3. Get Big Air
4. Land Smoothly
5. Run the Real Marathon
If you're going to take on 26.2 miles of agony, why not embrace history and head for the very soil where agony was invented? Every year, a race retraces Pheidippides' storied steps from Marathon to Athens, where he proclaimed victory over the Persians in 490 b.c., and then keeled over, dead as a box of hair. Next year's happens October 31, so start polishing your finish-line statement now. But remember: "Rejoice, we conquer!" is already taken.
6. Eat a Durian
It looks like a cross between a pineapple and an Ewok, and reeks so bad it's banned from buses in Singapore. Yet fans of this green, spiky Southeast Asian fruit get all misty and rhapsodic when they speak of its rich, custardy core. Smells like hell, they say, but tastes like heaven.
7. Touch the Amazon
8. Do a Through-Hike
Of course there are the classics, like the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest. But also consider the untested: Last year, a guy named John Brinda strolled from Key West to Cape Gaspë, Quebec, lapping the AT by 2,700 miles. Be creative: a pan-Andean hike South America waymaybe the Darien Gap to Tierra del Fuego? Don't forget to write.
9. Be Prepared to Save a Human Life
10. Spend a Night in Utter Silence
Except for maybe your own heartbeat. Smack in the middle of the Makgadikagadi Pans in Botswana's Kalahari Desert, you won't hear so much as a mosquito. And for $365 a night, the good people of Jack's Camp schlepp a king-size bed (complete with down pillows, comforter, and chambray sheets) onto the salt pansa broad, desiccated, and uninhabited ancient riverbed (book through Explore, 888-596-6377). Then they split, leaving you alone with the night sky, stars, and unbounded nothingness. No critters, no bugs, no lights.
3. Get Big Air