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jskuzmick | Unleash the Firestorm


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My first challenge as a Ranger... Yay! :). Supremely happy to be here. Just finished strong with my first challenge over with the Recruits, and now I'm chomping at the bit for the next challenge.

Note on the name...can't change it until I get 90+ approved posts, but Raven Firestorm is what I use over at the Academy...

I'm working on fixing a "posterior tibular tendinitis" issue, which kind of puts a damper on a lot of the physical stuff I'd really like to be doing.... No long bouts of walking, hiking, or anything even mid-range impact. But I think I've come up with a plan that will keep me going until this pesky issue is taken care of. Every firestorm starts with a spark, right? :)

So here goes...

Q1: Complete a minimum of a 10 min. daily meditation. Grading will be based upon the percentage of days completed for the full duration of the challenge. Hoping to gain some WIS and STA for this one.

Now granted, this isn't exactly a very physical challenge, but I've always imagined Rangers as types who have complete control of their emotions. They can turn things off and on at the flip of a switch in order to be able to focus on the sh** that has to get done. Seriously, if you're in the middle of a battle, you've got to be in the zone! My focus ability is sporadic at best ") so I'm borrowing one from the Druids on this one and leveling up my mind muscles. (Note, no issues with tendinitis on this one ;))

Q2: Find some way to get in 20 min of cardio every day. Grading will be based upon the percentage of days completed for the full duration of the challenge. Hoping to gain some STR, DEX, and STA with this one.
I'm really a noob, I mean really a noob. Not particularly overweight, but WAY out of shape. The way I see it, Rangers have to be able to run the hundred miles even before they get to the battle. And then they've got some more kicking a** to do. I'll be working on my strength training per my usual Academy prescribed routine, but I also know that I need that stamina! Since anything with impact on my arch is out, I'm looking at swimming, rowing machine, biking (stationary or road), kayaking, or juggling (upper body until I can get back to using my legs). Any other suggestions would be helpful since I've pretty much run out of ideas at this point, and I like variety. :)

Q3: Track a 1410 calorie meal plan on MyFitnessPal every day for the duration of the challenge. Half of the grading will be based upon the percentage of days logged for the duration of the challenge, and half the grading will be based upon my ability to keep to the 1410 calories (I'm giving myslelf some flexibility per day + or - some calories, as long as the overall average stays as close as possible to 1410). I'm hoping to gain some STA, CHA, and WIS with this one.

Here's the kicker... I'm mostly vegan, and gluten intolerant. Yup! ;P this is going to be a real experiment to see how my strength, and stamina are affected. I've been working on gaining strength for a month or so, and I'm finally starting to feel my body getting stronger, but I really want to start addressing my body fat percentage. Currently it's been sticking at about 30%, and my ultimate goal is to get down to about 20%. Now, how am I going to reduce my body fat while maintaining my muscle? I don't know if this is going to work, but I figure I've got to start somewhere. If anyone has had experience with this, I'd appreciate some input. I might crash and burn, but the flames should be fun to watch! :) I've got a couple of vegan bodybuilding books that I'm using as my guideposts... Wish me luck?

LQ: I love these quests! My last one was spent keeping my kitchen counters clear of dirty dishes. I turned into the dish Nazi and couldn't be happier! :). I am now going to invoke the powers of the laundry witch and see if I can't magic up some ability to overtake the laundry demon that has possessed my house. One load of laundry a day... That's the deal. Trust me that barely even begins to cover it. I have two and a half boys (aged 9, 12, and 40 respectively). We all participate in some type of physical activity. Soccer practice alone 5 days a week! My boys and I have school uniforms, then there's our dog, 5 bedrooms, ... 'Nough said? I think I did over 15 loads of laundry during Memorial Day weekend... and I didn't even finish! I'm hoping to gain some CHA with this one. Grading will be based upon the percentage of days of the total challenge that I wash AND fold AND put away a load of laundry.

So I'll be hanging around doing some prep work before the challenge starts (mostly with the diet stuff). And I'm putting together my ideas for the mini challenges :).

Totally psyched! Can't wait to see what everyone else has planned!

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Welcome welcome!!

Ugh, laundry, one of my most dreaded tasks!!!! I just hate folding it... can't it just fold itself...?? Sigh.

Your goals are great, and we are here to cheer you on to victory!

Tell me, if you had the strength to take another step, could you do it?

Level ?? Bard & Monk of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

 

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Boys seem to be able to go through their entire wardrobe in a day, don't they? Laundry is the never-ending story around here, too.

Also, my sympathies on the post-tib tendonitis. I had the same thing back in 2013, which ultimately had me in an air cast the month before I was supposed to run my first half-marathon in Disney World. We had to cancel the whole trip. I wasn't able to do any sort of cardio then (had no access to a rower or anything), so no real advice there. I mostly stuck to upper body exercises like shadow boxing to get my heart rate up and awkward one-legged yoga or knee pushups for strength. The good news is, I did eventually get over it, and am now a better runner than ever!

Best wishes for your recovery.

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Life before Death

Strength before Weakness

Journey before Destination

 
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LQ: I woke up this morning, so excited to get going.  One of the first thoughts that crossed my mind: "When do I get to do my laundry?" ... yeah, I pretty much never figured that THAT was going to happen in my lifetime.  I have dreaded and hated the thought of laundry for as long as I can remember.  Today, I was actually excited to do it.  

 

We're on a family vacation, staying at a time share that belongs to friends.  Thank goodness they have a washer and dryer in the complex.  I don't know that I would have been willing to find a laundry mat.  :rapture:  So mission accomplished!  One load of laundry washed, folded and put away.  

 

(I still find it kind of mind-boggling to think that I already have laundry to do and we've only been here one night!)

 

Q1: meditated this morning.  I even brought my meditation chair with me on the trip, so that I was nice and comfy. I kind of feel like I'm cheating since I meditated during the quietest time of the day.  Somehow I've gotten it in my head that I should make it more challenging or something...  (weird), but it felt good.  My thoughts were all over the place, but it was nice to bring my focus back to breathing and not feel like I had to punish myself for getting off track.  I've heard/seen a lot of comments that the kind of discipline that lets you really focus on breath takes a long time.  I'm just supposed to "go with the flow." Well I certainly was flowing everywhere and in between today  :peaceful:

 

Q3: I've been doing a little prep work with the meal planning in order to prepare myself for any hurdles I might encounter during this week of vacation.  Having a kitchen at the resort certainly helps, and everyone is very understanding about what I'm trying to do.  There isn't any pressure to "just have a piece of cake," ... I've got at least two days planned ahead and know what I need to take with me if it's going to be a long day out sight-seeing and having fun.  I stuck to my 1410ish calories today.  (yay!).  Unfortunately I'm relying heavily on Amy's frozen entrees and wraps.  Nothing wrong with them per say, (at least I can understand the ingredients), but eventually I want to get away from the frozen pre-packaged stuff.   I'm thinking that my vacation isn't the place to start though.  I'll cross that bridge later.  

 

Now here's a shocker.  I'm pretty much vegan, and yet I find that I struggle to get enough vegetables in my day.  I'm a starch girl, and yes, you can get away with being vegan and not eating many vegetables.  I like vegetables, I just haven't been eating enough of them, or a variety of them.  It tend to stick to the familiars.  So as a little side bonus, I'm trying to make sure that at least one of my meals or snacks centers around one particular type of vegetable. Today it was an avocado.  YUM!  - love 'em with salsa!  :redface:

 

Q2:  knocked out two things with the cardio today.  I've committed to doing the awesome mini-challenge so generously provided by this amazing Ranger guild.  I got my 20 minutes of cardio in by actually doing a 6.25 mile ride on the stationary bike in the gym here at the resort.  It actually took me 30 minutes, but it's part of my endurance challenge.  The gym only allows around 20-30 minutes a time on the equipment, so I've got to break my mileage into segments. My plan is to get in at least 6 miles a day.  Hopefully 10 on a good day.  

 

I felt absolutely awesome afterwords. I don't normally do the gym thing, so I was a little intimidated at first.  I plugged in my earphones, and started peddling.  I found myself wondering if there were any other NF people at the resort.  I had this idea that it would be so much fun if there was some type of sign post where NF people could make their mark, like "Raven was here 6/8/15 NF Ranger guild."  There must be so many of us passing through these places.    Anyway, it was fun to think about. I don't think the resort company would actually go for it though. :pride:

 

So that's day one! :redface: I'm off to surf other posts to see what everyone else is doing.  

'night all!  :playful:

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Also, my sympathies on the post-tib tendonitis. I had the same thing back in 2013, which ultimately had me in an air cast the month before I was supposed to run my first half-marathon in Disney World. We had to cancel the whole trip. I wasn't able to do any sort of cardio then (had no access to a rower or anything), so no real advice there. I mostly stuck to upper body exercises like shadow boxing to get my heart rate up and awkward one-legged yoga or knee pushups for strength. The good news is, I did eventually get over it, and am now a better runner than ever!

Best wishes for your recovery.

 

Hummmmm, shadow boxing... that sounds bad a**, and fun!  I think I gotta try that!  It also seems like a good option for when I've run out of time by the end of the day and have to do something before going to bed.  Is it something you have to take lessons for, or can I figure it out from YouTube videos?

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Hummmmm, shadow boxing... that sounds bad a**, and fun!  I think I gotta try that!  It also seems like a good option for when I've run out of time by the end of the day and have to do something before going to bed.  Is it something you have to take lessons for, or can I figure it out from YouTube videos?

I guess that depends on your goal. For a fun cardio workout, YouTube is certainly sufficient. If you actually plan on punching someone at some point, I recommend lessons.
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Life before Death

Strength before Weakness

Journey before Destination

 
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I guess that depends on your goal. For a fun cardio workout, YouTube is certainly sufficient. If you actually plan on punching someone at some point, I recommend lessons.

LOL! I am NOT allowed to tell my children that I think it might be fun to punch someone!!! :). I think I might have to work up the nerve to take on that challenge.... So I'll stick to you tube for now :)

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So sticking to goals seems much easier when I'm by myself. When I start getting other people in the mix of my day.... things get difficult!

I wanted to do my cardio this morning, but my son wanted me to stay and watch him during his very first swimming lesson. I'm very glad I stayed with him (he had a great time and was smiling like the Cheshire cat by the end of the lesson), but by the time we got back to base camp, everyone else was ready to go. We all went to the water park today. Had fun of course, but I was done after about 3 hours. The kiddos wanted to stay all day. We're on vacation, so we compromised mostly in their favor.

I had to bring my food with me to the park. (Thank goodness for special diets that can get around the "no outside food" rule!). My family and friends teased me that my black bean spaghetti and shiitake mushrooms looked like worms, So while everyone was pigging out on over-priced french fries and pizza, I contented myself with my small portion of gluten free pretzel sticks and my worms.... :) It wasn't the easiest thing to do to watch everyone "be normal." They kept unconsciously offering me things (food is such a social thing!), and then feeling half guilty about "tempting me." So I spent a lot of time politely apologizing for not taking them up on their kind offers, and apologizing for making them feel guilty about eating "good" food in front of me. The truth is, I'm not really sorry. I'm very happy with the choices I'm making right now, and part of me is screaming at everyone else to make some similar types of good choices. I know that's not how it works though, and I'm not going to let myself become a fitness snob.... It's just.... awkward.

Unfortunately, I didn't plan well enough, and started to get REALLY hungry towards the end of the afternoon. I was able to skip out a little early. Went back to base camp, stuffed my face with a sweet potato and some broccoli, went to the gym and did my 6.25 miles on the stationary bike, went to the grocery store to get ready for tomorrow's meals, came home, folded the laundry that I had done earlier in the day, made my last meal.... and now its time for bed! Phew!

I felt like I had to cram everything into the last part of the day. Still, it wasn't like I could tell everyone, "you go ahead and have a vacation without me. I'm going to go workout..."

So:

medicated this morning

followed my meal plan to the calorie (1410)

did 30 min on the stationary bike (6.25 miles)

did a load of laundry

Day two complete. :playful: I think I've got a trail ride in the works tomorrow, so I'm going to try to get some sleep. The gym doesn't open until 8:00, I still have to figure out how to fit my workout in somewhere tomorrow.

6/11 Little update, just realized that auto correct had me medicating myself in the morning. That was supposed to be meditated... But hey if it works, maybe I should try that too?

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I had to bring my food with me to the park.  (Thank goodness for special diets that can get around the "no outside food" rule!).  My family and friends teased me that my black bean spaghetti and shiitake mushrooms looked like worms,  So while everyone was pigging out on over-priced french fries and pizza, I contented myself with my small portion of gluten free pretzel sticks and my worms.... :)  It wasn't the easiest thing to do to watch everyone "be normal."  They kept unconsciously offering me things (food is such a social thing!), and then feeling half guilty about "tempting me."  So I spent a lot of time politely apologizing for not taking them up on their kind offers, and apologizing for making them feel guilty about eating "good" food in front of me.  The truth is, I'm not really sorry.  I'm very happy with the choices I'm making right now, and part of me is screaming at everyone else to make some similar types of good choices.  I know that's not how it works though, and I'm not going to let myself become a fitness snob.... It's just.... awkward.  

 

Oh, people do NOT like when you eat healthy and they do not!  I've been on both sides.  It's much more fun to be the one being healthy.  

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CC


Level 3 Ranger


 STR 2.5 | STA 4.1 | DEX 2.25 | CON 7.6 | WIS 7.4 | CHA 2.03


 


Current Challenge: on hiatus


Previous Challenges: Ranger June 8-July 19, 2015Recruit April 13-May 25, 2015


 


"The problem with quotes on the internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity"


-Abraham Lincoln

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"Mega" zip line today.... SO much fun!  I almost want to count it as cardio because my heart was beating so fast when I was signing the waiver.  We went to the "adventure park" of the resort today.  The kids did the ropes course.   I told myself as we were pulling up in the parking lot, that I was going to do the big zip line.... because I was afraid to.  After letting the kids have their turn.  My oldest son (12) was feeling somewhat brave enough to try the "Mega," so I told him I would go with him.  My heart started pounding immediately.  I talked my husband into going, because I could tell the idea made him nervous too.  We had some fun teasing banter back and fourth, but then he caved and bought a ticket too.  THEN biggest surprise of the day.  My friend's husband teased her into going.  She has NEVER done anything like this... her hand was shaking while she was filling out the waiver.   

 

We all did it. It was AWESOME!!!!!  And my friend LOVED it.  She was proud of herself.  We were all proud of her.  It was great all around. :topsy_turvy: The hardest part was walking off the platform 4 or 5 stories up as they lowered us down at the end.  Regardless, I felt incredibly safe the entire time.  :tears_of_joy:  My friend and I want to go again.....

 

It was a busy day.

 

Q1: I did my meditation this morning.

LQ: I washed a load of laundry (folded and put away) while I was waiting for everyone else to start the day.

Q3: Packed my food for the day so that I would have everything I needed no matter where we were.  Total calories for the day 1409.

Did my workout at the resort rec center while everyone else played racket ball. Friends and family that I'm with are starting to realize that I really mean it when I say I'm sticking to this whole get healthy thing.  

 First time ever doing a workout in a "gym."  I felt very self-conscious.  Not surprisingly, I don't think anyone gave a sh** if I looked like a spaz or not.  So I just did it and go it over with.  You know what?  I didn't die.   :playful:

 

The rec center has a pool, so I went swimming afterwards.  After his swimming lesson this morning, my son was ready to try jumping off the diving board.  He was nervous about the whole 12 feet deep thing, but as soon as I pointed out that if he could swim in 7 feet of water it didn't make any difference if he swam in 3 feet or 1000, he was ready to go.  So we spent a lot of time watching him jump off the diving board.  :redface: As a mother/parent, I feel SO much better about knowing he can swim in water over his head.  I didn't realize how tense I was before.  He still needs watching, but I feel much more relaxed.  If nothing else, his swimming lessons have made the whole trip worth it!

 

Q2:  Last but not least, I got my cardio in today.  I had just finished a walk with my friend in the neighborhood.  I was ready to say that was enough for the day, but at 8:00 I remembered that I had to get my 6.5 miles in for the mini-challenge.  So I lugged my a** over to the gym, and peddled out my miles for the endurance challenge.  

 

I don't know that the walk in the neighborhood was such a great thing for me.  But it was good for her and I didn't want to say no.  My tendinitis is a bit of an issue this evening.  So I took some Aleve and hopefully the swelling and tenderness will go down a bit by morning.  Tomorrow should be a quieter day.  I think the guys are treating us to a spa day.  Should be relaxing.  :peaceful:

 

Happy 'challenge-ing' everyone! 

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That update is full of accomplishment and AWESOME!!

That zipline adventure sounds fantastic! I really want to go try one around here, but I think we will wait until after Summer when it's not so blazing hot. :)

Keep up the hard work, you are doing great!!!

Tell me, if you had the strength to take another step, could you do it?

Level ?? Bard & Monk of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

 

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Ugh... life got in the way of my vacation today!  :upset:   For some reason I can't remember, back in April I thought improving my computer skills would be a good idea.  I'm signed up for a basic computer programming class online this summer.  I wasn't thinking about deadlines!  Long story short.  2 quizzes, and 3 assignments took up my ENTIRE day!  Bluk!  (The deadline was midnight tonight).  

 

LQ: I did my load of laundry early today. I changed the load, folded it and put it away each time I needed a break from my homework.  Again with the looking forward to laundry!  Who'd a thunk it!  :smile-new:

 

Q1:  I meditated during another break.  10 minutes definitely wasn't enough time to de-stress... but it helped a little.

 

Q2:  I got my 20 min of cardio by doing 6.5 miles on the stationary bike again (27 minutes). I finally took a longer break around 6:00, and like an idiot I walked to the gym... forgetting that I had to walk back after my workout!  Duh!  - oh well.... and extra 10 min of walking didn't kill me. I'm a little worn out though.

 

Q3:  Calorie consumption was 1406 today.  With all the breaks I was taking/needing I spaced my eating throughout the day.  Lots of calculated grazing.  I like having my meals planned out for the entire day.  I feel like I have so much more control.  If I have a craving for something that isn't on the plan for the day, I tell myself that I can always work it in somewhere tomorrow or another day.  That usually is enough to keep me on track (so far!)  The hard part is remembering to plan out the next day - and having everything I need to make it work...  Everyone else was out doing stuff for the day, so there weren't any other "social temptations." 

 

And I think that about sums it up.   :pride:   We're going to a Wierd Al concert tomorrow (I have a 12 year old and a 9 year old, not much else to say to that).  But I still have most of the morning to "vacation," and get my challenges in.  

 

I feel like I can finally call it a day.  

 

It was a good day

 

despite the hard work.  

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