Bucketlistblogger Needs to Refill Her Own Bucket

Bucketlistblogger Needs to Refill her Own Bucket

sunset 1

It’s a simple pleasure, one that is far too often taken for granted, not even noticed in our busy lives, as we rush here and there, but a Colorado Rocky Mountain sunset can be as spectacular as anything I’ve ever seen. It can also help me refill my own energy bucket!

As a busy business owner, my daily quest to share my passion for health and fitness, and help clients in their own sports nutrition journey, takes a fair amount of energy. So does my greatest joy being a mother and wife. Sometimes I too, can start to feel overwhelmed with to do lists, grocery shopping, meal prep, work, and family obligations, not to mention my own fitness goals and training. Just because my husband and I own a sports nutrition store doesn’t mean we aren’t real people and deal with the same day to day challenges you do.

Periodically, when my own energy starts to feel low, I have to remember to pause and give thanks for the simple pleasures in life, like watching a Colorado sunset, somehow it helps me fill back up my own energy bucket.

This might sound strange, but I believe we give to others from our own “bucket of energy” and like a simple math equation, if you give away without refilling your own bucket you are soon going to have a problem and your bucket will be totally empty leaving you nothing to give to others. How we all refill our own energy buckets is a very personal thing. I’ve been a slow learner over the years with this lesson, but I am starting to get it. I have learned that if I stop every now and then and give to myself my bucket stays full and I have the passion and energy to give to others. For me, refilling my bucket can be as simple as an afternoon nap, a ride in the mountains with my family, a hike or simply slowing down to enjoy a Colorado sunset.

It may not be fancy, and it may not be large, but my patio is just big enough for two rockers and a cup of hot coffee in the morning or a small glass of red wine in the evening. My patio perfectly frames my front seat view of Pikes Peak and the front range. I really couln’t ask for more.

While rocking on my patio in the evening, I see the blue Colorado skies as the bright ornages, saucy pinks and teal blues mix against the black outline of the mountains, like a bright box of sun melted Crayons.

When the sun sets on a summer evening I love to watch the sky light up behind the mountains, casting a fast moving kaleidoscope of colors as darkness begins to fall. Soon the sky lights up in a spectrum of rainbow colors, blue as far as the eye can see. As darkness falls a calmness settles over me, allowing me to end my busy day with a simple ritual that always seems to set my day right, even if it went wrong! It helps me refill my bucket.

Simple, pure, peaceful. It helps me remember why I am doing all this in the first place! As night sets I retire knowing I am ready for another day.

Sunset 3

So my friend I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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Just Blaze Your Own Trail in Life

One of our bucketlist adventures on our vacation was to take Robin on an ascent to the top of Mount Crested Butte, thus providing her with two firsts in life, one, riding a ski gondola, and two, hiking to the top of a 12,000 plus foot mountain and soaking up the once in a lifetime feeling of knowing you hiked to the top of this, and you earned the right to enjoy the view!


At the ski base we bought our tickets and boarded the gondola, which took us on a gorgeous ride up the mountain to 10,000 feet, where we soon embarked on a 3 mile round trip hike to the summit.

Altitude hiking is totally different than any other hiking, trust me on this, the views are spectacular, but you have to earn every inch with your lungs burning and your labored breath making you sound like a panting dog.

Robin soon learned that the only way was slow and steady. When we entered the top section of the mountain and faced the boulder field you had to carefully pick your route and “scramble” over one rock to the next.

I kind of find this part fun –it’s the altitude climbing on the trail that I don’t like, but Robin was unsure of herself on the boulders and found that the problem solving part was the challenging aspect of the adventure.

You see, on the early stages of the trail, it is easy to see where you are supposed to go. The trail is well worn by many a bighorn sheep, chunky marmot or daring human. You can easily see where to put your foot next – you just follow what others have done before you.

The signs all say to stay on the trail and it is easy to follow these rules of the road.

When you get to the boulders, which unfortunately, are at the top of virtually every mountain I’ve ever been on, you can’t see where to go. All you see is a huge pile of rocks.

It looks like God dumped a bulldozer or two full of human sized rocks and just pushed them randomly on top of each other. No trail in sight, no hazard warning, no stop lights, just a huge pile of larger than life rocks.

As you look up you can see the bent over backs of other hikers slowly picking their way up. Some go slow, terrified to make a wrong move. Others almost run, their footing solid likes a Bighorn Sheep.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not fast – remember my burning lungs? But I do tend to go with confidence, even when I don’t know where to go. I kind of like this lesson for life in general. Like the Eagles say in their song “Just do something”! I guess I am just willing to go, figuring it will all work out somehow in the end. So far, thankfully, it has!

Robin has a different approach. She is willing to give it a try, but she gets a little anxious when there is not a clear path in sight. Interestingly enough, she felt this way when we went rock climbing too. You must understand, your vision is really limited on the boulder field. All you can really see is a radius of a few feet around you so it is scary to think of making the wrong move.

Unfortunately, not moving is not an option. There is no way up or down without taking a chance.

This is where I humbly offer the advice, just go for it. Blaze your own trail in life!

Robin hung in there. Even when she doubted herself and things got stressful she persisted and eventually was rewarded with a breathtaking view from the top. I think she was glad she hung in there and she learned a little about herself that morning.

A small plague at the top in honor of a young mane named Chris Mikesell said it right with the words “If you don’t climb the mountain you can’t see the view!”

Kudos to Robin, I’m proud of you and I hope you enjoyed the view and the feeling of accomplishment because you earned it!

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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A Song in My Heart and Ice On My Toe

And ice on my shoulder – living life to its fullest everyday is a great deal of fun and brings joy to my life, and appropriately puts a song in my heart, but you have to be prepared for a few bumps and bruises along the way. I believe this is a relatively small price to pay.

Recently, on vacation I recharged my batteries, hung out with friends, practiced my porch sitting and wine drinking skills, listened to a ton of old favorite music and even practiced my karaoke skills (in private only as I am terrified to sing in public).

Additionally, I went a little crazy and crossed white water rafting, zip lining, stand up paddle boarding, river cruising, 4 wheeling and mountain hiking off my bucketlist. A very good vacation indeed!

Just to be fair and fully disclose along the way, I have to share that after a terrific day of Jeep 4 wheeling I went out the back door of the cabin for a beverage out of the cooler, and just as I stepped onto the deck, a snake slithered past me very near my delicate toes!

Startled to say the least, I screamed, jumped, and promptly stubbed my toe and hobbled a hasty retreat back into the cabin –beverage carefully balanced in my hand.

While my husband and friends were concerned with my scream of pain, I must note no one came running to my rescue. They mainly yelled out an “Are you ok?” While perfecting their porch sitting and beverage holding, wine drinking skills. They laughed. I hopped to the fridge to assemble a Ziploc baggie of ice for my painfully throbbing big toe!

Once settled back in my favorite Adirondack chair, ice pack on my toe, I tried to calm my jittery nerves with a beverage and song. Even though my toe was now swollen and red, not to mention numb from the ice pack, it had been a good day!

The very next morning I was ready to go and game for another adventure. This was stand up paddle boarding day and after a hard day of fun in the sun we returned to the cabin for the evening and soon my bum shoulder was tighter than a knot and screaming back at me for the 4 hours of paddling I had demanded of it!

Improvising as best I could, I recreated the ice pack from the night before, but this time I fashioned a sling of sorts, from my sweatshirt to keep it in place. Another battle scar and victory, but with a price to pay, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat!

Thank God my other shoulder worked so I could lift my beverage for the evening.

Bumps and bruises, ice packs and snakes, it was worth every minute! So as you can see with a song in my heart and ice on my toe and on my shoulder I relaxed and planned my next adventure.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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Take the Plunge

If you are going to do it, then take the plunge and really do it-don’t hold anything back. “Go big or go home” as the saying goes.

This applies to almost every aspect of life, and it is much harder than it sounds, but it is worth repeating every now and then. Don’t do something halfway and then wonder why it didn’t work out. It doesn’t matter what the “It” is.

In the past 6 weeks life has left us with our heads spinning, but we have done some radical stuff around our house. We agreed to sell our house, sorted, purged, sold stuff, gave away stuff and then we boxed and moved/stored 25 years worth of family treasures. We dealt with the Colorado fires (which hit very close to home) and then I resigned my job so I could work full-time with my husband at our business. That’s an awful lot for just a few weeks, and we were appropriately exhausted!

I wrapped up my job, and then we headed on a week long vacation in Crested Butte with dear friends to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversaries. I have never needed a vacation as badly in my life!

I am now several days into my rejuvenating week long vacation, and I feel like a new woman! I am rested, relaxed, decompressed and properly chilled out! Even better, I have had the time to live out several bucketlist adventures!

The first adventure on the list for the week was to go white water rafting on the Taylor River in Colorado. We chose Three Rivers Outfitters to put our trust in and were very well taken care of and entertained!

When you white water raft in Colorado on a Class III, very technical river, you get assigned to a river guide, fitted with a dry suit (that was not very dry) equipped with a snug life vest, and then properly prepped with the “Safety Speech” where they terrify you with explicit details how to position yourself if you fall out of the boat, and how to rescue another rafter if they have the misfortune to fall out! Then you board the inflatable raft and go for it!

Our guide was a very friendly young man named Nick, who was a recent college grad, EMT, river guide and certified avalanche rescuer. I liked the fact hat we was so multi-talented and ready for any disaster-besides that he was fun!

Nick coached us how to paddle our oars together, taught us our commands: left 3, all 1, all back 3, right 2 and all 1, until the four of us fell into a rhythmic synchronized dance that would have impressed any Olympic team!

I guess 35 years of friendship and 25 years of marriage teaches you to work together well as a team! Anyway, Nick was impressed, and we proved to be an apt team of middle-aged rafters!

One of the biggest tricks to staying in the boat, I soon learned, was to wedge your toes under the seat in front of you as much as possible, so that if the raft took an unexpected jolt you could counterbalance yourself. I was terrified to get tossed from the boat and end up floating like an inflated blueberry Umpa Loompa (note the dry suit) so I wedged my toes in until I damn near hit my kneecaps! The first set of rapids tested my skill and I quickly learned to adjust to the unexpected and powerful flow of the river.

At this point, we rocked and rolled our way down the river with Nick at the helm, and the four of us providing the muscle power. It felt good to work together, and I learned we were good at anticipating each others’ moves, and we quickly learned to appreciate the combined power of our joined efforts.

White water rafting is all about learning to read the river anticipate its obstacles and go with the flow!

I quickly learned you couldn’t fight the power of the river. Instead, you have to learn to work with it. One person can’t row and guide the boat- it takes a team working together.

The huge rocks in the river were fascinating and intimidating also. We learned to read the river, from its smiley faces to its frowns. Smiles are good; frowns are bad; I liked the simplicity of that message.

Nick would direct us where to put our power in carefully coordinated and clear directions so that the raft worked with the river, not against it.

The rocks would divide the river forcing the rushing, frigid, snow runoff water to go around it, thus creating hazards, obstacles and dangerous pockets.

I was struck by the symbolism of this lesson. A river is much more powerful it its energy is not diverted, but instead channeled in one clear direction. It makes navigating much easier and your results are more powerful. The odds are much better you won’t crash and burn or end up going where you don’t want to go.

As I rafted down this gorgeous river I realized the potential strength in our recent decision to join professional efforts to work together to grow our business as a team. Alone we were vulnerable, divided and forced to navigate the dangerous waters of business separately, but together we would be undeterred, our efforts doubled by the combined power and singular goal. It was a leap of faith, but I knew there on the river we’d make the right decision for us.

As we paused mid-river for a break, Nick encouraged us to take “the plunge”; we decided to go for it as a team. Each of us stood on a rock in the middle of the river, guided by Nick, we leaned back into the unknown and took the plunge into the icy, powerful waters. It took out breath away as we hit the 58 degree water, but as we rose to the surface we were rewarded by the knowledge we had overcome our fears and we’d worked together to achieve our dreams.

Don’t be afraid to take your own plunge!

So my friend I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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What’s Next On Your List?

>This has been quite the year. No wonder I am tired as I face the end of 2011 and reflect on what I hope 2012 will soon be.

In the time span of the past 12 months, I have jumped out of a plane multiple times, flown in a hot air balloon, climbed a frozen waterfall, said my final farewell to my mother as she went to her heavenly home, learned to love rock climbing, seen my daughter graduate from college, become the family bread winner, gone to work for a church, learned to make fantastic clam chowder, gone zip lining, been heartbroken, realized the extent of my family’s love and support, helped start a new business, encouraged my sister to get out of her comfort zone a couple off times, made new lifelong connections, created a successful blog, shared my life stories with the world, been in the middle of a pod of a 1000 dolphins, stuck to my guns over the most difficult challenge of my life, flown a plane over the foothills, connected with family, and realized I am capable of far more than I ever gave myself credit for. I am not sure about how you feel about all that, but in my book that was a pretty profound 365 days.

In many ways I have been challenged this past year. Professionally, I made a major career change and under some difficult circumstances have worked hard to make a difference in my work world. At times this has been a rewarding and delightful journey, at other times this has been exhausting and overwhelming. There is so much to do and so few resources to do it with. However, I have seen the power of the Holy Spirit first hand, and have renewed my sense of faith. I have seen firsthand what God can do. It is amazing.

Nothing to push off of


Hands of Strength

Relationships in my world have been seriously tested the past 12 months. I have had to say good by to loved ones, let go of young adult children, reconnected with extended family over unexpected circumstances, and had to see things in loved ones that are not easy to see. This process has left me feeling a roller coaster of emotions at times despair and at others a deep and abiding joy. Knowing that your relationships, if you choose, can stand the test of time is very empowering. Knowing you can make decisions about who gets to be in your life is even more profound.

Financially life has changed, my husband, the long time breadwinner in our family found himself without a salary for the first time in his professional life. I returned to work in a fulltime demanding new career and in essence we totally switched roles. Using this as an opportunity to grow as partners, we chose to use this career shift to invest in our own business for the first time. We opened our new business, Max Muscle of Colorado Springs this week. How exciting and what a leap of faith!

So what are my dreams for 2012?

How about a few of the following:

I think it would be cool to win an award for my blog
Go to Hawaii
Celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary
Get published
Go on a snowshoeing adventure
Ride a camel
Mush a dogsled
Learn to make gravy
Match my salary online
Learn to surf
See a whale up close
Swim with dolphins
Ride a helicopter
Learn to kayak
Do a rafting adventure down the Royal Gorge
Have over 5000 readers this year
Ride an elephant
Do a Susan Komen 3-day walk
Raise 3000 for charity
Go snow tubing
Ride the bull
Visit a Comedy Works
Drive a snowmobile through the mountains
Learn to play the bagpipes
Learn to sail
Go snorkeling
Take a belly dancing class
Heal my past
Learn to make chicken and dumplings
Do a wine tour of Colorado
Ice climb The Fang
Learn to make prime rib
Take a mountain biking class
Go gliding
Do improv

It is an absolute fact that a year ago I could not have imagined or predicted what the next 365 days would bring. While the past year has been filled with love, joy, empowerment and excitement, it has also produced more than a few tears and forced me to dig deeper than ever before to prove to myself I am capable of anything.

I wonder what the next 365 days will bring. I think it is good to dream. This reminds me of my favorite saying of all time. “What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?”

It is going to be an amazing year. I am willing to try, how about you? So I ask you my friend, “what’s next on your list?”

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Leader of the Pack

I thought I knew what a good leader was until I went on a dog sledding bucket list adventure with my son and niece this past weekend. It never ceases to amaze me what I learn about others and myself when I step out of my comfort zone and try something new. It is almost always enjoyable and I usually learn a thing or two.

I thought a good leader was strong physically, mentally sharp and willing to make decisions for others. Boy was I underestimating the job!

What I learned is that a really good leader doesn’t have to be the strongest physically of the group, he/she doesn’t have to always be the smartest in the group either. While physical and mental characteristics all play a role, often, there is something else going on behind the scenes that makes all the difference in the world.

I guess dog sledding is no different. What I learned is that dog sledding could not happen with just one or two of the dogs. The only way these animals were going to pull a sled with two grown adults in it up a steep hill on snow and ice was if they worked together as a team. Each dog played a special and intricate roll in the success of the journey. Life is a lot like this too. We do not operate as a vacuum in this world; we rely on friends and family, spouses and coworkers to get the job done of life. Each of us has an important roll on the many different teams we are a part of in life.

Before I went on this little adventure I naively thought the lead dog must be the only one in charge and that he/she would be the physically strongest and mentally the sharpest. Instead, I learned that the lead dogs are special, but more because they have some innate gift that allows them to be willing to go into the unchartered waters ahead of the pack. Realize that pack dogs like to stay in a pack. They like to follow each other. It takes a special dog that is willing to be the “first in line” so to speak -to lead.

The way it was explained to us is that dogs by nature like to follow each other and the lead dog must be willing to go first. This is counter intuitive for Husky dogs because when they are in front they feel like they are running away from the pack, not necessarily leading it. Hmmmm. Light bulb moment for me. It is funny how this happens! The times in my life that I have taken on a leadership role were very scary. I never knew if I was making the right decision, or if I was heading the group in the correct direction. I remember questioning if I was doing the right thing or if anyone would actually follow me. Leadership can be a very scary.

Humans feel this way too. I think. When you are following what everyone else in the word is doing. it is easy to have confidence. You think to yourself I must be going in the right direction because this is what everyone says I should be doing or this is what everyone else is trying to do him or herself. You try to catch the person in front of you. You try not to fall behind. You don’t veer off the beaten path very far. Often, if we find ourselves following the person in front of us and pushing ourselves to stay ahead of the person behind us, we end up losing sight of where we are going and why we are going there in the first place. If you are in the middle of the pack you can’t see the scenery ahead of you. All you see is the tail end of whoever is in front of you. You feel pressure to keep up the pace and stay in line.

Compare this to being the dog at the end of the line. This guy doesn’t have to think for himself at all. He merely goes where they have gone before him. This mindlessness allows us to focus more on our physical strengths. If I don’t have to use my mind to make all my own decisions, I can rely more on my muscles to just get the job done. The dogs that pull these sleds are much the same. Our guide personally introduced us to each of the eight dogs on our team. He shared with us their names, their personalities, and why they held the place on the team they held. The two dogs that were the last pair were referred to as the “meatheads” in fact, one of them was unable to see out of both eyes so he “sensed where he should go” and often banged into the female to his left because of his poor eyesight. This guy mainly went on feel and just followed the energy in front of him.

I thought the “alpha” dog would be a lead dog but I realized this is not necessarily true. Alpha dogs are so busy trying to keep everyone else in line that they often don’t watch the trail ahead and make good decisions. Looking back and trying to correct all the dogs behind him/her prevent the alpha dog from truly acting as a leader. While these dogs are strong physically and mentally, they spend too much energy trying to control those around them. Another light bulb moment…. hmmm. The real gifted leaders were the ones who were able to just make a decision and head in that direction. They were confident they were on the right path, at the right pace, heading in the right direction. They understood that the rest would fall into place behind them, and that they did not need to control everything that went on behind them. They also inherently understood that for this risk they would be rewarded with the most beautiful scenery and that they would get to experience all the joys that lay ahead on the trail. I think they also knew they would not always make the correct decision. As the brake man on one run I had to jump off the sled because the dogs cut the turn too sharp and the sled almost collided with the tree.

The true leaders of the pack were the dogs with heart and courage. They were willing to feel like they were running away from the pack, a somewhat scary feeling at times I am sure, and they were willing to focus only on what lies ahead on the trail. They did not waste any time or energy trying to control others behind them and they were not willing to just blindly follow the decisions of others. They were willing to put it all out there and make the decisions for the group. They set the pace and decided how fast to take the twists and turns on the trail, they were the ones willing to encounter the obstacles first, and face the unknown challenges that lie ahead. They were willing to take a stand and make a decision, and then they didn’t look back. The real beauty of this is that while it must have felt counter-intuitive and more than a bit scary they sure did enjoy the best view and they got to see the sunset in the trees on the trail and feel the fresh powder snow beneath their feet. I think this was a well-deserved benefit.

My job on the adventure was to take turns serving as the break man on the sled and correct the dogs when the leader was making a poor decision, like taking a corner too fast. It was up to me as the brakeman to help push the sled and the team up the most difficult hills and to encourage the dogs when the hill seemed too high to conquer. When I took my turn riding on the sled I had to relinquish all control to the dogs in front of me and the brakeman behind me. I did not get to make any of the decisions. I found riding in the sled the most difficult of all. It is hard to give up all control on the journey.

Personally I decided that I don’t like blindly following along in this world letting others make all the decisions for me but it is scary to be willing to be the lead dog and run away from the pack. Sometimes it is nice to just be inbetween.

I also realized that good leaders are the ones who are willing to step back and let someone else lead every now and then recognizing that we all have off days and would just rather follow along that take all the risks.

Dog sledding was really cool and I learned far more than I thought I would. I think that is the sign of a grand adventure.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?’

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Lake Placid Luge

Have you ever wanted to be an Olympian? I have always thought it would be so cool to be one of those super talented athletes who get to carry the flag of red, white and blue into the arena proudly with all the other elite athletes of the world. It is not that I am so competitive that I want to be the best in the world at some sport, rather, I just think it sounds really cool to able perform one of these unusual but cool sports.
I mean who grows up curling or speed skating? Where do these people learn these sports? It’s not like I have ever seen a beginner bobsledding class at the local YMCA.

Back before I officially had a bucketlist, I used to like to do zany things, or as I called it, sampling of life! One weekend while we lived in upstate New York, we took a road trip to Lake Placid, New York and toured this quaint little Adirondack Olympic town. I feel in love with the small town feel that was a cool mixture of small town charm, rich history, and funky mountain town.

On this trip, we learned we could actually go up to the top of the ski jump and stand at the gate, taking turns pretending we were about to go for the Gold on the long jump! On TV the ski jump is fun to watch and I remember thinking these guys were pretty gutsy, but I must admit, standing on the top of the long jump looking down at the ramp ahead of me, I came to the quick and accurate conclusion that these guys are certifiably nuts.

The exploration of Lake Placid got even better when we realized we could walk up the hill where the bobsled and luge runs were located. It was cool to think we were where history was made. About this time, we stumbled upon a sign that said you could actually pay $25 to go down the bobsled run in the summer. In the summer they put the sled on wheels for the ride. Your other option was to wait for snow and take a shot at the luge run.

Determining that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that simply had to be taken while we had the chance, we made our plans. I wanted to bobsled when my friend Karen came to visit later that summer and Dan wanted to wait for snow and luge.

A few weeks later, back in this quaint little town, my friend Karen and I anxiously waited our turn. We had to sign our life away on the waiver, which at the time didn’t seem very sensible because we both had two small children at home, but nevertheless, we both signed on the dotted line.

Now the bobsled run was absolutely a hoot. It was a bit like riding down a water park slide on a flat wooden sled on wheels. If you held your body really rigid and didn’t move your head the sled would kind of go where it was supposed to go. If you tried to control where you were going things got complicated in a hurry. I quickly learned on my own that when I turned my head or slightly twisted my body the sled would start to ride up on the chute causing me to have an even wilder ride.

About half way down the run the adrenaline in my body made way for common sense and I steadied my body. The ride smoothed out and I quickly gained speed. Fighting the urge to turn my head and attempt to control my outcome, it hit me that life was a bit like this. When I tried to channel my inner control freak and control all the variables in my life, havoc was usually the end result. The more I would try to control the variables in my life, the more out of control life would get. Learning the lesson, that sometimes the best decision was to just go with the flow, I finally understood that in life there are only a few things I could control. The rest of life had to just happen. It was a good lesson, one that I have had to relearn a few times since then, but good nevertheless!

While I was zipping down the bobsled run that day with my friend, all I could imagine was the roar of the crowd, the ticking of the time clock and the determination of the individual athletes as their entire life came down to one run. As I navigated one s curve after another on this most famous bobsled course I wondered what must it have felt like to be a real Olympian on this run?

Long before I finished pretending I was in this for the Gold my run was over and I was left to ponder the idea of following my dreams to the top of an Olympic run and the challenge of letting go of my desire to control every aspect of my life. Sometimes, you just have to let go and let God drive the sled.

It was a great experience and I am thankful for the courage to give the bobsled run a try. I am still trying to learn the other lesson.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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Not for the Faint of Heart

Zipline Adventure
What do you get when you cross four stressed out women, 1 mile of cable, and a Tarantula? Well, you get a Royal Gorge wild adventure that’s what! Recently, I found a brand new zipline course at Royal Gorge and felt compelled to give it a try and rope some friends into the adventure too.

The players:
Andrea- game to give it a go but forced to overcome her inner anti adrenaline demons first. She was a natural, and had the biggest smile of the entire group in all the pictures. Once she got going she became a nut and even mastered the elusive spinning trick!

Tracy-a fellow Bucketlist aficionado, Tracy is always up for something new and the source of many of my own bucketlist ideas. This is one wild woman and she is a ton of fun to hang out with –no matter what you are doing.

Vicki-as the unchallenged athlete of the group her natural talents, coupled with her excellent physical strength, helped make her the show stopping master and helped her land a 10 on her form and landings!

Jackie-the mastermind of this crazy adventure and the connector for this rag tag group of 40 something’s as they channeled their inner Tarzan!

On the Bucketlist

Ziplining has always seemed to me to be the ultimate in irrational, adrenaline seeking fun, and although I had never actually done it, was high oh my must do bucketlist. The good news is that I found a zipline course close to home, which proved to be far more affordable than the Costa Rica or Hawaii trip I was envisioning. When I discovered the new course only 2 hours from home I jumped on the bandwagon and started recruiting friends to join in the craziness.

Female Recipe
I have been doing zany stuff all my life, but especially in the past year and if I have learned anything, it is that you can’t beat the fun of gathering a bunch of women and getting out of our comfort zones together. A little bit of adrenaline pumping in our veins usually proves to be very invigorating. What consistently follows is an amazing combination of giggles, squeals, stories, bonding, love and encouragement. It happens every time, and it doesn’t matter at all what crazy activity we are doing. The magic is in getting a group of women together and then getting out of our comfort zone together.

Why does this recipe create the same outcome every time? I think it has something to do with the fact that these women are usually givers. They give to their husbands, their children, their homes, families, neighbors, churches and employers. They give and give and give until eventually they start to feel like they have lost themselves. Now, I don’t want to sound overly dramatic here, but all the women I have run into fit this description. When I start talking about all the craziness of my bucketlist, they are interested. Sometimes they think to themselves, “well, that’s cool but I could never do that” or they think I am special in some athletic gene kind of way, but when they listen to the stories they realize I am not that different from them. They start to ask more questions or follow my blog so they can live vicariously through my crazy world. Eventually, they start to wonder if they could do some of this stuff too. That’s when the magic starts to happen. They start to dream.

Dreams are Good
Dreams are good stuff. You give up the restrictions and responsibilities of life. You don’t ask “if” something could really happen, you just imagine it happening. You stop asking yourself “could I do this?” and start asking yourself “why couldn’t I do that?”

I love doing new things and living life to the fullest. I don’t ever want to look back at my life and wonder why didn’t I do that. I want to look back and say I can’t believe I really did that. That is what my bucketlist is really all about. It’s about living life to the fullest in everyway I can imagine.

The ziplining proved to be very cool. I must admit I was never scared and I felt totally safe. Our guides were very knowledgeable and careful. We got to go on a total of 9 different ziplines ranging in distance from 300 feet to 1000 feet. All in all, we covered over 1 mile of line and got to zip along at speeds of nearly 45 miles per hour!

Tarantula’s on the Trail
The scariest part of the whole adventure was hearing stories of Tarantula’s migrating on the trail! What? Tarantulas! I didn’t sign up for Tarantulas! Thankfully, we only saw one and it was already dead; a rather nasty, gigantic hairy creature that I hope I never run into again!

The magic of this adventure was in bringing together four women who didn’t know each other at all and ending the day knowing we were all friends. We were empowered and we had finally done something to feed our own souls instead of always taking care of everyone else.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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Invest in Yourself

The Big One
One of the big items on my bucketlist is to start a business with my husband and help him make it grow. This is something we have talked about and dreamed about for years. Over the years we’ve worked for others to make their businesses grow, and have had varying levels of responsibility in doing so, but this is something different. This is a chance to create something of our very own and watch it grow. I think that sounds exciting, and maybe just a little scary.

Leap of Faith
We’ve never been in a position to take this leap of faith, but now we are and I am proud to say we are doing it. I think it is one thing to dream about something big like this for years, but to actually have the courage to make it happen is something totally different. It would be easier to just work for someone else, have them take all the risks, have them worry about paying the bills and making payroll, but then we’d never get to see what might happen-if. If we took the chance, if we bet on ourselves for once, or if we believed we could make it happen, what would happen?

Invest in Yourself
I like Warren Buffet, he seems like a levelheaded regular guy. He’s from Nebraska and he doesn’t subscribe to the Hollywood version of success. He seems like he tries to do the right thing. One my last trip through Nebraska I saw a billboard with his picture on it. The words were simple, but profound. They read plainly “Invest in Yourself.” When I saw these words up there it hit me, why not? Why not invest in us, instead of always investing in someone else’s dream.

This has been an incredibly hectic, exciting, stressful and liberating time for us. We’ve spent months researching what kind of business we’d like, we searched for a business we could purchase that was already up and running and couldn’t find one. We worked hard to come up with a unique business idea that we could create from scratch and we had a few but in the end we decided to go at this a different way.

Lifestyle Living
One of our criteria in this search was to find a business that would grow, would support us and most importantly would serve and help others. We also wanted a lifestyle business. Please don’t get me wrong, we were not searching for a business that would let us live a lifestyle of the rich and famous. That is not who we are or who we would ever want to become. What I am talking about was creating a business we believed in, that allowed us to do what was important to our family. We wanted to live where we wanted to be, we wanted to be able to focus on the things that were important to us, faith, family and helping people. We wanted to center our life on activities and fitness and the great and beautiful outdoors.

We finally found it and when we did we looked at each other and decided yes we were going to do more than just dream, we were going to take action, we were going to believe, and we were going to invest in ourselves.

I am sure there are those out there that think we are nuts, and maybe we are a bit off, but we are trying to live life in our own terms and we are following our heart. It feels really good.

We are embarking on the biggest adventure of them all and I think this is going to be great fun.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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I Wanna Be A Warrior- A Callathumpian

I learned something about myself the other day and it kind of surprised me. I realized I want to be a warrior. How did I come to this bizarre sounding realization? Well, in a round about way, which seems to be the theme of my life, more often than not, I find things about myself in seemingly random ways. I call this the journey of my life.

I have been on quite a journey the past year and I have learned a tremendous amount about myself along the way. I think I am a better person for it, so it seems that I must continue on this journey. They say life is not about “getting there, it is about the journey” and I must concur.

I attended an outrageous event last weekend called “The Warrior Dash” and even though I did not participate in it, I learned something about myself. I went as the “cheerleader, gear carrier, and photographer extraordinaire” to watch and cheer my husband and cousin on as they competed in a 5K Obstacle Course at Copper Mountain called the Warrior Dash. It was hysterical to say the least.

When they signed up for this event months ago I passed on joining. My insecurities got the best of me, again. The thought of running through an obstacle course, while running a 5K at 11,000 feet in elevation was enough to spook me off. I instead volunteered to be the cheerleader and take the pictures, a very safe, very clean decision on my part.

Now, you must understand a bit about this race. The idea is to dress up in a costume, test your inner Warrior and push yourself out of your normal comfort zone doing zany things like jump over fire, shimmy under barbed wire fences, climb over walls and wallow in a big mud pit. If you succeed and cross the finish line you win a cool warrior hat. This seemed a lot of work for a silly hat to me until I saw what I was missing.

My husband has this cool ability to see possibilities I can’t always see; I really admire this and love this about him. I just need to learn to listen to him more often, but that, my friend, is another story.

I looked up warrior in the dictionary and I was intrigued. It said a warrior was a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics. I liked the part about great vigor and courage. Then I noticed the synonym for this word and it was even better. It said a fighter was a person with will, courage, determination, ability or disposition to fight, struggle resist etc.

Pondering this a bit, it hit me that I would really like to be known as a warrior, someone with courage, a fighter who was a person with will, and determination, and with the ability to fight and struggle. This sounds to me like someone strong and brave.

The funny part of this is that as I learn something about myself, it leads me to something new and unexpected. I noticed a new word, one I have never heard of but I really liked the sound of. My search led me to the word, callathumpian, an extraordinary or unusal thing, person or event. An exceptional example or instance. This sounds good to me.

It hit me, you can’t be extraordinary if you are afraid to get out of the ordinary of life. I think my bucketlist is helping me get out of the ordinary of life and that is a good thing.

Watching my husband and cousin, dressed in matching Hawaiian outfits of grass skirts, straw hats and coconut shell bikini tops run up the mountain, climb over walls, slide under fences and then wade through the mud pit I realized you have to be willing to stand out from the crowd and you have to be willing to be someone who isn’t afraid to get dirty if you want to be a warrior.

I am going to sign up for next years’ Warrior Dash and work on my inner callathumpian, in fact, I am putting it on my Bucketlist right now.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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