Exercise is Work. Work? Now That’s Fun!

Several years ago in a business meeting of some sort the topic of health came up. The conversation, as it so often does, circled around to the topic of the importance of regular exercise.

The stereotype of a computer geek spending all of his or her time at a desk is not that far from reality, and several of us in the room met the criteria. Our response? “Exercise is work! It’s our [desk bound] work that’s actually fun.”.

That’s absolutely where I land on the topic. I have little to no physical inclination whatsoever.

Sports are so not my thing.I’m not interested in even watching most sports, much less participate.

I’m 6′ 3″, yet when I tried out for basketball back in the day it was clear I had a serious lack of coordination. At the time I was a beefy 220lbs, but the thought of getting onto a football field had me hiding from the coaches and potential teammates attempting to recruit me for something they called “the defensive line”. Gym class was misery.

Comfort was in my books, and later, at various incarnations of computer keyboards.

Yes, I was a nerd, back before being a nerd was fashionable.

The problem, of course, is that the original premise remains important. In fact, in recent months I was turned on to a book – Younger Next Year – which makes the case pretty strongly. It’s aimed squarely at my demographic – the over 50 crowd – and daily(!) exercise is clearly the single most important take-away.

Lovely. The single most important thing I can do to live a longer and more vibrant life from here on out is to do – daily – something that I loath. Sigh. It feels like such a waste of time; time that could be spent accomplishing something at my keyboard.

And yet, I’ve been trying to be good. My solution is very much like my advice on backing up and dieting: the best approach is whatever approach you’ll actually do.

My approach? Distraction. Some kind of serious distraction. And as you can imagine, that implies a screen of some sort. And that, in turn, implies a more-or-less stationary style of exercise.

Hence, the elliptical. And Direct TV, so I can watch broadcast or recorded TV, or an Amazon Fire TV Stick so I can watch Netflix or Amazon Prime or even YouTube. I’ve even watched training videos on my phone (one reason for its larger screen) with the audio piped into a nearby bluetooth speaker. Anything to be distracted from the physical activity I’m performing. (I’ve even done “walking meditation” for periods while on the elliptical. It’s handy to be able to close your eyes while exercising and not feel like you’re about to fall over.)

Sometimes – when the stars align just right – I’ll go for walks (listening to audiobooks or podcasts), but the ROI doesn’t seem the same. It seems to take more time away from things I’d rather be going, and I get less exercise in the process.


I love what I do. It’s not “work” to me at all. Unfortunately it involves being stationary.

Exercise? Now that’s work.

And it’s what I need to face next, after hitting “Publish” on this post.

T-276. Grateful, today, for having made good a good choice when it came to parents. 🙂 There are many, many, reasons to be grateful for them, but today it’s about the genes they gave me: apparently a mixture of two healthy, sets.