Bucket List It's Not Harder Than Cancer

Taking Aim at My Bucket List

I’ve been pondering my bucket list for the last week or so.

In April, the lovely Sarah and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. If there is a reason to take a bucket list-worthy trip, a big anniversary is definitely one. Then, I will hit the five-year post-diagnosis mark in 2017, which could be a year to blow out the list. Also, the movie A Walk in the Woods is now in theaters.

A Walk in the Woods stars Robert Redford and Nick Nolte as author Bill Bryson and his friend, Stephen Katz, who embark on a hike of the Appalachian Trail. They play old men out of their element. Hilarity ensues.

Really. I haven’t laughed so hard at the movies in a long time. At it’s heart, Walk is about taking on an adventure and reconnecting with a friend. I envision John Eldredge adding clips from the movie to one of his Boot Camp events.

Let me say this: I am not interested in through-hiking the AT. There was a time in my life I thought I might fancy a go, but cancer gave me some perspective. Actually, it gave me a new concern. The whole “leave only footprints, take only memories” ethos is lost on a guy who would have to bury plastic bags full of waste along the trail. I can’t imagine how to plan for five months on the trail with a colostomy. I’m sure there are people who have done it; I don’t intend to join their ranks.

Still, the movie is a perfect complement to a series of conversations I’ve had recently, about seriously planning to run with the bulls in Pamplona, take a cruise along the coast of Alaska or visit the Antarctic, I’ve also discussed training for an ultramarathon. “Cure the neuropathy or make it permanent. Here’s one way to find out,” my friend said. It will take a more alcoholic lubrication and A LOT of training to prepare me for an ultra. And I need to drop much more of the weight I’m carrying.

In the meantime, I’ve got the Spartan Sprint in Nashville at the end of October. Training is going well. Our workout yesterday may have been the hardest I’ve ever pushed myself outside of the marathons I’ve finished. It feels so good to push my body like that.

I never thought I’d be planning for an obstacle course race at this stage of my life. You can bet it’s an item I’ll be crossing off my bucket list.


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