We're increasingly obsessed with bucket lists – the ultimate, all-time to-do list before you kick the proverbial.
And rightly so, they're life affirming because they contain two of the most important secrets to happiness: a sense of purpose and something to look forward to. Now, the bucket list trend is expanding into sub-genres.
The BL phenomenon has spread significantly since I interviewed Seb Terry, the Sydneysider who eschewed corporate life to focus on the 100 things he wanted to experience before he died.
A friend of Seb's died at just 24 and Seb expressed his grief by leaving his job and pursuing all the poignant and peculiar things he could imagine – including skydiving naked, ministering a wedding, and visiting a death row inmate. Seb now leads a community of hundreds of bucket-listers, all sharing adventures and goals on their respective lists to inspire one another.
People are now making a series of specific bucket lists, each under different categories. So Executive Style is joining in and here are some suggestions of what you could put on your specific fitness bucket list - to keep you motivated, healthy and excited. Some are for the sense of accomplishment, others just for the crack:
1. Score a goal at bubble soccer
This wasn't on my fitness bucket list, but knowing what I know now, it should've been. Even if you're indifferent to playing soccer, as I was, put this to the top. Smashing into each other with zorb-like inflatable bubbles is a much better defence strategy than 4-4-2. Watch your opponent bounce on the floor, legs flailing in the air, as helpless but determined as an overturned cockroach. By some minor miracle, my awkward left-footed shot scored a goal when I played. The resulting adrenalin was as high as you can get with your clothes on and without breaking the law.
2. Compete at the CrossFit Open
Now, CrossFit can be just a fun way to get fit in a community environment. But it's no secret that the community can be intense. That's no bad thing – you get super-fit and look buff. For some, though, it's all about the CrossFit Open – the ultimate event that the most intense CrossFitters are training for; the reason they get up at 5am and come to their local 'box.' But don't just think of it as exclusively for them. Want to feel the glory of being in the Olympics without giving up your entire life to compete? This is your chance. You may surprise yourself. There's your local Open, and the ultimate Asia-Pacific Region Open. Train hard enough and you could go all the way, doing your local 'box' proud.
3. Trek the Kokoda Trail
Especially popular with Aussies due to our relative proximity and history with Papua New Guinea (told along the trail by the better guides). It should be a mandatory fitness goal on every Aussie health-freak's list. A once-in-a-lifetime experience that'll test your mental and physical extremes – but you don't have to be an elite athlete to participate. It's a pilgrimage for many Australians honouring the ANZAC heroes by retracing their steps. Do it this August and help Amnesty International defend human rights and vulnerable communities worldwide.
4. Squat double your bodyweight
Any decent PT will tell you: squats are one of the most important gym exercises. Ignore leg day and you'll never lift heavier weights without injury. With safety bars firmly in place, and preferably at a supervised gym, aiming to squat double your bodyweight is an ambitious but doable goal. And when you do, after several months' working towards it, it's a confidence-boosting milestone – and the perfect oxymoronic 'humblebrag' status update to impress/annoy your mates.
5. Play trampoline dodgeball
Take two of the most fun things you loved doing as a kid, and combine them for one high-energy sporting must. It's twice as exhausting as it looks, and you do have to watch out for injuries – wall-to-wall trampolines can be a recipe for a twisted ankle. But you won't regret risking it: this is the best team sports experience ever invented – perfect for birthdays or those team away days so you can really sock it to Bruce from accounts.
6. Enter the Gay Games
Obviously this is if you identify as LGBT – the Gay Games, like the Olympics, are held every four years. Why have a whole athletics competition just for gay people? It can, ridiculously, still be difficult for out gay athletes to attract sponsorship, as diver Matthew Mitcham will attest. Dale Roberts from Melbourne participated on the track over 800m and 5000m in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014. He said: "A phenomenal experience. The whole city was incredibly welcoming and abuzz with gay athletes from all across the world. It's competitive but there's a real camaraderie that feels really empowering to our community. Definitely worth ticking off your list."
7. Go canyoning
Abseiling down a purpose-built wall is one thing. Doing it out in the most beautiful landscape imaginable – and we're talking natural gorges, rainforests, caves, through waterfalls and on actual mountains in Australia's most disarmingly stunning natural habitats – is another altogether. Not for the faint-hearted – some surfaces are steep and slippy – but you'll be expertly guided through it. Perhaps practice on that purpose-built wall first.
8. Cycle the east coast
If you cycle 1000km over 10 days or 750km over eight days for kids' cancer charity Camp Quality, you'll get to experience the beauty of east coast Australia – with a support crew and two massage therapists in tow – whilst raising funds to bring optimism and resilience to the lives of kids living with cancer. I locked myself into cleats for the first time three years ago and can honestly say it was a life-changing experience. Here's why.
9. Do the Colour Run
One everybody could do, no matter what your fitness level. Billed as the "happiest 5k on the planet", the concept is simple: wear white at the beginning and a short 5k jog later, you're covered in multi coloured paint and have a goofy smile on your face. Less about the accomplishment and more about becoming a walking rainbow on an otherwise dull jog, plus a good excuse to raise funds for charity: this should be on everybody's fitness bucket list.
10. Nail a gymnastic backflip
Why the hell not?
What's on your fitness bucket list? Let us know in the Comments section.