The List

Dec 1, 1998
Outside Magazine

20. Now, Swim Naked.

15. Follow the Blues
From Beale Street in Memphis through the Mississippi Delta to Clarksdale, home of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, stopping for a shot and a beer at Smitty's Red Top Lounge before heading down Highway 61, along Robert Johnson's orgiastic road to hell, and then drifting through prisons and plantations all the way down to New Orleans, where Louis upped the ante, where losers can still win.

16. Learn to Play Harmonica Well Enough That Friends Find It Entertaining, Rather Than Loathsome
17. Enter a Junkyard Carrying Nothing but a Toolbox and a Battery. One Week Later, Drive Out

18. Better Yet, Live for Six Months Without a Car

19. Get Pretty Fit

Yeah, sure, your Ironman training starts any day now. In the meantime, these baseline parameters will almost assure you of being able to glance at a mirror without recoiling. Think of them as the Workingman's Quadrathlon.

- Do 50 push-ups
- Do 100 crunches (slowly)
- Do 10 pull-ups
- Run a six-minute mile
- Extra credit: Bench-press your own weight

20. Now, Swim Naked

Like certain other pastimes, skinny-dipping is more fun when there's a risk of being observed. Peconic Bay on Long Island has few crowds, even in summer, and slipping into the gentle swell under a moon brings out the bioluminescence of the sea, some lonely strollers, and, well, anything else in sight.

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