My New Bucket List

OK, let’s face it.  I am never going to do that one Class 5 river that’s been on my bucket list since I started kayaking.  Probably never going to get that massive clean air loop or do some trick that most people can’t pronounce, not going to go on any expeditions that involve real hardship, and truth be told, many of those Class 4 rivers of my past are now being seen from my rear view mirror. 
In 2013 I did a post called “How Old is Too Old?”  Reading through it today I see how optimistic I was back then, how full of hope to be boating at a certain level into my 80s and beyond.  In 2015 I did a part 2 post and began to accept the fact that we boat on a bell curve and my peak was definitely in the past.  It wasn’t a “giving up” or “accepting the inevitable” type post, but the march of time had maybe dimmed my enthusiasm to be more realistic and re-reading it I feel it is a good mix of realism and positivity.
So here we are, 3 years after my last post and 5 years after the first one, and I find myself once again asking “how old is too old”—we’ll call it Part 3 for continuity—or maybe My New Bucket List.
Well, it certainly isn’t 67, my present age, but the optimistic 80-plus goal might need to be re-evaluated, or at least the peppy tone of the goal might need to be dialed down a bit.
Here’s the deal.  I love rivers.  I love being on rivers in my kayak and I don’t seeing that changing, but I definitely find myself picking my Antix over my Rockstar or Nirvana when I go out these days.  Not that I don’t love play boating, or cruising the river, or high water, or speed, but I just really like boating the Antix, and it offers a great combo for all of the above, plus it’s nice and light which is becoming more and more of a decision maker.
There is a great PodCast called Revisionist History by the author Malcolm Gladwell that looks at the way the passage of time changes and enlightens our understanding of the world around us.  
I feel like maybe I am reinventing my own paddling history while revisiting the past to try to make the future somehow brighter.  In 2018 my resolution or intention for the year was “accept”  Each time I felt unworthy or unhappy about where I was in my paddling during the year I would tell myself to “accept” and it really grounded me into being grateful and thankful for wherever I was.
I guess I am going to kick the “how old” question down the road for another year or two and I will get back to you when I stop paddling, which hopefully will be a good long time down said road. 
And maybe I shouldn’t be so judgmental about where my paddling is taking me (and at times I feel like I am circling the drain).  It is taking me on a river.  In a boat.  And for that, I give thanks.
Happy Paddling and all the best for the coming season,

Comments on “My New Bucket List”

  1. RZ
    December 12, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    Never say your too old!!! My best paddling friend was 30 years my senior, and I first paddled with her when she was 60. Traveled even to Alaska and boated with her. She saw my children cut their river teeth and became part of our river family. Our last river trip together was when she was 89 years young. Cancer claimed her when she was 90. I think of her often when I float over her ashes….

  2. Marguerite
    December 13, 2018 at 10:53 am

    As a 62 yr old I’m appreciating every word, Hilde. I’m still working my way up the bell curve I hope though it will never be a steep one I’m hoping for a very long tail on it. Happy holidays and new year.

  3. Kathi Morrison
    December 15, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Congrats on your post especially as I too am 67. Age can be limiting in body, mind or both. I did not reach your level; not just because of age, ability or balls; but maybe due to all of the above and only being on the river for 1 1/2 years (so not enough time). I did make it to class III. This year I have been saddled with health issues that have kept me out of my whitewater boat, but I still have the desire to get back there someday, so here’s to 2019. Happy New Year.

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