Extreme Bucket List Item: Bobsledding – ✓

Bobsledding, Latvia

The thought of actually accomplishing some items on my bucket list scares me to my very core. One of them is bobsledding. In Sigulda, Latvia the track is 1420 m; it features 16 curves and allows for a maximum speed of 125 km/h. That’s insane. Who says, “I want to get into an open-aired vehicle and zoom down an ice track at 125km/h?” I couldn’t leave it to the unknown though. I had to give it a try and see how intense it was for myself. Now I can say with firsthand experience it actually is insane. What a rush!

Sigulda Castle

We arrived in Sigulda and toured the Sigulda castle ruins and I was promised a fun surprise even before bobsledding. Needless to say, I was like a kid on Christmas Eve. I was already crossing one item off of my list that day and now a surprise; heck yes! I love Latvia!

Sigulda Castle

At the castle, I was able to try on medieval armor worn for battle in Sigulda. Then, we practiced warfare. Archery, axe throwing, and spear throwing were all part of the program. I beamed with delight. I love interactive experiences. What a treat to learn how to throw a spear and an axe properly. Not that I use those skills on a daily basis, but learning anything new is a great way to spend the day. The archery was my favorite; I could have practiced for hours, but my frozen hands disagreed.

Axe Throwing at Sigulda Castle

Archery at Sigulda Castle

When we left the castle, we passed the bobsledding track and I wasn’t sure where we were going. We came around a turn and I noticed a massive climbing structure and I couldn’t stop smiling. The castle warfare wasn’t even part of the surprise, although I was totally impressed with it. The 120 m tower was set up like an obstacle course with different routes to the top. I chose the easy route, only climbed half way, and was still proud of my accomplishment. It was quite difficult for an inexperienced climber like myself, but if Darren had of been there to encourage and push me, I would have most definitely gone to the top. It’s amazing when we can do with our partner’s support. I’d realized just how much I missed him.

Climbing Tower in Sigulda, Latvia

Climbing Tower in Sigulda, Latvia

By the time I got to the bobsledding track, I was already overly pleased with the day. Smiling, I jumped in the bobsled and listened carefully. We were given instructions, with the basic gist of hold on and try to keep your head up rather than haphazardly flopping about, and off we went. Our ice rollercoaster took off like a flash and zipped down the track at unbelievable speeds. Just when I thought, “This can’t possibly get any more intense,” we were thrust into another turn. Turn after turn, my head and body shifted from side to side. The G-force was incredible. Keeping control of my head was no longer an option. It was being pulled down as if an elephant was standing on my neck. I noticed my helmet was against the girl’s back in front of me but I couldn’t lift it up. It was a whirlwind. Insane. Complete loss of control.

Bobsledding in Sigulda, Latvia

Bobsledding in Sigulda, Latvia

Bobsledding in Sigulda, Latvia

How do they manage to keep their heads up? How do they manage to be in control of their body movements? How? How? Please any true bobsledders out there I’d love to hear from you. You are a God with impressive talent and skill.

Bobsledding in Sigulda, Latvia

Yet another surprise, I was given the chance to try it again. This time I had even less control. I was exhausted in the end. Running a marathon would be the equivalent.

I got in the car and rested my head against the seat. Filled with adrenaline and excitement over my adventure, I was ready to eat. It had given me a new appreciation for the sport. I’ll look at bobsledders with awe every time I see them.

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48 thoughts on “Extreme Bucket List Item: Bobsledding – ✓

  1. Wow- how exciting! I always thought trying the bobsled would be fun, but listening to your experience, I had no idea that it would be hard! They make it look so easy- next time I watch Olympic bobsled, it will be with a new appreciation for how hard it is.

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  2. Lesley,
    You’re like my husband—you have the Thrill-seeker gene in your DNA. He likes to have fun and go on adventures. We spend a lot of time in Ghana, West Africa doing ministry, which is another kind of adventure altogether.
    Blessings and safe travels,
    Kelly

    Your daughter is a cutie. What a life she’s gonna have, rich with experiences and optimism:)

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  3. That is so awesome! The whole experience! I would have passed out after so much stimulation myself. Kudos to you for really living your life and not just going through the mundane motions. I love your stories and adventures and hope someday SOON, I will have another to share too ♥️

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  4. I’ve always wanted to go bobsledding! What an adventure! On the Olympics, it looks so smooth and effortless, and I thought if I were to ever be a Winter Olympian, I’d be a bobsledder. After reading your post, maybe not! I don’t think my neck could take all the jostling about! But it’s still something I want to cross off my list 😉

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  5. What an amazing set of experiences you’ve just added to your repertoire! I never considered Latvia as a tourist destination really before, but I sure am adding it to my list now! Way to go, Leslie!

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  6. For some reason, I’ve never heard the term “*extreme* bucket list” until now, but now that I have…I love the idea! Call it my all-or-nothing personality, but I think if you’re going to even bother having a bucket list, why not make it as daring and crazy as possible? If you’re going to dive, why use the baby spring board?

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  7. I enjoy watching bobsledding on the Olympics and after reading about your experience, I think I’ll just continue to watch it on TV. You have the courage I don’t have. You go girl!

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  8. That bobsledding does seem utterly lunatic. It’s a wonder control isn’t lost of natural functions!
    Archery is great fun. I have my own recurve bow, but don’t get to shoot with it often enough.

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  9. What a great adventure Lesley. I never really thought about the amount of G force the bobsledders were dealing with in addition to controlling how to move while sliding down an icy hill. You are so brave. 🙂
    The castle and the history are amazing to behold. Great shots. Keep up the good work, you inspire me.

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  10. OMG what an amazing day! The archery and axe and spear throwing lessons sound great and that climb looks so high! I can’t believe where the bobsleigh track is – yikes! You are much braver than I, although I’ve always wanted to have a go.

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  11. Pingback: 2014 Bucket List Update | Bucket List Publications

  12. Pingback: 2014 Bucket List | Bucket List Publications

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