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How a Hero Learns to Breathe: Spark's Sixth


Spark

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So hey. Coming in a little late again; at least I'm consistent. >.<

 

This year (and this is apropos) I'm not doing NaNoWriMo. See, the challenge there is that you're to write a 50,000 word novel over the course of a month. I've done it several times in the past, and I usually round the required 1667/day up to 2000/day. But I got used to doing that, and now I write 2000 words most days. Doing NaNoWriMo no longer keeps me accountable, because I do that anyway. It rather feels like cheating.

 

But here! Here, baby...I slack off when it comes to fitness. Shocking, I know, because no one else on earth does that. The difference is, I suck at keeping myself accountable because I tend to look at my accomplishments and think, somewhere deep down, "I'm done! I did it! Now I can have brownies forever!"

 

This is a stupid part of my mind.

 

So I'm back! From outer sp- sorry, got my signal crossed there. I'm here to be accountable, and that's why one of my challenges is:

 

1. Come here. At least once a day, every day, during this challenge. Last challenge I was working at it, but I slacked off some and I think that a part of it was that I wasn't here holding myself accountable. You guys are amazing. I'll be here.

 

2. Learn to Breathe. That is, meditate. I know that's like saying, "I'm gonna learn to be a competent MMA fighter in the next six weeks!" but you gotta start somewhere, yeah? And my starting point is a minimum of ten minutes a day practicing meditation.

 

3. Planning. I have a planner! I just...don't use it. So, during this challenge, I will. Daily. Time management is another issue for me; subject to my own personal inertia, I would be roughly spherical and live in a tank somewhere with reliable Internet. But with a planner, I can keep track of what I should be doing and actually do it. This is important to me.

 

4. Carry On. So I just turned 36. I made a goal for myself: by the time that I reach my next birthday, on Oct 26 of 2015, I will have gotten down to 400 pounds from my current weight of 459. This is doable, but only if I stick to my plan of paleo (ish) diet and regular vigorous exercise. The accountability and planning stuff are big parts of this, so I'm gonna stick with it.

 

Boom. Pika. Done.

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Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

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Welcome back!!! 

Some kind of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

 

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Hey, Spark! Good to see you back here and doing a challenge. Happy belated birthday!

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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So I'm back! From outer sp- sorry, got my signal crossed there

Wise of me to put down the coffee before reading the entire post

 

Welcome back and happy belated birthday! Might want to drop by the Rangers' mini-challenge thread and find someone to watch out for you and hold you accountable ;)

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Hi guys! Thanks for the kind replies. Here's hoping I can make it to some of your posts soon.

 

Yesterday:

 

1. Posted. Win!

2. I had my alarm set for fifteen minutes, and I just sat and did my best to clear my mind for almost thirteen. It was interesting. We'll see how things go.

3. Used my planner. Specifically, I worked things out for Wednesday. Seemed like a good way to use it.

4. I did more on the bench press than I ever have before! Still no idea what my max is, because putting that much weight above my head frankly makes me nervous, but I got up to 135 for five sets of five reps! Barely.

 

Today:

 

1. Here I be!

2. Same as before, though this time I made it all the way to the end of the fifteen minutes.

3. Followed my plan, made my plan for tomorrow.

4. Today's a day off from my workout, and I had corn chips with lunch. Corn chips are not even part of my modified paleo diet, so that was a fail. I kept on doing my best the rest of the time, though. It's a series of little choices made every, you know, five minutes. @.@ In other news, I am the sore from my bench press adventure, but sore in all the best ways. =D

 

Love you guys!

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

Link to comment

1. I'm back! Doing things and reading stuff!

2. Actually...hang on. *goes, meditates, comes back* There!

3. Plan following led to me writing damn near 4000 words today. Actually...hang on. *goes, comes back* 4012.

4. Stayed paleo-er today, with the help of THIS soup. I want to thank SkiBlue for posting that. It's a sweet-potato and bacon paleo soup, and while I tweaked the recipe a bit because I live in rural Arkansas and simply can't get the spice mentioned in that blog, overall it stayed the same and turned out to be awesome. I added a touch of pumpkin-pie spice for that lovely holiday flavor. I love me some soup.

 

Looking forward to joining QuirkyDM with keeping one another accountable during this challenge cycle.

 

Cheers, all!

  • Like 1

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

Link to comment

Actually, I'm taking a bit of what I'm thinking of as a "smut break" at the moment. Gotta keep the old cash flow up. But I have one more short to write in this series and then I think I might take a run at Sunken St. Louis. I know how the story starts and sorta how it ends, after all, and that's always been enough for me to start writing long stories. I also know that there'll be giants, steampunk, and other odds and ends. Also plenty of Fraser, Virgil, and Ward. And a pixie.

 

But, more apropos to this website:

 

1. I'm here! I'm even reading threads. You guys are inspiring, which helps me stay focused.

2. Meditation done. I still suck at this. I thought practice was supposed to make things work better! *he whined, after having tried it for five days*

3. I stuck with my plan for the most part. Today I tried another recipe out of curiosity, Alton Brown's salted caramels from Good Eats, and it turned out pretty well. Wrote almost 3000 words (that smut I mentioned).

4. Stayed almost entirely paleo, with the exception of a stray caramel. It just leapt into my mouth. Hell of a thing.

 

Cheers!

  • Like 1

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

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Hey Spark,

 

You're here and you're getting things done. So far, so good.

 

Do you have a goal or a progression when you meditate? Following some sort of plan? I'm always curious what people do when they're tackling goals like this.

 

And why do you think you suck at this? Meditation can be a very personal activity and the only one who can say you're doing it wrong is you. What are you hoping to get out of it?

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Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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Mostly I'm hoping to regain lost ability to focus. I can focus and be in the moment pretty well when I write, but otherwise I'm a scatterbrain. SHOCKING I KNOW. I'm using Meditation For Dummies, actually. >.>  Right now I'm just concentrating on a candle flame and trying to keep my mind clear.

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

Link to comment

That reminds me of one of the Wii Fit mini games. It was to sit on the balance board and stare at a candle on the screen. The flame would waver, footsteps and creaking sounds would sound offscreen -to one side or traveling from one side to the other if you were listening to it on your home stereo speakers- to try and unbalance you. The board would detect if you moved at all. After three minutes, the candle would go out and you would win. Now I'm totally going to have to go do that again.

  • Like 1

Quirky DM

My Battle Log: QuirkyDM going Quazy

"Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure."

 

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That reminds me of one of the Wii Fit mini games. It was to sit on the balance board and stare at a candle on the screen. The flame would waver, footsteps and creaking sounds would sound offscreen -to one side or traveling from one side to the other if you were listening to it on your home stereo speakers- to try and unbalance you. The board would detect if you moved at all. After three minutes, the candle would go out and you would win. Now I'm totally going to have to go do that again.

 

....now I need to find a game like that. The floating candle is good, though, so far.

 

Speaking of!

 

Yesterday:

1. I logged in to talk a bit, which TOTES MAGOATS COUNTS.

2. Did the meditation thing. Easier? Harder? It's hard to tell, though the fifteen minutes seemed to pass more quickly than before. I guess that's a good sign.

3. Yeah, well, I set up a plan and then let other folks blow it for me. Life, huh?

 

life__don__t_talk_to_me_about_life__by_d

 

4. Actually...this went pretty well, up until I had a cupcake at game night. But you know. I'm an adult and I knew what I was doing. ^_^

 

Today!

 

1. Hi there!

2. I haven't done it yet, but I will this evening before I goto bed.

3. Did okay, though there were others about. It was the third anniversary of dad's passing, so my brother was here for a visit and things got all emotional. Threw off the groove, as it were.

4. On the plus side, the paleo thing went really well. We tried some gluten-free noodles with some spaghetti, and it was pretty good. No real taste difference, though the texture was a bit weak.

 

You guys are awesome. Kick some ass out there.

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

Link to comment

Today!

 

1. Greetings, fellow nerds.

2. Yep! Did my fifteen. It felt better today than yesterday, though again I'm not sure why. This is weird territory for me.

3. Planning is good, and the writing stuff is good too because of it.

4. Paleo went great today! I've been reading some blogs and cook books, and I picked up some ideas from them and some ingredients from the store today. I was surprised at the range of stuff available at the local Wal-Mart. Gotta learn how to use things like parsnips, sardines, sweet taters, and other pieces of healthiness.

 

Cheers!

  • Like 2

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

Link to comment

Meditation takes some getting used to. I've been doing just ten minutes a day the last two challenges. Some days it's easy and some days, oh well. I can see a real difference in my distractability levels and productivity, though, as I stick with it.

 

Sounds like you had a really good day - yay!

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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1. Here's Sparky!

2. For some reason the meditation was really rocky today. I might try it again, actually.

3. No, kinda blew the planner thing off today. As a result, I half-assed it. I got the basics done, the writing and pubbing and gym, but it would have gotten done a lot better with some planning. See, this is the kind of thing that I'm trying to head off by coming here and being accountable.

4. Hit the gym today, and did my seated rows and bench press. The same weight that was totally doable (though not easy) on the BP this time last weak was incredibly hard today; I almost ate the bar on the last rep. Got it, though. Boom. Also! I tried the acorn-squash fries from another thread, and they turned out really well. The only real problem was that the squash was hard to peel. I think next time I'll try it with a butternut squash. Also I might try it with a deep fryer. ^_^

 

Cheers!

  • Like 1

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

Link to comment

I had a hard day with my exercise and meditation today, too. Had to drag my sorry carcass out to take my walk. Kept getting sleepy meditating. Some days are just like that. It's still one more day above the roses, though!

 

You're making me want to try the squash fries. Mmmm.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

Link to comment

They were totally worth the effort. The acorn squash has this nutty, spicy taste that goes down very well in french fry form.

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

Link to comment

Honestly, it's not that bad. The idea is that the hot oil surrounds whatever you're cooking and sears the outside shut. This allows the food to steam itself within its own, ah, container. Ideally, once it's done, you can blot the oil off of it and end up with a pretty healthy thing. Ideally. If you do it right, there's less oil retention than traditional pan-frying.

 

That said, breading can negate the "blot the oil" thing, so that's an issue.

 

Today!

 

1. So hey.

2. I sorta fell asleep during my meditation today. >.>

3. Planning totally helped today. What I need to do is learn from patterns that tell me that THE PLANNING TOTALLY HELPS, SPARK.

3a. Sheesh.

4. Good primal, except for a roll with lunch. Dinner was steak, sweet potato, and broccoli!

 

Cheers!

  • Like 2

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

Link to comment

Evening all!

 

1. Evening all!

2. Did the fifteen minutes. It wasn't easy, particularly thanks to tele-marketers, but I did it. Focusing might be a bit easier? Not sure.

3. The planning helped, right up until it ran into other people and their schedules. /sigh. Still did 2500 words and got to the gym, so there's that.

4. I'm really on track this week, work-out-wise. Hit the gym for legs day and got in and out with minimal issues. Got winded doing my calf raises, though. Weird. I made butternut squash soup when I got home, and it was the awesome. Simple as hell, too. I added some Pumpkin spice, a little onion, and some garlic to the mix.

 

Cheers!

  • Like 1

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

Link to comment

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