My 2020 Bucket List

(Last Updated On: January 3, 2020)

Last year I started an annual tradition – my yearly bucket lists. As I mentioned in my 2019 post, the term can sound so morbid. How many things can one cross off the list before you die? It’s the “before you die” part that gives “Bucket List” the negative connotation. But, Google puts it in a little better words defining bucket list as “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.” Yet, in 2019 the bucket list became even more real to me…. because, well, I almost died. And I realized that I have so many things that I still want to do. The saying is true, when you’re life flashes before you, you don’t regret the things you did do, but you regret the things you didn’t do.

Yet, if you take your life goals and put them before you, that can get overwhelming. As with any goal, it’s better to chunk it into smaller pieces – hence why I decided to go the annual bucket list route. So, in 2020, my annual bucket list takes into account some of those things that I’ve talked about doing for years, but haven’t actually done, and put them on my list.

Revisiting my 2019 Bucket List

Last year I had 10 goals, six of which I achieved, two are ongoing, and two remain unfinished. Let’s take a look at these.

✔️1) Ski 135 days or more – I rounded out the season with 146 ski days, with my last one on July 2nd. When I was hurt on July 6th, I was about to get 147 days. My modified goal was to ski every month of the year. I was striving for two more days in July, day 149 in August, and day 150 in September. Obviously the injury kept me from this, but I achieved my original goal.

❌2) Stay a night in a hut and ski before working the next day – I never got around to doing this. I can make excuses, like we spent 2 weeks in Europe and then by the time we got back the avy danger was too high… and after that, work just got too busy. Part of that is true. Part of it is maybe I just didn’t want it enough.

✔️3) Ski at least one new peak in five different mountain ranges in Colorado – This was kind of a goal I forgot about but I ended up achieving anyway. I skied:
*Guyot – Front Range
*Clinton – Tenmile Range – Actually, half the peak is in the Tenmile Range and the other half in to Mosquito Range.
*Cronin, Aetna, Independence Mountain – Sawatch Range
*Powell, Demming – Gore Range
*Richmond – Elks
*Cameron – Mosquito Range

I also did more repeats this year than I probably ever have. Some of the more memorable ones include Wilson Peak, South Maroon, Quandary, Jenkins, Golden Tops & Cassi.

✔️4) Ski either the Skillet on Mt. Moran (Wyoming) or Mt. Jefferson in Oregon – In early May, I was able to ski Mount Moran in a long one-day push from String Lake.

✔️5) Ski in a foreign country, in a place where I haven’t skied before – In late February and early March, Frank and I headed to Europe to ski in Tyrol. We also skied a little in Italy but had much better conditions in Austria.

✔️6) Complete a pole, pedal, paddle event – I actually won the CB3P women’s “fun” category in April.

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Well, I did it. I finished the Crested Butte Pole Pedal Paddle race in one piece. Waking up to pouring rain/snow mix was unmotivating for sure. But coffee, eggs, and bacon got me going. Riding 2/3 of the way to Gunnison in the rain was the worst part, but I made sure to dress for the occasion. Amazingly enough, I didn't go for a swim in the Gunnison. And even better, I somehow managed to stand on the top of the podium of the women's solo "fun" division. And what fun it was, for sure. CB3P, you will see me back 😁. Thanks to @crested_butte_is_home for documenting the day, to @alexriedman for inspiring me to do it in the first place, and to all the other racers to persevered during horrible weather, and still had a blast ⛷️🚴‍♀️🛶. Also thanks to @crestedbuttesports for giving my skis a good tune and to @rocknrollsports for making sure my bike actually shifted! #skiday118 @lekiusa @smithoptics @crestedbutte3p #cb3p #crestedbutte #polepedalpaddle #cbpolepedalpaddle #crestedbuttepolepedalpaddle #ski #bike #ducky #gunnison @skicrestedbutte

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❌7) Bike-hike five new peaks – This is left unfinished. I pretty much missed the entire bike season due to my injury.

✔️8) Complete the last 100 km of the Camino de Santiago – When I got hurt, I put this goal by the wayside. But this little voice in my head kept telling me that I could do it if I wanted. For numerous reasons, Frank and I had basically decided to cancel the trip with my parents. But, then we realized how much of it was basically not refundable. I decided we should make it happen…. because, when will we ever do it again? In late August, I was able to start hiking so I knew hiking some of the Camino was possible. How much of it, I didn’t know. Even as we hopped on the plan in October to head to Spain, I still had my doubts. Almost 80 miles over the course of 5 days back to back would be hard on my body. And the longest day was 20 miles, right in the middle. But the Camino is also non-threatening. It’s not a wilderness experience by any means, which is perfect for someone who is in partial recovery mode like I was. Every few miles, there were opportunities to grab a taxi to take you to your destination for the evening, if needed. I thought for sure I’d need one of those taxis on that middle day, as it poured rain down on us all day long, and it was the longest day of our hike. But, I got half way, and felt good enough to keep going. No doubt, those last few miles were a real push. But, I did it. So, goal accomplished.

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Today was hard. What was supposed to be an 18 mile hike turned into a 21 mile hike – partially because we got off route for 3/4 mile and also because the routes are always longer than they say. And it rained… The.. Whole… Day… And not just the misty kind of rain either. We started from Palas de Rei in the dark, as dawn doesn't break until 8:15 am because we are so far west in the time zone. And we finished like drowned rats, soaked through and through 9 hours later, in Arzua. I'll admit, it was mentally tough, and physically too. I set out the day with the goal of making it half way, stopping in the town of Melide, with plans to take a taking a taxi the rest of the way. But Melide came, and I felt okay to go on. We skipped lunch, but I stayed fed on cookies and made sure to drink lots of water, and took a picture of the octopus we were supposed to enjoy for lunch. Admittedly, the last 3 miles dragged on, and I was sore, tired, and drenched to the bone… and wondering why I didn't just take that taxi. But as I sit by the fire in the historic manor (built in the 1500's) turned B & B where we are staying, I am glad to have prevailed and thankful my family encouraged me the whole way. This is the Camino, afterall, a place where miracles happen! @lekiusa @smithoptics @lasportivana @blackdiamond #palasderei #arzua #camino #caminodesantiago #traumarecovery #traumasurvivor #3monthsposttrauma #PostCervicalSpinalFusion #PostFemurFracture

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🔛9) Educate people about our public lands, their importance, and why maintaining our access to them is essential – Can a goal like this ever really be accomplished? Yeah, I did it. But, it continues to be ongoing. This is something I will keep doing for the rest of my life.

🔛10) Inspire someone new to live an outdoor lifestyle – Same as goal #9, I this continues to be an ongoing goal. I probably best achieved this through my social media posts, aiming to inspire others to follow an outdoor lifestyle balanced around other parts of life like work. But, I also wanted to reach out to some “never-evers” – take someone on their first ski or first hike or first bike ride. In a town like Crested Butte, those people are hard to find. So, I can’t say I achieved what I wanted to out of this goal. So, it too remains ongoing.

My 2020 Bucket List

My 2020 Bucket List evolves from my list created in 2019. Some of the list contains modified versions of my unfinished goals in 2019. Some of it involves new things that I have created. And a couple of others are things I’ve talked about doing for a long time, but haven’t actually done them. Some of these goals are harder to achieve than others. Some of them I just needed to put on a list so I actually do them.

My 2020 Bucket List is can be chunked into three categories:

Things that I’ve talked about doing for a long time,but haven’t gotten around to it:
1) Alley Loop – This is a cross-country ski race. And while XC skiing is far from my first or second love, I still appreciate it for what it is and the Alley Loop is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The race involves several different lengths – a 1 K, 3 K, 5 K, 10 K, 21 K, 42 K -some “freestyle” and others dedicated classic or skate. People who enter are of varying abilities and seriousness. For me, I plan on getting decked out in costume for either the 5 K or 10 K events. The race is on February 1st.

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Today was hard. What was supposed to be an 18 mile hike turned into a 21 mile hike – partially because we got off route for 3/4 mile and also because the routes are always longer than they say. And it rained… The.. Whole… Day… And not just the misty kind of rain either. We started from Palas de Rei in the dark, as dawn doesn't break until 8:15 am because we are so far west in the time zone. And we finished like drowned rats, soaked through and through 9 hours later, in Arzua. I'll admit, it was mentally tough, and physically too. I set out the day with the goal of making it half way, stopping in the town of Melide, with plans to take a taking a taxi the rest of the way. But Melide came, and I felt okay to go on. We skipped lunch, but I stayed fed on cookies and made sure to drink lots of water, and took a picture of the octopus we were supposed to enjoy for lunch. Admittedly, the last 3 miles dragged on, and I was sore, tired, and drenched to the bone… and wondering why I didn't just take that taxi. But as I sit by the fire in the historic manor (built in the 1500's) turned B & B where we are staying, I am glad to have prevailed and thankful my family encouraged me the whole way. This is the Camino, afterall, a place where miracles happen! @lekiusa @smithoptics @lasportivana @blackdiamond #palasderei #arzua #camino #caminodesantiago #traumarecovery #traumasurvivor #3monthsposttrauma #PostCervicalSpinalFusion #PostFemurFracture

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2) Magic Meadows Dinner – Cross country skiing is something I can do this early part of winter while I wait until I can actually start downhill skiing again. The Crested Butte Nordic Center is known for their Magic Meadows Yurt Dinners. You XC ski out to the Magic Meadows Yurt on the Slate River, and enjoy a feast from a top-end chef. Of course, it’s not exactly cheap. But, I feel like since we live in Crested Butte, it’s something we should just do. So, this February we have reservations to finally do a Magic Meadows Yurt Dinner.

Unfinished goals from 2019:
3) Stay a night in a hut and ski before working the next day – As mentioned above, I never accomplished this goal last year and it’s still something I want to do. Though, this year, this goal will likely evolve to include cross-country skiing. Also, this goal may be a bit difficult for me as carrying a heavy backpack is difficult while I recover from my broken neck.

4) Bike or hike five new peaks – Last year, this goal was more focused on the bike, meaning using a bike to access a peak and possibly even biking from the summit if that is allowed. Due to the extent of my injuries, I am not sure how my bike season will go. Biking may be something that hurts my neck for awhile. That’s why I’ve modified this goal a bit. If I can only hike to the summit of these peaks, then so-be-it. But, the goal is to get to the top of five new peaks either way.

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Today I got to stand above 14,000 feet again – a goal that I had internally set for myself to accomplish this fall as I sat in the hospital less than 3 months ago (with doctors telling me I'd need to go to a rehab center upon discharge and I said no way!). Better yet, we reached the summit of Colorado's highest 14er in just 3.5 hours, despite howling winds. – Admittedly, I was uncertain how the altitude would make me feel given that I am on a double dose of blood thinners and still have an occluded vertebral artery, impacting blood flow to my brain. But I barely was short of breath even as I approached the summit. Maybe it was because I was smiling so much 😆 – This is the time of year I usually summit Mt. Elbert with a bike, but that will have to wait until next year… For now, this is just another day of #winning and #crushingrecovery. – Thanks to @snow_alien for hiking the whole way with me and to @crested_butte_is_home who did the biking I could not do 🚵 This day was the BEST day-after-birthday ever! – @lekiusa @lasportivana @smithoptics #mtelbert ##12weeksposttrauma #traumarecovery #traumasurvivor #PostCervicalSpinalFusion #PostFemurFracture

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New goals
5) 100 new miles toward TrailQuest – Many of you who follow this blog most be familiar with TrailQuest. As I recovered from my ACL injury in 2017 the local tourism association created TrailQuest, which was a challenge to ride 750 unique miles of trails surrounding Crested Butte and Gunnison. The rules of the game evolved, including what trails counted and what didn’t. And in the end, it turns out there’s more like 800 miles of biking trails. This year, “Wilderness TrailQuest” was created, which included all of the non-bikeable trails. In other words, these trails must be done on foot, or possibly a horse. I don’t have a horse, so I’ll be going the foot route. In 2018, I became the first person to bike all 750 unique miles of trails. But, there are still trails that remain to be ridden for me. This fall, as I was able to start hiking again, I put some serious damage into Wilderness TrailQuest, hiking over 60 unique miles. While I hope to be able to do some significant rides next year, I also want to keep moving forward on Wilderness TrailQuest. So my goal is to achieve 100 new unique miles, either by bike or by foot.

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Today I got to stand above 14,000 feet again – a goal that I had internally set for myself to accomplish this fall as I sat in the hospital less than 3 months ago (with doctors telling me I'd need to go to a rehab center upon discharge and I said no way!). Better yet, we reached the summit of Colorado's highest 14er in just 3.5 hours, despite howling winds. – Admittedly, I was uncertain how the altitude would make me feel given that I am on a double dose of blood thinners and still have an occluded vertebral artery, impacting blood flow to my brain. But I barely was short of breath even as I approached the summit. Maybe it was because I was smiling so much 😆 – This is the time of year I usually summit Mt. Elbert with a bike, but that will have to wait until next year… For now, this is just another day of #winning and #crushingrecovery. – Thanks to @snow_alien for hiking the whole way with me and to @crested_butte_is_home who did the biking I could not do 🚵 This day was the BEST day-after-birthday ever! – @lekiusa @lasportivana @smithoptics #mtelbert ##12weeksposttrauma #traumarecovery #traumasurvivor #PostCervicalSpinalFusion #PostFemurFracture

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6) Connect with other trauma survivors and help them – This will likely be one of those goals that remains ongoing. While I am still not sure what form this will take, I do know that the few connections that I have made with other trauma survivors have been meaningful. Some have reached out to me and have helped me, and others I have helped too. I think this goal will evolve more through the year and I am interested to see where it takes me.

Ongoing
These goals remain ongoing and much of that I discussed above. Perhaps it’s good to have goals that you’re never really finished with, although admittedly, adding these goals can make this list seem overwhelming in my head.
7) Educate people about our public lands, their importance, and why maintaining our access to them is essential

8) Inspire someone new to live an outdoor lifestyle

The Wrap
What things are propelling you into 2020? What goals do you want to achieve? I have found putting goals in a list helps me to actually work toward achieving them. Making them public, even more so. What will you strive for in 2020?

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With the incoming of 2020, it's ingrained in our culture to flush away all that was wrong with the year, and look at is at time to start anew. I would be lying if I said I hadn't thought about engaging in some form of cleansing rituals that many friends have suggested. But then I realized that's not what I need. I need to embrace the good with the bad, and 2019 had extremes on both ends of the spectrum. – While I wouldn't want to go through getting run over by a car, having 3 surgeries, and spending 2 weeks of July in the hospital again, I also don't want to trade that experience. Had it not happened, I would have never realized the deep inner strength that lies in my core that can only shine with adversity, or how many friends and family can rise to the occasion when I most need them. I don't want to push away this tragedy. Rather, I want to embrace it. But, I don't want it to define me either. Instead, I want it become a part of me, woven into the vast and complex tapestry of what makes me who I am. "I am not my scars, but my scars will always be a part of me," – that's my mantra. – So on this eve of 2020, I challenge you to face the adversity you encountered in this last year. Instead of pushing them away, carry what you have gained from those experiences into the new year. These are the things that make you grow, make you resilient, and make you strong. These make you the warrior of life. – Enjoy the tapestry of photos that highlight my year of extremes. Here's to a great 2020. May your year be full of strength 🙏😁 @lekiusa @smithoptics @blackdiamond_snow @lasportivana #traumarecovery #traumasurvivor #brokenfemur #brokenneck #traumawarrior #imnotmyscars #imgonnabestrong #newyear #2020 #backcountryskiing #backcountry #ski #skiing #skiingislife

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Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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Summary
My 2020 Bucket List
Article Name
My 2020 Bucket List
Description
It's time to do those things you have talked about doing, but haven't done, because in the end you'll regret not doing them. Whats on your 2020 Bucket List?
Author

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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