Life List

Life List

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

What better place to collect and organize my ‘bucket list’ than on my blog.  I have had a rough list either in my head or written down in various places for a while, but it’s nice to consolidate it.  Organized by area of my life and, for now, not in any particular order. As I start to work on the list, I’ll link blog posts to those activities.

Why have a list? It’s hard to make any progress towards a goal if you don’t have a clear understanding of what that goal is.


  • Run a marathon with my wife. Done.
  • Run a sub-4 hr marathon. Done. Ran the Fox Valley marathon in 2011 in 3:59. Made it with little time to spare!
  • Run the Ave of The Giants marathon.
    • Done. Not Ave of The Giants, but I ran the Napa Valley Marathon with my brother. Close enough.
  • Do a handstand.



This category is mainly related to my 2 daughters. As things come up that I think would be experiences or activities that I want to do with them, I’ll add them here but I don’t want to put any pressure on them 🙂 so really these are things they have expressed interest in that I want to make happen.

  • Show my girls a Hawaiian sunset and see humpback whales breach.
  • Go scuba diving in a tropical location with my girls.
  • Write a song together as a family.
  • Run a 5k race together as a family.


  • Camp on a secluded beach.
  • Rim-to-Rim hike the Grand Canyon
    • Oct 2012 – Done! Hiked with Julie, Dad, Carroll, and Carrie.
    • DSC_7576
  • Visit the Old Faithful Inn in winter.
  • Adanced Base Camp, Nepal Trek
  • Climb Mt. Whitney
    • August 2012 – Julie and I climbed Mt. Elbert (2nd highest in lower 48). We planned and actually got permits to hike Whitney during the summer of 2011, but a lot of the trail was still snowed in so we bailed.
    • photo 4
  • Climb Mt. Rainier
  • Visit Denali National Park and trek through the backcountry.
  • Visit New Zealand and trek.
  • Visit Philadelphia and tour Independence Hall (seriously, the place where it all started in my mind…. even if Jefferson was an ass)
  • Spend a week at Lake O’Hara (preferably in the cabins… hey, I can dream, right?)

But Ryan, what about your job? You’ll notice that I don’t have any goals related to my day job on this list. While I do find a lot of meaning through the work I do, I view that work as the means to achieve the goals on this list. The products I work on save lives and will likely have an indirect impact on many people, but my work goals and career are not my life’s passion. My family/friends and the experiences that I can have with them while I am in this world are what I want to list and track here. For me, life changing events haven’t happened during my daily commute or in the office. They have happened while I am trying new things and traveling to new locations. I want more of it.


  1. […] Life List Posted by: rdobson | March 27, 2011 […]

  2. I’m so impressed with your organized list, Ryan. I’ve got a list myself, although mine is not so physically demanding (and never would have been). Looks to me like you got more than your share of your father’s genes. Whatever you do, have fun and laugh a lot. Love, Mom

  3. Ryan, I also like your list and it is inspiring!

    • Interested in doing any of these things with me Jeff?

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