The 30 Before 30 List

The below list was created when I started this blog and was the centerpiece of it for many months.  During that time, I realized that while I enjoyed attempting to complete all of these items, it wasn’t what I loved most about this blog.  It was the storytelling.  Writing has been a passion of mine since I was in school but somehow, over the years, I had forgotten about how much I enjoyed it.  But like a flood of water released from a broken dam, the passion came roaring back when I began this blog.

While the direction of the blog has changed since its inception, the list remains here as a reminder of how things got started.  My intent is not to give up entirely on its completion.  As we speak there are items on the list that are in the process of completion, as well as others I still plan to take a stab at.  I will post updates whenever an item is crossed off and will likely devote a post to whatever story comes of it.  So stick around cuz’ it’s sure to be fun!  And now, the list:

Update: If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that my 30th birthday has now come and gone.  The whirlwind ride that was my 29th year was great and capped off by a wonderful celebration with all my best friends to help me usher in my next decade.  What lies in store for The Wordslinger in his 30’s?  Well, that’s for me to find out and for you to read right here.  Hope you’ll stick around.

Oh, and I’m keeping the list up because there are items that remain open that I still hope to complete someday.  As I do, you’ll surely here about them so stay tuned!

  • Run a marathon in under 5 hours
  • Run a mile in under 4 1/2 minutes
  • Commit to the gym and really get in the shape I want to be in
  • Do the Polar Bear Plunge or Santa Swim
  • Get a tattoo
  • Visit the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown
  • See a baseball game at Fenway Park
  • Catch a pass from an NFL Quarterback (past or present)
  • See a March Madness game (any round)
  •   Go white water rafting
  •   Sing karaoke
  •   Learn the guitar (enough to play at least a song or two)
  •   Read a book that is widely considered as one of the top 5 of all time
  •   Watch AFI’s top 10 movies of all time
  •   See a Ravens, Orioles, and Capitals game
  •   Play a round of golf at Bethpage Black
  •   See a Duke/Maryland basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium
  •   Get a piece of sports memorabilia signed
  •   Start a blog
  •   Be a guest on Bill Simmons’ BS Report podcast
  •   Play golf with my High School golf coach
  •   Brew my own beer
  •   See a concert from really good seats
  •   Have a carefree weekend with my wife
  •   Get a picture of me completing each item on this list and post it here
  •   Eat dinner at The Charleston 
  •   Go on an Adventure (details to follow)
  •   Take the kids to Disney World
  •   Write a letter to my kids
  •   Begin writing a novel

65 thoughts on “The 30 Before 30 List”

  1. I turn 29 in a few weeks…you have inspired me to create my own “30 before 30 list!”

  2. Hey, Wordslinger! I just started a blog not too long ago and because of your baby name blog post on Freshly Pressed, I went to your site and then saw this.. I started my own list of things to do (or least attempt) before I graduate college! You’re inspiring!

  3. Cool list. I have a goal list for the year and find that it keeps life pretty interesting. But wow, running a mile under 4 1/2 min would be pretty impressive.

  4. Hello. I was reading the freshly pressed blogs and came upon yours. It’s nice, it’s great…it’s humorous with just the right amount of humor. But…It seemed incomplete, like it’s missing something. And since you write about the happenings of your life, and what you want or expect from life… I think I may say that your life is missing out on something major. A purpose. Something that you live for. I went through how it all started and your 30 before 30 list…it focused on things that are…either not very important (but different things are important to different people, so I can’t really say that.) or they just don’t stand upto the standards of what you should live for, esp a person with skills like yours(no buttering, I applaud your talent of ‘word-slinging’). I mean, really! It seems to revolve around football, sports, travel, personality… where’s the greater image?!

  5. What am excellent and creative idea ! My first though was that I should copy this intentions.

    But on secont thoughts ……maybe not … 60 before 60 may bee a bit high amed as I have less than ten years to reach that goal and have not even started !

    Good Luck with your list !

  6. Wow! What an excellent idea! 30 before 30. Love it! I will be making my own list

  7. i totally love “brew my own beer”..when are you getting to it?

  8. This is very awesome. I had a list like this but I never wrote it down. Inspires me to do a 40 before 40 in addition to my bucket list. But perhaps I should stick to the Bucket List. Maybe … good one.

  9. Pretty cool list-I have one too which I started about a year or so ago after losing my 2nd parent in 9 months.-but didn’t actually start blogging about until about 6 months ago… I just took my kids to Disney this year and white water rafting is also on my own life list ( )

    So far in a year, I have managed to achieve a lot including (deep breath):

    Sky Dive for charity (the hospice who cared for my Dad)
    Aerobatic Flying Lesson
    Helicopter Lesson
    Visit Las Vegas
    Ride the Stratosphere Rides
    Zip-line from the top of Red Mountain
    Hike through the Valley of Fire
    Visit Thailand
    Ride an Elephant
    Bungee Jump into a lake
    Do a Catapult Bungee
    Take my kids to Disney
    Experience Weightlessness in a floatation Tank
    Tour the Hoover Dam
    Fly through the Grand Canyon in a helicopter
    Camp in a Tipi (at Grand Canyon Ranch)
    Hike through the Valley of Fire
    Stay in the Bellagio
    Eat at The Top of The World revolving restaurant
    Visit Sea World
    Go to a camping Music Festival
    Go on a Spa Weekend with my Mum

    I do believe that making the list and starting the blog has been so inspirational, and I’m so glad to have stumbled across yours too!!!

    Emma =)

    • Wow, now that’s impressive. These days, my list consists of things like “get my son to take a nap longer than 25 minutes.” and “get through an entire episode of The Big Bang Theory uninterrupted.” Awesome list by the way, and congrats on all you’ve accomplished!

      • Thanks! I do remember those days, but my youngest is 4 now (5 in just over a month), and you do start to get into your groove again and get your life back!

        Any way… It’s really the little things in life that count the most.

  10. I too started a blog and a novel after starting a list.
    To come are an American road trip and learn to play piano and if I’m feeling REALLY hard on myself, the violin! (eeek!)
    I love lists like this because I think it helps you put down your deepest, darkest dreams and desires without any hesitations or limitations.
    I hope you manage to achieve these things but good luck with catching the pass and think twice about the tattoo! (They fade and look so blah over time).

  11. I’m 34 already, but I’m a huge fan of the “life list” concept. Yay for you! I have white water rafting and taking the kids to Disneyland on my list, too. If you get there before we do, let me know how it goes!

  12. critters and crayons said:

    good for you!!!! My 30 before 30 list would be a little more mundane. Catch up on photo project, de-clutter closet, finish a load of laundry. 🙂

  13. love this post, be careful on the tattoo though, its addictive 🙂

  14. Hi, Jim! I saw your comment on a Freshly Pressed post regarding WP Themes. I have been thinking about trying the Chateau theme so I came to look at your blog. I got caught up in your list while I was here!

    I just turned 30 November of last year and I found some things in your list that I would like to do, too (although mine will have to be called “30 Before I End 30”). I start gym next month and I intend to have killer form in 3 months. Golf– I should go back to playing before I reach 31. Marathon: been thinking about trying that. Karaoke, hah– I have done that so many times! Try it– it’s awesome!

    Will be looking around your blog. Good luck with your novel.

  15. Jim, #18 doesn’t say it has to be signed by a member of a sports team. Buy a baseball card and a pen and cross that bad boy off of your list.

  16. myblogject said:

    Hey, we have your #11 and #19 the same as two of mine on my list! Woop, go for it! love the blog

    • Thanks for stopping by! That’s cool that we have some similarities in our lists. I think karaoke is something alot of people wish they could do but just don’t have the nerve to try it. I know that’s why I haven’t done it yet. But it’s happening…soon.

  17. dear lord.. i have to go read about the polar bear plunge… and running a mile under 4 1/2 minutes??? Ur nuts.. but awesome! What is your tattoo going to be of? Don’t start.. they are a bad addiction… says my leg which is now an entire salvador Dali piece.. Definitely start the novel.. they take a while to finish.. says the girl who is constantly “writing” one.. may never finish lol. Good luck, i look forward to reading more!!

    • The plunge was quite an experience. I think I’m still thawing out! I may be a bit over my head with the whole 4 1/2 minute mile thing…but we’ll see as the training progresses (or should I say “starts”)

      • professorpatch said:

        4 and a half minutes may not be realistic considering the world’s fastest mile was ran in 3:43:13

  18. Did you decide which book to read? #13

    Good luck with, and enjoy completing your list. Another blogger and I have just started a day zero project (101 tasks in 1001 days).

    • Yes, the book I chose is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I researched several “Top Novel” lists and this one tops many of them so that’s why I chose it. Of course I didn’t know when I picked it, that it was 817 pages long!

      What a cool idea, 101 taks in 1001 days. I love these bucket list type ideas. It’s a great way to get out there and live, you know. Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoyed the site!

  19. Wonderful list! Google NaNoWriMo, it’s a month long competition to type a 50k word novel. There are plenty of people there to cheer you on and help you get all of those thoughts out of your head.

    • That’s Elle! I’ve heard of that competition for writing a novel in a month. It sounds quite interesting. I might have to look into it. Thanks for stopping by!

  20. Here’s something about brewing your own beer/and equipment required?:

    and then there’s this site:

    here’s some more tips on buying equipment:!5508420/halve-your-beer-tab-by-brewing-your-own

    I look forward to reading your journey’s on that and family life in general (you’ll lose me on sports) 🙂


    • Sandi,
      Thanks for stopping by. Also, thanks for the info. I’ve heard alot of people tell me that the sports stuff will lose them, so I try to keep it to a minimum. There’s always family and kid related fodder to talk about so I’ll do my best to keep you entertained.

  21. maryct70 said:

    Great list! I am partial to the game at Fenway Park, as a die-hard Red Sox fan! Best of luck on your mission to complete it!

    • Well, as an O’s fan, I can’t say we’re on the same page here…but I’d love to visit Fenway as a sports lover. Thanks for checking out the site! Hope to see you back.

    • got to have a fenway frank … they have the best hot dog rolls there …first of all they are frankfurters and they have these rolls that are like a piece of bread, but slightly toasted …giddie up ! ….but really bad polka music in between innings …its no john denver !

  22. Great list! I made one for 2011 on my blog. It’s tricky to get those things crossed off, but I plan to get EVERTHING done. I may be adding (stealing) some of your things too.

  23. Hey there, Good luck with your list. This is the year I
    turn thirty and I’m doing a similar thing. Is what we’re doing the
    new equivalent of a mid-life crisis? 🙂 I think it’s much more
    healthy, and much more fun… I’m a musician so mine are much less
    sports-related, but I really enjoyed reading through your list. I
    wish you every success with it, and I look forward to checking up
    to see if you complete it all in time. Good luck! – K.

  24. i saw your article on wordpress homepage.. very
    interesting. your list gives me idea to make my own list, but i’ll
    be 30 in six months and i’m afraid i can’t make it … 😦

  25. Oh yeah, and I forgot to suggest that number 30 could be
    “throw 30th birthday party bash!”

  26. Good luck with number 5. Do you have a specific image in
    mind? Here is my advice. Before you even THINK about crossing that
    threshold, you should be able to finish this sentence: “If I were
    ever to get a tattoo it would be a……….(fill in the blank).”
    And use Polysporin. Liberally 🙂

  27. How fun! I saw your blog on’s main page. Just
    this week, I finalized my own 30 before 30 list. I had a 25 before
    25 one, and wanted to step it up a notch. Here’s mine if you’re
    interested in looking for ideas for your final item…

  28. I’m British and we’re pretty uptight (yet fabulous) people,
    and I never thought I’d be able to do karaoke. When I moved to
    Japan, I did it every week and miss it like crazy. Great choice! I
    like the idea of getting fit because that will keep you healthy
    years after reaching 30, and nothing encourages children to take of
    themselves like having great role models for parents. Really fun
    and cool list. I had a things-to-do-before-I-die list which I
    completed when I was 27. Not dead and working on a new list. The
    satisfaction, pride and encouragement you get when you complete the
    list is amazing. Good on you!

  29. julieloukim said:

    You just gave me some new ideas! Thanks

  30. You’re married and you haven’t spent a carefree weekend with your wife yet?! That’s what I do every weekend! Oh, but not with your wife of course – that came across wrong! I think you need to travel somewhere cool for your list and see a world-famous landmark, like the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, Uluru (Ayers Rock) etc. The gym thing is easy, as long as you don’t fall into embarrassing habits like these:

    • It’s not that we haven’t spent a carefree weekend together, it’s that having 2 kids under 2 years old makes it hard. I’ll work on the travel part, but read my other article which outlines my rules for what made the list and you’ll see why no major trips made the list. Thanks for commenting.

  31. Jim,

    If you’re getting a tattoo, I want to be there. Also, I know a guy who does those…

    Keep me posted.

  32. Rob Baker said:

    Hey Jim! 30 before 30 is pretty cool. I like the list. Might be able to help you out on #8 with a man named Joe Flacco if you are interested.

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