13 Skills Challenge – May Report

13 Skills Challenge – May Report

The last few months have been more than a little hectic for me. Work is just starting to come back to normal and home life is calming down a bit as well – any time I had away from work was spent doing stuff with the family and keeping up with tasks around the house. Needless to say, I’ve lost some traction on my 13 Skills Challenge plan. Now that I have a little bit of time, let’s see where I’m at and figure out a way to regroup my efforts to make 2013 one of my best years yet.

Skill #1 – Physical Fitness

Weight and Diet

By my calculations, if I want to lose 30-lbs by June 1st, I need to average about 6-lbs per month. Let’s see how I did:


Month Weight (lbs) Overall
Difference (lbs)
January 263.4
February 259.4 -4.4
March 266.6 +3.2
April 265.6 +2.2


Being a 80% (4 months into a 5 month period) and seeing a 2.2lbs gain in weight is not where I need to be. In order to meet my goal, I would need to drop 32.2lbs in the month of May. I obviously will not be able to accomplish that task. That being said, the revised goal has been to get to 250lbs by June 1st and be down to 235lbs by the end of August.

Workout Goals

Much like my Weight and Diet Goals, my Workout Goals have not been met over the last few months. That being said, I am not even going to document them. April started out great, but fizzled out for a variety of reasons. Bottom line is that I did not prioritize my health and fitness above other commitments.

In an effort to reset my physical fitness, I’ve joined the Health & Fitness Collaborators Facebook Group. That group has a 10-week challenge starting today (1-May) which runs for 10 weeks. The goal is to get up to (and over 100 points) by staying active. You get 1 point for the following activities:

  • Running 1 mile
  • Biking 4 miles
  • Walking 1.5 miles
  • Rowing 500m
  • Swimming 6 minutes
  • Every 110 calories you burn on misc. activities

The goal of the challenge is to get out and get healthy. I’ll be participating in the challenge and plan on making it to 100 points. That, in addition to a cleaner diet, should help me achieve my goals.

Enough about Physical Fitness, let’s move on to some of my other skills…

Skill #2 – Blade Sharpening

At this point, I was supposed to have done the following:

  1. Purchase a quality whetstone (Jan 31)
  2. Rewatch Syperdco Instructional DVD (Jan 31)
  3. Find/consume whetstone sharpening instruction (Jan 31)

As I reported earlier, I have already accomplished Item 2. Items 1 and 3 still need to be accomplished, however I’m doubting their necessity as the Spyderco Sharpmaker provides me with an excellent edge on all my cutting equipment. I suppose learning about different sharpening techniques is important, but I’m doubtful that I will need them as long as I have my Sharpmaker kit. This action is going to go on the Nice Have List for now. I may explore it later in the year, but I’m going to consider this task complete.

Skill #3 – First Aid

The goal was to sign-up for a CPR class by February 15th and sign-up for a First Aid class by February 28th. These are still on the To Do List and I’m exploring opportunities to hold these classes at my work.

Skill #4 – Food Storage

The goal was to research food storage requirements by February 15th. As mentioned previously, I signed up for an online Home Food Preservation Class at this website. Unfortunately, I have not had the time to explore this class. I’ll be taking a look at it over the month of May and should have a plan to start building food reserves by the end of the month.

Skill #5 – Canning

The goal was to research canning methods by February 15th. I have watched a few videos on this process consider my introduction complete. The Home Food Preservation Class (mentioned above) should help conclude this education. The next step is start looking for canning equipment. Fortunately, it’s starting to be yard sale season around here.

Skill #6 – Brewing Beer

I’ve decided to drop this goal from my list this year. Sometimes you have to know when to say when and home brewing will be one of the sacrifices I make in order to achieve other goals.

Skill #7 – Composting

As mentioned previously, I have researched the method I plan on using for my composting system. Now that spring has sprung, I will be purchasing materials over the next month to build my composting system. Posts to follow.

Skill #12 – Handgun Permit

I have submitted my handgun permit for my county and have my interview scheduled for this month. I’m 100% on track here.

Skill #13 – Shooting

Continuing on with proper training and use of firearms. I’m thinking about getting into some more advanced classes around here. Overall, I’d consider this task as complete as possible – but, as with most things, there’s always room for improvement.


I’m not in the best shape (physical or schedule-wise) with these goals, but there is traction. I’m going to do my best to keep more up-to-date on these issues and to document the process more..

Thanks for reading this article. I would appreciate feedback on my plan and, if you want to help hold my feet to the fire, make sure to follow me over on my Facebook Page.

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