It’s raining here in Minneapolis. The weather people are saying it will quickly turn to snow, that we’ll wake up with a fresh 8-10 inches of it in the morning. This has been April in Minnesota this year. Perhaps not far out of the ordinary, but by this time of the year, we are all dreaming about that day when the temperature tops 50F, the sun comes out, and everyone is smiling and happy.
Last week I knit myself a new pair of mittens, thinking that I could jinx the cold weather away. But it didn’t work. I’ve been wearing them every day. It’s a good thing they’re awesome.
I’ve been getting spring started indoors, growing plants for the vegetable garden. It seems that I’ve gone a bit overboard this year (I’m guessing I won’t need 30 tomato plants), but it’s fun as always, and every year my setup gets a little better.
I have six varieties of tomatoes, five varieties of peppers, two different kinds of kale, red cabbage, and lots of onions. If everything goes well, it will be a great garden.
Life is changing, and it’s good. My veggies are happily growing in the other room, I start a new job this week, and I see many more opportunities for adventures big and small in my future. To top it off, the weather folks say that spring will be arriving this weekend. For real this time.
Last week, Katie of Adventure Inspired wrote up her reverse bucket list, a list that looks back at things she *has* accomplished, instead of only looking forward. I loved the idea so much that I decided to write up one of my own. What a great way to reflect on the awesome things that I’ve done, and create a nice springboard from which to do even *more* awesome stuff! Here’s mine:
Climb: When I was a kid I could always be found up in the sycamore tree in our backyard. There was a perfect spot to hang out and read a book, or look out around the neighborhood. Now I’m climbing rock (and plastic) instead. Climbing is fun, it’s challenging, and it keeps me growing as a person. It takes me to beautiful places, both locally and around the country, and I’ve met some great people. Climbing has changed me for the better.
Play in a professional orchestra: I studied bassoon seriously for a good portion of my life. I’ve performed with full orchestras, chamber groups, and in solo recitals, and worked freelance on a semi-professional level for several years. One of the high points was playing a few concerts with the Akron Symphony Orchestra in Akron, OH. I got to play some of my favorite repertoire with a fantastic group of musicians. It was magical.
Get paid to travel: While playing bassoon, I got paid to play in orchestras in the Cayman Islands and Monterrey, Mexico. All travel expenses included.
Move across the country on my own: I moved to Minnesota, leaving friends and family behind, and not knowing a soul in my new home. It was scary, but I did it, and now I feel that I could move anywhere and be ok (although Minnesota is pretty rad, so no immediate plans).
Build my own bicycle: With some help, I took my dad’s old steel ten-speed, stripped it down to the frame, repainted it, and rebuilt it as a single speed. I love this bike, and I love it even more knowing that I built it myself. I now can do most repairs on my own when I need to. Fun fact: my bike was recently used in a Columbia Sportswear photo shoot.
Take a trapeze lesson: I had a day on my own in L.A. a few years back, and decided to take a flying trapeze lesson on the Santa Monica Pier. Lots of fun.
She flies through the air….
Learn to garden: My mom has a green thumb, which I did not inherit. But, the past few years I’ve been experimenting with growing my own vegetables. There have been successes and miserable failures, but each year I learn a little bit more. Last year I started some seeds indoors and grew my own seedlings to plant outside! It’s great fun, and I have big plans, already, for the upcoming season.
Climb a mountain: Actually climb, with ropes and equipment. I climbed the Grand Teton with my husband this past summer and it was so very, very cool. Definitely one of my life’s highlights to date.
Nearing the summit of the Grand Teton. Photo: Greg Duncan
My hand-knit hiking sweater
Knit a sweater: I learned to knit about five years ago from a good friend, and before I knew it I was beyond hats and on to knitting socks that I actually wear on my feet. I’ve knit myself a hiking sweater and a vest that I wear constantly, and right now I’m in the midst of knitting a kick-ass sweater for my husband. I’m ridiculously proud to be able to say that I knit things like sweaters.
Drive a Tractor: I was on a farm, there was a tractor, and I ended up driving it. True story
Be physically strong: After four years of climbing and two years of consistent kettlebell training, I can say that I am strong. I can snatch a 16kg kettlebell and climbed across the ceiling again last night at the gym. I’ve learned to do pull-ups this year, and am working up to 3000 pull-ups with my husband. Ladies, if you’ve never done any strength training, I highly recommend it. The feeling of strength is empowering (and you don’t have the testosterone in your body to get bulky).
Bike through Yellowstone: Seth and I rented bikes and rode 34 miles round trip to Old Faithful and back to our car. We cautiously passed a herd of buffalo standing at the side of the road, complete with frolicking baby buffalo.
A cold ride through the plains of Yellowstone.
Overcome my fear of flying: I once got to a flight gate, turned around, and went back home, because I couldn’t will myself to get on the airplane. While I still have to use some tricks, I can fly when I need to and not have it completely ruin my day. I love to travel, so it’s something I’m glad I’ve been able to deal with!
Learn to Cross-Country Ski: Minnesota has taught me that when the winters are long and cold, it’s best not to stay locked indoors. When I get out and enjoy the snow, my sanity remains intact.
Write on the interwebs: This blog is small, and it has a only a modest amount of readers, but I know that some of my posts have had positive effects on people. Whether it’s inspiration, or just creating stoke for their own adventures, I love to be able to connect with people, even if in a small way. Here are some of my favorite posts.
Find a fairy tale relationship: A little sap to throw in here…. I got married in my 30s, so I went through enough relationships that didn’t quite work to realize what a gem I have now (turns out love is *not* all you need. Sorry, Beatles). My husband is the kind of man I’ve always dreamed of having in my life, and I am thankful for him every day. Not only do I have a great man in my life, but together we make a great team. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Learn to play in the outdoors: I have *always* wanted to go camping and hiking and frolic in the great outdoors. But, for some reason, it just never quite happened. I blame the many hours a day chained to a practice room in my former life, but the truth is I just never made it happen. In the past few years, I’ve camped and hiked more than I had probably in my entire life before that, and I love it. Love it, love it, love it.
That was a fun exercise! Thanks to Katie for the idea. What’s on *your* reverse bucket list?
I’ve gone into what I can only describe as hibernation mode. Not super inspired to go to kettlebells classes, not jonesing to climb, not wanting to do much of anything that involves leaving the house. It’s dark, it’s grey, it’s cold. Give me a warm beverage and some slippers, I’m staying in.
These guys know what I’m talking about.
I remember this happening last December as well. I inadvertantly took three weeks off of kettlebells classes and just did other things. I think it’s a good thing to do every once in a while. Just take a breather from the normal stuff. Give my mind and body a rest.
We went to the climbing gym this week, my first time in almost three weeks, and I just climbed stuff that was fun. I stuck mostly to routes well within my comfort level, and then I worked on one challenging project with some of the climbing crew. It was fun and relaxed, and there was no pressure put on myself to perform in any way. We laughed and had fun. Continue reading →
I have lots of stuff I want to write about, but they’re still forming in the brain. So, in the meantime, I will share a bunch of randomness. Here are some things that occupy my time when I’m not musing about climbing, kettlebells, bicycles, life, etc.
My plant babies have definitely been updated to ‘toddler’ status. They are growing every day and getting rather big, and it makes me very happy.