Ride around Beijing--Check
But it is not true. Like my ADD sons, then next thing I do is guided by the last idea to enter my head.
Sorry if you gave me more credit than that. Wait!! Squirrel!!! I'll be back.
Really, let's start with the Ironman. Surely, a life ambition. . .surely NOT.
My wife's main running buddy Terilyn reminded me a few nights ago of a conversation we had after a half marathon we ran in 2010 with a half dozen members of our Church. After the race Terilyn asked me if I was going to do a triathlon. "No way," I answered in a millisecond. "I never learned to swim. I have no interest in triathlons."
So how did I end up spending 16 hours and 34 minutes in Louisville swimming, biking and running 140.6 miles? In November 2012 the pastor of our Church preached a sermon comparing the Ironman triathlon to the Christian life. I was playing Army at the time. My wife decided after the sermon she was going to do an Ironman. She told me so that night. I knew she meant it. She made the same kind of calm announcement when she decided to donate a kidney to a stranger. I knew she would do it. Projected date 2015. She needed time to train for the bike.
She HATES the bike. But she bought a bike in January of 2013. She named it SPDM (Sudden Painful Death Machine) and started to ride.
OK then. I told her I would do it too. Which meant I would have to learn to swim at 59 years old. I never learned and I could not swim at all. Not close to one length of the pool. I got lessons. I learned.
Life plan? Bucket list? Nope. Squirrel ran past. I chased it.
Did I always want to re-enlist in the Army and just happen to choose 2007? Nope. In 2006 I read August 1914 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The hero of the novel is an old (mid 40s) soldier who re-enlists for World War 1. He loved it, even as the Russian armies were badly beaten by the Germans. Around the time I read the novel, Congress raised the enlistment age by seven years. I could get back in. So I tried. I got in.
At the end of the 90s and the beginning of this century I made more than 35 trips overseas to five continents in four years. I have ridden in almost 30 countries. Bucket list?
I did not even have a passport in 1998 when I got the job that would send me overseas almost every month. I never had a passport. The only time I went overseas before that was with the Army.
Suddenly I was Mr. Bike--Around-the-World. No plan. I just decided to take my bike on these trips. No one else at my company did. The opportunity was there. I took it.
My next big activity will be marching 28 miles with a 40-pound pack. Why am I doing this? Well, I was planning to do the march without the pack, but then I thought, 'I am getting out of the Army in May of 2015, might as well see if I can carry the pack for 28 miles.'
So no, there is not a Bucket List. I don't have a big or small list of things I want to do. But if someone asks me to do something I have never done before and it sounds good at the time, I might do it.