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If the L-word fits, get comfy with it

I hate to get all fast and loose with L-words like "lame" or "lazy" or "lounger log," but since I'd vowed to start exercising for at least 15 minutes every day of the week, and I've only done it about five days out of 31, I'm feeling a little like a loser.

Oh, sure, I always mean to exercise — and by "always" I mean mostly. But then just when I mean to start an activity, my mouth pops open like a PEZ dispenser and an excuse springs out. So now I'm an excuse dispenser.

Pam Burke

I cannot seem to commit to doing something, anything, that might elevate my heart rate or build a muscle fiber or cause sweat to flush out a pore. For 15 minutes. That is lame. I know.

I really do know. What's 15 minutes in a lifetime, or even a day? It's just barely one quarter of one hour. With 24 hours in a day making 96 whole quarters of hours — 96 of them! — that's a significant number of time blocks I'm avoiding during a day.

Yet, I'm pretty sure that with minimal effort I can come up with something to do in every one of those 15-minute time blocks.

  • Eat breakfast. Well, you can eat pretty much any meal in 15 minutes — even Thanksgiving dinner, no problem. I'm that good. At eating.
  • Recite Lincoln's entire Gettysburg Address. Seven times. Even if you're pretending to be Lincoln and have to continually straightening your top hat and beard. So memorable, this speech, and yet so short.
  • Take a quarter of a decent nap. Do that four times in a row and you get a complete nap.
  • Drive from my place to any fast food restaurant in town (but only one of the grocery stores where fruits and vegetables reside, how ironic is that?).
  • Sit back and watch half of a sitcom. Double that for the whole entertainment package.
  • Catch, brush down and tack up one horse ... but don't ride it because that seems a little too much like exercise, or at least a purposeful activity that might result in the aerobic, muscular or sweat development that one might gain from exercise.

I can't be having that. It might lead to other things — real, actual exercise things — that could be done in 15 minutes:

  • Walk/hike a mile and a quarter. That's just one lap around the roads on my place.
  • Do three sets of 40 crunches and 10 pushups. If you do the math, that's 120 crunches and 30 pushups, and if I don't pause to whine, I can get in a few stretches, too. (That's a big if.)
  • Work through the 24-form tai chi routine. Twice.

It's so simple — I know it's a trick.

I start doing this exercise stuff and then I'll start feeling good and then I'll start feeling good about myself.

We can't be having any of that nonsense.

Pass me a doughnut and give me my chair and the remote. I'm happy here in my lazy, lounger log world. All 96 time blocks of it.

(No, I'm not kidding myself at


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