About This Project

I am very young, and I still have much to learn about myself and the world. Over the years, however, I have learned two crucial things about myself:
  1. I love to see how far I can push myself in various disciplines.
  2. I am only happy when I am productively working toward a specific goal.
I began to see the connection between these two qualities in the summer of 2016. 

Bored and lonely since I was out of school, one night before bed I began to watch the NBC show Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge. Having always had an interest in obstacle courses and obstacle course game shows on TV, I quickly became hooked. After several back-to-back episodes, I became curious and began to research Spartan on the internet. Lo and behold, Spartan turned out to be an actual company that puts on obstacle races anybody can take part in. I had never realized that such events existed.

Instantly I knew that I had to participate at some point in the near future, and I spent the next several hours scouring the website for information and videos. One thing led to another, and at 6 o'clock in the morning, I realized that I had spent the whole night researching events from Spartan races to Tough Mudders to marathons. Something had changed. I knew that I needed to get back in touch with my younger self, the me that wanted to save the world and be the fastest runner and the best tree climber. That me valued courage above all else and would never wimp out on a dare. I wanted to recover that self, to honor the person I was a child, to combine it with the lessons I learned as a teenager and use that combination to become the fullest, truest version of myself.

That, dear readers, is why I created this project. I have created a list of a wide variety of difficult, creative, and inspiring events, challenges, and disciplines that I want to partake in. Will I complete all of them in my lifetime? Probably not. Nevertheless, having the list inspires me to never stop pushing myself, in hopes of achieving as much as I possibly can before I die. Whenever I complete one item, I choose another one, and whenever I find another interesting challenge, I add it to my list.

Okay, so I have a bucket list, lots of people do. Why blog about it? There are three main reasons. First of all, it's a method of keeping myself accountable. If I were to do all of this on my own, it would be easy to slack off and take it easy every once in a while since nobody but me would notice the difference. Blogging, however, gives me the responsibility to post regularly and provide content for people to consume, thus requiring me to keep moving forward on this journey.

Second, blogging and posting on social media not only keeps me accountable but it also inspires me. There is actually a neurological reason for that. According to a Harvard University study, disclosing information about oneself is intrinsically pleasurable, and is even associated to some extent with the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that causes pleasurable feelings, in the brain. Essentially, people like to share their experiences and thoughts with other people, and I am no exception to that rule. Sharing a picture of my exercise regimen on Instagram is very satisfying, and when people like that photo, that behavior is positively reinforced. In other words, blogging and posting on social media about my experiences is pleasurable, which then inspires me to keep working toward my bucket list items so I can post about them later.

Lastly, and most importantly, I want to blog to inspire people to attain their own dreams by showing them that regular people can achieve great things. When I started on this journey, I was only 17, and I was not some sort of fitness guru or intellectual genius. All I had was drive, determination, and just enough courage to get me going, but that was sufficient to get me doing things that at one time I never thought I could. We are limited by less than we tend to believe we are, and I want to be a living example of that to other people.

Let me end with a song that I feel embodies the spirit of this project. At the end of my life, I want to be able to say:

"I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived"
--"I Lived," Native, OneRepublic

Thank you so much for reading! I do not claim to be an expert but merely wish to share my experiences so others can see that regular people can achieve dreams.


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