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Challenge #2: Strenghten your body, clean your world.


Nuala

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It's been a few day since Nuala sent her last report to the Assassin guild and she still had no feedback from them. Was it a good news (she was still alive!) or a bad news (her fate was still under deliberation)? She could only wait and hope.

In front of her window, one wood pigeon was nesting, it started living here when it was waiting for her to return from her infiltration in another country and apparently had no will to go back to the guild's birdhouse. It was it that gave the alert by cooing loudly. A pigeon landed on Nuala's window and spend a few moments looking nervously around it and tapping on the window. The kestrels were still around and apparently it knew it. Nuala opened the window and the pigeon entered the house hurriedly.

There it was, a message from the guild. Breathing deeply, Nuala unsealed the letter and after closing her eyes for a while, she started reading the missive.

Greeting assassin, OMG OMG, they called me assassin and I'm not dead yet!

your trial went well and our expectations were mostly met. Now that you are a full fledge assassin, you are required to get your body ready for all the eventuality an assassin should met.

  • Strengthen your arms and legs so you can met any of our "clients" even those on the highest floor.
  • Work on your mobility, an assassin should walk like a cat and strike like a hawk.
  • Disappear from the world, no one should know you are here. Leave no traces behind you.

Failure is not permitted.

The guild's orders were simple yet difficult to attain. Nuala knew she would have a lot of difficulties to met her goals. But she was not in a world where she could slack off from her work.

Do or die.

Yay, new challenge \o/ I had a lot of difficulties to chose my fitness goals and I'm not sure I choose them wisely. The answer will be in 6 weeks I suppose :)

Fitness goal#1: Work on my horizontal pulls with inverted rows, at the end of the challenge I want to be able to do 5*15 rep, bonus points if it's with the feet elevated.

[sTR+2 STA+3]

Fitness goal#2: Pistol squats *5. I know it's a lot but I really need to work my legs much more. My first challenge made me focus mostly on my arms, that needs to change.

[sTR+3 STA+2]

Fitness goal#3: Back and shoulder mobility. I have some back and posture problems for years, I had some improvement with the previous challenge but it's still not enough. I really want to be able to get up from my bed pain-free one day. I will need to find some exercises (ask help to the monk maybe) and do them at least 4 times a week.

[DEX+3]

Life goal:My goal will be to reduce as much as possible the household waste. Papers, plastic bag, food, clothes.. Everything that will be thrown away will be noted and I will have to try to find a way to avoid them and then put that idea in practice. If unavoidable, find a way to re-use them, if not possible I have to recycle them.

[WIS +2]

I don't know if they are all attainable actually. Especially the pistol squats but it's worth the try :)

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Nuala, level 13 Robot mistress of pain, Assassin Guild leader

 

First journey: The Rise and fall of an Assassin

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13

Second journey: Crawling back

#1

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Getting out of bed pain-free for me was getting an ergonomic bed! Getting out of bed in pain is never fun :(

That was pretty expensive yeah, totally worth its money though. But I already got some major improvement when I switched to another pillow! I now have a pillow that's rounded inward at the underside. This provides space for my shoulder. It helped a lot for my shoulder and back problems already :)

Just some alternative tips, just like you I also need work on my posture ;)

  • Like 1

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection"

Epic Quest: Sif's list of awesome

Challenge: let's smash another year #low-carb #push-ups #intermittent fasting

Spoiler

 

Sif rises once more (~2020): 1

The Return of Sif (~2018): 1, 2, 34567, 8

The Age of Kibcy (~2012/13): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89

 

Link to post

I bought a new mattress and a new ergonomic pillow not long ago. It was a huge help, before that it took me 5 minutes to find a way to get out of my bed, 10 minutes in the "bad days" >_> Compared to that time, the pain I feel now is anecdotal! Still it's really bothering. I can't stay sit for too long (and I'm a computer programmer) I can't stay up for too long (annoying when I want to play violin) all because I have an hollow back and weak back muscles.

Being back pain-free is almost a life goal ^^

  • Like 1

Nuala, level 13 Robot mistress of pain, Assassin Guild leader

 

First journey: The Rise and fall of an Assassin

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13

Second journey: Crawling back

#1

Link to post
I bought a new mattress and a new ergonomic pillow not long ago. It was a huge help, before that it took me 5 minutes to find a way to get out of my bed, 10 minutes in the "bad days" >_> Compared to that time, the pain I feel now is anecdotal! Still it's really bothering. I can't stay sit for too long (and I'm a computer programmer) I can't stay up for too long (annoying when I want to play violin) all because I have an hollow back and weak back muscles.

Being back pain-free is almost a life goal ^^

I hear you so much! Even though it's less extensive, I suffer from a hollow back as well. Standing has been pain for so long!

Sitting goes okay, but yeah back will start hurting after a while.

Apparently the theory goes we need to train our abs though. And hamstrings.

Those muscles are weaker than the back and hip muscles, pretty much causing the hollow back posture.

Doing planks have really helped me. I can definitely feel my whole core getting stronger.

What also has helped with me was shoes! And I don't mean going barefoot. (haven't tried that one yet)

I bought Shape ups? Yeah I know it seems here everyone is against them? But I got incredible results in regards to standing and walking.

Where I could maybe stand 10 min pain free, I can definitely hold on for 30 min now. And that's without training.

Right now I'm at the end of my 8 hour day and my back is killing me! I'm a professional internet surfer... I mean application maintenance lol.

I've been sitting today without back support to try and strengthen my core while seated. Also read an article (on Mark's daily apple I believe?) how sitting is bad for you anyway.

  • Like 1

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection"

Epic Quest: Sif's list of awesome

Challenge: let's smash another year #low-carb #push-ups #intermittent fasting

Spoiler

 

Sif rises once more (~2020): 1

The Return of Sif (~2018): 1, 2, 34567, 8

The Age of Kibcy (~2012/13): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89

 

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Hamstrings aka Deadlift muscles aka the muscles that hurts me today because I did some deadlift on Wednesday :( Oh yeah, I know them and they hate me. My core is really weak too, I know I should practice plank more often but I'm too lazy. I think I will do a plank challenge one day, or maybe a PVP. Good thing is pull-up, deadlift and climbing makes my abs work a little, but definitely not enough.

And yeah, the end of the day is getting near! Just one or two hours left and I'll be free \o/

  • Like 1

Nuala, level 13 Robot mistress of pain, Assassin Guild leader

 

First journey: The Rise and fall of an Assassin

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13

Second journey: Crawling back

#1

Link to post
Hamstrings aka Deadlift muscles aka the muscles that hurts me today because I did some deadlift on Wednesday :( Oh yeah, I know them and they hate me. My core is really weak too, I know I should practice plank more often but I'm too lazy. I think I will do a plank challenge one day, or maybe a PVP. Good thing is pull-up, deadlift and climbing makes my abs work a little, but definitely not enough.

And yeah, the end of the day is getting near! Just one or two hours left and I'll be free \o/

Can't do pull ups yet, but working toward them! I've been entertaining the thought of climbing recently, so who knows haha!

Deadlifts are just something that I don't think is for me, I like body weight or dumbbell exercises better :) Not that I tried a deadlift, but then again the thought is already scary :P

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection"

Epic Quest: Sif's list of awesome

Challenge: let's smash another year #low-carb #push-ups #intermittent fasting

Spoiler

 

Sif rises once more (~2020): 1

The Return of Sif (~2018): 1, 2, 34567, 8

The Age of Kibcy (~2012/13): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89

 

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I love your life goal! Have you figured out a way to track it? That would be the difficult part, methinks.

Good luck with the pistols... I'm still working my way lower and lower to get full ROM!

I'm not sure what will be the most effective. Maybe having different bins for the challenge to separate the waste or just using a spreadsheet. For this week, I'll try the spreadsheet and see what it will look like.

@Kibcy: climbing is really fun! So go for it! Like, this week-end! And my deadlifts are not that impressive. I use dumbbells and the weight is still quite low. My goal is to be able to carry easily the water fountain bottle at work. It's a mere 20kg but it annoys me when my boss says (half kidding only but still) that it's too heavy for me.

Nuala, level 13 Robot mistress of pain, Assassin Guild leader

 

First journey: The Rise and fall of an Assassin

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13

Second journey: Crawling back

#1

Link to post

These are awesome goals! My mom and I are minor hoarders, and we're currently working on clearing out our junk, reusing what we can, and just generally making our lives clutter-free. Current project: making a blanket from all my old souvenir t-shirts.

I also used to have back problems from years of straight-postured sitting (I grew up in a very strict, no-slouch environment), which I later found does horrors to your back, followed by years of hunched sitting. I have had a lot of success with napping on the ground on my back, stretching, and back exercises such as alternating arm-leg lifts (you lay on your stomach and lift your right arm and left leg off the ground, then rest and switch to the left arm and right leg, eventually progressing to both arms and legs simultaneously, then to lifting both arms and legs with the legs stuck together in the air). I'd also recommend a foam roller, which helps realign the vertebrae on bad days.

Good luck! You can do it! :D

"Down there we know, the streets we know, but up here? Nobody's been here." ~ David Belle

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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I'm not sure what will be the most effective. Maybe having different bins for the challenge to separate the waste or just using a spreadsheet. For this week, I'll try the spreadsheet and see what it will look like.

@Kibcy: climbing is really fun! So go for it! Like, this week-end! And my deadlifts are not that impressive. I use dumbbells and the weight is still quite low. My goal is to be able to carry easily the water fountain bottle at work. It's a mere 20kg but it annoys me when my boss says (half kidding only but still) that it's too heavy for me.

But 20kg is heavy! haha, I don't think I can even lift that at all. (evident that I couldn't lift the 20kg dumbbell set I got for my birthday off my lap and my dad needed to get it for me).

Awesome! I'll look if there's an opportunity for climbing nearby. It's crazy, but I'm considering swimming... I... don't like swimming, ever in my life. And now it somehow appeals to me.

These are awesome goals! My mom and I are minor hoarders, and we're currently working on clearing out our junk, reusing what we can, and just generally making our lives clutter-free. Current project: making a blanket from all my old souvenir t-shirts.

OMG that sounds like a great idea!!! I have so many souvenir t-shirts and I just don't want to try them out!!

Do you like cut out the print, or close the shirt or? I'm curious! Sounds like a good sewing project to learn how to do it!

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection"

Epic Quest: Sif's list of awesome

Challenge: let's smash another year #low-carb #push-ups #intermittent fasting

Spoiler

 

Sif rises once more (~2020): 1

The Return of Sif (~2018): 1, 2, 34567, 8

The Age of Kibcy (~2012/13): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89

 

Link to post

Hi Nuala & Kibcy,

A barbell 20kg dead lift is actually easier to lift (in my opinion) than a dumbbell. It is really surprising how quickly you gain strength once you start using a barbell.

Also, core exercises are good for helping/assisting with your back problems.My back problems have decreased heaps since using weights & doing core exercises.

Anyways good luck with your challenge goals:)

'Don't quit, two words, that's it' :-)

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@AssassinTori: I have hoarding tendencies too! Part of my previous challenge was to get rid of items I had no use anymore and give them to charity. That's where I realised I was stupidly attached to objects I didn't even like. My apartment is still a mess but my BF and I are still working to reach a certain minimalism. Now I have less remorse to get rid of items I don't use especially knowing that some people may use them.

The blanket is a nice idea! I have absolutely no sewing skills maybe that's something I should learn. >_>

@Kibcy: just be careful not to have too much fun climbing, after my first session I could barely move for 5 days :P I have found that climbing (well bouldering in my case) is a very complete workout. It's fun, it makes you work all of your body (arms, legs, core), your balance and also your brain! (puzzle solving \o/). Swimming is nice too, that would have been my choice if I had a good swimming pool over here, but no luck.

@70kel: thanks!

Nuala, level 13 Robot mistress of pain, Assassin Guild leader

 

First journey: The Rise and fall of an Assassin

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13

Second journey: Crawling back

#1

Link to post
@Kibcy: just be careful not to have too much fun climbing, after my first session I could barely move for 5 days :P I have found that climbing (well bouldering in my case) is a very complete workout. It's fun, it makes you work all of your body (arms, legs, core), your balance and also your brain! (puzzle solving \o/). Swimming is nice too, that would have been my choice if I had a good swimming pool over here, but no luck.

Awesome! I will look out for that haha. What's the difference between climbing and bouldering though?

Pffff for both I'll have to go to another town. We only have an outdoor swimming pool here, not my favorite!

I guess it'd be half an hour drive from my home to either one.

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection"

Epic Quest: Sif's list of awesome

Challenge: let's smash another year #low-carb #push-ups #intermittent fasting

Spoiler

 

Sif rises once more (~2020): 1

The Return of Sif (~2018): 1, 2, 34567, 8

The Age of Kibcy (~2012/13): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89

 

Link to post

In bouldering, the walls are not very high, 4 meters, 4 meters and half maybe, so you don't need any equipment beside your climbing shoes. If you fall, you fall on a landing mat. That's better for me because I have vertigo :D Roads are very short, but very intense, sometimes even the starting position is difficult to do.

boulder45.jpg

Then, you also have indoor climbing where the wall are very high, so you need more equipment like a rope and an harness:

indoor-climbing-walls.jpg

Nuala, level 13 Robot mistress of pain, Assassin Guild leader

 

First journey: The Rise and fall of an Assassin

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13

Second journey: Crawling back

#1

Link to post
It's fun, it makes you work all of your body (arms, legs, core), your balance and also your brain! (puzzle solving \o/).

The puzzle solving is the best bit :D

You should definitely try climbing Kibcy, it's really fun! Another possibly good thing to know is that you don't need a climbing buddy to go bouldering.

Nuala, I love your reuse/recycle goal, best of luck!

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

Level 2 Aerial assassin

STR 5.5 | DEX 7 | STA 4.5 | CON 3 | WIS 5 | CHA 5

Challenge!

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I have such a hard time with emotional attachment to objects, mostly because of sentimental value. I got over it by taking pictures of whatever I needed to give away. That way I'd still have the memories, it wouldn't occupy as much space, and somebody else got to use it, too. :) I also try to set a limit for the number of items I get to keep every time I do my spring cleaning, which is really useful in helping me prioritize the importance of things I'm keeping. I'm also an emotional hoarder, so I'm trying to let go of things of the past, which is kinda the same process: let yourself know it's ok to let it go, that you can always recall it if you really need to, write it down so it doesn't take up mental space, realize that life doesn't depend upon you holding on to that memory, etc.

Also, sewing is awesome. I cannot tell you how many times it has come in handy, especially with making costumes. I actually just made an Assassin's Creed costume for my boyfriend, since the ones you can buy all are really expensive, but look cheap. Oh, the irony... I never had any formal teaching, but my mom has been sewing for a while, so I kinda just picked it up watching her, plus some internet research. :) I'll help as much as I can, if you wish to take it up.

"Down there we know, the streets we know, but up here? Nobody's been here." ~ David Belle

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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I got over it by taking pictures of whatever I needed to give away. That way I'd still have the memories, it wouldn't occupy as much space, and somebody else got to use it, too. :)

This!! Taking pictures really helped me let go of stuff!! I may never even look at the pictures anymore, but at the time it is comforting.

Also teaching yourself that the object doesn't hold the memories, you do! :) and then take a picture ;)

Also, sewing is awesome. I cannot tell you how many times it has come in handy, especially with making costumes. I actually just made an Assassin's Creed costume for my boyfriend, since the ones you can buy all are really expensive, but look cheap. Oh, the irony... I never had any formal teaching, but my mom has been sewing for a while, so I kinda just picked it up watching her, plus some internet research. :) I'll help as much as I can, if you wish to take it up.

Oh man that's so true! Plus that costumes you can buy often don't quite fit (in my experience).

2 of my friends are coming over to sew together a Rebecca Chambers (Resident Evil) costume for me, planning to learn heaps!

Also yes, should try climbing, still a bit on edge concerning the costs though... would help with getting courage and what what :)

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection"

Epic Quest: Sif's list of awesome

Challenge: let's smash another year #low-carb #push-ups #intermittent fasting

Spoiler

 

Sif rises once more (~2020): 1

The Return of Sif (~2018): 1, 2, 34567, 8

The Age of Kibcy (~2012/13): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89

 

Link to post

Climbing is expensive here. 15€ for a one day entrance + 4€ shoes location. It was way less expensive in Finland (9€, shoes location free) but hey, I live near Paris, every activity here is expensive. When I'll fell a little more secure, I'll probably go to Fontainebleau, there are lots of natural boulders there:

elephant-2.jpg

<3

@AssassinTori: well, I may bother you about that then. Maybe not for this challenge but manual work may be as well part of my next challenge. Thanks for the proposition :)

Anyway, I feel like I'm a little crazy, I was tired yesterday and just wanted to play violin instead of going to the gym. So I went there this morning.. 6am.. I survived though and still managed to cook the breakfast on time. Maybe I will do it again ^^'

Nuala, level 13 Robot mistress of pain, Assassin Guild leader

 

First journey: The Rise and fall of an Assassin

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13

Second journey: Crawling back

#1

Link to post

Haha yeah everything around Paris would be expensive!!

For an introduction lesson it's 15 euro and getting certified to climb is like 80 euro for lessons. It's not too bad. Entry fee is around 10 euro or something.

Not sure about equipment or anything like that.

So yeah I definitely first need to save up and have enough money for this little side endeavor. Need to figure out if I'll be really committed to it. (which has nothing to do with whether I like it or not)

Sounds like you got a good morning work out in :D go you!!

And sometimes you just need to do something else instead of going to the gym. Still it's good to see you made up for it.

also if you go first thing in the morning, you can go through your day guilt free!

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection"

Epic Quest: Sif's list of awesome

Challenge: let's smash another year #low-carb #push-ups #intermittent fasting

Spoiler

 

Sif rises once more (~2020): 1

The Return of Sif (~2018): 1, 2, 34567, 8

The Age of Kibcy (~2012/13): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89

 

Link to post

Ok, end of the first week. Bad news is: my depression is striking back. Good news is: because of the challenge I am able to notice it and will try to fight it. Looking back, I barely did any workout at all this week, I did some inverted rows only once. Have not done any squats to work on my pistol squats goals and barely start exercising to improve my back/posture. All that thanks the the little voice telling me "it's only the first week, you have time to do that.. promise!" Yeah, my depression is a perfidious bitch. She may have won the first week battle, but now it's time for me to fight back, seriously.

So, it was a big fail for my fitness goals, but what about my life goal. This week I have thrown away:

7 leaf of paper-towel

4 papers tissues

2 egg box

1 plastic bag >_<

3 plastic bag from frozen food

A tin can that contained tuna

A paper bag + a cardboard box + plastic forks + paper napkin + mini plastic bottle that contained sauce (take away bag)

A dozen of recipe tickets

3 paper bags

8 food wrapping papers (used to wrap meat and cheese)

3 small fresh cream boxes (empty) + wrapping plastic

2 small tomato sauce boxes (empty) + wrapping cardboard

1 empty bottle of detergent

Bio waste:

The skin + seed of one cantaloupe and 2 avocados

The shell of 12 eggs

Broccoli, tomato, zucchini, eggplant leftover (extremities, stem...)

Some radish extremities + their stems (not the leaves)

Onion, garlic and beetroot skin

Meat leftover (very few)

Peaches seed

Tea leaves

What can I do to reduce waste:

Paper towel: Remove it from my kitchen. Use a cleanable sponge to clean and dry stuff, get some pretty cloth napkins for the meals.

Paper tissues: when I was a kid, my mother always gave me some cloth tissues. That didn't made me more sick and you can wash it! So: buy some cloth tissues.

Plastic bag: I told the vegetable seller that I DID NOT WANT any plastic bag, still he managed to put the salad in one... I will be more careful next time.

Egg box: stop buying them in box. Find a place that sells eggs in bulk (free range eggs, mind you) and bring my own reusable egg box.

Plastic bag from frozen food: this one is annoying. I don't buy much frozen food but sometimes it's easy/useful. I usually buy some frozen red fruits or blackberries bag because fresh one are way too expensive here and can only be found in small quantity. I'll try to find some at a good price to freeze them myself but it won't be easy in August.

Take away bag: this one is easy. I just have to make sure that I have enough stuff to put in my bento/lunchbox for work. And make sure to prepare it in time.

Paper bags + food wrapping papers: I'm not sure what to do with this one. The cheese-monger and the butcher always wrap their goods in paper. At least it's not plastic but I should check with them if there is a way to avoid them (bring my own box?)

Cream + tomato sauce: I can buy some at the cheese-monger, bring my own box. Tomato sauce, well I could make my own but it's not a good summer for tomatoes so it's not easy to find some good prices. Will look better.

Empty bottle of detergent: No idea yet.

Recipe tickets: that one annoys me the most. Every time I pay by card I have a ticket, sometimes two when they also give me the detail of my shopping. At least in Denmark they asked you if you wanted the ticket before editing it! Here no choice, it's edited all the time and tickets are not recyclable (too small for paper) so I don't know what to do about that yet.

Bio waste. Well, of course if I could recycle it it would be easier. For now the only thing I can do is reduce the waste to the maximum. Radish leaves + broccoli foot + parsley steam makes actually a really good soup with some onions, garlic, egg yolk and cream. I learned a little late that cantaloupe skin can be used to make jam, I have 2 cantaloupe waiting to be eaten so I'll try that. I'll keep on try to learn how to cook the "unused" part of fruits and veggies to avoid wasting it.

This week, I was also inspired by the monk's challenge: Clearing the path. Especially of the idea of Packing party. As said earlier, I already had a goal of de-cluttering my appartment in my first challenge and even if I did good I feel like I could do even better! So my BF and I applied the concept of Packing party on my kitchen.

Disclaimer: this picture of my kitchen was taken just after the dinner and before I could wash the dishes, it's usually not that messy, I promise!

[ATTACH=CONFIG]5113[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]5114[/ATTACH]

As you can see, it's very small. So my BF (who was really scared but still quite compliant with my weird ideas ^^) and I, emptied all the cupboards and store all the stuff in my room. When you see it like that, it's hard to believe that there is just 2 of us living here.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]5115[/ATTACH]

4 days later, considering that I cook everyday, what did we took back in the kitchen? Well, almost nothing, my room is still a mess :P I'm pretty sure that I won't validate/use many other items and 95% of what was in my kitchen will still be in my room. Next week end, all that will be left will be sorted, packed and given.

Fight!

post-7471-1356724473365_thumb.jpg

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post-7471-13567244734507_thumb.jpg

Nuala, level 13 Robot mistress of pain, Assassin Guild leader

 

First journey: The Rise and fall of an Assassin

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13

Second journey: Crawling back

#1

Link to post

Depression is rough. Keep it up. I hope you can win the battle this week!

Good plans and execution on the life goal!

You seem to be really thinking about it and forming strategies! That's really good, even though it doesn't always work :)

"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection"

Epic Quest: Sif's list of awesome

Challenge: let's smash another year #low-carb #push-ups #intermittent fasting

Spoiler

 

Sif rises once more (~2020): 1

The Return of Sif (~2018): 1, 2, 34567, 8

The Age of Kibcy (~2012/13): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89

 

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