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Kyellan -- Raiding the Goblin Den


Kyellan

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I'm a little late to the party here, I know, but I've kind of been doing my own challenge for the past three weeks, so I'm just gonna hop on board and make this six-week challenge an extension of my own!

 

I am Kyellan--by day, I am a datamancer. I weave spells in cryptic languages to conjure information from the impenetrable logic of databases, perform magic tricks on spreadsheets that cause things to appear precisely as I wish them to, and occasionally hold blood-sacrifice rituals to keep the servers from crashing... okay, that last one is mostly a joke.

 

However, being a datamancer doesn't do much for the Constitution nor the HP totals. Even the little goblins (hunger, pain, fatigue) can knock me down with their clubs and sticks, and I'm sick and tired of getting beaten up by their puny hordes. My INT is pretty high, but at the cost of a lot of other things.

 

That's why, for this first six-week challenge, I am dual-classing to Rebel Adventurer and raiding the goblin den!

 

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Main Quest: Step on the scale and see my weight under 200 lbs for the first time since childhood before my 30th birthday (7/20/2015). Current weight: 245 lbs.

 

Every adventurer starts small--no one goes to the dragon den at Level 1! So I'm going to start by beating up some of these goblins that constantly plague me, gain some XP, and get ready for the long haul during this first six weeks.

 

Quest 1: 3 Strength Workouts Per Week (Friday, Sunday, Tuesday)

 

If I'm going to beat the goblins, one of the first things I've got to raise is my STR score. I'm pretty sure I have a -2 to damage penalty, and we won't even look up what that would be under my favored system (AD&D 2nd). For this starter challenge, I'll be using the Nerd Fitness Beginner Bodyweight Workout.

 

A: 3 Workouts/Week (+3 STR, +1 STA); B: 2 Workouts/Week (+2 STR); C: 1 Workout/Week (+1 STR)

 

Quest 2: 3 Weapon Sessions Per Week (Saturday, Monday, Wednesday)

 

Can't beat the goblins without a weapon! One of my goals is to feel in good enough shape to join a HEMA group and start learning some Western Martial Arts. I'm currently working with a sword, but to achieve this goal any weapon will do--club, staff, sword. This is to increase grip strength, wrist and forearm strength, and to get the precision I'll need for weapon handling.

 

To make the grade, a session will have to be at least 20 minutes long.

 

A: 3 Weapon Sessions/Week (+2 DEX, +2 STA); B: 2 Weapon Sessions/Week (+1 DEX, +1 STA); C: 1 Weapon Session/Week (+1 DEX)

 

Quest 3: Fasting For Discipline

 

One of the major things I've always lacked in my life is a measure of physical discipline. I'm great at the mental stuff, but when it comes to food, I've got just about nothing for willpower. To help combat this (and because I have done intermittent fasting in the past to good effect) my third quest will be about adding discipline through fasting.

 

A: 4 16-hour fasts/week (+3 WIS); B: 3 16-hour fasts/week (+2 WIS); C: 1 16-hour fast/week (+0.5 WIS)

 

Quest 3 Bonus: 3 24-hour fasts during the challenge nets a (+1 WIS) bonus at the end of 6 weeks!

 

Life Quest: Maintain this thread with struggles and successes and see it through until 10/26!

 

Motivation: I will be the outlier--I will beat the odds on family history, I will see my future child(ren) to a happy, healthy and productive adulthood, I will learn the Western martial arts of my dreams, and most of all, I will live despite the chronic pain that has plagued me for ten years, free from its shackles even if I still must live with it.

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"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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Late to the party or not, we're glad to have you :D

 

You might notice that I've added a Monks' tag to your thread.  This is not to pigeonhole you into a guild but to rather bring you to the attention of their ambassadors so that they can offer you support, guidance, encouragement and a cheer section.  Your current goals align nicely with their focus and you will find any answer any questions you might have related to your quests.  You can pop into their Courtyard at any time to introduce yourself and you're welcome to pop me a message any time too.

 

Good Luck

AB xx

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Half Faerie (Sidhe) Scout | Black Belt Kitchen Ninja
"A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort" - Herm Albright
You're welcome to skype me (audriwolf) too but let me know who you are

My challenge

 

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Hey Kyellan, I think your goals are very admirable and good luck on losing the weight, I think your time scale is really good, big weight loss like that can take time but it is totally doable with the focus the 6-week challenges!

 

 

I'm KingLeeroy and I am from Adventurer's by the way Blaidd already linked to the tavern above where there are folks usually about for a chat. If you’d like to talk to me you can either check out my current challenge or pm me on the board.  If you have any questions on how to use the forums, check out this tutorial. I’ll be following your topic here as well so you’ll probably see me again anyway.

 

See you around and good luck with your goals!

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Be More Ninja

Current Challenge

Instagram

 

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Daily check in:

 

Weapon Session -- Check!

16-Hour Fast -- Check!

 

Also added chaos for the day in the form of a 2+ mile outdoor bike ride in the 50-something degree weather (glad I had some gloves, let me tell you!) Took me about 24 minutes, which isn't by any means amazing, but since I just got back on the bike this month after something like 18 or 19 years without riding one, it's not half bad. My legs felt like boiled pasta afterward, what a weird feeling!

 

I really appreciate everyone's encouragement and positive focus! 

 

I'll do a recap for the week after I find out what tomorrow brings. Onward and upward!

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"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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Can you come to my place of work and do a datamancery blood ritual for our server? You can use my blood, it's not good for much else.

 

It sounds like you're off to a great start on your goals! Which sound pretty cool. Do you have a favorite weapon? Or favorite grip-strengthening exercises? (I need to start working on that too.)

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Level 2 Elf Assassin

Str: 4 | Dex: 5 | Sta: 3 | Con: 2 | Wis: 4 | Cha: 3

 

"When people called me freak, I closed my eyes and laughed, because they were blind to happiness." --hide

 

 

First challenge! Second challenge! Third challenge!

 

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I'd love to do a sacrifice ritual for you, Lalie (we'd need the buy-in from your IT department though... can't use just anyone's blood, it's got to be the person who's responsible for daily maintenance) but since the lawsuit, I'm not allowed to do them anymore... kidding of course =)

 

Right now I'm doing the majority of my weapon practice with my White Shadow sword. It's a high-carbon steel, battle-ready blade that I bought about ten years ago, but have never done much actual work with. It allows me to do both one- and two-handed practice since it has an elongated grip, but is still fairly light.

The blade is unsharpened, but I have used it in the past to cut milk cartons (you fill them with water first). It's a pretty neat feeling to watch a blunted sword actually do the work it's intended to do.

 

replica-weapons-SA3503.jpg

 

I'm also going to pick up a cheap 8' x 1.5" dowel rod at the hardware store to start doing some quarterstaff work as well. They're often used for flagpoles and tent poles and such, but it should work as a good starter for about $12.

 

Once I've saved up some cash, I might go in for a pair of Indian Clubs (also known as clubbells), which are supposed to be great for arms, shoulders, wrists and hands, but because they're carefully machined from wood (and not popular enough to be mass-produced), they tend to be kind of expensive.

 

For grip strengthening, I decided to start simple. I've been playing guitar for about 15 years, which is the only reason that my left hand isn't a totally lost cause. I searched around for guitar grip strengthening, and found one of these:

 

5-lb-light-gripmaster-pro-hands-gripmast

 

I bought the blue one pictured, it's got 5lb resistance for each individual finger. It was about $10, which I figured was a pretty easy investment. When I'm confident that I've gotten all I can out of this one, I'll likely move up to the next resistance level.

 

Hopefully all of this together will get me started. The bladework with my sword is definitely doing something--there are these muscles that wrap around the top of my forearm toward my elbow (I'm no anatomical expert, but a quick Google search indicates that it might be the brachioradialus muscle?), and they hurt like hell after my first session!

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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Daily check in:

 

Weapon Session -- Check!

16-Hour Fast -- Check!

 

Also added chaos for the day in the form of a 2+ mile outdoor bike ride in the 50-something degree weather (glad I had some gloves, let me tell you!) Took me about 24 minutes, which isn't by any means amazing, but since I just got back on the bike this month after something like 18 or 19 years without riding one, it's not half bad. My legs felt like boiled pasta afterward, what a weird feeling!

 

I really appreciate everyone's encouragement and positive focus! 

 

I'll do a recap for the week after I find out what tomorrow brings. Onward and upward!

 

Great job! I know that boiled spaghetti feeling well. 50s? It's been in the 90's-100's here- I'm definitely looking forward to cooler weather to workout outside more comfortably.

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  • Human Adventurer
  • STR 0
  • DEX 0
  • STA 0
  • CON 0
  • WIS 0
  • CHA 0
  • My Challenge thread
  • There's a string that runs through our bad days

    If you pull that string real tight

    The days all crumple together

    And all that you see is night

     
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Out IT department is just one guy, but I think he'll be fine with it. I'll check and get back to you. ^.^

 

That DOES sound cool! I aspire to own a battle-ready blade one day. When I still trained martial arts I was told that the pinky finger is important for weapon-work because the muscles attached to it go all the way to your elbow and that allows for a lot of strength and control. But I can't confirm because we never got to humans when I took biology in high school.

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Level 2 Elf Assassin

Str: 4 | Dex: 5 | Sta: 3 | Con: 2 | Wis: 4 | Cha: 3

 

"When people called me freak, I closed my eyes and laughed, because they were blind to happiness." --hide

 

 

First challenge! Second challenge! Third challenge!

 

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Okay, weekly check-in time! I was late getting into the challenge but was already working on a lot of my goals, so here goes:

Weight at end of Week 1: 243 lbs

Strength Workouts: 3

16-Hour Fasts: 4

Weapon Sessions: 2

Weekly chaos:

Saturday 9/20 -- 2.3 mile outdoor bike ride, 24 mins

Sunday 9/21 -- My first 24 hour fast of the challenge! Plus, 1 hr of bowling... Not exactly strenuous activity, but some odd muscle groups

Overall Analysis:

Week 1 went well. I am missing one weapon session, but that's because I didn't really make it a goal until the end of the week when I joined the challenge. I'd been reading about HEMA all week and finally figured out that I could start that work now. Given that, plus the bike ride and the 24-hour fast, I am going to give myself an A- for the week. I stuck to the plan, hit my goals and did some extra on top of it. Plus, down 2 lbs since last week, and I feel better overall despite the workout fatigue.

Now I just have to keep it up!

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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Great job! I know that boiled spaghetti feeling well. 50s? It's been in the 90's-100's here- I'm definitely looking forward to cooler weather to workout outside more comfortably.

 

Whew, 90s-100s in September? You must be in one of those awful desert places. =)

 

 

 

That DOES sound cool! I aspire to own a battle-ready blade one day. When I still trained martial arts I was told that the pinky finger is important for weapon-work because the muscles attached to it go all the way to your elbow and that allows for a lot of strength and control. But I can't confirm because we never got to humans when I took biology in high school.

 

I believe it--when I move my little finger on both sides, I can see the muscle moving along my wrist and up into my forearm! The gripper thing is great for working the individual finger muscles and making sure those neglected fingers actually do some work.

 

Battle-ready blades are expensive, but I totally love having mine around. You never know when you might have to dive into battle! =)

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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Tuesday check-in!

 

Yesterday I did 20 minutes with my new 8' quarterstaff, and it was awesome. Also had no problems with a 16-hour fast.

 

No fasting today, but I can feel the BBWW getting easier every time I do it. This time I still only managed two full circuits (plank time @ 20 secs) but I can feel it getting easier. Probably will head into the third circuit on Friday.

 

Little things noted: 

I can feel my grip getting stronger--my wrists no longer twinge and my hands no longer tremble when I make a tight fist

My knees no longer complain getting out of a low chair or off my squishy couch

 

Progress!

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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Woot! That sounds like great progress!

 

I'll have to look for one of those gripper thingies. Did you get yours online or in person? I kind of feel like I'd want to try one or two out to try to get an idea of where I should start. Actually, probably at the weakest one. I'm wanting to build up grip strength in order to play a stringed instrument better. After half an hour or so of practice my left hand starts getting tired and I can't press on the strings hard enough without my hand shaking. I still need plenty of right-hand fingering practice, but I start getting bored with only four notes.

 

I imagine that a battle-ready blade is one of those things that really IS worth the amount of money it costs. You might have to save up for awhile, but boy do you get what you pay for! At least, that's how I've felt while ogling Angel Sword's stands at the ren faires.

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Level 2 Elf Assassin

Str: 4 | Dex: 5 | Sta: 3 | Con: 2 | Wis: 4 | Cha: 3

 

"When people called me freak, I closed my eyes and laughed, because they were blind to happiness." --hide

 

 

First challenge! Second challenge! Third challenge!

 

Link to post

I'll have to look for one of those gripper thingies. Did you get yours online or in person? I kind of feel like I'd want to try one or two out to try to get an idea of where I should start. Actually, probably at the weakest one. I'm wanting to build up grip strength in order to play a stringed instrument better. After half an hour or so of practice my left hand starts getting tired and I can't press on the strings hard enough without my hand shaking. I still need plenty of right-hand fingering practice, but I start getting bored with only four notes.

 

I bought my gripper online from Amazon--I just guessed at the one I would need. They probably have them at places like sporting goods stores and such.

 

Building up guitar/violin/etc strength is really tough. I remember starting out with that as well, it was incredibly painful not only in the fingertips, but all through my whole left hand. The strength does come with time, but it definitely takes some time. Even after ten-plus years of off-and-on playing, I still have trouble with a guitar whose action is too high (read: the strings are too high off the fretboard) and too many bar chords in a row make my hand scream ^.^

 

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Friday check-in!

 

Wednesday I did a 20-minute sword session and blew through another 16-hour fast. I also decided that I needed a little more instruction on the sword work, so I picked up The Medieval Longsword by Guy Windsor, which according to HEMA enthusiasts is a good secondary source on Italian Longsword style. My ultimate goal is to specialize in the German style, but I'm perfectly happy working with Fiore's techniques to get me rolling. So far the book is excellent, and I've got several new drills to work on for my weapon sessions, keeping things moving and making sure that I don't get bored, because for me, bored is death.

 

Yesterday was a rest day. A lovely, kind rest day. Although my only diet goal for this challenge is the discipline fasting, I'm also trying to watch my overall intake and cut portions down just as a general rule. I did well on my rest day yesterday, opening with a cajun-egg-and-collard-greens omelet, a homemade Tikka Masala lunch and a light dinner.

 

This morning I woke up ready to go--and nailed 3 full, good-form BBWW circuits! I couldn't be more proud of myself!

 

I'm on track for another successful fast today (technically the 16 hours is up at 10:00AM, but I'll probably wait until lunchtime to eat anything anyway), and really looking forward to my new sword drills tomorrow!

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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Ack! I had a few extra minutes to browse the forum and realized I'm way behind on the mini-dungeons!

 

To that end, here's Week 1:

 

  1. Is your overall quest achievable (over a short or long period of time)?  Is it reasonable?

    The main quest is definitely achievable. Based on my height I would probably be ideal at about 180-190 (even though that's basically unbelievable for me. I have a little less than a year to achieve getting down under 200, which I think with commitment and real effort is doable.
     

  2. Do your 3 quests all build towards your main quest in little ways, or are you taking on too much? Do your quests have sub-quests or is it just one thing to focus on?

    Each of my 3 quests are small improvements aimed at achieving the larger goal, with no sub-quests.
     

  3. Are your main goals realistic? Can you scale them to smaller steps to fit your life better, even if it will make it take a little longer to achieve them?

    I think the steps are about as small as they can get right now.

     

  4. Are your goals able to be measured and tracked?  What will you use to track them?

    Most definitely measurable and trackable. I'm using a spreadsheet and my signature to track the overall progress.

     

  5. How are you grading your goals?  Are they pass/fail (“every dayâ€, “not even once over the six weeksâ€)?  Is there a reward for the effort, or are you only grading yourself on whether or not you “lose the weight†or “run the distanceâ€?

    Grading them on a grade (ha) with higher rewards for doing better and lower rewards for not doing quite as well. The focus is on improvement, not a single achievement.

     

  6. What is your plan for continuing/altering/grading those goals if you become ill or injured?

    In the case of temporary illness or injury I will reevaluate the goals based on the new limits. In the case of chronic illness or severe injury, I will do a complete rework of the goals depending on the severity.

     

  7. Did you take into consideration any special occasions (Labour Day, Independence Day, birthdays, anniversaries, etc) that may occur during the challenge?  What modifications do you need to build into your goals for those?

    I have planned out the calendar and no major events will be interfering with my challenge. Because they are simply a number of times per week, they could be condensed (in theory, a weapon session, fast and strength workout could all be done on the same day), which also allows for flexibility.

     

  8. Do any of your main goals conflict with each other? Will one goal make it hard to do another?

    All of the goals are in alignment.

     

  9. Do you already have the time in your schedule to actually complete the goals you’ve set?  If not, what are you planning to do to make time for them?

    Yes, the goals are small right now and easily achieved within the time I have available.

     

  10. Are you trying to build multiple habits, or is all your energy focused on your main quest?

    Right now, the focus is on three small habits which all contribute to the main quest: strength, coordination, and discipline. I will need all of those things if I want to achieve the ultimate goal.

 Based on this, I consider my goals to be SMART.

 

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Week 2!

 

You can see my signature below ^.^ I'm using it to track overall progress and have links to both my challenge thread and my daily battle log.

 

I don't necessarily need an accountability group--I love the community here as a whole and I find myself inspired reading the other threads and seeing how well people are doing. To that end, I am following Ecko, dovahkiim and Lalie Fanyarendil to cheer them on as they work on their Level 1 challenges, and I'll likely be adding more!

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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I also decided that I needed a little more instruction on the sword work, so I picked up The Medieval Longsword by Guy Windsor, which according to HEMA enthusiasts is a good secondary source on Italian Longsword style. My ultimate goal is to specialize in the German style, but I'm perfectly happy working with Fiore's techniques to get me rolling. 

 

Your profile doesn't say where you are, but if you're anywhere near Los Angeles, there's a free expedition at the Getty museum through the end of November that includes one (of only four!) of the surviving Fiore manuscripts: http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/chivalry/

 

I made the pilgrimage last weekend. All I have are crappy pictures taken with my crappy phone camera, but you can get the idea...

 

Info text

Left page

Right page

 

I'm jealous of your live steel longsword :) I have a soldier-grade Viking-style broadsword, but when I fight rattan these days (and, um, not very many days in recent years) I use a longsword, and I want a real one something terrible.

 

Good luck in your challenge!

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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YAAAAAY for three full circuits! Well done! ^o^

 

Thank you for that info! And the insight about guitar action. I'm learning a thing with pretty high frets, I feel a lot less wimpy now, and that really helps a lot too. Thank you!

  • Like 1

Level 2 Elf Assassin

Str: 4 | Dex: 5 | Sta: 3 | Con: 2 | Wis: 4 | Cha: 3

 

"When people called me freak, I closed my eyes and laughed, because they were blind to happiness." --hide

 

 

First challenge! Second challenge! Third challenge!

 

Link to post
 

Your profile doesn't say where you are, but if you're anywhere near Los Angeles, there's a free expedition at the Getty museum through the end of November that includes one (of only four!) of the surviving Fiore manuscripts: http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/chivalry/

 

 

 

Wow, I wish! No, I'm pretty much the exact opposite of Los Angeles, unfortunately :/ I've found a couple of nice PDFs that contain a lot of the info, but I'd love to see the real manuscript someday. Those are some awesome pictures, thanks!

 

 

Awesome job on the circuits Kyellan!

 

AB groups are not for anybody, but feel free to drop by in some just to visit and say hello, good way to find great people I think, doesn't mean you are stuck to just them! 

 

Thanks for the encouragement! I'll check out the AB groups--I tend to be the kind of person who doesn't do as well in groups (particularly in things like projects and schoolwork... I always end up doing everything), so I think I avoid them just on instinct. This really isn't the same kind of thing at all, so it would likely be very different. ^.^

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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Weight at end of Week 2: 243 lbs -- unchanged

Strength Workouts: 3
16-Hour Fasts: 4
Weapon Sessions: 4

Weekly chaos:

 

Did not have time for chaos this week, unfortunately. However, did add a second weapon session on Saturday because I had some time and wanted to fill it with something good. That might be chaos.

Overall Analysis: 

Week 2 was excellent! I hit a goal of three full BBWW circuits for the first time, didn't miss a workout, added an extra weapon session (quarterstaff) as a 20-minute time filler (instead of playing a video game or watching TV) and had four 16-hour fasts for the week, exactly as my goals planned for. 

 

Final Grade: A

  • Like 1

"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

Challenges

109 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |

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Week 2 was excellent! I hit a goal of three full BBWW circuits for the first time, didn't miss a workout, added an extra weapon session (quarterstaff) as a 20-minute time filler (instead of playing a video game or watching TV) and had four 16-hour fasts for the week, exactly as my goals planned for. 

 

Final Grade: A

 

Wow! Well done you! I can see I'll have to up my game to keep up with all you overachievers :) Good job!

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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