Monday, August 15, 2011

Live Life to the Fullest

I love a good adventure.

Adventure is exciting. Adventure is fun. Adventure keeps the blood pumping. A life of adventure is great. Unfortunately, I don’t have one.

I do not have a bad life. I certainly don’t want to give the impression that I am complaining about my life being mundane. I have done many exciting things, but these days they are few and far between and most of them are just stories from when I was younger. In fact, most people’s adventure stories stem from their younger days. Why is that?

Before we get tied up in our lives with our careers and families, we have more energy and time and less responsibilities. Adventure and good times just happen to us with very little effort, but it begins to change as we get older and more serious about our lives and goals. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but does lead many to become unsatisfied.

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.” In general, I have to agree with this statement. I, like many people, love a good adventure, but do not purposefully seek them out on most occasions. As I talk about the things I would like to do, I continue to age and miss another day that could have created another great memory.

This happens very easily. Most people work through the week and look forward to the weekend. It is then spent relaxing by watching movies, going shopping, reading a book, or some other uneventful activity. While this may be relaxing, it is on rare occasions that memories are being created or adventures are being lived out.

I know that these are generalities and do not apply to everyone, but I can relate. I look forward to having a day off so I can "do nothing." Then I wonder why I never got around to doing some of the things I have always wanted to do.

Before I go to the grocery store I make a list of the things I need. Otherwise, I forget half the things I went to buy. Sometimes I make a list of tasks that must be done for the day or the week. I always make lists for school to guarantee I don’t miss any assignments. So, why not make a list of the things I would like to do to help ensure more of them get accomplished? Having it down on paper and displaying the list where I can see it would not only remind me of my goals but be a constant motivation to pursue them. Therefore, a few days ago, I began compiling a list of things I have wanted to do for a long time.

As I was making my list, I realized that this is what many have called a “bucket” list. In other words, it is a list of things to accomplish before kicking the bucket. This was not what I had in mind when I started it, but serves a similar purpose.

I constructed some rules for myself concerning this index of future endeavors. The list will evolve with time and I can add something to it any time that I like. However, I may never remove anything from the list. I figure anything I put in the inventory was put there for a reason, so it may not be removed. There is no time limit for any list item, but I must always be accomplishing things on the list if I ever hope to get through it. I realize that I may never complete every task, but I will have many stories to tell about trying.

I did not restrict myself while compiling my list. I never considered the cost involved or energy required to complete any task. Some of my cataloged tasks will require travel, others will require great courage, and still others will just be something fun to do. Some will take planning, some will require lengthy discipline, and others can be done spontaneously in an instant. As you look through my checklist please keep in mind that I made this for me. Some of the items may not seem like fun or adventurous to you, but it is not your task. It is mine. On the other hand, you may want to join me on some of these adventures. I am open to suggestions for more challenges to add and will also welcome joining someone else to mark items off. If you see something you want to do, contact me and maybe we can mark it off together.

I will chronicle each accomplishment on this blog, but the list will not become the focus of my blog. I will continue to write on my usual random topics and will only return to the list when another item has been knocked out. I plan to record each event with photographic and/or video evidence to be shared here.

Here is my list in no particular order. Click the links are to see examples or definitions:
  1. Get skydive certified (possibly attend SKYDICE SPACELAND)
  2. Ride in a hot air balloon
  3. Walk a 100+ mile trip
  4. Learn to play guitar
  5. Write and publish a book
  6. Get a photo published in a national magazine
  7. Dye my hair a crazy color
  8. Fly a plane
  9. Fix my teeth
  10. Swim with sharks
  11. Wrestle an alligator
  12. Go snowboarding
  13. Be suspension pierced
  14. Go scuba diving
  15. Participate in an eating challenge
  16. Get tased
  17. See the aurora borealis
  18. Eat fugu
  19. Eat a durian
  20. Crash a wedding
  21. Go to Comic-Con
  22. Roll a car
  23. Backflip a motorcycle
  24. Be an extra in a movie
  25. Go noodling
  26. Do the polar plunge  COMPLETED 02-02-14 read here
  27. Learn how to pick a lock
  28. Pet a wild skunk
  29. Stage dive and crowd surf
  30. Break a world record
  31. Attend a Rocky Horror Picture Show in full costume
  32. Bungee Jump
  33. Take a cruise
  34. Be part of a flash mob (not a criminal one)  COMPLETED 10-22-11 read here
  35. Ride a Segway
  36. Go to Mardi Gras
  37. See a whale
  38. Go surfing
  39. Be on a game show
  40. Take a photography class
  41. Go ice fishing
  42. Drive on the Autobahn
  43. Get in a fist fight
  44. Kiss a stranger
  45. Cliff dive
  46. Go jet skiing
  47. Be in a play
  48. Attend Cornerstone Festival
  49. Go kayaking
  50. Witness a meteor shower
  51. Own a Jeep again
  52. Pay for a strangers meal or groceries
  53. Fly first class
  54. Drive the length of Route 66
  55. Go wing-walking
  56. Have my portrait painted
  57. Be in the audience for taping of TV show
  58. Shave my head
  59. Serve on jury duty
  60. Learn to play harmonica
  61. Attend Oktoberfest
  62. Spend night alone in a haunted house
  63. Visit Holy Land
  64. Run with the bulls in Pamplona
  65. Learn to ride a unicycle
  66. Go snowmobiling
  67. Get a black belt in any martial art
  68. See the giant Sequoia trees of the West Coast
  69. Fly in a helicoptor over a volcano
  70. Eat lobster in Maine
  71. Make some money as a street musician
  72. Sing karaoke
  73. Ride in a tank
  74. Read my huge list of books - click here for progress
  75. Go to a blues bar in Chicago
  76. Go to a jazz club in New Orleans
  77. Do a fire walk
  78. Ride in a helicoptor
  79. Go on a cross country motorcycle trip
  80. Visit the Louvre
  81. Go Zorbing
  82. Go to the San Diego Zoo
  83. See all 7 continents - click here for progress
  84. Attend a sumo match in Japan
  85. Ride a San Francisco cable car
  86. Attend Day of Dead ceremony in Mexico
  87. Keep bees
  88. Shoot a flamethrower
  89. Meet a U.S. president while he is still in office
  90. Observe the floor of Wall Street during trading time
  91. Visit the Mall of America
  92. Attend a Super Bowl
  93. Spar a professional boxer
  94. Get a professional shave
  95. Attend the Olympics
  96. Deliver a baby
  97. Complete a high ropes course
  98. Visit the Parthenon in Greece
  99. Eat lutefisk in Norway
  100. Eat Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia
  101. Experience weightlessness
  102. Kiss the Blarney Stone
  103. Attend a Broadway show
  104. Attend a Las Vegas show
  105. Read every Shakespeare play - click here for progress
  106. See all 50 states - click here for progress
  107. Swim with dolphins
  108. Participate in a demolition derby
  109. Meet a person of royalty - British or otherwise
  110. Grow my hair out long again - I miss my hair
  111. Walk on the Great Wall of China
  112. Visit Auschwitz
  113. Get an Ashiatsu massage
  114. Get something patented
  115. Eat Beluga caviar
  116. Eat Kimchi in Korea
  117. Own a hammock
  118. Climb Statue of Liberty
  119. Wear a tuxedo to a non-tuxedo event
  120. Brand a cow
  121. Save a life
  122. Do a stand-up comedy routine
  123. Regauge my ears - I used to have ‘00’
  124. Throw a live grenade
  125. Get a Master’s degree
  126. Get a Doctorate
  127. Sleep in a castle
  128. Sit in on a funeral preparation or autopsy
  129. Be debt free
  130. See Mt. Rushmore
  131. Mush a dog sled
  132. Have a pet monkey
  133. Go deep sea fishing
  134. Drink a beer at CHEERS in Boston
  135. Learn a second language fluently
  136. See the Pyramids of Giza
  137. Ride a bull
  138. Drive a race car
  139. Be on Times Square for New Year’s Eve
  140. Climb Seattle Space Needle
  141. Attend the Brazilian Carnival in Rio de Janiero
  142. Get my pilot’s license
  143. Be elected to a public office
  144. Drive a dune buggy in the desert
  145. Swim with manatees
  146. Visit Stonehedge
  147. Attend a bull fight
  148. Attend a cock fight
  149. Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner
Feel free to contact me with suggestions for other adventures or questions about what some of these are or why I would want to do them. My growing list can be seen at this link. I will share with you as they are completed and feel free to join me in marking some off. I'm so excited.


  1. Wow! What a list! I know that I can help you arrange to mark off 3 in a row! 25, 26 and 27! Ed can take you noodling in the winter at Rend Lake and teach you how to pick a lock in the same day! He would love to go noodling again, so I will tell him you want to go. I will come along to take pics!

  2. Ok, I've done some of those, but we have some of the same things! I want to visit the Louvre, sleep in a castle, kiss the Blarney, go to Greece.

    I have drank beer at Cheers in Boston. I own a hammock, been to a show in Vegas (topless, yeah there's a story there. I wasn't topless, they were. No they weren't men.) Been to a blues bar in Chicago, I grew up in a haunted house. Have you ever stayed the night with me? Can't remember. Wow that sounded sleazy. lol

    I find it hard to believe you haven't kissed a stranger.

    I don't want to be tased, but I'd love to tase someone. I see this working out between us. I never ever want to hang on hooks. OMG!

    I'd totally vote you into office, if I could!

  3. Tammy, I would love to do those things. Let's set it up.

    Jessica, I don't believe I ever stayed at your house, but I am sure at some point during youth group days we at least stayed at the same place. I have kissed a stranger. Many times, in fact, when I was in my early 20's, but I want to do it again.

    I know the suspension hooks thing seems sick, but I have wanted to do it for several years. I really do not know why. I think something is wrong with me.

  4. Brett, I'm down with swimming with sharks with you. This is something I have always wanted to do. And surfing, if we can get to an ocean, I'll teach you. I spent most of my life in the ocean until moving here to the flat lands.

    Marc Westerman

  5. Sounds good. We could surf with harpoons and take out some hammerheads while we're at it.

  6. Brett, we gotta wrestle alligators, run with the bulls, and surf together sometime. Oh, and I have a unicycle in storage. I can let you use it if you can get it, but you'd have to help move some of our stuff to Georgia. And if you want and I have enough money, we could go to Cornerstone Festival next summer, where you can dye your hair a crazy color and then shave it off. And since I'm going into the mortuary arts, I may be able to arrange for you to sit in for the embalming process.

  7. That will knock off a bunch of them. You're on.

  8. Okay, I'm not going to talk about the stuff on here that I've done and will do again with you, but of the things I've not done:

    I'll participate in sky-diving (don't care about certification), and in 3, 17, and fyi if you go here: you can pay for someone's meal AND promote Christian radio at the same time. I'll do 54; I have ALWAYS WANTED TO DO 64 - a lot. That's why it's in caps.

    A friend of mine in eastern SD wants me to fly into Minneapolis next time I visit her, so we can do Mall of America together (like I care about shopping) so there's 91. Also, 111, 136, and I have another friend who produces murder-mystery dinners, and she'd love to have us join her for 150.

    I said I wouldn't talk about the things I've done on this list, but this year was my 9th Polar Bear Plunge, and I MUST reach 10. So next year, first Sunday in February, Delaware. Check out for details.

    1. Cool. You like adventure.

      I have witnessed a Polar Bear plunge but did not participate. A friend of mine was doing it and I wanted to check it out.

      We were going to go to Minneapolis for Spring Break this year, but decided Minnesota in the spring might be a bit cold, so we are rescheduling that trip.

      There is a christian station here (WIBI) that pushes the pay for a stranger drive thru meal. That may have been where I got the idea.

      For some of these items, I will have to wait until I have graduates, am working and have an income to pay for them. I am always looking for people to do some of them with.


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