13 Skills Challenge – Mid-February Report

13 Skills Challenge – Mid-February Report

If you’re like me, then you know that sometimes life can be downright comical!  I went into the 13 Skills Challenge full bore and I really liked the plan I had set up.  I was going to get in shape and learn a bunch of new skills.  Then life got in the way.  The last month has been plagued by work-related chaos meaning I’ve been sitting at my desk for up to 75 hrs/week and not doing much more.  I even missed my January Report.  But, here I am, a little past the middle of February 2013, with a report.

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:


  January February Difference
Weight (lbs) 263.4 259 -4.4
Total Inches (in) 214.0 213.5 -0.5
* Total inches is the aggregation of seven body site measurements including upper arm (right & left), waist (navel), waist (belt line), hips and mid-thigh (right and left).


A 4-lbs loss is not bad, but not quite the goal I wanted to reach. My diet was all over the place, as was my workout plan. I didn’t not keep consistent with my plan at all. The same holds true with my workout goals.

Workout Goals

Much like my Weight and Diet Goals, my Workout Goals were not achieved in January.


Goal Accomplished
12 Cardio Sessions 5 Cardio Sessions
800 Push-Ups 430 Push-Ups
800 Crunches 430 Crunches


No excuses, just slacking. I could give you the rundown about work, family, motivation, weather, etc. But you don’t want to hear it…and neither do I. I didn’t come through and I’ll do better in the future. Moving on…

February and March Plans

February has been a dead month for me. I’ve been working like a crazy man and I just haven’t had time for me. That is going to be compounded by the fact that I am going on a 3-4 days snowboard trip with my buddies next week. While it’s a much needed break from the rat race, I already know I won’t be living in what I would call a ‘healthy’ environment for the duration of the trip. We eat and drink well – and by that I mean we indulge ourselves.

The bottom line is that February is being chalked up to a lost month. I am not happy about it, but it’s the reality of the situation. March will begin a renewed emphasis on health and fitness. I’m setting the same goals I did in January for March:

  • Cardio Sessions: 12
  • Push-Ups: 800
  • Crunches: 800

By shooting for these goals and making a renewed, concentrated effort to get my diet in check, I should be able to get back on track weight loss wise and hit some of my other 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)

I have accomplished Item 2 off this list. Items 1 and 3 will be performed before the close of February. My goal of sharpening all straight blade knives in my household by February 28th should be achievable as well.

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. I have not done either, but plan on doing it by the end of this month.

Skill #4 – Food Storage

The goal was to research food storage requirements by February 15th. I signed up for an online Home Food Preservation Class at this website. In addition, I have been looking at different food storage systems but I have not taken a look at how to create a food storage system. I think I have a few leads on how to do this step. I’m looking to have this research done 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 and would consider this task 50% complete. I am aiming to be complete with my introduction to canning by the end of this month.

Skill #6 – Brewing Beer

I have done no work on this skill, including my goal of researching beer brewing processes by February 22nd. As much as I hate to admit it, this skill may be one that drops off due to time limitations.

Skill #7 – Composting

I have researched the method I plan on using for my composting system. I will write more about this in a future post but I will tell you that it is a method that Jack over at The Survival Podcast recommends.

Skill #12 – Handgun Permit

I have submitted my handgun permit for my county and am anxiously awaiting the next steps of this process. I’m 100% on track here.

Skill #13 – Shooting

I have purchased a firearm and am learning how to use it properly. I don’t want to get into any more detail right now online about this process.


In total, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at. The physical fitness goals are not something I’m proud of, however, I am pretty pleased with where I am otherwise considering the large amount of time I’ve been putting in at work.

My plan will be to continue this process and keep up with my timeline goals. March will see more work being done in Blade Sharpening, Food Storage, Canning, Composting, Camping and Fire Making.

I also hope to more regularly write about each skill and the progress I’m making.

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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