What influenced this new motto though? The Rose Bowl. Last year as a freshman, I went to all of the UW-Madison football games cheering on the Badgers week after week. When they finally made it to the Rose Bowl I was somewhat clueless. I didn't think it would be possible for me to solidify plans and actually come up with the funds to go. When people returned, they said it was one of their best experiences of their life. From that moment on, I promised myself I would go hands-down no excuses if they made it again.
This year as a sophomore, I again got season tickets. The Badgers weren't lookin' too hot early in the season and I thought it was out of the picture for them to go to the Rose Bowl a third year in a row. Next thing I knew, they beat Nebraska in the Big 10 Championship! Long story short, although I was dying to go, I kind of gave up that idea. It's hard enough finding a group to go with, figuring out plans, coming up with the money, and I was supposed to be in Denver during the Rose Bowl. But a promise is a promise. After a ton of changes in the plan, I was on my way to the Rose Bowl meeting up with one of my best friends at the LAX airport, and staying with another one of my best friends who carpooled with five other people.
Basically, we got there with no plans whatsoever except that all eight of us were staying in a hotel in West Hollywood. Which is how "we're doin it live" was born. Our only concern was having fun. It didn't matter what we did. We didn't have to have a plan. We were just going with the flow. New Years Eve turned out to be a blast even though we just staying in the hotel the whole time (besides going to a dance party at 3 AM for about 2 seconds) AND missing midnight.
9 AM rolled around the next day and we got on our game day bibs and were ready to go. We made it Pasadena and started tailgating among thousands of people on a huge golf course. All of the Badger fans were my best friends that day and all the Stanford fans were my worst enemies. My friend and I made a point of running, no sprinting, through everyone screaming about Wisconsin. We may or may not have been trying to start fights with the Stanford fans as well.
The game was amazing. New Years Eve was amazing. Tailgating? Amazing. Everything about the trip was unbelievable. Whether it was just walking around in California, going out to eat, or hanging out on the beach every second was worth it. In no way do I regret the money I spent on this trip. Although it was spur of the moment, and none of us had any plans whatsoever, I wouldn't do it over any other way. We did it live and that's all that matters.
Sometimes, I get so caught up in making plans that I forget to just enjoy life. Other times, I pass up experiences because I'm too busy or don't have enough money or whatever. In this new year, I plan to take myself less seriously and let go while also remembering what's important. There are times when it's necessary to just go for it. There will always be excuses, but will there always be these opportunities? No. Whatever 2013 brings, go with it. I promise you won't regret it.