Bucket lists aren’t just for Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, or even MTV shows. After cheating death five times, Jonny Gomes started one of his own, and it’s been growing for the past 11 years.
It all started in 2002 after a near-fatal heart attack that he suffered when he was just 22 years old. And the first thing he needed was a tattoo.
"I'm in the hospital fighting for my life," Gomes said to Comcast Sports Network’s Jessica Camerato. "I'm like, 'If I freakin' check out right now and I didn't get a tattoo that I wanted on my back, I'm going to be so mad.'"
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images
The tattoo was the Japanese characters for brotherhood and health with tribal work that takes up his entire back.
Since then, his bucket list has turned into quite the eclectic collection of activities, some of which he has accomplished. He wanted a monster truck (check), wants to attend as many World Series games as possible (in progress), wants to win a World Series (hopefully in progress), wants to learn to kitesurf, run with the bulls in Spain, see the FIFA World Cup, and get the chance to visit the troops.
Gomes has made it to where he is with a lot of hard work. He wanted to enlist in the Marines when he didn’t get a baseball scholarship and couldn’t afford college tuition. He played baseball at a junior college and ended up deciding to try out for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He was selected in the 2001 Amateur Draft. He took the offer over enlisting due to back pain, caused by a car accident in high school that he survived and his best friend did not. The pain would have prevented him from finishing boot camp.
Gomes’s story is an admirable one. He lives life to the fullest because he understands just how short it is. And he also wants to make sure that he provides the best possible life for his family.
“Hopefully I'll be able to say the kids are rockin' and rollin', I'll be a cool-ass grandpa and still running around with my wife doing cool [stuff],” he said.