Bucket Lists Gone Bad: When Senior Thrills Become Life Threatening
I don’t have a bucket list because I did enough insane crazy stuff to last two lifetimes when I was a kid. Bucket lists are selfish and purposeless indulgences for people who haven’t accomplished anything real in life; there are better things to do with your time and money than to check items off a list.
“If you’re going to build a bucket list don’t fill it with 18 different versions of Russian Roulette,” said Dr. Ryan Stanton, an emergency physician in Lexington, Ky. He treated the 60-something man who recently wrecked his new motorcycle in the store’s parking lot, breaking several bones in the crash.
“Fill your bucket list with things that are actually safe and enjoyable - or at least prepare for them sufficiently if you’re going to enjoy them,” Stanton said. “You don’t want your bucket to be full of the first bucket of dirt for your grave.”
Baby boomers have become the bucket-list generation, aiming to complete and cross off dozens of adrenaline-drenched exploits before their bodies fade or their time ends, says an official at the American Association of Retired Persons.
“Boomers are really known for this phenomenon called ‘Boomeritis,’ which is: We are weekend warriors and we go out and try to squeeze all our activities into the weekend,” said Gabrielle Redford, editorial projects manager for AARP the Magazine. She believes so many 50-plusers have inked bucket lists because they came of age amid the aerobics and jogging crazes, and because they’re more active than their parents’ generation.
Typical bucket lists may include marathons, triathlons and, lately, Tough Mudders and Spartan Races - along with pursuits like ziplining, rock climbing and scuba diving.