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Help the Rangers Save Christmas: The Winter Break 2015 Mini-Challenge


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Welcome, one and all, to the inaugural Ranger Mini-Challenge for the 2015 Winter Break!

 

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Accepting all folks from any Guild who should wish to join us to celebrate the season through healthy living and frivolity!

 

Over the last couple of weeks there has been some concern expressed for assistance with keeping our goals on track through the holidays and considerable interest in a mini-challenge to pass the Winter Break until we start the first challenge of 2016.  This ought to assist with that.  Due to the frantic routine of the holidays, we're keeping this mini-challenge simple, clear, and concise.  Only three goals this time around, inspired in part by our traditional Bye Weeks Challenge and Steve's recent blog post, Join the Holiday Watch and Defend the Realm.

 

Goal One:  You’ll likely be traveling to and from friends and family around Christmastime, creating stress and limiting your ability to stick to your fitness routines.  What are your healthy activity and/or fitness plans for the holidays?

 

Goal Two:  Christmas and winter often bring with them the opportunity for gorging oneself on comfort food and all of those delicious seasonal favorites.  What is your strategy for dealing with the influx of unhealthy food over the winter break?

 

Goal Three:  The holidays are all about spending time with family and enjoying yourself.  Base this goal around how you intend to most enjoy the break (perhaps featuring a new activity like Holiday Light rucking), and include your preferred way of battling holiday stress!

 

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As always, this Winter Break mini-challenge is entirely optional.  I am merely providing a source of motivation and accountability to help folks keep on track through the upcoming holiday gap between challenges.  Our current understanding of the 2016 challenge schedule calls for a potential 2016 start date of January 4th (or possibly the week after), but that is far from official.  Current plans call for this Winter Break mini to last for two weeks or as long as necessary.  We'll keep you posted!

 

For our purposes here, you are welcome to post your mini-challenge check-ins and discussion at this centralized thread, but I ask that you keep any further socializing or discussions of any other goals (if you are continuing to pursue your current challenge goals through the holidays, for example).

 

More important than anything else, enjoy your holiday break, Rangers, and I look forward to celebrating any denominational holidays you and yours participate in with you!  If you'll be taking an extended break from Nerd Fitness over the break, then I look forward to seeing you bright and fresh in 2016.  ;)

 

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Awesome this is what I was waiting for since I was on a rogue mission I missed the start of the current 6WC. I will also do some thinking and come back with some good goals to keep the spirits high during this break :D

 

I do like the oath for the night watch that Steve put up on the blog:

 

It shall not end until my goal is met. I shall take no weeks off, miss no workouts, justify no overeating. I shall wear no stretchy pants and win no glory. I shall live and die by my commitment to myself. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the Watcher of my body. I am the fire that burns against the cold days, the light that brings my momentum, the horn that wakes my emotions, the shield that guards the realms of my health.

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Awesome.  Thanks for putting this together, Rurik.  I haven't decided my goals yet for the break weeks but I will have different ones each week.  I also have a Doodlie Face Off PVP over the break so my goals will be decided weekly.  

 

Between a PVP, this mini challenge, and continuing my current thread, I am hoping to have oodles of accountability.. 

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Great to see all of the interest so far.  I'm not quite sure that everyone has noticed the sticky yet, so feel free to spread the pre-holiday cheer!

 

Awesome, thanks Rurik. I love how the current 6 week challenge isn't over yet and the Holiday Break mini-challenge is up already! Rurik's Ranger Brain strikes again!

 

That's how I roll, C_Q.  Wanted to give folks a lot of time to plan and prepare, ride out Week 6 of the current challenge, and then jump into the holiday mini whenever they're ready to do so.

 

My Ranger superpower is versatility resiliency preparation!  ;)

 

This is great. I'll post my goals once this challenge winds down.

 

Yeah, I haven't the foggiest clue yet what my mini-challenge goals will be.  Let's get Week 6 out of the way and go from there.  :onthego:

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So excited! Can't decide which of my  new years goals I'm going to try to give a test run during this mini challenge, but I know I'm going to have mobility & glute activation stuff in there.  Because my glutes still don't know how to glute. I'll see where I am at the end of this challenge before finalizing my plans though.

 

Thanks for putting this together!

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I don't have things 100% nailed down yet, but in general:

 

Food - behave. Just do it.

 

Sticky points: Birthday Week, Actual Birthday, Xmas, NYE.

 

Birthday Week: This is cancelled as a food orgy holiday. I get 1 food orgy meal, on my actual birthday, and I don't get to use the week as an excuse for bad behavior. During my Birthday meal, I will mitigate as possible, depending upon where the DH takes me. 

 

Friends' Mas Potluck: Bring 2 veggie sides. Load my plate with half veggies, half 2 - 3 bites of everything else. Limit dessert to 1 and a few bites. 

 

Xmas: I'm cooking, so make it paleo and don't eat so much I have to wear stretchy pants. This will be hard, because: roast beast.

 

NYE: This is going to be hard, but I can replace our traditional dumpling & champagne night with sparkling water and meatballs. I don't *need* to make enough to feed the whole block. A dinner portion can suffice.

 

Exercising: Keep up with all the mini-challenges I'm currently doing and up the ante with other minis. Fit in at least 1 ruck over the 2-week span. Fit in yoga as well. 

 

Possibly incorporate the X number of points model for extras. I've got to flesh this one out a bit more. 

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Yeah, I haven't the foggiest clue yet what my mini-challenge goals will be.  Let's get Week 6 out of the way and go from there.  :onthego:

 

Hells yes! Week 6 must be crushed!

 

I'm mostly going to keep doing what I've been doing, but three things I think I'll add (all fitness related)

 

Start doing some chin-up negatives and figure out what is a reasonable target/progression

Regularly do some full vinyasas (yoga sequence) without dropping my knees

Regularly do some deep work on hamstring flexibilty. Come up with a strategy to try to rehab what I think is a damaged and fragile muscle (it works, but not quite right).

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OOOH CHRISTMAS YAY

 

This is a good time to test drive some goals I'm thinking about for future challenges! I'll be hanging out in my challenge thread, I imagine, so you can go there for details; but I'll be around this thread too.

 

I won't be starting until probably the 19th or 20th though; final exams are NEXT WEEK AAH so I'm not gonna have room for anything extra in my brain.

 

Goal 1: Earn 5 "points" of activity time per week. 1 point is earned for every 15 minutes of dedicated, constant activity, not just lame puttering about. This seems like a low amount to me, but I struggle with trying to do too much I think; and this is a test run, after all. So I'm starting low and I'll increase the number of points per week if needed.

 

Goal 2: Food tracking. Aiming for good macros, of course, but the 'grade' only depends on whether I tracked the foods or not. I'm in data-taking mode. For science.

 

Goal 3: Wasn't really sure what to do for this one at first. But I've been on a drawing kick lately, so I think I'll work on at least 1 drawing per week for this goal. I may post them up; I may not. My next challenge is going to involve some drawings I've already done, so if they're spoiler drawings, I won't post them.

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I don't have things 100% nailed down yet, but in general:

 

Food - behave. Just do it.

 

Sticky points: Birthday Week, Actual Birthday, Xmas, NYE.

 

Birthday Week: This is cancelled as a food orgy holiday. I get 1 food orgy meal, on my actual birthday, and I don't get to use the week as an excuse for bad behavior. During my Birthday meal, I will mitigate as possible, depending upon where the DH takes me. 

 

Friends' Mas Potluck: Bring 2 veggie sides. Load my plate with half veggies, half 2 - 3 bites of everything else. Limit dessert to 1 and a few bites. 

 

Xmas: I'm cooking, so make it paleo and don't eat so much I have to wear stretchy pants. This will be hard, because: roast beast.

 

NYE: This is going to be hard, but I can replace our traditional dumpling & champagne night with sparkling water and meatballs. I don't *need* to make enough to feed the whole block. A dinner portion can suffice.

 

Exercising: Keep up with all the mini-challenges I'm currently doing and up the ante with other minis. Fit in at least 1 ruck over the 2-week span. Fit in yoga as well. 

 

Possibly incorporate the X number of points model for extras. I've got to flesh this one out a bit more. 

OOOH CHRISTMAS YAY

 

This is a good time to test drive some goals I'm thinking about for future challenges! I'll be hanging out in my challenge thread, I imagine, so you can go there for details; but I'll be around this thread too.

 

...

 

Goal 1: Earn 5 "points" of activity time per week. 1 point is earned for every 15 minutes of dedicated, constant activity, not just lame puttering about. This seems like a low amount to me, but I struggle with trying to do too much I think; and this is a test run, after all. So I'm starting low and I'll increase the number of points per week if needed.

 

I didn't come to check in here with the intention of hammering out my goals, but for some reason the two of you got me all motivated and fired up to do so!

 

Consider the following a tentative guide to Rurik's Survival Guide to the Holiday Break.

 

Goal One:  Minimal family commitment this year due to my work schedule, so other than the gym being closed during my long change class and Christmas day pre-night shift class, I'll stick to my regular Crossfit and rucking routines.  In keeping with the spirit of this mini-challenge though, and wanting to try out something new that I intend to add into the next challenge, I'll aim to add in an outdoor sledgehammer workout after at least half of my rucking sessions.

 

Goal Two I know this will be my struggling point, if I have one through the holidays.  Since I've already mentioned my unavailability for family events during this holiday season, and end up working both Christmas Eve day and Christmas Day night, I'll avoid the worst of the offenders for, as darkfoxx called them, "food orgy meals."  But I intend to have some fun and enjoy the season a bit too, so I'll keep my indulgences to a minimum, and will strive to continue the nearly year-long habit I've sustained of recording meals.  That always helps me reign in my otherwise out-of-control, Viking-in-a-mead-shop style of eating whenever I find an excuse to.

 

Goal Three:  My girlfriend is flying home to spend time with her family, and I'll be steady working.  While I'm a bit of a loner and enjoy my Me Time, I have every intention of being mindful of my moods and the prevailing spirit of the season.  I'll try to keep in touch with friends and family, keep busy with writing for the next challenge (with the intention of having most, if not all, of my narrative entries completed by New Years), and maximize the enjoyment of my geeky pursuits with the typical orgy of gaming and reading!  That ought to do nicely.

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Alritey then, looks like my cue to turn things to eleven again...

 

This holiday mini challenge marks the end of a very successful year while serving as the prequel for the 2016 challenge cycle. I’m taking the opportunity to look back on this year and share some thoughts as we transition onto the next one.

 

2015 began with me in a rough spot. I thought I was happy but I had already disappeared from the forums for over 2 months. I hadn’t trained for just as much, wasn’t paying attention to my eating and I had picked up smoking again. By late February and accelerated thanks to a series of events, I had to purge and rise again from the ashes like a Phoenix. I terminated my dead-end “relationship”, hopped back into a healthy lifestyle as if a single day hadn’t passed and soon I also found myself in a new town with a new, high profile job. Being a Ranger, the transition was rather smooth as I adapted to the new status, only to be challenged again by a series of huge political events, from the July referendum to the capital controls imposed on the country and the -fortunately temporary- loss of my job. I really couldn’t have pushed through all of that without the wonderful support of the people on these boards. I had support when morale was low. The amazing Slates even helped me book tickets for the 2016 Spartan Super in Italy, something I’m stoked to do with her. You people nudged me forward when I was hesitant in applying for the Masters’ class that I’m currently enrolled in. The challenge format helped me stick to my routine and handle my shaky finances, something that’s still carrying on to this day as I finally await my first paycheck since August tomorrow. Even when an exciting new relationship shook my life recently, I was able to utilize previous experience in order to avoid repeating the same pattern, so here I am now still onboard NF and still rolling despite the holiday obstacles. I seriously cannot thank each and every one of you enough for all of this.

 

This mini challenge will be my little introduction to a grander concept that I have in mind for all of my 2016 challenges, cartoon themes. Since this is a short one with 3 goals, I had to use a lesser known cartoon with 3 heroes. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the trio of badass alien biking rodents…

 

 

Modo (Goal One): Modo is the powerhouse of the group and pretty much a gentle giant who has little patience for B.S., so it is only fitting that he takes up the workout department. My plan here is twofold; as long as I’m in town and my crossfit box is open, attend as usual 3/week. If that is not possible, the training must be replaced with the following workout

  • Pistol Squats (to failure)

  • 10” Core Complex (forearm plank, superman plank, back plank, hollow, arch, side plank, side hollow)

  • Gymnastics Pushups (to failure)

  • Wall Handstand (to failure)

Throttle (Goal Two): Throttle is the brains and leader. It takes his approach to deal with the holiday nutrition issues. It also takes his advanced sunglasses to locate the sugar hidden in food that I’ll have to avoid. The only exception is traditional, seasonal sweets which I’m allowing myself but only after a meal.

 

Vinnie (Goal Three): Vinnie is the fun guy and in an attempt to look less like a Michaelangelo rip-off, he was also made a womanizer. Here’s a checklist of my planned funstuff:

  • Meet visiting friends in town

  • Go to a concert on the 19th

  • Throw my birthday party on the night of the 23rd

  • Have my parents visit on the 24th, maybe go to see the Star Wars premiere if able to get tickets

  • If this extends to an extra week, I have a family trip out of town planned, roughly from the 29th-30th of December to the 2nd-3rd of January

 

Updates will most likely happen on my challenge thread or a (once more re-vamped) Battle Log to prevent cluttering this one up. Happy holidays!

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Goal 1: Luckily I don’t have to do much travelling and will mostly be at home, but I’m going to break my fitness goals down week by week to fit in with my schedule.

 

14th – 20th Dec:

I'll keep my goals similar to my current challenge of lifting 2-3 times a week. The only difference is I know I’ll only be able to fit 2 runs in this week as I have tickets to see The Force Awakens on the morning of the 19th and a social gathering straight afterwards. 

 

21st – 27th Dec:

I’m going to take advantage of the hectic week of visiting family and schedule this week as a de-load week. This can either be short lifting sessions at 40-60% volume or NF Yoga if I can’t fit a lifting session in. Running will be maintenance only, there is a Parkrun scheduled for the 26th Dec, so as long as I make it to this, I’ll class it as a pass.

 

28th Dec – 3rd Jan:

I’m going to keep this week flexible until further notice, as I don’t know what this week is going to be like yet. My only goal at the moment will be completing at least 4 workouts over the week.

 

Goal 2: Avoid the Cheese! I’m lactose intolerant but cheese is my one true love. This isn’t usually an issue as I just don’t buy cheese. But when there is a cheese plate at a gathering it’s hard to resist the cheesy goodness! So the challenge is going to be to avoid cheese completely. I’m not allowed “just one little bite†as one bite leads to a whole wedge of Stilton which leads to…..actually, you don’t want to know the rest!

 

Goal 3: Can I deal with holiday stress by drinking? No? I have a few family and friends get-togethers over the holiday period. My SIL to be will be joining me for Parkrun on the 26th and I’m badgering other family members to join us as well to make it a family run. I’m also volunteering as a marshal for a run on Christmas morning. Other than that, I plan on having an Uncharted marathon. I love me a bit o’ Nathan Drake action.

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I've been letting finals stress me out this week, and sleep beat my lifting so far.  I'll fix it, but here is what I want to work on for the holidays.  I'll be travelling to KS with Mike and my mom for a week and work, but no classes!  So I want to recharge but not stop working on things.

 

1:  I am going to shoot for minimum 2 lifts per week and 2 run/rucks.  More is good, but travel might get in the way.  Uncertain yet.

 

2:  I want to focus on eating more vegetables.  Lots more vegetables.  And having a good breakfast everyday.  I've got plans in place to make food for one brother and his family while I'm there.  They've been wanting to eat healthier with no real idea how to go about it, so I'm going to make them a big cheap pot of soup and some easy breakfast.  We'll see how that goes.  He's got 6 teenaged kids and I'm not sure how easy they'll be to please.

 

3:  I've already got my middle brother checking out gyms in his town to see if we can lift together while there.  And I've got plans to ruck (while they walk) with a few family members.  Also, yoga with mom.  And possibly some Just Dance if I can get some friends together for it. That game is best a little tipsy with friends.

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I need a theme to stay focused, so my theme was looking for trios. The trio I decided upon was Harry, Ron and Hermione.

 

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Goal One – Quidditch Practice with Harry
Really, this is a steady as she goes goal. Keep up with my 5 day a week half marathon training plan. Running Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, and strength/cross training on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Goal Two – Chocolate Frogs with Ron
I need to get back into the habit of logging my calories honestly, so for these two weeks, I plan to log in to MFP daily and track my food, for better or for worst, as best I can. This will help set me up to refocus as the next challenge begins.

 

Goal Three – Study Time with Hermione
If you know anything about me… I like to knit. And I get a real big knitting bug in winter. My de-stress time will be making two things for fun, for me, that aren’t holiday gifts already planned or stock for my blog store.

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I'm using these goals as a more general goal and strategy over the off-weeks.  I'll have a PVP with the Doodlies with 2 specific goals planned for each week plus a randomly generated goal each week.  

 

 

Goal One (Fitness):  I have 1 week with no travelling and then 2 separate trips planned over the break.  When I am at home I plan to follow my same routine.  For travel I'll be bringing my rucksack and I think there is still a plan to pick up a 10# hammer on my way up north.  If the weather is decent, I'll get some rucking in, and I'll Shovelglove when I can't but at least SG every other day.   

 

Goal Two (Food):  Again, Week 1 should be as normal as possible.  Log all food and stick to current macros.  When travelling I just have to be mindful.  I'll continue to log food.  Breakfast is my friend.  Breakfast must be healthy.  I am OK skipping breakfast if IF seems appropriate.  In that case, whatever my first meal is must be healthy.  Christmas cookies is my biggest weakness.  On the days leading up to the holiday, they must be consumed minimally, and only after meals - not rather than.  On Christmas I make no promises.  

 

Goal Three (Cheer):  I'll be travelling with a couple books so if I need some downtime from family, I've got that... and Sims4.  I'll also try and stay caught up on threads to keep an eye on my goals and help others out and check in at the Yaks Head for some non-family de-stressing.  

 

tl;dr

Shovelglove

Rucking

Breakfast

NF FTW

 

 

 

 

 

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