The List

Class 5 Whitewater Rafting in Costa Rica.
Class 5 Whitewater Rafting in Costa Rica.

We all have lists.  Shopping lists, to do lists, playlists, best of this, best of that, there are all kinds of lists. When I was a kid, I would come home after school to a list.  Sometimes that list would be 4,5,6 pages long.  Sometimes the list would reference other lists. Whatever it was, I never wanted to do anything on that list, so I started making my own.  Here’s what is on my list:

  • Catch a big fish.  And I mean a REALLY big fish.  I’ve caught beautiful Mahi-Mahi, doormat Fluke, and monster Striped Bass. But I’m talking Old Man And The Sea stuff.  A 1,000 pound Marlin or 500 pound Tuna.  Maybe when I catch the big one, I’ll want to go bigger, or maybe not.  I’ll know when I get there.
  • Climb a mountain.  Why?  Because it’s there.  Kilimanjaro and Denali both come to mind as feats that are clearly in the realm of possibility.  Maybe after one or both of those, Everest could be put on the list.
  • Run with the Bulls.  I’ve been fascinated by this since I first saw a painting of a Matador.  I was probably 5 years old.  And then I heard about this event in Pamplona, Spain.  It’s just something I have to do.
  • Write a book.  Still working on it.
  • Go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.  Will probably never do this, but it sounds like fun to me.  I’ve always joked that my last words on earth will be “Hey, watch this.”
  • Swim with Great Whites.  Jaws is my favorite movie of all time, it scared the shit out of me.  Great Whites are the fiercest, most powerful creatures on earth.  Of course my preference is to be in a steel cage.
  • Surf all 7 continents.  So far I have surfed North America, South America, and Australia.  Asia, Europe, and Africa are all achievable given my rate of travels.  But there is only one person that’s ever done all 7.  I want to be in that group.
  • Take an African Safari.  Camping in the Catskills, watching squirrels run up and down trees, that’s alright.  Watching a black bear catch a fish in a mountain stream in the Adirondacks, yeah, that was cool.  But now I want to go big.  Bring on the lions
  • Eat sushi in Japan.  I like Sushi.  I want to go to Japan.  Simple.
  • Run a marathon.  I’ve done the Big Sur Marathon in California, and the NYC Road Runner’s Marathon.  My desire to run another one is about 2%.
  • Get the lead role in a play.  As a returning adult student, I performed in the Southampton Players performance of The Lion In Winter.  I had the role of Henry II.  Good times.
  • Escape From Alcatraz.  I’ve always had a fascination with escaping from a prison, I have no idea where that came from.  On Father’s Day, 2002, I swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco as part of the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon.
  • Take a great photo.  I’ll know it when I get it.
  • Explore the Galapagos Islands.  Darwin seemed to enjoy it.
  • Learn another language.  Why can’t we just all get along?
  • Learn to play an instrument.  I’ve always wanted to be a Rockstar.
  • Smoke a fine Cuban cigar.  In Havana.
  • Hike the Appalachian Trail.  All of it.
  • Get high in Amsterdam.  All you goody-two-shoes can just glance past this last one.

Over time, things have been added to and taken away from my list, things change.  Life happens.  Motorcycle across South America, train ride across Europe, and swim across the Long Island Sound are all things that I’d love to do, but at this point make the B list.   A fine French meal in view of the Eiffel Tower, a good glass of wine in Tuscany, and paint a masterpiece also come to mind.  The real beauty of my list is that it is my list.  I get to approach it and check things off as I see fit, in my way.

So what’s on your list?

Nice fish, but not the big one!
Nice fish, but not the big one!
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