30 by 30: In progress

#14 Visit ten more places in ‘1000 Places to See Before You Die’
#22 Get to 21% body fat

Today I write about items that are in progress. I have been actively working towards them for five years, but haven’t made it all the way. These items are less about the events themselves and more about the change I wanted to see in the way I approached the world. These two items specifically are about bettering myself, probably more than any other items on the list.

#14 Visit ten more places in ‘1000 Places to See Before You Die’
I got this book when I was maybe 20 years old. It was so fun to flip through it the first time and realize how much of the world I hadn’t seen. Then I started to go places.

When I was 19, I drove from Bellingham, Washington to San Diego, California and over to Vegas riding every roller coaster I could find.

When I was 20, I went to Sevilla, Spain to study abroad. While I was there, I found myself in Madrid, Cabo San Vicente, Rome, Pisa, Milan, Florence, Athens, Prague, and Brussels.

Then, I got home, waited a year, and went back to Madrid for a second shorter study abroad after spending the two weeks immediately prior in Bali and Kalimantan, Indonesia (not on the list) as part of a short term mission trip. I went to places like Churchill Downs during Derby weekend and Salem, Massachusetts right before Halloween.

Since college, I haven’t gotten to go abroad much but I have been able to travel stateside, in part due to the awesome friends I made while in Spain.

My goal for the list was to travel like I did when I was younger and less afraid of money and using my vacation time.

I checked off Boston-area must-sees like the Freedom trail and Cape Cod National Seashore. A wedding I went to (another study abroad friend) was catered by Woodman’s of Essex but I didn’t eat at the walk-up window so it doesn’t check the box.

I went hiking in the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park (maybe my new favorite place).

Some of the more awesome places I’ve been weren’t on this specific list I picked when I was 25. I’ve had Indian food in Salt Lake City and got grossed out by the flies at the Great Salt Lake. Neither are on the list. I’ve been skiing in Colorado a couple of times, but not at any of the resorts on this list. I’ve been to the Cleveland arcades, but not the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so it didn’t count. I’ve been mini golfing and go-karting in the very beautiful The Dells, Wisconsin and that didn’t count towards completing this list item.

Over the next year, I’d love to hike in some of these places the book says I need to. I’d love go at least check off more items in British Columbia and California. I’d love to follow my boyfriend to Ireland or Brazil or other places with Amazon offices and get some more international check marks.

Counting this one as still in progress and giving myself credit for keeping in the spirit of the list.

#22 Get to 21% body fat
I’ll write about this more when I talk about checking #28 off my list, but I picked up running because of this list. I’ve also written about running here.

In addition to running, I’ve picked up skiing. I play soccer once a week when my old injury isn’t flaring up. I hike almost every weekend in the spring and summer. When I’m not doing all of those things, I am in the gym on the elliptical or bike machines or at the pool swimming laps.

Coming from a heavy family and seeing how weight affects diabetes and other health problems, I work very diligently to exercise regularly. And I still struggle with weight. It makes me crazy, and sometimes results in tears.

All this to say that while I am constantly working towards toning down and bringing down my body fat percentage, I’m also trying to sort of shift my focus.

Some people are very motivated to work out simply because they don’t want to be heavy. One person I can think of specifically used to be heavy and didn’t like how lethargic it made him feel. Remembering that feeling is enough for him to say no to cheese or force him to get on the treadmill after a long day of work. I wish that worked for me.

I have learned over the past five years of trying to get down to closer to my college weight that I am far more motivated to eat well or exercise if I have something I need to be in shape for. In the winter, every step I run is to make it easier to ski. It takes a lot of cardiovascular strength to deal with altitude. In the summer, I exercise to make it easier to hike and keep up with my very fit friends up my favorite mountains.

I’m calling this one in progress because I have no idea what my bfp is. It’s hard enough to give myself credit for exhausting myself after a double-header of indoor soccer, and then get home to shower and still feel like I’ve made no progress towards cutting down that cellulite on my thighs. It’s hard enough to deal with tears that come after a bad 10k and feeling like I’ve made no progress towards becoming a more capable runner. It takes too much work to look at myself after a day of skiing and convince that girl in the mirror to give herself credit for a hard day on a mountain.

The only numbers I want to use to measure my fitness are faster and faster 10k times and more successful runs down harder slopes.