The Runner’s Bucket List

For nearly two decades, I have studied and worked in the world of Recreation and Leisure Management. (In college, I was going to go Pre-Med, but I thought I would challenge myself with a Recreation and Leisure Management degree instead). There have

been lots of things that I have learned and put into practice over the years that have proven to be monumentally helpful for family and friends.

One methodology that I have always preached to inquiring minds is the Recreation Bucket List. The phrase “bucket list” is a term that has gained popularity over the past few years.  There are a handful of books, websites and even a decent movie on the subject. As a self-proclaimed Rec-ee, I have whole-heartedly embraced this concept and preached it for years. My logic is that life is short. So, if there is something that you “always wanted to do”, you should do it…In fact, you should do it today!

There are various philosophies that different bucket list promoters advocate. I have spent a lot of time researching them and I developed somewhat of a hybrid of the popular ideas that are out there. So, here are a few suggestions:

  • Write It Down   Write down your list! I can’t stress this enough. Better yet… type it, save it, print it, copy it and put it in several places. This makes your thoughts and ideas more concrete, real. Once they are written and viewable, they are more obtainable and you will have a direct path to success.
  • Categorize It   Your Bucket list should be categorized. There should be sections for your recreational to-do’s, your professional to-do’s, your spiritual to-do’s, family to-do’s etc.  Pick topics that are important to you. Be sure you are attacking items from each section on a consistent basis.
  • Reach, But Be Real  Put things on there that are difficult, but possible. News Flash…You probably aren’t going to win gold at the next Olympic Marathon (sorry to burst your bubble). So, don’t put that on your list. However, if you have ever dreamed of completing the 26.2 journey, certainly add it to your list. The skill is to strike the balance between things that are challenging and difficult, yet still achievable. Your goal is to have that rare and special feeling when you accomplish it. Therefore, it should be something you had to work hard for, scratch and claw for…and if you are a runner…bleed for.
  • Put Something About Running On Your List  As a runner, there is no better feeling than accomplishing it.  Whatever that it is for you, there is an absolutely indescribable feeling to accomplish something that was pursued with tireless dedication. As a runner, you have a handful of options for your bucket list. You could think of a distance goal with something like “I will complete a half marathon.” Or you can think of a time goal “I will finish a 5k in 24:00 flat.” There are other motivators that may drive you as well. One friend’s list had “I will run until I am under 200 pounds.” on her list. Other lists that I have seen over the years had more unique (yet still inspirational) messages as they boasted, “I will raise $5,000 for Leukemia charities.” or “I will run until I know my kids are proud of me.”  The beauty of our beloved sport is in its versatility. There are so many ways that each of us can measure our own personal successes. Take a look inside yourself and decide what that challenging goal is going to be and how you are going to knock it down.
  • Make the Effort to Cross Things Off   There is absolutely no sense in having a bucket list, if you aren’t doing anything with it. Use the list as a pathway to your happiness. Force yourself to cross off one thing every season or every month. Put your list somewhere that forces you to view it all the time. Take action and take the  steps to get things accomplished from all your categories.

Today’s homework…take a few days, starting now, to think about it and prepare your bucket list. Make sure you have something running related on there. Post it and do whatever you can to get things done. You are going to love the feeling you get once you begin to cross off your bucket list items.

In closing, if you want to share your bucket list story with other RunJersey.com-ers, send it to us.

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About the author

Charlie Hoffmann

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