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[Preamble]

Welcome to Owlshire, a beautiful woodland property in the Forest of Dean, England.  I’m a 42 year old American woman living here with my British husband (Mr) and pre-school son (Enting). I work in gamedev and when I’m not doing that, I’m tending to my garden, doing needlework of some sort, writing, playing games (of various sorts), and exploring our local woodlands.
 

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[Goals]
My fitness goals are thus:
 
Reach Mordor
Finally finish my (tracked) journey to Mordor. I’m 889 miles away! I’ve been wanting to complete this challenge since the early 00s (when it was called the Eowyn Challenge), and I’m sure I’ve been “there and back again” several times over, but I’ve never managed to track the whole thing. I want to finish my walking route to Mordor by November 2022. My goal for this challenge is 150 miles (which is an average of 25 miles a week).

 

I will do this in a combination of longer walks but also just getting up and moving around more during the day. I can settle into my chair in my office in the morning and not get up again until lunchtime. I think it would be better to get up do shorter walks and activities on days I can’t do a longer one.
 
More PAI
Continue with PAI. For this challenge, I want to build up to an average score of 75 (and actually maintain it).

 

I hope to do this both with my more exerting walks, but also by doing short impact cardio like burpees and jumping  jacks when I can’t get out for one of those hilly walks.

 

Less BMI (Updated Week Zero)

I want to continue to reduce my BMI/weight. This will be done with increased activity and continuing to watch my portion sizes/limited snacking. I’m currently at 22.8 BMI, and I will count this goal successful if my BMI is less than it was before, or if my weight is less than it was the beginning of the challenge. (This is because BMI is a different measurement that may not “tick over” even if I’m still making progress.)

 

Tracking will be done with a minimum of weekly updates, and of course will include plenty of Owlshire photospam.

 

Level Up My Life: Driving Practice
A non-fitness goal that I’m adding partially because it impacts my time for fitness, but also because it’s really important: practicing for my driving test. Here in the UK, Covid has caused understandable but huge delays—at the moment scheduling a practical driving test is around 6-10 months of lead time and if you fail or have to reschedule? You can wait that length of time again. My test is scheduled for 28 March and because of these ongoing delays, I’m under a lot of pressure to “one and done” that test. We live out in the country now, and being able to drive is critical, especially now that the Mr is going to start traveling for work again.

 

So, my goal here is to minimum 2 (3 is better) practice drives a week, which is about what we can usually fit in.  There is one week where Mr will be away for work that’ll impact that, but I’ll note that when we get to that week.

 

Tracking will be done with a minimum of weekly updates, and of course will include plenty of Owlshire photospam.


[Challenges]

  • It’s likely that my husband will soon need to start commuting part of the week to his studio and I’ll be regularly solo-parenting which will require some routine adjustments.
  • My household has a tendency to catch every germ (except, so far, Covid) that comes through the Enting’s preschool. I do not exaggerate when I say this happens about every other week. This tends to knock down my fitness goals since I become housebound looking after people even if I’m not sick myself. I’d really like to work on alternatives for when I can’t go for long hikes in the woods—which is my preference, but can’t always happen.

 
Admin note: I always start on Week 0, and I track from Monday-Sunday.

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Sometimes you have to wander to find your way home…
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Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 

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8 minutes ago, Rookie said:

Wow! Well done on keeping up with your tracking your walk to Mordor. I tried once but I kept forgetting to track 😮

 

I failed to track it on at least half a dozen attempts XD This particular attempt has a big gap around Rivendell and Lothlorien where we moved and I stopped paying attention to my FitBit for several months, but I decided that this time I’d just pick up where I left off. It also helps that I let my FitBit do  all the tracking and I only update it with the weekly sum of everything it has tracked. So I’m trying to make it as simple and low maintenance as possible XD 

 

8 minutes ago, Rookie said:

 

No pressure with the driving haha Man that is not a great scenario to be stuck in but I believe in you! 

 

Thanks. I was a driver in the States, so that helps a bit. But British roads/rules/vehicles are just that bit different, and I didn’t drive for nearly 6 years after moving abroad because we were in London and it wasn’t needed. My original test was for early November last year, but I came down sick with Covid symptoms (although ultimately tested negative) a couple of days before and had to reschedule… end of March was the first they could book me! So, yeah, really don’t want to mess this one up. Who knows when the next one will be?

 

8 minutes ago, Rookie said:

 

ps. Your property is amazing

 

PS: I think so too! 

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Sometimes you have to wander to find your way home…
🇺🇸 Adventurer 🇬🇧

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Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 

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1 hour ago, Snarkyfishguts said:

I'm very excited to hear more about driving! And omg you are so close to finishing your walk, YAY!

 

 

 

I dunno if the drives themselves are that exciting. Today we drove into the centre of a nearby town, and I parallel parked(!) and we went to a fancy deli to pick up lunch to go. Then I drove us home.  I find I’m less nervous on drives when there’s a goal at the end. Like… just going out to “practice driving” doesn’t enthuse me that much. Going to run an errand? I can do that!

 

The roads out here are fun, although a little unnerving at times - often narrow, hilly, windy 2 lane roads across beautiful countryside and forest and in the tourist season, a lot of cyclists! One one of my first practice drives, a group of 20 cyclists pulled out in front of me and I looked at the Mr and said “I hope you’re happy crawling home at 10 MPH because there’s no way in hell I’m going to try to pass them on this blind, windy road.”

 

(! 20 years of driving in the States and I still hate parallel parking.)

 

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Sometimes you have to wander to find your way home…
🇺🇸 Adventurer 🇬🇧

🌳🦉🌳

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 

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16 minutes ago, Snarkyfishguts said:
25 minutes ago, Ann of Owlshire said:

 

(! 20 years of driving in the States and I still hate parallel parking

SAME. I'm always anxious I'll hit someone's car. 

 

I will walk a ridiculous distance to avoid parallel parking. Luckily, I live in an area where it's not hard to avoid. 

 

I think my step-son's driving test is about the same time as yours (although yours sounds so much more stressful)! 

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38 minutes ago, Snarkyfishguts said:

SAME. I'm always anxious I'll hit someone's car. 

 

21 minutes ago, Sylvaa said:

I will walk a ridiculous distance to avoid parallel parking. Luckily, I live in an area where it's not hard to avoid

 

13 minutes ago, Rookie said:

Same. I don't back in park or parallel park. 😬 Avvvvvoiiiiid at all costs lol. 

 

Ha! I SO feel the same way, but I’ve got to at least pass it on this test! (Or at least fail nothing else!)

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Sometimes you have to wander to find your way home…
🇺🇸 Adventurer 🇬🇧

🌳🦉🌳

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 

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2 hours ago, Ann of Owlshire said:

(! 20 years of driving in the States and I still hate parallel parking.)

 

Pfft. Who doesn't?

 

Like Sylvaa, I will walk 6-10 blocks, rather than parallel park downtown. This is regardless of foot wear and/or weather. 

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38

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On 2/7/2022 at 5:15 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I live in the seventh largest city in the nation and the places where one has to parallel park are so rare I can't bring any to mind.

 

Villages and small town centres here don’t have much in the way of big car parks or driveways, so parallel/street parking is pretty much the norm.

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Sometimes you have to wander to find your way home…
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Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 

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SO much goodness going on here! Walk to Mordor...889 miles, hm, assuming that's away from from Mount Doom...<checks atlas>...oooh, Cerin Amroth! Beautiful. (Utterly random trivial fact: the paragraph I use as a lorem ipsum to paste my morning pages into 4TW every day is Tolkien's description of removing Frodo's blindfold and his first view of Lothlórien.)

 

Yay PAI! Yay weight loss! OOOOH my goodness yay driving licence!

 

I don't actually mind parallel parking -- on the RIGHT side of the road, in a place where they drive on the RIGHT. On the left in a left-hand drive country when you learned the other way? That is doing the hard thing on hard mode and I don't envy you :) You can do it, though!

 

Are you familiar with the military acronym FIDO?

 

Spoiler for, ahem, vulgar language :D

Spoiler

driveon.png.617be9e6a1f8d8e0b11a3b794b8bc010.png

 

Here for PAI commiseration and Shire picspam!

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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 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 2829 | 30 ]

[ Current: I amar prestar aen ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

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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A few months ago, I bought a long vintage wool tweed skirt online for £5 that, when it arrived (despite what the listing measurements had said), was sadly too small in the waist. Waaaaay too small. Smaller than I thought I would be physically able to fit into no matter how much (healthy) weight I lost. I was sad.

 

But it was cheap, and the fabric was gorgeous so I stuffed it away thinking that when we found a good person/place in the area for alterations I’d see if they could maybe chop some of the top off and add a new zip for a bit of breathing room. (Or whatever it is they would have done, sewing is not my forte.) 

 

Since that time, I’ve lost some weight and so when I came across the skirt in my wardrobe this morning I wondered “Hm. Maybe I’ve closed the gap a bit?

 

Dear readers, I have closed the gap. 

 

I have closed the gap ENTIRELY.

 

185E853A-A100-457B-B631-6697881D446F.jpeg.6a4d50f82e879d7a6c4d53d3a5608727.jpeg

 

I now fit into the skirt I didn’t think I’d ever be capable of fitting into.

 

And I’m feeling pretty proud.

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Sometimes you have to wander to find your way home…
🇺🇸 Adventurer 🇬🇧

🌳🦉🌳

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 

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7 hours ago, Ann of Owlshire said:

And I’m feeling pretty proud.

 

As well you should. That skirt looks badass. (In other words, it looks like you. ;)

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38

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Following!  I've never heard of PAI but I'm interested now.  That skirt was totally worth the effort!  Congrats! 

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Race: Amazonian Ogre Princess | Class: Ranger | Profession: SuperHero | Affiliation: Doodlie and Pancake for Life

Respawn Challenge Arcs: 2021 | 2022

 

I am not saying I am Wonder Woman. I am just saying no one has ever seen me and Wonder Woman together in the same room.

 

Original Spawn Challenges 2014 - 2020: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 789, 10, 11, 12 , 131415, 1617181920, 21, 2223242526272829303132, 33, 3435, 36??

Roadmaps: 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Starting weight = 290.4 (2014); Current weight = 241.2; Total pounds lost: 49.2

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25 minutes ago, Shello said:

Following!  I've never heard of PAI but I'm interested now. 

 

I am too.

 

@Ann of Owlshire, the PAI website you linked to says it works with "popular wearable devices". Do you know if Fitbit is one of them?

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38

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17 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

 

I am too.

 

@Ann of Owlshire, the PAI website you linked to says it works with "popular wearable devices". Do you know if Fitbit is one of them?

It is.  I already downloaded the app and synced.  My PAI score is 1.   😵

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Race: Amazonian Ogre Princess | Class: Ranger | Profession: SuperHero | Affiliation: Doodlie and Pancake for Life

Respawn Challenge Arcs: 2021 | 2022

 

I am not saying I am Wonder Woman. I am just saying no one has ever seen me and Wonder Woman together in the same room.

 

Original Spawn Challenges 2014 - 2020: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 789, 10, 11, 12 , 131415, 1617181920, 21, 2223242526272829303132, 33, 3435, 36??

Roadmaps: 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Starting weight = 290.4 (2014); Current weight = 241.2; Total pounds lost: 49.2

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30 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

 

I am too.

 

@Ann of Owlshire, the PAI website you linked to says it works with "popular wearable devices". Do you know if Fitbit is one of them?

 

Yes—or at least it’s synced to my old Fitbit Alta. @oromendur is the resident PAI expert, and may have more advice. :) 

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Sometimes you have to wander to find your way home…
🇺🇸 Adventurer 🇬🇧

🌳🦉🌳

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 

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17 minutes ago, Shello said:

It is.  I already downloaded the app and synced.  My PAI score is 1.   😵

 

It takes a few days to build up cumulative points, and then you have points carrying over for several days before they drop off (and have hopefully been replaced by more current activity or your score goes off a cliff).

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Sometimes you have to wander to find your way home…
🇺🇸 Adventurer 🇬🇧

🌳🦉🌳

Epic Quest: Tales of Owlshire 

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Thank you both! I will pester reach out to oromendur if I have any questions about it after I've had time to do more than skim the PAI site. :) 

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Reading Challenge Thread 2022

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scalyfreak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34; Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38

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