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Harriet

Harriets Year of Energy: Act II

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So I have completed my first challenge in the first time challenge guild. Now, it's time for my apprenticeship in a real guild. I'm not yet very mighty, but I want to be a warrior. 

 

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I've been lifting since February this year, after years of trying and failing to get a little bit fitter (mostly trying and giving up on cardio, yuck). The weights have helped me immensely and set me on a path to greater glory. But I still need to address the ongoing fatigue, depression and anxiety that have been crushing my life for almost 20 years. I've moved abroad for a year due to my husband's job. I have no full time job while I'm here, so I have decided it will be a year of ENERGY production. 

 

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Last challenge I de-carbed, de-sugared, de-alcoholed and de-caffeined and hyper-proteined my diet whilst improving sleep habits and working on my posture. This challenge I think it's finally time to introduce some cardio (sadface) and work more on my sleep and recovery. I've also realised it's going to be a slow journey so I may choose some "life" goals as well. I love my lifting and want to get better, but it's not going to be in my challenge because I do it anyway and will continue to do it anyway. I may write about how my lifting is going, though, and possibly post gifs of cats doing deadlifts, if I can find them. I'm sure they exist. Anyway, I am looking forward to the continuing challenge and I hope that even not-yet-might apprentices with small deadlifts are welcome here.
 

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NEW WARRIOR!
 

Image result for viking cheers gif

 

23 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I'm not yet very mighty, but I want to be a warrior. 

Mighty is a frame of mind. You're here, you're choosing to make progress and be a better version of yourself. I'd call that mighty.

 

25 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Last challenge I de-carbed, de-sugared, de-alcoholed and de-caffeined and hyper-proteined my diet whilst improving sleep habits and working on my posture.

I got tired reading that. Go you!

 

25 minutes ago, Harriet said:

This challenge I think it's finally time to introduce some cardio (sadface) and work more on my sleep and recovery.

Cardio isn't THAT bad (ps, don't listen to @GodzillaKong, he gives cardio an undeserved bad rap, totally has nothing to do with my marathon training)

Image result for shifty eye

 

There's plenty of cardio options that do not involve long running or too much time on the dreadmill. Do you have any ideas of what you want to do?

 

25 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I've also realised it's going to be a slow journey so I may choose some "life" goals as well. I love my lifting and want to get better, but it's not going to be in my challenge because I do it anyway and will continue to do it anyway. I may write about how my lifting is going, though, and possibly post gifs of cats doing deadlifts, if I can find them.

I'm sure they exist.

Image result for cat working out

 

Does this count

25 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Anyway, I am looking forward to the continuing challenge and I hope that even not-yet-might apprentices with small deadlifts are welcome here.

All are welcome. Seriously glad to have you here and look forward to seeing how your challenge goes. 

 

And welcome to the warriors!

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Pleasure to have you! Welcome welcome!

 

giphy.gif

 

15 hours ago, Harriet said:

This challenge I think it's finally time to introduce some cardio (sadface) and work more on my sleep and recovery.

 

What are your thoughts behind this? Are there any kinds of cardio stuff you've done in the past that was fun for you? Lots of options, depending on your needs and preferences! 

 

15 hours ago, Harriet said:

I've also realised it's going to be a slow journey so I may choose some "life" goals as well.

 

 

Most of the time these things are pretty much directly related. What are you looking to sort out?

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16 hours ago, Grumble said:

Cardio isn't THAT bad (ps, don't listen to @GodzillaKong, he gives cardio an undeserved bad rap, totally has nothing to do with my marathon training)

 

I ain't given Cardio anything it didn't already have and deserve.

 

The sleep and recovery, now there's a goal I can get behind.

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20 hours ago, Grumble said:

NEW WARRIOR!
 

Image result for viking cheers gif

 

Mighty is a frame of mind. You're here, you're choosing to make progress and be a better version of yourself. I'd call that mighty.

 

I got tired reading that. Go you!

 

Cardio isn't THAT bad (ps, don't listen to @GodzillaKong, he gives cardio an undeserved bad rap, totally has nothing to do with my marathon training)

Image result for shifty eye

 

There's plenty of cardio options that do not involve long running or too much time on the dreadmill. Do you have any ideas of what you want to do?

 

Image result for cat working out

 

Does this count

All are welcome. Seriously glad to have you here and look forward to seeing how your challenge goes. 

 

And welcome to the warriors!

 

Thank you for the kind welcome! I am feeling more confident already! 

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 Yeah, I am totally fed up with feeling terrible, so I used that moment of frustration which hit right before the last challenge to be a bit more ambitious about my diet. I've experimented with low carb before but always end up thinking "a little won't hurt" and backsliding. My biggest achievement is that I no longer drink wine at home and it feels normal now. I've been wanting to fix my near-daily wine habit for ages.

As for the cardio, we've moved into a hilly area, and I've found a hill leading to a park with some impossibly steep stairs. Walking up them gets me to about a 9 on a scale of 0 (sedentary) to 10 (death). So I've tried out a few hill and doom-stair walks already. Weirdly, the hill part is getting easier... and the good news is there's no running, which I think of as repeatedly slamming one's feet and ankles against a hard object.

Re cat deadlift gifs: Picture of cat bench pressing is a pretty good start. I'm also partial to corgis and baby goats :D

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6 hours ago, RedStone said:

Pleasure to have you! Welcome welcome!

 

giphy.gif

 

 

What are your thoughts behind this? Are there any kinds of cardio stuff you've done in the past that was fun for you? Lots of options, depending on your needs and preferences! 

 

 

 

Most of the time these things are pretty much directly related. What are you looking to sort out?


Thank you! Well, I loved martial arts in the past. I did TKD as a teenager (15 years ago) and kick boxing recently. That had a significant endurance component. But I sprained my ankle, twice, and haven't returned as it has been extremely slow to heal. Plus the trainer was so damned macho it made me super anxious. And I discovered lifting, and didn't have the energy for both anyway. I thought I'd do some hill walking and continue my new cycling regime (I hate it but it's necessary, as we moved to a city with bad public transport and we have no car). Those should get me a bit fitter so maybe I can do martial arts next semester. We'll see. 

Ugh, so many things to sort out. I would like to do daily reading, and make a habit of doing sketching and painting regularly. I also need to make some sort of schedule for cleaning the house, as I am a terrible procrastinator and naturally indolent slob. 

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bc8e0c24474417667

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4 hours ago, GodzillaKong said:

 

I ain't given Cardio anything it didn't already have and deserve.

 

The sleep and recovery, now there's a goal I can get behind.

 

I'm hoping to get enough cardio fitness so that I can go about my day without getting so tired. I'm hoping it will cure my fatigue. Anyway, it's just instrumental, it's not true love, like with lifting. 

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How do you feel about some shadow boxing intervals? You can go at an appropriate intensity for your needs and don't really need any equipment! (I hear you about the machismo, as a woman in martial arts it's a constant battle.)

 

Also... inktober is still on for a few weeks... pretty low key commitment for a daily sketch! I didn't start, but maybe I'll get a few in ;) 

 

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I liked Steve's post today on changing habits via identity, so I want to give it a try. Ooops, I may have gotten overexcited with the gifs. How many gifs is beyond the bounds of propriety?

 

I am a warrior whose main quest is to get stronger. To be strong I lift 3 times per week, and attend to protein and recovery. 

 

Where's+The+Meat.gif

 

Naturally, warriors are adventurous, so I get out of the damned armchair now and then and say yes to some new things. 

 

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An adventure should have easy monsters to defeat at the very start, like goblins or giant rats. My adventure story is badly designed, and has two quite difficult monsters at the start. The Dragon of fatigue can only be held at bay with the help of potions (good diet) extra training (cardio), and of course sleeping to heal before each battle. I hope to slay the dragon permanently one day. The Lich of anxiety has a nasty fear spell which can cause morale failure, but meditation can increase my resistance to the spell. 

 

Having wooed and wedded an extremely hardworking mate, I am also a warrior-housewife who cooks and keeps things tidy. Tidy, I say. 

 

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I am not an illiterate barbarian with an intelligence of 8 (who cannot even read scrolls), but an intellectual sort of warrior. I read books every day to improve my lore. 

 

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(I had to use this gif again because I love chubby yellow cats so much)

Edited to add I shall make concrete challenge goals based on these gifs I mean identities soon.

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3 hours ago, RedStone said:

How do you feel about some shadow boxing intervals? You can go at an appropriate intensity for your needs and don't really need any equipment! (I hear you about the machismo, as a woman in martial arts it's a constant battle.)

 

Inktober sounds cool. I might try something like that next challenge, I think the reading is a little more urgent and doable. Is shadow boxing intervals just, you know, hitting the air for a few minutes until I'm tired, then resting and trying again? That could be fun if I can't get to classes yet. I would eventually like to go to classes, too, though, because I'm sure there's some skills involved that I could learn.

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

Is shadow boxing intervals just, you know, hitting the air for a few minutes until I'm tired, then resting and trying again? That could be fun if I can't get to classes yet. I would eventually like to go to classes, too, though, because I'm sure there's some skills involved that I could learn.

 

Pretty much! Or you can do more specific combos and such, look up some boxing intervals for reference or just jot down some combos you already know. Or, you know, just get into some air strikes for time! Whatever you feel like doing, so long as you're working hard during the work periods. Since it's more for cardio than specific training, you can use techniques from anything you know - including kicks, elbows, etc.

 

So far as making them intervals, you can use a clock, timer on your phone, or an interval app (my preference) and set it to different work and rest periods for a certain amount of time, (10 - 20 mins total usually) Here are some different types:

 

1:2 work/rest = 15 seconds work, 30 seconds rest (lots of recovery, this is the easiest option)

1:1 work/rest = 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest

2:1 word/rest = 30 seconds work, 15 seconds rest (this is a basic tabata)

3:1 work/rest = 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest (a tougher tabata)

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Nice, thank you for the suggestions! I suspect this will be super useful when it gets colder and going out for hill walks is less appealing. Plus it will make me feel badass even if I can't make it to fighting classes yet.

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Alright. My challenge, in concrete terms. 

I am a warrior who values strength and glory. I must therefore do whatever it takes to defeat fatigue and anxiety whilst gaining strength and constitution. This will lead to a more glorious deadlift, but also enable me to go on great adventures. This warrior would prefer to be a cultured cleric rather than a savage barbarian, however, and values a well-kept fortress and the improvement of her mind through extensive reading. 

Main Quest 1: Increase Constitution through training
Do either hill & stair climbs or boxing intervals 3 times per week. I will have to experiment to see how much shadowboxing I can take, but it needs to be moderate to high exertion, I already walk and cycle for my light cardio.  

 

Main Quest 2: Increase resistance to morale failure

By meditating 5 minutes each morning while my first tea of the day brews. Easily done, that.
 

Side Quest 3: Increase Lore through reading

I will start with 20 minutes per day and increase the time by ten minutes each week. Not too difficult. I already have some books downloaded. 

Side Quest 4: Keep the fortress and armoury in order
Do something to make the house cleaner every day. It could be as easy as de-cluttering our main living area if I am feeling super tired, but it can be more involved.

 

Bonus Quest 5: Scribe my adventure

Track my lifts and cardio to see how they improve over time. Take measurements and photos but evade the vicious pressure plate trap (the scales).


Ongoing Quest 6: Increase Constitution through alchemy & rest

Keep going with my new sleep habits and diet from the last challenge: maximum 2 caffeinated teas per day, alcohol only at restaurants and social events, at least 100g protein per day, no sugar or refined carbs in my normal meals. Treats include 2 slices pizza on Wednesday lunch, one restaurant dinner on Saturday. Normal diet may be suspended for social events, which don't happen too often.

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2 hours ago, Katerina said:

Intellectual warrior--you speak my language :) Whatcha reading? 

 
Well, I've stocked up on books on my device. I have "The Tea Party and the remaking of Republican conservatism" by Skocpol and Williams. I loved Skocpol's work on civic organisations in "Diminished Democracy", it was the bomb. Um, provided you like reading about how democratic societies function, anyway. I also have Yuval Noah Harari's "21 Lessons for the 21st Century"; Roxane Gay's "Bad Feminist"; Michael Sandel's "What Money Can't Buy" (he's a communitarian philosopher); a book on animal evolution within urban environments; a memoir about alcoholism; a memoir about an American woman travelling abroad for the first time and seeing her country from an outside view; and something called "Thank you for being late: An optimist's guide to thriving in the age of accelerations". I've forgotten what it's about but I suspect technology and the good life? I haven't finished "The people versus democracy" by Mounk yet, it's dense. Too many books on politics, maybe? I'm looking forward to the book on urban evolution, though. What are you reading, or looking to read? 

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Sounds like you flit between books like I do :)

 

Currently, I am reading a biography on the Borgias, a book on the Renaissance, a book on the colonization of South America, and American Gods. (Hahaha, which one doesn't fit?) I am also reading The Meditations. There is a method to my madness: American Gods is stationary bike reading, and Marcus Aurelius is a weekly "book" (chapter). This has been a week that may necessitate a review. People close to me have been, well, (sigh) people, this week with all of the exasperation that sometimes entails.

 

I like reading well written biographies  (Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World was awesome.), and while leadership  (ahem, power and the exercise thereof) intrigues me, I prefer my studies to be a bit more at arm's length which is why I gravitate toward the past rather than the present. It feels easier to keep track of moving parts that way. 

 

I am flirting with a book on the Amazon women (read a sample and plan to buy it when my currently-reading queue allows). Women who know how to wield power explicitly as women fascinate me.

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12 hours ago, Katerina said:

Sounds like you flit between books like I do :)

 

 

Ha, there's a definite history theme, though. When I run out of reading material, I think I might borrow your theme of women & power in history. It sounds thrilling. Any favourite titles?

 

I also prefer to keep things at arm's length, but for emotional reasons. I can't stand the way tv and film dramas place violence, fear, despair and other feels right in my face. I swear films have been getting more gratuitously violent, more emotionally intense and hyperrealistic over the years. Apparently people need more and more stimulus to feel engaged. But I don't want the feels. I want equanimity. Unless it's a story where the righteous prevail and the unjust are defeated. Then I can handle the feels. Anyway, books definitely allow for greater distance and control, which is not to say one can't be moved. 

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Whew.... did a really tough* cycling trip with hills, evil hills today. It definitely counted for my "9" in cardio for the day. And my 8, and 7, and 6, and then some more 8. Oh man, I feel sick. 

 

*For me, anyway. I'm terribly unfit, not to mention deeply awkward and unsteady on a bicycle.

 

giphy.gif

 

 

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10 hours ago, Katerina said:

Yay, you! :) But if you feel sick, was it a bit much? 

 

Enjoy your recovery day.

 

Yes, yes it was definitely too much. It was my husband's idea to cycle through town and up to the botanical gardens, which are very charmingly situated at the top of a rather high ridge. I'm never doing it again. I'm going to stick to my hill walks and research all cycling proposals beforehand to vet them for likelihood of death. 

.... and it isn't my recovery day, it's squat day! But thank you kindly :D
 

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38 minutes ago, JustCallMeAmber said:

giphy.gif

Don't think I've popped in to say hi yet. Welcome, and good luck to you!

 

Thank you! Cat gifs and encouragement from other nerds instantly boost my strength and willpower by several points, yay! 

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On 10/18/2018 at 3:30 PM, Harriet said:


As for the cardio, we've moved into a hilly area, and I've found a hill leading to a park with some impossibly steep stairs. Walking up them gets me to about a 9 on a scale of 0 (sedentary) to 10 (death). So I've tried out a few hill and doom-stair walks already. Weirdly, the hill part is getting easier... and the good news is there's no running, which I think of as repeatedly slamming one's feet and ankles against a hard object.
 


Ah, the magic of adaptation! Seriously, hubs and I moved into this house like 15 years ago and it was the first time I ever lived in a two-story. Just going up and down the stairs multiple times made my quads scream in agony and winded me. I got so excited the first time I went upstairs and it didn't hurt :) 

 

Hill walking is great. I'm always on the lookout for non-running, non-elliptical, non-dying of boredom cardio options. I can deal with kettlebell swings, hitting a tire with a sledgehammer, and walking. Like you, though, I actually like lifting and only cardio because it makes me feel a bit less sludgy. 

 

On 10/18/2018 at 7:14 PM, Harriet said:

Ooops, I may have gotten overexcited with the gifs. How many gifs is beyond the bounds of propriety?

 

We have bounds?????? I swear I had no idea ... 
 

latest?cb=20151212204818

 

h11E622E1

 

stuffed-cat-crochet-toy-with-barbell-uni

 


Obi Wan Corgogi

pet-580x435.jpg

 

And furthermore - 

 

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3 minutes ago, Gemma said:


Ah, the magic of adaptation! Seriously, hubs and I moved into this house like 15 years ago and it was the first time I ever lived in a two-story. Just going up and down the stairs multiple times made my quads scream in agony and winded me. I got so excited the first time I went upstairs and it didn't hurt :) 

 

Hill walking is great. I'm always on the lookout for non-running, non-elliptical, non-dying of boredom cardio options. I can deal with kettlebell swings, hitting a tire with a sledgehammer, and walking. Like you, though, I actually like lifting and only cardio because it makes me feel a bit less sludgy. 

 

Thank you for the delightful animals :D

Oh my, hitting things with a hammer sounds so brutal.

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bce64312f2e6f556f

 

...How can I get to try it out? 

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