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Lunge, step, parry.

 

Lunge, step. Parry

 

Lunge. Step. Parry

 

With lungs burning and muscles aching, Scalyfreak stops her fencing exercises to wipe away the sweat that is running down into her eyes. It's starting to sting.

 

Tired and irritated, but determined to learn how to work with the unfamiliar muscle memory that the plot scroll implanted overnight, Scalyfreak continues her rapier fencing drills. She will learn this. She will adjust.

 

And she is so focused on learning and adjusting that she completely fails to notice that she's being watched by a pair of sharp and calculating eyes.

 

MCguSE0.png

 

So this is a little bit late.

 

The main reason for this is that Zero Week of this challenge also was my first week back in the office for nearly 26 months. I am on a hybrid schedule, which means I am going in to the office Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and working from home on Mondays and Fridays.

 

It's been... an adjustment.

 

My firmly established morning routine has crumbled. Every shred of mental bandwidth is spent on dealing with the fact that the office has people everywhere. After over two years of spending my workdays almost entirely alone, I am now constantly visible to a crowd of people who surrounds me all day long. There are conversations everywhere, all the time, there is absolutely no privacy to be had anywhere (except of course for in a bathroom stall), and though it technically is possible to take a break every 20 minutes to do stretching and pacing for five minutes, I'm far too self-conscious to actually do it while in the middle of this annoying crowd for several hours on end.

 

In addition to all this, I am no longer able to take my lunch-break walks with Husband and Happy Sidekick, because obviously they are not at the office with me, and I miss these walks to the point of withdrawal symptoms. I am also missing an additional hour of sleep on mornings when I have to go into the office, to say nothing of the fact that I'm spending three day per week in an office building filled with people in one of the least vaccinated states in the US... and I'm the only one I've seen wearing a mask in the entire building.

 

As expected, the Flame of Anxiety is thriving in this stressful environment. I am spending all my time outside work on deploying every stress management technique I've ever learned to try and prevent it from turning into a wildfire inferno. (There has been a lot of hiding away in fictional worlds of all kinds.)

 

And then I remembered that being a part of The Rebellion and having a challenge to post in is on that list, and I have ignored it, so here I am, doing my best to rectify this situation.

 

Because this whole office ordeal sucks, challenge goals are going to be all about back to basics:

 

Recover HP (physical health)

Restart Age of Pandora. On days when I don't do an Age of Pandora workout, some other kind of intentional movement (that's not a walk) must be done. The goal is to keep my PAI point average between 80 and 100. Because blood pressure.

 

Restore Mana (mental health)

Mediate every morning. No exceptions allowed.

 

Regenerate Stamina (emotional bandwidth)

In general terms, this covers all the things that recharge the emotional batteries, which in turn is critical when it comes to not only soothing The Flame, but eventually harnessing it.

 

In more specific terms, I'm working on making a habit of making life a little bit easier by actually utilizing the bullet journal I selected from the list of holiday gifts work offered us last winter. I've been drawing up monthly and weekly calendars to help me plan out the upcoming work week and weekends, so I can literally see what is coming up ahead. (I've been putting shiny stickers on the days when I've done a workout.)

 

 

Lastly, for those of you who don't know me, this should give you a fairly clear idea of what to expect here:

 

Spoiler

I cheerfully approach all my challenges as video game quests, with boss fights and level grinding, I have re-framed my anxiety into pyromancy, because it's very destructive when it flares up and gets out of control. But like the pyromancy flame, if the chaos is embraced and can be harnessed, all that energy can be used against against my enemies. In fireball form.

 

Track record in my boss fights so far:

 

  • Self-Sabotage drains levels and health, and heals herself with what she drains from her opponent.
    • Current strategy: Apparently it is to face her without my armor, while carrying a long needle. Which means I'm discovering that sprinting is a fantastic self-defense strategy.
  • Procrastination is good at hiding and then hitting me with a back-stab when I least expect it.
    • Current strategy: Pretend to ignore and deal with her later, while secretly plotting to use the bullet journal calendar thingy to ambush her back.
  • Self-Indulgence was gradually convinced it would be easier for her to reach her goal if we worked together. Before the alliance fell apart on its own, Self-Indulgence was viciously killed by a very angry unicorn, that has not been seen or heard from since then.
    • Current strategy: Dance on her grave
  • Stress-Hydra spawns whenever too many things are happening at once, or when something really big and overwhelming happens, and cutting off one of her seven heads makes no difference because it re-spawns a replacement head almost immediately.
    • Current strategy: The Herakles Method - Ask for help

 

I'm currently dual-classing as a Warrior Druid, because meditation is a great way to quietly build Endurance and Resilience stats while figuring out how to make my need for sleep work with my need to make my body lift things and move and generally be active in a way that builds strength and resilience.

 

 

 

  • Like 12

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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Yard work counts as exercise and gets a sticker. 

 

Now I'm going to go do intentional un-movement and listen to a podcast about Jeffrey Dahmer. (Don't google him on your work computer!) :) 

  • Like 7

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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I am sorry you're having to deal with this unfortunate change schedule change. Honestly the best thing I can say about it is that it is terrific that you've got a husband + puppy to so badly miss lunch break walks with..

Having said that, you're doing everything you can to make this better and so it will get better. 

 

How are you liking the bullet journaling so far? 

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

Current challenge: KB Girl gets her bujo back

my instagram - my gym's instagram

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36 minutes ago, KB Girl said:

How are you liking the bullet journaling so far? 

 

I really like that I can turn to a blank page and put whatever I want/need on there without having to adhere to whatever page layout someone else thought would be useful. So much, in fact, that I've looked up how to get more dot grid paper inserts for this particular notebook cover for when I run out of pages a few months from now. :) 

  • Like 4

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 5/21/2022 at 12:36 AM, Scaly Freak said:

My firmly established morning routine has crumbled. Every shred of mental bandwidth is spent on dealing with the fact that the office has people everywhere. After over two years of spending my workdays almost entirely alone, I am now constantly visible to a crowd of people who surrounds me all day long. There are conversations everywhere, all the time, there is absolutely no privacy to be had anywhere (except of course for in a bathroom stall), and though it technically is possible to take a break every 20 minutes to do stretching and pacing for five minutes, I'm far too self-conscious to actually do it while in the middle of this annoying crowd for several hours on end.

 

For the life of me, I can't imagine how someone in this day and age thinks it's a good idea to insist their employees return to the office.

 

Course, this also reminds me that I need to pop by my office at some point because we're downsizing our office's footprint, and I need to grab whatever sundries are still hanging around my desk.

 

Yard work absolutely counts as exercise.

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

"The older I get, the more I understand that the only way to say valuable things is to lose your fear of being correct." -Malcolm Gladwell

"If you know the way broadly, you will see it in all things." -Miyamoto Musashi

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22 hours ago, KeysMcGee said:

For the life of me, I can't imagine how someone in this day and age thinks it's a good idea to insist their employees return to the office.

 

There is actually a large number of functions at my company that either require access to equipment that is only available at the office, or requires a lot of creative brainstorming, which is far more effective with everyone in the same room than remotely. So there's an argument to be made for why people in these roles need to be back on site.

 

Those of us that are not in one of the above roles haven't been given a reason that applies to our specific job, which of course has left us free to speculate about why we also are forced back... and it's not the kind of speculation that's flattering for the decision makers who refuse to give us a good explanation. :D 

  • Like 3

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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My sympathy on the stress of going back into the office. I combined the schedule change with my team moving to a new office space. In a building that is still very much under renovation. No fun, even though people brought in treats.

 

It has now been more than a month and is getting easier. I haven't gotten my routine sorted out yet though. I would be happy to compare notes with you as we transition to the new normal.

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Level 62  Viking paladin

My current challenge   Battle log 

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Oh, the office sounds like a major downgrade. I guess it will never be as good as working from home but I hope you get accustomed to it somewhat.

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Feeling you on the return to the office. Stay strong and cultivate your good habits even though the difficulty scroller just went up a notch.

 

How powerful is the meditation to keep you anchored and balanced?

Legally bound to hug people in need.

 

Living life as a Druid is about walking with the beasts. It's about being scared, looking your fears in the eyes and going on anyway. Dread doesn't go away, you just learn to know it. It's still a beast, it still has fangs, but you walk among it.

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On 5/22/2022 at 7:28 PM, Mistr said:

It has now been more than a month and is getting easier. I haven't gotten my routine sorted out yet though. I would be happy to compare notes with you as we transition to the new normal.

 

I like this idea :) 

 

10 hours ago, Harriet said:

Oh, the office sounds like a major downgrade. I guess it will never be as good as working from home but I hope you get accustomed to it somewhat.

 

The free food in the office is definitely incentive. The mandatory weekly nasal swabbing is getting old fast though... but it keeps us safe, so I am trying not to complain about it.

 

38 minutes ago, Jean said:

How powerful is the meditation to keep you anchored and balanced?

 

Meditation is the anchor.

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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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Same, I don't really have anything to add. Hope things calm down soon and that you're able to get a good routine going. :) 

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On 5/24/2022 at 4:58 AM, Scaly Freak said:

The free food in the office is definitely incentive. The mandatory weekly nasal swabbing is getting old fast though... but it keeps us safe, so I am trying not to complain about it.

 

Oh, that's actually a reasonable precaution and would make me feel a bit safer.

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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10 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Oh, that's actually a reasonable precaution and would make me feel a bit safer.

 

It's having that effect on me as well. Everyone in the building have tested negative. 

 

I'm also really enjoying just talking with my co-workers, joking, trading teasing trash talk about desk decorations... all the social stuff that makes work a space of its own, with a life of its own. :) 

  • Like 8

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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2 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

 

It's having that effect on me as well. Everyone in the building have tested negative. 

 

I'm also really enjoying just talking with my co-workers, joking, trading teasing trash talk about desk decorations... all the social stuff that makes work a space of its own, with a life of its own. :) 

 

Nice. I guess the social aspect is one thing it's hard to recreate at home. I know because I've been at home for years, and there is no society.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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13 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

I'm also really enjoying just talking with my co-workers, joking, trading teasing trash talk about desk decorations... all the social stuff that makes work a space of its own, with a life of its own. :) 

 

Yep, you don't get that kind of causal conversation on Teams. I hope the benefits are starting to outweigh the extra stress.

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Level 62  Viking paladin

My current challenge   Battle log 

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10 hours ago, Mistr said:

 

Yep, you don't get that kind of causal conversation on Teams. I hope the benefits are starting to outweigh the extra stress.

 

The benefits of being there are very clear, when I am there. When I'm not, they are not. I have high hopes the situation will improve.

 

As for goals...

 

Intentional movement has become stretching. Lots of stretching. Considering the state of my upper back muscles a week ago, and compared to today, doing lots of stretching was becoming necessary and has done good things for my shoulders. (I have found a deserted corner of the cubicle landscape where there are no people, so I walk over there to stretch a few times every day.) Age of Pandora is progressing very slowly... largely due to lack of energy in the evenings.

 

Daily meditation is going very well.

 

Regenerating emotional bandwidth is going reasonably well, but there is so much to regenerate that it's hard for my coping methods/tools to keep up. Thankfully, the original Addams Family TV show (with John Atkins and Carol Jones as the most adorable TV couple ever) is on YouTube. All of it. As creepy and cooky and awesome as they are, the Addams Family can't fix everything, but I'm enjoying all the classical episodes that have aged surprisingly well. And yes, I am in very real danger of starting to talk like Morticia soon. :D 

  • Like 7

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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27 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

Thankfully, the original Addams Family TV show (with John Atkins and Carol Jones as the most adorable TV couple ever) is on YouTube. All of it. As creepy and cooky and awesome as they are, the Addams Family can't fix everything, but I'm enjoying all the classical episodes that have aged surprisingly well. And yes, I am in very real danger of starting to talk like Morticia soon. :D 

 

I've never seen the show, but I love the movies. Glad things are going well. :) 

 

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My favorite fictional world to hide in, Lord Of The Rings Online, did their weekly patching/update yesterday.  This update, as it turns out, removed all custom graphics settings. So I logged in last night, expecting my Middle Earth sanctuary to be available for me to relax in, and was met by a 1024x768 resolution, Dx 9 dependency errors, and a complete loss of audio.

 

game of thrones omg GIF by Sky

  • Sad 8
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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 5/27/2022 at 5:31 AM, Scaly Freak said:

 

Daily meditation is going very well.

 

Excellent.

 

On 5/27/2022 at 5:31 AM, Scaly Freak said:

Thankfully, the original Addams Family TV show (with John Atkins and Carol Jones as the most adorable TV couple ever) is on YouTube. All of it. As creepy and cooky and awesome as they are, the Addams Family can't fix everything, but I'm enjoying all the classical episodes that have aged surprisingly well. And yes, I am in very real danger of starting to talk like Morticia soon. :D 

 

Sounds fun! Where can one get access to this show?

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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11 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

My favorite fictional world to hide in, Lord Of The Rings Online, did their weekly patching/update yesterday.  This update, as it turns out, removed all custom graphics settings. So I logged in last night, expecting my Middle Earth sanctuary to be available for me to relax in, and was met by a 1024x768 resolution, Dx 9 dependency errors, and a complete loss of audio.

 

Ugh.. that's rough when you are in need!

Did you get it worked out? Could your husband help?*

 

*Not in a 'men must fix computer things' way ofc, but in a 'you go sit with a cup of tea while I deal with this for you' way x)

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

Current challenge: KB Girl gets her bujo back

my instagram - my gym's instagram

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