Saying goodbye to the bucket list

The idea for riding 100 miles in all 50 states was really just a whimsical goal for Linc Blaisdell. He casually mentioned it to his friend back in 1991 after they had finished their second century ride in their second state. But once he said it, the idea triggered his imagination. It took 23 years, but Linc finally finished his goal. He capped off his quest by riding the Ironman World Championship course in Hawaii last week. He’s 67-years old, a retired English teacher in Western New York and a guy who just loves to ride his bike. Over the years, he told me, he got faster thanks to more training and group riding with the Niagara Frontier Bike Club. But he never really concerned himself too much with pace. He couldn’t really when he was battling snow in Montana or strong and nasty head winds in New Mexico.

His story, which appears in today’s edition of The Buffalo News, is interesting enough, but what inspired me was his response to the inevitable question: What’s next?

Now that it’s over I have no new goals. I’ll keep biking locally, mostly with my club.  But I won’t be trying to add territories, countries, or continents. I have no “bucket list” of things to do before I die because I’ve been doing the things I want to do for most of my life

No bucket list. No things he wants or needs to do before he dies. Why? Because he has been living his life all along, not waiting for the absolute right time and perfect circumstances. It doesn’t quite matter if the “goal” is something big and bold (like biking 100 miles or running a marathon in every state) or something closer to home (like running a 5K or doing a metric century). It doesn’t matter if your personal record earns you a qualifying spot in the Boston Marathon or the reward of a boston cream donut. The lesson from Linc is simple: Do what you love, in your own time, in your own way. If you do that, then there really is no need for a bucket list.

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