Set it all on fire

I think I may have come to a realization, and I am willing to bet that everyone else already knows this, but … The biggest hurdle to creating change is our minds own resistance to breaking our well established patterns.

I had every intention to make last year, a year of transformation. It started well, I found some motivation and support. I was moving towards my goals of being healthier and lighter. By a stroke of luck I was able to head to Italy to do some biking. Feeling great, and inspired. But right in the middle of the summer I was involved in a car accident that sent me spiraling down. I didn’t feel like I was hurt too badly in it or anything, but after a few days, a pain in my neck was keeping me from sleeping. I figured I’d get over it soon enough and that would be that, but it got worse. During the days, no pain, but any time I’d lay down it was terrible. I don’t know if you’ve ever been sleep deprived, but I am telling you it’s not fun, and I am not good at it. After a bit of time, I decided it was worth getting some medical professionals involved. Unfortunately for me their immediate advice was to stop riding until I could get my neck back into shape. All of my progress and motivation was quickly replaced by anger and a sort of sleepless craziness.

I seem to have buried my lead though. The problem wasn’t the car accident, the problem was how I saw [and to some extent see] myself. In my head, I’m the smart, fat guy who can talk a great game, but rarely plays. I let the accident be an excuse to fail, because it was much easier to fail by something out of my control than to fail on my own. I stopped pursuing my goals of racing in some cyclo-cross races last year, I stopped eating right, and threw my hands up in the air, saying look at what this stupid guy in a big truck did to me.

No more. It’s time to set it all on fire. All the notions I have of myself, all the habits I’ve developed, all of the excuses I know how I can fall back on. Time to destroy them all. I think I’ll even build a symbolic fire this weekend, maybe even burn some things … who knows.

I now know this:

The manner in which you see yourself, your beliefs regarding yourself is what you “send out” into the world…and the world receives your message and provides you with that which you have conceived of and for yourself

So my time is now. To start again, a new, fresh. I’ve got some goals going forward, and why not make them real by writing them down.


  • Get outside – I just finished reading Last Child in the Woods, and I now consider it a moral imperative to spend more time outside, with the family or alone.
  • Stop eating crap – Yeah I know, shouldn’t be mind blowing right … but there it is. I’m going with much less processed, no xtra sugary things, and a basic concept of if it didn’t exist 150 years ago … I’m not going to eat it, diet.
  • Be a better human – Be the kind of person my mother wanted me to be. Be the kind of person I want my children to be.
  • Lead by example – I’ve always felt like a moral person in my head, but looking back over my actions, I didn’t always make the best decisions [that’s a whole other blog post, maybe we’ll get into it later]. Live how I think people should live. I am my brothers keeper, time to start looking after him

I’m sure there will be more, and I’ll update the list as time passes. I realize that there are about 4.5 folks who will have gotten this far in such a rambling post, and I thank you, but if you’ll excuse me now, I have a fire to build.

  • Ben

    Thursday the 3rd of February, 2011at5:40 pm Reply

    Keep at it Dartanyon! You the man!

  • Nate Y

    Thursday the 3rd of February, 2011at5:49 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing, D. Setting a stake in the ground to signal a change in behavior, I like it.

  • Jonathan C.

    Thursday the 3rd of February, 2011at7:36 pm Reply

    More time outside. This is the key to happiness my friend.

  • sita

    Thursday the 3rd of February, 2011at9:21 pm Reply

    Behind you 100%

  • Cody

    Saturday the 5th of February, 2011at1:32 am Reply

    Bravo… Great post.

  • Kimberly Bethke

    Saturday the 5th of February, 2011at8:09 am Reply

    You go!!! :). Very brave and admirably honest post. Great book by the way (Last Child in the Woods). With you renewed energy and fresh attitude you can do anything.

  • Dylan

    Wednesday the 9th of February, 2011at6:27 pm Reply

    your mind is strong; your body has no choice but to listen.

  • Greg

    Sunday the 1st of May, 2011at12:51 pm Reply

    Kudos to you. Just stumbled across your blog via your recent guest post on Chase's blog (Bike to Work Month!). 11-12 weeks later, I hope you're making decent headway!

  • Brian

    Sunday the 7th of August, 2011at9:20 am Reply

    Great motivational post! I read tons of this stuff… the hardest part is DOING IT! For me too of course!

    If you can set yourself a goal – and work towards it – even in small increments but never_ever_give_in each day – you'll get there. We'll all get there. I need to get there too! Start with 30 day challenges to form new habits! http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something

    You can also advertise your goals – and incorporate some public accountability – or maybe it's better to keep them to yourself!? http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_keep_your_g

    Great work on the chasejarvis website btw and all the other cool tech stuff you do there!

  • Brian

    Sunday the 7th of August, 2011at9:21 am Reply

    Make your goals measurable so you can manage and achieve them – break them down into smaller pieces if you need to.

  • Gary Ruddell

    Monday the 15th of August, 2011at10:42 am Reply

    Sweet dude, hope the plan is going well!

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