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Arnold Schwarzenegger

Hello and welcome to one of the more personal pages of One Great Season.

I'm turning 40 this year, and I have one serious goal: to be ripped by the time my birthday rolls around on July 30. I've taken the BEFORE picture, but if you ever see it, it definitely won't be without the AFTER picture beside it!

I dabbled in some weight-lifting when I played high school sports, and in my 20s, bought several gym memberships that ended up being more like gym donations or sponsorships. Since 2000, I've probably seen the inside of a gym 10 times.

Now while I haven't been great at hitting the weights, I've been far better at running over the years. Even ran a marathon and a few other races a while back.

But 2010 will be different, and here is my four-point plan to give myself a ripped body for the first time in my life by late summer:

+ Yoga -- Started this year and I love it.
+ Diet -- Smoothies and protein. Smoothies and protein. Smoothies and protein.
+ Running -- New York winters are great for hibernating, but this year has been different.
+ Weights -- I have free weights at home but will start hitting the gym soon.

By the way, the improved health, just two months in at this point, has helped me sleep much better, and I hope the trend continues.

I've got a few friends also turning 40 this year, and they seem interested in making some lifestyle changes as well. But you don't need to have a milestone birthday on the calendar this year. If you're planning to get healthier this year, feel free to email me and tell me what your goals are. I'd be glad to add your name to what I hope will grow into a long list below in the coming months.

+ Frank Carnevale, Brooklyn -- Frank turns 40 this year and has spent the last 12 months or so running on his own several times a week and then competing in some of the many NYC-area races. He ran his first marathon upstate last year and hopes to keep running. And running.

+ Tricia C., Paramus, N.J. -- Tricia stopped drinking soda around Dec. 1 and says, "It has been torture, but so far, so good."

+ Tracy Hart Miles, Cincinnati -- Tracy vowed to eat a healthier diet in the new year, and once she turned 40 in February, she said she realized she's happy with who she is on the inside, "but not on the outside. It's only been a few days of eating healthy, but I already feel great."

+ Heather Cohen Satlof, Avon, Conn. -- Despite her battle with multiple sclerosis, Heather keeps a good humor about it and says, "The beauty of this disease is that it has actually left me with no option but to keep healthy!" She adds that her goals are realistic, "but every year I far surpass what my family and my doctors expect."

+ Sam Palumbo, Cleveland -- Sam, 39, wants to be in the best shape possible for his age. "I desire to get into cage fighting at least once, and compete against people younger than I am."

+ Nancy Evansa, Cleveland (my mom) -- Mom turns 70 this year and she's focusing on her diet. She's cut out sweets and red meat and no longer cooks with butter, and has increased her daily intake of fruits and vegetables. She's also started using a pedometer to keep track of how many steps she takes each day, and hopes to double that figure soon. Mom reports she's already dropped a dress size, as well as nearly two inches off her waist, and it's been easy. "I don't feel deprived at all," she said. Keep up the great work, Mom!

+ Missy Collier, Fremont, Calif. (my sister) -- This year, Missy started working out four times a week and is running on a treadmill. She also does some work with free weights, and targets her core with medicine ball exercises. She's also replaced her favorite Starbuck's mochas with herbal teas and is trying to incorporate a healthier diet overall.

+ Mike Mudd, Louisville -- An avid runner for a couple of years now, Mike is trying to avoid what no one wants to reach: a plateau. He's trying to improve his times, especially on his 10-mile and other long-distance runs. New workouts such as pilates and/or yoga allow him to vary up his cross-training that includes weight and resistance workouts. He's also improved his diet, adding new fruits and vegetables to replace processed carbohydrates.

+ Arun Das, Queens -- Of all my friends currently on some kind of health program, Arun's progress has probably been the most impressive. He lost 72 pounds but started to take his regimen even more seriously after gaining back 10 pounds. He's been running since February, and plans to incorporate biking and swimming so that on his 37th birthday this summer, he can celebrate by finishing the Mighty North Fork Triathlon on Long Island. Good luck, Arun!

+ Matt Fenton, Chicago -- When a torn ACL ended his soccer career in 2007, Matt needed new ways to keep active. So he incorporates a variety of workouts, 20 of them each month, in the neighborhood of 70 minutes every time. Having just started a new job at a candy company, and turning 40 in February, "I need all the help I can get," Matt said.

Once again, if you want your name added to this list, email he here with your name, age, and what you're doing to improve your health this year.