Getting Outside Myself

While working out a few days ago, I picked up in the gym a copy of the September 2010 issue of Outside magazine.
The "LifeList" article offers 51 ways to push our minds and bodies to learn and experience way beyond ordinary routines. Check out the full article in print or online.
Following are the 14 things I commit to doing/starting within the next 6 months. Let me know if you want to hitch a ride. - Stephen

1. Get a passport. (Check). Fill it. (My next stamps will be from Auckland, Barcelona, and Istanbul)
2. Chase down your hero.
Whether you're in the audience, in the stands, or sitting next to him or her at a dinner party, consider who you admire and want to meet. Go online. Check schedules, take a couple of vacation days, and make it happen.
My list: Steven King, Anderson Cooper (and his inspiring Mom), Simon Sinek, Arthur Frommer (dear Pauline's dad), Tyler Brûlé, John Naisbitt, the partners of Avroko, Anne Lamott, Peter Beard, Kathy Eldon...
3. Master a second language.
I've played with French for way too long. Now it's time to get serious. When in Paris last spring it was empowering to converse with the locals.
4. Get 100,000 hits on YouTube (with no silly pet tricks).
My friend Joël shared with me one of the best insights into the mind of an artist - and it's pushing 90k hits without being searchable on YouTube (you can view it only with this link - check it out here.
5. Take two weeks off. Completely off. No phone. No computer. No watch.
6. Learn to kayak. 
My next go-anywhere kayak will be a Folbot. Kiawah. Check it out and suggest below which color I should get.
7. Watch the World Cup. Live in Brazil. We have four years to plan. ( 
8. Read right. 
Before your next trip, read a book (novel, biography, narrative non-fiction) about your destination. Traditional guidebooks are helpful but you'll learn more about the soul of the place from a story rather than lists of attractions. Examples that have prepared me for two of my most rewarding visits: Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" on San Francisco and Dan Baum's "Nine Lives" on experiencing New Orleans through the lives of 9 real people.
9. Get in the best shape of your life.
I've finally stopped messing around. I've joined a gym. In most mornings at 7. Never (seriously) felt better.
Thanks Ryan and Dakota at Planet Fitness!
10. Go to New Zealand. This is what the earth looked like before we got here.
11. Live abroad for a year. (and do it on a teacher's salary)
Yes, this can be done. As in life, it's amazing what happens when we simply ask for something.
12. Raise $2,500 for a cause.
Most organized athletic events offer sites that make it easy to recruit donors. My most recent was $500 donated for my 24-hrs of cycling to raise funds for cancer research and treatment. That was easy. I'm now up for the $2,500. Want to join me? Hmm, perhaps something that will include the kayak (#6)?
13. Give something up. For a month. And make it something you think you can't live without.
Next month, give something else up.
14. Never stop.
Discover something to love - that builds mind and body - and keep going.

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