20121206-IMG_0255_HDRWe 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?