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Annie Rem MazamaThis is such an amazing life!

Our spirits take to skiing like eagles ride the wind. We find excitement and an amazing recharge of our zestful lives, as we climb hills, then zoom down them. Fully alive, sealed in the moment, oblivious of past or future. Now is just so good!

Annie and Remington and I loved Sun Mountain yesterday, savoring amazing glide and enlivening exertion. The trails were awesome and the company was even better. When rain presented, a world class warming hut appeared. As we finished our refreshments, the rain stopped and we eagerly tackled more of the abundant trails. This is heaven on earth!

A Mazama trail narrative suggested easier terrain and fewer of the hills we love so much. So what might appear? A side trail, out and back, with the tracks of a lone skier before us. In mid-afternoon? Was this our special destiny? My smile continued to widen as we meandered ever higher, pushing our bodies while earning an amazing descent. Wow! I feel like we just got promoted! Can life really just keep getting better and better?

Rem Frank Mazama

Nick and Zach

Nick and Zach

Life has been really good, in so many ways. Can it get any better than this?

Summer has blessed me with new experiences, which widen my smiles and broaden my perspective. I’ve delighted in new scenery on my street bicycle, feeling power grow in my legs. I promptly rebounded from a head-on collision on my mountain bicycle; thank God for pneumatic tires and pedal clips! Adjusting to the clips has involved two minor falls, but now I have a steady supply of power.

I’ve upgraded my fairway metals and a loft wedge and tried some new putters. So far this year I’ve played thirteen rounds and a couple of scrambles. Recently, that’s more than some five-year stretches! It is still frustrating, challenging, inspiring and befuddling. My first handicap in decades is 18.8, as the beautiful shots have been counterbalanced by the despicable, penalized and ridiculous. Trees, OB’s, traps, deep grass, lost balls, duck hooks and more. Golf is God’s direct line to my spirit. I think He plays too. Wine Valley Golf Course near Walla Walla made me beam like a kid on Christmas. By the seventh hole, I was delighted to realize that it felt like my favorite course ever! Treeless, rolling hills lead to smooth, fast and rolling greens. Putts roll perfectly and every shot pattern can work. Holes are well designed and maintenance is wonderful. I invite you to join me there soon! Friday’s fundraiser at Walla Walla Country Club for St. Mary Medical Center’s foundation was well-managed.  There are two ugly holes there, one with a blind approach and one with a blind tee shot. WWCC is also well cared for, but it reminds me, like so many things, that humans get smarter with time. The newer courses are often better, especially when space and site selection are not big limiters. Next weekend I’m scheduled to play Circling Raven in North Idaho (for the first time) and this fall I hope to return to Palouse Ridge in Pullman. That’s three of the best courses in the region, so I’m a very lucky guy! May the birdies be with me…..

Grand Luau at Honua'ula

Grand Luau at Honua’ula

In June Nick and Jaslyn and Annie and Zach and I all enjoyed our trip to Maui and agreed that it was a fun and memorable week, perhaps the best of our lives. For most of us it was our first trip to Hawaii. We loved the Maui Hill 3 bedroom/3 bath condo. It was the perfect way to enjoy paradise. Snorkeling with sea turtles was amazing. Boogie boarding each day on increasingly larger waves was so fun! Every morning I took coffee on the deck and savored the blessings of utopia. Our Luau was fun and entertaining, and Lahaina and Kihei offered interesting shopping. We also had fun in the pool and hot tub. We all hope to go back as soon as possible. The wood carvings of sea turtles and tikis remind us of our adventure!

Maui snorkeling

Maui snorkeling

At Rainbow Beach in July we were scorched by the weather. On Sunday morning, Annie and I turned our first paddle of the year into an epic experience. I thought it’d be a short outing and absent-mindedly forgot sunscreen, food, money and backup beverages. We remembered to bring some water and adventurous spirits. It was very fun, so we had paddled several miles, through the channel and well around the other lake before we decided to paddle the entire perimeter of both lakes. Like a marathon, the course seemed to get longer and longer! New bays appeared, each one bigger than we remembered. They are effortless in a power boat. On a paddle board, not so much.  Stroke or sit dead in the water. Luckily, I’ve done a lot strength training on my shoulders this year. With little recent paddle training, the standing became tiring to our feet, however, so we eventually alternated between standing, kneeling and sitting. As the temperatures rose, we had to jump into the water or douse ourselves more often. We were hot, tired and thirsty. Hey, we’ve been here before. We can do this! This is like a marathon! After completing the south lake and passing back through the channel, we faced a tough challenge. Our energy was spent and it was a lot longer path to complete circumnavigating, as compared to straight-lining to drinks, food and shade. Could we make it? Should we try? Are we in late-race delirium? In the end, we couldn’t envision doing it again later in the week. It needed to be done. Let’s do it! Ironically, as we neared completion of a large bay and turned back towards our cabin, the wind came up. In our face! I flashed back to marathon training runs. It was four letter word time! Somehow, we made it, over 4.5 hours after starting out. Spent, thirsty, hungry, sun-burned, hot and victorious. That was one tasty Coke Zero! A dip in the lake, some food and a long spell of shade: how sweet it is! The ensuing days brought water-skiing, which was as thrilling as ever and delightful huckleberry treats. Seeing loved ones in a vacation setting is sweet deja vu. It’s especially rewarding to see the good choices and growth in people’s lives.

Annie paddling North Twin Lake at sunset

Annie paddling North Twin Lake at sunset

I’m sitting in Nick and Jaslyn’s living room now as they slumber, along with Annie. I’m stoked that I got over eight hours of sleep and a bit curious how much they will get. We all lifted hard at the WSU Recreation Center yesterday evening, focusing on our chests and triceps. They are quite inspirational, and I needed it! Today we’re doing back and shoulders. Tomorrow? The world! Or try to intimidate Pat with some big drives. Maybe even in the fairway? Nick turned me on to inspirational videos and I’m stoked to better my core muscles, which will open more doors and make things easier and more fun. Fun! Yes! Bring on the fun!

Mom and Dad at Twin Lakes, their favored vacation retreat. My role models!

Mom and Dad at Twin Lakes, their favored vacation retreat. My role models!

Yours may be in June. Or not. I’m having one today. It may be the perfect day for it. To be clear, today is not as much about my privilege of being father to my children. I get those special days throughout each year, blessed with adventures, discovery and laughter with Nicholas and Annie. Today I’m thinking of my Dad, James Gilbert Erickson, the patriarch of this diverse clan I call family.

So it’s golf and gardening for me today. Pinochle too, if I can find it. NBA basketball would be right. I’ll dine on fresh asparagus and salmon later. My goal is to be a living version of my Dad! Well, if only I could have kept it in the fairways…..

Life deals hard knocks at times. Today’s round of golf played out like a microcosm of my life. I made three triple bogeys on the front nine. How? Value golfing! Why take only one chip on a hole when you can have more? Why play on the short grass, with clear paths to the greens, when you can easily find more challenge? Those trees were planted for a reason! Isn’t a circuitous life more enriching than a simple, straight line to success? Well, I’ve only had one path. The winding road has been fun! And hard. And depressing. And saddening. But enough of the tough. Today’s stark reality is that the triple bogeys are the good times. They are, after all, simply golf. Typically no blood or death. Besides, a tough time in life is still life. LIFE! The greatest gift of all? So I may have grown a bit today. After I’d chopped it around the first nine in 54 strokes, my newfound golfing friend remarked that he had more fun playing with me today than any of his other golf outings. I felt honored. Perhaps it was because I remained courteous, friendly and hopefully funny, despite the tally building on my scorecard. My highest score in over forty years was one of my most pleasurable days of the year. I was playing a game I love in perfect weather. I am a lucky man.

I parred our tenth hole, nailed a birdie putt after a sweet approach on the eleventh, and parred the twelfth. I was one under par for three holes on the second nine, after averaging double bogeys on the first nine (with no hole better than bogey). I was scoring as good on the back as I was badly on the front. The birdie was especially fun, but how I handle life’s situations is more important than what they are. I shot a pleasant 54 on the front and a grateful 40 on the back. So am I a hacker or a pretty good golfer? Attitudinally, I’m getting there. We’ll see what happens with the scores. Maybe there’ll be more birdies. Like the hawk that tried to scare us away from its nest today. That’s a double birdie day!

Go Cougars!  Nick and Jaslyn enjoy college life.....

Go Cougars! Nick and Jaslyn enjoy college life…..

What a fun weekend! The new season tickets for WSU football are under cover; what a great bonus for rainy or snowy games.  This one was gloriously sunny! From high up on the western 5 yard line, Annie and I celebrated a lot of great Cougar plays after hooking up with the Ericksons for some tasty tailgating.  Then we rescued Nick from his job for an enjoyable late dinner.

After dropping Nick and Jaslyn off on campus and Annie at Lauren’s apartment, I picked a spot to park my subcompact RV. Okay, it’s really a 4Runner. It makes amazing mileage compared to RV’s! Comfort is a relative thing.  A sleeping pad fits in the back. Next time I’ll park on a  slight downslope to level the bed. I might have opened the windows a little wider and perhaps put a little less air in the mattress. A 24 hour bathroom would have been nice, but I made it to one just in time!

Annie and I worked out at the WSU Recreation Center; it’s fun to have someone help me push a little harder. Nick couldn’t join us but he sure did inspire us! He’s added amazing amounts of muscle in the past month. We were so inspired by his physique that we toasted our arms and tortured our legs. I could barely stumble around.  Then we hopped on elliptical/stair hybrid machines for some cardio work.  I pushed to my theoretical maximum heart rate, near the end, at 166 beats per minute.  I suspect my heart will beat faster, but the machine was dancing and the readout said “maximum speed attained.” It may have translated to “slow down and quit abusing me!” Who’s to know?

Let the good times roll!

Let the good times roll!

Oops!

Oops!

Curiosity took me on a new trail today; adventure beckoned! More excitement! But then there were punctures. Dozens of them! Oops. Maybe I should have been wary of tack weed. I pulled them all out, listening to the air ooze out of my tires. The goop worked. Yay! I lost half of my air. Thank God I’d put in extra pressure last time. I still had air in my tires! Ride on! I didn’t know how much air I’d lost until I got to my pump/pressure gauge.  I just knew I still had air! That’s better than some other times.

It's dangerous out here!

It’s dangerous out here!

Something told me to stay on “clean” roads for a while. That sounds a little funny, because I have two very dirty pairs of shoes from this weekend’s activities. It was fun to race up and down the hilly gravel roads. Then my rear tire looked a little too flat. I realized I’d better get home to the pump. Maybe I shouldn’t have raced 30 mph down the road to get there, since the tubeless tires can pop off the rim when the pressure gets too low.  It sure was fun! I filled the tires with air and headed back out for lots of pedaling.

Getting dirty!

Getting dirty!

It feels good to work my muscles. It also prepares me for a full life. I’m a lucky man!

Fresh air, fun and exercise! How good can it get?

Fresh air, fun and exercise! How good can it get?

I love this time of year! Amazing fresh fruits and vegetables fuel us up. Sunny and warm days fire our spirits. Cool, calm nights rejuvenate us. Long hours of sunlight hone our endurance. There are so many fun things to do! Annie and Nick and I have almost finished painting the exterior of our home. Now we have a little more time before college calls.  What shall we do for fun?

Sometimes I fly like an eagle!

Sometimes I fly like an eagle!

Bicycling is cool cross-training. I can pedal hard for a couple of hours without feeling sore or overly tired. It’s fun, scenic, invigorating and healthy. What a win!

Weight-lifting leaves me sore, most often. It suggests a hint of masochism, mixed with egotism. Sometimes it feels great, sometimes it’s really hard. It always keeps me more fit, more youthful and better prepared.

Standup paddle boarding is a new addition to my life. It fits in beautifully with a self-propelled lifestyle, delivering great abdominal, back, arm and leg endurance training. It always feels adventurous to me.  Yay!

Nordic skiing has a very special place in my heart. I’ve skied into heaven on earth. The risk of cold, remote places is enhanced by beauty, adventure, invigoration, inspiration and wonderful endurance training. I love it!

Running is in my spirit, woven into my soul. It offers endurance or speed. Self-propulsion feeds self-confidence and a willingness to tackle new pursuits. Running opens doors to greater adventures, like awe-inspiring backcountry hikes!

Hiking with a heavy backpack, for many hours, feels like a marathon to me. I like that it makes me stronger. The process gets really tough. I learn mental discipline. I learn that “can do” trumps “can’t do” almost every time I really want it to.  The views are painted on the front page of the newspaper of my soul. Treasures!

Golf is the best game I’ve ever found. It challenges my mind in every way imaginable. It offers physical challenges in beautiful locations. It can not be mastered. I’m lured by the feeling of balls struck well. It’s been a busy couple of decades, but golf teases my spirit with a sense of impending reunion.

Volleyball is one of my favorite team games. It tests quickness, creativity, coordination and spirit. It’s fun to learn teamwork. Basketball and football are other favored team sports. The excitement makes these almost as much fun to watch as to play.

When I was a kid, riding my motorcycle was part of my daily routine. My bike gave me freedom and wild adventures. It got me high! I’m sticking with non-motorized bikes now, because I want to extend life if I can. But I still love to get high.

One way is water-skiing. Cold water slaps my face and everywhere else. Bam! The boat jerks hard, testing strength, balance and mental toughness. I rise above the fish and skim across the water, as free, wild and crazy as a teenager. Yeah! Hit it!

Mom and Dad at Twin Lakes, their favored vacation retreat.  How sweet it was!

Mom and Dad at Twin Lakes, their favored vacation retreat. How sweet it was!

Nick made me eggs and hash browns, one of my very favorite breakfasts today. It was awesome! Annie’s celebrating Zach’s birthday with open-water swimming and hanging with Zach’s family. How cool! Like any weekend, I had about 400% more ideas than I have time to fit in. But it’s all good! I’m watching some U.S. Open golf, remembering wonderful games played with my Dad in years gone by. We had some great competition, and memorable times. Now I’m enjoying hackysack, bicycling, running, standup paddling, weight-lifting, skiing and swimming with my kids, among other things. The activity is much less important than the chance to spend fun times together. I’m one happy father! I love you kids!

My Dad taught us much about family, honesty, commitment, nutrition, willingness, priorities, love, kindness, adventure, gratitude and fun. I love you Dad!

Freedom and fun!

Freedom and fun!

Nick’s done with school!  He, Jaslyn and Zach all got their first experiences with standup paddle boarding today. Their master guide was Annie, since she’s been out half a dozen times. It sounds like they love it as much as we do!

After work and weight lifting with Annie, Nick and I had our first hackysack game in a while. We haven’t lost our touch. Annie captured some images.  You’ll have to wait for a video or a live game to appreciate Nick’s amazing quickness and flexibility. I tend to focus on getting the sack somewhere near him, and letting him do the rest.

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I hit many nice toe shots:

Staying young?

Staying young?

Nick has a wide arsenal of shots. Sometimes he makes them up as he goes.

Winging it!

Winging it

Reaction time, athleticism and creativity are useful in hackysack.  Nick makes some amazing shots by never giving up.  Sometimes misses are progress towards pulling off amazing shots later.

Stretching it!

Martial arts?  Nick missed a line drive pass I sent him…

The adrenaline can really flow:

Sometimes hackysacks take high rides.  Perhaps even over a fence...

Sometimes hackysacks take high rides. Perhaps even over a fence…

Hackysack is fun and great training for agility, flexibility, balance, quickness, focus and creativity.  Hack on!

Bennington Lake

Bennington Lake on my second SUP outing.  Fun!

I love activities that blend fun people, natural beauty and enjoyable exercise together!

Little Miss Instigator! What will she think of next?

Little Miss Instigator! What will she think of next?

With my desk job, exercise is imperative for my health. Life is busy, so multi-tasking is naturally good for my soul. How else to get enough rest? The exercise gets me high and improves my chances for more time for more fun.

Mind expansion with core, balance, leg and arm work. Wellness adventure!

Mind expansion with core, balance, leg and arm work. Wellness adventure!

Mom, you were an amazing teacher of love, kindness, compassion, service and gratitude. I am lucky to have had you in my life for so many years. I hope to live your legacy and I believe that engaging in fun with my own kids is one good way to do so. I know you agree! Happy Mother’s Day! We love you!

I hope we’re all looking for ways to have fun. I sure am! Tough stuff comes naturally enough. Being the fun is like taking a run: it boosts me higher! Can I help someone smile? Induce a laugh? Spark a chuckle? I know I’ll try!

The sun is shining gloriously this morning! I knew it would. I needed a bit of patience. I don’t know which days will offer the most pleasant weather. I can’t do anything about that. But the storms in my soul are within my control. Because I’ve been gifted spiritual tools that I can use to help my light shine. Time to put in a new bulb? There’s an endless supply! Let’s flip the switch!

Annie and I hiked up Badger Mountain yesterday. We were considerably later than expected, as we should have expected. Isn’t that the way life goes? All of the reasons we were late were awesome!  We had great fun picking out shoes and “The Stick” with Heather at REI; she is so helpful and fun! Then a delicious Thai Spice lunch, with green curry and spicy chicken and vegetables:

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Then we restocked at COSTCO. Ever try racing through a crowd? So it was 4:15 before we left the car to tackle the mountain.  Here’s how fun it was:

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The mountain adventure fired our spirits! I’ve been getting increasingly stoked about running and other adventures! Thank you Heather and Annie! Annie was much stronger climbing the mountain than me; I was breathing hard trying to keep up. Then she started RUNNING up the mountain! She may be a little more ready for the Badger Mountain Challenge than I am, but I’ll be there and I’ll be fired up about it!  Here’s what adventures like this do for my spirit:

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The view just gets better as you climb the mountain, of course.  If you are blessed with delays, you might even get smiled upon like this:

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The sunset was magnificent! Pictures can’t begin to do it justice. We made if off the mountain, in the dark, around six o’clock.  Going with the flow gifted a wonderful show!

Excellence or settling?  Being my best or getting by?  Learning or posturing?  Refining or repeating?  Aha or arghhh?  Does personal growth come down to honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, faith and dedication?  Can I practice gratitude without setting false limits on my potential?  Can I see my liabilities without sacrificing confidence that I am loving, intelligent, funny, devoted, kind, helpful, generous and open-minded?

I’m a bit like a high school senior.  What shall I do with my life?  I say this because my son is a high school senior.  He faces a world of opportunity.  We have different perspectives, based on experience and longevity.  Will my life blossom more fully with a touch of his life view?  What should I do with my time?  It seems more precious now.  Work or play?  New activities?  New places?  New people?  Train harder?  Take chances?  More variety or more specialized focus?  Live more consciously and less reactively?  Shelve assumptions?  Be proactive? 

I tell my kids they can do anything and be anyone they wish in this life, and I believe it fully.  Do I have the same faith in myself?  Who do I want to be, now that I’ve grown up?

Truck yeah!  The 4runner was great on the long drive through the Cascade mountains, though the wind pulled on it.  The redneck song about “truck yeah!” seemed to fit.  ( :

Annie and I really enjoyed rackysacking, a slight misnomer of a badminton-hackysack hybrid last evening,  There was no sack.  Perhaps cooperative badminton better describes our fun.  I had three days of pent-up need for exercise and Annie needed some fun.  My right elbow rebelled, so I went left-handed.  Our progress was good and the fun challenge was therapeutic!  Annie showed good mobility.  Today we hope to enjoy a run in the sun, a family wedding and some dancing!  Yay!

Fun is part of balance!

I search for a balanced life because I have faith that it will be the best.  Have I tasted true balance, or is intuition and/or a higher power guiding me towards an ideal?  Do the rewards in different aspects of life make me “want it all?”

When in love, it seems I’ve gone all in.  All my eggs in one basket.  The whole retirement fund bet on one investment.  Nearly singular focus.  Addiction to substances also created severe imbalance.  Overemphasis on play detracted from intellectual discovery.  Other people say that they “want it all.”  Is this a wish to target balance, managing a meaningful job, lover, play, exercise, prayer, meditation, friends, learning and emotional balance?  It seems that the healthier I get in some aspects, the more efficient I become, freeing up time.  Does this make “having it all” possible?  I’m really excited, hoping that I’ll get to find out!

The dynamic duo!  No mountain is too tall for this tandem!  Nothing could stop us!  On Saturday, we picked up our race packets, fancy new running shoes and shorts.  My new shoes are red and Annie’s are peach.  Our personalities don’t really lean towards blending in with the wall.  Play the cards you’re dealt!  For dinner, we enjoyed great company at Barb & Ryan’s home and loaded up on Annie’s delightful creations:  avocado pesto over whole wheat pasta, with a side of roasted vegetables dusted with parmesan and feta.  Finishing with Weight Watchers frozen confections, we were ready for rest and rejuvenation.  Bring on Bloomsday!

Sunday morning arrived.  It was race day!  Let’s get to it!  A few nervous pre-race thoughts threatened to attack, but we were very calm.  We enjoyed a perfect breakfast of bananas, Annie’s homemade whole wheat bread with almond butter and jelly, a little coffee/cola and orange juice.  We enjoyed a relaxed drive down to park the car and then jogged slowly to warm up, in the cool shade of tall buildings.  We arrived in time to wait for the porta pottys, do our business and jog to our starting spot, just a few minutes before the start!  Sweet destiny!  Just like Saturday, when we found an open parking spot very near the entrance to the parking garage, immediately in front of our destination.  God seems to enjoy teaching the beauty of going with the flow.  ( :

The flow didn’t seem to be working when the race started!  We had WAY too many people to pass, so the early downhill miles took longer than we had planned.  Our strategy was to go out fast, on the easy miles, then hold on at the end.  Oh well!  Acceptance again saved us.  Annie didn’t even see the guy hurling on the bridge; she was fully involved in running the best possible race that she could.  Exactly like she lives her life.  Yay! 

We were so focused on our path through the maze of people that we missed a lot of the distractions.  I did offer a half-dozen raised arms salutes to the up tempo bands, as well as multiple wild screams to set the mood.  Hey!  Have fun or go home!

I remembered two hills on the course, but in truth there are four.  Two of them are doozies!  The smaller two just suck a bit of energy out of you.  The last hill is called “Doomsday” hill, and it is as merciless as its name.  It’s a ratbastard of a cruel joke, punishing participants about 4.7 – 5.2 miles into the race.  Annie and I were committed to running as a team, and I let her make the call on how to approach our doom.  One of my best laughs of the day was watching Annie’s speed walk up Doomsday overtaking someone’s running pace.  Annie’s 34 inch inseam challenged my 32 inch legs, so I had to jog a bit to stay up with her.  Not fair!

The best part of the race for our egos was after we summited Doomsday.  Annie and I passed a LOT of people over the last two miles of the race, including a frenzied, climactic last quarter-mile.  We sprinted down the hill with clasped and upraised hands at the finish, relishing our successful teamwork!  ( :

After finishing, we could relax.  One of the most amazing sights was green man!  Sporting a body that rivaled Under Amour mannequins, he was completely covered with a fine green netting, plus black running shorts.   He said that trying to get a drink of water into his mouth through the netting was nearly impossible.   I can picture the entertainment!

Our return walk to the car offered soreness, gratitude, relief and accomplishment.  We were glad that we ran the race, and immediately made plans to run again next year, perhaps a bit faster and a little smarter.  We can do this!  ( :

Well now!  The experts say we can’t get to where we want to go if we don’t know where that is.  Or do they say we can’t get what we want unless we know what it is that we want?  Or is it something like, we have to go after what we want, to get it?  Maybe they’d say my memory lapses make my repetitive “ideas” seem original?  Whatever!!!  It feels right to take a stab at a bucket list, so here goes!  Thank you to Lesley Carter for inspiring me to assemble this post, which may prove to be pivotal in making a better me!  Trying to rank order them blows my mind, so they’re numbered only for reference:

  1. Live happily ever after, deeply in love!
  2. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  3. Run a half marathon with Annie.
  4. Jump out of an airplane AND live to tell about it!  ( :
  5. Help people to smile and laugh every day.
  6. Make a hole in one.
  7. Be an inspiration to others.  Thanks Sherryl!
  8. Watch a PAC-12 football championship game in Pullman, WA.
  9. Watch the Washington State Cougars WIN a Rose Bowl.
  10. Purchase a fun, sporty vehicle.  Thanks to everyone who has tolerated Little Blue!
  11. Snorkel in Hawaii.
  12. Play with grandkids.
  13. Write a story that lives on after I’m gone.
  14. Eat great sushi.
  15. Do 12 pull ups in a row.
  16. Love those who persecute me.
  17. Dance at Nicholas’ (son) wedding.
  18. Swim with dolphins.
  19. Dance at my wedding.
  20. Live peacefully, contentedly, generously and socially connected.
  21. Write a popular blog.
  22. Help Eric solve the obesity problem, inspiring people to better their lives.
  23. Enjoy tea in England.  Thanks Bullu!
  24. See Niagara Falls.
  25. Fly in a hot air balloon.
  26. Do 50 push ups in a row.
  27. Record a great hackysack video of Nicholas & Annie & friends.
  28. See Alaska in person.
  29. Take a vacation in Italy.
  30. Take a Mediterranean cruise or vacation.
  31. Visit Australia.
  32. See Celine Dion sing live.
  33. Live a long, healthy life.
  34. Shoot great photographs.
  35. Hike more of the northern section of the Pacific Crest Trail.
  36. Write a collection of poems.
  37. Collect friends, including five-minute friends – thanks Katie!
  38. Grow fresh herbs & prepare gourmet meals.  Thanks Annie!
  39. Score three or more birdies in one round of golf.
  40. Earn a single digit handicap in golf.
  41. Catch a big fish, say 20 pounds or more.
  42. Visit each of the United States of America.
  43. Add to this bucket list………and get busier on checking things off!  ( :  I welcome any and all feedback, such as critiques and more ideas! 

Playing hacky sack is so fun!  It rivets me in the present moment, my senses fully aware.  Tracking the sack is crucial, as is readiness of mind and body.  Hacky sack differs from predictable movement sports, like swinging a golf club or baseball bat, or rolling or throwing or shooting a ball.  It’s akin to being a quarterback in football or a point guard in basketball: read the situation immediately and respond with cat-like quickness.  Practice is crucial, as it: (1) Prepares muscle memory for prompt response to familiar situations. (2) Improves focus, readiness and patience.  Hackysack and golf are two of my favorite games, though I love many, because: (1) Perfection is unattainable & challenge is perpetual. (2) Crucial life skills are developed, such as focus, dedication and humility.  Hacky sack also fosters cooperation. (3) Natural beauty of outdoor, grassy areas. (4) They are sports that can be enjoyed fully at many different stages of life. (5) Each shot or kick varies from most others, requiring creative response. (6) Social bonding.

History of hacky sack: http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blhackysack.htm

Basics on how to play: http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Hacky-Sack

frankoshanko

I love health, humor, adventure, exercise, romance and competition. Well, I just love life! ( :

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