This morning, I was watching The Rachael Ray Show while getting ready (as I usually do), and she did a segment about some new reality stars I had never heard of before. Their show, on MTV, is called The Buried Life, and unlike thoughtless shows portraying idiots running around drinking (ahem, Jersey Shore, I’m talking to you) it seems like a really neat concept.
Four guys travel around the world trying to do everything on their “bucket lists,” and along the way, they meet strangers whose bucket list wishes they grant. They showed a clip from the show where one of the guys made a toast at a stranger’s wedding, a la Wedding Crashers, and I thought it looked so fun and so neat. Later on the talk show, the guys granted the bucket list wish of one of The Rachael Ray Show viewers by giving her the chance to sign on Broadway. How cool!
Inspired, I decided I was going to make my own bucket list.
The travel items were easy: I want to visit 6 continents (really don’t have much desire to go to Antarctica), and I want to vacation in Paris (I studied French for 9 years and dreamed of going but somehow never made it there, though I’ve been to Europe plenty of times). I also want to go to Disney and actually explore the park and ride the rides. I know you all loved my Disney race report, and it was awesome to get to see all the characters, but I still have never been to Disney other than running through it (which isn’t quite the way to get the Disney experience). I feel like that’s something I absolutely have to do at some point in my life.
But when it came to something that wasn’t traveling/seeing the world, I was stumped. I wanted my list to be a true bucket list – meaning things I absolutely had to do before I die, not just things that I’d like to do. But really, there are very few things that I’ll feel unfulfilled if I don’t accomplish. For sure, I want to get married and have kids. I think that’s my biggest goal in life, but it’s not something I can really work toward or make happen. Am I allowed to have a bucket list with just that on it?
I kept thinking and thinking, and finally it hit me: finishing my 50 states of marathons is certainly something worthy of a bucket list, and particularly now that I’m getting close, it’s something that will make me feel really unfulfilled if I don’t finish. Surely that could go on my bucket list!
But what about when I finish? This is a question that keeps coming up more and more lately, and the truth is, I’m not sure how to answer the question of what I’ll do next. Marathons are definitely getting exhausting, and to be honest, I am really looking forward to taking a break from them after Minneapolis. But… now that I’ve gotten so used to marathoning, I can’t imagine not doing it anymore. What will I do when I don’t have states to collect? I don’t have a big desire to join the 7 Continents Marathon Club, and while there are certainly some cool marathons out there, I can’t think of any that are so different that I’ll be strongly incentivized to do them after I finish my states.
I’ve considered training for a triathlon, though we all know how well that went the last time. Besides, now that I’ve become known at work and in social circles as “marathon girl,” doing a triathlon wouldn’t be all that different or exciting. I like to surprise people with my Renaissance woman-like talents and prowess.
A fun story I often tell to illustrate this: my senior year of college, I signed up for any class that I thought sounded interesting and fun (this was how I came to take the airline management course that led to my current job). One of these was “Intro to Riflery and Marksmanship.” I walked in the first day dressed in head-to-toe pink (basically, an Elle Woods impersonation) and raring to go. Our drill sergeant (yes, an actual drill sergeant was the professor) walked in and asked us to introduce ourselves and also explain our shooting background and why we wanted to take the class. I was in the front row, and therefore had to go first. Undaunted, I said something along the lines of “Hi! My name is Laura, I’m a senior, and I’ve never even seen a gun in real life so I thought this would be a neat class that would teach me something I definitely don’t know. I’m really excited to be here!” As other students gave their intros, I realized how out of my league I was. Everyone else had been shooting for years, and some even detailed their history of favorite guns from the ones given to them on their 7th birthdays. Figuring it was a beginner class and that I didn’t have anything to lose by giving it a try, I got through the rest of the class that day (safety instructions) and returned the following week for class. We were learning to shoot M16 rifles, and more specifically, were learning the routine to load them. The guns were lying horizontally on the desks in front of us, and after talking through the load routine, the instructor told us to pick up the guns. Awkwardly, I picked up the gun in both hands, and kind of held it out in front of me, like some sort of ironic peace offering. However, from my front row vantage point it was very easy to see the instructor sadly shaking his head at me. I turned, and saw that the rest of the class had adroitly maneuvered the darn guns onto their shoulders, using just one hand for support and the other by the trigger awaiting instructions. Oops. I tried to correct my faux pas, but soon discovered that I was too weak and wimpy to shoulder the whole 45 pound gun in the proper stance. It was after that class that I decided to drop out and take figure skating instead, but I think it definitely proves my point that I like doing things other people tell me I can’t do. Heck, that’s the whole reason I started running and marathoning – to prove to myself that I could the impossible.
So maybe that’s the (only) other thing on my bucket list: always have an impossible dream and be striving to achieve it. I think if that’s what I work on and accomplish in life, I’ll be pretty darn happy.
What about you – what would you put on your bucket list? Any ideas for mine?