Jumping In A Lake Changed My Life – How a Bucket List begins

It’s 5am and I am in Boise, Idaho.  Shortly, I’ll be getting on a plane and heading back to Texas.

This morning I was watching the local news and they mentioned the Make A Wish Annual Polar Bear Challenge.  I find a lot of irony in that I find myself in Boise on New Year’s Day 2019. You see, on this day six years ago I took action that led to me making a commitment to myself to live life to the fullest and it all started with the Annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Challenge here in Boise.

The date was January 1, 2013.  A winter storm had blown in last night.  Temperatures dropped, and the snow fell.  I lived in Twin Falls, which is about 100-miles from Boise.  Although I had committed to do the annual Make A Wish Polar Bear Challenge in Boise, the temperature when I woke up at 5am in Twin Falls was -4 degrees.  On top of that, Idaho Department of Transportation said driving was very hazardous and stay off of the roads.  Sweet!  I now have all of the reasons I need to get out of this commitment.

For the next hour or so I sat in front of the fireplace sipping coffee thinking.  For some reason, I could not let go of the decision I had just made.  At some point, I said to myself, “Is breaking a commitment to yourself really the way you want to start off the year?”  My answer was no, so I got up and started moving.  I will spare you the details, but between my bedroom door and the bank of that little mountain lake I encountered and overcame dozens of excuses I could have used to not honor this commitment.  Ultimately, I jumped in the lake and now here I am 6-years later.  The lesson; If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way, and if it’s not, then you’ll find an excuse.

Below is a list of many of the significant events that have happened as a result of honoring my commitment and jumping in that lake.  Seriously, as I was drying off and getting dressed in my car after the swim, I told myself that I was done with making excuses and not living my life to the fullest.  It happened that fast and I am so glad it did because most all of the stuff below would have never happened if I had not made the decision that day to change.

Maybe today is the day you decide to recommit and live life to the fullest.  Perhaps today is the day you start your own list.  Speaking of lists, if you follow me then you know about what I call The List.  The List is a listing of all of the stuff I want to do before I die.  You can click here if you would like to check out The List.

So, here’s to 2019.  Make this year the year you Find Your Adventure and Live Your Life. #BMFAdventureClub

PS – Yesterday I mentioned a 35-day challenge I am doing.  In case you missed it, I am doing a cool exercise created by author Mel Robbins.  It is a 35-day challenge called The Mindset Reset.  Here is a link if you would like to check it out and join in.  It’s free! – https://melrobbins.com/mindsetreset/  #MindsetReset

Stuff I’ve done since jumping in the lake. I’ve highlighted some of the more notable items:

  • 1/1/13 – Polar Bear Challenge in Boise
  • 1/2/13 – Boiling water in cold air experiment
  • 1/8/13 – Found out Ellie’s last chemo treatment date
  • 1/23/13 – Watched Ellie play Ursula in performance
  • 2/12/13 – Competed in Gumbo Cook-off on TV
  • 3/13/13 – Took my sister zip-lining
  • 4/9/13 – Went to Zappos University
  • 4/10/13 – Got my picture taken with Elvis (at least he said he was Elvis)
  • 4/27/13 – Ran 10-miles for the first time in my life
  • 5/4/13 – Took Ellie to the MSTI Prom for kids with cancer
  • 5/6/13 – Visited President Lincoln’s grave
  • 5/12/13 – Canoed to Shoshone Falls with Walter – 1st time
  • 5/19/13 – Ran 13.1 miles for the first time
  • 6/8/13 – Emceed a cancer fundraiser with Ellie
  • 8/16/13 – Covered the Ketchum wildfire
  • 9/7/13 – Did a 3-person triathlon by myself
  • 9/14/13 – Completed the Rim 2 Rim with Kaleigh
  • 10/1/13 – Drove the limo carrying Ellie to last Chemo treatment
  • 10/24/13 – Ellie’s Kicked Cancer Party. Dressed as Dorothy
  • 10/25/13 – Won my flight President’s Cup BLCC
  • 10/1/13 – Twin Falls Sales Team delivered the annual budget
  • 11/28/13 – Began Black Friday tradition with Ellie
  • 12/3/13 – Took Walter to Megadeath Concert
  • 1/11/14 – Took Walter to KISS Tribute Concert
  • 1/26/14 – First time to visit Miami
  • 1/27/14 – First time to eat Cuban food
  • 1/28/14 – Ran 8-miles with Raven on South Beach
  • 3/9/14 – First Father Daughter Ball with Ellie at BLCC
  • 4/5/14 – Paddled to Shoshone Falls with Walter – 2nd time
  • 4/27/14 – Took Joy to an 80’s party. She looked incredible
  • 5/8/14 – Bought my first drone
  • 5/13/14 – Took Ellie to New York City
  • 5/14/14 – Took Ellie to First Broadway Show
  • 6/3/14 – Painted my toes for the first time
  • 6/19/14 – Made honorary firefighter in Hailey (still dial 911 if you have a fire and I am there)
  • 6/23/14 – Did the famous Cat Picture with Artemis
  • 7/22/14 – Climbed Idaho’s tallest mountain, Borah, with Jason
  • 8/9/14 – Competed in a cardboard boat race
  • 8/15/14 – Competed in a rib eating contest
  • 8/22/14 – Dressed as an Indian at a dude ranch
  • 8/23/14 – Completed the Hotter N Hell Hundred
  • 9/5/14 – Completed another 3-person triathlon by myself
  • 10/7/14 – Signed up for my first marathon
  • 11/2/14 – Ran 20-miles
  • 11/16/14 – Completed the Las Vegas Marathon
  • 12/13/14 – First time to Nordic Ski
  • 12/14/14 – Performed in my first ballet, Nut Cracker, Sun Valley
  • 12/22/14 – First time to have a wreck with a cop car
  • 12/23/14 – Reenacted Napoleon Dynamite with Joy & Ellie in Preston, ID
  • 1/2/15 – Started using a stand-up desk
  • 1/18/15 – Completed SCUBA Certification
  • 2/6/15 – Got my KLR-650 Dual-Sport Motorcycle
  • 2/7/15 – Completed my first Nordic ski race (despite the avalanche warning)
  • 2/14/15 – Ran a 5K with Ellie and Joy
  • 2/28/15 – Finally got my motorcycle license
  • 3/14/15 – Walked in a parade wearing a kilt
  • 3/21/15 – Visited the Farnsworth TV Museum in Rigby, ID
  • 4/5/15 – Made my first Jello mold
  • 4/11/15 – Slept in the Red Rock Desert
  • 4/12/15 – Ran a half-marathon in Vegas
  • 4/26/15 – Visited World’s Largest Rocking Chair
  • 5/3/15 – Took my first real ADV motorcycle trip
  • 5/5/15 – Took Ellie to Vegas
  • 5/7/15 – Watched Jason graduate Marine boot camp
  • 5/21/15 – Received Philanthropist of the Year Award St. Luke’s
  • 6/6/15 – Completed Bruneau Beast Half Marathon, Bruneau Sand Dunes (walked 18-holes of golf later that day in a tournament)
  • 6/18/15 – Floated the Middle-Fork of the Salmon River, 5-days
  • 7/1/15 – Had to quit a job I loved
  • 7/4/15 – Went to a Burmese Water Festival
  • 7/9/15 – Picked Raspberries with Ellie & Joy
  • 7/10/15 – Videotaped my first tornado
  • 7/22/15 – Ran 34-miles for my birthday
  • 8/13/15 – Visited the grave of Billy the Kid
  • 8/14/15 – Visited home of Dr. Pepper in Dublin, TX
  • 8/22/15 – First time at Dixie Chicken in College Station
  • 8/29/15 – Entered something in a fair for the first time
  • 9/2/15 – Won first place for bread in the fair
  • 9/13/15 – Repaired a piece of furniture, correctly
  • 9/19/15 – Participated in a real protest, Austin, Vulcan Lives Matter
  • 9/25/15 – Met Robbie Knieval
  • 9/26/16 – Entered first car show with Ellie
  • 9/29/15 – Rode Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel
  • 10/15/15 – Met Yo-Yo Ma with Ellie
  • 10/17/15 – Rode Segway for first time with Ellie, Austin
  • 11/1/15 – Learned to play guitar and played first song with Walter
  • 12/13/15 – Went to an official Bigfoot sitting spot
  • 12/28/15 – Began a challenge to run 1,000 miles in a year
  • 1/16/16 – Painted my first real picture
  • 1/5/16 – Toured the Blue Bell Factory
  • 1/7/16 – Rode in a helicopter for the first time
  • 1/7/16 – Shot a machine gun for the first time
  • 1/10/16 – Climbed Enchanted Rock
  • 1/30/16 – Took my first cooking class
  • 2/4/16 – Made my Will
  • 2/6/16 – First visit to New Orleans for Mardis Gras
  • 2/24/16 – Visited Washington DC for first time
  • 3/7/16 – Completed walk from Montgomery to Selma
  • 4/10/16 – Painted a picture of Joy’s car for her birthday
  • 4/11/16 – Joined the NRA and ACLU (I figured one canceled out the other)
  • 4/16/16 – Climbed Guadalupe Peak
  • 4/17/16 – Saw 2 rock concerts on same weekend
  • 4/24/16 – Lived as a homeless person for 3-days
  • 5/14/16 – Completed a Tough Mudder race
  • 5/25/16 – Adopted a trail in Twin Falls
  • 5/28/16 – Visited my parent’s grave for the first time
  • 5/29/16 – Got a season pass to an amusement park
  • 5/30/16 – Visited Magnolia Marketplace
  • 6/4/16 – Played in an official Putt-Putt tournament. I won!
  • 6/5/16 – Ate the hottest chicken wings in Texas
  • 6/9/16 – Drove a General Lee replica car
  • 6/9/16 – I got to pet a live 70-pound Bobcat
  • 6/19/16 – Ran 81-miles in a week
  • 6/26/16 – Finished 1,000 mile running challenge
  • 7/22/16 – Skydive for the first time on birthday
  • 7/30/16 – Sailed a boat for the first time
  • 7/30/16 – Learned basic Beekeeping
  • 8/27/16 – Finished another 100-mile bike race
  • 8/28/16 – Ran a half-marathon the day after the 100-mile bike race
  • 9/22/16 – Finished reading the Bible cover to cover
  • 10/1/16 – Got a job delivering pizza at Dominos
  • 10/6/16 – Took Ellie and family to Seattle
  • 11/14/16 – Went to Austin City Limits concert
  • 11/17/16 – Went to Africa
  • 11/26/16 – Summited Mount Kilimanjaro
  • 11/28/16 – Went on an African Safari
  • 12/27/16 – Took final run of year. Ran 1,760-miles in 2016
  • 1/1/17 – Started BMF Adventure Club Website; Grit, Courage, Confidence, Curiosity
  • 1/3/17 – Made it a year without a political post on Facebook. Never again
  • 1/15/17 – Experienced an LGBT event in Little Havana. Very interesting.
  • 1/20/17 – Visited Duck Commander in Monroe, LA
  • 2/19/17 – Played in my first disc golf tournament
  • 3/4/17 – Slept in a Tipi & first international ADV ride, Big Bend
  • 3/25/17 – Went to Snow’s BBQ. Best BBQ in Texas
  • 4/29/17 – Went skydiving with Tammy
  • 5/3/17 – Gave first BMF speech to Waco Y.P.
  • 5/16/17 – Went to the top of the Empire State Building
  • 5/28/17 – Became a Bull Rider; for about 3-seconds
  • 6/10/17 – Did a 500 foot rappel off of W Hotel in Austin with Ellie and Chava for Make A Wish. We raised over $7K!
  • 7/22/17 – Went Paragliding with Ellie on my birthday
  • 7/23/17 – Shot a Picture of the Milky Way Galaxy with Joy & Ellie. It was perfect
  • 8-6-17 – Completed the Badass Texas Half-Marathon in Waco
  • 8/14/17 – Went to Four Corners Monument with Ellie
  • 8/19/17 – Took Ellie to her first Texas Rangers baseball game
  • 8/27/17 – Completed the Hotter-N-Hell Triple Threat; MTB Race, 100-mile Bicycle Race, Half-Marathon
  • 9/3/17 – Went cliff diving with Ellie at PK
  • 10/1/17 – First Official Off-Road Motorcycle Rally
  • 11/26/17 – Completed writing my first book
  • 2/10/18 – Did the Cupid Run and ran a race in my underwear
  • 3/20/18 – Official beginning of Flight School
  • 3/31/18 – 100% free of debt
  • 4/26/18 – Landed an airplane for the first time
  • 5/19/18 – Floated a river on a tube with Ellie
  • 6/23/18 – Went off of the BSR Slide Royal Flush with Jason
  • 7/22/18 – Took Ellie and Hannah on an adventure. Climbed Half Dome in Yosemite
  • 8/12/18 – Took a lesson from a new instructor and flew a new plane
  • 9/18/18 – Did my solo and became a Pilot.
  • 9/27/18 – Took Ellie on her 5-Year Last Chemo Anniversary trip to Colorado
  • 9/28/18 – Climbed Colorado’s tallest mountain with Ellie; Mt. Elbert 14,439 elev.
  • 9/29/18 – Floated Glenwood Canyon with Ellie
  • 9/30/18 – First time to Fly Fish with Ellie and rode Vail mountain coaster
  • 10/13/18 – Was on a 17-mile training run when a tornado hit
  • 11/7/18 – Went to Europe with Ellie; Greece
  • 11/9/18 – Had my first adult drink with Ellie at Cafe Bistro 46 in Athens
  • 11/11/18 – Ran the “The Marathon” from Marathon to Athens, Greece
  • 12/30/18 – Had my first Wax job. Eyebrows and ears only
  • 12/31/18 – Went to the Boise New Year’s Eve Potato Drop

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