Rage against the dying of the light!  Dylan Thomas wrote a great poem called “Do not go gentle into that good night”, about aging and our quest to stay young.  It goes like this:

Do not go gentle into that good night, 
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.


Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.


Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

What does it mean?

I have always liked that line, however, after Cancer, the poem holds a lot more importance to me.  This poem means two things to me:

  1. Fight to stay young, fight with everything you have.  From the day you wake up to the day you die you should be striving to improve your health while having as much fun as you can.  Someone should be as capable (with in reason) when their 80 as when their 30.  You should be partying like a rock star, chasing women or men, taking journeys, building memories and kicking ass when your 80!
  2. Strive to create a legacy.  Work towards creating as big of an impact as you can.  Obviously you can’t take it with you.  You are remembered by the people you touched and the impact you made on individuals.  Make peace with the end, the only way to do that is to live a life that was justified by what you did to help your fellow human beings.

My mom is one of the strongest women I know, and I have trained A LOT of strong women.

My aunt (on the left) and my mom.  Open your eyes mom!

Her ex-boyfriend died before her eyes in his bed, and her current boyfriend is slowly dying from brain cancer.  Yea…that one hits home a little too hard.  I talk to her weekly (ok maybe not weekly, but damn it I try!) and she fills me in on Brad’s fight.  One of the underlying points that always comes up – his sometimes rapid decline and his inability/desire to fight the disease.

I can relate, I know what it’s like to get cancer “treatment” (bunch of fucking poison they either inject into you or shoot at you, or if your lucky enough…they just cut a piece of you away) and be so tired that you can’t get out of bed.  Sickness so bad that you can’t eat.  Depression so deep that you don’t want to move.  But those were all passing moments with me – I always said to my self – “Fight, fight against the dying of the light.”  I know where Brad is coming from.

That smile didn’t last long.

My Docs told me that it was because of my health that “treatment” hit me so hard and it was because of my health that I was able to bounce back so fast.

What is youth?

Youth is the ability to do whatever you want with little to no thought of the consequences, in my opinion.  Call it ignorance, or call it just not giving a shit.  It’s the same thing at the end of the day.

We deal with all sorts of people that have all sorts of goals.  I think the most common goal has to do with aging, specifically how to slow down aging or how to prolong our youth.

Basically – people want to do what they want to do with out worrying about “Is this going to hurt?  Am I going to get injured?  Will I be successful doing this hike/run/race/journey/job?”

Jamie and I built KDR out of a desire to help as many people as possible slow aging.  We didn’t think of it at the time, we thought of it as helping people accomplish a goal.

We were young and fearless in our 20’s.

One of the first talks I ever did at our old space.  Still got it baby!

Now were approaching 40, still young and fearless, but a lot wiser.  We understand now that people may want to lose weight and gain muscle, but ultimately it all comes back to staying as young as you can for as long as you can.

ONE of our legacies

We used (ok we still do) to get upset when someone invested thousands of dollars on their heath/goal in a year and quit the gym.  We are a small business where the owners are right there with the employees.  We get to know our customers, sometimes, very intimately.

We share stories with them, we share beers with them and once in a while we share tears with them.  We share our lives with them.  You can’t help it, we see our members on average 10 times a month, that’s over 100 times a year.  That’s more then they will see their doctor in their life, in one year.  We have the ability (more so then any other profession) to change someones life.

There isn’t a lot of places like that.  Members (or as we like to call them our “fit-fam”) come and members go, they quit for all sorts of reasons.  Sometimes we would hear – “Don’t worry, I will still work out.  I am just going to go over to X gym instead.”  We know they usually don’t.  They usually just stop.  They stop working out.  They stop caring about what they eat.  They stop trying to fight aging, they decide to go gently into the night.

Your health is the only investment that you are guaranteed a return on.  Every second that you spend on your health, every penny, will add minutes on to the end.  No investment gives you that kind of return.

People like our gym because we are the only gym in the area that actually cares if you miss a work out, or don’t fill out your food journal, or are in pain, or don’t get results…or aren’t happy.  We hear “I have never been to another gym like KDR before.”  We know when that person says, “I am going to continue to work out” that a HUGE majority of the time, they won’t.  Most of our members accomplish their goals because of the camaraderie and accountability we offered.

That’s what we do.  We help people stay young.

Don’t go gently into that good night.  RAGE, RAGE against the dying of the light.


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