2020 Polyglot Fitness Challenge

Ongoing language-learning challenges, and team challenge logs (but not individual logs)
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Re: 2020 Polyglot Fitness Challenge

Postby brilliantyears » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:40 pm

Not strictly vegetarian, but I don't buy meat (and fish) and haven't cooked with meat in the past 8 years. I might sometimes eat it at my friends, family or in a restaurant, but usually no more than one or two meals a month. For me it wasn't a choice based on health but on affordability (especially at first, when I was still a student :lol: ) and sustainability.
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Re: 2020 Polyglot Fitness Challenge

Postby Hanskius » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:44 am

I'm mostly doing light exercise with the goal of improving/maintaining my health, and here's what I'll try to do every day:
3000m of indoor rowing with oxygen (EWOT=Exercise with Oxygen Therapy).
1-2 sets of pushups
15 minutes of hula hooping

I'm hoping to maybe add another daily 15 min EWOT session later, perhaps with a rebounder.


My goal is to get to a conversational level in Spanish and Danish before the Polyglot Gathering 2020. On a good day my Spanish is almost there, but the verbs still give me A LOT of trouble and Danish is nowhere near conversational, but I already understand a good deal of spoken Danish, so I just might have a chance. I'll spend maybe 30 minutes a day listening to podcasts in both of these languages, mostly while doing other things and an Italki lesson every other week. I know this won't be enough, but I'm planning to take lessons much more frequently later in the spring.
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Re: 2020 Polyglot Fitness Challenge

Postby Sparverius » Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:04 am

I want in!


At least 15 minutes of at least an energetic walk every day, ideally like to start stretching regularly as well and do bodyweight routine 3x per week (running too in a perfect world!).


2020 366-Day Challenge-- current base point is at least half an hour in my German<->Mandarin Anki deck every day.
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Re: 2020 Polyglot Fitness Challenge

Postby IronMike » Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:27 pm

I've added our newest members on page 1, but if I've missed anyone, let me know.

Welcome Hanskius and Sparverius.
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Re: 2020 Polyglot Fitness Challenge

Postby Thala » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:20 am

Hey, I want in!

I love keeping fit ad lift weights regularly. My goals this year are to master the one-handed pushup and to learn to swim really well. I lack swimming skills and this isn't fun when everyone is swimming in the sea during summer and I'm just hanging about at the side.

In terms of language goals, I want to achieve at least B1 fluency in Greek and Russian.
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Re: 2020 Polyglot Fitness Challenge

Postby jmar257 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:01 pm

I'm late but I'm in. Most of my goals were establishing good processes and habits but I'll lay some out below.

I've been pretty solid with this so far this year, but generally I've been trying to knock out either an Assimil lesson or do some work on FSI (at least 10-15 mins) in the morning. Or now that I work from home every day, at some point during the day. In addition I've started doing iTalki Spanish lessons and want to keep that going with one every week or two, budget permitting. Another goal is to always have a Spanish book in progress--I read a lot, several books at a time, so making one of those be in Spanish isn't that hard.

My plans were to continue weightlifting and get more consistent with Brazilian jiu jitsu as well as do more Muay Thai and boxing. Well, that's in the toilet now due to coronavirus. So I've been making do at home--bodyweight workouts, running (which I sucked at since I always focused on lifting, so this is now my focus), biking soon, and a couple of homemade implements (slosh pipe a la Dan John and a sandbag wrapped in trash bags, duct taped, and put in a duffel bag). Now it's just trying to do any of the aforementioned 3+ times a week. In addition, since it's tangentially related, I'm working on eating better. Given that I'm at home all the time now, I've been cooking more and throwing veggies in a lot of things I make, in addition I've been pretty regular making smoothies in the morning (this is doubly good, because while I drink it I'll do Assimil/FSI).
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Re: 2020 Polyglot Fitness Challenge

Postby IronMike » Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:11 am

Welcome to the challenge, jmar257!

To all: How has the virus affected your Polyglot Fitness Challenge? I'll start (my original goals here):

Language goal II (Esperanto KER exam) is kaput. The Universala Kongreso (annual international Esperanto conference) has been postponed. I'm guessing it won't happen till summer 2021 now. So the KER exam is also postponed.

Language goal III (BCS DLPT 1/1/1). If you haven't read my log yet: I no longer need to take my Russian DLPT/OPI by August (to keep getting language proficiency pay). Due to COVID-19, our deadline has been pushed a few months, so now looks like I won't have to test till December. I'm set for a twice-weekly 2-hour each day Russian one-on-one with a DLI instructor, over a six-week period to the end of May. Then, after the summer I'll jump back in with another one of these one-on-one DLI classes. That leaves no time for BCS, besides the fact that all DLPTs are pretty much put on hold due to COVID-19 anyway.

Fitness I (200 miles swum): We'll see. I haven't swum since 14 March due to closures, and am at just under 40 miles for the year. Who knows if I'll get to 200. The governor has closed parking at all state parks and beaches. Theoretically I can still swim at my usual beach, I just have to park farther away. I haven't tried that yet because the last person to report water temp there had it under 50F. The best I did last year was 34 minutes in 51F. I'm going to Walden Pond on Sunday, hoping the water will be 51F or higher.

Fitness II (135lbs overhead press): The gym closed third week of March. I last lifted 18 March. We have some kettlebells and dumbbells at home, but not sure that's going to help me get to 135lbs. I did an overhead press of 115lbs in early March. We'll see if I can hit 135lbs by end of December. IF the gyms ever open again.
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Re: 2020 Polyglot Fitness Challenge

Postby Cainntear » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:11 am

I've finally got my bicycle rollers out of the loft. What are rollers, I here you ask? Literally, you're cycling on a set of spinning cylinders instead of a road. Because you're not going anywhere, you have no wind or momentum to keep you upright. Excellent core work.

I also have an Oculus Quest VR headset, and I'm spending a lot of time playing Beat Saber, Box VR, Oh Shape and a table tennis game, so I'm very active.
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Re: 2020 Polyglot Fitness Challenge

Postby Aloyse » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:44 pm

F1. get rid of 4kg
Quarantine has had a mostly positive impact, because I now prepare my own meals and try to make my groceries last longer. No scarfing down packs of biscuits. Chocolate is harder to resist.

F2. daily moderate exercise
Also somewhat positive impact, I try to exercise 15-20 minutes in the morning and also use a step to climb the equivalent of 1-2 storeys several times during the day. (but on the other hand, I'm not walking at all, and I'm suffering from eyestrain because I spend almost all my waking moments in front of a screen.)

L1. Read 1 book in Spanish:
No impact. I did borrow several books from the library just before the start of the quarantine but haven't started reading any of them.

L2. Read 1 book in Arabic:
No impact. Still reviewing an old textbook. Same as above wrt library books.

L3. Read 1 book in Chinese:
No impact (haven't started any). I have bunches of short books, should be able to read at least one of them ?

L4. Adapt my (mostly passive) routines to encompass all 7 of my main target languages instead of only 4 today:
No impact. I did add 1 language (Arabic). 2 more to fit into my routines. Not unexpectedly, those are the ones with the least resources.

Combine fitness and languages:
No impact, no progress.
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Re: 2020 Polyglot Fitness Challenge

Postby coldrainwater » Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:47 am

IronMike wrote:To all: How has the virus affected your Polyglot Fitness Challenge?

I have to preface this by saying that I wish I cared as much about the rest of my preparation as I do about my workouts. For example, to maintain my normal cardio, I have in place roughly a four-pronged defence. The steps are designed to keep me training stairs. All factors considered, stairs training is the most effective cardio I have ever done, so I make plans not to lose it. So far only the first layer has been compromised.

1) Two small gyms walking distance away. Both are closed indefinitely.
2) Stairs in the office complex. Intact. I get daily high-quality cardio without interruption. Weighted pack and multiple sets of 10 flights of stairs each day. Little to no human contact and I read the entire time.
3) Outdoor running. Still permitted in Houston provided social distancing.
4) A single flight of stairs in front of my actual apartment door. Last line and still intact.

If we get a complete quarantine, I would likely substitute burpees for stairs and add something more moderate to fill the balance in time. I modified my initial challenge slightly and do have some success to report. Namely, I had committed to doing pushups which isn't really that important to me...so I formalized something different and better.

What I have accomplished is that I can now read in motion. I have made the necessary adjustments to be able to read while jogging outdoors in the absence of treadmill access and can do so while climbing stairs or walking. I find that adding weight and working against gravity has been very helpful for me since physically slowing down makes it easier to read due to better concentration. Weight and gravity force a minimum bound so lazy isn't possible.

I am too greedy to accept 'just listening' while I workout and want to be able to improve on three if not all four major language areas eventually. That is where I see my personal challenge going in the long run. There is a difference between a stroll and a workout and I am interested in the latter. I have also modified my running routes. The first hurdle was making sure I did not get hit by a car or other marauding objects looking to take advantage of a poor language runner. The easiest way to avoid this has been to choose straight-aways at low-traffic hours and to hug curbs without curves to lower the risk and simplify the task. No trail running for me at the moment.

I also adjusted my use of Anki to allow me to read actual books in it using a parallel text. That was implemented mainly since my German is far too weak still to read normal novels without just the right kind of help. I doubt I would have invested in that exact technique had it not been for this challenge and the desire to push an initiative to read in motion. Quantitatively, I suspect I have read about 4k pages in German and 3k in Spanish, much of which has been in and around work-at-home.

I am prepared to report much worse and to deal with much worse when the major wave of the virus hits my city. Stay safe and healthy everyone!
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