Epic 30

A life well lived requires risk. An epic story demands epic moments. In the run up to turning 30 this past November, I played the nostalgia game and considered whether I had been living life deliberately. In finding a mixed answer to that question, I’ve come to realize that I have not.  In a rushed lunge at the dying light of my 20’s I started a push towards something I considered a more aggressively real life.  Much of this push has come from surrounding myself with fantastic people who undertake awesome adventures – one does as one’s community does.  In the last few months before my birthday, I went whitewater rafting, dipped my toe in trad climbing, went sailing in San Francisco Bay, and tried to go sky-diving (thwarted by weather and bumped to the coming year).  It turns out that it might require more than five minutes’ notice to organize some adventures.

The criteria for making the list is as follows:

  • Must be done by no more than 5% of most people
  • Must be more notable than what I can do now or have done in the past, if the same activity

I find that I’m struggling with a division between what I consider items for a “bucket list” and what I consider an “epic task.” For instance, the following two:

  • Get Wilderness First Aid certified
  • Live in a place with a skyline view of a major city

The former contributes to being a tad more prepared while completing the list, but is not in itself epic.  It is, however, something along the lines of what everyone should have on a list of basic life tasks for their own safety and ability to help others in emergency situations.  I’d put it on a fairly lame bucket list.  The latter probably fits the population limit criterium, but really doesn’t mesh with something I think of as being Epic. It’s certainly cool and is a checkbox completed on my general bucket list, but I have to disqualify it for making the list. 

The initial list:

  • Lead a 5.12
  • Lead a multi-pitch trad climb
  • Ice Climb (Feb)
  • Summit a mountain
  • Go spelunking
  • Hangglide
  • Fly a plane
  • Fly a helicopter
  • Drive a motorcycle
  • Skydive (Apr)
  • Complete a Century
  • Complete a Triathlon (Aug)
  • Raft the Upper Gauley (Sept)
  • Swim in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the same day
  • Fly fish in Glacier National Park
  • Drink Scotch that’s older than I am

Clearly, I have more than a handful of tasks to add to the list.  Let me know if you have recommendations.  Between now and my birthday in November, I’ll be chronicling my journey. Check back for updates as I go along.