50 Crazy Things in my 50th Year – Recap

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With Dawn Nelson at the Polar Bear Swim – blame her, she started all of this!

The dust is starting to settle after my birthday and the completion of 50 Crazy Things in my 50th Year. I’ve heard congratulations from many of my friends, and even people I don’t know. I’ve heard of how my adventures have inspired others to try new things, and even some people planning their own list of crazy things before a significant birthday. It’s amazing how we can have an affect on people just by being ourselves, and sharing our lives.

In the past year I faced some of my fears head on. Think dating… and trapeze school! I may not have conquered them, but I stared them down and made them just a little smaller, and a little less powerful. Each time I try something that fear monster will keep getting smaller – I definitely confirmed that in the past year.

The Scream

The Scream

I did things in the past year that were just silly, or spontaneous like driving to Kelowna to do an escape room, or getting my nose pierced with Krista, Monica, and Jody – I definitely didn’t see that coming. These are the things we hear about and think, “Gee, that sounds like fun…” but then we get to busy and never do them. I’m happy to say I did them… and more! What I discovered is looking at the world in a certain way becomes a habit. If I saw the opportunity for adventure I usually took it, and I put it out there for others to join me. The cool thing is, they often jumped at it, and then we were all a little more spontaneous or silly.

When I went back to Meadow Lake, SK, in the summer with my mom I went back to the place where I was born. It doesn’t sound like a big deal. It’s not like I was born somewhere exotic. But I’d thought about it for so many years and found all kinds of lazy reasons not to do it. We went, and it was a good thing for both of us, facing the past and the future. I’m so glad we took the time to go.

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I did some things alone, and they were magical. I hiked the Berg Lake Trail, having never done an overnight backpack before. I spent time with myself and discovered not only a beautiful outer landscape but a special inner one as well.

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On the Berg Lake Trail – my first glacier

Friends and family jumped at the chance to get crazy with me, and several jumped multiple times. I had enthusiastic bridesmaids for the Rock n’ Roll 10K, a group of crazy people did the Conair plane crash hike with me. Amanda flew to Florida with me, ran her first half marathon (actually ran her first anything), and rode rides with me while risking the fact that I could very well throw up on her. Krista, Monica, and Jody (all repeat Crazy Thing participants) even ate bugs with me… that is true friendship! And I can’t even count how many people generously supported me by helping me raise an insane amount of money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand while they enjoyed “dressing the fairy”. Dawn Nelson, the crazy woman who suggested my 50 Crazy Things in my 50th year, even did the Polar Bear Swim with me and together we encountered magic we truly weren’t expecting. There were also countless people who supported me in the best way they could – by cheering me on, reading the blog posts, and enjoying my frequent episodes of discomfort. Support comes in many forms and I recognize and appreciate all the support I have in my life.

I want to thank all of the people who helped me, participated with me, and cheered me on. I love all of you.

The biggest thing I learned, or maybe remembered, is that life rarely happens when you’re sitting on the couch looking out the window. It happens out there. Habits are meant to be broken, and rebuilt as new habits. Bars are meant to be raised. Fears are meant to be faced.

What next?

I plan to continue my crazy things – just not with a deadline. I plan to live a crazy life. There were a lot of things I couldn’t fit into my year. The list is still there and it is growing. I will keep blogging about it because people seem to enjoy reading about my discomfort.

My whole reason for starting this journey was to stop the trends I saw solidifying in my life. My life was getting smaller… I’m stopping that. I was saying no more than yes… I’m stopping that too. I want a life that is richer, and one that is filled with more great adventure and more great people. My next 50 years are going to be very busy!

Oh, and to answer that question AGAIN… I am still not jumping out of a perfectly good airplane or tying an elastic around my ankles and jumping off a cliff! Crazy… not stupid!

The list

So here it is, the complete list of my 50 Crazy Things with links to each of the blog posts. Thank you all for sharing this with me. It’s been a wild ride and I’m only getting started! Who’s in?

#1 – Run the Disney Princess Half Marathon
#2 – Ride a roller coaster without throwing up
#3 – Fund raise for a charity
#4 – Run a 10K and a Half Marathon back to back
#5 – Run half marathons on each coast in the same year
#6 – Join the circus (Trapeze School)
#7 – Embrace Obstacles (Foam Fest)
#8 – Walk above the water (Suspension bridge)
#9 – The Berg Lake Trail
#10 – Return to the place where I was born
#11 – 10X up the steps to the lighthouse in Cochin, SK
#12 – Let my cousin drag me around a lake while she tries to kill me
#13 – Hike to the Conair plane crash site
#14 – Go on a date
#15 – Beat the Blerch – Get out of control
#16 – Ride on a motorcycle
#17 – Wear a wedding dress
#18 – The Moustache Miler – spontaneous mingling
#19 – Drive home in my pajamas
#20 – Night skiing away from civilization
#21 – Do a virtual run
#22 – Follow intuition and rediscover magic
#23 – Go out for New Year’s
#24 – Polar Bear Swim
#25 – Make a snow angel
#26 – Give blood again
#27 – Eat a bug on purpose
#28 – Ski the hills without putting the brakes on
#29 – Learn to paint
#30 – Climb a tree
#31 – Go ice skating
#32 – Go rock climbing
#33 – Get passionate (Passion Party)
#34 – Snowshoe race
#35 – Improve at a sport (Cross Country Ski Lesson)
#36 – Downhill Skiing
#37 – Have headshots taken by a professional photographer
#38 – Let a photographer do a portrait
#39 – Get a tattoo
#40 – Visit an Escape Room
#41 – Run a half marathon without training – just because
#42 – Volunteer somewhere scary
#43 – Ladies’ choice (get my nose pierced)
#44 – Ski a half marathon
#45 – Write a screenplay
#46 – Street photography
#47 – Photograph star trails
#48 – Take a selfie every day
#49 – Self portrait
#50 – Turn 50 with a smile on my face

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50 Crazy Things in my 50th Year #34 – Snowshoe race

20160131_101053 1Because this is the way I roll I got up early after being out at a passion party the night before and did a 5K (actually 4K… thank God!) snowshoe race. I’ve only been on snowshoes a few times but I enjoy it and find it relaxing. It works different muscles than my usual activities and I have a shorter stature which makes it pretty tiring, but I do love it. I’ve heard about the North Face Dirty Feet Snowshoe races before and, when in a crazy year, one must do these types of things.

The race was at Stake Lake and a bunch of friends and I were all going to do it. Originally we were going to do it in costume but we didn’t get that organized. Hopefully next year we can make that happen.

 

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Crazy things are always better when shared with friends!

The course was a lot more difficult than I expected it would be. The trails at Stake are pretty packed down so shorter snowshoes are fine. The shorter the snowshoe the better they are on packed snow and the worse they are on deep fluffy snow. I chose to wear mom’s snowshoes that are about 4” shorter than mine. After all, the trails are packed… right? Wrong! The course veered off the packed trails and into the deep, two feet in some places, untouched powder. The track was narrow and Jody and I found ourselves in the middle of a pack of about 20 women we didn’t know.

I don’t know one person who didn’t fall at least once on that course. I fell a bunch of times. I would put my foot down and it would slide sideways and down I would go. One woman behind me fell and I turned around to help her up. She was going uphill and her friend was holding her from behind. It was a major effort to get up again.

Lee and Matt, who work in the ticket booth for the ski club cheered us on when we got close to the parking lot – that was sweet. I had already brought them a thermos of coffee so they were probably celebrating how warm and dry they were while I was lamenting how cold and wet I was becoming.

The guys who came in the top three for the 10K race lapped us right near the finish line. One of them, we noticed, wasn’t wearing socks. My boots were drenched from getting so much snow in them when I fell. Trying to get over so they could pass was an obstacle course in itself. For Jody and I, I wouldn’t actually call this racing. It was more like a really fast walk. We were stuck in the middle of the group and the people behind us didn’t want to pass so we were stuck with this pace that was a bit quicker than I was comfortable with.

Towards the end I could smell hot apple cider from the finish area. I think that propelled me forward. When we got to the finish line we weren’t even last (I was shocked!) and they had the best banana bread ever. They also jelly beans. I don’t often eat them but when I do they are heaven! I had been worried about this being super competitive and me coming in last. I realized quickly that it wasn’t like that at all. Everyone was in a partying mood and Jody and I, and all of our friends, agreed that it was awesome. We had a great time.

Why was this crazy?

I was “racing” in a sport I was an extreme beginner at.

Would I do it again?

Oh yeah, next year I might do a couple of them. It was a tremendous workout and a lot of fun. It was a challenge to keep someone else’s pace for that long and still finish with a smile.