Fitness Projects

In addition to my Boxing Cardio Challenge, I’ve also started working on another fitness challenge, this one with friends.  We’ve teamed up with two other couples to work on our own ‘biggest loser’ type challenge, using a Wii Fit to measure our progress.  L and I are the only ones without a Wii, so this is also a nice excuse to get together with our friends and play some Wii a couple times a month.  We are trying to meet two Sundays each month to do active things.  And, we’ve each set our goals on the Wii Fit too (and our friends even made little Mii versions of us all – so cute!).  According to the Wii Fit I need to lose 8 pounds.  That doesn’t sound like a lot, but the last few pounds are always a bit difficult.

We’ve had our initial weigh in, but haven’t had a chance to meet up for any Sunday activities yet.  Some of the stuff we are thinking about doing . . . snowshoeing, a core yoga class, indoor rock climbing, and it’s even been suggested that we sign up for the Dragon boat festival (though we’ll need more than 6 people for that).

My boxing cardio challenge is going fairly well.  I just added my 4th round of skipping into my routine.  I’d like to be doing it a little more frequently than I currently am, but still struggle to get up early enough.  I’ve also started adding in some strength training and yoga to my exercise during the week. 

I finally managed to re-tape my skipping rope and am planning to post a tutorial about it.  I don’t think there are nearly enough skipping related blog posts available on the web, so I’m taking it upon myself to fix that.  I like the new tape job I did except the electrical tape does get gummed up with the friction of the turning rope.  I’m considering a few different options to try out.  By my third round I could feel the drag the sticky tape was putting on the rope turns, so if I’m going to work up to 12, I’d like to get the rope moving as smoothly as possible.

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NYC – visual goal sheet

I decided that this year I would set up some visual reminders of my major goals.  Something portable that I could take with me so that I can pull it out if I want a moment to focus or to remind myself of what’s important.  The trip to New York is coming up really fast so I figured I’d better get cracking. 

NYC goal sheet

Each one is pretty small.  It folds up into a small(ish) square that I should be able to put in my wallet.  (That way, when I open it to grab my visa for something, I might think twice and realize what’s REALLY important to me this year.)  Once I’m done, the visual goal sheets will also be a nice reminder of what I’ve accomplished in 2009. 

I’m always at a bit of a loss when it comes to collage images since we aren’t in the habit of buying magazines at all.  The above images were from two magazines that were purchased a year apart.  Aside from work magazines we don’t get much else.  I’m wondering how I might find some more images for free (or very cheap).  Any ideas are welcome in the comments!

How do you keep focused on your goals?  Do you use visual inspiration/motivation for achieving the things you want?

Big Rock Goal #5 – Driver’s License Update

Ok, I went online to book the road test and realized a slight glitch in my plan.  They only allow you to book your test a maximum of 100 days in advance.  I guess it’s to prevent everyone from booking in the summertime just to avoid the rainy and snowy months.

So, I’ve updated my plan and set up a recurring reminder notice to myself to book the road test.  I’ll keep checking for appointments and book one for the summertime (I may not necessarily wait until August anymore) as soon as I can.

Smaller Resolutions

Along with my really big goals this year, I also have a bunch of smaller resolutions that I’m working on.  They are few and simple, but bring me closer to finding the right balance of relaxation and self-acceptance with my perfection obsessed nature.

Small Resolution #1

Let my shoulders take a vacation from my ears once in a while. 

 

 

I tend to be one of those people who carry all their stress and tension in my shoulders, neck, and jaw.  I’m trying to be more conscious of relaxing these areas and perhaps improving my posture as a nice side effect.

Small Resolution #2

Keep my fingernails cut short.

In order to have the active lifestyle I want, long nails just don’t work.  I usually end up annoying or hurting myself when I let them grow too long.

Small Resolution #3

Accept the fact that I don’t like green tea, even if it is good for me.

 

 

 

Ok, so I do like some kinds of green tea, but most of the time, I’d rather have Earl Grey or a nice herbal tea.  I’ve even developed a taste for some Breakfast Tea (though it really does need to be just at breakfast time).  I’ve grown to appreciate many of the other foods that are good for me that I never ate as a child (broccoli, asparagus, almonds, mushrooms).  The time for green tea is not right now, but I won’t rule it out for the future.

I also want to include one of L’s smaller resolutions for the year:

Stop being equal all the time.

To put this in a bit of context, his instinct is to always be fair between us when it comes to food portions.  The problem being that he is always trying to bulk up with more muscle mass while I’m trying to watch my overall calorie intake.  Plus, I always feel obliged to clean my plate.  So, this year he is finally acknowledging that giving us equal portions isn’t really fair and he’s trying to reflect our individual needs a bit better.  Except when it comes to wine and martinis, then he still pours quite equally 🙂

Photo credits:

In Soft Light’ by lepiaf.geo (back on Jan 15)

Morning Green Tea’ by Kanko*

2009 Big Rock Goal #5 – My Driver’s License

This is the last in a series of 5 posts describing my Big Rock Goals (major milestones) for 2009.  Every year I try to set up some reasonable specific goals that I can devote my time and energy to.  Every year when I finish them, I feel proud and happy that I’ve really managed to accomplish something special.  Here is what I’m going to be working towards this year . . .

Read about my Big Rock Goal #1 – Boxing Cardio Challenge
Read about my Big Rock Goal #2 – New York City
Read about my Big Rock Goal #3 – German Lessons
Read about my Big Rock Goal #4 – NaNoWriMo 2009

Ok, stop laughing and let me briefly explain and give you some background.

My Driving History

In BC, we have a graduated licensing system.  There is a written test for your Learner’s license with a mandatory 1 year waiting period before your first road test.  Road test #1 (half hour) gets you a Novice license, which is a bit less restrictive than a Learner’s.  It has a mandatory 2 year waiting period before your second road test, which can be reduced by 6 months if you take lessons from an approved driving school.  Passing road test #2 (one hour) will get you your full license.

This licensing system came into effect around the time I was eligible to get my license (though there have been a few revisions between then and now, it’s essentially as I’ve explained it above).  My parents didn’t really want my sister and myself getting our license too early though, and you needed a parents signature if you were under age, so I didn’t get it right away, meaning I missed the boat on the non-graduated program.

My sister didn’t/doesn’t want a license at all.  My parents spent about $700 on sending her to a driving school when she was 18 and I was 16.  She didn’t pass her driving test and that’s been the end of her driving journey.

When I turned 18, my parents gave me $700 and let me know I could use it as I wanted to.  Since I was faced with paying my way through college, I decided to use it for things like tuition and books instead of driving lessons.  My mom drove a standard car and saying that she is not a relaxed passenger is putting it mildly.  We tried a few times, it wasn’t going to work.  I tried a few times with my dad, but didn’t see him often enough to really get any lessons going.  Then a few years later he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and couldn’t drive anymore anyway.

So, I got a learner’s license when I was 19 (I think) and then took forever until I went for my first road test in 2004.  I passed (the second time around) and have had my Novice license ever since.

Here’s what’s been stopping me from going ahead and arranging for my full license . . .

  1. I don’t like driving. So I don’t do it much.  My husband and I share a car and I work on a bus route and can frequently carpool.
  2. It’s expensive. The test itself is $50.  If you fail and have to take it again, it’s another $50.  If you pass and get your full license, it costs $75 for your license.  So it’s a minimum expense of $125, if I pass the first time around.
  3. It’s booked well in advance.  Like, a few months ahead usually.  This will give me time to mentally prepare and get practice in, but it also means if I fail the first time I try and have to rebook, it might be months to wait, or taking a day off work to get in a last minute cancellation.  Oh, and if I cancel, they charge $25.
  4. I think I’ll probably fail (at least the first test). Many of the people I know in real life will either assume I’ll do fine, which will put pressure on me to live up to their expectations.  Or, there are a few who will just take it as confirmation that women can’t drive and will basically laugh at me, which will infuriate me.
  5. My license restrictions don’t really restrict me. The restrictions are that you have to have an ‘N’ sign displayed, zero tolerance for alcohol, and can’t have more than 1 non-family passenger under the age of 25.  I’m the youngest of my friends and even when I got my ‘N’ license, most of them were already over 25.  Plus, you can continually renew your Novice license indefinitely.  There’s no requirement to get your full license.  Ever.

Now here’s the list of reasons why I want to get this goal out of the way this year . . .

  1. It’ll be out of the way.  I won’t have to think about it.  It won’t be looming in front of me anymore!
  2. I won’t have to display my ‘N’ sign.  We put ours in the back window and the changes of temperature make the magnetic sign grow brittle over the years, eventually causing it to start breaking apart.  They are free to replace, but the last time I had to replace it I had to spend 20 minutes in line.  And, if I forget and drive without it properly displayed, I can be ticketed.  Plus, then I can borrow a car, or drive a friend home, without worrying about switching the ‘N’ sign from our car to the other one.
  3. I have to pay $75 this year anyway.  The ‘N’ license is valid for 5 years just like a normal license and this year it’s set to renew in September on my birthday.  It costs $75 to renew a normal license and a Novice license.  Since I’m going to have to pay that part of the fee this year anyway, I may as well throw another $50 (or $100) on top and get the full license.
  4. I’ll get to drop the stigma.  There are many who look down their noses at novice drivers.  I will notice cars purposefully steering clear of me because they think I’m a more dangerous driver.  People also discuss it as though it’s some sort of major flaw to not have gone through a second road test already.

So, in January sometime, I’m going to look at the calendar and book my road test for early August (I’ll report back with the date).  I’ll have the advantage of having a date to work towards.  Plus, in summer the roads are clear of snow and usually clear of rain.  Early August will be good because if I do fail, I’ll have a month to try to re-test before the license renews.  I’m going to try to do everything that I can to mentally prepare.  Plus, in summer my husband often rides his bike to work, which means I’ll have more opportunities to practice my driving skills.

In a sense this is my smallest goal.  It is the least unique item on my list.  And yet, in another sense, it is the one that I am most likely to fail at.  It is the one with the biggest obstacles and one that I have relatively little control over.  I might spend hours practicing and still fail.  I’m announcing it publicly because it’s also the one I’m most likely to back out of, and this will hold me accountable.

Do you have any goals like that?  Ones that are small and huge all at the same time?

2009 Big Rock Goal #4 – NaNoWriMo 2009

This is the fourth in a series of 5 posts describing my Big Rock Goals (major milestones) for 2009.  Every year I try to set up some reasonable specific goals that I can devote my time and energy to.  Every year when I finish them, I feel proud and happy that I’ve really managed to accomplish something special.  Here is what I’m going to be working towards this year . . .

Read about my Big Rock Goal #1 – Boxing Cardio Challenge
Read about my Big Rock Goal #2 – New York City
Read about my Big Rock Goal #3 – German Lessons

I first did NaNoWriMo in 2007.  It was a moderate success.  I finished 50,000 words of a story that had been kicking around in my head for almost 7 years.  I made one new friend.  I realized that I had only thought out 1/10th of my story idea.  And, I ended up wanting to rewrite the whole story (it still sits untouched as a draft).

nano_08_winner_viking_120x238NaNoWriMo 2008 was a bigger success.  I finished 50,000 of a completely different story.  One that I had only been planning out and working on for a few months.  I made a lot of new friends.  I was asked to help organize NaNoWriMo for 2009.  I cemented the idea that I was a plotter.  I realized that I had only thought out about 3/10th’s of my story idea.  And, I’m working on completing it.

I’m hoping for even more for NaNoWriMo 2009!

Here’s what has lead to my increasing success over the 2 years that I’ve participated . . .

Get Involved!

There are forums at the NaNoWriMo site.  This year I also had the awesome community of writers on the Wiffer forums.  There are local events too.  I’ll definitely be participating even more in 2009 since I’ll be responsible for organizing in addition to just attending (I’ve already got a long list of ideas that’ll keep me working on it all year).  Also, get involved in telling everyone else in your life!  Making it clear that this is important and it’s going to eat an entire month (if not more) of your life.  That way they are prepared for you to get involved in something else for a while, and will hopefully help any way that they can.

Learn From your Mistakes

My first year, I knew I would get to my word total.  I’m just too stubborn to let myself fall on my face if I’ve publicly announced something like that.  But, I really had no idea where my story was going or any idea about the craft of writing (it hadn’t really occurred to me to read about the process of writing).  I made the assumption that because I’d had that story idea for a long time, it must be fully fleshed out and ready to go.  Wow, was I an idiot.  I think after day 2 I realized I was out of plot and I had to wing it from there.

My second year, I decided to try plotting the story out.  I knew I’d finish the 50,000 words because I had the year before and this year I was going in with a plan.  My mistake was underestimating the amount of time it takes to plan and basically running out of time before NaNo began.  But, the writing just flowed when I knew the key elements of each scene.  I also tend to forget some of the things that I struggle.  I end up spending a lot of time thinking when I could be writing, had I planned a bit in advance.  Character and place names in particular.  I also forget how many minor character and place names you actually need, especially when you are constructing your world from scratch.

At this stage in the game, I’m still just aiming to develop my writing skills and get closer to actually finishing a manuscript.  Then there will be the editing and revision skills.  Eventually, I’m sure you’ll see a goal pop up about submitting and getting published 😉

A lot of my goals tend to have slightly recurring themes: fitness, language, travel, writing . . .  Do you find you stick to certain themes when you plan out your goals?

My last post in the series will be about the goal that is relatively small and yet huge at the same time.

2009 Big Rock Goal #3 – German Lessons

This is the third in a series of 5 posts describing my Big Rock Goals (major milestones) for 2009.  Every year I try to set up some reasonable specific goals that I can devote my time and energy to.  Every year when I finish them, I feel proud and happy that I’ve really managed to accomplish something special.  Here is what I’m going to be working towards this year . . .

Read about my Big Rock Goal #1 – Boxing Cardio Challenge
Read about my Big Rock Goal #2 – New York City

German School Report Card.jpg

The study of languages is something that has interested both my husband and myself for quite a while.  Last year we went through a series of 90 Japanese audio lessons designed to make us functional in Japanese because we were planning on traveling to Japan.  One of the other places we’d like to go visit is Germany, in part because my family is from Germany and I have a lot of relatives living over there.

So, this year, we decided to follow a similar 90 lesson progression in German so that we can at least speak a bit of German.  I’d also like to be able to read and write German so that I can communicate with my relatives a bit more easily.  I recently emailed a cousin of mine in response to a Christmas email I received from him.  Corresponding in English was a bit awkward because I know it isn’t his first language and I kept wondering if he would be able to understand what I was saying.  Knowing a bit of German would sure help in that regard.

We’ve already gone through a few of our lessons and I’m picking it up a bit more easily than L is.  Probably because I’ve grown up hearing bits of German and took a year of German lessons when I was 5 7 ( I just pulled out my old report card, I didn’t realize I was that old when I went to German school!).

Next in the series, I’ll tell you about my main creative/career goal.

2009 Big Rock Goal #2 New York City

This is the second in a series of 5 posts describing my Big Rock Goals (major milestones) for 2009.  Every year I try to set up some reasonable specific goals that I can devote my time and energy to.  Every year when I finish them, I feel proud and happy that I’ve really managed to accomplish something special.  Here is what I’m going to be working towards this year . . .

Read about my Big Rock Goal #1 – Boxing Cardio Challenge

Ok, first things first, an apology.  In my last post I had thought I’d get a chance to post this one the next day, so I said it would be coming on January 2nd.  Well, obviously this didn’t happen.  I’ll try not to make promises I can’t keep this year either.

For my second goal, I really wanted to do something travel related again.  My husband and I really have a long list of adventures we’d like to get done with.  But that wasn’t the only thing motivating this trip.  My sister was another big motivator for me.  First, let me tell you a bit about her . . .

My sister is a wonderful, hard working person.  She is also a homebody who does not like change.  She laments the fact that she never gets a chance for a vacation and yet she never sets aside money for one or looks in the costs and arrangements for making one.  The last time she went on an airplane was 12 years ago when my mom took us girls to Disneyland and California for a couple of weeks.  I don’t think she’s ever been the major planning force in any vacation, even the car rides down to visit relatives.  She doesn’t have a driver’s license and, until recently, didn’t have her passport.

Needless to say, I love my sister.  But I get very frustrated at her lamentations when she does nothing to change her situation.  She is bright and intelligent and, if she really wanted to, she could save the money for vacations and go places.  But, she needed a gentle push in the right direction.  My hints about setting aside money every month for vacationing went unheard, so when we both came into some money due to my father’s life insurance payout, I thought that this would finally be her chance.  No excuses about money, she was going to take a vacation.

We’d always talked about going to New York, so one afternoon when she was complaining about her lack of vacations I said, “Ok, we’re planning that trip to New York that we’ve always talked about.”  So, that’s how it came to be.  I’m excited for myself, but also really excited for her, since I’m hoping that travel will be a transformative experience for her, like it is for so many others.

So, here’s our plan so far . . .

Dates: March 15-22 (yes, we’ll be there for St. Patrick’s Day . . . already looking forward to the festivities!)

Hotel: Affinia 50 – I was pleasantly surprised at the room rate and at the fact that the room has 2 queen size beds!  With all the sleep troubles I’ve been having lately, the last thing I wanted was to share a bed and run the risk of making us both grumpy while we’re there.

Flight: Air Canada, despite all the bad reviews, I’ve only had good experiences flying with them.  But, I’m weird because I love flying in general.  Even the long waits at gates in uncomfortable seats (though, I’m thinking about splurging on the lounge this time, whadya think?  Worth it?)

The List of Stuff to Do:

I’m considering:

  • The Guggenheim – mostly just for the architecture of the building as I’m a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright

Those are just the specific ones, but I’m also probably going to suggest we have a spa day (towards the end so we can relax from all that sight seeing) and I know my sister wants to do a bunch of shopping.  She also wants to eat out at least once in a nice restaurant and I want to eat a pretzel from a stand.  I’m also probably going to indulge in a corn dog because my husband won’t be with me to veto the meal idea.

I think we’ll also be getting together with one of my step-mother’s friends who lives in New York.  It’ll be kind of fun to spend some time with a local!

If you are planning some travel this year, or any year, here are some things that might interest you and help with the planning process . . .

  • Tripadvisor – Gives you hotel and sightseeing reviews.  Plus, people upload real photos of hotels and such so you get a better sense of what they look like.  They also recommend the hotels for different things.  Pus, they have forums that you can check out for specific questions and recommendations.  It also checks rates and things, but we just used Expedia to book the flight and hotel.
  • GoPlanIt – Need ideas on what to do?  Just enter your dates and the city and this site will populate an itinerary for you.  I like it since I can move events around on days and then check the map to make sure I’m planning things in the same general city area and not making us walk/cab all over wasting time.
  • Travel Guides – They can be expensive but worth it for the tips and recommendations.  I particularly like Fodor’s but there are lots of others to choose from.  If you are on a budget you can sometimes get them from your local library too.
  • Tips on packing light – We went to Japan and managed just fine with a carry on bag each.  (Of course, the purchase of sake and numerous souvenirs required we buy a small suitcase to check, but until our last couple of days there, we were travelling ultra-light and it was great!)
  • Great luggage – I’m planning on getting another piece of Red Oxx luggage for New York – some type of back pack.  I was so impressed by the Air Boss bags that we bought for Japan that I’d easily recommend their products because they are so well made.

Have you been to New York before?  Any suggestions on some things to see and do while we are there?  Want to weigh in on which back pack option looks best?  Please let me know in the comments!

Next in this series, I’ll tell you about my language goal for the year.

2009 Big Rock Goal #1 Boxing Cardio Challenge

This is the first in a series of 5 posts describing my Big Rock Goals (major milestones) for 2009.  Every year I try to set up some reasonable specific goals that I can devote my time and energy to.  Every year when I finish them, I feel proud and happy that I’ve really managed to accomplish something special.  Here is what I’m going to be working towards this year . . .

My first challenge is a health related one.  I feel that when I’m healthy and exercising, it makes all the other challenges so much easier.  That being said, I really need to have some specific goals to work towards as ‘exercise more’ or ‘eat healthy’ just doesn’t light my motivational fire. 

Last year, I challenged myself to work up to being able to do 50 push ups (please note that even though I’m a girl, I did actual full push ups).  I wasn’t able to do them all in one set, but it was still something I felt very proud of, especially since I hated push ups before that.

When I went searching for this year’s challenge I tried to reflect on what I liked about last year’s challenge and what made it so successful. 

No equipment necessary.  One of the biggest factors was that I could do it anywhere, anytime.  I even did them one day on a rooftop in Japan when I realized I had forgotten to do them in our hotel that morning.  I didn’t need special equipment and I didn’t even need a particular space because any floor would do.  I literally would roll out of bed and start doing push ups.

A small commitment.  The other nice thing about last year’s challenge was that it was just part of a workout and not an entire plan that I had to follow.  Which meant that if I wanted to try out another workout, I could.  I just slipped my push ups into my warm up and then did whatever else I wanted.  It was good because it allowed me to still have variety and not feel locked into a specific program.

Simple to master.  Let’s face it . . . most of us know the theory behind a proper push up.  It isn’t something where you have to worry about your particular posture or technique to know whether or not you’re doing it ok.

This year, I decided to focus on cardio and endurance.  My goal this year will be to skip the equivalent of a professional boxing title match.  I’ll be working my way up to skipping for 12 consecutive 3 minute rounds (each round will have a 1 minute break in between, which will be used for a variety of floor exercises: push ups, sit ups, squats, etc.).  I can already do 3 rounds fairly well and I’ll be aiming to add another round every 5 weeks of training, which will have this challenge wrapped up in November if everything goes on schedule (if it doesn’t, I’ll have a bit of a buffer so that I can still get it done this year).

Unfortunately, anything that involves cardio will require a bit more equipment as I’ll at least need to have decent runners, and I’ll also need a skipping rope.  There are also a few more restraints as to where I can do this activity as I’ll need a bit more floor space and ceiling clearance to swing the rope.  I also need to be working on an appropriate surface as neither carpet nor concrete work well for skipping.

I do have runners that I can use, but they are in need of a replacement pair, which I plan to get as soon as I can afford to in January.  I also already have a skipping rope that I’ll be using.  I anticipate that I’ll go through three pairs of runners and probably one or two speed ropes as well.  I’m also thinking about saving up for a boxing timer like this one so I can pay more attention to my skipping instead of watching the clock.

While there are more requirements as to equipment, I won’t be holding myself to a daily schedule for the skipping.  I’ll probably try for at least 3 sessions per week.  At the end of the challenge, I’ll be spending 36 minutes skipping and the total skipping workout will be about 3/4 of an hour by itself.  So, I will have to be a bit more conscious about setting aside workout time, but I think that’s generally a good thing.

Here are some of the things that inspired my skipping challenge decision:

How do you plan on incorporating fitness into 2009?  Do you make New Year’s resolutions too? 

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you all about my travel goal for the year.

Life List Categories

Very early on in my life list revision process, I realized that the categories I had chosen before were mostly boring.  I had the very awesome “Zombie Survival Skills” list, which I love.  But everything else lacked zip and panache!  I mean, my opener category was “Work Skills.”  Who wants to end their time on earth having “Work Skills” at the top of their life list of achievements?  I sure don’t. 

Coming up with new categories was almost as difficult as revising the list was in general, but I finally had a moment of revelation today while at work (ironic, I know) and the last one clicked into place.  I thought that posting about each item on the list would be a bit lengthy, but posting about the categories might give you some insight into the list while remaining brief (I hope).  So, here they are in alphabetical order (because that’s as arbitrary as anything else would be).  The list itself should be posted in another few days.

  1. Adventuring Wench

  I wanted something that would sum up my general desires for travel along with a few of some of the off-beat experiences I’d like to try out.  As I searched through the internet looking for inspiration, I came across a women’s travel site called The Adventurous Wench and though the description and spirit hit dead on.  L does occasionally call me a wench as a kind of inside joke.  Plus, one of our favourite anime series is about a group of adventuring pirates.  It seemed to embody more than just a desire to travel to other places, but also to get the most out of the journey on the way. 

 

2.    Awesome Evil Genius

  I think that The Brain was probably the first mad scientist that swept my imagination away.  From the villains of James Bond to Dr. Horrible and his sing along blog, there is something irresistibly fun about a brilliant person, who inevitably plots to take over the world.  I first used the term Awesome Evil Genius to describe myself recently when things went just as I had been (silently) planning.  It’s a trait that I’ve had since I was a kid in elementary school, I just let my innocent demeanor cover it up 😉

3.    Pinups & Pearls

There are a lot of things on my list that really strike me as womanly things.  There are some that are housekeeping items and others that celebrate the more sensual side of being a woman.  The images that kept being conjured for me were the vintage pinup photos like this one, where the proper 50’s housewife is caught off guard by something which reveals her sexy parts underneath.

 

 

 

4. Zombie Survival Skills

The zombie survival skill list was the one that occurred to me first.  There are some items on my list that are fairly disparate, but seem to have a survival theme to them.  When I was looking at the list and discussing some of them with my husband, the geek side of me thought ‘these would all come in handy when zombie’s attack’ and I was so entertained by the idea that I decided to run with it.  Hey, I’d rather be safe than sorry!

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