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Sambalina's Half-elf adventure


Sambalina

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Hi everyone,

I'm new around here, but this challenge format looks like a lot of fun. I'm far from a 'hardcore' gamer, but have certainly enjoyed Baldaur's Gate, KOTOR, WoW, and now SWTOR (Jedi rock my socks). So, on to my challenge:

Bio: I'm a 24 year old EFL teacher with a masters in social anthropology. I've been teaching for a year, first in NZ, and for the past six months have been working at a middle school in South Korea. I've been experimenting with Paleo/Primal/Archevore eating and exercise for the past month. My kitchen is just a little bigger than a postage stamp, and ingredient quality is often suspect here in the RoK (sugar is in everything), so it's often a challenge just to eat well. I feel I'm doing ok, though.

As far a exercise goes, I am very weak! I am really loving bodyweight training and would like to add short sprint sessions to my routine. I have no weight to lose or put on, but some serious work to do on my 'strength' and 'dexterity'.

As for life goals, I want to use my (often copious) free time at work to further my career. I miss being as intellectually stimulated as I was during my final years at university, and want to produce something that will keep my busy, entertained, and help me advance myself as an English language teacher.

Race: Half-elf. Some parts of me are really human sized, and parts of me are really small and fine. I can kind of relate to the mixed bag a half-elf must get :)

Profession: Adventurer. I get bored quite easily, and the adventurer class leaves my options open to explore and change as I progress.

Stats:

STR:1

DEX:3

STA:2 (+1 for week 4 challenge)

CON:3 (+1 for week 3 challenge)

WIS:4 (+1 for week one challenge)

CHA: 2 (+1 for week 2 challenge; +1 for week 5 challenge)

Goals:

Fitness and diet -

- Sprint (4 times, 10 seconds+ each) once a week for 6 weeks. (4 DEX)

Starting = 3x10sec (only done once). I will make Saturday morning 'sprint morning'.

- Eat no processed food during the week. (3 CON)

Starting = 2-4 times during the week. To achieve this I will pre-plan my meals on a Sunday and a Wednesday and stick to the list. I will have access to healthy options such as nuts, boiled eggs, and fruit at all times so I don't get hungry, panic, and eat whatever I can grab from the 7/11.

- Do two sets of 20 squats with proper form. (3 STR)

Starting = 2 sets of 10. To achieve this I will increase my squats by 1-2 per set each week to reach a total of 20x2 by week six. I'll use the mirror to monitor my form. Too easy! New goal:

- Do THREE sets of 20 squats ( [ATTACH=CONFIG]3260[/ATTACH] completed on 05/12/12) and two sets of 20 reverse rows (though actually, mine are 'inclined reverse rows' at the moment) [ATTACH=CONFIG]3260[/ATTACH] completed on 05/25/12. (3 STR).

Starting = 2 sets of 18 squats and two sets of 10 rows. Increase each weekly, or as I feel ready.

Life -

- Write one 4,000+ word academic article and submit it to at least 5 ESL journals for publication. (4 WIS; 1 STA)

Starting = nothing but the general theme: 'Empowering Middle-school students in the ESL classroom'. To achieve this I will devote one week to each of the following tasks: 1) planning, preliminary literature research, and in-class discussion; 2) write 500-1,000 words; 3) write 1,500 words; 4)write 2,000 words; 5) Editing and proof-reading, select 5 ESL journals; 6) Alter article to fit selected journals' requirements, and submit the article.

So, that's me :)

Hello again to everyone joining the challenge. I look forward to getting to know you as we achieve together!

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Warrior Princess
Eating Psychology Coach

Adventure's Guild Challenge winner: Challenge #24

â•‘ Live the Whole  â•‘ Bucket List â•‘Level up my Lifeâ•‘ 

"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

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Welcome to Nerd Fitness and to the Adventurer class! Great goals as well! We can do it together!

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

Half-Elf Adventurer

STR 2 - DEX 2 - STA 2 - CON 3 - WIS 3 - CHA 3

Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory. - General George S. Patton

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I almost certainly won't update every day, but being the first day of the challenge, I thought I'd jump right in.

In terms of my life goal, I started researching for my article today. It felt really good to be doing something, and I slipped right back into reading, note taking, and referencing like I'd never left. I already have over 500 words of quotes and notes, and some more sources to read yet.

What's more, the process of researching classroom practices brought back some of my own enthusiasm to teach. My school here in Korea crushes my spirit a bit, and the reading I've done today has made me feel really motivated to get back to where I want to be as a teacher, not just go through the motions.

Today I also put together a needs analysis for my class, so I can implement some of the strategies I'm reading about, and I'm planning to run a section of one class this week as something of a focus group where we talk about the kind of learning they want to do, how they want to do it, and how controlled they want the process to be. This, I think, will be really interesting and will let me add some interesting 'vignette' type bits to the article I'm going to write. Of course, the info gathered during the focus group will also be very useful for future lesson planning!

As for diet and fitness goals? Well, School gave us dumplings at lunch, but that was the only processed food today, which I count as pretty much a success. And I did a strength workout after work and managed two sets of 12 squats.

Off to a good start all 'round :)

Warrior Princess
Eating Psychology Coach

Adventure's Guild Challenge winner: Challenge #24

â•‘ Live the Whole  â•‘ Bucket List â•‘Level up my Lifeâ•‘ 

"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

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Sambalina-your ESL career sounds like an awesome adventure. I'm happy to hear you've rekindled some passion for learning...and consequently teaching. I think there's a quote out there....when one teaches, two learn. I'm excited for your journey--sounds like you're off to an excellent start. Kudos on the 2 sets of squats! I will try and follow along. Journey well my friend.

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Ok, another challenge update from me :)

My research is going well, and I think I'll have finished the reading part tomorrow. It's been really inspirational to get back into academic reading - it's like something I didn't know I was missing until I went back to it (paha, PhD in the future??). The sense of expanding my knowledge, of discovery, and of making myself and my teaching better is pretty darn awesome. Also, both my psychology and anthropology training is coming in amazingly handy. I think that within ESL teaching that really is a winning combo in terms of background (although if I had more of linguistics base, I'm sure that would be better). Interestingly I am coming across some cultural differences in 'autonomy-supporting choice implementation', so the social anthro side of me is coming out to play :) Should be ready to start writing properly on Friday.

Only one setback and that's that the class I was going to use as my sort of case study got cancelled this week because of testing, so that "data collection" will have to wait until next week (inverted commas because I'm only playing at research, not actually doing anything 'real'). I truly belong here at nerd fitness... who else but a nerd would find academic work so entertaining and rewarding?

All is well on the other goals too. I have a sprint scheduled in for Sunday morning (was supposed to go Saturday, but have to be in Seoul early-ish). I'm aiming to do two sets of 15 squats tomorrow. I'm pretty sure I can do it, and might actually have to make the challenge harder. And, I haven't eaten any non-primal food since Monday! That's three days, and I'm feeling really good.

I've got plans to complete the weekly challenge cooking task tomorrow too. Over on mark's Daily Apple there was a really tempting recipe for Chicken Kiev, which I have never made, or even eaten, before. I've just started prep this evening by making some garlic butter to go inside. I'm going to add some roasted capsicum to mine, I think that'll be good. Pictures and recipe tomorrow :)

So, day three and feeling fantastic already. Mentally stimulated by my life goal, physically working towards fitness, fuelling myself with good food, and about to try something new. To tell you the truth, I'm feeling better about my life than I have for a while! Woohoo :-D

Warrior Princess
Eating Psychology Coach

Adventure's Guild Challenge winner: Challenge #24

â•‘ Live the Whole  â•‘ Bucket List â•‘Level up my Lifeâ•‘ 

"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

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Thanks, Rocketman!

Ok, week one challenge completed! Twice.

First doesn't really count, but I made almond butter for the first time. It is so easy, and very, very tasty.

Second, does count, I made Primal Chicken Kieve from MDA. Herbs are a bit tricky to get here in South Korea, so I added some roasted capsicum to mine. I was seriously worried I'd over stuffed the chicken and it was all going to fall apart when I fried it, but it actually worked really well.

First you bash the chicken breasts out thin-ish. Trusty peanut butter jar for that. Only use I have for peanut butter now.

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Then, lay your fillings on.

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Wrap up tight and put in the fridge for an hour.

Fry, seam side down first. Takes longer than you think to cook through.

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Serve!

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Cut open to find the yummy.

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So, I'm very proud of that!

And, I managed two sets of 18 squats this morning. I'm definitely going to make 20 by next week. I'll have to adjust the challenge.

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Warrior Princess
Eating Psychology Coach

Adventure's Guild Challenge winner: Challenge #24

â•‘ Live the Whole  â•‘ Bucket List â•‘Level up my Lifeâ•‘ 

"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

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Wow. You are a powerhouse of inspiration!

Actually, I think I want to be you right now and ditch my pursuit of a degree in landscape management to be a teacher in ESL(English as second language?) in South Korea. Woulnd't it be super fitting if the teacher also has English as the second language as well ;)

Good for you on adjusting your goals up instead of slacking through!

Can I get you to post pictures of SK and tell a little about how you find it there?

Follow my walk to The Prancing Pony in Bree


22/216km


My picture is the norse goddess Siff, Thor's wife

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Thanks guys! Your encouragement makes me feel really good :)

WarriorAmy - I had a look around at some different recipes for almond butter and decided on the most simple one - raw almonds and salt. I made a very small batch first, so I did waste lots of nuts (they're a tad pricey here!). So, in the blender: an unspecified amount of almonds (I understand you can use any nut you want), and some salt to taste. Some people add oil, but I found it totally unnecessary. Then just blend until it's the consistency you want. At first it looks like it wont work - the almonds just break up, then it starts to thicken and go 'butter'. I like mine crunchy, but if you blender is nice and powerful, I read you can make it smooth too. So easy!

Kalileko, keep your degree in landscape management - that sounds so interesting! It is an adventure being over here, and so different to little old New Zealand. The school system, from a liberal westerners point of view, leaves a lot to be desired though. Even many Korean students and parents are very dissatisfied with the way things work. I've been here for almost seven months now, and while teaching here had been fun, my current position has no room for growth.

Apart from a sometimes sucky job (I love teaching, but the system here works against me), Korea is an awesome country. It's spring now and the flowers are amazing!

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This is actually the park I do my negative rows and pull-up prep work in. There are public exercise parks all over the place, mainly used by little old men and women :)

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And they sell seedlings all along the street! Sadly, I have nowhere to grow anything. But it's fun to watch :)

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Warrior Princess
Eating Psychology Coach

Adventure's Guild Challenge winner: Challenge #24

â•‘ Live the Whole  â•‘ Bucket List â•‘Level up my Lifeâ•‘ 

"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

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Great job on your goals, keep up the good work! Also, your pictures are beautiful. Since I had awesome foreign language teachers in high school, I wanted to be a foreign language teacher as well, but my family doesn't support that dream at all. So, I've decided to just learn languages in my free time, or possibly get a minor in one. It's nice that you're so dedicated to teaching though!

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Thanks guys! Your encouragement makes me feel really good :)

WarriorAmy - I had a look around at some different recipes for almond butter and decided on the most simple one - raw almonds and salt. I made a very small batch first, so I did waste lots of nuts (they're a tad pricey here!). So, in the blender: an unspecified amount of almonds (I understand you can use any nut you want), and some salt to taste. Some people add oil, but I found it totally unnecessary. Then just blend until it's the consistency you want. At first it looks like it wont work - the almonds just break up, then it starts to thicken and go 'butter'. I like mine crunchy, but if you blender is nice and powerful, I read you can make it smooth too. So easy!

Thanks! I might have to give it a try. Or, you know, convince my husband to make it for me, because I'm terrible in the kitchen.

WarriorAmy
{Insert motivational script here}
STR - 4|DEX - 2|STA - 6|CON - 4 |WIS - 6|CHA- 5
 

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Hehe, WarriorAmy - I'm sure you can do it! Almonds + blender = almond butter. Simple :)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ok, everyone, five days into my challenge and things are going well.

Goal 1: Sprinting - scheduled for Sunday morning. I'm going to try tabata (that way I qualify for two of this week's weekly challenges!).

2: No processed food: I haven't cheated in five whole days! That's my longest since I started primal eating a month ago. My cheats were never big, but were annoyingly regular. So, this is great. I specified in my challenge that could have weekends off, but unless I can help it, I will just keep going. I'm in Seoul for lunch tomorrow, though - might go hamburger without the bun or something. That, like, 1/4 counts-ish. Maybe.

3: Squats challenge was too easy! I wanted to do two sets of 20, but I'm already at 2x18. So, I now want to do 3x20, as well as up my inverted rows from 2x10 to 2x20. Form is good on both (as far as I can tell).

4: As for writing my article, it's going really well. I've done a ton of reading this week, and have over 3,500 words just of notes, so hopefully writing it will be a breeze. I have had an unusually quiet week, though. Back to more teaching next week, so the time I have available to work on it will decrease. But, I should still be able to get in an hour or two a day without any stress.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I am really loving this challenge thing. I think making it into a 'level up' game was a stroke of genius. It is making it really fun for me! I'm not kidding, I'm already thinking about possible goals for the next challenge to work on my weak spots (like CHA). It's awesome.

Something else I wasn't expecting is the actual positive effect of the encouragement on here. I'd never really thought about it, but if you'd asked me I'd have said "Nah, doesn't mean anything. The people are strangers, praise or encouragement probably wouldn't affect me". I was wrong! I've actually caught myself thinking about comments on here while on the bus and stuff, and felt good about my progress. So, thank you so much, Nerd Fitness community - I've learned something new about online communities (did you know I did my honours thesis on in-game/out-game social roles in World of Warcraft? I'm very interested in interaction online).

And, I'll end today with a 'only in Korea' story. Well, I got off the bus a few stops early to go to the park and do some pull-up prep work. I was wearing a medium length skirt and flip-flops, though. However, I was just going to do some dead hangs and inclined inverted rows, so it didn't matter. I walked along the river to warm up and then went to the bars. I felt silly enough wearing a skirt, I wasn't going to hang there in flip-flops as well! So, I took my shoes off and prayed that there were no nasty Korean biting things in the sand under the bars. EVERYONE who walked past me stared hardcore at my bare feet. One guy even stopped to try and talk to me about it, laughing, speaking Korean, and gesturing at my feet. I don't speak enough Korean to know what he was saying, so I went with the good old foreigner 'smile and nod'. Clearly a white girl in a skirt, hanging from a bar, with no shoes isn't normal here :D

(disclaimer: I have read that bare feet on a woman can be considered 'suggestive' here, but I've seen a ton of people - men, women, young, old - in flipflops, so I guess my feet are just super foreigner awesome!).

Warrior Princess
Eating Psychology Coach

Adventure's Guild Challenge winner: Challenge #24

â•‘ Live the Whole  â•‘ Bucket List â•‘Level up my Lifeâ•‘ 

"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

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Right, another quick update!

Yesterday I did my bodyweight circuit and did 3x15 squats, so well on my way to 3x20.

Also, today was sprint day! I got a neat app on my phone to time my intervals. I did it tabata style, but noob-ed it out by only doing 2 minutes, and doing 20 second slows with 10 second sprints. Let me tell you, it was enough for now! Phew!! And by the time I got around to doing my sprinting, it was super hot outside, so I did it by skipping rope inside. Skipping is insane!

But, one sprint of 6 down!

Also, for breakfast I made the 'bancakes' being talked about in the week one challenge thread. Mine were a little fail, as they turned out a little more like banana-nut scramble when I tried to flip them, but boy were they tasty! And filling - I ate one three hours ago and I'm still stuffed.

The other health goal I've got is 'no processed food 5 days a week', and I've done all seven days this week. I was out in Seoul all day yesterday and couldn't find any good lunch options, so I just skipped lunch. It wasn't even hard. I'm proud of myself for that :)

Ok, so week one is down. This coming week I plan to:

Up my squats to 3x17

Up my inclined rows to 2x12

Sprint next Saturday

Write at least 500 words of my article.

Continue eating no processed foods 5 days a week (I like to leave myself some wiggle room - I might not use it, but it stops me from feeling controlled and freaking out).

Good luck in week 2, everyone!

Warrior Princess
Eating Psychology Coach

Adventure's Guild Challenge winner: Challenge #24

â•‘ Live the Whole  â•‘ Bucket List â•‘Level up my Lifeâ•‘ 

"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

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Woot - got me a +1WIS from this week's mini-challenge :)

Not much to update today. Work was super busy, so no progress on my article. I've got 500 words to write this week, hopefully I'll have a good 2 hour block tomorrow afternoon to get started.

Also, I'm getting some killer sinus problems, which I think are due to the Korean spring/pollen/yellow dust from China. I don't get allergies at home, but it seems VERY common for expats here to get blocked up/sick for the entire months of April and May. Some advice I read was to avoid strenuous outdoor exercise. I thought 'but what about my sprinting?'. Then, I remembered I live in a tall apartment building - there are stairs! Air conditioned stairs. So, my new sprinting plan involves me running up and down the stairs, quite possible pretending zombies are chasing me (even though one of my first comments in the 'what would you do if zombies attacked' conversation is "don't head for the roof! It's a dead end!").

Happy second week of the challenge everyone!

Warrior Princess
Eating Psychology Coach

Adventure's Guild Challenge winner: Challenge #24

â•‘ Live the Whole  â•‘ Bucket List â•‘Level up my Lifeâ•‘ 

"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

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Thank you for sharing your story on NerdFitness. You sound like an interesting person who is become even more interesting because of this journey..

Dark Panther - Adventurer

STR: 3 DEX: 2 STA:2 CON: 2 WIS: 6 CHA: 3

"Laughing myself to a 6 pack or at least at 4-pack"-

Current Challenge:

 

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Phoar, you are smashing these goals! Well done on sticking to your 'no processed food' goal. That's always something I struggle with and I admire you so much for saying no.Good on you also for finding a way to sprint/workout when the weather works against you. You'll need sweet stair skills if the Zombie Apocalypse ever happens.

Regarding your stats from mini-challenges & acheived goals, are you adding them on now or at the end of the challenge?

P.S On the almond butter issue- I found almond butter in our regular grocery store! I should stop being lazy and make it, but I was pleased as punch to discover that buying it now takes zero effort. Now to convince them to stock almond meal and coconut flour and I'm one happy paleo :)

WarriorAmy
{Insert motivational script here}
STR - 4|DEX - 2|STA - 6|CON - 4 |WIS - 6|CHA- 5
 

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Hey, I would be interested in making almond butter..Do you have the recipes (super easy if you can because I'm a Ramen Noodle, toast and boiled egg type of cook!)

Charles

Dark Panther - Adventurer

STR: 3 DEX: 2 STA:2 CON: 2 WIS: 6 CHA: 3

"Laughing myself to a 6 pack or at least at 4-pack"-

Current Challenge:

 

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