A couple days ago I was perusing my Facebook feed and happened upon a picture of a friend of a friend summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro. It looked crazy amazing and more than a little bad-ass and reminded me that Mt. Kilimanjaro has been on my Bucket List for quite some time. I know for sure it’s not happening this year, and a girl can only dream for Kili 2013, which got me to thinking (okay, maybe worrying…): what if I get too old to actually make the climb?
Are there some Bucket List items that have an expiration date?
I never thought the Bucket List would have me counting backwards to ensure I have enough “Good Years” left. But rather than limiting, I realized it might not be a bad idea to at least do some prioritizing.
Because I’m not good with round numbers or limits (“Stick to ten? You just bought yourself an extra one out of spite, my good man”), below are my Eleven Things to Do While I’m Still Young and Minus a Rascal Scooter:
When I mentioned this thought to a friend, he promptly proclaimed: “Old people climb mountains, too, you know. ” Hmm. I will admit this is true. Similarly, I can personally affirm I was shamefully passed by at least a handful of wiry 70-somethings on the last half-marathon I ran. I can also affirm that THIS old person (**two thumbs aimed back at my chest**) will decidedly NOT be running marathons or climbing the tallest peak in the African continent. 70yr old Travel Me- let’s be real, even 60yr old Me- will likely prefer sitting on the deck of a cruise ship with a glass of champagne.
So despite Kilimanjaro being more like a long, high-altitude hike than a technical mountaineering feat, it makes the list.
2. Go to a roller-skating rink
Preferably on a disco theme night. Do those really exist, or am I a victim of every coming-of-age movie set in the 1970s? I really want to hit the roller rink on Date Night, don knee socks, and have Mr. M buy me a soda and hold my hand while we skate. Without having to worry about breaking a hip. Also, at a certain age… which I believe I’m rapidly approaching… a woman should probably abandon knee socks for the good of all involved.
3. Complete a Triathlon
I’m pretty amazed that I’ve finished two half-marathons. I am not amazed that I felt like dying at the end of each. There is no way on God’s Green Earth I would be able to survive a run of double that length, and this is totally fine with me. But a triathlon is a lot shorter (a 0.9mile swim, a 25 mile bike ride, and a 10k run). And I do love cycling. With a little more training, a little less eating, and some floaties (I’m not much of a swimmer), I think I might be able to at least finish the thing.
Boom. Triathlon’s on the list.
4. Try rock climbing
Rock climbing makes the short list every year when I decide what I’d like to do for my birthday, and yet, it never actually happens. Maybe it’s that awkward harness that highlights the groin area in an oh-so-unflattering way? I can only imagine that harness is going to look worse with age…
I have high hopes to cross this one off this coming winter in the snowy Catskills. I must admit, though, that I’m equally- if not more- enamored of the après-snowshoe portion of this winter fantasy. In thirty years, I could easily picture myself skipping out on the snowshoe part and moving directly to hot apple cider in front of a blazing fireplace. Best get this one done now.
6. Visit Nepal and climb to Everest Base Camp
Like Kilimanjaro, this one is wholly self-explanatory. I can assure you Sixty-Year Old Me will not want to climb to 18,000 feet, harness my belongings to a yak, or use a pit toilet.
7. Learn to pop and lock
Well, this one is clearly past due. The earlier you learn to bust a move, the more time you have to show off your skills (excuse me, skillz) on the dance floor and surprise/impress your friends and enemies alike. Seeing as how it’s wedding season, and I’ll be spending many a Saturday night on the dance floor, it is high time I learned to get my robot on like it’s 1984.
Camp in the desert Did it, yo! (Saharan desert, Morocco, Dec 2013)
I’d like to watch the sun set down over silhouetted cacti, make smores over a campfire, snuggle into a sleeping bag, and wake up to the crisp chill of sunrise in the desert. It seems like the setting for Deep & Serious thoughts, and for feeling wonderfully small in a very big world. The sooner, the better, no?
Learn to play the accordion Did it, yo! (Sort of. Some of my jams still sound like a cat in heat… working on that… December 2015)
Like learning to dance and having revelations in the desert, the sooner I learn to make music, the better! Thanks to my love of French soundtracks, I’ve wanted to play the accordion for just about as long as I can remember. My jaw hit the ground a few years ago when I learned that my mother-in-law, Mama B, not only used to play the accordion, but still has hers out in the garage!! OMG. It’s time.
Go sand boarding Did it, yo! (Saharan desert, Morocco; Dec 2013)
Apparently there are sand dunes so tall that you can board down them, much in the same way you might snowboard. This sounds simultaneously terrifying and awesome, which means it must be done. Because you generally need to walk up these dunes after you slip-n-side down, I should probably get myself to Namibia (… or Brazil… or…) sometime soon.
11. Volunteer abroad
For all the travel I’m lucky enough to do and for the life I’m lucky enough to lead, I really want to be part of a larger operation to give back. I don’t exactly know how this shapes up, but that’s precisely why figuring this out makes the Do It Now list.
So… am I little crazy for making a Bucket List out of my Bucket List? What things do you need to do before you get old?