By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger, Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
A lot of people have been asking me what’s on my bucket list.
Frankly, I haven’t been questioned this intensely about my future since I was 22 and a newly minted college grad. I suppose it’s because I hit what people consider a “big” birthday in April.
I turned 65.
At this age, no one’s asking about career pursuits. (I know they’re thinking that I’m pretty much done, but they’d be wrong.)
What they are really asking is how long can one stay physically active. I guess to my younger friends, I’m the canary in their coal mine.
Here’s my list:
#1: Not falling off my bike
I don’t feel the need to rekindle my youth by climbing Kilimanjaro, playing Forest Lawns or golfing Inverness.
I just want to stay upright on my bike and make it back home safely every night.
That’s not too hard to achieve in the Quad Cities. Thankfully, we had public officials and staffers who many years ago (in the late 70s and early 80s) who had the foresight to plan a nice web of trails on both the Iowa and Illinois sides of the river.
I love getting out early, and riding through prairies, woods and riverside in a single ride.
#2: Extended bike rides
I’d like to get to know some other states as I did Iowa during RAGBRAI.
Some scenery, such as the Rocky Mountains, is blunt force beautiful even at 70 mph.
But many states, especially in the Midwest, have subtleties that you need to slow down to appreciate.
An extended ride across a state allows you a time-lapsed exposure to its real heart and soul.
#3: Adding golf
I may play more golf; walking and carrying my bag, of course.
I stopped playing 35 years ago because I was more interested in running off my excess calories. That worked OK for my weight management, but not for my knees.
I should have listened to my dad in the first place. He always encouraged golf as a sport because he said you could play it all your life. Indeed, he played it until just before he died.
#4: Becoming the neighborhood eccentric
I also have always wanted to be known as eccentric. So, in addition to keeping in shape on my bike and the North Family Y elliptical, I may start walking the kittens, as well as the dog.
#5: Kicking something … but not the bucket
After only a month in the social security age bracket, I am already tired of talking about bucket lists that point directly at my diminishing time on this planet.
But as much as I would like to, I am not going to be foolish and think that I can play tennis, shoot hoops or run again (unless a semi is bearing down on me as I cross the street).
Bottom line: I can’t imagine another 20-30 years of this bucket-list question. If it continues, I just might kick something; and it may not be the bucket.