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WeyrCat - Into the Mountain (Challenge 3)

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Earth: A tree must be flexible so as to bend with the wind instead of break, but its roots must be strong to keep it in place in that same wind.

Strength/Flexibility: One upper body strength session, one yoga or pilates session, one ITBS physical therapy session. May be combined, as long as each are done at least once per week. Optimal: Each done 3x-Weekly.

STR: 2

DEX: 2

CON: 1

Water: The longest, deepest, paths are not cut at once. They are worn away by slow, steady, constant erosion.

Cardio/Endurance: Three cardio sessions per week. May be substituted for three mile walks up to twice weekly. One session MUST be 30+ minutes of cardio. Optimal: ICE after. No really.

STA: 2

STR: 1

CON: 2

Fire: As the blazing fire reduces wood into ashes, so does the fire of wisdom reduce bondage to ashes. - Bhagavad Gita.

School: Study three hours a day (up from 2 in the last challenge). Next semester I'll need to schedule home time as class time for my online classes so I must be able to set aside this time and stick to it. Optimal: Ten minutes of review for each hour of notes written in class (minimum). Ten minutes of flashcards for each class, with 20-30% of the cards being old material. With the 10 minute per hour break for standing and eye relief, that means only 30 minutes of intense new material. Easy if I just DO IT.

WIS: 4

STA: 1

Wind: A bird cannot fly if tethered to the ground. Much in the same way humans cannot be free while tethered to their possessions.

Home: Minimize my possessions. Attempt to get rid of one thing each day (anything from one CD to one pair of socks). This one will be really hard to grade, and I'm honestly not sure how to. So I'm leaving it as no points (and have distributed the 15 points to the other three goals) while I work on this one. In the end, being less emcumbered will be its own reward, but I'm sure I can think of something. :)


The rains had left many villagers homeless and without provisions. The Ranger battalion had done what it could for the people, slowing their progress towards the forest before the mountain. They were now at it's edge and the mud had dried over the plain in a barren, depressing, slag. Kathryn sat packed up her bedroll in the dim morning sun. The temperatures in the nights were now cold with the onset of true winter, though there was no snow this far south. The wind outside the forest's edge whipped along the plain and penetrated even through her double-seamed leathers. Maybe the foreboding forest made the wind seem colder...


Through the forest lay the mountain. Within the mountain, the Heart of the Mountain. The Ranger battalion, small in number but varied in skills, sought to retrieve it for a... collector. A red stone the size of a fist, it was said to be tucked in the hoard of a dragon. A scout had confirmed this as he received poultice for a nasty burn on his backside. Kathryn grinned. They can have the stone.. she wanted the dragon.

Carrying with her an iron-bound book, an old ring, and what rations might sustain her and Grucheti, her messenger owl, Kathryn started towards the woods with the Rangers.

This is my third challenge. Sadly, I don't post in RP for most of the minor updates but do will try to tuck in more here and there. I also want to try to make my updates more succinct. More "what I did, what I can do better", less "whine whine whine".


This thread is called "Into the Mountain" because I'm concurrently working on the second leg of my Hobbit Walk, Rivendell to Erebor (The Lonely Mountain). It's 570 miles. I'm about 35 miles in. I won't make it by Dec13, but it's still fun!


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Ok. Today, Day One!

- 3 hours of studying Orgo. That 40 on, 10 review, 10 break system makes the time go by fast.

- Today was a walk day. Ended up shortened to 2 miles, but not sweating the difference since I'm spinning tomorrow.

- Minimized (got rid of) two wine glasses I've used once in the last 5 years, and 2 gigs of music. I literally had to open songs in the albums to find out what they were.

- Did some light stretching. Not enough to give myself points, but hey! Can't do everything in one day.

Rocking a wicked head cold for the past few days. Slept in a little today. All in all, productive day.

The trail through the dark wood was clearly visible, almost as if the undergrowth refused to grow over it. The biting wind was left in the plain but the oddly humid air was still cold. Deeper into the forest the canopy withheld more and more light, leaving a cold, damp, dimness. Kathryn sniffled, then sneezed. "Great." They'd picked up the pace and made great time on the oddly clear trail. In the light of the small fire lit to warm fingers and toes, she read more and more of the iron-bound book without having to reference the symbols in the old man's key. Still, she struggled with it.

Snuggling into her blanket, she thought of her goals... the book... the dragon... and slept.

Edited by weyrcat

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- Minimized (got rid of) two wine glasses

Definitely read that as 'minimized two glasses of wine' and thought you meant by drinking the wine, haha! I like your theme & RP - it looks like you're off to a good start :)

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Hey WC!! Nice to see you again. Love your study goal strategy this time around, and look at you already conquering it :) And since when was your thread whine, whine, whine? We must have been reading different threads! Here's to riding the dragon this time around!!

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@Maegs: That tends to be my favorite way to clean out wine! Thanks for the support! See you around!

@Hiraedd: Hello again! About the whining: I simply feel like I did more "complaining as to why I couldn't complete my goals" than working on making sure I could! I'm aiming to be less "I couldn't because" and more "I did because I can!" See you around!

Day 2:

Minimized cds - 3 Unique irreplaceables (digitized), 1 greatest hits, 4 compilations (Monsters of Rock, etc), 2 soundtracks, and 6 regular albums. 5 gigs of TV epis. 4 movies.

Studied - 1 hour Lab orgo. 2 hours (going on 3) Textbook orgo.

Cardio - Skipped Cycling. Head cold feels like my sinuses are stuffed with clay. I'm sneezing in threes, which is annoying, and have gone through an entire roll of toilet tissue in 2 days. I'm putting lotion on my nostrils, they're getting so red!

Strength/Flexibility - Aiming for my ITBS stretching and icing when I get to bed. If I ice when I go to bed I don't have to worry about "not having time to sit in one place for 20 minutes" since I'm supposed to be immobile and prone anyway!

SO. On it doggonit. Hoping this head cold minimizes itself overnight! I have an Organic Chem exam tomorrow!

And on that note... back to studying. (In a min).

The damp darkness made her skin crawl. Kathryn kept thinking she saw spiders crawling in the darkness. There surely couldn't be... in order to see them in even the daylight gloom they'd have to be HUGE. The day was a sure trek of average speed but again they made good ground over the oddly barren trail. They camped earlier than usual to give some of the supply packs more time to dry in the warmth of the fire. She was glad for the extra time with the iron bound book. The milky green stone in the cover reflected the firelight into some dew drops in the leaves, and they almost looked like hundreds of tiny eyes. She turned her mind back to the pages. Her eyes flicked over the symbols more quickly now but the latest pages were more foreign. New symbols, new phrasing structures, almost as if the original author was giving the book over to another. She read until they put out the fires and slept in a close pile for warmth and safety.

The dewdrops still glowed. Hmm.. Phosphorescent fungi maybe?

She slept.

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Good luck on your exam! One thing that I've found helps colds is a hot toddy made with Neocitran (Google tells me it's aka Lemsip and Theraflu, depending where you are) and some liquor (I've found that Southern Comfort actually works well flavour-wise) - it knocks me right out, I sleep really well, and I always feel better in the morning, probably because I slept so well!

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WHEW! What a week. It's still chugging along here, but I want to make my "three per week" so I need to take a pause and update!

Wednesday: No Strength or Cardio, all day studying (made the min 3), minimized a pair of socks. No really. Took the evil Orgo exam!

Thursday: No Strength or Cardio. Did my high school internship (went a little over my diet thanks to the TGiving potluck, but I kept all my portions small. It was bringing home the rest of the pie I brought THERE that got me.) Only studied an hour. BAD WEYRCAT! Didn't write down if I minimized anything.

Friday: Strength training: a "no impact" Pilates workout focusing on my lower body (not ITBS specific but included "air squats" since I apparently can't do them right side up). Amazingly sore for three days after. NO IMPACT. SORE. These should not go together. No Cardio, went to work and "cage walked" but I'm determined not to count that this challenge. Minimized the PIE. By throwing it away. I woke up and had a slice for breakfast, and said NO! It was either the trash can or my stomach and I am not a garbage can. Sorry starving kids. I didn't write down if I studied... I don't remember if I did.. so logging a 0.

Saturday: Treated myself to a local college symphony (OT) but so fun. Studied 3+ hours. Let my soreness talk me into no strength (minor stretching that doesn't count). No cardio. BAD WEYRCAT! Didn't write down if I minimized anything. I did scan/recycle the program from the symphony instead of keeping it (like I usually do). I'll count it. :)

Sunday: Did my studying and then some. I seriously put 6 straight hours in (only count three, no make ups without good excuse!) Minimized a photo album. This small, ugly, album I kept meaning to take the photos out of and get rid of. Finally did. No strength or cardio. BE DISAPPOINTED IN ME. I am. You should be. No really, I'm not throwing a pity party, shaming me honestly works for me. Dunno why, ask a psychologist, I don't care. :P


Strength/Stretch: 2/3 times.

Cardio/Walk: 1/3 times.

Studied 3 hours: 5 days, 1 day=1. 1 day=0.

Minimized: 6 days, crapton of items. WEE!

Monday: TODAY! Hiraedd, I didn't get the Exam results back 'til today: she didn't post them! I got a 69% (I honestly thought I did so much better, thought I nailed it) which ends up a 99% because of the "pre quizzes" we take by way of a curve. This way you're still earning your "curve" little by little instead of having it handed to you. Median was the mean and was 58%. Highest was 100 (she says it's a first in all her years teaching Orgo 1) and the lowest was a 0. Not a no-show, but an actual 0. Wow.

I've only studied 1 hour. I felt really sick today. I stared at my books not comprehending until I gave in to a nap in a hot black car. 45 minutes. I'm going to try to put another hour in before bed.

Minimized: A pair of socks. Let me tell you why this isn't trivial. I have a lot of socks. Cute socks. With owls on them. Most of them don't fit right and don't stay on my feet when I walk. But they're cute. A shoe-cubby full of them. I grabbed out a pair to wear today, got halfway through putting them on and dreading them sliding off my heel 15 times today, and chucked them in the donate box. It's seriously significant when I get rid of socks. I'm weird. I know.

Cardio: Unless I do it at school somehow Monday and Wednesday are hard. We wake up in the dark and get home in the dark. Bleh. So hard to get on the elliptical after feeling crappy and being on campus for 10 hours.

Strength: Nada. Ugh. Starting the week of bleh.

She woke, groggy and dizzy. Her blood was pounding in her ears as she hung upside down. Wait...

Suddenly aware, she realized she was hanging askew from a tree branch, wrapped in some sticky viscous threading. Unable to move her arms she could see that see wasn't terribly far off the ground, maybe a foot or two, propped up against a wide tree, her cocoon secured to what looked like other cocoons. The other rangers? She rolled herself back and forth trying to roll off the wide trunk. As she hoped her weight pulled her cocoon free from the mess as her weight took her over the tilted edge. She hit the ground hard on her shoulder. "AGH!"

Tearing the base had weakened the spiraled thread and she was able to wiggle her boots apart enough stand up. "Ugh, 'don't put a knife in your boot' she said" she quietly mimicked in a high falsetto, "'you'll cut yourself' she said! Thanks a lot!" She rubbed herself against the tree bark to shred the fibers enough to get her hands free and started probing the other cocoons. "Please don't be dead bodies, please don't be dead bodies".

Within ten minutes she had the other rangers down and mostly roused. They were dizzy like she, but only the smallest couldn't stand by himself. They took in their surroundings and found themselves to be surrounded by walls of the ugly off white fibers. The only exit was a huge round portal. Shrugging, Kathryn moved forward.

Peeking through the hole she saw nothing, just more white walls and an ugly tunnel. They hobbled down it, weapons in the hands of those who could hold them. She felt weak herself, she wasn't sure if she could draw her bow all the way. Tensed and starting to sweat from the adrenaline, the rangers moved down the path in the only direction open to them...

and it opened into the woods. It was near dawn and the woods were wet.

"Kind of anticlimactic" someone remarked.

Kathryn snorted. "Let's just get out of here".

It wasn't long until they found the road again and the sun rose and what wane light dappled through the thick canopy showed the weird trail still clear. The white fibers grew thinner among the trees until they couldn't see it anymore.

"We'll keep a guard fire on each night from now on" the captain said.

Finding no need to talk more of it, they pressed on through the forest towards the mountain, nibbling their rations, and watching the woods.

Edited by weyrcat

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Happy Harvest everyone!

Finals season is upon me and I find my butt in my chair so often I can't stand it. Then I drove 2.5 hours to Thanksgiving dinner, and back again, and tried to stand most of the time in the middle. The more I sit the more my knee hurts. Trying to stretch it periodically.

Strength today:

(10 min slow elliptical as warmup. 0.5 mile).

Pushups: 5,3,1,5,5,5. Bad form first sets made elbow pop painfully. Waited awhile, reset form, tried again.

Straight-Arm plank: 10s,10s,15s done after push up sets.

Jacks: 6x25.

Minimized an old stress ball I'd assigned sentimental value to.

Studying: IP.

Bonus: Hit 72 miles on my Hobbit Walk Pt 2: I've officially been captured by trolls.

No RP today. Back to studying.

Edited by weyrcat

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Hey weyrcat! Hope your Thansgiving went well. Looks like your strength training sure did!!! How's that knee feeling? Still bothering you? Keep up the amazing work!

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We interrupt your regularly scheduled Pre-Finals week to bring you... a short workout!

General Yoga:

0:04:15 (+16 pts)

Flow 2s, 5s, 10s.

Dumbbell Bicep Curl:

10 lb x 10 reps (+32 pts)

10 lb x 10 reps (+32 pts)

10 lb x 10 reps (+32 pts)

Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row:

10 lb x 10 reps (+49 pts)

10 lb x 10 reps (+49 pts)

10 lb x 10 reps (+49 pts)

Seated Bent-Over 2-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension:

10 lb x 10 reps (+21 pts)

Yes I did just copy paste from my Fitocracy... I'm in a hurry!

@Hiraedd: Hello! Turkey day went well enough, far too much sitting. Always bothers my knees. The overuse pain has passed but still working on the stretching and icing routine. Got some in today. So hard to say "Yes, I'm going to stretch and move for 30 minutes" when you feel like you have SO MUCH to so (study wise).

On that note, back to Genetics!

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Awesome that you got the workout in, though! Maybe you'll have to come up with a way to study and exercise at the same time.....wait, no, I was reading a book about exercise and it said that the brain actually learns better for about an hour after exercise, so how about that? Working out is going to HELP you study!! :) Keep up the amazing work, WC. When you have a moment want to post your finals schedule so I know what to ask about when? :D

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Took my last finals today: Genetics and Organic Chemistry 1. I might know the Genetics grade Friday. No idea when I'll know the Chem grade.

I know that low-balling the extra credit value I will pass the class with a C+ if I bomb the exam with a 50%.

Genetics, I have an 84% and the exam replaces my lowest exam grade (but I seem to need a 95 to change my grade even to 86% B+, so I didn't sweat it too much).

I saw my IntroEdu prof today and was told I didn't miss one point on any assignment. BAM.

My final project grade for TechforEdu is still ungraded but I got 100% on the planning document so I think I'm probably an A in that class too. :)

I've definitely made/exceeded the 3 hour study every day. It'll be continued since I already have my textbooks for next semester. however, I'm giving myself Thur Friday off to catch up on a stocking project I promised and maybe finish a book I started last August.

I've also kept up with my minimizing *but haven't been tracking it since I award it no points. Days I've missed I've made up for in multi-minimizing other days.

The cardio hasn't gone well as I had an ITBS attack (feels like an attack, like a backstabbity just-when-I-was-feelin-better attack.. no offense Rogues). Trying to make up with it with extra yoga cycles and stretching, even though those are set as part of the other goal, since it's what I'm SUPPOSED to do to heal the ITBS. Means that some of my cardio spots say "ice/stretch". :( I'm not sure how to grade that. I'm not doing the cardio, but, I can't run, elliptical, or apparently walk farther than 3 miles. AAARRRRG.

Keeping myself pleasantly sore with my yoga/pushup/dumbbell routine but have been squeezing it in between Orgo and Genetics studying so I haven't had time to Fitocracy anything. :( All those points... gone, sneef. Ah well.

SO. Been pretty good (about everything but posting hehe). I'll have some more time now. I'm so behind on everyone's threads too. O,O eep.

No RP. Literally got out of my Orgo exam 51 minutes ago. Going to snag Hubby out of his and celebrate with an 8pm bedtime.


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Hooray for exams being done!! You have done amazing, what with all the studying AND squeezing exercise in around it, so good for you! And just look at those marks (and expected marks!)...those are HARD courses and you have done a fine, fine job of them. Sorry to hear you haven't been able to run much, but you've continued to find ways around it and other things to keep you "pleasantly sore" so I say full marks for listening to your body! Looking forward to seeing you around a little more often for the next while :)

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Recap and Scoring:

Strength Train 3x weekly: 74% C.

Minimize once a day: 74% C.

Study 3 hours a day: 60% D! :o (Before winter break I was 88! Laziness over the break did me in. I did read two books, watched one long awaited opera, had dinner with friends, sew a stocking, and watch 3 seasons of Dr Who. I consider it a personal 100, but still, it wasn't studying. :P

Cardio 3x weekly: F. A hardcore F. With finals, we didn't make time for the walking. My flare up said no elliptical, but I didn't even TRY to get back on the damned thing after the break started on the 6th.

I find it amusing that I did best in two things I didn't score: the Minimizing and being mindful of what I'm eating. The house (my desk and closets show the most) are so much more spacious. Less digital crap, less subscriptions, less "I might wear/use/need that someday" hanging around. It's lovely.

I've also shed 8 pounds over this semester. Less than the semester, but I don't have the start date on me. I need a belt in the "fat pants" I bought myself. I'm really happy about that. Still eating pizza, ice cream, and tons of chili, just, being more careful about portion sizes. Am doing poorly on my water though.

What I Learned:

I can be happy with results even when they're not what I was expecting.

-The weight loss and no-points minimizing have made a huge impact on my life satisfaction. Combined with my grades I'm very happy with how this past challenge went, even if I bombed my cardio goal, again.

I need to change my cardio goal into a consistency goal.

-Keeping up with the strength training turned out a little easier since Husband has been doing it too, but we don't leave the house much during study time OR "decompressing" after the semester. I also don't go unless he does. We walk through town and over a bridge and I'm honestly not brave enough to walk it alone. (I have security issues after being kidnapped once). I do consider the park, when pretty full, more safe and though it's still stressful, I think I need to start going to the track there even when Husband doesn't 'feel like going'.

I need a "Physical Therapy" goal. Ties into consistency.

-My knee keeps yelling at me because the icing-stretching is inconsistent. It becomes a trickle down problem. I can't run on it if I can't elliptical on it, which I can't if I don't ice-stretch-walk on it!

SO, gained pretty much no points, but shed clutter and weight.

My challenge grade is an over all 54%F.

But I look and feel better than I started. So I still win. :)

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But I look and feel better than I started. So I still win. :)



I like the 'what I learned' section, I really need to start considering my challenge goals based upon the last challenge and what worked/didn't work.

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