Category Archives: Bucket List

Dream Vacation…..1 of Them

Like many people, I love to travel.  However my love for travel is basically in my head, seeing that we haven’t been on a big vacation since our honeymoon.  We will probably wait to go on the larger, more expensive vacations until after our debt is paid off.   One of the places that I want to visit (the wife not so much) is Machu Picchu in Peru.

One of our shore excursions on our honeymoon cruise was a Mayan ruin called Xunantunich in Belize.  Below is one of the pictures we took of the site. 


Even before our cruise, I was always fascinated with the Mayan and Incan civilizations. It is amazing how advanced the civilizations were. Which is also why I’m fascinated by the old Egyptian civilization. It is crazy how these structures were built.  The craftsmanship is remarkable to this day.  I still don’t know how they built all these sites with the tools they had.  I have only been to the one ruin, but I plan on visiting many more in my lifetime. 

So back to Machu Picchu, there are many ways you can do the trip.  The easiest way is to take the touristy transportation straight to the site.  That one seems like it could be pretty boring, and you don’t get to really feel a true sense of adventure.  My buddy from work visited Machu Picchu a couple of years ago and recommends to do the Inca Trail Hike.  I agree with him.  The hike is 4 days 3 nights and totals 45km.   This means camping in the woods, in tents. Something that I don’t mind doing.  Especially for a great experience like this.   The only thing that will bug me, is the bugs.  I’m not a huge fan of spiders, especially the hairy looking ones.  Also centipedes are the creepiest thing ever, and my buddy showed me some pictures of them that were pretty disgusting.  Other than those things, I think this trip will be awesome and am looking forward to when we can afford it. 

What kind of trips are in your bucket list?  Are you fascinated by ancient civilizations like I am?


401k’s and 5k’s

So this post really has nothing to do with 401k’s.  I just lack a major quality of being a good writer, that quality some people call creativity.  Figured I would just throw that out there incase you didn’t notice already. 

This post is dedicated to all things running.  All part of the bucket list.

I want to run a full marathon-  This will take a while, especially right now seeing as I have been lacking motivation to exercise.  It’s also not going to get any easier as every year passes.  The thing that sucks most about it, is that I used to be a pretty damn good runner.  I just wish I had the motivation that I had when I was in basic training.  Every morning we would wake up at 4am, go out and stretch and do exercises.  I thought it sucked at the time, but as I look back now I realize it wasn’t so bad.  Back in basic they would split you into different groups, based on what your 1 mile time was during reception week.  I’m not exactly sure what my time was (it was back in 2003) but I think it was around 7 minutes.  I was placed in A group with the “fast” runners. 

During the 9 weeks of basic training, our drill sergeants would push us, even when we thought we couldn’t go any farther or any faster.  They pushed us, motivated us and demanded that we run harder.  Each day as this went on it got easier and easier.  We were in pretty good shape by the time our first PT test came.  I ran my first 2 mile test in 13min and 36 seconds.  That would turn out to be the worst time of all my tests.  By the time we finished basic I had dropped it to under 12 minutes.  Our drill sergeants still pushed us, demanding we try harder.  After basic came AIT (job training).  Our last 2 mile was my best.  It was a simple course, a straight 1 mile track, turn around and run back.  They had a timer where you turned around and when I got there I couldn’t believe my time.  On my 2 mile pace I ran the first mile in 5 minutes flat.  I was thrilled, even during high school I had never broke the 6 minute barrier.  My total time when I finished was 10 min and 54 seconds.  I finished 4th out of the 180+ we had in our company. 

So why do I write about 2 mile tests when a marathon is 26 miles.  Because this is going to be my motivation, to try to get back into that shape.  I know at times during basic we ran 10+ miles and I wasn’t tired at the end of it.  I also know that 26 is a whole other ball game.  There is the physical challenges of running a marathon, but there will also be the mental challenges.  Some say the mental aspect is just as hard.  Before I train for a marathon, there are a couple other runs that I would like to do, runs that the wife is also interested in. 

I want to complete the Tough Mudder–  This is a race/obstacle course that was designed by the British Special Forces.  Not only is the race itself awesome, they also raise money to support the Wounded Warrior Project.  Something that I truly believe in and am very passionate about as my wife can attest to, is that I love all things military.  This race is normally 10-12 miles long, depending on location, and has obstacles along the way.  The obstacles include crawling under barbwire through mud, wall climbs, a 15 ft jump into water, climbing across netting and ropes, running through fire, running through mud in a maze of trenches, running while carrying a log, a slip-n-slide (not as hardcore lol), jumping into ice water, log jumping, climbing over a giant hay-bale pyramid, about 30 feet of monkey bars (some of which are greased) and last but not least, running through a bunch of wires, some of which are electrified with 10,000 volts.  I have no idea why I want to do this, probably because I like to test myself, and to prove that I can do it.  The race itself relies heavily on teamwork, helping others through the obstacles, but the top 5% of people who finish are invited to the World’s Toughest Mudder, which is a 24 hour race, whoever completes the most laps wins.  The ultimate goal of mine would be to finish in the top 5% and run the final.  The next race is one that the wife wants to do together.

We want to Run For Our Lives  We want to do this race purely on our love for the tv show The Walking Dead.  I don’t know if you watch it, but you should check it out.  It’s a pretty awesome show.  This race is a 5k obstacle course.  It has some basic obstacles in it but with a twist.  You have to wear a belt and on the belt are 3 flags which are your health flags.  In order to be considered a “survivor” you have to complete the race, and do all the obstacles with at least 1 flag left when you cross the finish line.  There are a bunch of people dressed up as zombies throughout the course who try to take your flags.  I don’t know about you but this sounds like it could be a blast.  We ran a 5k obstacle course together last year and had tons of fun, I think this could be even better.  We’re just not sure if we are going to do it this year or wait until next year.  It kind of sucks because the dates for the zombie one coincide with MX races I want to do. 

Do you like to challenge yourself?  What motivates you to get into shape?

Bucket List

I wanted to start a random weekly series that is fun and had nothing  (well, a little bit) to do with personal finance.  The first idea that came to my mind was the bucket list (also I stole this from Making Sense of Cents).  Everything that I include in the list I am very passionate about and is a dream of mine to accomplish/experience.   These will be in no particular order, just whatever I feel like writing about at that time.   So here goes the first one, and the winner is……………….


Backflip my Dirt bike:     I used to snowboard quite a bit during my teenage years.  After the first year I started to do jumps, and eventually attempted my first backflip.  It took me probably 30 tries until I finally landed it.  That feeling was incredible. 

Ever since I started racing  motocross and jumping (about 6 years ago), I’ve always loved the feeling of being in the air.  I’m nowhere even close to being awesome at jumping, I still crash quite a bit.  There are some jumps that I’m pretty scared of also.  I really love uphill jumps, and tabletops.  Not a huge fan of jumps that have a gap before the landing.  Landing short can hurt pretty bad.  I’ve always watched freestyle MX, like the X-games.  One of my favorite riders is Travis Pastrana, a guy known for pushing the sport to new limits, like landing the first double-backflip on a dirt bike. 

One other rider that I admire goes by the name of Scott Murray (if you click on that link, make sure to have your volume turned down).  He is relatively new to the freestyle world, best known for being the first privateer (non-sponsered) rider to be invited to the X-games.  He drove out there in an ambulance that was converted to haul his bikes.  He attempted the double backflip but under-rotated a little bit and crashed.  Since then he has landed it and now travels the world doing what he loves.  

Last year Scott started a little amateur competition at his freestyle park.  On the friday he teaches how to jump ramps, starting real close to the landing and then moves it out farther once you get used to the speed that is needed.  Saturday is the friendly competition.  I couldn’t get the days off from work last year to go to this and was kind of bummed out.  I emailed him the other day to ask if he was doing it again this year.  His answer was yes, and that it was on June 16th.  I checked my schedule and was super excited when I found out I had that weekend off.  Frickin sweet!!!! So I’m not sure if we will be using his foam pit to jump into at first.  And I’m not sure if he will even allow it being from such a beginner.  But it is one step closer to crossing this off the ole’ bucket list.  Here’s to hoping.  Even if it doesn’t work out, I still get to hang around not only a professional freestyle MX rider, but just an all around good guy.