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Arrowan's Sixth Challenge: Whistles and Bells


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Arrowan’s Sixth Challenge: Whistles and Bells  

Mistakes are the portals to discovery

 

Name:  Arrowan   

Race:  Human

Class:  Adventurer

Level: 5

Starting Attributes: STR 9/DEX 6/STA 15/CON 8/WIS 16/CHA 7

Starting metrics: 5'6", 163 lbs

 

Introduction: I’m back at home base after having done my last challenge (January) with the Monks. They are a great group and if you have any interest in martial arts I highly recommend going to these folks for advice—they are extremely knowledgeable and supportive. I made friends there and still check in on them. Still, in my heart I feel like I am an Adventurer, so here I am for my sixth NF challenge.

 

It’s an odd transition period in my life and I have a TON of goals I’d like to achieve, but in the interest of being smart and realistic, I’ve narrowed it down to four for this challenge.

 

Challenge Goals:

1. Physical training: Running 3x/week, workout routine 3x/week

2. Track all caloric intake, every day

3. Herp ID and frog calls: learn to ID all state herps by sight and all anurans by sound

4. Continue the job search: submit at least 2 applications/week

Side Quest: Create 1 power point lesson per week on any topic, 5-10 min talk

 

Strategies:

1. Physical Training: Running makes me happy. Well, first it makes me tired and out of breath, but then it makes me happy. For me, running is as important to mental health as it is to physical health, if not more so. Maybe diet is 80% of the battle, but without the bolster of confidence and satisfaction I get from running, I have no will power to maintain a healthy relationship with food. So. Running 3x a week. I’ll do 1-3 miles at a time, logging time and distance for each run on a chart on my wall. No goals for speed or distance, but I’ll report my bests for the month at the end of the challenge. In between running, I’ll do a workout routine based on body-weight exercises and martial arts movements. It’s a routine I’ve used before, though I haven’t done it in full in a while. I’ll increase difficulty as the challenge goes on.

2. Overeating and poor food choices are big issues for me. I need to make a lot of changes but for now my goal is to track every morsel with MyFitnessPal. I’ve used the program before with some success. The consistent tracking will make me accountable for my caloric intake, even though I’m not setting specific food restrictions. For further accountability, I will even post how far off I am from my daily calorie goals. I know quality of food is at least as important as quality, but for now my focus is on tracking.

3. I’m trying to get back into wildlife research after taking some time away for personal reasons. To brush up on my skills, my goal is to be able to ID all Maine herp species (reptiles and amphibians) by sight by the end of the month. Also, I will memorize the calls for all the frog and toad species in the state. At the end of the month I’ll devise a test. I’ll focus on a subset of species each week, spending at least 15 minutes a day reviewing. It doesn’t sound like much, but it will add up.

4. I’m searching for a new job—something related to what I studied in school. Or at least closer to it than what I’m doing now. I’ll check the job boards every day and get out at least 2 applications each week. I already have a call back for one job, so in the event I get it, this goal will morph into preparation for that job, which will involve studying up on the target species and related topics.

 

Side Quest: Knowledge, discovery, and curiosity are my themes for this challenge. The true test of knowledge is the ability to teach it to someone else. I got a lot out of making presentations in graduate school in order to teach undergrads and give information to the public. This goal involves picking a topic—anything at all that catches my fancy—and creating a short PowerPoint presentation that I could give to an interested audience. I’ll give myself a week to make each presentation, and when it’s done I have to practice it through at least twice for it to count. I may not have an audience at the moment, but the process itself will be very informative for me, and I can file away the knowledge and the presentation in case I get the opportunity to deliver them later.

 

Grading:

A=100% B=75% C=50% D=25% F=0%

1. Physical training: A=24 out of 24 days; B=18-23; C=12-17; D=6-11; F≤5

2. Calorie tracking: A=28 out of 28 days; B=21-27; C=14-20; D=7-13; F≤6

3. Herp ID and anuran call test: A=100% B=75-99% C=50-74% D=25-49% F<25%

4. Job search: A=8 out of 8 applications submitted; B=6-7; C=4-5; D=2-3; F=0-1

Reward for all A’s/B’sà Get my bike tuned up

 

 

  • Like 2

~Arrowan

Human, Adventurer 

Level 4

STR 9/ DEX 6/ STA 15/CON 8/WIS 16/CHA 7

 

"Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang 

except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke

 

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7 hours ago, Arrowan said:

 

3. Herp ID and frog calls: learn to ID all state herps by sight and all anurans by sound

 

 

That's awesome. On what other fitness site are you going to find people cool enough to have amazing goals like that? 

  • Like 2

Stealthstitcher

 

"You see, what you've got to consider is: are you going to be the hero of this 'ere adventure, or ain't you? You can't 'ave it both ways."

              - E. Nesbit, The Magic City

 

Challenges:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

 

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Great goal! I love the help species ID one especially. 

 

Also so I really like your chill approach to running. I see working out in the same light you seem to, but also have a super competitive nature and tend to take the 'challenge' too far. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy my activities again instead of turning them into a competition :)

  • Like 1

2021 Reading Challenge | Walk to Mordor

 

 

"Always remember, your focus determines your reality." - Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace

"I Find That Answer Vague And Unconvincing." - K-2SO, Rogue One

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11 hours ago, JessOfAllTrades said:

Awesome goals! Best of luck this challenge!

Thanks! 

25 minutes ago, Garjan said:

Also so I really like your chill approach to running. I see working out in the same light you seem to, but also have a super competitive nature and tend to take the 'challenge' too far. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy my activities again instead of turning them into a competition :)

Do what you love, love what you do, right? Competition can be a good motivator though. Sometimes I'm too easy on myself and forget to push. We all have to find that balance. 

~Arrowan

Human, Adventurer 

Level 4

STR 9/ DEX 6/ STA 15/CON 8/WIS 16/CHA 7

 

"Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang 

except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke

 

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Day 1 went great: 

Two-mile run in the morning (outside--brrr!)

Workout at the gym (I just use the space, not the equipment) 

Made an outline of my herp ID study plan and studied American toads (toad trills are the prettiest of frog calls, if anyone is interested in looking them up :))

Ended the day with 126 calories to spare (calculated by MyFitnessPal, set for a weight loss goal of 1lb/week, factoring in cardio calorie expenditure).

 

Nervously preparing for an interview first thing tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!

  • Like 2

~Arrowan

Human, Adventurer 

Level 4

STR 9/ DEX 6/ STA 15/CON 8/WIS 16/CHA 7

 

"Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang 

except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke

 

Link to post
21 hours ago, Tyburn Lil said:

Also, I now know who to send photos of random amphibians of to.   

Yes, please!

  • Like 1

~Arrowan

Human, Adventurer 

Level 4

STR 9/ DEX 6/ STA 15/CON 8/WIS 16/CHA 7

 

"Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang 

except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke

 

Link to post

Day 2 (yesterday) was alright. No major exercise, but I did get a run AND a workout in the day before, so I'm not worried about that. I did try some light yoga with a friend, just for fun. Worked up a little sweat, but didn't get too intense--not enough room and no proper mats anyway. 

 

Successfully tracked calories...but definitely went over the daily goal. By a lot. I'm ashamed to write the number, but I said I would so here it is: -723. That's what a small DQ Blizzard will do. It was a social thing--my friend had the idea and we were have a good day, and I wanted it to end on a good note so I didn't opt out--it would have made her feel bad. I know that isn't a healthy way to think about things, but I'm working on it. If anyone has suggestions for dealing with that kind of situation, I'm all ears. (Or all eyes, since I'll be reading it...). Still, my official challenge goal is just to track, not to meet a certain restriction. So even though I have a calorie goal on MyFitnessPal, the main thing is so record everything and be honest about it. Posting my overages here is a new and major change for me--I usually keep this stuff very private. Hoping it will help motivate me, knowing others will see my results. 

 

Herp ID didn't happen because I was prepping for the job interview (which involved studying bats, actually). I think that's an acceptable substitution for the day. 

 

Had the job interview this morning! It was a group video chat, which was new to me, and a little frustrating, since people kept fading in and out. But overall I think it went well. I definitely prefer the in-person interview, though. I'll find out if I get the job around the 15th. It would be a great experience and good pay, but it will also be intense and involve lots of travelling, so there are advantages and disadvantages. I've done my best, just have to wait and see now. In the meantime, I have to keep applying to other stuff, in case this falls through. 

  • Like 1

~Arrowan

Human, Adventurer 

Level 4

STR 9/ DEX 6/ STA 15/CON 8/WIS 16/CHA 7

 

"Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang 

except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke

 

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22 minutes ago, Arrowan said:

 That's what a small DQ Blizzard will do. It was a social thing--my friend had the idea and we were have a good day, and I wanted it to end on a good note so I didn't opt out--it would have made her feel bad. I know that isn't a healthy way to think about things, but I'm working on it. If anyone has suggestions for dealing with that kind of situation, I'm all ears. . 

That is a tough one. Especially if it's a friend who won't take the explanation that you're trying to be healthier well. The only thing that comes immediately to mind is to go along with your friend but get tea or water or something. But then, some people would see that as you saying they shouldn't have ice cream, so ... it's tricky. 

29 minutes ago, Arrowan said:

 

Had the job interview this morning! It was a group video chat, which was new to me, and a little frustrating, since people kept fading in and out. But overall I think it went well. 

I hate group video chat! So hard to figure out who is saying what ... congrats on succeeding at it!

  • Like 1

Stealthstitcher

 

"You see, what you've got to consider is: are you going to be the hero of this 'ere adventure, or ain't you? You can't 'ave it both ways."

              - E. Nesbit, The Magic City

 

Challenges:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

 

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54 minutes ago, Arrowan said:

It was a social thing--my friend had the idea and we were have a good day, and I wanted it to end on a good note so I didn't opt out--it would have made her feel bad. I know that isn't a healthy way to think about things, but I'm working on it. If anyone has suggestions for dealing with that kind of situation, I'm all ears. (Or all eyes, since I'll be reading it...).

 

You're not alone - food (dessert especially) can be such a touchy subject. Usually what I try to do in similar situations is order the smallest size I can - kids sizes even. Sounds like you already did that. 

 

Usually when going out with friends after workouts I try to suggest coffee shop that way I can get black coffee / tea. But then you have to deal with tempting muffins/scones (or at least I do).

 

And hey - tracking and admitting is a big step! Everyone has guilt/temptations/etc and it's embarrassing to admit. But at least if you start admitting and talking about it you're a couple steps closer to being better at resisting next time right??

  • Like 1

2021 Reading Challenge | Walk to Mordor

 

 

"Always remember, your focus determines your reality." - Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace

"I Find That Answer Vague And Unconvincing." - K-2SO, Rogue One

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Yeah...remember you're not responsible for how your friend feels when she makes a concious decision to do something she knows she shouldn't. 

After all I'm sure you wouldn't have made her feel guilty because you decided to join her. 

 

If you did then, as adults, you should both sit on the naughty step of mental darkness until lord vader calls. 

*Finger waggle*

 

Though on a positive note, go you for the workout!

 

  • Like 1

Sending vibes of motivation and love to all x

 

 

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Day 3 summary (yesterday): 

Ran 2 miles 

Tracked calories, ened the day with 186 calories to spare :)

Did a short session of herp study (too short--have to spend more time on this)

Job interview in the morning (went pretty well, we'll see). 

 

I've decided to roll in my side quest with my herp ID goal. The side quest is to create a brief Power Point presentation each week on any topic. That's four presentations. There happen to be four groups of amphibian and reptile species in Maine: anurans (frogs and toads), salamanders, turtles, and snakes (we don't really have any lizards). So I've decided each week's presentation will be about the group of herps I'm focusing on that week. I don't think it's cheating, because it doesn't mean doing less work, it just means the work will compliment my other goal. Yay, efficiency!

 

 

  • Like 2

~Arrowan

Human, Adventurer 

Level 4

STR 9/ DEX 6/ STA 15/CON 8/WIS 16/CHA 7

 

"Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang 

except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke

 

Link to post

Another good day today. I got in a run and finished one job application. I just did a little herp study but got out the old guide book, which will be very helpful. Came in with 40 calories to spare today.

 

Yesterday I was just 12 calories over my budget. I actually got an extra snack to get closer to my goal (trail mix), rather than come in short. I also got in a solid workout yesterday. 

 

Chewing lots of gum and drinking lots of tea to stave off cravings for sweets! Having to report my net calories here is a crazy-strong motivator to keep myself in line. 

  • Like 2

~Arrowan

Human, Adventurer 

Level 4

STR 9/ DEX 6/ STA 15/CON 8/WIS 16/CHA 7

 

"Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang 

except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke

 

Link to post
 

Tea and gum are great for helping resist sweets. Sounds like you're doing an awesome job!

Thanks, I really am having to pull out all these little Jedi mind tricks on myself. The pull to the dark side is strong...

 

 

Hmmmm. I have been keeping an eye out for reptiles for you, but they all seem to be hiding right now. :|

They certainly are hiding!  Can't wait for the warmer weather to bring them out :)

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

A quick rundown of progress on Saturday and Sunday:

Did a workout on Saturday, pushing myself to extra reps on a few exercises, but pulling back on the body-weight squat reps just a tad because my right knee was complaining all day. I try for correct form, but I do worry my knees come too far forward on squats and this will lead to troubles later...Maybe I'll watch more instructional videos online and record myself and see how I'm matching up. I'm still doing knee push-ups, but I'm gradually increasing reps and keeping my form (elbows in), and it's definitely still challenging. I so look forward to being able to do real push-ups though. 

I did a bunch of studying of frog and toad ID on Sunday, and created a nice little presentation to go along with it. I even rehearsed a couple times. A part of me feels like its a pretty silly and pointless exercise to make a presentation for a non-existent audience...but now that I've made the first one of the challenge, I've started thinking about going to a local nature center or something and asking if they could use a volunteer to give a short talk for one of their educational programs. It would take a lot of courage, but it would be really good for me. 

I went over my caloric budget on both Saturday (-238) and Sunday (-228), but not by too much. It's way better than the 700+ deficit I rang up on Tuesday. I was coming in on target last night, right up until very late when I caved to my craving for ice cream. But I carefully measured out just one single serving! That's easily only half of what I would normally consume, so I guess that's progress. 

 

Week 1 summary: 

Running: 3 times (average mile time 8'47")

Workout: 3 times

Calorie Tracking: Every day (weekly net -849; over budget -- have to work on this)

Herp Study: Covered frogs  and toads of Maine. Still need to focus on memorizing frog calls

Job search: submitted just one application (I was shooting for 2/week), but I had an interview on Wednesday, which was a major win in itself

Side Quest: Week 1 presentation on Maine Anuran ID -- check!

 

I have a feeling the rest of the month is only going to get more challenging. I have some family gatherings coming up, and I'll be finding out about jobs one way or another...those are some sure sources of stress and chaos. I'll be keeping my NF allies in mind as I face down those demons!

 

On to Week 2! 

 

 

 

~Arrowan

Human, Adventurer 

Level 4

STR 9/ DEX 6/ STA 15/CON 8/WIS 16/CHA 7

 

"Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang 

except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke

 

Link to post
 

 I was coming in on target last night, right up until very late when I caved to my craving for ice cream. But I carefully measured out just one single serving! That's easily only half of what I would normally consume, so I guess that's progress. 

 

It is indeed progress!

 

 I've started thinking about going to a local nature center or something and asking if they could use a volunteer to give a short talk for one of their educational programs. It would take a lot of courage, but it would be really good for me. 

 

Do it! (I mean, if you want to, I'm not the boss of you ...) 

  • Like 1

Stealthstitcher

 

"You see, what you've got to consider is: are you going to be the hero of this 'ere adventure, or ain't you? You can't 'ave it both ways."

              - E. Nesbit, The Magic City

 

Challenges:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

 

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Looks like things are mostly going well for you over here! Now that I'm--*dramatic music sting*--following you, it should be much easier to keep up =)

 

Regarding your frogs & toads--if you're talking about Maine as in Maine the northeast-est of the US, and not, say, the one in France, then I bet the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick might possibly have some contacts or ideas. I was just there last week for a really cool presentation/seminar on how to rescue injured wildlife, and Emily (their outreach/educational person) seems to be particularly savvy when it comes to presenting information for educational purposes. Might be worth reaching out to them!

  • 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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Resisting ice cream is great progress! It is way too easy to eat a ton of - especially if eating straight out of the pint like I tend to do.

 

Doing a talk at a local nature center would be a great way to use that new knowledge - and make the powerpoint effort worth it. Not sure how comfortable you are public speaking but it could be a good way to level up your skills there. I always find it's easier to talk about subjects I'm passionate about. (Off the charts introvert over here)

2021 Reading Challenge | Walk to Mordor

 

 

"Always remember, your focus determines your reality." - Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace

"I Find That Answer Vague And Unconvincing." - K-2SO, Rogue One

Link to post
 

Looks like things are mostly going well for you over here! Now that I'm--*dramatic music sting*--following you, it should be much easier to keep up =)

 

Regarding your frogs & toads--if you're talking about Maine as in Maine the northeast-est of the US, and not, say, the one in France, then I bet the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick might possibly have some contacts or ideas. I was just there last week for a really cool presentation/seminar on how to rescue injured wildlife, and Emily (their outreach/educational person) seems to be particularly savvy when it comes to presenting information for educational purposes. Might be worth reaching out to them!

Ha! Well, this day in age internet stalking is just how we show we care, right?  

 

Yes, I am in the Maine that is the northeast of the US...if the lower 48 states were an animal, Maine would be the head (sucks to be California!). I haven't yet been to the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, but I have heard of it and checked out their website. Seems like an excellent operation and one I should at least visit. I'm sure it would be a good source of connections and maybe volunteer opportunities, if not more. Thanks for the reminder! That might be the impetus I needed to actually do it :) 

 

__________________________________

 

Came in with about 100 calories to spare yesterday...but I didn't make progress on much else. There were some...interpersonal issues...in the household (that's code for "fights"). I'm mostly a spectator to these but they definitely affect me. I won't go into details, but the result is a house full of unhappy people. I didn't make any big slip ups in my goals (even eating out, I had an exceptionally healthful meal), but I didn't accomplish much either. Today should be a little better--should get in a run, if not a workout as well, and I'll check the job boards and start in with salamander study (yay!)

 

 

  • Like 1

~Arrowan

Human, Adventurer 

Level 4

STR 9/ DEX 6/ STA 15/CON 8/WIS 16/CHA 7

 

"Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang 

except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke

 

Link to post

Sorry to hear about the household stuff. Never fun, even as a spectator. 

 

Enjoy your running and salamander studies!

  • Like 1

2021 Reading Challenge | Walk to Mordor

 

 

"Always remember, your focus determines your reality." - Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace

"I Find That Answer Vague And Unconvincing." - K-2SO, Rogue One

Link to post

Not much time this morning, but wanted to put up a quick post. 

 

No exercise yesterday, so that's a bummer, but there's time yet this week. I did a tiny bit of salamander study. The big thing is that I scored another job interview, which will happen at 9am today. It isn't my FIRST choice for a new job, but definitely a step up from where I am and I'm going to give it my all. I can see it leading to other opportunities down the line, or at least good experience. 

 

Went over the old calorie budget by 203 yesterday. Not feeling that bad about it. I'm feeling like staying within 200 of my goal is still pretty good, although I sure do like to see that GREEN number on MyFitnessPal at the end of the day...

 

Anyway, back to interview prep. Wish me luck, guys!

  • Like 1

~Arrowan

Human, Adventurer 

Level 4

STR 9/ DEX 6/ STA 15/CON 8/WIS 16/CHA 7

 

"Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang 

except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke

 

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