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by Aaron Dorksen

Staying physically fit definitely requires certain sacrifices. You have to make the time to work out, you have to stay motivated, you have to watch your diet, etc.

But have you ever thought about where you want your fitness program to take you? I think it’s important to set short- and long-term goals when it comes to your workouts. And while you’re at, if you get some free time, how about setting your ultimate fitness goals?  Call it a “Bucket List for Fitness.”

Since these are your personal objectives, no one else should tell you how to go about making the list.  But for me, I took into consideration my age (38), fitness level (pretty good, but not elite), economic means (average, but hopefully improving), and family (I’m married, we’re expecting our first child, and I have some physically-fit relatives who might be up for helping me reach some of these goals).

I also considered some of my past achievements – I played baseball, basketball, football, and even ran cross country one year in high school.  At one time I was able to bench-press 300 pounds, slam dunk a basketball, and I once ran a 5K in just over 16 minutes.

I still play slowpitch softball but, at age 38, I don’t think I could match some of those other feats today even if I had a full-time trainer.

Without further ado, here’s the “Bucket List for Fitness” I dreamed up for myself on Nov. 1, 2009:

1.  Enter a 5K race and complete it in under 25 minutes. I’m six feet tall and weigh 215 pounds, so that seems like a good goal today.

2.  Go on an overnight bike trip.  I’ve become more interested in biking in the last few years, riding 15-20 miles per outing. I think it would be a great experience to go on a more extensive trip.

3.  Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  My sister and I have talked about doing this together and if a good opportunity ever presents itself, I’d love to make it a reality one day.

4.  Hike to the summit of a mountain.  I’ve done some mountain climbing in the Rockies with family, but would love to go on a guided tour to the top of a mountain.

5.  Attend a yoga class.  My wife has often asked me to go to one with her.  That would be a new experience – something interesting to try.

6.  Go on a trail run – It would take me back to my cross country days in high school.

7. Learn to play golf.  I’ve gone out a few times and taken some bad swings, which had my friends laughing pretty hard.  One of these days I’d like to learn to do it right.

8.  Fine-tune my abs.  I exercise regularly, but I also regularly indulge in a diet that could be a lot better.  If I were to tweak my diet and up my workouts, I bet I could get back the six-pack abs I had in high school.

9.  Play sports with my kid(s) – Since my wife and I are expecting our first, this is something I think about a lot.

10.  Stay injury free.  I’ve been blessed to have only a few minor injuries over the years.  I know it will take more good fortune and being even smarter to keep it that way as I get older.

I plan to print out this list and keep it as a daily reminder of my fitness dreams.  Some of my bucket list items are going to be a challenge.  Others will be pretty easy to achieve.  I plan to keep modifying my list as time goes on, crossing off things from time to time as I either achieve them or decide they’re no longer that important to me, and adding new ideas.

What goals would you put on your bucket list?  No matter what fitness challenges you might decide to tackle, I wish you the best of luck.  Remember that just about anything is possible if you believe it and work for it.

For more of Aaron Dorksen’s fitness articles, go to


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