Day 293 – New Target

June 22nd, 2017 – It’s two days before the Spartan Race, which mean it is time for some Tapering! I started to lighten my workout these past few days in favor of some leisure sports, such as… Archery!

I stopped by Bwana Archery to pick up a target board for $5 then played a game of 300 rounds with my fiancee.

August POTM – Summer Days

This month’s Photo Of The Month(POTM) goes to the day that ended the better part of the year. Throughout the summer I ended up accomplishing a lot of different goals on my challenge list. In the 3 short months I was away from school I ended up vastly improving myself both mentally and physically.

Because of this I felt that my very last day of summer was overwhelming. I spent a lot of that day continuing to work, much of it was wrapping the summer up to prepare for the Fall semester. However the one thing I spent the most doing was reflecting back at everything I’ve done. Many of these accomplishments included:

This is why I am making my August POTM: Day 111 – Last Summer Day

It’s been quite the months for improvement and I plan to keep it up for an even more productive fall.

July POTM – Becoming A Spartan

It was difficult to pick a Photo of the Month for July. July has been filled with a lot of challenging obstacles that I had to spend long periods of time overcoming. Along with the blood, bruises, fatigue, and illnesses, I ended up knocking off a number of challenges off my Challenge List.

Looking back through days 60-90 I found one particular day that was not only one of the most difficult challenges for the year, but also was a stepping stone for how I trained for 2016.

This photo of the month goes to Day 66- Spartan Race and Holiday. The Spartan Race was huge influence on me, causing me to push myself to new heights and learning new skills.

To train for this day I included more endurance workouts throughout the year, such as running, swimming, burpees, and pull-ups. In addition to this I also spent some time prior to my race learning how to craft a spear and how to throw it.

This race ended up becoming a valuable learning experience on how I should handle my OCRs. I ended up making a lot of choices that led me down to the path of success as well as mistakes that helped me grow. It not only gave me a better idea on how to run future races, but also valuable insight on how I train in general.

This is why I am dubbing my Spartan Race as the Photo of the Month.

For more on my experiences on my Spartan Race check out my post:

Lessons Learned After Becoming a Spartan

June POTM -Increasing Productivity

This June has been filled with a lot of memorable experiences. Over the month I had the pleasure of jogging through many of Minnesota’s trails, viewed a diversity of cultures at Blaine’s World Festival, hosted a family picnic, crafted a spear, ran my first Spartan race, and have done many more to vastly improve myself over the course of 30 days.

However, none of this would have been possible if I didn’t spend one day doing something that drastically changed how I’ve lived each day. This is why my photo of the month goes to my Day 45 entry- Restarting A To Do List.

When I sat down to really take a look back at what I’ve done and how I’ve been doing it it ended up giving me a whole new perspective that made me vastly less stress, better at task management, and getting a lot more accomplish. I won’t be going into to detail on how I revised my list as I covered in detail over at my Challenge List Blog:

Don’t Be Busy, Be Productive

How To Do The Most In A Day

 

May POTM – Adventures in Caving

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Cave People of Spring Valley Cave

This month I had the pleasure of joining the Minnesota Caving Club for my first caving experience. I’ve been interested in going caving since watching the film The Descent, right before all the cave-ins and death. It not only looked like a fun, new challenge, but would also be a different kind of hiking adventure.

Being a complete newbie to Caving, I was not sure what I’d need. I shot an e-mail to the club president who told me all I need to do is to dress in clothes I don’t mind getting dirty. Just to be safe, my girlfriend and I went on a trip to gather some helmets, gloves, headlights, and boots for our caving endeavor.

The club met pretty far south in Minnesota early in the morning. Since we were a good distance away from their meeting location we got up before dusk. Not being familiar with the southern part of Minnesota, we got a bit lost once or twice in the vast farmland that stretched for miles. We met up with John “The Cave-man”, president of the club. John guided us down a 2-hour trip towards Rochester where we traveled to a privately owned cave.We learned that we were traveling to several caves that day, all of which were owned by John. I2cPe6CThe club itself consisted of a number of outgoing experienced cavers all very friendly to talk to. We also found that most of the equipment we did buy was completely useless for the cave, but the club had more than enough gear to spare. We spent little time above ground before going on our under ground tour down the cave.

Now, when I thought of caving, I had a different sort of idea of what I’ll be getting into. My only experience in caving was being guided through a Tourist Attraction of a cold environment that was extremely well lit. This caving experience was a whole another level than that tourist attraction. Shortly after getting into the cave we found ourselves in a cool damp area that was a complete blackout only lit by out head lights. The pathway was not the familiar flat terrain, but a rocky area where each step had to be taken with precision and caution.
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During our tour, our guides, Anna and Trish, talked to us about certain caving techniques and information about how the cave’s structure formed.We got to some of the more unique area of the cave shortly into the tour. I was grateful to have skipped out on the fatty foods all this time, because we ended up spending a good chunk of time crawling on our stomachs through thin crevices to reach hidden rooms. Some of these crevices definitely had to involve some shimming, flexibility, and a good chunk of upper body strength. Especially when some of the holes we crawled through lifted our legs completely off the ground.

 

 

Since it was Spring a few of the cave pathways were not taken because of flooding. However, this only opened up the opportunity to explore other structures that required a TGuLvtgdifferent kind of traversing to get through. The second half of our caving adventure was on the higher ground. This was definitely the time to learn if you’re afraid of heights since much of the exploration involved shoving ourselves in between cave walls 20 feet above the ground and carefully stepping our feet to find the ladder mounted between the rocks.

The entire adventure did not feel extremely physical, but the four of us, all young and fit, were sweaty and out of breath by the time we finished. After we settled for lunch we took above ground to explore the creek and smaller caves around the area. Unfortunately for us, my girlfriend and I had to cut it short due to a family emergency. Although, both of us agree that the entire experience was definitely a memorable one, making it my top pick for the May 2016’s Photo of the Month.

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