Jumping out of a plane, rock climbing and scuba diving are just a few things that Cynethia Scott has checked off her Live Life List.
The Live Life List is similar to a bucket list, except that once something is written down, it must be fulfilled as soon as possible rather than sometime down the line. Scott’s list includes things to keep her physically, mentally and emotionally fit, from skiing to zip-lining. And it adds a dash of excitement to her life.
“Growing up in the inner city I had no idea that these types of activities existed,” says Scott, 36, who’s from Atlanta and lives in Mableton, Ga. “There were so many things I wanted to get into — things I wanted to do in [high] school, but I didn’t because I was too afraid or it cost money.”
“It wasn’t until I graduated from college that I really started learning about the numerous fun things that life has to offer,” says Scott, who studied information technology at Georgia Southern University.
Her adventures began after breaking up with her longtime boyfriend. After taking the time to pick up the pieces, Scott decided to live each day as if it were her last. From this, she came up with the Live Life List.
“Instead of moping, I told myself to get up and do what it is that I wanted to do; what makes me happy,” Scott says. “I always had to suppress the things I liked to do or wanted to try, because my boyfriend at the time never liked doing the things I liked to do. I used these adventures as therapy.”
After searching the web for all that could go wrong during her adventures, she realized that people survived and lived to speak about them. She adopted Drake’s ever-popular term YOLO (You Only Live Once) as her mantra.
“There is a life out there worth living,” she says, “so why wait to enjoy it?”
Determined to redirect her focus and energy, Scott turned to Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com for affordable hobbies to occupy her time. Her first adventure as a young, free, single woman? Lessons on how to ride a motorcycle.
“I kept trying to think of things to keep me busy,” she says. “The motorcycle class is what brought me out of my shell. I was focused and a little nervous.
“More than anything, it was exhilarating. I can say that’s where it all started. Now, the next thing I know, I’m spelunking in a cave!”
When Scott isn’t spelunking to explore a cave or jumping out of a plane, she’s a part-time grade school educator in Atlanta. She’s also preparing to move forward as a business owner in property management. The Scotts have also competed on “Family Feud.”
“I’m not inspired; I am self-motivated,” Scott explains. “I have two younger sisters who look up to me. I do this for my future kids and family, for mental toughness, for fun, and overall I do this for my health. I want to be fit all around and not just physically.”
Scott also participated in the “Dirty Girl Mud Run,” a 5K in support of breast cancer awareness. Earlier, she competed in the “Spartan Race,” which also involves mud, various obstacles and burpees.
“When I’m training for something as strenuous as the Spartan Race, I’ll add another workout early in the morning or at some point during the day,” she says. “I call them two-a-days.”
Scott typically works out four to five days a week. Her regimen consists of body pop workouts, cardio and weight training. It also includes engaging in high intensity workouts, playing tennis and doing burpees, the full-body exercise that combines a quick pushup with an explosive jump.
“When I miss a day or two, I start to feel guilty,” Scott says of her workouts. “It’s gotten to the point where my plans revolve around the gym. My family and friends know this and accept it.
Even though she’s a seasoned pro at the gym, Scott admits that nutrition is still a daily struggle, but preparation is a big help. On Sundays, she plans her meals for the week. This helps her stay on track daily and keeps her from craving unhealthy food as often. She believes that a treat is fine every now and then, as long as it doesn’t become a habitual practice.
“It’s funny when I look back at it,” Scott says. “I started this because it kept me busy. I was staying in shape, and it seemed like fun. What I truly get out of this is a sense of pride and self worth. I feel good about myself. I reached my ultimate goal in life: to be happy.”
Tonesha Townsel is a writer based in Chicago. (Updated Feb. 4, 2017)