I don’t have a bucket list. Something about turning my life into a laundry list of things to tick off, however cool they might be, just doesn’t appeal to me. And what if some of them turned out not to be so cool after all?

Like sky diving, for example. There was a time I thought that was something I simply had to do. People didn’t die from that. It was perfectly safe. You jumped out, plummeted, pulled your cord, and poof! You floated to the ground like a dandelion on the wind.

Unless you didn’t. Unless you got the pack with the laundry in it instead of a chute (that was in a movie). I don’t want to jump anymore and certainly not because I put an item on my list. No list, no items, and absolutely no airing my dirty laundry from somewhere over the rainbow!

Not keeping a list has its disadvantages, of course. When I finish one goal, I have to come up with another one. If I had a list, I could go, say, from #58 Pat a Lion to #27 Go off the Grid for a Year seamlessly. If anyone asked why it seemed like I was posting pics on Facebook of my hands all over a pride of lions and then suddenly disappeared into thin air for a year, I’d have the answer.

“Oh, you know, just ticking off items on my bucket list!” I’d say.

And I wouldn’t even need to disclose that little trip to the village hospital where I remained for that year, because, technically, that was off the grid, right? They would nod, wisely, and wonder if they should put lion petting and grid escaping on their own lists.

Without a list, my goals need to make sense. I hike a mountain. And then I hike a bunch of them. I run an adventure race. And then I run a bunch of them. I… but what? What do I do next?

This is my short list: Run the Spartan Super, the Spartan Sprint, and the Spartan Beast. Spend a week in the Adirondacks and tag a few 4,000 footers there. Head to Maine and climb Katahdin. Run the FIT Challenge, the Spartan Stadium Sprint at Fenway, a Halloween Zombie race and a winter obstacle race.

I’m pretty stuck on adventure races and mountains without a new item to tick off, as you can see. Sky diving is still out. As are lion petting and getting off the grid. My feet will stay firmly planted and my hands will stay firmly attached. Good thing, too, because I’ll need those hands to surf my way around the grid I refuse to get off to find something new for those feet to do!

Unless. Unless... See, there is this one thing. There's this road race, which is coming up in July, a local 5K, no mud, no bells, no whistles, just a road race. It is very important to someone I know because it is run in honor of a little boy he knows who loved to run when he was alive. That someone and I made an agreement of sorts. He challenged me to run the 5K, something so simple for him he runs it backwards coaching others, and, at the time, something  I couldn’t imagine doing ever. I challenged him to change his life, something he couldn’t imagine doing ever.

And wouldn’t you know it, he did. Seriously! He actually changed his life. I’d tell you how, but it’s really kind of personal, so just imagine someone hurting himself every day to the point he’s literally dying but can’t stop hurting himself and then I come along and tell him I’ll run his silly race if he’ll just kindly stop killing himself slowly because I can't watch it anymore and so he does. He stops. HE STOPS! And he starts living again. He wants to be a priest. (Between you and me, he already is.)

Yeah, so I guess I better show up for the most important event of my life. This one didn’t make it to my short list because a part of me didn’t believe I’d need to own up to my part. 

If I ever do write a bucket list, I guess I can scratch off #1 Run a 5K for a friend who changed his life and changed me in the process and #2 Eat Crow.