Sunday, September 17, 2023

I’m Lazy


7/17/23 Neocolor I in Uglybook sketchbook 
(all reference photos by Earthsworld)

When the start of the pandemic put an end to the Jazzercise classes I had been attending for 20 years, I tried to keep up the weight routines I had learned in class, but my efforts were lackadaisical and hardly rigorous. I’m lazy. I’ve always said that if a pill were developed that would eliminate the need for physical exercise, I would be the first in line to get it.

Then when I was diagnosed with osteoporosis earlier this year, my doctor gave me the bad news. The medication and minor dietary changes were easy, but treating osteoporosis would also require an imperative fitness routine. In addition to 60 minutes per day of vigorous walking (thankfully, I had been doing that since before the pandemic), she recommended an exercise routine with the specific goals of strengthening bones and improving balance to prevent falls (fortunately, my balance is already pretty good from all my years of yoga practice).

Overwhelmed by the over-abundance of conflicting information and YouTube videos telling me what to do, I finally hired a personal trainer a few months ago to teach me routines that would address those specific medical requirements. In addition, I stated my personal requirements emphatically: I’m not interested in losing weight or getting buff. I’m lazy, and if the routine is too long, too rigorous or too boring, it would not be sustainable by my lazy a$$. Recommended to me by my yoga instructor, the trainer listened carefully to my demands and designed reasonable workout routines to meet them.

8/16/23 Bic ballpoint in Uglybook

Using hand weights, resistance bands and my own body weight, the routines can be done in about 30 minutes, two or three times a week. I have to admit that the routines have been sustainable. About 15 minutes in, however, my laziness kicks in, and I start to grumble: How do I know this is even doing me any good? Unlike muscle tone or weight loss, my bones will never show evidence of my hard work (until perhaps one day I take a fall and don’t break something). Delayed gratification at its worst!

Despite my grumbling, I’ve stayed with my workout routine for almost three months, and I’ve begun to notice that the exercises aren’t as difficult as they used to be. Maybe I’m getting stronger and the benefits will be evident after all? Huh – imagine that: Regular practice results in incremental changes. They may not be apparent day by day, but over time, when I compare how I feel now to how I felt after my first workout (I was so sore that I could barely get out of bed the next day), it’s obvious that I’m making some progress.

8/20/23 graphite in Field Notes
It’s not consistent progress, however. Some days feel harder than others, and sometimes my body is a leaden weight on the couch that will not rise for the workout – but the next day it does.

I see that same pattern with learning to draw – I always have. But nearly 12 years in, here I am, still learning, still drawing, still making incremental (though not always visible) progress, day by day. A big difference between working out and drawing is that I’m not at all lazy about drawing, because it gives me so much joy.

To see a year’s worth of portrait practice, see my Flickr album.

(I bet you were wondering if I’d ever get to the part where it would relate to sketching. But faithful readers know that on my blog, all roads eventually lead to sketching. Thanks for staying till the end.)

9/2/23 Bic ballpoint in Field Notes

9/3/23 Bic ballpoint in Field Notes

I use this space in my daily scribble journal to track the number of steps and duration of my walks and whether I did yoga. The hand weight symbol indicates that I did my workout. My inherently lazy self finds it very satisfying to put that symbol in.


  1. I really enjoy these snippets from your life. I come away learning something with them. Thanks for the info about weight training, it’s something I need to do too!
    Cathy I

  2. I love your realistic self-reflective perspective! And I love that the personal trainer worked with you to find something that worked! That is amazing.

    1. My trainer is fabulous! I don't have a great track record for keeping up exercise routines without a class, so it's to her credit that she really listened to my needs.

  3. Like anything, if you do something often enough you should improve. I am also a lazy person when it comes to exercise and I need it for the same reason that you bones. Thru the summer I walked about 30 minutes in the morning and then spent a good hour every day kicking in the pool. Now that the pool is closed I have no second round of activity and haven't motivated myself to do something to replace it. I'm not motivated enough to get a personal trainer. I've got to work on this.

    1. I'm not a swimmer, but I know that's great exercise! It's always harder to find ways to exercise during the bad-weather months ... good luck to you!


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