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Ambarwen Oromendur: Quenta Mentieryon, part 4 (Rivendell)


oromendur

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Greetings Adventurers! I have to apologize for the fact that I’m sort of checking in mid-adventure here, but I’ve been doing pretty well with the monthly challenges recently. I don’t want to lose a streak now, not when a few minutes of thinking and typing can set up a placeholder and give me something to work towards even in the midst of my crazy #adventurerlife. 

 

Short introduction (since all the cool kids seem to be doing it this challenge): I am a Tolkien scholar, a Ph.D. candidate in the field of Mythological Studies, an inactive reserve military officer, an occasional musician, a somewhat lapsed medievalist, a keen ballroom dancer, a semi-skilled hiker and moderate wilderness junkie, a former network and RF engineer, and an inveterate seeker of experience. (This list is overwhelmingly incomplete, of course — it’s impossible to capture every element of a personal story even with hundreds of sentences like these — but these are the items which clamored for my attention as I typed this, so this is what we’ll have to work with for now.) I respawned four challenges ago after a several-year hiatus from NF, and am now desperately trying to finish my Ph.D. dissertation before I run out of time this coming December. 

 

One of the things working against me is the fact that I am currently traveling and will continue to do so until I finally make it home on 29 Aug. Having reluctantly left behind the stunning glaciers of Forochel in Alaska, I’m now slogging through the foothills of Mordor (or maybe Harad — I suppose Las Vegas isn’t quite an utterly desolate wasteland, but it is very hot indeed, and even if the stars are not strange the place is certainly under the control of the Dark Lord) but my escape is planned for Saturday. If I am successful, I will spend a glorious week enjoying the forests and waterfalls of Lord Elrond’s beautiful mountain realm in Switzerland, and then I will return to my own (Mediterranean-climate) Shire to take up the never-ending task of trying to sort out my poor neglected little hobbit hole. 

 

 

Main Quest: The Red Book of Westmarch (5 points)

 

“But after a time, as Frodo did not show any sign of writing a book on the spot, the hobbits returned to their questions about doings in the Shire.” (The Fellowship of the Ring)

 

Still going. Still difficult. Still the most important thing in my life — and still often only gets the dregs of energy left over after I’ve attended to the crush of daily craziness. I have to get my bearings and be more disciplined here than I managed to do last time. I MUST finish Chapter 7 before I go to Switzerland, and it would be nice to get through at least the first section of Chapter 8 by the end of this challenge. I don’t normally assign point values to this quest, because it’s kind of my day job and entire reason for living right now, but these are desperate times — so the day I send Chapter 7 to my beta readers I will earn a full five points.

 

 

Quest 1: A daily slice of PAI (20 points)

 

“Very soon there was a fine commotion in the village by the riverside; but Bilbo escaped into the woods carrying a loaf and a leather bottle of wine and a pie that did not belong to him.” (The Hobbit)

 

In the recent past, the fitness measurement system of my heart rate monitor (MIO Slice) has proved both motivating enough to get me moving and flexible enough that I can more or less do it anywhere with reasonable amounts of success. So in the spirit of a placeholder challenge, I think I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing.

 

Task: I will keep the PAI score on my heart rate monitor at 100 or above at least 5 days per week, extra days earn extra points.

 

 

Quest 2: Support to the Fellowship (24 points)

 

“You may tarry, or come back, or turn aside into other paths, as chance allows.... Yet no oath or bond is laid on you to go further than you will. For you do not yet know the strength of your hearts, and you cannot foresee what each may meet upon the road.” (The Fellowship of the Ring)

 

It’s kind of an open question whether a strict training regimen or an open and flexible requirement works better to get me off my ample and lazy butt; both have proved successfully motivational in the past, and both have also utterly failed to get me to do anything at all (shrug). As I am short on energy and time, I’m going to go with open and flexible — I’ll basically just count what I do in the Doodlie battle this challenge, which will keep my reporting requirements reasonably simple :) 

 

Task: I will submit at least 6 units of effort per week to the Waffle Warriors, in support of the next campaign in the Breakfast War (the Battle for Doodlie Island), one point per unit, extra units earn extra points. Strength training units will also earn one bonus point each, because I need all the encouragement I can get to try and break through the Resistance I seem to be currently wrestling regarding strength training. 

 

 

Quest 3: Conversing with Elves (16 points)

 

“If any wanderer had chanced to pass, little would he have seen or heard, and it would have seemed to him only that he saw grey figures, carved in stone, memorials of forgotten things now lost in unpeopled lands. For they did not move or speak with mouth, looking from mind to mind; and only their shining eyes stirred and kindled as their thoughts went to and fro.” (The Return of the King)

 

When I’m at home I do a pretty good job of maintaining a morning routine of meditation, morning pages, and Tai Chi and an evening session of stretching. Unfortunately I haven’t been at home since 2 Aug, and won’t get there again until halfway through the challenge :( 

 

Task A (required in Weeks 1 and 2): I will complete at least three activities per week from my normal routines (meditation, morning pages, Tai Chi, or stretching; I may substitute related activities such as yoga or computer-based journaling or anything else appropriate that might come up) three times a week, one point per activity, extra activities earn extra points. This requirement is intentionally under-ambitious, to encourage me to try and do at least a little bit while traveling.

 

Task B (required in Weeks 3 and 4): I will complete all of my normal health-and-mindfulness activities (at least 5 minutes of meditation/morning pages/Tai Chi in the morning, at least 10 minutes of stretching in the evening) at least five days per week, one point per full day, an incomplete day may earn half a point if at least two activities are completed, extra days earn extra points. This is intentionally a somewhat more strenuous requirement, to encourage me to re-establish good habits immediately when I get back.

 

 

Life quest: Staying Positive (20 points)

 

“Down the wind came the voices of the people of Esgaroth lamenting their lost town and goods and ruined houses. But they had really much to be thankful for, had they thought of it...three quarters of the people of the town had at least escaped alive; their woods and fields and pastures and cattle and most of their boats remained undamaged; and the dragon was dead.” (The Hobbit)

 

I love to travel, but even the most anticipated and well-planned travel is exhausting. Once I get tired (usually because the travel choices I can afford to make these days are uncivilized and uncivilizing — the redeye to Anchorage after driving to Las Vegas and then flying back to Los Angeles is a miserable example in the recent past, and the eight-hour flight to Europe as the third of four flights back-to-back is one coming up in the immediate future), it is VERY easy for me to get grumpy and impatient and start to believe that other people living their lives and doing their things around me are the cause of my unhappiness. I don’t know if there is really a cure for this, but if I can manage to distract myself by focusing on positive things or things for which I’m grateful, maybe I can do a better job of managing my overall attitude and mental/emotional discipline. There should be PLENTY of positive things to choose from — it’s a vacation week with family followed by the Tolkien trip of a lifetime, after all — so this should not be too difficult, as long as I don’t permit myself to slide into a stewy mess of grumpiness.

 

Task: I will post on Instagram a photo of (and short reflection about) something for which I am grateful at least five times per week, one point per post, extra posts earn extra points (no more than one point per day).

 

 

Total points to be successful in this challenge: 85. Last challenge, for the first time since I respawned, I ended up unable to eke out enough points to meet my goal. This failure can be partially attributed to the fact that this crazy travel month sort of arose when I wasn’t looking, but it’s also partially because I think I made it just a bit too ambitious. I’ve tried to ask less of myself this time. I certainly don’t promise to I’ll be able to keep up with anyone else’s challenge threads — but even if I’m not posting, I’m reading, and I wish all of my Adventurer comrades the very best of luck on this month’s journey!

 

  • Like 4

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 ]

[ Current: Misty Mountains ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]   ~   [ Books ]  

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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12 hours ago, oromendur said:

I don’t know if there is really a cure for this, but if I can manage to distract myself by focusing on positive things or things for which I’m grateful, maybe I can do a better job of managing my overall attitude and mental/emotional discipline. There should be PLENTY of positive things to choose from — it’s a vacation week with family followed by the Tolkien trip of a lifetime, after all — so this should not be too difficult, as long as I don’t permit myself to slide into a stewy mess of grumpiness.

 

Hedonic adaption gets me every time. I'm trying to get better at it as well. I have to say, you and I live pretty awesome lives. But it's easy to forget that in the day-to-day-ness. ^_^

  • Like 1

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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On 8/13/2018 at 1:18 AM, oromendur said:

I have to apologize for the fact that I’m sort of checking in mid-adventure here

 

No apologies necessary. We're glad to have you. Let me know if I can help in any way.

  • Like 1

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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[WEEK 1 UPDATE] 

 

So this, one of the craziest trips in a recent series of long and crazy trips, is well and truly underway. I left Alaska (which was beautiful), went to Las Vegas (which was rather less so), and after a solid week of family insanity in the desert Southwest I have managed to make it to Switzerland. 

 

Main Quest (The Red Book of Westmarch): Yeah. Um. I significantly overestimated the capacity I would have to spare on this trip. I have had neither the energy nor the time to do any real work. I have been reading up for Chapter 8 here and there in transit, but overall this has proven to be an utter disaster. Usually I do pretty well while traveling, but not this time (sigh) Here’s hoping for better luck next week — but realistically, I might have to wait until I get home.

 

<Cue grinding of teeth in stressed frustration, then a deep breath and a glance at the Swiss countryside rolling by outside the train window and a conscious setting aside of worry over a circumstance about which I can do nothing.>

 

Quest 1 (A daily slice of PAI): Done Mon-Sun, 7/5, overall 7/20. Easy peasy between hauling luggage and desert hiking. My body feels pretty good overall despite crap sleep and crap food and jet lag, and (touching wood) my back hasn’t really been bothering me too much since I started paying attention to moving enough every day.

 

Quest 2 (Support to the Fellowship): Done Thu (3 cardio units) and Fri (7 cardio units), 5/6, overall 5/24. On Thursday we went for a short and easy hike down the very top part of Bright Angel trail in the Grand Canyon, and on Friday I took the kids up Bell Rock in Sedona while my sister and her husband enjoyed a romantic spa interlude.

 

I have changed the accounting on this one because one point per unit was making it overwhelmingly easy; each unit will now count as only half a point, and the ranged units will not be included (they will fall under Quest 3 instead, to avoid double-counting). I will still give myself an entire extra point for each strength training session (it’s vanishingly unlikely that I’ll do any so it probably doesn’t matter, but one never knows).

 

Quest 3 (Conversing with Elves): Nothing this week :( 0/3, overall 0/16. Perhaps the lack of regular journaling is related to the trouble I’m having with my Main Quest? 

 

Life quest (Staying positive): Done Mon, Wed-Sun, 6/5, overall 6/20. I’ve done pretty well here. Although I had originally planned not to count late entries, the vagaries of internet access while traveling have led me to soften my stance on that a bit (as long as I take the picture on the actual day). I am very glad I am doing this — it is very easy indeed for me to jump on the negativity train, and this practice really is helping me control that tendency.

 

Total challenge points 18/20, overall 18/85. I’m a tiny bit behind, but as long as I keep paying attention to things it should not be a problem to catch up. 

 

This coming week is a very special treat for me: I am on an actual trip with an actual tour operator (this never happens — I’m usually way too cheap and try to save money by planning everything myself), and the group is going to hike around to various Tolkien sites in Switzerland while our luggage is magically transported for us from one quaint mountain hotel to another. The Swiss Alps, specifically the Jungfrau region, are confirmed by Tolkien’s own words as the inspiration for the Misty Mountains, and the Lauterbrunnenthal is without a doubt the inspiration for Rivendell. It’s the trip of a lifetime for me. I am bound and determined to enjoy it as much as humanly possible :) 

 

Hope everyone else had a great Week 1!

 

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.” (The Hobbit)

  • Like 3

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 ]

[ Current: Misty Mountains ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]   ~   [ Books ]  

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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On 8/13/2018 at 7:22 PM, Ann of Vries said:

I have to say, you and I live pretty awesome lives. But it's easy to forget that in the day-to-day-ness. ^_^

 

SO. MUCH. TRUTH. I can complain and be miserable anywhere — or I can be happy and grateful anywhere. I try hard to make the second choice. Some days I’m more successful than others, but it is certainly a worthwhile practice either way. And we certainly do live awesome lives :) 

  • Like 2

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 ]

[ Current: Misty Mountains ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]   ~   [ Books ]  

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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On 8/20/2018 at 7:22 AM, oromendur said:

This coming week is a very special treat for me: I am on an actual trip with an actual tour operator (this never happens — I’m usually way too cheap and try to save money by planning everything myself), and the group is going to hike around to various Tolkien sites in Switzerland while our luggage is magically transported for us from one quaint mountain hotel to another. The Swiss Alps, specifically the Jungfrau region, are confirmed by Tolkien’s own words as the inspiration for the Misty Mountains, and the Lauterbrunnenthal is without a doubt the inspiration for Rivendell. It’s the trip of a lifetime for me. I am bound and determined to enjoy it as much as humanly possible :) 

 

Hope everyone else had a great Week 1!

 

That sounds incredible! And thank you. My adventures are on a much smaller scale than yours, but it's great to hear that you are finding joy in the midst of the chaos. :)

  • Like 1

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Embraces His Wild Poet

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals More

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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[WEEK 2 UPDATE]

 

Greetings from Rivendell! The last day of my adventures is drawing to a close, with an unexpectedly upgraded first class train ride through still beautifully scenic but increasingly urban landscapes back to Zürich. Tomorrow I will begin the long series of flights home. It has been an incredible week, equal parts wilderness adventure and luxury travel experience, but sustaining the level of engagement such a journey deserves has been every bit as exhausting as I had expected it to be. Still, I don’t think I have done too badly on the challenge front.

 

Main Quest (The Red Book of Westmarch): OK, well, yeah, except for this quest. I have done very badly indeed on this quest. At least I can feel validated in the quality of my research, as I was undoubtedly the most Tolkien-educated person on the tour. Like, by a lot. Our very experienced guides (we actually had the owners of the company on our trip!) knew an incredible amount about Switzerland, but almost nothing about Tolkien (sigh). I will be home by Wednesday and working on my dissertation as soon as physically possible thereafter. The five points for Chapter 7 still wait for me to claim them...maybe by the end of the week? If the jet lag gods prove kind?

 

Quest 1 (A daily slice of PAI): Done Mon-Sun, 7/5, cumulative 14/10, overall 14/20. Hiking every day up various parts of the Alpine countryside this week ensured that completing this week’s quota for this particular challenge was not very difficult at all. We’ll have to see how things go in Weeks 3 and 4, once I get home and chain myself to my desk again :mellow:

 

Quest 2 (Support to the Fellowship): Done Tue (7.2 units), Wed (13.2 units), Thu (6 units), Fri (5.2 units), and Sat (8.7 units), total units 40.3, 20/6, cumulative 25/12, overall 25/24. While I have to admit I have not been very exacting in my recordkeeping, and while this total seems overwhelmingly high even after halving my originally allocation plans, the truth is I have done several hours of Alpine hiking at elevation pretty much every day this week. Although I recorded GPS tracks for most of the hikes, I won’t really be able to access and analyze that information until I get back to a functional computer. I promise to go through these in more detail and describe them more exactly later. For now, in order to calculate my points for the week so the Waffles can continue their glorious campaign of awesomeness, I just added up the minutes that my heart rate monitor reported I was in my moderate or high exertion zone each day (low, moderate, and high zones are calculated based on reported maximum heart rate and measured resting heart rate, and I have only counted as cardio the recorded minutes in the top two zones). Despite the ridiculously high point total, I actually think this is a rather conservative estimate — it doesn’t count any of the several hours my heart rate monitor clocked in the low zone, which is itself mostly valid cardio, because I can’t be sure those minutes were from hiking and not from normal non-exercise exertion. But if my heart rate was in the moderate zone or above for long enough that the monitor recorded it, I think it’s safe to say I was climbing up a mountain or trekking across a glacier :) 

 

Quest 3 (Conversing with Elves): Tai Chi done Mon, 1/3, cumulative 1/6, overall 1/16. There were several mornings when I could have chosen to do some of these things rather than eat breakfast, which I normally don’t do because I generally fast until lunchtime, but my willpower was utterly overwhelmed by the incredible deliciousness of Swiss breakfasts provided by various quaint mountain hotels. Fresh butter churned the day before, and gorgeous Alpkäse which must be crafted above a certain elevation to be called Alpkäse, and slices of the most amazing cured meats to go on top of that butter spread on fresh nutty bread baked that morning — I had no hope of resisting these temptations. So I overate at breakfast (bad) instead of doing my various morning routines (good), but have to say I don’t regret it even a little bit :) 

 

Life quest (Staying positive): Done Mon-Fri, 5/5, cumulative 11/10, overall 11/20. I have been doing fairly well at this, although as my energy waned and the adventures and landscape and travel challenges did not, I got tired of fighting with flaky cell phone reception and kind of fell off the wagon over the weekend. I promise I will climb back onto it in Week 3, though, because this is such a valuable practice. Gratitude is so important. If I’m being honest, I’m still not very good at it.

 

Total points 33/20, cumulative 51/40, overall 51/85. Even though I’ve been pretty lax on most quests, and even with the 50% nerf on Quest 2, the sheer amount of walking up mountains I did this week has still given me a significant extra point cushion. If I can survive the next (and most painful) leg of travel and hit the home ground running, perhaps I can keep the momentum going for the second half of the challenge? Hopefully? Wish me luck...I’m going to need it...

 

There is so much more to tell about the trip, but I don’t have the energy to write it all up right now. Look for further dispatches over the next week once I get home and have time to process it. In the meantime, I hope everyone else is finding success in their own challenges!

  • Like 2

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 ]

[ Current: Misty Mountains ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]   ~   [ Books ]  

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Link to post

[WEEK 3 UPDATE]

 

Well, I got home this week. In my plans for this challenge I didn't really allow for the sheer exhaustion and lack of energy which would, on reflection, be an obvious result of the crazy month I've had. Let's just say I didn't quite accomplish everything I had planned for Week 3...

 

Main Quest (The Red Book of Westmarch): I sent Chapter 7 to my long-suffering beta readers on Friday to earn my five supplementary points. I actually didn't so much finish it as decide I just wasn't going work on it anymore -- at this point 'done' is far more important than 'good.' That timing also (only just!) let me record it in my planning document as having been completed in August, which means I only have to look at one whole month of zero accomplishment instead of two. Psychologically that's probably worth a small bit of self-deception :mellow: 

 

Quest 1 (A daily slice of PAI): Done Mon-Fri, 5/5, cumulative 19/15, overall 19/20. This REALLY should have been six days instead of five :angry: The comfortable 100-point PAI cushion I had from all that mountain hiking in Week 2 more or less melted away after a solid eight days of complete inactivity. The wretched thing read 29 on Saturday but I couldn't muster enough energy to care about it (or anything else, really). I then woke up early again on Sunday (yay jet lag) but, somewhat surprisingly, had enough functionality to go for a nice long ramble in the canyons to try and pull myself together a bit. 1300 vertical feet later I had maxed out my PAI -- at 99! The system evidently only permits up to 75 points in one day. AARGH. Grumble. Sigh. So I didn't quite make it. I guess some things are their own punishment. 

 

Quest 2 (Support to the Fellowship): Done Sun (12 units), 4/6, cumulative 20/18, overall 20/24. That canyon ramble was 5+ miles up to the top of the local peak and back, and it took me just over two hours, so it turned out I was able to contribute at least something small to the Waffles this week despite everything going sideways. After some consideration, I've decided to nerf this calculation again. At the previous valuation, the huge number of points I earned in Week 2 plus Sunday's crazy hike basically meant I could do pretty much nothing at all in Week 4 and still be successful -- which is the exact opposite of the behavior I'm trying to incentivize with this whole internet challenge thing. Calculating this quest at 3 cardio units per challenge point puts me in a better place, where success in the challenge is achievable but not guaranteed -- I'll actually have to work pretty hard in Week 4. I've recalculated my earlier weeks' scores to reflect this (I can't be bothered to edit the posts, so in the vanishingly unlikely event anyone cares, it's in my tracking spreadsheet). 

 

Quest 3 (Conversing with Elves): Done -- um, well, actually not done. At all. I didn't complete a single morning routine and I didn't do a single session of stretching this week. I did do Tai Chi Thu-Sun; although I probably don't deserve it, I'll grant myself a quarter point per session to earn a single point, 1/5, cumulative 2/11, overall 2/16. The only reason the Tai Chi got done, I think, is because that pattern is such a deeply ingrained part of being in my bedroom at home that it would have been harder not to do it <_< I blame my general inability to give a [BLEEP] about anything this past week. 

 

Life quest (Staying positive): Done Mon-Wed, Fri, Sun, 5/5, cumulative 16/15, overall 16/20. It's a lot more difficult to find good things to post about at home when I'm wandering around bumping into walls and feeling sorry for myself -- but I'm going to have to figure it out in Week 4.

 

Total challenge points 20/25, cumulative 62/65, overall 62/85. Despite the pathetic showing in Week 3, I don't have to fail as long as I can scrape together 23 points, which should be possible if I actually, you know, do what I say I'm going to do :) I do feel like I'm starting to climb out of my post-trip energy black hole, so I think this can happen. Here's hoping.

 

Here's also hoping everyone else survived their thrashing from the Week 3 doldrums and is ready to finish strong!

 

"If we fail, we fall. If we succeed – then we will face the next task." ~Gandalf (The Two Towers)

  • Like 1

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 ]

[ Current: Misty Mountains ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]   ~   [ Books ]  

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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On 8/27/2018 at 2:04 PM, annyshay said:

Eagerly awaiting further dispatches. :)

 

I had planned on a detailed breakdown of all my lovely hikes -- but then I sort of forgot my GPS in the hotel in Los Angeles :( I called housekeeping at the hotel. They found it and they're going to mail it this week, so I'm waiting for that. I will post something here with GPS tracks and photos eventually though, I promise!

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 ]

[ Current: Misty Mountains ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]   ~   [ Books ]  

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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I'm always broken at the end of a holiday XD

 

I saw your recent posts on Instagram of Owens Peak and wanted to recommend--to add to your reading pile--The Wood Wife by Terri Windling. It's out of print now, but used copies aren't expensive. When I read it, I thought that, for me, she made deserts sound magical (I mean, outside of it being a fantasy novel) and beautiful for the first time.

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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[WEEK 4 UPDATE AND RETROSPECTIVE]

 

One of these days I'm going to figure out how to design a challenge that doesn't leave me tired and pissed off at the world when it's over. (Or I could figure out how to just let it go and fail when it's causing me stress instead of helping me improve my life, but, you know. Whatever. Anyway.) I did claw myself back on track this week by sheer force of will, which I guess was the point of the exercise -- but once again I'm going to need that week off before I'm willing to even begin to decide what I want to focus on in the coming month.

 

Main Quest  (The Red Book of Westmarch): I have managed an actual start on Chapter 8. I wouldn't say I got the first section done or anything, which was my stretch goal for this challenge, but there are quantitatively more paragraphs in the dissertation document than there were last week. (I'm not going to even consider evaluating the quality of those paragraphs -- they were bought too dearly, and it doesn't really matter at this point. Editing comes later.)

 

Quest 1 (A daily slice of PAI): Done and done, Mon-Sun, 7/5, overall 26/20. The points from last Sunday's ridiculous exertion lasted all the way until, well, yesterday (Sunday), when it was time to do another 5+ mile hike in the canyons to max out my PAI again for another week. In theory I'd do a little bit each day and not have to thrash myself like this. It's a nice thought, a great idea, sort of like doing housework more than every six months so it doesn't take a hazmat suit to prepare for guests. There may come a week when I will be sane enough to move that thought to physical reality, but it was not this week.

 

Quest 2 (Support to the Fellowship): Done Sun (11.5 units), 4/6, overall 24/24. (Yes, I know the math isn't quite right -- I rounded down last week, so I'm rounding up this week. Don't judge. I need the stupid point.) I didn't climb Owens Peak this time, but I did wander up and down a bunch of other hills, explore old paths I used to know (some of which have changed quite a bit since the pre-dissertation age when I was hiking out there most days), and take pictures of the sere late summer landscape. I also managed to get sunburned, because I'm stupid. Runkeeper reckons I managed nearly a thousand feet of elevation gain, and my heart rate monitor was suitably impressed, but now my back hurts -- probably because I overdid things a bit after a very sedentary week (sigh). But between that and the ranged points earned from my Elven quest, I was able to contribute a decent amount to the Waffle campaign even though the week was otherwise a bust.

 

Quest 3 (Conversing with Elves): Done and done, Mon-Sun, 7/5, overall 9/16. To be successful in the challenge I needed a perfect score this week, so I had to complete my morning and evening routines every single day without fail. By Sunday night I really resented the requirement, and was looking forward to blowing it off -- but then this morning I got up and did my morning routine anyway, because it's what I do (shrug). There is a measurable difference in my productivity when I take time in the morning to try and get my mind straight, whether or not I actually manage to do so (which I mostly didn't this week, as you can probably tell by the tone of this report). I think the resentment was related more to the way Resistance manifests in my life (as a tendency towards self-sabotage) than anything to do with the actual challenge itself. 

 

Life quest (Staying positive): Done Tue-Sat, 5/5, overall 21/20. This was really hard this week. I did what I could. It's a hugely valuable practice and I need to keep it up -- I just wish Instagram wasn't such a struggle. My brain is far more verbal than visual, and sometimes scrabbling around for a decent image that lets me say what I want to say in words is more trouble than it's worth. Maybe next time I should make it a forum posting requirement instead?

 

Total challenge points 23/20, overall 85/85. I squeezed out a success -- just barely -- thanks to some creative math (although I'm not really stretching things that much; even after I nerfed Quest 2 twice, if I were to add up all the fractional points I discarded in Weeks 1-3 I would actually be at 86 and some change). I guess that, despite my less-than-optimal psychological state in Week 4, it kind of felt like the pain of failing two challenges in a row would be greater than the pain of just knuckling down and getting this one done. So, once again, the whole challenge process has done its job, and once again I'm exhausted and grumpy about the whole thing. I do need some time off from requirements for a while -- but time and tide wait for no one, and the road still goes on.

 

               The Road goes ever on and on
                    Down from the door where it began. 

               Now far ahead the Road has gone,
                    And I must follow, if I can, 

               Pursuing it with weary feet,
                    Until it joins some larger way, 

               Where many paths and errands meet.
                    And whither then? I cannot say.

                                            (The Fellowship of the Ring)

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 ]

[ Current: Misty Mountains ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]   ~   [ Books ]  

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Link to post

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