During my annual sojourn to Andalucía last summer I sat up late one evening making a preliminary list of things that I have left undone or would like to do, and places I would like to visit.
The choices you make when compiling a “bucket list” define you in much the same way that the books on your bookshelves do. I was surprised on reading mine to discover how many of them involve going for very long walks, climbing things and watersports. This list is, of course, a work in progress and will remain tantalisingly incomplete.
Climb Mount Olympus
Climb Scafell Pike
Climb Ben Nevis
Walk the Camino de Compostela de Santiago
Trek the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean
Learn to Surf
Visit the Great Barrier Reef
Trek Machu Picchu
Walk the Pacific Crest Trail
Drive across America, possibly along Route 66
Learn to sail
Walk the Maelor Way Completed Thursday 29th-Friday 30th May, 2015. See the report here.
Walk the Offa’s Dyke Path
Complete an Ironman
Complete the Grand Union Canal Race
Learn to scuba dive
Learn to windsurf
Trek the Himalayas
Visit the Taj Mahal
Live in Spain for between 6 months and 2 years
Learn to speak Spanish well enough to have a barbershop conversation
Run a sub-40 10k
I’m not absolutely sure that is achievable, given that my current PB of 46:07 was achieved 4 years ago, when I was considerably fitter (and younger) than I am now. If it is possible then it is something I’m going to have to tackle promptly. It is therefore my next planned target after the next item on the list, Snowdonia Marathon.
Achieve a Good-for-age place in London Marathon
To achieve this before the age of 60 I would need to run a marathon in under 3:20. This seems unlikely. Alternatively, I would need to achieve a personal best of sub 3:45 between the ages of 60-64 or sub 4:00 before the age of 70. The latter seems barely feasible, so it seems most likely, therefore, that if I am to achieve this I will need to remain fit and healthy enough to manage a sub 5 hour marathon after I reach the age of 70.
Circumnavigate the World
Give up smoking
If I can achieve just one of these goals each year my initial list of 30 things will be completed just before my 80th birthday. I’ll attempt to update the list as and when I cross each item off.
I gave up smoking on the 24th September 2014, so I’m tackling the most difficult one first.
In all that I do I vow to live by the words of the late, great Hunter S. Thompson:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
I have decided to add one task on for each I cross off. Having seen Pete Doherty play and Walked the Maelor Way I’m adding on:
31. See a total (100%) solar eclipse
32. Run with the bulls at Pamplona