We all know about The Bucket List. Things you hope to do before you die. I’ve even made a Bucket List dedicated to my photographic ambitions. But today, on the eve of my daughter Heather’s first Polar Plunge, my thoughts have turned in another direction.
Heather is a Special Olympics athlete with emphasis on “Special.” She’s amazing! A few weeks ago she started talking about the Polar Plunge fund-raiser for Colorado Special Olympics but the talk was filled with trepidation. I mean heck, who wants to dive into a hole cut in the ice of a frozen lake? But after agonizing over it for weeks she told me a couple of days ago that she had registered and needed to get some pledges going. Well, being the good Dad that I am, I started talking to people at work about pledging their support. (Approved by management in advance of course) Today when calls got a little slow, talk turned to the Polar Plunge and tales from co-workers who have done that in the past.
Hearing stories of taking 12 hours to warm up afterwards, sitting in tubs of hot water, wrapping in layers of blankets…Naturally I started thinking. And as usual, my mind went down some strange paths before coming to center and thinking of what I call the Anti Bucket List. Things I will NEVER do. Admittedly, my spirit of adventure is much more mellow at 61 than it was at 16. I once told my children to think up the craziest most dangerous stunt they could come up with then come get me. I would go with them and do it….again. But as an older more refined gentleman these days I have to exhibit a bit of restraint. With that in mind I present my first Anti Bucket List in no particular order of importance.
1. Polar Plunge. I will never participate in the Polar Plunge intentionally. For the most part I will always avoid walking on frozen water. I once tried ice fishing but couldn’t take it. Trolling around that little hole made me dizzy. I suppose technically I have done a pseudo plunge. The image at the top of this blog was taken while standing calf deep in a partially frozen creek in the Black Hills of South Dakota. For the record, though, I was wearing heavy socks and rubber boots to keep warm and dry.
2. Parachuting. I will never willingly jump out of a perfectly functional aircraft. I am not a bird..never have been. I also am not Rocket J. Squirrel (but I do have a hat that resembles Rocky’s flight helmet) If I were meant to fly without being in a plane or helicopter I would have my own wings. I’m never going to do any base jumping from a mountain or building. It’s just not part of my character.
3. Scuba diving. Tried it once, didn’t like it. I really enjoy snorkeling but something about being 50 or 60 feet under water with your air supply depending on a little valve the size of my pinkie fingernail just doesn’t feel like a good time to me. My previous experience at scuba, I couldn’t control my anxiety. My heart was racing and I was breathing much too fast. My buddies went on but I turned back and seriously thought I might drown before I made it to the beach. Never again.
4. Helicopter Skiing. Maybe, when I was much younger and my knees were in far better condition. Problem is that though I enjoy skiing, I am not very good skiing powder. I am certain I would either damage myself or get caught in an avalanche. To say nothing of the expense and the fact that I just plain don’t like cold weather that much.
I’m sure that’s not all but it’s a start. I’ve only been thinking about it for a few hours but rest assured, I will continue to expand the list as other things come to mind.
How bout you? What’s on your Anti Bucket List?