Shortly after my first husband, Jim Laining died, I was determined to make sure when I move on into “Glory” that my family and friends won’t be saying, “Isn’t a shame that she didn’t get to do…..” So in the weeks and months to follow, I sat in bed each night with a note pad and pen and wrote down the things I wanted to make sure I did before that time came. In essence, my Bucket List! First thing on my list was:
- To determine whether I wanted to continue in Real Estate or find a new direction or career.
I wasn’t sure if after all the grief of not only Jim’s illness and death but also the very challenging real estate market of the 90’s did I still have the fire in my belly for all things in real estate. I considered what else I might do. They included off the wall things like learning to drive an 18 wheeler and hitting the road or becoming a cook for a big game outfitter. But somewhere on the trip crewing Gary and Sally Callahan’s boat from Benecia, CA to Victoria, B.C., I realized that I liked nice things and being surrounded by the smart and interesting people. My real estate business had always provided both. I also recognized that my success was in large part due to my having a talent that I call “it” and the work ethic to keep “it” successful. So reestablishing my business as a success was # 1 on that list! By the end of the next year I was back up there with a brisk book of business!
After that came the fun items:
- To run a marathon. I RAN 4
- To go back to the Plaza Hotel in New York in a beautiful suit and drink a martini on the stem – DONE – NOVEMBER 1994 Would like to do it again now that the Plaza has completed its massive renovation so I guess that is back on the list!
- To run on the shore of Lake Michigan with the wind blowing and the waves slapping up against the sea wall. DONE IT TWICE
- To fall madly in love again and get married Married Alan Benbow in May of 1997
And the list went on and I completed most of them; adding new ones along the way to the list and marking them off once they were completed. One item I have yet to mark off is to harvest a trophy Black Tail Buck. My latest addition to that list is to swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco this next September.
Like my business, both of these items require a lot of focus, conditioning and training. That is yet another reason I get up so early – 4:00 a.m. most mornings so I can swim and then walk and run as I prepare for both.
The buck, as long as I keep hunting and climbing mountains I know eventually that will happen. It is much like prospecting in my business. The harder you work, the luckier you get. In essence, the more people you talk to, the more success you will experience! So I run and walk the boat ramps at Folsom Lake so I can continue to climb those mountains to put myself in the right place at the right time to attain that goal.
The ominous swim is another matter. I have always been a decent swimmer. This past year one of my swimming buddies challenged us to swim across Folsom Lake. On September 10, we entered the water at 8:00 a.m. at Brown’s Ravine and I set foot on the shore of Beal’s Point at exactly 11:00 a.m. While it was a long, long way (3.65 miles) there are no major currents like one encounters in San FranciscoBay. While I continue to swim a minimum of 3 days a week training for that next challenge, I have the gnawing worry about those tremendous currents. So when we were offered the opportunity to train with Master Swim Coaches at the community pool, I signed on.
Today our coach was Kerry who has swam the Alcatrazswim on more than one occasion. Learning of my Alcatraz goal, she quickly analyzed my stroke and identified what we need to work on to make me stronger and more fish-like in the water. In a nut shell, I need to work on rotation and kicking. I knew my kicking was weak, but wow, I didn’t realize it was actually slowing me down. Today we did 150 yard time trials. The first was with a full freestyle stroke including kicking. We then did some kicking and body rotation exercises. Then we did a 2nd 150 freestyle but no kicking, just pull. I really struggled with the buddy buoy and finally discarded it for the last 50 yards. Even with losing some time fussing with the buoy, I was still 17 seconds faster in that 2nd 150 yds. without kicking! Wow!
That’s the bad news! The good news is that we have identified the problem and can now focus on correcting it. Prior to this realization, I have to admit, I felt somewhat frustrated with my performance in the pool. While I definitely improved my times this past spring, I felt of late I was struggling. I can now focus on very specific aspects of the stroke and anticipate my overall speed will improve substantially.
As I thought about today’s workout and the realization of what was keeping me from improving, I realized all aspects of my life; personal, professional and Alcatraz is one continuous “Bucket List” First you set the goal, then set a course, identify what the problem areas are and what you need to do to correct them along the way. Then you simply implement those certain activities which produce repeatable and sustainable results and you “Just Do Them”!