I am a late bloomer but I do my best to fulfill what’s in my bucket list.
I learned how to swim at age 33. Mom was over protective when I was a teenager and she kept warning me I might drown. I love her very much but in a way, she was my dream stealer of my ability to swim. I woke up one morning deciding not to blame mom for my inability to swim. I had become my own dream stealer. I enrolled in Celebrity Sports Club and began my swimming journey. My classmates were kids and their moms were watching them when I entered. The moms kept smiling and greeting me good morning. They must have thought I was the swimming instructor. I smiled back and greeted them a great morning. When the swimming instructor entered and students were asked to form a line, I went to the far end corner wanting to cover my face. The moms were giggling. I could see them at the corner of my eyes, even if I was looking downward in embarrassment. But I survived and learn breast stroke. I was too afraid to learn other strokes. I must have watched too many ‘Jaws’ movies. Good thing kids are always unafraid. Older people need to think and feel like kids sometimes. Childlike wonder must never cease.
I learned how to bike at age 52. Kit Rodriquez, my Markprof student who later became my Godson in his wedding was my teacher. My brother-in-law Gil volunteered to teach me earlier when he was visiting from Australia but his idea of biking lesson was to run holding the back of my bike while I pedal to learn. Good intention but I didn’t want to make a fool of myself in our subdivision nor risk his health pushing a near-200 pound man so I decided to delay biking. Many biking stores I asked strangely just want to sell bikes but offer no formal biking lesson. How shortsighted can they be? In my desperation, I bought a bike for myself and another for Chiqui. Toby Claudio was nice enough to use his judgment and deliver new bikes for neophyte to my house. That would at least force me to learn as Chiqui already knows how to bike.
I prepared ahead by watching You Tube videos. Kit was a good teacher. We walked together to the next corner maybe no one would recognize me. Then he decided to pray with me and asked God to give me the gift of biking. Loo and behold, Jesus heard him and I got it in one try without Kit having to hold any part of my bike. I didn’t want to stop pedaling the bike maybe thinking I may have gotten it only as beginner’s luck. Kit had presence of mind to take a video of my first biking success while using Chiqui’s bike. I wanted to do the same being able to hold a bike in one hand and do something on the other but was unsuccessful that day. In his prayer, Kit forgot to be specific (joke) as I knew how to bike but didn’t know how to stop. I fell when I was about to hit a car but I stood up like a big man, put my bike in order and jump into my bike as if it was a horse and I was a cowboy. With positive thinking and encouraging Youtube videos, I was able to bike different streets, until two houses away from mine, I hit my neighbor’s car. Good thing my neighbor and his family were all abroad and I gave money to their driver to repair the dented part immediately while giving my calling card to my neighbor in case he is unhappy with the repair. They never called so I must have been forgiven.
I still have a few in my bucket list; I want to learn how to dance, really dance, and not just pretending I know how to because it’s my wife Chiqui doing the hand movement on the dance floor while I just move a bit. I saw Godchildren Dokes Nilo and Darlyn Ty danced so elegantly in their wedding and I saw myself in the same body type as Dokes (sorry Dokes!) and can do what he did or at least come close to what my age group can do. Dance instructor anyone?
Speak another language:
I like to speak a fourth language. I had eight 2-hour sessions in Bahasa Indonesia interrupted by so many trips abroad and seminars that I had to facilitate. I like to resume this but on a more regular basis. I can’t make a difference and empower others if I can not communicate with them in their language.
Tips for Bucket List:
When I was younger, my bucket list includes many things associated with having a high sense of achievement such as major awards and leadership in professional organizations. I hit all of them 100%. I even have a bucket list when I get older (launching an international bestseller, having a talk show, taking my company international before going public, serving the government, etc) but these things don’t matter now as pursuing happiness and health not just for myself and my family but also to help others attain the same.
It does not mean you should not have an extensive bucket list. It just means that you should know why you have it in your list and not full of yourself!
Enjoy your life’s journey. Make a difference in the lives of others. Empower as many people to do the same.