South Charlotte

Friends' challenges aimed at saving bond

Sarah Shumway and Kellie Fairchild aren't letting a small obstacle like the Atlantic Ocean get in the way of their friendship - or a special challenge from a year ago.

The two 24-year-olds made a pact a year ago to complete lists of challenges as a way to motivate each other and maintain their friendship.

The women, high school pals from Buffalo, N.Y., listed 101 goals, to be accomplished in 1,001 days. They also agreed to blog about their experiences so Fairchild and SouthPark-area resident Shumway could document their accomplishments.

Fairchild recently moved to Kaiserslautern, Germany, with her husband, who serves in the U.S. Air Force.

The lists give insight into each woman's interests, sense of adventure and even fears. Fairchild, for example, placed visiting the dentist, a lifelong phobia, on her list; she has already done it.

Shumway's list includes growing something from seed to table and making a successful crème brulee, an activity that had less than stellar results from her first try. Her misadventure and subsequent success is captured on her blog.

"We initially discussed the idea in late 2010," said Shumway, a graphic designer. "It is a twist on the concept of a bucket list, with emphasis on a much shorter timeframe, and also a bit less morbid."

Many items might be considered silly: Shumway's No. 66 is to own a hedgehog. But close inspection reveals the care they put in the development. Both estimate their respective lists were almost a month in planning.

"I started off on a tear but then hit a wall at about number 40," Fairchild said. "I started to categorize areas such as activities I wanted to accomplish that involved family, friends, my health, etc., and before I knew it I was at 101."

Fairchild has completed more than half her list, including some significant accomplishments in weight loss. She indicated that blogging publicly about her goals has been a great motivator.

Shumway has crossed off about a quarter of her items, including baking a pie from scratch, getting her own apartment and donating blood.

"I've come to really appreciate the immediacy of doing things I want to do rather than putting them off," Shumway said.

The women are confident they'll cross off item 101 by Sept. 29, 2013 - their 1,001st day into the pact.