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[SymphonicDan] is back in action! [Level 25]


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Hey there - it's been a long time since I did a NF challenge! Now that everyone has been sent to our rooms by Mother Nature it's a good time to fight the isolation here :)

 

For those of you I haven't met yet, I'm a 29-year-old guy from the UK, who used to play around a lot with gymnastics, climbing and vaguely circus things, and for the last 3 years has been travelling around the world, mostly in Latin America - including:

 

  • volunteering for 5 months as a trekking and extreme sports guide in Nicaragua
  • competing in Las Vegas and in Germany at Mental Math and Memory
  • learning Spanish and Portuguese
  • volunteering as an interpreter for a tour company in the Amazon
  • discovering the ways of Wim Hof
  • backpacking around beautiful places like Guatemala and Slovenia
  • becoming a freelancer in software and education

 

I've just been avoiding Winter in Asia, but now freshly back home in England because of the ongoing travel disruption. Unfortunately along the way I've been repeatedly falling off the fitness wagon, and probably will do so again. So despite being stuck at home for the foreseeable future, I'm here to make fitness more of a priority!


I used to use points systems here for my challenges, and actually since I've been away from NF I've been using similar points systems for productivity and put a bunch more thought into the gamification aspect of it and different systems. So in this challenge I'll be using a couple of those ideas.

 

For this challenge I'll be using the Daily Points and Self-Accountability systems from the article above.

 

Goal #1: Keep Active

Despite restrictions on movement, I'm still able to run, do calisthenics, cycle, use my gymnastics rings, jump, etc. so to get myself back on the fitness wagon I'll be awarding Mad Hatter Points (okay, "Movement Points" but in my mind they are Mad Hatter Points because she invented them 😛).

 

Each activity gives me 1, 3, 6 or 10 points depending on intensity. Max two activities per day can count. So if I go for a short run (6 points) and do a set of push-ups (1 point) then I get 7 points that day. No other point values (like e.g. 5) are allowed, to avoid overthinking.

 

I also get +1 point for every new activity this challenge.

 

Goal #2: Wim Hof

It's important now (and always) to keep our immune systems strong, an one tool for this is the Wim Hof Method. There's a breathing technique (I did some research about the Science of the Wim Hof Breathing Technique) and also cold exposure (now I have very cold showers again yay!) so I'll be doing both.

  • 3 points for doing the breathing technique for at least 2 rounds
  • 4 points for cold exposure (minimum 60 seconds fully cold shower)

 

Goal #3: Meditation

I've heard a lot about the benefits of meditation, and played around with some ideas, but never really stuck to a consistent practice. So I'll be awarding:

  • 3 points each day for a 10-minute meditation session (increasing to 4 and 5 points for maintaining a streak of consecutive days)
  • 1 point for every new type of meditation

 

Goal #4: Productivity

To ensure I use this quarantine time effectively, I'll be making a list of tasks (with points to total 20) each day, and awarding points for the ones that I complete.

 

I'm quite lucky to have a lot of freelance work at the moment, as well as my own projects and coaching, but I need too stay focused to stay on top of these and continue growing.

 

Rewards:

If/when I get to 1000 points then maybe I should reward myself... any ideas what that should be? :)

 

Resources:

Challenge tracker is here - starting Monday 23rd March.

On one of my websites I have a post and some resources about my gamification tools for productivity

 

Looking forward to being back in the challenge routine!

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Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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Great to see you back around these parts!

 

6 hours ago, SymphonicDan said:

Rewards:

If/when I get to 1000 points then maybe I should reward myself... any ideas what that should be? :)

 

A celebratory trip outside your quarantine zone?

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

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The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

Other Challenges: 12345, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 3132, 33Humbug[Current]

Level 2 Ninja

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Welcome back!

 

I wondered many times in which corner of the world would you be...

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The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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WELCOME BAAAACK, Dan! I'm impressed but not surprised to see that your travels took a global health crisis to disrupt them. :P 

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Raptron, alot assassin

67666564636261605958 575655545352515049484746454443424140393837363534333231302928272625242322212019181716151413121110987 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

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On 3/23/2020 at 7:20 AM, WhiteGhost said:

A celebratory trip outside your quarantine zone?

 

I think I'll be treating myself to that when the time comes regardless of my performance on this challenge 😛

 

 

On 3/23/2020 at 9:09 AM, zenLara said:

I wondered many times in which corner of the world would you be...

 

Colombia, UK, Edinburgh, Calpe, Lisbon, Cambridge, Oxford, London, Bielefeld, Budapest, Vienna, Malta, Barcelona, Athens, cruise to Dubai, Sri Lanka, Chiang Mai, Singapore and Bali in the last year! Sounds a lot when I write it all out but I'm trying to travel more slowly now.

 

Obviously the quarantine is helping with that but that's not really what I meant 😛

 

 

On 3/23/2020 at 6:51 PM, Mad Hatter said:

Welcome back dude! How do you feel about being back after so long?

 

Back home? Kinda normal since I'm usually back every few months. The difference is that usually I'm at home until I arrange my next trip away, but this time the endgame is kinda out of my control... We have quarantine in the UK until April 14th, and other countries have something similar, so I'll wait until after that and then see what my next moves should be. I like to continue travelling but it could even be that my next move isn't outside of the UK.

 

 

On 3/23/2020 at 8:08 PM, Mike Wazowski said:

WELCOME BACK!! Following along - literally just learned we're the same age, haha.

 

August 18th here if by some chance you're a birthday twin? :o

 

 

On 3/24/2020 at 2:26 PM, raptron said:

WELCOME BAAAACK, Dan! I'm impressed but not surprised to see that your travels took a global health crisis to disrupt them. :P 

 

Hahaha, I know it's kinda extreme but they had to bring me back somehow :(

 

I could have continued travelling one way or another but it would have been an irresponsible choice at this time.

  • Like 1

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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Challenge progress:

 

2-and-a-half days in, let's see:

 

Wim Hof: I'm doing the breathing and cold shower every morning with no difficulty. The cold showers are super cold right now! I'm guessing 6'C from the weather report. However, it does the job and I feel healthy and great :)

 

Meditation: haven't started this yet 😕 ...for some reason I always find it hard to restart this practice... Does anyone else here routinely meditate btw?

 

Fitness: The UK government advice is that we can exercise outside once per day, so I'm hoping that encourages people to make the most of it! Maybe we can have a healthier country as a result. I went for a run but the cold air was really hurting my face and I had to stop several times because of that. The hot weather abroad has clearly made me soft... :( I have a balaclava hidden away somewhere that maybe I can use next time. I would be worried about scaring people away from me but we're supposed to be social distancing anyway so I guess it doesn't make much difference 😛

 

Productivity: I'm expecting to start a new client project soon - so for now I've mainly been creating some of the resources for my websites. Yesterday I wrote an update post for the mental math website (although probably not interesting to people here on NF!) and today I'm finishing a couple of half-completed resources I made relating to Wim Hof and breathwork.

 

So far I've been massively overestimating how much I can get done in a day, so I'm watching how that evens out. You know when you have a full 16 hours available and at the end it feels like you've only done about 30 minutes of work? That.

 

To help with that I've been keeping a "done" list along with my (private) to-do list so that I can my progress - that seems to help :)

  • Like 4

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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44 minutes ago, SymphonicDan said:

Colombia, UK, Edinburgh, Calpe, Lisbon, Cambridge, Oxford, London, Bielefeld, Budapest, Vienna, Malta, Barcelona, Athens, cruise to Dubai, Sri Lanka, Chiang Mai, Singapore and Bali in the last year! Sounds a lot when I write it all out but I'm trying to travel more slowly now.

Holy shit! That's a whole lot of traveling for one year.

can we have pictures? Pretty pleaseee

 

34 minutes ago, SymphonicDan said:

Meditation: haven't started this yet 😕 ...for some reason I always find it hard to restart this practice... Does anyone else here routinely meditate btw?

Start with just a couple of minutes and then grow up from there. I do that every time I stop for a while and it makes it easier to adapt again.

 

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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3 hours ago, SymphonicDan said:

August 18th here if by some chance you're a birthday twin? :o

Nope, but February 20th puts us really close to half a year apart! Haha I'm sure you're able to manage the exact calculation quickly in your head, but I hunted down an online calculator for it.

 

I feel you on the "what exactly *did* I do with my day" feels - that was definitely yesterday for me.

 

 Ballroom dancer, data nerd, calisthenics dabbler

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On 3/25/2020 at 5:35 PM, SymphonicDan said:

You know when you have a full 16 hours available and at the end it feels like you've only done about 30 minutes of work? That.

Jep! 

hope you get less soft soon or it warms up a bit ;)

 

Main Quest: becoming a decent kettlebell lifter and a great coach

Current hiding out in a battle log: KB Girl's journal

my instagram - my gym's instagram

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On 3/25/2020 at 6:35 PM, SymphonicDan said:

So far I've been massively overestimating how much I can get done in a day, so I'm watching how that evens out. You know when you have a full 16 hours available and at the end it feels like you've only done about 30 minutes of work? That.

Pretty much always. And when I try to account for the time there's always some mystery period during which I've done literally nothing, not even dicked around on the internet or whatever. I wonder what happens in that mystery space...

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On 3/25/2020 at 5:11 PM, zenLara said:

Holy shit! That's a whole lot of traveling for one year.

can we have pictures? Pretty pleaseee

 

Start with just a couple of minutes and then grow up from there. I do that every time I stop for a while and it makes it easier to adapt again.

 

Actually I didn't take many photos this year! In many places I was focusing on work and projects and community, rather than actual exploring. Which makes sense in context but I understand might sound a little strange.

 

The place where I found the most exciting new stuff the last 12 months was actually Lisbon! For a place that I expected to be similar to e.g. England and Spain, it had a lot to entertain me :)

 

 

On 3/25/2020 at 7:43 PM, Mike Wazowski said:

Nope, but February 20th puts us really close to half a year apart! Haha I'm sure you're able to manage the exact calculation quickly in your head, but I hunted down an online calculator for it.

 

February 16/17 is the opposite end of the year for me, so close enough! I've only actually met one person IRL born the same day as me, and that was through Nerd Fitness 😛

 

 

On 3/27/2020 at 8:36 AM, KB Girl said:

hope you get less soft soon or it warms up a bit ;)

 

I'd like to think I've gotten less soft, but I think it's entirely just the weather having gotten much warmer - it's beautiful now! :D

 

 

On 3/27/2020 at 5:27 PM, Mad Hatter said:

Pretty much always. And when I try to account for the time there's always some mystery period during which I've done literally nothing, not even dicked around on the internet or whatever. I wonder what happens in that mystery space...

 

I know right! Recently with some friends we were tracking our time with an app, into categories such as [eating], [sleep], [client work], etc., and someone had the idea to include a [wtf] category for that time where you're not really doing anything... and it was amazing how much of my time (hours per day) that went into that :o

 

 

On 4/9/2020 at 12:32 AM, Talvi said:

Hope you are doing well, Dan!  The website looks great - you have built a good amount of content for it, so well done!

 

Hey Talvi! Welcome back! I did check last week whether you had been active here ahah.

 

Thanks - the website under my name is doing really well the last month or so, I'm amazed how much traffic it has been getting, and a few people have reached out to me with various ideas through it.

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Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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Oops, I've been terrible at updating this, and it's clearly not because I've been out on any adventures! :(

 

Goal #1: Keep Active: To be honest I was feeling pretty unsporty when I started this challenge. Several months of low activity apparently does that 😛 But I've been out cycling a lot, discovered a rowing machine at home, and threw the occasional sets of push-ups, and feel like I'm getting back into the groove :D

 

I also discovered my gymnastics rings and hurdling set, so I can play with those sometime. Luckily in the UK it's still allowed to leave the house for exercise once per day, so I'm making the most of that.

 

Goal #2: Wim Hof: I've been doing cold showers about 80% of days (okay, starting hot and finishing with a minute on the coldest setting) and that's working very well for me. It was nice to come out of the cold shower and feel warm for a while afterwards (it increases your metabolism and causes the blood vessels near the skin to dilate because of the Hunting Reaction and bring warm blood back to the skin).

 

They've also been getting much easier now the weather is warmer and the cold shower isn't 6'C anymore.

 

I've been waking up super late though, so I've mostly been skipping the breathing technique.

 

 

Goal #3: Meditation: This still hasn't become a habit. I think I need to set a specific time of the day to do it... Maybe if I woke up earlier it might help....

 

 

Goal #4: Productivity: Mostly I've been waiting for various clients to give me work, so I haven't had much essential work to do. Instead I've been using that time to tidy up a load of loose ends, things on my to-do list from 5 months ago, etc. and its been nice to finally clear a lot of that backlog :) I've also written a few detailed articles for my blogs, which I wouldn't have had the time to otherwise:

 

On my gamification/productivity track I've actually removed the productive goal entirely because I found I spent too long deciding what tasks I was going to do that day, and often new things would appear so I would change focus anyway.

 

Maybe I should add a "sleep before time T" goal in there too though... at the moment I'm sleeping after 02:00 and having breakfast after 12:00, which is kinda ruining my "morning" routine!

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Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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3 hours ago, SymphonicDan said:

Thanks - the website under my name is doing really well the last month or so, I'm amazed how much traffic it has been getting, and a few people have reached out to me with various ideas through it.

That's amazing!

 

2 hours ago, SymphonicDan said:

Maybe I should add a "sleep before time T" goal in there too though... at the moment I'm sleeping after 02:00 and having breakfast after 12:00, which is kinda ruining my "morning" routine!

I mean... morning is relative. As long as you're getting enough sleep I don't see a problem with this.

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3 hours ago, SymphonicDan said:

at the moment I'm sleeping after 02:00 and having breakfast after 12:00, which is kinda ruining my "morning" routine!

Perhaps you just identify as living in a different time zone :P 

  • Like 2
HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread    Bodyweight Exercise Library   Shuffle Club

The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

Other Challenges: 12345, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 3132, 33Humbug[Current]

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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8 hours ago, SymphonicDan said:

The place where I found the most exciting new stuff the last 12 months was actually Lisbon!

Lisbon is a wonderful city! Did you take time to explore the surrounding places?

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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On 4/11/2020 at 12:18 AM, WhiteGhost said:

Perhaps you just identify as living in a different time zone :P 

Hahah, this.

Raptron, alot assassin

67666564636261605958 575655545352515049484746454443424140393837363534333231302928272625242322212019181716151413121110987 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

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On 4/11/2020 at 10:38 AM, zenLara said:

Lisbon is a wonderful city! Did you take time to explore the surrounding places?

 

Yes - I was pleasantly surprised! Nearby I only went to Sintra, which was really nice. The old buildings were cool but the place just had a nice vibe to it and nice backpackers in the hostel so I would have stayed for a few more days if I could (but I had a fun week-long event starting in Lisbon).

 

 

On 4/13/2020 at 11:27 AM, Talvi said:

Goals 1 and 4 look on track, maybe you need to find some inspiration/motivation for goal 3?

 

For the meditation I think I mostly just need routine. I did it yesterday evening though so maybe that's the start of a streak!

 

 

22 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Yes! Time to play with rings! :) 

make us a starting point video?

 

If I ever get to taking them out, I'll see :) I think that it's allowed according to the lockdown rules, but strangely the government hasn't issued specific advice about taking circus and calisthenics equipment out into public spaces 😛

 

 

On 4/11/2020 at 5:18 AM, WhiteGhost said:

Perhaps you just identify as living in a different time zone :P 

 

True - although there are reasons for my effective timezone to be similar to people around me, and clients are confused when I say "I'm available from midday to midnight", so I've added a new column to the spreadsheet for days when I sleep early enough (currently 01:15 but that might change both ways). I've retroactively assigned points to this for the previous days which was easily because it was a big fat zero for every day 😛

 

Current average score is 7.59/day. Hopefully with some better discipline and routine I'll get that up to 10.00 in the following days :)

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Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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Sintra is an amazing place. Every time I went to Lisbon I tried to go there too.

The Wolverine - Level 5 // BER  6.5 // HEA  4 // STR  4.4 // STA  3 // DEX  4 // CON  4 // WIS  4.75 // CHA  1

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.

Adventures don't start until you get into the forest.

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