It’s time to actually fulfill a resolution.

I’ve never been one to really make them, but this year is different. With a sincere desire to be around when my kids grow up, I’ve decided to live a healthier lifestyle.

I like to say “healthier lifestyle” because it’s much more generic than, say, “lose 25 pounds” or “lower my cholesterol by 20 points”. I figure, the more generic it is the more likely it will be that I can claim a win later.

This desire isn’t out of the blue. Last summer I had a moment of clarity on my own mortality. I had gone swimming with the family. At some point my son gently and compassionately pointed out a mole on my torso and said, “Gross!”

With my son’s observation in mind, I went to the doctor. His assessment was slightly more professional, “melanoma.” The conversation that followed had a certain denial vs. reality quality to it.

“So it’s just mole that has to come off?” I asked.

“It’s melanoma, Chris.”

“Something we need to watch?” I wanted to clarify.

“It’s cancerous. Can we please move on?”

With the realization that immortality had somehow missed me, I began to re-evaluate my habits.

The obvious first change came as I chased my boys around the back yard in a marathon session of tag.

That’s when I realized that being a pack-a-day smoker made being “it” quite painful. Since I didn’t want to breathe heavy every time I played with the boys or went up and down stairs, smoking had to go, and it did.

Now here we are five months later and I am still smoke-free. The stairs? Well, I still breathe heavy going up and down them. Apparently the physical benefits of quitting smoking were somewhat offset by the 25-pounds I gained in the same period of time.

Another change I’ll have to make is to get more active. I once heard that gyms are their busiest in January. So I announced to my wife that I would avoid the crowds and start going in March. It appears that I’m the only one who saw the wisdom in that.

This is how I have arrived at my resolution for 2013… be healthier.

I have no concept on how to do that yet, but I’m hoping the juicer I ordered on Amazon is a start. I figure that and my unused YMCA membership should get me on my way.

If not, at least my kids will inherit a really nice juicer.

Chris Donnelly is a working dad with four children. You can read him every Thursday on momaha.com

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