Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at the close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas

The other day, the boys and I were taking the dog for a walk at the local park. We always take the same route which begins with a massively steep hill, down which the brothers love to sprint. Mark, set, go!

See Noah run down the hill. Noah runs fast. Run, Noah, run.

See Chase run down the hill. Chase runs fast. Run. Run. Run.

See dog run after brothers. Dog is on a leash attached to mother.

See little dog pull mother down the hill. Stop, dog, stop!

See mother fall on her ass and slide down the hill.

Poor, poor mother.

As some of you know, I am not talking about a giant black lab or golden retriever pulling me down this hill. We have a Pug dog that is maybe pushing 13 pounds. I think it is time I have a little come to Jesus with myself. I am not the girl I used to be.

You see in my head, I can still do handsprings on the front lawn. I can climb trees without getting stuck, cross creeks without getting wet and jump fences without impaling myself. I can sprint the fifty yard dash in 7 seconds and still hold the school record for the most sit-ups in one minute. But in reality, cartwheels make me dizzy, my tummy jiggles when I run, and my tiny dog can pull me down a hill.

In exactly 40 days, I will turn 40 years old. And physically I feel myself at a crossroads. Down one road is the Land of Apathy. And it’s a smooooooth ride – all downhill except when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror or some poor sap asks me when my baby is due. The other road is clearly uphill, littered with tons of excuses to try hard to avoid. But the top of that road is where I want to be in my 40th year.

One of my favorite websites is call Zen Habits. Lots of ways to simplify, motivate, and achieve on these pages. I highly recommend it to all you ponderers out there. One of the suggestions the author Leo Babauta offers again and again when you want to accomplish something is to make a BIG public commitment. Announce to the world that you are going to achieve a certain goal by a certain date. So here goes:

In 40 days I will:

  • Have lost 10 pounds
  • Be working out vigorously at least 4 times a week
  • Have changed my eating habits substantially so that I no longer crave crap

I truly think that I am dreading the big 4-0 because I’m feeling it physically and it scares me. If I felt 25 again, I wouldn’t care.

I promise not to prattle endlessly to you about my diet or workouts but I will provide occasional updates, rants, and musings on the process. And come my 40th, I’ll come clean as to how I did. Anyone want to join me? There is plenty of room on these pages to make a promise to yourself.

Mark. Set. Go.

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