Bucket List

My Bucket List, Revised for 2015

The start of a new year seems an appropriate time to revisit and revise my bucket list. Some items on the previous version, like skydiving, just don’t have the same appeal they once did. I would go skydiving if presented the opportunity, but I’m no longer jonesing to jump out of a plane.

I have some work to do to start crossing some of these off the list:

  • Sing a role on stage in Les Miserables — Any production, any role. I have loved this music and this story since it was introduced to the world in 1987.
  • Write a book — Technically, I completed this December 22, 2014, but I know working with an editor will dramatically improve the product.
  • Go on a book tour — How much fun would that be.
  • Learn to play guitar — I have a guitar. Youtube has lessons. One day, the two will come together.
  • Visit Antarctica — The one and only cruise Sarah and I have ever considered, and we won’t be sailing on a luxury liner. Bike tour of the Florida Keys — We need to spend more time on our bikes, but this would be a fabulous vacation.
  • Spend a week in silence — I spent a weekend in silence at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky. It was wonderful. Whether I go back to the Abbey or find a new location, I will go for a week.
  • Vacation on Mackinac Island — It’s one of those things Sarah and I have always wanted to do.
  • Give inspirational/motivational speech to a ballroom full of people — Completed July 14, 2014, when I spoke to the Exact Sciences National Sales Meeting.
  • Help develop an environmentally friendly pouching system — Seriously, there is so much plastic in my colostomy pouching system. There has to be a better way.
  • Be in a clinical trial for use of laboratory-grown rectal tissue — If scientists can grow ears on the back of lab rats, surely they can figure out a way to grow rectums.
  • Get back the weight I was before cancer — I’ve finally found the right combination of nutrition and exercise that is working for me. I lost 45 pounds last year. I have a way to go, but it feels achievable for the first time in a while.
  • Become a body builder like Blake Beckford — Blake is a hero of mine, someone I learned about last year. He’s a body builder and fitness model with a pouch. Amazing.
  • Go to seminary — I have had several conversations about seminary lately. Must be something in the wine at church. If God lines things up, though, I’m not going to argue.
  • Run with the bulls in Pamplona — A conversation about this got me to create my bucket list, which led to speaking at Exact Sciences and meeting Kevin Conroy. As a fan of Ernest Hemingway, running with the bulls seems like fate.
  • Get out of debt — This just has to happen.
  • Buy a larger house — We don’t want a McMansion, just another room or two would be perfect.
  • Become foster parents — There are so many kids in the system and we have the means and the heart to help someone.
  • Own a Land Rover — I love Land Rover, especially the Evoque. If my poor Honda Pilot keeps falling apart, this may be the year Michael buys new wheels.
  • Get an audience with Pope Francis
  • Shake the president’s hand
  • Have a dish named after me — I know the owners of several restaurant, so this should be a no brainer. You know what I’m saying, Randy Burleson.
  • Cook with Tyler Florence
  • Visit Paris — Because Paris
  • Swim with Michael Phelps
  • Participate in the Empire State Building Run-Up
  • Run in New Year’s Eve Midnight Run in Central Park — Assuming I can stay awake for a midnight run.
  • Donate books for cancer patients — I have the books, I just need to get them to Thompson Cancer Survival Center
  • Have dinner with Steve Martin — Yes, I changed this one. Steve Martin, renaissance man.
  • Meet the CEO of Exact Sciences, a company that is changing the world — I met Kevin Conroy on July 14, 2014. He is as amazing as I expected. His team is awesome. Their DNA-based colorectal cancer screening test, Cologuard, is definitely changing the world. Also, I asked Kevin to write a forward for my book and he did.
  • Get a tattoo — Completed in June 2014. Thing about tattoos is, you always want another. So, I’m thinking Superman shield on my right shoulder. Soon.
  • Bungee jump from a bridge in Mexico — Sarah really doesn’t want me to do this one.
  • Become a personal trainer — I have a heart for people who struggle with their weight. I want to help them.
  • Get my ear pierced
  • Run a sub-30-minute 5K — Perhaps when the weight is off.
  • Meet Ann Voskamp — I briefly met the author of one thousand gifts on December 12, 2014. She’s very down-to-earth and genuine, exactly what you would expect from the author of a book about gratitude.

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  • Reply
    Monica Wright
    January 3, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    You are such an inspiration…i know through perseverance you will accomplish everything you set your mind on doing…..cheers.my dear.friend and im praying for u….

  • Reply
    Shay Smith
    January 4, 2015 at 4:20 am

    Michael you are amazing!! I can’t wait to read your book!! I didn’t know you knew Randy Burleson…. I work for him!! Small world!!I also want to visit Paris and own a Land Rover, it’s my dream car!!! Happy New Year Michael!! See you soon!!!

    • Reply
      Michael Holtz
      January 4, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Shay. I’ve known Randy since back when there was only one Aubrey’s Restaurant, in Farragut. It was the go-to place when I was editor of the newspaper there. That’s a trip down memory lane for sure.

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