Not so long ago, my significant other and I watched a wonderful movie called The Bucket List. The story was of two men, both diagnosed with Stage IV cancer and given, max., a year to live and their quest to fulfill their “bucket list” of things they wanted to do before they “kicked the bucket”.
The story touched me deeply because it reminded me of some unfinished business I have. It reminded me that I still haven’t gone racing yet in any sort of serious fashion. I realized that this simply wouldn’t do. Were I to pass onto my next phase of existence without scratching this particular itch, well, I’d carry with me a regret. I think regrets are best avoided whenever possible.
I’m not worrying about the risks associated with racing. I grew up in scouting, in which the mantra was Be Prepared. For me, engaging in challenging activities always involves preparing myself for a successful outcome. That preparation over 50 years has seen me live through bicycle races, long-distance swimming, rock climbing, classical alpinism in the Austrian Alps and Canadian Rockies, solo mountain running, and other somewhat extreme sports. I like challenges, but I always enjoy the process of ensuring that I survive them.
The first time I turned a wheel “in anger” was during an hour-long kart event with 19 other colleagues from the automotive industry. We had a 15-min. qualifying session followed up with a 45-min. race. Despite not having the quickest kart on the grid, I won the race by a handy margin. The taste of victory, champagne and getting the 1st place medallion was a far bigger thing to me than I could have realized. I was hooked.
And so, at 50 years of age, I’ve been looking at my own bucket list. I’ve crossed climbing Everest off my list, but added a few others. My old band, Life After Failing, needs to be reformed with Justin in Canada. There’s still music there that needs to be made. And I need to satisfy my need to compete.
What’s on your bucket list? What are the things you’ll regret missing out on should you pass on before you’ve done them? Life is full of uncertainty, as we’re busily creating our reality along with 7 billion other souls out there. If there’s something you want to do, don’t make excuses as to why you can’t do it. Put forth the steps to make it happen.
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