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[Anno] First Challenge: Get started


Anno

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Hello all, I'm Anno and I am very late to the party this round. This is the first challenge I'm setting for myself and my goal here is to learn to move better, use my body better and push myself more. By the racial standards, I'm a half-orc or a werebear, maybe; always have been and will always be, and I'm good with that. Even at my best I was a big guy and it served me well. During that time I in the reserves; one of the pack mules and proud of it, as much as I complained at the time.

That best is about a decade back now.  A relatively minor injury slowed me down more than it should have and I've been lazy. As a teen, I was in Karate for a year and left when the teacher, to my mind then and now, effectively abandoned the class, but it showed me that I could learn to move better. Still, it was a lesson I left behind at the time.

I recently joined a Tai Chi class after years of trying to find a martial arts class of any kind in my area and was surprised to learn that they also offer Karate right after the Tai Chi. I promised myself I'd take up both when I'd gotten in shape enough to do so and the Karate classes resumed after a summer break. I've also been looking into Parkour very recently and want to try that as well, though I have an even longer way to go for that.

Which brings me to why I'm here.


Main Quest:
To gain the strength and endurance to start Karate and/or begin training to do Parkour.  


Goal 1:
I've taken the Angry Birds workout and added leg lifts as they were suggested in the Beginner's Parkour page, then split the set into two halves to avoid taking the day off between and to allow a more flexible schedule.

Apologies for the awkward language, but I intend to do a half-set a minimum of four times per week.

A - Flawless, less a grade for every two missed.


Goal 2:
Going up a level being taken as 3-starring two times in a row on that exercise, reach a level 3 on all parts.  

A - All five, less a grade for each not yet at level 3.  


Goal 3:
There is a 12km blazed-only/earthen trail through the woods near where I live.  Walk it a minimum of once every two weeks.  

A - three or more, B - twice, C - once, F - none.  


Motivation:
I've always been a packmule, but I've noticed my strength slipping in the last few years and I want at least that much back. Beyond that, I've recently learned to see machines and parts in terms of form, fit and function, as well as possibility, well past what I used to think was possible, and I've learned how ignorant I still am through it. I want to learn to see the world and my own body that way, and to learn how to use both properly. Regardless of final method, this is step one.

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Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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I've come to the end of my first work week on the challenge and I'm happy to say that I've done something every day so far. I've also been surprised by a few things.  Namely that incline pushups seem to stress higher in the chest than normal ones for me. 

 

Progress so far:

 

Back exercise: Level 1 - one arm rows using a 20lb kettlebell, 30 each arm

 

Monday: 2 star

Wednesday: 2 star

Friday: 2 star

 

Pushups: Level 1 - Incline using waist-high bar, 40

 

Monday: 2 star

Wednesday: 1 star

Friday: 2 star

 

Leg lifts: Level 1 - 20 (personal add in)

 

Monday: 2 star

Wednesday: 2 star

Friday: 2 star

 

Squats: Level 1 - 30

 

Tuesday: 3 star

Thursday: 3 star

 

Level 2 next time I do this

 

Planks: Level 1 - 60 seconds

 

Tuesday: 2 star

Thursday: 3 star

 

 

Haven't hit the trail yet. It's a weekend thing and, looking at the weather, tomorrow may be the only chance this week.  I'll see how that goes.  All told, though, pretty happy with how this is going so far.

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Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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First and foremost, Thanks Talvi.  

 

TL;DR: Took my first trip out on the trail today. Ran around 11.5km and took a little more than 3 hours.

 

Seeing as how this is meant to be something of a game and I don't think what I'm about to do is a faux pas, I thought it'd be fun to go through the trip.  I took some photos with my phone and while I don't know who's likely to see this, I'm hoping none of it comes across as too much or obnoxious. I'm sure I'll be told if it is.  

 

It was warm today, around 29C (84F), but the humidity was only around 30%.  From experience, it's the humidity that'll get you, especially in the woods.  Around here, we're lucky if the humidity's less than 60% in the summer, so it seemed as good a time as any to get my first hike in,  I found an old pedometer and stuck it on my fanny pack.  The whole trip came in at 15494 paces.  It's going back a ways, but when I was with the reserves, I was paced at 67 left footfalls per 100 meters. I don't want to split hairs, so assuming 135 paces per 100 meters, that's an overall total of a little under 11.5km, so I guess the trail's a little shorter than I'd thought.  

 

From my door to the entrance, I had around 2500 paces.  I wish I'd taken a picture of the entrance because, if you didn't know it was there, you'd never see it.  It's an electrical box with a blaze on the side.  This trail's part of the Bruce Trail, which runs clear across Ontario and it's something of a shame that it's hard to find because it really is a nice place to go.  It runs more or less along the side of a mountain here, so there's a lot of vertical to it.  

 

Jul5Trip1.jpg

 

You can see a staircase in there where it starts up the side of a little stream valley.  It goes up a ways farther here, and this is near the beginning. To give it a number, I'd say the trail is overall 3-4x harder than road walking, though the concrete and asphalt are much harder on the soles of the feet.  I also like the trail because you find some surprising vistas, and where do you get a chance to use that word, really?

 

Jul5Trip3.jpgJul5Trip4.jpgJul5Trip5.jpgJul5Trip6.jpg

 

I also had a nice visit from this little guy.  Landed on a thistle right beside me and was nice enough to pose.  Sadly, I almost never use my phone for pictures, so I forgot how to use the zoom function, but still a nice surprise. 

 

Jul5Trip2.jpg

 

The picture didn't come out in any way that someone could see it, but at the 6050 pace mark, the trail was closed. Wound up having to climb a staircase made of local stone up the not-quite-hill-not-quite-cliff I was walking along and came out onto a road.  A nice life lesson about the dangers of adding things after the fact rather than as part of the original plan.  Other long ascents are slow and meandering, this one was cut right up the side. Got to the top and decided that now would be a good time for a break and to drink my water.  After my calves stopped complaining, I hit the road, which is actually relaxing after the trail, as I said, and continued on about 800 paces (0.6 km) until the trail markers started again and popped me back down into the woods. 

 

Not many pictures from this part as no sooner did I get back onto the trail than a deer fly decided I looked tasty. I took the next 300-400 meters at a dead run. Little buggers are persistent and really hard to catch or bat away.  It did, on the other hand, remind me of the other danger on this trail.  

 

Jul5Trip8.jpg

 

The stagnant pond.  I really shouldn't have stopped for this picture, but I remembered and so took this picture before the bugs really started in on me.  Luckily, the first fly and this are far enough apart that I was rested. There were also some pictures between the one and the other, but they didn't come out well.  Because of the pond, another stretch was taken at a run.  This one uphill.  That was fun...

 

At around the 9000 (~6.5km) pace mark, I popped back out onto the road and started home.  Another nice view came on the road, and it's always surprising to see what a difference a few klicks will make to the scenery. 

 

Jul5Trip10.jpg

 

And I started on home, stopping along the way for an ice cream cone and a soda (yeah, I know.)  As I said above, the road's much harder on my feet and I'm really not used to it any more. Round about the 10km mark, and about when I was starting to flag, I noticed this guy circling overhead. 

 

Jul5Trip9.jpg

 

It's a turkey vulture. Nice confidence boost, that one.  Heh...

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Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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First day of week 2 and surprised that I'm actually not-dead after the hike yesterday. I expected to be cramped up something fierce. My feet are sore, but I can handle that.  I spent most of the afternoon wandering around town for places I could go to learn and practice parkour.  Sadly, that came up with no dice. A local skate park was the best candidate and that's always packed.  I'll shelve that one for now, it was a distant goal to begin with and the training doesn't change, and maybe look into distance sports instead.  Still planning on the karate. 

 

For today:

 

Level 1 planks - 60 second

3 star. Second in a row, moving to level 2 next time.

 

Level 2 squats - 50

3 star. 

 

The plank nearly killed me, so I have to admit that I'm not looking forward to that next time it comes around.

Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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Hit another milestone and one of my overall goals, which is more than a little surprising.  Hit level 3 for squats last night. 

 

Monday: 

 

Level 1 - Back: 3 star

Level 1 - Pushups: 2 star

Level 1 - Leg lifts: 2 star

 

Tuesday:

 

Level 2 - Squats: 3 star.  Second in a row, up to level 3.

Level 2 - Planks: 1 star. 

 

Also, I was right.  The two-minutes of planks hurt. 

Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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I missed Wednesday due to being under the weather, but hit another level up today.

 

Thursday:

Back - level 1: 3 star (going up to level 2)

Leg lifts - level 1: 2 star

Pushups - level 1: 2 star

 

I'll likely miss tomorrow's workout due to prior engagements, but in the overall, that's week 2 completed successfully. I'm pretty proud of that.

Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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Another week's gone by and I'm happy to say I've kept to the goals.  Friday turned out to be a no-go, but I've already put in four workouts this week, so I'm still good.  

 

Went out on the trail again, or tried to anyway, yesterday. During the week I'd picked up a backpack with a Camelback in it so I could go on longer hikes.  I've decided I really like the thing. Unfortunately, I got talked into taking my parents' dog.  He's a good pup, but couldn't keep up.  He's both out of shape and yesterday was a little bit brutal for heat and humidity.

 

Jul12trip1.JPG

 

A few klicks in and he was tired, but too excited to calm down and rest.  Had to stop for ten minutes every fifteen to let him rest up and calm down enough that he'd drink.  By the first break in the trail back onto the road he was exhausted, but also got a call then that something had hit the fan and another set of hands was needed, so a pick up was on the way.  It worked out.  Made it 6875 paces, or about 5 km.  

 

Was going to head out again today, but the skies opened and we got about half an hour of solid downpour.  Trails were off the menu no matter what I did and with a humidity of 87%, I didn't want to head into the woods. Decided to head out on the road after the humidity dipped some (about 80%) with the new backpack.  Since it's road, I know I went 14.5km.  My pedometer reads 18857, which calculates out to 1300 paces per km, so I was pretty close.  

 

Took a shot of the entry to the trail since I passed by.  

 

Jul12trip2.JPG

 

That's the view from the road.  The entrance is behind the very bright green electrical box.  At a total of about 19.5km, I'm definitely counting this week as successful for getting out on the trail.  

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Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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Sunday's walk took its toll on me.  Still wiped and my feet are bruised and some blisters, so I invested in some better socks. My current are fine for most things; exercise, not so much. A hike this weekend may not be in the cards, but I'm already doing pretty well there. 

 

Had it pointed out to me that my form for squats was wrong.  Keeping at level 3, but relearning how to do it right.  Think I pulled something, so I'll need to be careful about that.  Today was also my first day at level 2 of the back exercises, which means inverted rows.  I'm surprised by how much those kicked my butt.

 

Regardless:

 

Monday:

Squats - Level 2 - 70: 1 star.

Planks - Level 2 - 120 seconds: 1 star

 

Tuesday:

Back - Level 2 - 20 inverted rows: 0 star

Leg lifts - Level 1 - 20: 3 star

Pushups - Level 1 - 40 incline: 2 star. 

Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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Completed my exercises for Wednesday and Thursday, effectively completing my third week, so moving to character level 1.

 

Wednesday

Squats - Level 3: 0 star

Planking - Level 2: 1 star

 

Thursday:

Back - Level 2: 1 star

Leg lifts - level 1: 3 star (twice in a row, moving to level 2)

Pushups - level 1: 1 star

Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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Well done on being really consistent.   Have you noticed changes in your fitness yet (aside from battered feet)?   Do you think you'll sign up for your Tai Chi/Karate/Parkour for the next challenge, or will you continue building up your general fitness and strength?

 

P.S.  When you manage to tired out a golden retriever puppy, arguably one of the most energetic creatures on earth, you have done a serious trail :P

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Level 11 Morgana Scout

STR 14|DEX 11|STA 31|CON 11|WIS 23|CHA 19

Current challenge:  Talvi makes tactical decisions | Epic quests: 2015, 2016 | Running instalog: new_tracks_to_follow | Previous challenges: -2 -1 etc...

 

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Well done on being really consistent.   Have you noticed changes in your fitness yet (aside from battered feet)?   Do you think you'll sign up for your Tai Chi/Karate/Parkour for the next challenge, or will you continue building up your general fitness and strength?

 

P.S.  When you manage to tired out a golden retriever puppy, arguably one of the most energetic creatures on earth, you have done a serious trail :tongue:

 

Thanks, I have to admit that I'm proud of how it's going so far.  

 

For the most part with changes, I'd say I've gained some definition. I haven't lost any noticeable weight, but then I never really expected to at this stage of the game.  I am happy to say that I can do a small set of weak chin ups now (nose to the bar rather than chin) where I couldn't do more than one and a half before I started this.

 

For the classes, sadly Parkour isn't really an option. I've scouted the area around where I live and there's nowhere I can reasonably go to practice. I may investigate further at some point, but I've shelved that for now.  Karate is on hold due to attendance issues this summer. (It's held in a community center) Non-advanced belt adult classes aren't running until either late August or September, so that's past what I could put into the next challenge.  

 

Tai Chi is still running, though, and I've been with that for four or five months now.  I can't think of what to put in there for the challenge, though, since it's already how I spend my evenings twice a week and that's all they offer.  

 

For the next challenge, I'm thinking I'll continue in the same vein as this one, but I'm looking into the Couch to 5K.  I may do that with the modification that I can delay a workout in the schedule and do a hike instead.  I've always enjoyed those.  

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Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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It was raining again all day yesterday, so the trails were out of the question again today.  Humidity was high, around 85%, so I wouldn't have wanted to head into the woods anyway.  Decided to go out on the roads again.

 

Got talked into taking my parents' dog again, on the condition that they'd come pick him up when he was tired.  So, I got him and headed out.  About an hour later, I called and my dad came to get him and I continued on.  I think it's the weather that's getting to him, especially with that fur, but he is getting better. 

 

At the end of the day, I'd gone 23887 paces and verified with google maps.  Works out to a bit better than 17.5 km.  My feet are sore, but with no new blisters, so either the conditioning or the proper socks did its job, or both.  I'll be honest, I don't really care which it was.  I am happy that, no matter how the rest goes, this actually marks an A on one of the goals.  I didn't expect to get this far along until at least two more weeks in, but I was pushing the last two weeks due to weather issues.  Either way, I call it a win. 

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Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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Seems odd to continue to update this seeing as the next challenge has started, but it'll work out.  I'll be two weeks behind this round when my current is done and a week next time.  So, this is my week four. 

 

Monday

 

Planks - Level 2 - 1 star

Squats - Level 3 - 0 star

 

Tuesday

 

Back - level 2 - 0 star

Leg lifts - level 2 - 2 star

Pushups - level 1 - 2 star

 

Wednesday

 

Planks - 1 star

Squats - 1 star

 

Thursday

 

Back - 0 star

Leg lifts - 2 star

Pushups - 2 star

 

Also took the dog out and about today.  Just a light one of around 2.5 km.  It's hot again, though, so he was wiped when I brought him back home. 

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Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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Been away for a little while, but I've kept this up.  Putting this in largely as a final wrap up.

 

Last Sunday I took my fourth trip out on the trail, trying  a new path.  All told, I walked 19.5 km that day, so I think I've more than succeeded on that challenge.

 

For the bodyweight exercises, I've largely kept it up, though I've been under the weather this past week and missed an overall total of 2 sessions from my goal.  From my original, that's a B, so a pass but without acing it.  

 

I did manage to reach level 2 with pushups.  Realistically speaking, I haven't done very well on reaching my 'get to level 3' goal. I'm really at level 2 on ability to do squats, 2 on pushups and planks, level 1 on the other two.  I don't feel too badly about that, really.  I aimed a little too high for that short a time.  

 

All told, I think it was a successful first outing and I'll go up to level 2 as a character.  I'm going to put up my second challenge tonight under the adventurers and continue on.  

Level 2 Werebear Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 1 | Sta: 3 | Con: 4 | Wis: 1 | Cha: 1

Challenges: Past 1; Current

 

My Trip to Mordor. 

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