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Level 4: Silence the Voice


SkyGirl

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37 minutes ago, SkyGirl said:

I stood up and wrapped my scarf around my face, looking him straight in the eyes. "I am a Ranger. I am never defenseless."

I got chills and goosebumps at this part. For real.

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Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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11 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I got chills and goosebumps at this part. For real.

Same reaction here. Tingles all along my spine. Oof. :D Fantastically written again! 

 

And congratulations on you for being able to face what must seemed like a massive attack, and use it to only grow and get better and become even more awesome (Who would have thought that as possible? :P) We're so proud of you! <3

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they / them  |  half-orc paladin ( oath of the watcher )   --   lv 0

Challenge 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20Battle Log ~ Epic Quest

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On 12/17/2016 at 5:10 PM, SkyGirl said:

I stood up and wrapped my scarf around my face, looking him straight in the eyes. "I am a Ranger. I am never defenseless."

 

 

/repect.  That is all.

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Rebooting Ranger and Legionary

"Only a Dead Legionary Gives Up" - Day of the Starwind

"It always seems bad at first, but then I find a way" - Samurai Jack

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Your story keeps getting better and better!

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Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

Elastigirl:Luck Favors The Prepared - Current Challenge: August 1 to September 4 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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On 12/17/2016 at 5:48 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I got chills and goosebumps at this part. For real.

 

On 12/18/2016 at 5:39 AM, IAmInfinite said:

Same reaction here. Tingles all along my spine. Oof. :D Fantastically written again! 

 

And congratulations on you for being able to face what must seemed like a massive attack, and use it to only grow and get better and become even more awesome (Who would have thought that as possible? :P) We're so proud of you! <3

 

3 hours ago, Moros said:

 

/repect.  That is all.

 

1 hour ago, Elastigirl said:

Your story keeps getting better and better!

 

Oh my goodness, you guys are way too nice ...

 

tumblr_mc30mglZCU1r7lkw4.gif 

 

Life has so many epic stories embedded in it if you look at it through the lens of fantasy, and with an eye toward the ultimate story of good vs. evil ... I firmly believe that even the most mundane struggles of our lives are significant; and with a little imagination, it's easy to see how an annoyed word becomes a careless dart thrown at a fellow soldier, or a little extra TLC becomes a soothing balm to a war-wound. Each of our lives is a thread in an epic saga that began at the start of time and will end when time runs out.

 

It makes life so much more interesting and important to see it that way!!

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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WEEK THREE

mission: stronger

 

I have made the very important discovery over the last two weeks that I absolutely, unequivocally LOVE both bowling and ice skating. YES. I had never done either of them before this month; and even though I was the only person at the party to bowl six straight 0's, and even though I lost count of how many times I fell down while skating, I absolutely loved both of them and can't wait to get back out and try again. Bowling was great for my right arm and upper torso ... I'm not really sure what ice skating was good for because I did more tearing of muscles while frantically clutching at the barricade than I did actually working out and skating, but I think it will be good for my hips, abs, and back, once I can actually walk normally again and think about putting skates back on my bruised legs. And they're both fun and competitive and get me off my couch - total wins in my book!!

 

So my goals this week focus on being strong. The theme of this challenge has been a bit more abstract than my previous challenges - everything I'm doing this month is focusing on building confidence, whether that be in school, in new fitness hobbies, or in other areas of my life. Silencing The Voice. Showing him that I can ice skate, and I can finish that exam, and I can adapt to a new work situation even though I don't like it. I'm tougher than he thinks I am. And even when I feel weak - or rather, especially when I feel weak - I can let my weary bones plop down on the safe knowledge that God knows all about me, all about my day, all about my dreams and all about my future. And He is working all things together for my good.

 

With this week being countdown to Christmas, here are my goals:

 

- Finish my Christmas shopping. This might entail going out to the mall on the bus, which is way further than I've ever ridden it before - much, much too far away from my house to walk back if I get stuck. So, a definite confidence-builder.

- Go back to the rink!! I banged up my knees very badly and strained multiple muscles in both arms during a fall when I went to the rink last weekend, but I really want to hit the ice again before the week is out. I'm thinking Friday I might feel better.

Read. I want to read at least part of "Sherlock Holmes for Dummies" and start "The Screwtape Letters," which was given to me by a dear friend for my birthday.

Bake something! My sister and I finally worked up the courage to use our gas oven for the first time this week and it went just fine, so I want to try baking muffins or cookies for Christmas dinner.

 

Not too ambitious ... trying to move my mind out of hyped-up school mode and back into calmer vacation mode, and haven't quite gotten there yet. It will come once I finish working for the week and make myself slow down and stop trying to be everywhere at once. Reading to stretch my brain and walking or skating to stretch my body will help too.

 

Regarding diet tracking, I'm in limbo right now because my Fitbit sometimes works, and sometimes doesn't. I didn't wear it today, then was mad that I didn't, because I ended up walking about 3 miles that didn't get logged ... I'll try wearing it again tomorrow and see how it works. Basically, I'm trying to keep my portion sizes moderate and keep walking, just like I usually do, and I will weigh myself this weekend to see where I'm at and go from there.

 

Now time for bed so I can dream up some more narratives after work tomorrow ...  :-)

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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Ice Skating! Yay! Didn't fall down the first time I went, but pretty sure I wrenched something when I tried to grab onto the barriers. Going with a couple of skilled friends also really helped. I want to go again now! 

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they / them  |  half-orc paladin ( oath of the watcher )   --   lv 0

Challenge 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20Battle Log ~ Epic Quest

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Foiled at every turn today! Instead of getting up early, eating a healthy breakfast and hitting the skating rink before the rain moved in, I inexplicably didn't wake up until after noon, and my "Plan B" to go to the university corec was foiled by a last-minute schedule mix-up that resulted in my missing the last bus. Drat. I'm also having a Meniere's flare-up today, so I feel lightheaded and irritable, and my sister was feeling affectionately maternal and fed me a huge lunch, so now I'm sluggish and don't want to move ever again. 

 

BUT. The good news outweighs all that bad news: I got on the scale this morning and saw that I've lost 2 more pounds since I last weighed myself, meaning that I have officially lost 20 pounds since my journey began one year ago. 

 

giphy.gif 

 

I now weigh the same as I did in high school - only better, because I'm so much more physically and mentally active than I was back then. And I value these last 6 pounds even more than the first 14 - I lost those first 14 quickly, over the course of just a few months, because I was so mentally and emotionally unhealthy that I had no appetite and couldn't sleep. But these last 6 pounds have come off naturally, as the result of better diet and more physical activity, not due to angst and teeth-gnashing. 

 

Now, there's still plenty of room for improvement in 2017, of course. My body is still very "soft" and untoned, and I'm not nearly as strong or energetic as I would like to be. But that just means I have lots more things to try (like rock climbing, ice skating and bowling!), and lots of room to grow.

 

I've been thinking about my challenges for 2017, now that I have a fresh new year ahead of me ... I'm thinking, rather than aiming for a strength or weight goal, I might choose a specific character attribute to work on each month, like I did this month, and choose exercises and personal challenges (and narrative chapters!) that build that character attribute. I'm not sure yet what that would look like, but I like the idea.

 

Going to try again to get to the rink tomorrow ... after I finish getting all my presents wrapped, of course!!  :-)

  • Like 6

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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Congrats on the weight loss and getting healthier!

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Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

Elastigirl:Luck Favors The Prepared - Current Challenge: August 1 to September 4 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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On 12/24/2016 at 2:24 AM, SkyGirl said:

BUT. The good news outweighs all that bad news: I got on the scale this morning and saw that I've lost 2 more pounds since I last weighed myself, meaning that I have officially lost 20 pounds since my journey began one year ago. 

 

I now weigh the same as I did in high school - only better, because I'm so much more physically and mentally active than I was back then. And I value these last 6 pounds even more than the first 14 - I lost those first 14 quickly, over the course of just a few months, because I was so mentally and emotionally unhealthy that I had no appetite and couldn't sleep. But these last 6 pounds have come off naturally, as the result of better diet and more physical activity, not due to angst and teeth-gnashing. 

 

Now, there's still plenty of room for improvement in 2017, of course. My body is still very "soft" and untoned, and I'm not nearly as strong or energetic as I would like to be. But that just means I have lots more things to try (like rock climbing, ice skating and bowling!), and lots of room to grow.

 

I've been thinking about my challenges for 2017, now that I have a fresh new year ahead of me ... I'm thinking, rather than aiming for a strength or weight goal, I might choose a specific character attribute to work on each month, like I did this month, and choose exercises and personal challenges (and narrative chapters!) that build that character attribute. I'm not sure yet what that would look like, but I like the idea.

 

Going to try again to get to the rink tomorrow ... after I finish getting all my presents wrapped, of course!!  :-)

Its the 25th and I still haven't wrapped some of the presents :P

 

Congrats on focusing on the good news, and it IS good! Yay for weight loss! 

 

The character attributes next year sound awesome, and I can't wait to read more narrative watch you grow further! 

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they / them  |  half-orc paladin ( oath of the watcher )   --   lv 0

Challenge 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20Battle Log ~ Epic Quest

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Great news on the weight loss! I can't wait to see what shape your challenges take next year!

 

And Merry Christmas :)

Rangers Gonna Ranger

Current Challenge: The Adventures of Rhovaniel: Vol I

Previous Challenges: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13 1415|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23|24|25

 

2021 Quests:

Run 3 Laps of Oblivion| Run and Complete Man vs Lakes | Achieve a full pull up| Achieve 10+ unbroken push ups| Write 90,000+ words of a novel (0/90,000)| Read at least 20 books (4/20)

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The Golden Pagoda was everything I had been told it was - each airy, vaulted room in its five stories was full of warmth and soft, comforting light. Some rooms were brighter and filled with fragrant vines and flowers; others were dimmer, lit only by a strong fire and red tapered candles. My room had a large window that looked out to the east, facing a wide, still mountain lake that gleamed like glass under the soft winter sunrises. It was lit by dozens of tiny lanterns that hung from the ceiling like stars and burned through the day and night, but I also kept my little stone fireplace burning cheerily and the heavy blue curtains drawn wide away from the big window.

 

Tonight, the winter landscape spread out in shades of soft navy and black outside the window, with a thousand shimmering stars silently sprinkled across the frosty black sky. I rested my hand against the cold window and listened to the sounds of laughter and music outside my room. All across the kingdom, elves, men, dwarves and even hobbits were gathering to remember the night the King's Son was born - the night our very kingdom was born. Even the stars were brighter tonight, reflecting the joy and peace that wrapped all of us together in love.

 

I had spent the day feasting in the Great Hall or laughing as I chased the little elves through the snow; but tonight, as I dried my damp hair and listened to the quiet crackle of the fire, my uneasiness began to resurface. I was uncomfortable in this beautiful, healing place. Ever since I had arrived, The Voice had whispered just at the edge of my consciousness, telling me that I had no business resting, that I was lazy and undisciplined, that Ayre would be disappointed in me if I slacked off. I was afraid. I was afraid that, if I rested too long, Ayre and Aki would find another apprentice who was stronger and braver than me, and they would go on the journey without me. I knew that my training was going to end eventually - Ayre and I had discussed that before he left, how it was only a few more months before I would continue my training with a new master; and my heart ached to think of the day when I would no longer learn from my gentle teachers. I was afraid to rest even for a moment - I wanted to spend every moment I could absorbing their knowledge and storing up memories of their kindness.

 

"Their next apprentice will be much more powerful than you," The Voice whispered. "You'll be forgotten as soon as you leave. Another young one will stand in your place, fighting alongside them, sitting by the fire telling stories, earning those proud smiles that you love to see, while you're far away and out of their minds. And she will be stronger and faster and more skilled than you."

 

I reached for my soft hooded robe and wrapped it snugly around myself, crossing the carpeted floor to open my desk and pull out my book - my little battered notebook that I had carried with me ever since I left my home. A few days before, while Ayre had helped me recover from my climb, he had sat down next to my seat by the fire, folded his slender fingers in front of him, and told me a few things in his low, throaty voice. I had written them down in my book; and I leafed quickly through to those hastily written paragraphs. The lies of the Voice could only be silenced with truth.

 

"Sky, don't be sad," he had said, his voice gentle. "I'm so proud of you. You've come so far and changed so much since I met you in the summer, and this next part of your journey will be filled with discovery. Dear Sky, you will learn things I never learned. You will learn how to use the bow with precision and power, but you will also learn how to use its healing powers to bring peace and hope. You will go places I've never gone and see things I'll never see.

 

"I'm so proud of you, Sky. Everything will be all right. You'll be very happy. And I - I'll never be far away. No matter how far your travels take you, I'll always be here, and you can always come back when you need me. We're going to work very hard in these next few months, and I'm going to teach you as much as I can before you go to your new master. But when you do, never, never forget that I'm so very proud of you, and I believe you're going to be a great teacher of your own apprentices one day.

 

"Now. I want you to put down the bow - yes, I mean it. Put it down in your room and leave it there until I come back after the celebration days. I want you to think about happy days - I want you to read books, to draw, to sing and make things and all the little things you used to love to do. Rest your mind and heart, not just your body. When I come back, I want to see the brightness back in your eyes and the smile back on your face. Lie back now and rest. I will see you after the turn of the new year."

 

I closed the book and blew out the light, pausing a moment to look at the wash of stars scattered across the huge sky. The pull of The Voice was gone - the spirit of the King's birthday had returned. No matter where my path took me, no matter who my new master would be, I could never wander beyond the borders of the King's rule, and His will would govern all of my steps. And even when Ayre and Aki were no longer my teachers, they would always, always be my friends. I climbed into my little bed and snuggled deep under the blankets, listening to the happy chatter of my friends until I fell asleep.

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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* Stylized version of my editor's actual pre-Christmas pep talk. I'm feeling exactly like Sky about leaving him ... but also feeling like Sky in my determination to suck it up, trust the Lord and keep walking, even when I don't know exactly what the next steps will look like.

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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Yes, I know it's Week Four ...

 

xbi8jBF.gif 

 

I'm finally feeling kind of normal today after being closed into a house with my four younger siblings for four days as we watched the stomach flu creep from one person to the next ... I was the third person to fall ill, but the most profoundly emetophobic, so while it was great to spend time with all my siblings and I was glad to be there to help them as they got sick, it's been a long four days. I didn't know how bad my emetophobia had gotten until my brother got "that face" last night and I literally jumped up and ran full-speed out of the apartment, straight down the stairs and into the basement laundry room - in my purple pajamas. At 1AM. The random Internet people weren't kidding when they said I needed therapy.

 

Anywho.

 

The rest of this week, I want to focus on eating in proportion to my energy expenditure - meaning, if I've spent the day looking at Pinterest and knitting, I don't get to eat like I've walked across campus all day - and making plans for next year. I want to decide which 12 character traits I want to work on, or at least pick 3 or 4 to get myself started, and brainstorm some fitness and diet goals that would align with those character traits. Some of my goals from this past year that petered out - eating cleaner, walking 15-20 miles weekly, etc. - would definitely be worth revisiting for the new year.

 

Ultimately, I want to feel stronger and more energetic by December 2017. That is totally not a measurable goal, but that's what I'm pursuing - mental confidence, physical strength and energy, and emotional well-being. Now that I'm feeling better this week, I want to seriously think about ways to make these happen in 2017.

  • Like 3

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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36 minutes ago, SkyGirl said:

Ultimately, I want to feel stronger and more energetic by December 2017. That is totally not a measurable goal, but that's what I'm pursuing - mental confidence, physical strength and energy, and emotional well-being. Now that I'm feeling better this week, I want to seriously think about ways to make these happen in 2017.

You know what is measurable? I can lift x now and I want to lift x+y by December 2017. I can do x now and I want to do it in z time by December 2017. You can SMARTIFY those goals really easy. 

And you are awesome.

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Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52,53,54

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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Had to look up Emetephobia.  Wondering who doesn't have it. When I've had sick family or friends at my house, I go around with Lysol wipes disinfecting everything.

 

I think Tank is right. THe big picture is stronger and healthier.Then you break it into small steps to get there.  One of my  goals is to do 10 minutes of mobility, that's to get to the big picture of being able to move the way I want without pain. Same thing with strength goals, me lifting x amount of weight is just a measurable way of saying I am working on getting stronger.

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Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

Elastigirl:Luck Favors The Prepared - Current Challenge: August 1 to September 4 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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On 12/30/2016 at 0:14 AM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

You know what is measurable? I can lift x now and I want to lift x+y by December 2017. I can do x now and I want to do it in z time by December 2017. You can SMARTIFY those goals really easy. 

And you are awesome.

 

Yes, the hard part is going to be identifying which strength dimensions I want to work on ... I don't know if I want to lift more, or walk further, or lose more weight, or what exactly I want to do. Sleep and food are key, too, and I tend to neglect them.

 

And I may or may not have choked up slightly at being called awesome.  :-)  Thank you. You are awesome as well, as you know, and we all feel very lucky to have you as one of our Guild's big brothers.

 

On 12/30/2016 at 0:23 AM, Elastigirl said:

Had to look up Emetephobia.  Wondering who doesn't have it. When I've had sick family or friends at my house, I go around with Lysol wipes disinfecting everything.

 

I think Tank is right. THe big picture is stronger and healthier.Then you break it into small steps to get there.  One of my  goals is to do 10 minutes of mobility, that's to get to the big picture of being able to move the way I want without pain. Same thing with strength goals, me lifting x amount of weight is just a measurable way of saying I am working on getting stronger.

 

Lysol is one of my favorite substances on earth, up there with hair spray and Swiffer fluid!  :-D  I have used copious amounts of it this week!

 

Working backward from my end goals is a great way to start the planning process ... for instance, I know I want to feel more energetic; so that could be divided into sleep, diet, and exercise, all of which will affect a feeling of energy. Then "sleep" could have some sub- and sub-sub-goals, and so could diet and so could exercise.

 

Aaaand the very first step in all of that planning is to set aside some actual time to think about it ... today got frittered away in running errands and watching Star Trek.  :-)  Vacation has its drawbacks as well as benefits ...

  • Like 4

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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2016 In Review

 

The sun is shining on the first day of 2017, and I'm sitting in a big pool of beautiful warm sunshine while I start drafting my goals for the new year. I wanted to take some time to think through them, and not try to whip together something by midnight on December 31 that wasn't thoughtfully designed and achievable.

 

And part of planning ahead is looking back, at what worked and what didn't. I joined NF on July 6, at which time I weighed about 121 pounds (BMI: 23.6) and was trying to figure out my new identity after an emotionally damaging first year of graduate school. I had read a handful of Steve's articles on NerdFitness.com and was very impressed with his pragmatic approach to making healthy mindset changes that fit with your lifestyle (rather than trying to "go on a diet"), so when I saw that membership was free, I thought I would get involved and see what I could learn.

 

At first, I thought I would transform my diet to completely clean/paleo and somehow learn to love exercising ... but my goals were a little too ambitious for a beginner, and I didn't see the progress I hoped in those areas. What I ended up learning in 2016, though, was in some ways even more valuable than learning to love exercise or trying to transform my diet in the midst of a busy semester: I learned that big changes are the sum of many small, manageable, daily decisions; I learned that when I expect toughness of myself, I can be tougher than I feel; I learned that my body is capable of much more than I realize; and I learned that accountability and support really do make a huge difference when I'm trying to reach my goals. I know most of us Rebels say the same thing, but joining the NF community was one of the best decisions I made this year - the encouragement, advice, sense of belonging, and good examples I have found here helped me grow and get so much stronger than I would have otherwise.

 

Two things that really worked well this year and will continue to be part of my 2017 plans are calorie counting and walking, because those were the only two things I was able to successfully incorporate into my daily habits. But even though I took the diet and more strenuous exercise parts of my challenge away to focus on school, that's not a pass to let them go in 2017. New year, new schedule, new opportunities to fit in more small changes. Food, sleep, Scripture, and movement are my four target areas for 2017.

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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17 hours ago, MiaulinTheCat said:

You've been told this already but, SkyGirl? Your writing style is a m a z i n g! Love love love the pacing and the rhythm of it! <3

 

Looking forward to cheering your progress during 2017! You've got this, mellon nin!

 

Awww, you're the sweetest, Miaulin!! Rhythm is actually really important to me in my writing, and something that my mentors have emphasized as well, so this makes me very happy!  :-)

 

And I can't wait to cheer on your progress in 2017, either! This is going to be a great year for both of us! Let's Ranger this together!!

 

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  • Like 1

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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Well, I didn't defeat the Ranch Dorito monster today, but I did defeat the sloth monster - once the morning chores were done, instead of settling into my chair with my laptop as usual, I grabbed my coat and my sister and ran to the store to buy flour, baking soda, and muffin tins, and I came home and spent the afternoon making a huge batch of banana-cinnamon muffins. They turned out just right - dense but not heavy, sweet but not too sweet. An afternoon well spent!!

 

This evening I am sitting limply in my chair with very loud music playing, trying to endure the pain of my stick-on tooth whitening trays ... I'm not supposed to contact the gumline when I stick them on, but the only way to whiten the entire tooth is to contact at least a little bit of skin; and the chemicals make it feel like someone is slowly peeling back my gums a little at a time with a very sharp instrument. Fun. At least I only have about 15 minutes left, and I will have lovely white teeth when I go back to classes next week.  :-)

 

Once that's done and I can concentrate, tonight I will be working more on my 2017 goals - including doing some budgeting to see if I can afford to join the new Rising Heroes initiative! I think I should be able to, if I keep a close eye on my unplanned spending each month; and while I still feel a bit fuzzy on the details of how the program will work, I have never ever been disappointed with anything from NF, and I'm really curious to see what it will look like.

 

One goal that was unexpectedly thrust upon me yesterday was a Scripture reading challenge with one of my best friends - she messaged me out of the blue and said that she really wanted to read through the Bible this year, but that she needed an accountability buddy to do it with; and she asked if I would like to be her partner. How could I say no to that?  :-)  We're doing the M'Cheyne Plan each day on our own, and then we'll meet up once a month to talk about what we've learned. I read the first four chapters last night and it took about 30-40 minutes, so I need to make sure I intentionally carve out time in my schedule to keep myself from being rushed or getting to bed at 2AM. 

 

Time to go get these things off and get down to business!! And I need to revisit my narrative too - my sister read through all five chapters up to this point and frantically demanded to know what was going to happen with Tobias the "aggressive hobbit", so I'd better go back to his storyline and weave him back in ...  :-)

  • Like 3

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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Went to the gym on a whim today! (Hey, that rhymes!) I didn't have a set plan because I haven't been there in forever, so I kind of just "played" and tried a few different kinds of equipment to see what I liked - in addition to walking, I tried the stair-climbing machine, the high pull and chest press machines, and an elliptical / crosstrainer. The elliptical I tried was too big for me, but I liked the others - I did 30 reps x 10 lbs on the high pull machine and 20 reps x 10 lbs on the chest press machine for a total of 500 lbs. I will definitely be feeling like it tomorrow.  :-)

 

Depending on what I settle on for my 2017 fitness goals (today got busy so I didn't get to think about it much), I want to see about trying to go to the gym a couple of days a week - I'm much more focused and serious at the gym than I am at home. Because I want to get ready to climb that rock wall, I want to focus on my shoulders, upper back, core, and glutes; so I'm thinking the machines and the stair-stepping machine would be perfect. (But thoughts from more experienced Rangers would be appreciated!)

 

Other than that, today was uneventful ... had lunch with my work unit, and it was wonderful to see everyone after a couple of weeks; ran some errands; and tonight I'm helping my brother with one of his complicated-but-delicious seafood dishes.  :-)  As someone who could happily subsist on a dinner of toast every night, my siblings' love of cooking baffles me ...

 

It also feels weird not to have a real challenge going this week. Darn stomach flu. If I can settle myself down to actually making a plan, I'll be back on it next week ...

SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 47

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

 

2021 Books in Progress:

How We Love (82%)  |  Talking Back to Purity Culture (64%)  |  Rhythms of Renewal (60%)  |  Beholding and Becoming (19%)  | What Did You Expect? (36%)  |  A Gentle Answer (0%) 
 

2021 Books Completed:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets  |  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  |  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire   |  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  |  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  |  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  |  Lady Windermere's Fan 

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