Age 52–The 4 items at the top of my bucket list
#1 - Goal set in 1980, accomplished 1987 Seattle to Washington DC, to NYC
In 1980 (age 13) my family took a vacation out west and for several days we watched 2 cyclists from Holland head in the same direction as us. They changed my life and helped me realize early in my life that achievement does begin with a vision. The woman in broken English said anyone could ride their bike across America. They just needed a decent bike and a desire to do so. I decided that evening at the campfire, I wanted to do this. It wasn't something only a man could do. I saw her doing it and she didn't look like superwoman. I shared my dream with family and friends. In 1986, a friend I'd met a year earlier and told my dream to one summer sent me a letter and said he was riding across the USA. Was I still interested? Yes, I was. In 1987, I pedaled my new bike for the first time in Seattle, learned how to shift the gears, and pedaled east. Camping ride, no tent. I had no Money to buy one and I was told many others had the same issue.True. Perfectly normal, right? Hefty bags are a great ground cloth and covering to keep dew off you.
#2 - Goal discussed with husband around 1989, childhood dream accomplished Dec 2002
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go? Problem:Too far, too expensive. other people do this sort of thing. We used every penny of savings and took out a loan to go. My spouse said, "It will never get less expensive." The Galapagos islands remains one of my favorite places in the world.
#3 - Goal set December 2004, accomplished Nov 2015
A remote destination, the trip we wanted to do didn't even exist. In 2013, a dedicated trip to South Georgia Island in Antarctica was offered. My doctor and ship doctor didn't like the idea given my medical background. We worked with it and I took a chance. If this was my last trip anywhere in the world, this was where I wanted to go. No regrets. It was worth it and more rewarding than I expected. Ernest Shackleton is another hero of mine for his leadership in Antarctica. Endurance by Alfred Lansing is my all time favorite book about incredible survival and leadership. We walked the last 8 miles of Shackleton’s South Georgia journey into Stromness. Winds gusted over 100 mph at times and actually lifted me up off my feet, dropping me 8-10 feet away and further down a slope that dropped off the side of a mountain. I spent a lot of time lying on the snow on my stomach due to strong winds and had been knocked over a few times this day and on others during this trip. I also flew for the first and probably last time in my life. Yes you can fly short distances in a very strong wind and it is frightening. No control. I did not land on my feet either, but was not injured. This remote hike is not easily accessible and was unplanned. I saw it as the once and a lifetime hike it was. Far Fewer people hike this than the number who summit Mt. Everest each year. We just happened to be at the right place and time with skilled guides and 4 people who were unable to do the full Shackleton hike across the island and glaciers due to terrible and dangerous weather conditions. We could not safely get them to shore after multiple attempts. I will forever appreciate what Shackleton and his men went through to become one of the greatest survival stories ever.They remind me of the warrior strength hidden in us all.
I followed this up with a 2nd bike ride across the USA in the spring of 2016, again defying the advice of my doctors. I was on cloud 9, completely fulfilled with this and the South Georgia trip. I had no clear new #1 goal for almost 2 years. Friendsand coworkers asked. I shrugged my shoulders. I was truly “good.” And then I picked up a random audio book at the library and listened to Richard Bliss Brooke's "Mach II: With Your Hair on Fire" again and again as I drove my car to and from work and around town. I took his advice, formally dove into the world of vision boards and affirmations with a purpose. He was convincing. Things began to shift and I set my next lifetime goal.
#4 - Goal set March 2018, accomplished (to be determined)???
Like my other goals I've already begun to share this one. I need to regain my ability to hike distances, day after day. I need to lose 110 lbs, to eliminate or minimize the inflammation in my body, and to get over my fear of heights. I need to believe altitude won't disrupt my plans, even though I found 14,000 feet to be a challenge when I was fit and healthy in 2003. My goal is to see this one through before I turn 60 in just over 7 years. My husband says sooner vs. later would be a good idea. I haven't asked my doctor about this yet...baby steps...I'll try hikes elsewhere first and I don't want to hear their answers now. After being unable to do cardio for months, I'm walking again. 20+ miles last week, and I hurt all this week. But I have hope and see myself standing there in awe at Base Camp, Mt. Everest. This is the power of a vision board, a dream, and belief that the power of the mind can take the body anywhere. In March 2018 I stopped telling myself why I could never go to Base Camp. This paradigm shift was the pivotal change needed to pursue my dream and believe in success. Never, ever give up on anything!
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you're right” -Henry Ford