I’ve had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ John Corippo through my blog. He became a follower of 6 Feet Over and emailed me about the lengthy ‘bucket list’ he’s tackling. This fellow blogger is a wonderfully supportive husband, loving dad (check out his adorable son in all the photos below), dedicated firefighter/captain and an awesome goal setter. His story proves that with both self-discipline and support from loved ones, you can achieve amazing things….even if NOT eating bacon is involved. Read on, you’ll see…
Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun
- a wish list of things to do before one ”kicks the bucket.”
Melody: John, share a little about yourself…
John: I am a 32 year old father and husband. Which would be enough because I hit the jackpot when my wife married me almost three years ago and then gave birth to my son 13 months ago. However I was lucky enough to get the best job in the world…as a firefighter. Actually I am a fire captain in the town that I grew up in, Ukiah California. Pretty much have the perfect life…awesome wife, terrific kid and a job that I love.
I left my hometown and went to college for four years at Chico State. During my last semester I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life working in a cubicle underneath fluorescent lights and I left college and moved home where I found firefighting and made that my career. I worked in photo labs through college and really got into photography during that time and am just now getting back into that hobby. I have always been a reader and love books. I love gadgets and always think that I “have” to have the latest tech toy that’s out. I live and die for the San Francisco Giants and 49ers, but I am also a big fan of the Boston Red Sox (way before they finally won the Series!) and sports in general. My own crowning achievement in sports was completing a half Ironman triathlon. I love getting outdoors and especially enjoy seeing waterfalls, but I don’t get out nearly as much as I feel I should. I have to say that my friends are my family and some of the most cherished gifts in my life. I would not be who I am today without the love and support of all of them. Another random fact is that I am a lifelong Parrothead, and if you don’t know what that is…you are missing out on really living life!
My bucket, life, to do (whatever you might want to call it) list was really inspired by my mom coming up with a 50 things to do before she turned 50 list. I just wanted to add some adventures to my life, mostly to be able to be an inspiration to my son. Someone that he can look to and be proud of. That his dad isn’t just a go to work and sit on the couch when he gets home guy. That we actually go out and live life, not just live to work if you know what I mean.
Something that I’ve been plagued with my entire life is having lots of interests, but never really pulling through on any of it. Having the list has given me motivation to get out and finish some of these things that I would like to accomplish.
Melody: What is one item you’ve checked off your bucket list?
John: An item that I recently crossed off my list was becoming a vegetarian for 30 days.
Melody: I’m impressed…I don’t think I could last 3 days! I’ll admit I have wanted to try though. Why did this become a goal of yours?
John: This became a goal of mine because I was intrigued when my wife decided to become vegan about 6 months ago. I supported her, but thought that it was a passing fad or something. I am really proud of her for sticking with it. I never really thought about how “meat centered” that our society and my own life really was until I was watching her change her lifestyle.
Melody: I think it’s awesome you were so supportive of your wife’s goal. You get definite points for that! Other than being a fabulous husband, why was going meatless so important to you?
John: Sticking to the entire 30 days “veggie vow,” as I came to call it, became more a battle with will power than anything else. It also became a battle between myself and all the people that said I couldn’t make it. I also thought that it would be a healthy challenge and would kick-start another goal of mine, getting my weight down to 185lbs.
Melody: I completely understand how others saying you couldn’t do it became an inspiration in itself! Hmmm, I just may blog about that later. I applaud you for wanting to become more healthy, too!
At any point, did you want to give up?
John: I wanted to give up on this almost everyday. Temptation was everywhere. One day I walked into work at the station to one of the firefighters cooking bacon in a pot. He didn’t eat it, just cooked bacon in a pot and went home. He just wanted the aroma of bacon lingering in the station during my work day. That was one of the hardest of the 30 days. We also went out to dinner at restaurants a couple of times and to an awards banquet for my department where there was lots of meat options, and very few vegetarian choices.
Melody: BACON? Seriously, bacon? That’s just cruel! I think I would have caved at that point. I love bacon. I want some bacon now just talking about it. Mmmmm, bacon.
Your “veggie vow” was truly challenging. What kept you going?
John: I really had three things that really got me through to the end of the goal. My wife was extremely supportive and held my hand through the entire month. She worked hard at coming up with new meal options and just kept my eye on the prize.
The Cartman, a friend that I work with, took on the challenge with me. It was essential, looking back, that I had a partner in crime at work. I found that was where temptation was strongest, and I was at my weakest. In fact I was ready to quit even before we got started. On day one of the challenge I was ready to postpone and start the challenge later, but The Cartman flat out refused and flat out told me that we were doing this and that was that. It was motivation for the rest of the month. I knew that if I caved I was going to have to face The Cartman. It would have been embarrassing if he completed what was a challenge on my list, and I couldn’t.
The third thing was my blog. I had put my list and the progress out there for anyone to stumble across to read and really didn’t want to explain that everyone that said it couldn’t be done was right. I really underestimated how powerful that blogging was going to be. My blog doesn’t get a ton of traffic, but it’s enough to keep me in line. I know this sounds like a plug, but AdventureWannaBe has been the strongest motivating factor and a great new hobby all in one. It’s also great to hear from people that leave comments of support.
Melody: I think having people on your side (your wife and The Cartman) is essential to achieving anything in life. It’s amazing how much we can accomplish simply by having someone to cheer us on. Accountability is crucial as well. Needless to say, I agree with you 100% about how blogging holds you accountable. It’s the reason I started this blog.
What advice would you have for people striving to reach their goals?
John: I think that everyone has goals or a list in their life. Those looking for advice, I can only comment on what has worked for me. Write it down, and let people know. I have been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support that I have received since publishing my list. People that I thought might be critical or make fun of me have gone way out of their way to help me. A friend has hired someone to teach me to ride a horse and hooked me up with a friend of his that can teach me to fly a glider. Another has gotten my tickets to a conference where I am going to meet someone with the same name as me. People I don’t even know have left comments saying that they are willing to give me opportunities. So my advice is to put it down where you’ll look at it all the time and tell people about what you are trying to do. All of a sudden you’ll have more opportunities than you have time to accomplish them.
Melody: I have been meaning to do the same…post my list. I think it’s inspiring that you have your list on your blog! Tell us a few of the other items on your bucket list you’re still seeking to accomplish.
John: Some other things that are still on my list, and there is a bunch, are growing a full beard, visiting 50 waterfalls, hiking the John Muir Trail, learning to play my guitar and playing on the street to see how much I can earn, meeting multiple heroes of mine, seeing multiple landmarks of the world, and making one of my son’s dreams come true. There are many many others, in fact 200 of them but you can check it out on my blog if you’re interested in the entire list.
Melody: I think you should post a video of yourself playing the guitar and put a PayPal link next to it! I’ll throw in some change for sure! 😉 Wonderful list you have…I’ve read all 200 items!!
Leave us with your favorite inspirational quote?
John: My favorite inspirational quote is “It is never too late to be who you might have been.” ~ George Elliot
Melody: John, thank you so much for sharing your 30 day “veggie vow” journey with us! You not only showed us how challenging this was, but you also took what, to some, could seem like an easy task and turned it into a life lesson. Your adventure to the vegetarian side proved to be more than a diet change. It not only took mental strength, but a supportive team. I believe goals need just that in order to be obtained. Your story is inspiring! I can’t wait to see more of your items checked off that list!
If going vegetarian is on your list of things to do, here are a few websites that will help you get started:
I’m working on a blog makeover and will have my full bucket list posted. I had wanted to post the list before, but seeing John’s list motivates me to add more to it!
If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating in a Motivation Monday interview, just click HERE to email me and we’ll chat.
©2010 Melody G. Fritchley