unitarian Church! I was raised Catholic, but somewhere along the way, I realized Catholicism just... isn't a good fit for me. Because of that, I've really struggled to find a home for my spiritual practice, and I think it's been leaving a hole in my life. Praying at home is one thing, but... having a place of worship with other people is something that I did love about Catholicism. I just don't feel at home in the church anymore, though, so that's why I want to find a new space! And after doing some research, I think UU might be a good fit-- I agree with their basic tenets and principles, and I like the mindset that some aspect of truth can be found in every religion. Unfortunately, can't go this weekend because I'll be going home to visit my family (where I will inevitably be dragged to Catholic church for Sunday, or maybe Saturday, services despite the fact that I do NOT want to go!!). But hopefully starting soon I can make this a regular habit and join in the community there. Okay, that's all for now, folks! I'll check in soon.
  18. Okay, a big part of the reason I've not been around for a couple of challenges is because it's been filling me with quite a bit of stress and anxiety to explain everything that is going on with me right now. Things have progressed to a point that is no longer the case but quite a lot has happened so I'm going to just dump it all out there. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Physical Ups and downs happening in the physical department. I've gotten really frickin strong! My bench press has gone over 200lbs (92kg) and my deadlift PR currently sits at 190kg (approx 419lbs). Kind of really happy. On the other hand my running has suffered quite a bit because of what this challenge is going to focus on: injury. I'm currently injured. I've been feeling a pain in my left calf. Pretty low level whilst running but when I stop running it really really hurts. So I've been taking a lot of rest recently in order to try and get rid of that happening for the two big races of the spring season (which happened over the last 2 weeks). In a quirk of fate during RRDW, a race that was an easy 13 mile ocr that I was running with @iatetheyeti, @Rhovaniel, @Charlie_Quinn and @Jarric. I was taking it very easy and just enjoying myself. I took a bad step while going up a mound and felt the calf in my right leg (the one that hadn't been hurting) snap. I went down got back up and found that I could no longer walk without excruciating pain. Sincerely not the kind of pain that I could have carried on with. So that was my first DNF. My sincerest thanks to Yeti, Rho and CQ for getting help and getting me out safely , Yeti and Rho for coddling me in camp that night (and going to get me waffles!) and to @Jarric for the lift home. Despite this and being unable to walk for 2 days it healed miraculously fast and I ended up running a race a week later. I didn't think I would be running that race at all and I was able to do it relatively pain free. Nonetheless I also managed to sprain my ankle in the last few miles and there is that going on as well. So no running this challenge at all. I will probably start using the bike at the gym at some point. Goal 1: Do rehab exercises every day. Mental To anyone following my challenges recently it'll come as no surprise for me to say that my mental health went downhill very fast. I hit rock bottom about 2 weeks ago and was forced by a concerned Ranger to go and see my doctor. So I was signed off of work for a little while and given medication. The anxiety medication has had the side effect of fixing my sleep issues. I'm feeling better than I was now. Far from good but better. Goal 2: Talk. Update here every day even if I don't have much to say. Nutrition This has taken a nosedive as well. Right now I don't have much energy to expend to this topic so I'll keep it simple: Goal 3: Eat one healthy meal a day.
  19. Hello, all! Last challenge, I got some bad news and found out that I wasn't accepted to OCS. It's a bummer, but I did find out that I was very close to making it. This means I have a really good chance at making it in with the next selection board! In order to do that, though, this challenge is going to focus on resetting my mindset, recentering my goals, and rebuilding my strength because I pushed my body a lot last month. In fact, I pushed myself so hard that I gave myself shin splints! Which... ouch. Not fun. I'm going to try and make this challenge a little less complicated than the last few though, and just stick with the "reset, recenter, rebuild" theme. Also, I have a Spartan race May 12! I want to make sure I'm ready as possible for that. I think by sticking to my goals I should be able to do that. Reset: This is the recovery portion of the challenge. I pushed my body too hard, to my detriment, last month. I need to make sure I'm taking time to recover, or in other words, reset my body back to where it was pre-shin splints/burnout. The goals: Daily exercises for my lower-body targeting shin splints. This will include a lot of the stretches that @Xena recommended to me during the last challenge! Also important is hip flexibility. How I'll keep myself accountable: I'll need to check off a box every day in my bullet journal saying that "yes, I did these." I'll put in a habit tracker to keep myself accountable Foam roll a minimum of once a week. Full-body foam roll, no excuses. How I'll keep myself accountable: another check in the bullet journal! This one won't be in the habit tracker, but will be a box in my "to-do list." Recenter: Self-care is something I struggle with, and I've noticed that when I don't do it, I tend to spiral into dark gloomy places and just don't do as well. The goals this time? Self-care and journalling. Self-care: take half an hour to do something that brings me joy that isn't exercise (gasp) or watching Netflix each week. Bonus points if it's something creative like finishing one of my craft projects (or mending the jeans I've been putting off mending for months now). How I'll keep myself accountable: another box on my to-do list for the week! Journalling: When I started journalling a couple of months ago, I noticed that it really helped! And then, of course, I kind of stopped. The goal is to get back to consistently journalling at least 3 days a week. How I'll keep myself accountable: a row in my habit tracker! Rebuild: I need to rebuild the basics, even while I'm letting my body recover. Push-ups: I would like to be able to do a minimum of 40 consecutive push-ups even while tired and sore after a long day of PT/after a tough gym session. I want to get as close to 40 push-ups by the end of the challenge as I can How I'll do this: Do [X] amount of push-ups a day, 6 days a week! Sundays are rest days, and will have no push-ups. Week 0, Tuesday- Saturday: 50 push-ups a day Week 1: 50 push-ups a day Week 2: 60 push-ups a day Week 3: 60 push-ups a day - NO PUSH-UPS THURSDAY-SUNDAY BECAUSE SPARTAN RACE Week 4: 60 push-ups a day How I'll keep myself accountable: A special row in my habit tracker each week Pull-ups: not just for the PFT, but for my Spartan race that I'm running in May! (But mostly for the PFT and OCS.) The challenge? Do either the workout my OSO gave me or do an Armstrong workout 3xs a week. That's it. Just 3. Also flexed arm hang practice 3xs a week! How I'll keep myself accountable: Well, I'll be at the gym 3xs a week already! I'm going to just keep doing what I've been doing for the past couple of weeks Special exception: I'll be doing only 2 days of pull-ups on Week 3, to make sure I'm well-rested for my spartan race! Running: with shin splints, I can't do as much running as I would like, and definitely can't do any sprinting until probably after the race. I can, however, make sure I do 2-3 miles 3 times a week. Hill training is okay, slow runs are okay, even a 5k is okay as long as I'm taking time to make sure I can recover. Bonus challenges: Sign up for an intro/free cross-fit class! At the OCS Prep Day I did this past weekend, the PTI I survived met said that a great way to build endurance is to do CrossFit. As such, a bonus challenge I'm setting for myself is to sign up for an introductory/free crossfit class at a local crossfit gym. Ideally, I'd be able to get a couple of weeks of free classes by trying out different gyms to see how this goes. Try to do a handstand a day. This is just for fun. I've gotten pretty good at doing minimally-supported handstands, where I'll have a foot lightly touching the wall for balance, and I can even hold myself up without any support for 2-3 seconds! I haven't done handstands in a while though, and would like to get back to practicing those again. No need for a habit tracker, as this is just for fun. Well, that's it for now, I think!
  20. POP QUIZ: what's the difference between being a truly successful (potentially mad) scientist and just messing around making things explode here and there? THE QUALITY OF YOUR NOTES. I was here last in June (oh god so embarrassed) and since then I've still been super busy, still been going to cross-fit 5x a week (I KNOW I LACK MODERATION OK), tae kwon do 2-3x a week, and eating not terribly. Over the last couple of months though I've said to myself: SELF, you know what would make you a more effective human being? if you were keeping better notes. * I don't know how much food I need to keep fueling my body at my current pace (I am moving at a rate of approximately NO MODERATION). * I don't know really how much stronger I'm getting, every new PR feels like a snapshot totally independent of time and space (but it is totally dependent on gravity, I will have you know) * I don't know what my body is supposed to weigh. I know I'm on the soft side - and I've been having a cookie bulk over the holidays as is appropriate - but with all the weights I've been lifting I need to find my new normal idea for how heavy I ought to be while living here with planet earth gravity. I'm up from when I started crossfit but also up from when I started the cookie bulk even more. I need a challenge to get data to support my FUTURE GOALS, which are: show off my new muscles a little big by debulking (post cookie bulk), see if it's possible to fit in some running, and oh also yoga. I'm pretty solid on showing up to my regular workouts but not so solid on the supporting habits that will get me looking the way I want to look and performing the way I want to perform, so this challenge is focused on rebuilding those habits. Goal 1: Finish this challenge. ok, that sounds preeeety self explanatory but I went back and checked and I started and did not finish 5 challenges in 2018. That's right, every challenge I started, I did not finish. I also didn't finish my last few challenges in 2017. Now, 2017 was a pretty rough year for me personally, and 2018 was hard for me as well (as it was for many of us), but beyond basic chemistry and thermodynamics, being healthy is really about having good habits, and you all are my good habit. measurable outcome: post here several times a week. write up challenge in my hobobujo and update / track against those goals. TAKE BETTER NOTES PART 1. Goal 2: Find your food balance. Take better notes part 2 - LOG FOOD. I've used the loseit app in the past and am comfortable with it. I'm going to try not to worry about calories, but rather, log everything I'm eating so I can start to pull apart that thermodynamic calculation of how much I need to be eating to power my body. When I first started at crossfit I pretty much ate avocado toast every day and it went pretty well for me, but the cookie bulk in December has for sure fluffed me up. I am also going to try not to eat like an asshole, so I can get a pretty clear understanding of what my natural food budget looks like right now. measurable outcome: log the things every day. Goal 3. More recovery activity. I've been hitting crossfit hard, and tkd hasn't been the most gentle pursuit either. I need to do more stretching and flexibility work. I would like to work in more walking and yoga into my already ridiculous schedule. I have a subscription to Do Yoga With Me and they have a Flexibility for Busy People course that I should be able to work in. I can walk at lunch, it's not horribly snowy and icy yet this year. And also, I have a few hundred dollars in my flexible spending account that I have to use up by March, so prioritizing chiropractic and getting massages are a big part of this too. measurable outcome: aim for 5 recovery activities every week. backstory. I'm karinajean, 41, live in NY state, commute to NJ about an hour each way where I manage projects and clean up hazardous waste. I joined the NFA in October 2013 and transitioned over to the big scary boards (ahem, these forums) in April 2014. Since I discovered NR, I've lost about 25 lbs, tore my ACL / had it replaced with a cadaver ligament and rehabbed it, ran a bunch of running things, took over instruction for a class at the dojo, started with some weight lifting, and have increased by weight by about 20 lbs (note NOT all clean muscle). CURRENTLY I practice tae kwon do several times a week, take weapons and boxing classes in addition, and have a long-time overarching fitness goal of doing good form push- and pull-ups. I accidentally started doing crossfit in February 2018 and have been attending classes regularly since then. I have a crazy mean (yet super sweet) cat and live with my husband full time and my younger stepdude 1/2 time. the 2nd stepdude is In college out of state. I motorcycle, knit and spin, and am endlessly ignoring how messy the house and yard is. I'm an ASSASSIN because I like doing all the things, and because I want to be able to do push-ups and pull-ups -- these seem like very efficient movements that will exercise my upper body and core, and if I can do those and run and do martial arts (NINJA) I will feel totally strong and fit and capable. The MERMAID comes in because I saw it in a dream when I was a very young child and I believe it to be true. also kittens. you see how it goes.
  21. Right. Last challenge was ok. A few slips, a few trips, and a general kind of 'scraped by' feel to it all. Not fantastic, but not awful either. This challenge is basically going to be about keeping the momentum going while not folding under increasing pressure from work. Things are going to get worse before they get better, and right now we're about to jump into the worst of it. Goal One: Physio Pt. II As before: three times weekly, slow increases in weight when required, record sessions, sensible workouts. Also, book an appointment with a doctor ASAP. booking now means I might actually get to see someone before the end of the year. Goal Two: Structure, Structure, Structure Work is about to be very not fun. I'm looking at one day a week off maximum, long streaks of seven, eight, and nine days on, and a generally stressful time all round. That means trying to plan a workout schedule the way I usually do is going to be impractical, so I'm switching it up a little: M/W/F = General workout days. When possible, do before work (except in the case of opening shifts) T/T = Run days. Again, do before work when possible S/S = Restish days. Mostly yoga, also walking and any other activity deemed 'light' Why this structure? Because I'm not doing anything particularly strenuous or challenging right now, plus this structure is likely to help me keep track of time better. That's a real issue right now thanks to stress and anxiety, and while I can't really fix it, I can make an effort to manage it better. Goal Three: Food Stuff Mostly the same as last time with a couple of adjustments thrown in. Junk still needs cut and good things still need added in, and I really need to get a clue about how much energy I'm using verses how much I'm actually putting in there. I suspect those numbers are not going to match up well at all. Cut the junk. No exceptions. At least three portions of veg daily. Two litres of water daily. Track calories. Goal Four: The Unfuckening Pt. II Again, mostly the same, but with a few tweaks. Fifteen minute daily tidy One daily cleaning activity Ten minutes of organisation daily Make at least half an hour of time every day to unwind, guilt free ***Edited to add SAD protocols, because this is the time of year that calls for it: Whenever there is sunlight, take a walk (this might end up being a daily thing regardless as the sun doesn't tend to come out after October) First get some vitamin D, then take it daily (also, set reminders on phone and have visible written notes) Nightly meditation, five to ten minutes, focusing on all of the positives of the day (even if that positive is 'got out of bed and did a thing') Zero Week I'd originally planned to jump right in but I'm actually due a housing inspection relatively shortly, so really I do need to do something of an emergency deep clean. While I'm at it, I might as well take the chance to set myself up for success. I have a fairly lengthy list of what needs done and when, but the major points are as follows: Deep clean the flat Food prep (three days full prep for work, partial prep for home) Set up reading corner Bike repairs Payday stock up and month-long budget That's not to say I'm neglecting the physical side of things, and I'll certainly be making the effort to stay on top of my food goals during zero week, but a housing inspection takes priority. I need to keep these people happy at all costs! So there it is. It's not the most exciting way to end the year, but at the moment I'll settle for getting there in one piece.
  22. I figured that since I created a character with NF's character thing and a forum account just in time for the start of the next challenge, I might as well make what I'm doing an "official" challenge (and by "official" I mean "I'm going to post it here and work on it, but not do all the grading stuff the instructions say, because mental health is a thing for me at the moment"). Right now, my main goal is correcting the hormonal issues I've had since forever. I've been working with a holistic doctor for the past few months and have a solid plan in place for going forward. The main challenge right now is to finish implementing that plan and sticking with it for the next several months/year or so to really see results (tweaking as necessary). Diet Challenges I'm starting from a pretty solid "Paleo-ish" foundation, which is nice. No drastic changes necessary, thankfully. My goals right now are: Drop nightshades, legumes Significantly reduce dairy intake (will eventually drop it altogether, but I've already found I'm going to need to do this one in phases for the sake of my sanity) Maintain a more strict AIP-esque plan (hence the above) for a couple of months to help pinpoint the cause of some of my out of whack test results (including hints of autoimmunity) Fitness Challenges Here again, I've got a decent foundation. I've found a 4-day/week workout goal works for me (without the whole thing collapsing if I miss a day for any reason), and I'm having all kinds of fun with my new gymnastic rings. What I do need, though, is a decent lower body routine. The buggered-up discs in my lower spine have said "hell no!" to weighted squats of any sort. So this challenge's goal will be to find a routine that hits at least all the major lower body groups, without aggravating my back and laying me up for weeks again. This will involve picking a new exercise on each lower body day (or maybe once a week) to try and evaluate exactly which muscles it hits and how my back reacts to it, until I've got a set of stuff (and possibly alternative exercises) for a full lower body routine. *Bonus - I've thought about toying around with explosiveness exercises again. While my main focus will still be on the basic exercises and getting them down, if I get that together early, I plan to try out a couple of explosive exercises. Domestic(ish) Challenges I'm currently unemployed, and while I have a solid lead, I also need to better embrace my current "temp job" as "housewife." I literally have a Kanban board for chores. I need to suck it up and do some of them. I feel better when the house is tidier, though I'm getting overwhelmed by the combination of the number of things to do and the fact that we have crap for storage which is half the reason the mess keeps happening (and without a job, I can't do what I really want to do and get organization stuff to make the space we do have useful). It's also hunting season, and in that sweet spot where I can take my bow and bring back just about anything I can find (and if nothing else, the time...well...being a ranger...would do me good). So, my challenges are: Restart the daily dishwasher cycling habit I had going for a while Use the unfuckening tactic to work on tidying up and spend 5-10 minutes cleaning something, finding homes for stuff sitting out, or one other thing on my to-do list Find a way to address the whole "camping in freezing temperatures" thing (with the resources I have) and go on at least one hunting trip before this sweet spot window closes
  23. I'm not entirely sure how long I've been away for this time, but my most recent race weekend has convinced me that it's time to come back. And this time I'm going to try and make it stick the best I can. I missed this place. Besides, pulling a full turtle act like the one I did is not the smartest idea at the best of times, and my time away definitely doesn't fall into that category. Shit happened, as it tends to do. Now is not the time to dwell on that though, now is the time to adjust and move on before the bog that is failures past swallows me whole. And in spite of all that I'm actually feeling more positive than I have done in a long time, and it's that which has given me the extra push to come back and try again. Goal One: Physio I broke myself again, mostly through my own stubbornness and a little stupidity, and while the pain is gone I know it's going to take a while yet for me to be properly recovered. As such, I absolutely need to stick to my physio. Not my usual 'do it for a few days then everything will be fine because no pain', but actually stick to the plan for the full eight weeks. Right now I'm on week two, and it's already getting tough to stick to purely because I don't want to. Given that the alternative is paving the way for re-injury, though... Aims are as follows: Three times weekly SLOW increases in weight for the exercises that require it I must note down when I do every session, and I must note down when I do not, and the excuses used Travelling is not a valid reason to skip a session, so for the weekend I'm travelling I must stick to the plan (albeit without the weighted exercises and ones requiring resistance bands) If we're being sensible about physio, we're also being sensible about working out around it. No deadlifts, no pull-up practice, nothing that will put any strain on my shoulder Goal Two: 50km In total. Over four weeks. So... something like 12.5km weekly? Tiny, tiny numbers, all things considered, but I have been neglecting just about every aspect of my fitness. What's more, this is more about getting myself back into some kind of routine rather than pushing for distance. Guidelines are: At least two runs per week, at most three 5km minimum distance At some point during week four do a timed 5k Goal Three: Diet Overhaul As well as neglecting my fitness, I let my diet slide right the way down to the bad end of the scale. This year I discovered depression eating and made six portion cheesecakes vanish in a single sitting uncomfortably often. And then I wondered why I gained weight... This is the heaviest I've ever been and I don't much like it. Rules are: Cut the junk. No cheesecake, chocolate, sweets, cakes, basically everything I make at work, and no fizzy drinks At least two portions of veg daily Two litres of water daily Goal Four: The Unfuckening As well as neglecting my fitness and diet, I have, surprise surprise, also neglected just about everything else in my life. I need to figure out something that gets me into a routine so I can fix all that up as well. This time around I'm focusing on my home environment (which looks like a bomb hit a skip...). Aims are: Ten minute daily tidy. Just set the timer and go. Doesn't matter what, so long as something gets tidied Do one daily cleaning activity. Wash the living room floor, polish a mirror, clean the cooker, anything along those lines. Just one Five minutes of organisation (because some parts are technically tidy, just horribly organised, and that needs just as much fixing, but any more than five minutes right now and I'm more likely to distract myself and end up creating more mess) That's it. Little things, teeny tiny baby steps for a slow and hopefully fairly sedate challenge. This has got to be a proper recovery, and that means going as slowly as I can right now. No matter how frustrating. I need to keep reminding myself that this whole mess, injury and illness and all, will only happen again, and worse, if I don't do this properly. When I've finished this course of physio then I can start working on bigger things to meet what few goals I still have right now. And on the other end of this recovery act, this whole process should serve as a way to slowly bring me back to actually looking after myself, both through fitness and diet, and ultimately should have a positive impact on my mental health too. It's just keeping on with the baby steps and continuing to hope that I can actually make it all work.
  24. Knightfall Everyone can be broken. Everyone will meet their match and break like a wave on a cliff but it's not the fall that is important. The story isn't that a human can be broken that even the indomitable can falter. The important thing is what happens after. The choice to stay lying on the ground. Beaten and broken. Or to stand and and fight on. Okay, okay so a Batman themed challenge isn't the most original thing I could have come up with and it's not the first time I've done it either! I'm in a little bit of a creative slump, so I decided to go with an easy one to warm myself back up to the idea! The fall is both physical and mental. Anyone who followed the end of my last challenge will know that I recently picked up a running injury which has really kicked my legs out from under me, so to speak. However my bigger concern right now has to do with my eating habits. Over the last few months they have been getting worse and a lot more erratic. I've had serious weight problems for more of my life than I haven't and I can recognise when my eating behaviour has gone from troubling to down right destructive. Battling Bane! Right now food is a huge destructive force in my life. I struggle to emphasise how much of a problem it is for me. So here goes. Spoilered because talk about eating disorders and whatnot gets a little deep and goes a little long. TLDR: It is imperative that I control my binge eating. I usually don't advocate an all-or-nothing approach but I do find that this is what works for me. I need to track all my food. Plan in advance what I am eating and stick to the plan. My exact calorie counts aren't worked out yet but I'm going to stick with 2900-3000 for this week and adjust depending on my activity levels. The moment I go off plan things spiral out of control quickly. I want to add something on top of this and I'm essentially asking for a volunteer. If and when I feel the impulse to binge eat. Talk to someone about it before I pull the trigger. I've been feeling a little bit of a hypocrite recently when I've urged people to talk about their problems while I've refused to do this little thing. People have offered this before but I always feel horrible about adding my burdens to theirs. So I'm asking explicitly if there is anyone who honestly wouldn't mind if I sent a half hysterical message about wanting to eat an entire loaf of bread because thats the only thing thats edible within grabbing distance. In an ideal world I would never need to send that message but I've been getting myself into that state a lot recently. Onto much less difficult subjects: Recovery: I'm injured. I don't have a plan other than not running right now but I am seeing the physio on Thursday afternoon and I should have a better handle on what I should be doing from there. If all goes well I have a half marathon race on September 2nd but I am prepared to skip it if needed. Getting in Bat Shape! Meanwhile to focus on what I can do! In week 0: Monday: Cycle workout Tuesday: Lifting, Benchpress Wednesday: Cycle Workout Thursday: Rest Friday: Lifting, OHP Saturday: Sunday: TBD but I have a race entry for a looped event. Still hoping to be allowed to do 5 or 10k The general shape after week zero will be to have 4 lifting sessions and 3 cardio sessions per week but that is subject to change and I'm waiting for the physio appointment to work out the details. My focus this time round will be more on strength with the cardio sessions being much lighter than normal. However Squats and deadlifts are still very much TBD. Greasing the Groove: Finally I want to improve my pull-ups so I'm adding a little GTG type of work into this. 5 Pull-ups per day over the course of the day. May increase or decrease after each week.
  25. My old gym turned into a box. I'd stopped going there when I got hurt last year but I always thought of going back to it when I felt confident enough. I made a stress fracture on my knee, at the head of my left tibia. A few days later, trying to walk on that knee with Law textbooks in my backpack, I injured my spine, lower back, on the connective tissue. I believe it was due to being a total noob and jumping form couch to free weights to beach rugby in a six month interval. Yesterday I was walking by the gym and saw it was empty! All the machines and weights were gone! But at the very end of it, a few women were practicing snatchs with empty bars. I got in and stroke up a conversation with the only man around, the one who had been resting lol. Turns out they set up a box there when the previous owner moved to another neighboorhood after greener pastures (my own neighboorhood is saturated with conventional gyms). The guy sounded like he really knew what he was doing. He sounded like a good physical educator. He told me in crossfit they'd teach me the foundations of fitness and gymnastics movements and get me properly strong before going to the weightlifting movements. And the thing is I covet gymnastics and love weightlifting. But I'm afraid I'll get hurt again. Crossfit looks so violent! With WODs and pushing and five workouts a week... I'm afraid my body won't be able to cope with that. I still feel pain on my back and knee every once in a while. Everytime I'm PMSing at least. Should I stay home and work on my push-ups and isometrics holds until I feel more confident... or should I take the leap?
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