The Artist Looks at Forty: An Introduction to Project 40

I’m afraid of growing older. Well, growing older might be fine. But shrinking older- that’s a major fear of mine. -John Bucchino

Today is the first day of the rest of my thirties. That might not seem like that big a deal. But first, I’m from Ohio and we celebrate everything. Second, my favorite music theatre composer John Bucchino opens his revue “It’s Only Life” with a song called “The Artist Looks at Forty,” so it must be significant, right?

And third, and most importantly (with all due respect to Mr. Bucchino…) forty is super important in the Bible. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years. It rained for forty days and forty nights. Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days. Periods of forty in the a Bible are always times of trial or probation. And they always end with some kind of redemption.

So maybe there’s really something to that whole “life begins at forty” thing. I mean, I’ve been married to my best friend for twelve years. We both have solid careers. We have a beautiful daughter. We love our town and plan to help develop the roots that are sprouting here. We have an amazing church community. Not a bad set-up for the beginning of an era.

When forty comes I want to be ready for what God has planned for me.

So for the next years I’m in training.

And I mean that quite literally.

I’ve always been decently fit. I had a naturally high metabolism. I built muscle easily. I was strong for as tiny as I am.

And then, 37. Thirty-seven was not a good health age for me. I had a serious cancer scare (it was a matter of when the situation would become extremely serious, not if…) that resulted in surgery and panic and hospitals denying me and eventually running around stage like a pirate with stitches in me Booty. Then a few months later I spread myself too thin and ended up with pneumonia. My Mom always told me that was going to happen.

Since then, I have gained about 15 pounds. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. Maybe my thyroid levels are off. Maybe I just eat too many cupcakes. But the fact is that I weighed the same my whole adult life. And then I didn’t.

But vanity aside, I want to take charge of my health. I want to stop being so tired all the time. I want to enjoy the energy I get from pushing myself physically. (In a healthy, working out way. Not in a trying-to-do-two-shows-at-once-and-getting-pneumonia way. Lesson learned there.) I want to be at my physical best headed into my next phase.

So.

For the next year, I will be completing forty fitness challenges. Some of them will be one-time events. Some will be long-term. Some are new habits I want to develop. Some challenges will be food-based. Some will be exercise-based. But all of them have been chosen to help me be the best forty I can be.

I have one year. Let’s do this.

My first task starts today. I’ll be taking the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. That’s right. I’m so serious about this I’m willing to dive into the pits of Middle School Memory Hell.

You’ll have my full report tomorrow. In the meantime, send prayers.

…and cake.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Most Important Meal of the Day | Thoroughly Modern Mommy
  2. Trackback: How to Run the Soft Reset on your Life | Thoroughly Modern Mommy
  3. Trackback: Aesop’s Fitness | Thoroughly Modern Mommy
  4. Trackback: Project 40 so far | Thoroughly Modern Mommy
  5. Trackback: The Countdown Begins | Thoroughly Modern Mommy
  6. Trackback: 37 More Days: Breakfast | Thoroughly Modern Mommy

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