Everyone’s got one. That LIST of things you want to do before you die. A Bucket List. The Adventure List. Things To Accomplish. Life Goals.
Like most people, my list was/is a little vague. I had ideas that I’d go here and do that and experience this other thing, but those things never happened.
It’s interesting how we think we have all this time ahead of us. So many times we step out of line and let someone else step ahead of us. Sometimes it’s because we’re being nice – “no, no. I’ve got plenty of time.” Sometimes it’s because we’ve been conditioned to it, after years of being told that good people put others ahead of themselves. Sometimes-
Well, I would say that life gets in the way, but it usually doesn’t. Not really. If you’re brutally honest with yourself, most of the time it wasn’t that life got in the way, but because you weren’t willing to take the chance. True, you need money to travel Europe, but more than one person has done it on a shoestring. The same goes for many things – “Oh I always wanted to spend the day walking around with jello in my pants, but I just can’t right now.”
No. Be honest, you were scared to do it. Scared of what would happen – would your friends make fun of you? Perhaps. Would you need to buy new pants? It could happen. Would you have to dedicate some time to learning about proper jello walking techniques? Maybe.
But it’s also funny how when our bodies begin to betray us, we suddenly start realizing we may not have as much time as we thought. That maybe we shouldn’t expect people to return the favor because we let them go ahead. That life just isn’t going to cooperate and allow something to happen, but that you’re going to have to lift a finger or two and make it happen. That we might want to start putting a little thought into that list, maybe writing it down and thinking about if we really want to do some of those things.
I started one of those things a few weekends back. I
ran did a Dirty Girl Mud Run. This was a tiptoe into the world of what I really want to do – I really want to do something like a Warrior Dash (just one), but I wanted to know more about what I personally needed to do it.
Because I hate running.
Put me in a pool and tell me I have to swim laps for a mile solid and I’ll do it without flinching. Give me a pick axe and a shovel and tell me I have to bust sod for 300 square feet, fine – that’s not a problem. We’re going hiking for 6 hours in the wilderness – I’m hip, let’s ride.
Tell me I have to run a hundred yards and I’m out.
Even if you offer me free ice cream at the end.
Nope. I ain’t running.
Even as a child I hated running. I loved obstacle courses, but I hated running.
I suppose you can walk the Warrior Dash – there’s no rule that says you can’t – but that sort of defeats the “Dash” part. And really, in this case, running could be considered an obstacle…
But the Dirty Girl encourages you to walk – whatever it takes to finish 5k, do it. And I’m out of shape, so an evaluation before I get in over my head sounds like a good idea.
What I learned was that physical strength is not a problem for me. Neither is dexterity. Nor stamina. Any minor fears that I was faced with on the course like extremely cold water, *cough*
heights*coughcough*, crawling through foot deep, cold mud and finding every stone with my hands and knees, I overcame head-on. Even the very real threat of hypothermia didn’t phase me (that H2OMG tank is FUCKING COLD! And in 65 degree weather with a breeze? MOTHERFUCKERICAN’TBREATHE!).
But after this rather careful and dirty and cold assessment, I came to several conclusions:
My problems are: bunions, shin-splints, knees and cardio.
Let me tell you – shin-splints will stop you faster than lack of cardio. Bunions will just make the shin-splints worse.
But now I know what I need to work on to try my hand at a Warrior Dash.
Ummm…. Katty? Do you have a point to this?
Well, I suppose as a writer, we should do more than just sit on our asses thinking about what it would be like. Maybe we, as writers shoudl take a look at that List and ponder the things on it, so that we can put a few new experiences into our writing. Perhaps we should try it. Reading about something is all well and good, but doing it could perhaps be better for our writing.
(Unless you write murder mysteries or some such. You may not actually want to try the whole murder thing. Society gets up-tight about that…)