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Hi, everyone!

I'm Shannon, and I just joined NF. My brother showed it to me, and I loved it right away. Just something about NF's style makes a healthier lifestyle look achievable and fun.

Anyway, a little bit about myself...I live in Virginia, and I love living here because I'm surrounded by mountains and can go hiking pretty much whenever I want to, which is awesome. My favourite outdoor activity is bouldering, and running comes in a close 2nd (although I'm not too good at that yet.)

I love to travel, and my favourite countries so far are Uganda, Swaziland, and Costa Rica. Before I die, I want to go to every country...but right now I'm only at 9 or 10, so I've got work to do!

I also love music. I play the piano and acoustic guitar, and next on my list to learn are bass and electric.

I've just graduated high school and will start college in August, and I hope to be a nurse in a third-world country one day. I'm considering Doctors Without Borders or something like that. I've helped with medical clinics in China and Uganda, and there's nothing I'd rather do with my life!

So anyway...my current fitness goals include a four-mile race in September, and a Warrior Dash 5k in October. Ultimately I'd like to accomplish a marathon, but I'm starting small with some shorter events.

My brother and I are in this together, which I love--he's my best friend and favourite workout partner. We've recently started eating Paleo, which is going really well so far--I'm loving it! I'd say we're at about 80%, because we still eat dairy products and stuff like that, but incorporating some Paleo habits into our diet has been a great way to get healthier...plus my brother gets to eat as much meat as he wants to--always a plus in his book!

Well, I guess that's all for now. I'm looking forward to learning more about NF, and getting in better shape this summer!

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Welcome!!!

I guess I'll be the first to say it. You are a year younger than me and far more interesting already. Jeez, I know few people under 40 with a life resume like that. Its pretty impressive. And may I ask why you like Uganda? I'm interested in that mainly because most people have no idea what it is (one friend once asked if it was a kind of vegetable...) and also because I have a few friends from Uganda and have done some fundraising and teaching about it. Anyways, I hope you enjoy the atmosphere here, I have so far. The people are wonderfully supportive.

One more thing (I have a thing for asking questions, bare with me), how long have you guys been running? Has running become harder or easier on the Paleo diet (last summer I was big into running and as I am sure you know, carbo-loading is quite common)? Also have you done any races yet?

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:Wow, thanks! I've never really thought of myself as 'interesting,' haha :P

I can't quite put into words why I love Uganda so much...I just fell in love with it the second I stepped out of the airport, and I can't wait to go back! If you check out my blog (should be a link in my signature), I have a subcategory dedicated to my Africa trip if you want to read more about it. But I guess if I had to pick a reason why Uganda is so great, it's because of the people. They're amazingly wonderful and I love them so much (: There's just something about them...

I've only been running for a few weeks...and really I'm not good at it at ALL. I can't say I've noticed a difference between running on the Paleo diet vs. normal diet. I still get carbs from vegetables and fruit, so after a hard workout I'll have an apple or something for carbs.

And no, I've not done any races yet. My first one is August 27th, a 4-mile fun run. I'm really excited about it! I only wish I'd started running like 5 years ago--then I'd be good at it by now :P

What about you? What do you like to do for fitness/fun?

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I'd have to agree, Ugandan people are pretty awesome, though I've only met ones that have moved to America (unfortunately).

There is no such thing as being a bad runner as long as you are trying. When I started running last year, I couldn't run nonstop for half a mile (which is especially embarrassing if your skinny like me because everyone expects you to be awesome at it). Within about 2 or 3 months of starting I had completed 13.1 miles with a friend. You may not think you are "good" now, but trust me, if you work at it, whether you are going for speed or distance, you will improve beyond your expectations. And coming from a running background that involves pasta before and after every big run, I can't imagine recovering with an apple 0.o.

Keep that race in mind everytime you run, and you will do fantastic! Can you run 4 miles yet or are you still building up? Races are absolutely fantastic!! Everyone (besides the people in front taking it far too seriously imo) has such a great attitude! Just remember when you are training, the majority of your improvement comes from the comfortable runs. The ones that when you finish, you feel like you could run some more if you wanted to. Ignore anyone who tells you to do the hard stuff (besides long runs) too.

I am just now getting back into barefoot running after a few months of a break. Now that its nice, sunny, and above all, not snowing, it is a lot easier to get into. I also am trying to work on some upper body (a weak area for me) as well as survival skills. Basically so one day I can live in the woods (I am extremely jealous of you living in Virginia. My sister lives there and is constantly telling me how beautiful the mountains are). As for fun? Anything involving the woods, hanging out with friends, and playing almost any sport. If I am doing something physically active or mentally stimulating, I am having a blast. How about you? Do you do anything other than run for fitness? How about just good ol fashioned fun?

I just realized how long that was.... whoops.... sorry lol

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Haha, no worries. I'm pretty long-winded myself sometimes.

No, I can't run four miles yet...haha not even close. But I'm working hard at it, so it should just be a matter of time.

I find barefoot running very interesting...it seems to work well for me. I've got a pair of Vibram FiveFingers and they are utterly amazing. I'd eventually like to be able to run legit barefoot, but for now my Vibrams are close enough to the real thing, minus all the pointy rocks and stuff. I do climb and boulder barefoot though; I get better traction and balance that way.

In addition to running, my brother and I go hiking all the time, and we're also doing Mark Sission's Primal Blueprint fitness. I've never really focused on body weight/strength training before, so it's been interesting. We've only been doing it for a week but already I'm seeing progress! I also do a quick yoga routine each night because I'm trying to work on the flexibility in my legs...my back is insanely flexible but my legs are about as bendy as...something that's not very bendy at all.

And for fun, I already mentioned that I'm into music...I just love playing my instruments (: I also love to write. I've written over 80 songs (most of them not very good), two novels (also, not very good), and poems and short stories and junk. And photography; I'm super into photography. It's my favourite way of expressing myself. I'm a pretty artsy-type person, so I've surprised myself by getting to into running and fitness. But I've never really been in amazing shape, so I'm glad I've finally found a form of exercise that I enjoy (:

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wow scrawny's right you ARE interesting i'm going on 20 and still in my home town having done a great deal of nothin (well i've been skiing in quite a few places and had a few trips round america/canada but still that's all 'western') but that's changing soon! i've always been a naturally good climber so bouldering really attracts me, i can only do it indoors though and haven't started it yet but whenever i'm out and about i climb on absolutely everything i can hope you enjoy you're stay at NF!

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I started with vibrams too, but trust me, you won't regret it if you go straight to barefoot. And from the sounds of it, your feet should already be pretty strong, so you shouldn't have any issues with total barefoot. If you are running on not too rocky (like gravel rocky) trails, I can not stress enough how amazing it feels to feel the dirt and grass on your feet. It is completely liberating and exhilarating. For me, after running barefoot on trails I would always think "what moron was the first to think 'eh I don't wanna feel all that wonderfullness, I'm just gonna stick something on my foot instead.'" And running on smooth pavement is a treat for the senses. It feels like a foot massage.

I do bodyweight stuff too, cheaper than a gym, plus I'm trying to get good enough at it to do some handstand pushups and be totally BA.

And may I reiterate, that is amazingly interesting. I don't think your songs or novels can be that bad, you seem like a very smart girl. And for the artsy thing, at least you aren't stuck up.I know some artsy snobs who wouldn't even consider lifting a finger to get in shape (or even have fun). Apparently it is far too important to maintain the proper head posture tilted slightly back to keep the world in perspective: down their nose. And they would just look foolish to run like that :-D.

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indeed so i am starting to do a lot more outdoorsy things (climbing/trials biking) and training in powerlifting (strength and power with as little added size as possible) and body weight moves (to be totally BA :P trust me doing dips with an extra 35kg on you when you only weigh about 73kg gets people in the gym looking) so that i can just decide to do something and go do it. unfortunately i'm on a shift rota (nights and weekends incl) so i don't get a great deal of chances to go away but i am certainly starting to step up my game, getting my own place next year should grant me a bit more freedom as well

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More power to ya brother! I might be heading up to Alaska soon for some construction work, so I'm hoping that'll put some hair on my chest (as well as put the B with the A in a totally kind of way). I'm lookin to get my own place soon too. But at least in my case I can't see that helping my fitness levels. I fear I may indulge too much in the new found freedom to have people over to get ridiculously hammered... Which isn't exactly he best thing for strength training. But I am determined to prove that wrong by getting hammered and doing the 300 workout... I think that should be a NF-wide challenge.

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psssh, I totally agree about the artsy people being stuck-up. I try not to be :P

Actually, I'm not 18...I'll be sixteen in a few days. The whole graduating early thing throws people off sometimes....I wish I was 18, though, because that's how old I have to be before I can enter the nursing program at my college. Lame. I was pretty upset. But on the bright side, that gives me time to take a gap year and maybe do some long-term travelling!

I have a feeling it shouldn't take too long to get acclimated to barefoot running, seeing as I do pretty much everything barefoot anyway. I only wear shoes when I absolutely have to. I'm currently taking a short hiatus from my Vibrams because I've got poison ivy between my toes from hiking barefoot :P But when that clears up I'll get back to wearing them every time I run.

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HOLD THE FUCK UP!!! You are 16?!?! How is it even possible that someone who just learned to drive already is better at life than me???? I now know how Judas felt ("Hey look guys I gave this dude some bread!" "yea well jesus just raised a dude from the dead" ">.<"). You are clearly insane. But also, I give insane props to you for clearly being awesome beyond your age. Good job.

Yea, you should probably watch for poison ivy next time. Pssshhh and I thought you were smart. Can't even look where you're going. :-D

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I'm glad you enjoy heresy. Would you like to help me color in a pentagram? My therapist Dr. Diablo said it would help my anxiety issues. And I feel like there should be a song for you and poison ivy. "shannon shannon shannon of the jungle watch out for that poison ivy"...... meh.... george of the jungle works better. Wait why am I coming up with the jingle? You're the musician, get to work!

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now, now...I wouldn't go so far as to say I enjoy heresy :P

Now for a blatant change of subject...what did you do today, fitness-wise? As for me, I really haven't done much. I tried to get out for a run, but it was hot and I was lazy, and my knee hurts. I'll count today as a rest day, because yesterday was a body-weight training day and I'm planning on doing some sprints tomorrow if I can manage to drag myself out of bed before it gets too hot. I've been wanting to start a routine of waking up between six and seven, but so far it hasn't happened :P I'm so not a morning person.

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I have done virtually nothing. I helped my mom do some gardening (as in I dug and she pointed and nagged). But on days like today (hot and humid as hell. And yes, hell is humid. Probably because of the lake of fire) I usually do my workout at night. Because, like you, I'm also far from a morning person. Except on the nights that I stay up so late it suddenly becomes morning... Those days are actually pretty nice. I am definitely a night hawk so if I run, I tend to run around 3am (for a 16 year old girl I do NOT suggest that alone). I am really waiting for an awesome hot and rainy night. Those are the best nights to run barefoot. I'll probably go outside later tonight and do some movnat/primal stuff. But I may just get lazy and say screw it. Heat has a way of draining my motivation.

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Hello and welcome to the Rebellion! It looks like you should fit in great here. There are also a bunch of musicians here in the Rebellion. Keep writing those songs, and don't worry if a lot of them aren't any good. Harlan Howard, the great country music songwriter (over 4000 songs to his credit), stated that 99 out of 100 songs were just practice. 16! That makes me feel old! I am on the senior circuit around here (I just turned 40).

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Thank you, CapN! I haven't seen much of this board yet, but from what I have seen everybody seems pretty awesome (:

I've always wanted to run at 3 a.m. Maybe one day I'll have a running partner who'll do it with me... and I agree, rainy runs are awesome. They make me feel hardcore (: Today I prayed for rain because it was soooo hot, but it ended up just being muggy and thick, no rain. Maybe another time...

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Yea, same with over here. No rain, just humidity. I find rain really peaceful myself. If I have to stop and walk while in the rain I recover so much easier and feel so much more awesome. I stare at cars passing by and think "what fools, why aren't their windows down?" If you find yourself in Chicago during your travels, I'll join ya for a 3am run. I'll even hire a black friend to chase you and make you go faster! (Since I realize people probably don't know me too well here, that was just a JOKE. I don't have black friends. silly)

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head on over to my mission of mad strength and epic skills workout log and you'll be a bit see what i've been doing (powerlifting and bodyweight rule!) and Oh my Gee 16 even i feel old (lucky you're obviously not like the kids where i live, i've had a catchphrase this last year...'fucking kids... hate em!') and i could probably top your night time runs... running straight after a night shift at 6am! yh they get me going, then i die about 2 hours later :D

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This song is for you sdecourcey (or shannon, whichever you prefer), relative to what timmy just said:

Also, Timmy, you actually just reminded me, I've been meaning to start a log lately. I have now officially started one. I've never had a night shift, but I do love to run at 6am when I stay up that late. Its not too cool yet not too hot, and there is a significantly lower fear of getting raped by anyone named big bubba. (Big bubba is afraid of the sun)

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