Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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Recent entries from wgba
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wgbaFebruary 17, Fragrance Lake 20 K

Ran the most difficult race I think I have ever run, per mile. It was a 20K up Mount Chuckanut and it was beautiful and brutal. Over 3000 feet of elevation gain, depending on whose Garmin you believe.

I ran hard, especially at the end and fell once. My quads are still burning two days later. Had a fun time with Wanda, Sherry, and Shawna and saw Kendall and his friend Maximum Bob there.

I am just loving the relaxed vibe of these trail runs – which seems to magically happen in spite of the very high level of runners that show up and the difficulty of the courses. Planning on making this a permanent part of my life, God willing and injury free. Feel very lucky to have run this.

At about mile 6 or 7, when I was climbing to the peak and suffering, I started thinking about my friend Sean, who died on Tuesday at the too young age or 57. He left behind an incredible wife and three kids. He had suffered so much in the last 20 years, going from limping to cane to wheelchair, to barely able to use his hands. I reminded myself how lucky I was to be able to walk, let alone run in this beauty. I am blessed. I felt almost like he and others who have died were there watching me and cheering for me in some way or another – from “go!” to “are you crazy?”. I didn’t feel alone even though I was running alone for part of the race.

I am very thankful for the soreness that I am feeling today. It means I am alive. 22 months ago

wgbaInspiring meeting February 13, 2013

Today we had an amazing meeting at work. Great breakfast, but a really inspirational exercise and talk by our new ED, Ashley. He led us through a core values exercise, asking us to narrow down our core values. Mine were “Integrity” and “People”. It also made me think about what other values were important to me, like peace, happiness, friendship, authenticity, family, love, strength, and adventurousness. It made me think a lot about those other values, for example “peace” and it made me realize that if I didn’t have integrity, I would have no peace. It took me back to my mantra, “Who do I want to BE?”. Because when I am faced with a decision, I want to always think about that. Long term, who do I want to be? I want to be the person who makes other people’s lives better, who treats others with respect, who learns every day, who strives for excellence and continuous improvement. When I start yelling at other people, it’s the thought of who I want to be that pulls me back and reigns me in. It was a great exercise.

Then Ashley spent the next period of time talking about where he had come from. He was born on a family farm in South Africa, then as a child moved to Cape Town. He talked about living there, in an area where the “coloreds” – which he said meant mixed race – could live, in public housing. There was a large area the whites could live, and only 3 shantytown ghettos where blacks could live. This was in the seventies, during apartheid. He talked about how he was bitter about apartheid, but said it without a trace of bitterness in his voice. He talked about taking the bus an hour each way to the “English” high school, where he started out doing poorly since his native language was Afrikaans. He talked about the bus driving past the shantytowns and watching as the government bulldozed people’s homes in the coldest part of the year. He talked about a priest who stood in front of the bulldozer. He had a goal of making it to University of Capetown, which is the best college in Africa. He succeeded. He also had a goal of being a Rhodes scholar, but did not achieve that one. He ended up coming to the United States instead to study at Northwestern University in Chicago and receiving a masters in linguistics. Then he moved to Seattle – (he didn’t talk about it, but I know he received another graduate degree, I think a masters in public administration from the University of Washington). He said that the only reason he came to the US was because he had a vague goal of studying abroad, at Oxford, and happened to see a four line advertisement in a newspaper about studying abroad. He talked about how he may not have achieved his exact goals, but because he had them and was goal-directed, he ended up being able to take advantage of opportunities that related and moved him along his path. He talked about how he is an optimist, and how we should all have self-confidence. He said “You are all more capable that you or others think you are.” That resonated a lot with me. I know I do not achieve to the level I am capable of and it made me want to work harder. He talked about having commitment (which to me means focus as well) and how he values change. He said that we set standards for ourselves.

I loved this whole conversation, from the honest and conversational tone, to the faith in us that he exhibited. It made me think about how truly everything I have been through, every step I have made, every battle I have fought, every tragedy I have suffered has led me to this point, to this point where I have been so lucky to meet and work with both this man and Jill. How they are both such incredible leaders and that it feels like fate. I feel a tremendous responsibility to learn as much as I can from them and allow them both influence change within me. I feel blessed.

At the end, someone asked him what his two most important core values were. He thought for a moment, then said “justice” and “family”. 22 months ago

wgbaFeb 5 - Heimlich

Today I helped out my friend Larry at work. He was choking, turning red, pointing at his neck. People were yelling “He’s choking” but not really doing anything. I ran toward him, yelled – stand up, told someone else to go get Chris N (thinking I wouldn’t be strong enough to do the Heimlich on a 250+ pound guy) and someone else started hollering to call 911. I came up behind him and Heimlich’ed him once, he was still gagging, did it again, and started to do it a 3rd time, when K. said “He’s okay now!”. He was still kind of wheezing but no longer beet red and able to breathe.

It was pretty freaky, and afterward I was a bit shaky, thinking about what could have happened. He just lost his 30 something year old son to heart failure about 10 days ago, and if something had happened to him, his wife… Not to mention how absolutely horrifying and traumatic it would have been for all of us. But thankfully it worked, and I feel a little weird about the congratulations I have received. I can’t feel good about what happened, but I am relieved. And now I realize that I can do the Heimlich if I need to. Not only that, but I am strong enough to do it on a big guy – and his feet popped up off the ground when I did it. So it makes me wonder if all of the workouts and all of the strengthening I have been doing over the last few years has been leading to this. Life is weird. 22 months ago

wgbaWent snowshoeing

I went snowshoeing a few weeks ago. That’s not necessarily something I thought I’d never do, but I went with a group of people that I barely knew 2 years ago. I went with out Chris, because he didn’t want to go. It was stupendous, beautiful, enriching. It filled my soul. 22 months ago


I struggle so much with this. How can something like this be so overwhelming? It seems like I have so many other areas of my life under control, but we live with too much stuff and it gets in the way of me living to my fullest potential. I need to think about this one a lot. I need to think about how I have achieved success in other areas of my life and apply those strategies to this goal.

Number one might be just doing it for me and not worrying about anyone else. It sounds selfish. 22 months ago

wgbaSo many wonderful people in the world

It seems like I meet more potential friends almost every week. Life is full. 22 months ago

wgbaFeb 3, Tri Club, Superbowl, and Bday

Started the day out with tri club. Hadn’t really planned to go, because Brenda couldn’t. But so glad I did. Had a tough swim, an absolute killer spin (I spun next to a retired orthopedic surgeon named Clay who told me about his volunteer work in the Phillipines before things got too intense to talk) and then I actually ran 2.4 miles with Wanda and Sherry. It was great to see Sherry, who I haven’t really talked to since Deception Pass 25K in Dec. Looking forward to Fragrance Lake in February! Then came home and wished my boy a happy birthday. He wants to celebrate with dinner out tomorrow since he had a Superbowl party to attend today. Chilled out watching the game and sorting files. 22 months ago

wgbaFeb 2, Run and Ride!

Started the morning out with a nice easy run at St. Edwards with S. Only did about 6.4 miles, but it was trails. After, went for the first bike ride of the year. Weatherman had predicted 50 and sunny, but it was 38 and overcast. Went with S, Chris, Jim, John R, his friend Jeff, Peter, and Drew. Had a lovely ride from Log Boom to Marymoor where we stopped and chilled. John pulled out a thermos and cocoa from his saddlebags! It was amazing. Then rode back home. It was a lovely ride, if cold. 22 months ago

wgbaFeb 1 - book club

Went to book club at the Bassetts. Had a nice discussion of Reamde, by Neal Stephenson. We didn’t think there’d be a lot to talk about, but thanks to Lauri’s question cards, it was great. It was good to see several folk I haven’t seen for a while, since either they or I have been missing. 22 months ago

wgbaJan 20, Django!

Chris and I and Jake headed over to the theatre to try to see Lincoln. However, I couldn’t get them out of the house, was super frustrated, and the movie ended up being sold out. Instead, we decided to go see Django, Unchained. It was really and incredible movie, in spite of the gory-ness. It was lovely to spend a little time with my boys. 22 months ago

wgbaJanuary 31 - new goal

Went to TRX class again. I was thinking that maybe I wouldn’t continue, but near the end we all started talking about how we so wanted to do pull ups. I have never in my life been able to do one, and we set a goal of trying to do a pull up in the next session. Super excited to try! Love new goals! 22 months ago

wgbaJan 22 - Happy Hour

After work went to happy hour to celebrate Wanda’s birthday with her, Jill, Teena, Monica, Christy, Mary, and Lena. We had a great time unwinding and shooting the shit. It was awesome. 22 months ago

wgbaJan 26 - PR the Rain Run Half! and Bridge

I had won an entry to this new half marathon, the Rain Run about 8 days ago. Talked S into running it with me. We had done the Tolt a couple of weeks prior, so had those 11 miles under our belts, but really hadn’t trained. Day of, it was pouring. A small event. I ran the first few with S who pulled back due to hamstring issues. It was such a flat run that I was hoping for a PR (less than 2:08 and change) and dreamed of finally breaking that 2 hour mark. About mile 9 I was struggling a bit and a tight group of 4 came past me, the back 2 obviously drafting off the front 2. I tucked in behind them, and let them pull me along. Each mile got successively a tiny bit faster, and at the end I was seriously doubting my ability to keep up with them. I started to think about how much I suffered in circuit class sometimes and tried to tell myself that I could certainly hang in there for another 15 minutes. Got to the finish and saw the sign said 2:00 and change and thought I had come very close. My watch wasn’t accurate since I hadn’t started it quite on time. But in the end, I came in at 1:59:51!! So excited! At my age, who knows if I will ever be able to run that fast again, even with good training. There’s always that risk of injury. S came in about 10 minutes later, cursing her hamstring and sure she had just totally messed up her chances of an April marathon. But I reminded her that I’d heard that one before. We went and had a lovely pho lunch, and both were pretty fried! But what a great day.

That evening C and I went to bridge at the Castillos. Had a lovely time. 22 months ago

wgbaJan 19 - Snowshoeing!

Went snowshoeing at Snoqualmie Summit on the Pacific Crest Trail with Jose C., Shawna, Sean, and Sonja. Had a great ride up and super interesting conversation with Jose – nice to learn more about Venezuela. Stopped in Snoqualmie at the Brewing Company for lunch on the way back. The snowshoeing was absolutely amazing. I am hooked, and can’t wait for next time! We did a fair amount of running while in the snowshoes. It was beautiful and filled my soul. 22 months ago

wgbaJan 12

Ran the Tolt Pipeline – 11 miles with Shawna. The Stinky Spoke mountain bike ride was going on at the same time and it made me want to do it even more. Next year for sure! 22 months ago

wgbaJan 5

Went on a run with Shawna and Kimberly at Lord Hill. Locked the keys in the trunk and Chris had to drive out and rescue us! Had a nice breakfast in Snohomish. Went to see Cloud Atlas at the Crest with Chris, Macy, and John. Ran into Karen and Tracy afterward, and caught up on about 6 years of news. 22 months ago

wgbaJanuary 6

Started going to Gael’s Tri Club again at the Everett Y. Brenda and I just swam and did spin this time, but it’s great to get back into it. 22 months ago

wgbaJanuary 10

Started up with Rich’s small group training class again. Such a great group of 5 ladies, 2 of whom I’d never met before (Mary and Marie) and 2 who I just barely knew (Janis and Jane). Feeling like I am getting stronger all the time! 22 months ago

wgbaJanuary 1

Started the day/early morning out with a New Year’s Eve party at the Bowmans. Had a ton of fun and did a fair amount of BSing about potential travel with the group. Woke up and did the Resolution Run 5K and Polar Bear plunge with Macy and Barb. Saw Joel there, but missed Tracy. It was a PR for the event (slow, because of the plunge) and a wonderful dip in Lake Washington! It was very cool to share it with the new runner, Barb.
That afternoon, came home and went on a dog walk with Barb, Brenda, Kathy, and Deborah. 22 months ago

wgbaNot good at this!

I want to get rid of all the superfluous crap in my life. There are a lot of “things” in my life that don’t matter to me and they take up too much time and energy managing. I need to figure out what really matters and let everything else go. 2 years ago


I am on a trip where I will see several family members. In the past there has, naturally, been conflict with some of them. I am determined to not focus on old conflict. I want to reestablish or rejuvenate a good relationship with the people who matter to me. 2 years ago

wgbaBe there

My parents are having some health issues. They could have gotten along by themselves, it was a somewhat inconvenient time at work for me to take a week off and it would be somewhat expensive to fly there. But I think my mom really wanted some emotional support and wanted to see me. I realized that I don’t want to be the kind of person who lets inconvenience or frugality stop me from doing what I think is right. I want to be the kind of person who finds a way around the problems. I did. I am on my way. It feels good to be the person I want to be and I need to remember this feeling. 2 years ago

wgba 2 years ago

wgbafor what is missing

I think I will find it while I’m running. 2 years ago

wgbaPortland Marathon

I ran a stinking marathon a few weeks ago! And…. I ran the entire thing, except for a potty break and helping an older man who fell. Proving to myself once again that a person can do anything she sets her mind to. 2 years ago

wgba 2 years ago

wgbaStill working!

I completed my marathon on October 7th, finishing faster than I had hoped! Now I am switching my focus to a bit shorter distance – a half marathon in November and a 25K trail run in December. I think I will do as much trail running as possible in my training.
Now that summer is over and it is more difficult to ride my bike, I am trying to consistently attend a circuit or core workout at least twice a week. Hopefully also at least one spin class per week, and keeping it all stretched out with a yoga or pilates class as well. That seems like a lot, and yet there is still so much missing. Swimming has gone out the window, though I’m hoping that I can pick it up again when winter tri club starts in November. “Off season” workouts… long slow distance, not a lot of speed work once my 25K is over. Just build, strengthen, cross train. 2 years ago


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