Level up: in 15 minutes a day

A month back or so I realized I hadn’t been meeting my weekly commitment to exercise. I know this because I track it in my planner. 

When I flipped back through the pages I was surprised — ahh, maybe not so much — that I hadn’t been keeping up. Since my world can be highly irregular, there are some weeks where I’ll drop below the commitment level, but I always more than make up for it by exceeding that level in subsequent weeks. 

Until then — I’d been slacking and the record showed it. My body felt it. I felt it — the incipient bloat, the creeping ennui, the shriek upon seeing myself in the mirror stepping out of the shower . . . .

My current commitment is a minimum of 3.5 hours of varied exercise (as opposed to many years ago when I rebooted my sedentary life with a monomaniacal focus one form of movement only, a 4.5-hour-a-week minimum walking commitment).

This exercise comes in many forms. It could be walking, or bicycling or yoga or swimming or treading water or working out or stretching or even hard yard work.

It was time to level up again.

Leveling up

This terminology is instantly familiar to gamers.  I’ve learned it through my eight-year old. Listen in on Zane’s conversation with himself as he sat at a computer screen next to me while we were at work. 

He wanted to tell me something about a difficult game he was involved in, but I was on a deadline to get some information to an artist concerning payment we’d just made via wire transfer.

So Zane said to go ahead and work but did I mind if he talked out loud to himself because he needed to.

That boy went on a jazz riff. Some of the things he uttered were so pertinent to psycho-spiritual growth that I have to include them here.

“Some things can be impossible but you don’t know till you try.”

“You’ve got to try and level up. It’s the only way to get better.”

“You know how you think it’s hard and you try it and then it’s not so hard after it was hard and then you level up? It could be like that.”

You can level up in 15 minutes a day. Travis Thomas does it in less.

Life coach and multi-dimensional personality Travis Thomas learned to juggle, among other things, by committing to 10 minutes a day. Ten minutes gets me panicky, too tight a time frame, so fifteen-minute commitments work better for me.

(Travis has a 50% faster processing speed than I do, he’s got a newer model, upgraded CPU. This makes him a speed level upper, and a damn good life coach to boot.)

You can tackle anything fifteen minutes at a time.

Getting back to my exercise commitment level required an additional 15 minutes a day a few times a week. As I check back over the past month I see that those additional 15 minutes a day inspired even more movement, more action — so that I happily went beyond my minimum weekly commitment level into a new zone. I can stay there or throttle back, as I desire.

If there’s anything you’ve been wanting to level up on in your life, consider a 15-minute a day commitment as your starter kit.

You’ve got 15 minutes in your day somewhere — why not consider a commitment to leveling up? Anywhere that inspires you. Could be a thank you note a day, connections with distant friends, play time with puppy.

An accountability partner in leveling up (till it’s no longer necessary)

My next 15-minute leveling-up commitment is going to involve a co-conspirator.

My sister and I’ve been challenging each other — loosely, too loosely, the serious minded might not call it challenging at all, just kvetching — to get caught up on home-office backlog stuff. You know that stuff, the non-urgent papers and articles and letters that drift in like snowflakes. Seems light and frothy and harmless at the time until you’re socked in.

Char — expect a call — we’re leveling up chiquita.

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