Hello, my name is Dave Kjaer.
I am a guy who went through a big metamorphosis when I reached middle-age. I realize that most people’s first thought is that I simply had a mid-life crisis. However, this was not a crisis. It was an awakening. It was a case of taking my eye off the ball when I was younger and regaining focus later on. What started the process was a mystery but it began with making changes to improve my health and fitness which then triggered psychological changes. Eventually, this led to my core beliefs and aspirations changing dramatically and I began to realize that they were becoming more inline with how I felt before all of the distractions. Here is how the whole thing went down.
As a software engineer, I had 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. I also have to say that, at the time, I really did not understand why I was making these choices and little did I know how much of an impact they would have on my future. I also had no idea that nearly every aspect of my life going forward would change. 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. I even became 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 happy to see a fit, 50 year-old me racing hard on a bike and fighting for animals (which I have always loved). 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 what 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.