• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Sylvaa

Adventurer's 10th Anniversary Mini!

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Ann of Vries said:

 

E0F5166B-E963-4D6F-BCB8-670543452974.thumb.jpeg.06dfaf0c08701293b567a2808f67b72f.jpeg

 

I will NEVER not love on pictures of your Enting :wub: He's such a delightful child. And your lovely hair color is still lovely!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Ann of Vries said:

Here’s to many more years of leveling up my life with NF! 

 

Thank you for sharing all of this. It has been a pleasure interacting with you here. Your little guy is adorable, and I have no doubt that you are an amazing mother.

 

I am so damn proud of everyone who has opened their heart to us during this first mini-challenge. I'm not sure what @Sylvaa has in mind for us for Week One, but I know you all will make it awesome.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ten years of Skywalker:

 

I am currently working on a 10 year reflection of the time that I have spent with my hikling buddy and as such feel a little more prepared for this retrospective pondering.

 

I have to say that I feel and look pretty much the same as I did 10 years ago apart from the aging thing.  I am still in the same job, with the same (slightly older) family but I thik that in part reflects the 'middle-age'.  I had already picked a career, started a family, bought a house and finished a degree in that order.  So where have I changed and grown?

 

I feel that I am a lot more confident in my own skin.  I am more aware of what I can achieve and don't (try not to) qualify my achievements with self-deprecation.  I'm less bothered about what others think about my crazy adventures - why I prefer to cycle across a country than sit by a pool for a holiday etc.

 

When I started NF in 2012 had begun a journey to fit more adventure in my life.  I was agonising over signing up for a cycle tour of Sri Lanka which was the most 'out of my comfort zone' adventure that I have done to date.  Just like now there were pangs of guilt about spending that money and a few challenges to feel confident of meeting the physical challenge.  When I read over those challenges I did achieve some great advancements in distance and speed and I was really hard on myself. 

 

I can see that i fell into the post adventure hole - something that is both recurring but also lessening as I am more aware of the experience.  I definitely started a LOT more challenges than I finished and still to this day start a challenge with a flurry of commitment that dwindles.  Having said that I know that often I would continue with the challenge aspect even if I fell off posting.

 

I had a few times where I didn't actively seek out NF because I was feeling disillusioned over my promises to myself and the NF community that I was geared up for a change which I never made.  I have had a 10 kg weight loss goal before the next adventure activity before every planned trip and never managed to be anywhere near 5 km lighter when I headed off.  I also felt like a fraud and didn't feel qualified to offer others advice because while I had done a lot of 'underpant collecting' I couldn't transition knowledge into sustained action or find that one true thing that would be the answer to changing my behaviour and lead to the charmed life and dropping the weight.

 

 Looking back one of the real powers of NF for me has been the long term goal setting.  I have to say that I have achieved many things that I had not expressed out loud until I dug into what my Quest looked like.  I focused my attention on completing many 'Great Walks' including the Milford Track, Overland Track and the Coast to Coast all of which I have now completed. The power of focus and small goals leading to bigger goals is the 'gold' in this site and the reason that I keep coming back.  I am even a little afraid now to put in words that inkling of an idea because I know the power that the action can give!

 

I do miss some of the 'old days'.  Some of my first challenge mates and the activity of the accountabilibuddies.  But then forums were king and now it's social media so it's just the 'old school' nerds that still pour their hearts out in the forums.

 

So here is my reflect on the last 10 years on and off the forum.  No great revelations but a slow and somewhat steady progress towards a more authentic life.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I might pose another question for everyone, to continue this thread:

 

Have your goals changed since you joined NF? If so, how? (fitness goals, health goals, life goals, etc. all count)

 

I will start. When I started NF, all I cared about was physique. I wanted to be lean and sculpted, and exercise existed in my life only for the sake of looking a certain way. I did not exercise for fun, it was more about trying to punish my body into looking a certain way, and get incredibly frustrated when things did not progress as I wanted them to. If I was doing cardio, it wasn't to build endurance or strengthen my heart and circulation, it was to get thin. If I was strength training, it wasn't to build strength, it was to build showy muscles and get lean.

 

Now, my goals are very different. Though I would love to see physique changes, I am more interested in health, well-being, and functional strength. Training is a lot more fun because I do it for strength and relaxation and endurance. I used to treat my body like it was my life goal, but now I work on building a body that can support the pursuit of my actual life goals. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2020 at 6:09 PM, Aquarii said:

When I started NF, all I cared about was physique. I wanted to be lean and sculpted, and exercise existed in my life only for the sake of looking a certain way. I did not exercise for fun, it was more about trying to punish my body into looking a certain way, and get incredibly frustrated when things did not progress as I wanted them to. If I was doing cardio, it wasn't to build endurance or strengthen my heart and circulation, it was to get thin. If I was strength training, it wasn't to build strength, it was to build showy muscles and get lean.

 

Now, my goals are very different. Though I would love to see physique changes, I am more interested in health, well-being, and functional strength. Training is a lot more fun because I do it for strength and relaxation and endurance. I used to treat my body like it was my life goal, but now I work on building a body that can support the pursuit of my actual life goals.

I think many people here, including myself, have walked this way. I think we start there because is the main message society transmits about exercise, and then we find there is way more than that.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2020 at 12:09 PM, Aquarii said:

Now, my goals are very different. Though I would love to see physique changes, I am more interested in health, well-being, and functional strength. Training is a lot more fun because I do it for strength and relaxation and endurance. I used to treat my body like it was my life goal, but now I work on building a body that can support the pursuit of my actual life goals.

 

Yeah, when I joined NF I was fairly new to fitness. I've never been an athlete, and I didn't start thinking much about my health until I started feeling sluggish and grumpy in my mid-30s. Before, my goals were just to feel less blah.

 

Now, though, my goals seem to focus more on mental health and on meeting the physical needs of my favorite hobbies, which include running and being able to keep up with my kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/14/2020 at 7:13 PM, oromendur said:

It's just all so stupid.

Understandable considering there doesn't seem to be a support system.  I'm wondering why you are so hard on yourself with what you've written.  Considering maslow's heirarchy of needs; self-actualization can't be achieved until the basics are managed and it sounds like the selling of things and condition of the house/environment shows that those are things that are high priority in the journey to self-actualization.  However, the fact you are staying afloat is testament to your resilience.  And I honestly woudn't belittle the graduate school accomplishment.  Any schooling takes a serious toll in terms of mental will and overall ramps up anxiety.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Story:

 

Me, 10 years ago.  I was fucking miserable.  Before getting to NF over 7 years ago, I was 360 pounds and in a toxic enmeshed relationship, completely devoid of any intimacy or joy.  I didn't think I deserved anything better.  I hated myself.  I was filled with anger, bitterness, and rage.  I would routinely sit in the bathroom and imagine everyone in the world dying. It brought a smile to my face.  Almost the only thing that ever did.  I couldn't go up a flight of stairs without wheezing and being in pain.  Everything hurt. Feet. Knees. Legs. Lower back.  Upper back.  Constant chafing and redness everywhere.  I felt like I didn't matter. I felt like I was unlovable and that on this road; I would end up in a loveless marriage and die of a heart attack in a couple of years.  I had a bachelor's degree but nothing to do with it; instead working at the same job as my g/f at the time.  We spent every minute together.  Woke up together.  Went to work together.  Got home together.  We did the bachelor's program together.  I was guilted into never having friends because then *she* would be all alone that evening.  She was an enabler - and when I had a pep talk and said that WE need to work on ourselves she would nod her empty head in agreement...and then go right back to buying junk food for herself and then some for me to most likely alleviate the guilt of her eating garbage.  It was a cycle.  Day in, and day out; there was only work, and then junk food binging while I played videogames.

 

Then I found NF.

 

I found a collective of people who were trying to be their best selves.  And I didn't know what I was going to make of this place, but at least SOMEONE around here was a little bit encouraging.  I read a bit and then said, 'fuck it, I'll post something'. And started my first challenge without knowing what to do exactly.

 

 

I still remember that challenge.  I won't say detail, but Echos wasn't happy in her life and we private messaged a bunch.  I ended up using my challenges as journals: being completely open and vulnerable to what I was thinking and what was going on in my head and heart.  I started getting many people privately messaging me with what happened in their life.  Behind the scenes, I was counseling people and being a good friend to any who wanted me around in their life.

 

This place gives you 100 times more than what you put into it.  For every hour I put into writing a challenge or responding to a messages; I got more and more encouragement.

 

Eventually, I started doing sledgehammer workouts and wall-ups since I weighed too much to do a regular pushup.  I would lean a couple feet away from the wall and push away.  Then I did more.  And more.  And more.  I swung my hammer more.  I made more jokes and I felt more comfortable just being myself - the real me.  Not the shadow of a person that society told me to be.  Not the archetype 'funny fat friend' you see as a side-kick in those terrible romantic comedies.  I was putting love and attention into this forum and I got it back, magnified.

 

I eventually became a guild leader and I wrote RPG Fanatics: a story where I wrote the bulk of what was happening, but everyone participating had a say in thier character and where the story would lean towards.  It became popular and I felt like I finally had a family.  I felt like I was finally home.

 

I busted my ass and kept losing weight, and decided to run a spartan race; as terrifiying as a morbidly obese person with zero experience for anything past a 5k 'walk a thon' was able to do.  Everyone was supportive.  I made my Wall of Positivity: a posterboard of all the things people said to me on the forums, all condensed into one spot for motivation.  I took a picture of that poster and shrunk it to wallet size, put it in a necklace, and wore that with me on my spartan run.  All the lovelies here on the forum were near my heart.

 

I ran it...and I failed.  I came back, my tail between my legs; and apologized.  I hadn't slept for almost 2 solid nights because of how nervous I was.  I didn't eat anything besides a hardboiled egg and a lara bar since that's literally all I was able to stomach 24 hours before the race.  Running on fumes, I pushed myself for 4 grueling hours in the hot august sun.  But in the end, after getting tunnel vision and there being two times the staff were scared and thought about calling an EMT for me; my body had enough.

 

I felt like the biggest failure in the world. And it was definitely a low point in my life.  It wasn't that I failed: it's that I failed YOU.

 

And I'm trying not to tear up as I write this, but it's fucking impossible.  You didn't abandon me.  I was met with more love and more empowerment through that failure than I had ever felt in my entire life.  I remember people writing about how I at least tried, that I had many strikes against me, and that even starting something that was an impossible uphill battle was worth celebrating.

 

Regardless, I felt I needed to wrong that right; and after my ankles healed up (I have small bones in the back of my ankles that literally snap off and scrape my Achilles tendon if under too much stress. Fun, right?)  and all my muscles and scrapes and bruises had healed; I vowed to exact my revenge.  I was told by Ian ( @ravnos ) that he would run the race with me if I did it in Fenway park, near him.  So I did it.  And as I signed up, other people did too.  @Heidi @T2sarahconnor @ChristArtist @alienjenn @Terrah and more decided to run with me or at least be there as support.

 

And we did it.  We beat that race.  And for the first time in my life, I felt like I finally found my real family. I remember eating chickens from whole foods afterwards and CA telling me that I hugged her with the love of her own family.  And that's because we were family.

 

After that experience, I knew that I was living a sort of double life: there was the life that was projected on me; the life that I was told I should be; the life that talked down to me and made me feel like a worthless, broken piece of shit.  And then there was the real me.  Teros.  I knew when I came back home from that experience, that I wasn't the same. The two halves of who I was were fighting.  And up to this point, my ex was against me: actively sabotaging my efforts; telling me that Ian and Sarah were assholes that didn't know anything.  But I knew.  I knew that I needed to end things.  And so the only relationship I had ever known.  The toxic, enmeshed, 12 year relationship had met an end.  And 9 months later; she finally moved out.  That brings me to the first link I posted: Project Phoenix.  And with that, I took everything that was 'us', from christmas lights, to nutcrackers, to dvds, to music, to posters, to pogs; and piled them all up at around 3am in early August of that year and I set it all on fire.  And I vowed that I would never bend over backwards for people because when you do, you eventually break. Literally three weeks later, I started my master's degree.  I started doing mma lessons. I had lost a grand total of 120 pounds by this point.

 

Sadly, it didn't last; as there were a couple women that I started having feelings for while I was in this really conflicted emotional turmoil; as well as the anxiety and deprivation of school had me backslide in every area of my life.  I started putting weight back on.  I started eating bad.  Dating and lots of women who wanted to 'treat me right' did so through comfort eating.  I lost my way- barely even posting on here for years.  I fell in love with a woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with through this site.

 

And the years ticked away, I was consumed by school.  I had internships that had me see homeless starving people shivering on the streets, drug addicts who were abused by police, and overall saw the dark and dirty underbelly of the city.  There's nothing quite as humbling as sitting on the sidewalk, nestled into a storefront doorway (to cut down on the wind chill) with a woman about 10 years older than you who only had a backpack and shivered and said she was dying of cancer.  And knowing that you probably won't ever see her again.  And Will, the guy I did these check-ins with, knew her for a while and she wasn't lying for sympathy or for guilt.  A woman who was in her 50s and small, my mom's height, holding Will while it poured rain and she said the backpack she was given a few days ago was robbed from her and she said she was probably going to die that night.  Seeing clients I was supposed to meet with have people jump out of the car and put them in a headlock and ferociously punch them in the head and then jump back in the car and run away.  I saw a hispanic woman covered in bed bug bites cry at a mcdonald's as I was trying to do paperwork with her, as she had been on the street since her ex raped her and she couldn't go back and developed a cocaine habit.

 

All the pain.  All the sorrow.  All the torment.  And me, thrown into the streets to connect with the forgotten and the broken.  There is no real words to explain what this does to you, how deeply you feel.

 

Years of school dragged on, and the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with disappeared without a trace; only to emerge once a month to tell me she was trying to deal with thinigs...as vague as that is.  And then after over a year of this, talking to her on the phone and her telling me that, in her early 30s, she had cancer and needed to have a hysterectomy.  The dream we both had of having a family and being together, crushed.  I still loved her and wanted to be with her.  We started getting close again; until at long last the summer of 2019 she disappeared for good, leaving me abandoned.  All the casual dating I was doing lead to stress eating as I churned out paper after paper for school and dealt with the horrors of the dirty secrets of society on my own.  I wasn't able to make friends at school, as everyone was already clicky and in a profession where you are a cis white hetero male and hear about the cis white male being a horrible devil that ruined everyone's lives, you start to develop resentment.  Then the family pets started falling.  Alexis died.  Timmy died.  Rufus died.  Winnie died.  All in the span of less than a year.  And January 2019, my mom died on the couch...during my last semester of school.

 

I had a breakdown.  I had lost my NF family.  I lost pets.  I lost my mom.  I lost all progress I had fought so hard to achieve, only to let it slip between my fingers, and then the woman I loved abandoning me.  All within the confines of seeing horrors and feeling horrible for the clients I worked with who had a terrible story of abuse and neglect.  It all just seemed to hit me.

 

I had my first ever panic attack about 5 weeks after my mom died.  I had a nightmare where my mom's corpse fell onto me and pinned me to the floor and I was screaming at the top of my lungs and trying to push her ice cold body off of me.  I woke up in a sweat, frantic, and terrified.  And immediately after that, as I was recalling the nightmare I started screaming uncontrollably, balling up on the floor, and punching the ground as hard as possible.  I don't know how I didn't break my own hand or the floor.

 

In may of 2019, I was finishing up school, and I began the task of going through my mom's stuff.  She was a hoarder and I was living with all this junk.  Paper towel rolls and dog piss on top of cat piss stained the carpet patches of permanent yellow.  The smell was horrific in the summer as it baked in the sun.  I went through all of her garbage.  Sorted it into piled.  stacked and stored things into categories and I threw out all the junk.  Literal thousands of rat turds in every corner of the kitchen, buried under all the mess of plastic bags and unused cookware.  I did it all myself: my sister too much of an emotional wreck to do anything but stay at home and cry.  I rented a rug doctor and washed the floors multiple times.  I washed the walls.  I filled up an entire dumpster that was ordered and took up the whole driveway.  I cleaned, painted, and cried.

 

That brings me to this past Fall.  I finished up school and I've struggled with studying but I got that fucking degree and those letters at the end of my name.  I finally need to take my certification to be a social worker which is what I'm doing.  This past holiday season has been hard: the first one without my mom.  And with my uncle in failing health, I suspect that this was his last holiday season.

 

I have felt like I lost everything as a child, regained it all and more by being on here, and then lost it all again while going through school.

 

But I will say this: I'm not done.  Despite my muscle imbalances and pain, I am doing a dumbbell workout three times a week.  I'm hitting the elliptical twice a week as well. I'm building up my studying as I eat better and get more sleep.  I will get this certification.  I will get to goal.  And as I do these things, I feel myself coming back here- back to the place I loved.  Back to my real home.

 

I love all of you.  Whether or not I even know you; know that I care and want what's best for you.  This world is cold, dark, cruel, and chaotic - but being your best self it the remedy.  There may not be much light out there, but you can choose to make your own light and help those around you.  I will go on and I will survive the deaths and abandonment because I have to.  Because life is about suffering and finding purpose and meaning and value within that suffering.  And I will be a stronger person because of it.  Because of this place, I know that I have wings; just that they are clipped.  And in due time, as I grow and heal, I will fly again.

 

I'm Teros

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I think my goals have largely stayed the same—try to walk my way to fitness, with occasional attempts to run (slowly) my way to fitness. Usually, I get back on the “horse” when my weight is starting to tick upwards, and I’m trying to stop it from getting out of control. My baseline acceptable weight increases over the years, which I’m not in love with, but I’m within tolerance of healthy weight (just at the top end), and I feel that trying to get myself down to ”thin” would be like a full time job to manage the food and exercise and that’s just less important to me now. I’m okay with my ”generous” hips if I’m healthy :P 

 

I’ve grown a person from conception and given birth and even though he’s 13kg now (and he was never small to start) and I am a little mama, I can still carry him and I love that my body has been able to do all of that and I’m gaining more acceptance with this body I have as a result of that. It’s incredibly important to me that I can physically carry my son until he’s reliably able to walk long distances himself.

 

All that said, I’m currently finding that I want a little more structure in my fitness/health routine because I feel like I’m constantly yo-yoing up and down my weight comfort zone , although I’m still trying to figure out what might be too much structure.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Teros said:

Understandable considering there doesn't seem to be a support system.

 

What is this 'support system' you speak of? :rolleyes: My support system used to be my SCA friends, but multiple deployments and the hermit-like isolation of grad school took me away for so long that when I see them anymore it's superficial and awkward because we're all such different people, and for some reason the work of rebuilding all of those relationships is more than I can face right now. And they will all want me to put on armor and fight again. And I want to fight again, or at least I want to want to. But I've convinced myself I can't (or don't). So it's, um, a mess.

 

23 hours ago, Teros said:

I'm wondering why you are so hard on yourself with what you've written.

 

Because looking back makes it so obvious how my current problems are the direct result of my past bad choices, I guess.

 

23 hours ago, Teros said:

Considering maslow's heirarchy of needs; self-actualization can't be achieved until the basics are managed and it sounds like the selling of things and condition of the house/environment shows that those are things that are high priority in the journey to self-actualization.

 

Yes, you're right (sigh). Back to those bad choices... I just struggle so hard to take the actions that would solve the house problems, for reasons that are kind of a mystery to the pragmatic problem-solver that sometimes pops back into my head once in a while, just to make me feel bad about things. She doesn't ever stick around long enough to actually solve anything :angry:

 

23 hours ago, Teros said:

However, the fact you are staying afloat is testament to your resilience.

 

Thank you for saying this. I try hard to remember it. Your own example speaks to the truth of it as well, because -- as Tank said in your thread -- YOU NEVER QUIT.

 

23 hours ago, Teros said:

And I honestly woudn't belittle the graduate school accomplishment.  Any schooling takes a serious toll in terms of mental will and overall ramps up anxiety.

 

I seriously underestimated what it would do to me, and I'm paying for it now (shrug). I've got the fancy academic title, and a fancy military title to go along with it, and those will make for an impressive obituary -- but they are worth nothing in my current fight to get my feet under me again. Indeed, they actually have negative worth in a way, because people with such titles are presumed to be successful, and, well, at the moment, I'm not.

 

Thank you for your kind and incisive comments. You definitely fit into the "I never post in your threads but I always read them" category, and I'm grateful you took the time to respond.

 

As I always end up realizing: there's nothing to do but go on.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Teros said:

But I will say this: I'm not done

 

This is the most important thing in your whole post, if you ask me.

 

22 hours ago, Teros said:

I know that I have wings

 

Hm. We all do, don't we? NF is the kind of place that lets us realize this, no matter how many times we forget about or choose to ignore the presence of those wings. We'll just all have to keep realizing it, over and over, as many times as it takes.

 

Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/27/2020 at 2:33 PM, Teros said:

But I will say this: I'm not done.

 

Yes, my friend, hell yes! This is so damn inspiring. I know you've felt like giving up so many times, but you've always found a way out of the pit.

 

giphy-downsized-large.gif 

 

On 2/27/2020 at 2:33 PM, Teros said:

I love all of you.  Whether or not I even know you; know that I care and want what's best for you.  This world is cold, dark, cruel, and chaotic - but being your best self it the remedy.  There may not be much light out there, but you can choose to make your own light and help those around you.  I will go on and I will survive the deaths and abandonment because I have to.  Because life is about suffering and finding purpose and meaning and value within that suffering.  And I will be a stronger person because of it.  Because of this place, I know that I have wings; just that they are clipped.  And in due time, as I grow and heal, I will fly again.

 

 

Love you, too, brother. You might not know it, but (to extend on your metaphor) you have made my wings stronger on more than one occasion. You will fly again, and perhaps higher than ever before. Keep after it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.