Some time ago I began to think about growing older and as such I began to read into the race reports, articles and blogs of other endurance and adventure aficionados in a different way. I found that a lot of people challenge themselves as they grow older and a good proportion seem to allude to a list of things they might like to do before a certain age.
In my opinion this differs greatly from the standard ‘Bucket List’. A bucket list is, by definition, merely a list. Maybe you can couch it in terms of a list of goals but they don’t tend to follow the principles of goal setting per se, obviously by their nature the things on a bucket list are specific but they tend to miss out on:
How will success be measured?
Can or has the goal been agreed upon by those involved in its development and undertaking?
Is it realistic for you at the time?
What is the timescale for achieving this goal?
What will follow is a list of things (adventures, races, achievements) I would like to achieve before reaching a certain age. I am adding things under each age grouping in the belief that I will be more likely to accomplish the goal during that time frame (due to having more experience and/or time available, i.e. it’s more realistic) and that the time frame is an appropriate one for me to undertake the event, adventure or goal (i.e. I’ll have enough time to train for, save up for and organise for the specific task).
With regard to the other two factors of successful goal setting – the measurement of success and the agreement of all who may be involved in or affected by the undertaking – these are the things that will need to be taken into consideration closer to the goal’s timeframe. For instance, if I want to achieve something before I’m 50 years old will I need to take into consideration family, mortagage payments or any other variables that tend to come into play at a later stage in life? Another thing to consider is my health and wellbeing – although I can write now that I would like to run a sub 3 hour road marathon before the age of 40 and that this is currently achievable given my health and fitness, I may decide to prioritise other goals to the detriment of this. It will be on the list, for sure, but it doesn’t mean I will reach that goal.
As Bryon Powell said of his Ultra Trail Gobi race in 2015:
“You don’t reach your goal at the end, the beauty and the rewards are along the way.
The goal is the journey.”
Here’s my lifetime list. It’s not just focused on racing but on seeing the world and finding out more about myself and others in the process.
Before I’m 35…
- Complete the Bob Graham Round
- ÖTILLÖ (swim/run)
- Ice Ultra (snowshoe/run)
- Lakeland 50
- Lakeland 100
- Podium at an ultra!
- Race in America
Before I’m 40
- Drive across the Simpson Desert
- Crocodile Trophy (MTB)
- Hike/Run the Zermatt trail
- Trans Portugal (MTB)
- TransRockies Run
- Ultra Trail Gobi
- Win a race!
- Witness the Aurora Borealis
- Witness the Aurora Australis
Before I’m 50
- Visit every island of the Canaries
- Live and work abroad
- Hellespont & Dardanelles (swim)
- Trans Rockies (MTB)
- Hardrock 100
- Ironman (swim/bike/run)
- Tor des Géants (TDG)
- Mount Rinjani Ultra
Before I’m 60
- Swim in every ocean
- Row an ocean
- Arctic Circle Race (ski)
- Comrades Marathon
- La Petite Trotte à Léon (PTL)
- Establish a successful and sustainable remote/rural health and wellbeing program that can be easily replicated across cultures and communities all over the world
Before I’m 70
- Summit a mountain on every continent
- Tokyo Marathon
After I’m 70…
- Enjoy life as much as possible
- Continue to travel
- Continue to be involved in endurance and adventure sports as much as possible
- Inspire my children and grandchildren to aspire to something greater than they think is possible
I will make additions to these lists and tick off achievements over time. To view the evolving lists click here.