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I’m Ranger Hal. Normally I would say that I hike, snowshoe, scramble, climb, and do search and rescue, but the last few months have been kind of light on all those things. Motivation to exercise is very low and my mental health is a bit of a mess (mostly lonely for IRL friends I think, although corporate at work being idiots isn't helping. I love my team, but somehow corporate keeps making me hate the company).

 

If I want to be able to do the outdoor things in the summer without being super slow, I need to start getting in some regular exercise (something that actually gets my heart rate up), but I'm not sure if that's going to happen this time. So I'm going to stick to doing something rather than nothing. Last challenge, I didn't update often, but I mostly did the things (1 and 2). This time, I'm going to keep doing the things and add broccoli. For meals that don't already have a bunch of veggies (like the cabbage/carrot/ground turkey soup that's in my fridge right now), I bought a bunch of frozen broccoli and divided it into smaller bags work for one meal, so it's easy to just pull one out and cook it.

 

Here's the challenge:

1. Light a candle for morning prayers

2. Walk - regular walk (1.3 mi) if I'm not feeling rushed to leave for work, short walk (0.4 or 0.6 mi) if I am feeling rushed

3. Eat broccoli (or other veggies)

 

I had this grand idea that once my office moved (several months ago), I'd join the climbing gym because it's kind of close, but that hasn't happened yet. Partly because low motivation, partly because I don't know anyone that goes to that gym so I don't know if I'd have anyone to belay me (although there are a couple of groups I suppose I could ask, but I don't know anyone in those groups particularly well, if at all, so cue social anxiety), and partly imposter syndrome because I don't believe I'm a real climber. Maybe it would be worth it just to do a little bouldering (which I haven't really ever done) and have access to whatever's in the exercise/weight room. So much uncertainty, so I don't know if anything is going to happen there. It would be good if something did happen, but it's not going in the challenge because if I don't do anything, that would make me feel more guilty than I already do about not doing anything.

 

Oh, and my current nerdy thing is binge watching Critical Role. I'm a little ways into Campaign 2, so please no spoilers for anything in about the last 5.5 years. (Sooo much to catch up on!)

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Vegetables Veggies GIF by Motiongarten

 

I'd thoroughly encourage you to go bouldering - it's really good fun and really accessible compared to top rope/lead (in that you need less gear and can go alone). I'm biased because I much prefer bouldering to top rope - I don't like the feeling of being pulled up the wall - but I'd still say give it a go. And if you do go, let me know what you think!

 

A lot of gyms also have specific sessions for solo climbers, where you can turn up and know that there'll be other people in the same boat willing to belay you, so that might be worth looking into. That kind of setting where everyone is solo might be better on the social anxiety than asking to join an existing group?

 

13 minutes ago, Ranger Hal said:

Oh, and my current nerdy thing is binge watching Critical Role. I'm a little ways into Campaign 2, so please no spoilers for anything in about the last 5.5 years. (Sooo much to catch up on!)

 

I'm a year or more behind on Critical Role, it's such a ridiculous amount of content to keep up with! Campaign 2 is great though; I hope you enjoy it.

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Level 21 Wood Elf Ranger

STR: 16  -  CON: 22  -  CHA: 9  -  SAN: 19 -  INT: 17

IAgreeWithTank™

"Shit is going down, but I am not." - iatetheyeti

Don't say "I don't have enough time", say instead "that's not a priority right now" and see how that makes you feel.

Current Challenge: Downtime

External: Epic Quest - Instagram - Strava

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Good to see you, Hal! ❤️ 

 

I think three things is a great plan. Seconding everything Jarric said about the bouldering/climbing discussion. 

 

I am so excited you’re into Campaign 2. It’s my favourite one of the three so far. Excited for any and all updates about where you are in the watch list!

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Current Challenge: #17

 

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Hi Hal, I feel you on missing IRL friends. I've scoped out some shared interest groups where I could probably make some new ones, but actually going just feels like a committment I do not have the spell slots for at the moment.

 

Also I am right with you on campaign 2. Might be a little ahead of you, though, i am closing in on the halfway point.

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"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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3 hours ago, Jarric said:

I'm biased because I much prefer bouldering to top rope - I don't like the feeling of being pulled up the wall - but I'd still say give it a go.

That seems like a belayer problem. You should be able to tell your belayer to give you a little more slack if you don't want the rope pulling on you while you climb. I imagine that folks who lead climb regularly would want a little slack, even when top roping, to practice climbing without relying on the rope.

 

3 hours ago, Jarric said:

A lot of gyms also have specific sessions for solo climbers, where you can turn up and know that there'll be other people in the same boat willing to belay you, so that might be worth looking into. That kind of setting where everyone is solo might be better on the social anxiety than asking to join an existing group?

Thanks for the suggestion!

 

3 hours ago, Sovalis said:

I am so excited you’re into Campaign 2. It’s my favourite one of the three so far. Excited for any and all updates about where you are in the watch list!

+

3 hours ago, Artemis Prime said:

Also I am right with you on campaign 2. Might be a little ahead of you, though, i am closing in on the halfway point.

I'm at Episode 32.

Spoiler

They're just about to arrive at Jester's home town.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Ranger Hal said:

That seems like a belayer problem. You should be able to tell your belayer to give you a little more slack if you don't want the rope pulling on you while you climb. I imagine that folks who lead climb regularly would want a little slack, even when top roping, to practice climbing without relying on the rope.

 

Yeah, you're probably right. I haven't done a ton of top rope and neither had the people I climbed with when I did it. I'd guess there's a tendency to try to take up all the slack immediately when you're newer and less confident belaying. (Also they might just have been bad at it - the last time I did top rope I got caught in the ropes and the person lowering me was paying so little attention he gave me rope burn despite my shouting.)

 

14 hours ago, Ranger Hal said:

I'm at Episode 32.

  Hide contents

They're just about to arrive at Jester's home town.

 

 

You're in for a treat. I can't remember what happens in any individual episode, but there's some great stuff coming.

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Level 21 Wood Elf Ranger

STR: 16  -  CON: 22  -  CHA: 9  -  SAN: 19 -  INT: 17

IAgreeWithTank™

"Shit is going down, but I am not." - iatetheyeti

Don't say "I don't have enough time", say instead "that's not a priority right now" and see how that makes you feel.

Current Challenge: Downtime

External: Epic Quest - Instagram - Strava

Spoiler

Previous Challenges: 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 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 67 68 69 70 71

Old Stuff: Battle Log - My Introduction - 2017 Road Map - 2018 Road Map - 2019 Road Map - 2021 Road Map - 2022 road map/wrap-up

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7 hours ago, Jarric said:

Yeah, you're probably right. I haven't done a ton of top rope and neither had the people I climbed with when I did it. I'd guess there's a tendency to try to take up all the slack immediately when you're newer and less confident belaying.

I agree, it could definitely be a new belayer tendency, but it can also be climber preference. Some folks like to know that the rope is going to catch them immediately instead of after a couple of feet. For a few months pre-Covid, I was lucky enough to climb semi-regularly with a group that had a range of experience and who weren't shy about expressing their preferences if they didn't like what you were doing. I learned a lot by climbing with them.

 

7 hours ago, Jarric said:

(Also they might just have been bad at it - the last time I did top rope I got caught in the ropes and the person lowering me was paying so little attention he gave me rope burn despite my shouting.)

Yikes! Bad belayers are scary because that's your life on the line. There's one person I've climbed with that I will be very cautious about allowing her to belay me in the future unless she's using an assisted braking device (they're required in most gyms in my area now) because she has sloppy technique and I've seen her hand come off the brake strand. If you do more top roping, I hope you can find better belayers that you can trust.

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No walk today because it's Monday and I have a meeting at work that I have to be on time for and I'm not good about getting up early enough to have time to walk. On days when I don't have the meeting, I can just come in late and work late.

 

I stopped by the climbing gym to ask some questions. They do have women's climbing nights on a regular basis, so that's cool. They also have a general social night that I'll probably never go to because it's on the same night as my SAR team's general meetings, lol! I'd heard previously about a SAR discount, so I also asked about that, but it turns out that's only for Mountain Rescue members, so I don't count for that. That was pretty disappointing, especially since I have pretty similar rescue training as the local mountain rescue team, even though I don't meet the climbing (rock and glacier) requirements to actually join that team. Anyway, I decided I wanted to think about it a bit and didn't sign up for a membership. On the way home, I did realize that I'm a member of an outdoor group that does get a discount, so now I'm a little happier. I'm also going to see if my punch card has anything left on it. It may have expired because I haven't used it in so long, but if it hasn't, that could save me a little money as well.

 

No broccoli because I'm eating the cabbage soup.

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1 hour ago, Mistr said:

Hi Hal, good to see you!

 

You have nice clear goals this challenge. Eat more veggies is often one of my goals too.

Welcome! Thank you!

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I did it, y'all. I went to the climbing gym yesterday and took the intro to bouldering class. It was good, although I have no callouses at all, so my hands got pretty sore. They are still a little sore today when I get them wet. I'm excited to go back again!

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2 hours ago, Artemis Prime said:

Very nice! Although this is what pops into my head when I think "bouldering"

Harrison Ford Run GIF by Paramount Movies

There's good news and there's bad news! The good news is you know exactly where the boulder is going. It's not going to bounce in unpredictable directions as it falls! The bad news is it's coming right at you and isn't going to bounce in unpredictable directions!

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That's awesome!! Way to go!

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“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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10 minutes ago, Mistr said:

Do people wear gloves for climbing? I would think that would help a lot to protect your hands.

Generally no. Essentially, the force of trying to hold onto the rock (or artificial rock) is also trying to pull your hands out of the gloves. You will have much better grip with bare hands. For easier climbing, it may not be a big deal. Last year I scrambled up a section of rock wearing gloves because there were biting ants and protection from the ants outweighed the benefit of better grip without gloves. But for more difficult climbing, gloves would make it impossible.

 

My hands will be alright. If I keep climbing regularly, I will build up callouses and be able to climb longer. I think I stopped at just the right time the other night. My hands were a bit sore, but I didn't end up with blisters or anything like that.

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6 hours ago, Ranger Hal said:

There's good news and there's bad news! The good news is you know exactly where the boulder is going. It's not going to bounce in unpredictable directions as it falls! The bad news is it's coming right at you and isn't going to bounce in unpredictable directions!

You sure about that?

 

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Okay, so now I have blisters, lol! Went bouldering again today. I did some V0s and V1s and one V2. The V2 had one tricky move that took me a couple of tries to get. It was a good challenge and I feel like there should be a better way to do it, but that's a problem for another day. I also took the belay test so I can do top rope if I can find a partner. There's a women's climb night next week. Part of me wants to go and part of me is like Hal, your hands already have blisters. But they're not very big blisters. I'm probably going to go!

 

I'm also doing the other things, but it's more fun to talk about climbing!

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That is very excellent!

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“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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So I've started doing weekend hikes again. Last weekend I did a short hike. This weekend I was going to do a slightly longer hike. You know, sort of gradually ramp up. So I did the hike. It was good. And then SAR happened. And I ended up with an additional 2.5 mile snowshoe and about 8 miles (according to the GPS) of walking. So this weekend I nearly doubled my total mileage for the month. So much for a gradual increase, lol! I did get an even shorter than usual walk in this morning, even though it's Monday. I decided it was important to get a little easy movement in after the last two days.

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2 hours ago, Ranger Hal said:

So I've started doing weekend hikes again. Last weekend I did a short hike. This weekend I was going to do a slightly longer hike. You know, sort of gradually ramp up. So I did the hike. It was good. And then SAR happened. And I ended up with an additional 2.5 mile snowshoe and about 8 miles (according to the GPS) of walking. So this weekend I nearly doubled my total mileage for the month. So much for a gradual increase, lol! I did get an even shorter than usual walk in this morning, even though it's Monday. I decided it was important to get a little easy movement in after the last two days.

Woot, woot!

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L3 Human Ranger/Assassin

Str. 6 Dex. 2 Sta. 1 Con. 12 Wis. 8 Cha. 3

https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/58014

Motto: Where there is life, there is hope.

Soli Deo Gloria

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Well, it's been quite the week. Last week, I went to a women's climb night at the gym. They happen every other week and alternate between bouldering and ropes and this one was bouldering. It was fun and I ended up in a discord group with some of the other climbers. I'm not sure how that's going to work out. The core of that group seems to be a bunch of friends that spend a lot of time at the gym. They seemed happy to still be messing around more than two hours after the climb night started. One person mentioned that they were usually there like five days a week, including both weekend days. That seems like a lot and with everything else I have going on, I don't intend to spend that much time in the gym. Membership is worth it if I go at least four times a month and once or twice a week after work seems reasonable.

 

Thursday to Sunday was Comic Con. I've only been once or twice (and I think only for one day) and it's been a few years. The timing often works out so that it's during Lent which is less than ideal, but this year it was before Lent (for my church). However, I had a commitment on Saturday, so I was just going to skip Comic Con again. But then I found out that the Critical Role cast was going to be there and even though I wouldn't be able to make it to their panel (church wouldn't be over and even if it was, I couldn't get there early enough to line up because I'm sure the lines to get in were massive) and am not really interested in photos and autographs (especially ones I'd have to pay for, even though the Critical Role ones looked like they were among the lowest priced ones), I decided to get a pass so I could go. I had a lot of fun on Thursday and Friday. I wandered around looking at all the things, played DnD for the first time (a short learn-to-play session and two 2-hour sessions), and painted a little mini-figure. I couldn't be there during the day on Saturday (more on that later), but I went back for the afternoon on Sunday. I watched a group play a 1-hour session of DnD, watched a bunch of folks do karaoke, and wandered up to the autographs area. I watched the Critical Role autographs line for a while, but didn't ask if I could go up to say hi without buying an autograph. I feel a bit weird about that. Like, there are all these people willing to pay a fair amount to get their stuff signed and I just don't care that much. I feel like a fan when I'm at home, but among all the other fans, I feel less real. Anyway, I had fun, but I was happy to get home afterwards (and finish watching an episode of Critical Role, lol).

 

Saturday, I helped with a snowshoe class. I had signed up to help a while ago, before Comic Con was on my radar. I was a little sad it meant I couldn't go on Saturday, but I think it turned out really well. At some point during the day, I discovered that I was really enjoying being outside, away from the crowds, and getting some exercise. As much fun as I'd had on Thursday and Friday, it was great to get away from it all. Definitely something to think about. I'm glad I went to Comic Con, but I don't think it will be an every year sort of thing. Maybe just every once in a while.

 

Went bouldering again last night and ate the broccoli. I also stopped at the grocery store to buy more broccoli (among other things).

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