Friday, October 9, 2015

30 Before 30

Over the past week or so, I've been working on a list of options for my 2016 race season.  Some of those options revolve around the fact that I turn 30 in April.  When I had originally put in for the London Marathon, it was to be my 30th birthday gift to myself - a perfect combination of a new goal (my first marathon), an epic race (the London Marathon is a big deal after all), and a bit of travel (I would have stayed in Europe for a few weeks post-race to backpack).  I'm back to the drawing board and it is somewhat overwhelming to consider all of the options - races, trips, and the various combinations therein.  So I decided to start with a little bit of a list - a 30 before 30 list - to get myself grooving toward that milestone birthday.

The list is a combination of ways to get myself travelling, trying new things, and being a better person.  There are things on the list that I've always wanted to do and things on the list that I really ought to be doing already.  Some of the things are easy, and some will be a stretch out of my comfort zone.

Over the course of the next 6 months, I'll check in with how things are going, particularly the triathlon related things.

Go Outside My Comfort Zone:

1) Say "yes" more often - Saying yes to me means being open to new experiences and adventures.

2) Compete in a snowshoe running race - Last year I got running snowshoes, but I wasn't comfortable entering a race.  Why not try it this winter?

3) Paint a picture - I'd like to tap into my creative side more (or see if I even have one).

4) Do a 30-day yoga challenge - One of my off-season goals is to reconnect with my mat, and I've always thought it would be cool to try one of the yoga-every-day challenges.

5) Play on an intramural team - My friends and I have discussed maybe innertube water polo.

6) Swim sub-1:10 for a 100m freestyle - Last year I got really close, so with some work, I think I can get even faster.

7) Break 20 minutes in a 5k - Again, something I got pretty close to - 20:20 (on a track) and 20:39 (in a road race), so I'll try for this again.

Learn Something New:

8) Learn to skate ski - I started learning last year and it was so much fun. The goal is to be good enough to ski up to the huts to drink wine with my friends.

9) Learn how to knit or crochet - When I was little, I knew how to knit, so this is really "re-learning."

10) Read 6 books (1 per month) - There are stacks of un-read books in my room, so it is time to tackle them.

11) Take an online course - A friend recently introduced me to Coursera.  I've been out of school for many years, but it might be fun to learn something new.

12) Learn some Italian or Spanish for my birthday trip - The likely candidates for my epic birthday trip are Italy, Spain or South America (Argentina and Chile).

13) Make a soufflé - My experimentation in the kitchen has been put on the backburner due to the time commitment of triathlon.  Soufflé is one of my favorite desserts and a classic culinary challenge. (Sometimes the universe also sends you signs, like seeing this recipe
 in my FB feed minutes after writing it in my notebook).

14) Build / make / refinish a piece of furniture (looking for a trunk for my room or a dining room table!)

15) Learn how to drive stick - mostly so I can move my roommates' cars if they need me to!


16) Take a spontaneous road trip - I love road trips. There are so many great places within a reasonable driving distance, so why not go!

17) Visit somewhere new - This could be combined with the roadtrip or not.

18) Go camping - I really enjoy camping and there are tons of beautiful places to camp nearby (I just need to do it soon, before it is too cold!).

19) Ski at Tremblant - I've been to Tremblant a number of times now, but never in the winter. I'm also hoping to get over my fear of heights and going fast down a mountain with this one.

20) Be at tourist in Ottawa - There are 30 museums in Ottawa, and I've only been to two. There are countless amazing cultural events, delicious restaurants, and fun activities to do, so it's time to enjoy my own city a little bit more.

21) Plan an epic solo trip - It is unlikely that I will be able to go on the trip before my 30th, but I want to make sure this trip happens, so the planning needs to take place now.

Be a Good Human:

22) Find a cause to lend my time to - It's been a while since I've done more than donate money to the causes I believe in, so I'm going to work to change that.

23) Volunteer at a soup kitchen - Again, the last time I volunteered at a soup kitchen was in high school.

24) Manage my finances and save some money - aka be a grown-up!

25) Totally unplug for an entire weekend - Technology is great, but so is being present and actually connecting with the people around you.

26) Help rescue a puppy - Okay, this one may not be realistic, but Jenn wants a dog, and I'm happy to help!

27) Send letters and postcards to my friends and family - I like mail and I love my friends and family!

28) Call my sister and grandma once a week - I love these two and don't chat with them often enough.

29) Fall in love with myself - Pretty simple!

30) Practice gratitude - The more gratitude we express, the more things we find to be grateful for in our lives!


  1. Awesome!! Great list!!! You have 6 months!! You can totally do it!! A solo trip sounds like so much fun!!! Does that mean you didn't get into London?! :(

  2. Love this! I did a 30-day yoga challenge before I started triathlon… was lovely – and, it turned into 100 days! OF COURSE you have a creative side! We all do :) Have you read Liz Gilbert's Big Magic? It's all about that :) As for a solo trip… I can't recommend one enough! I went to Costa Rica alone when I was 31(?), and it was life changing.

    Excited to follow your adventures to 30 (the best decade!)! :)