Last Tuesday, October 9th, I turned 33. The occasion was not celebrated much as I was in the midst of a long business trip throughout the Southeast. My family and friends were all super-kind though and reached out in various and meaningful ways, which I appreciate greatly.
As I get older, I’ve found that certain years (unexpectedly) have more of an impact on me than others. For example, 25 was no sweat, but 28 bummed me out. 30 was not hard in the least, however, 33 has been slightly challenging. This birthday has been hard because years and years ago I saw a drawing of Jesus and the caption said “I am 33”. At the time I was in a bit of a spiritual turmoil and had really let go of any developed beliefs. When I saw the drawing, I was captured by it’s features and the simple caption made me think for a while. 33 seemed far off, yet so young to have created an impact that his life did.
Whether you, or I, or anyone thinks Jesus Christ was a factual or fictional character matters not to my point, which is that the story of Jesus has changed the world more than just about any other story ever has. And his story ends at the age of 33.
I turned 31 while I was living in Nashville. My life was up in the air in numerous ways, and there was no true direction or purpose to my lifestyle. Something was missing, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. While visiting the mountains of North Georgia, I decided to make a bucket list of 10 obtainable goals to accomplish by the time I was 35. The goals were split in to two categories, athletic and personal. Athletics have always been important to me, so those goals were selfish missions I’d hope to complete. The personal, however, were goals that I felt would not only benefit me but also others.
As I reviewed those goals on my 33rd birthday, I felt a sense of happiness that six of those goals have been completed. While I’d prefer to keep the personal goals, well personal, I’ll share the athletic goals.
1. Break 11 Hours in an Ironman (Beach to Battleship 2011 – 9:56, IM Wisconsin 2012 – 10:50)
2. Run and Ultra Marathon (Stump Jump 50k 2012)
3. Through Hike/Run/Bike a trail of 200 miles or longer
4. Compete in a 100 mile mountain bike race (Bailey HUNDO 2010)
5. Visit Everest Base Camp
These goals are challenging, but not so lofty that they are unattainable. I understood this when I made the list and they were simply set up to be beacons in a life that we truly can’t control anyways. I’ve found the use of bucket list items and the power of writing goals out have been helpful to the mental aspect of growth. The personal goals I’ve created have served the same purpose as the athletic goals, but in a different realm and I am thankful that I have both components in place.
While my life is certainly not “solved”, I feel more confident that I am not only moving in a direction that could be called “forward” but that I am also trying to listen to those components that shape and change who were are. I appreciate all those who have been supportive of me as I know I am not easy to love at times.
Thanks for reading, the happy birthday wishes, and everything else.