Hello, my name is Dave Kjaer…
I am a guy who went through a major metamorphosis in middle-age and decided to create this website to document the whole adventure. First, let me breifly describe this metamorphosis. Shortly after the age of 40, just about every single aspect of my life began to change. I realize that this sounds like a mid-life crisis but I can asure you that it was very different. This was a case of returning back to the person I always after experiencing an early-life crisis.
When I say just about everything changed, I mean it. My health, passions, fitness, interests, priorities, goals, opinions, the works. The only things that remained the same were my family and my passion for music. After I realized these changes were taking place, I began to notice something else. These were the things that I was passionate about as a youth. I was not becoming a new person, I was becoming the person that I always wanted to be. As a young adult, I took my eye off the ball but, somehow, was able to regain focus. Now to figure out that ‘somehow’. That is where this website comes in. By documenting everything, I was able to piece together the steps that occurred and the one that are still occurring.
Here is a short synopsis. My late teens and twenties was all an act and my thirties was spent being a robot. By the time I dinged 40, I was a family man with a career as a software engineer. I had already spent many years living an inactive, sedentary lifestyle. A typical day consisted of sitting at a desk at work and in the evening, sitting in front of the TV or computer screen at home. The weird thing is that I had no idea how out-of-shape I had become. I honestly still thought of myself as being relatively fit but, since I had been so inactive for so long, I had no idea how wrong I was.
Fortunately, I came to my senses one day and this is where the story begins. Let me reiterate that, at the time, I had no idea why I was making these choices nor did I realize how much of an impact they would have on my future. I suddenly just started doing everything differently and had no idea why.
The first thing that I did was begin morning bike rides of 10 miles every other day. These rides gradually became longer and more frequent. A few years later I started trying different types of activities such as running (which was completely foreign to me). I had not run since I was a kid and did not do a lot then. After seeing runners during my bike rides, I thought it might be worth a try. Then I tried cross-country skiing after never being on cross-country skis before. I had also never swam before but, after watching Youtube videos, I started. Each one of these activities was extremely difficult at first but I kept doing them. A few years later I found myself swimming across lakes, racing bikes on velodrome tracks, ice tracks and roads and winning a podium spot in multiple marathons.
People began to notice that I was losing weight and neighbors were seeing me bike and run by their house a lot. They would occasionally ask me what caused such a change but I honestly did not have an answer. Here’s the thing. I previously had zero interest in fitness and would laugh at the mere thought of working out. If you had told me at the age of 39 that, in five years, I would be standing at the start line of a triathlon wearing a wet suit, I would never have believed it.
After my health started improving, other things began to change. Things that I once felt were important began to take a back seat. My priorities, goals and passions all shifted and I suddenly found myself proud of who I was. My confidence level soared. It did not stop there either. I also went on to become a vegan and an animal rights advocate. What is really cool is that I am 100% positive that if 5 year-old me could have looked into a crystal ball to see his future, he would have been thrilled beyond belief to see a fit, 50 year-old dude going full-gas in a bike crit race while also fighting for animals to be treated as sentient beings. I feel like I have come out of a multi-decade funk and am now back where I should have been all along.
As for the one thing that sparked this metamorphosis? At some point I decided to see if I could discover the initial catalyst by retracing my steps. What I found was definitely not what I had expected. What was it? The short answer is that it was kind of by accident. The more detailed answer is shown here in the form of a timeline.
At some point early on, it occurred to me that I should document my progression so I started a blog. Over time I added more and more features that pertain to various things like the vegan lifestyle, animal rights, environmental causes, computer programming and my lifelong passion for music.
I hope you like the site and find something of interest here.