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Before I Kick It: My Reverse Bucket List

In pop culture, there are lots of references to making the most of life, day by day. There are movies, songs and even personal mantras about living life like you’re dying, and with that comes the idea of a bucket list. Most bucket lists are written in the hopes of accomplishing great feats and having amazing adventures before someone eventually kicks the “bucket” and passes away, but I felt that writing a list of my top 10 things I’ve done in my life so far is a more interesting, positive spin on the idea.


  • Trapeze: On one of our family spring break trips to Florida in 2012, my mom, dad, sister, cousins Allyson and Leah, and even my great-aunt and grandma participated in trapeze. I was only 13 at the time, and not many people get that experience ever in their life. It was so cool to soar through the air like that and have an elevated point of view, plus it was a family-owned business which made it so much cooler to have done that activity with my own family. We really were on Cloud 9 that day!

  • Cubs winning World Series: My family truly wouldn’t be what it is without this sports team, especially because the first chapter of the love story that is my mom and dad began inside the ivy-covered walls of Wrigley way back in 1995. We love to sit in the outfield bleacher seats and sing “Go Cubs Go” at the the top of our lungs, and both my mom and dad got to go to World Series games! Seeing the Cubs win after a 108-year drought brought me to tears and is definitely worthy of a spot in my reverse bucket list! #FlytheW.

  • TreeUmph Adventure Course: This adventure course had everything from ziplines, rope swings, and fun but challenging obstacles in five total courses to run. Each course got progressively harder, and I only made it through 3 of the 5 total courses. It was fun pushing myself to the limits and getting a birds-eye view of more FL beauty. It was an unforgettable experience, especially waking up the next morning to discover muscles I didn’t even know I had aching from such a good time.

  • Saving two lives: While that isn’t a common element of most people’s bucket lists, I can say that my saves of last summer gave me a new perspective on life as a whole. I would’ve never known I was capable of that until I encountered the need to jump into action, which is an outlook for life that can be adopted by all.

  • Big 10 Football Game: My incredibly talented bestie, Jess, is a cheerleader at the University of Minnesota and with the generosity of her parents during a visit, I got to go to the Minnesota v. Nebraska game in November (love you, Taylor fam!). Despite me knowing little else besides touchdown, quarterback and field goal, the whole game day experience was such a rush of activity compared to lil’ Winona, and the Gophers came out victorious!


  • Segway tour: This was such a fun family activity to see historic and current parts of downtown Venice, and the segways were a really fun way to get around (bonus: it’s a surprisingly good core workout combined with squats for starting and stopping the segway). I gained my “seg-legs” and now have a lofty goal of owning one in my lifetime!

  • Tattoo: Permanently inking my body with such a significant part of who I am has easily been one of the most memorable parts of my life so far. I loved my time swimming competitively and the wait to get my tattoo made it that much more special; every day that I look down at my ankle, I have a sweet reminder of my swimming career and all the memories attached to it.


  • Dierks Bentley concert: Last summer, I got to sit in the pit of Dierks Bentley’s “What the Hell Did I Say” tour with my good friend Kellie. I love country music and it was such a cool experience to be that close to one of my favorite artists. Plus, I got to hold hands with Dierks. I repeat, I GOT TO HOLD HANDS WITH THIS HUNK (swoons forever).

  • Austin Graffiti Park: This was SUCH a cool urban area sprawling with concrete works of art in all different styles and sizes, although a demolition and relocation is currently in effect so you might have to do some searching for it in the future. With the slogan of the town being “Keep Austin Weird,” this was right on brand! My sister and I even got to tag our own wall with spray paint.

  • College: To me, this item had to appear last on the list because it just means so, so much to me. I always knew I wanted to go to college and pursue my love of writing and journalism, so being supported through my applying and acceptance into Winona State, my dream school, has been such an incredible journey. In the spirit of bucket lists, this is one goal I couldn’t have achieved without the total support and love of my family; without them, this reverse bucket list and my life as a whole would be half as fun.


To quote one of my favorite country crooners, Tim McGraw, “Someday I hope you get the chance//To live like you were dying//Like tomorrow was a gift//And you’ve got eternity//To think about//What you’d do with it//What could you do with it//What did I do with it?//What would I do with it?” I am so grateful that at only 18, I have these ten things and many, many more wonderful experiences that have overflowed my bucket, and this is just the beginning! I strongly encourage you after reading this to reflect on all the moments that matter most to you and live life with the outlook that each day can be a new adventure!



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My name is Hannah Hippensteel, and I like to say I'm a Chicago city-slicker, but I'm actually from the 'burbs. I'm currently a senior at Winona State with a major in mass communication-journalism and a minor in sociology. Catch me enjoying all Winona has to offer: the bluffs, the incomparable Bloedow's Bakery, and not to mention, Minnesota boys. With a goal of working at Teen Vogue, Seventeen or Glamour magazine, I'm soaking up every opportunity to keep my finger on the pulse and share my personal voice!
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