I sat on the summit, I was tired, wet and a little irritable. The last seven hours were intense, having to hike over 100 switchbacks in the rain, dealing with the altitude, the changing temperatures, crossing a snow bank and walking the final mile or so in a hail storm. But, here I sit, at the summit of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states – at around 14, 500 feet in elevation – where roughly half of those who attempt to summit, do not make it to the top. The experience was surreal, as we made it to the plaque, the clouds parted and the weather turned to beautiful sunshine like God had rewarded us for all our struggle. I was able to cross “Summit Mt. Whitney” off my bucket list, and it felt incredible. Not every one of my “Fitness Bucket List” items is quite as ambitious, but I still have a list. I think everyone has their own bucket list – those things they want to accomplish before they die, just to say they did. But, does everyone have a Fitness Bucket List? Maybe not, but I think it is something that anyone for whom fitness has a place in their lives should have one.
At one point, my bucket list items were more strength-oriented goals, like being able to deadlift twice my body weight. Lately, though, as I have grown older and my ideas of what being fit and healthy have changed – so, too, have my bucket list items. That’s the beauty of a bucket list, it is not set in stone and can change as you do. Lately, I have chosen goals more in line with how I train – movement and body weight training – so my goals have become a measure of how well my training has progressed. I would love to be able to do a perfect pistol squat with either leg, to hold a handstand and perform a handstand push-up, to climb a rope without needing to use my legs and to be able to do the splits. Now, looking at those tasks, I know at least half a dozen people who can do them easily, but I cannot, not yet, and that is why they are on my list.
Having a Fitness Bucket List keeps you motivated and pushes you to train continuously, it makes excuses to sit around less of an option and it can really boost your confidence – which can lead to more goals, and harder ones.
The best advice I can give is to be realistic in your choices, but never let your list empty. Celebrate your accomplishments, and use your failed attempts as learning opportunities for success in the future. Whatever you choose, own those choices and keep at it!