The Longest Minute


Tonight I’m doing a victory lap in celebration of meeting the half way mark of a 30-day plank challenge. Through this challenge, I’ve come to think that not every minute is created equally. Some minutes go buy in an instant and others an eternity.

The plank challenge is a progressive exercise event whereby one starts planking 20-seconds on day one, and assuming all goes according to play, 5-minutes by the end of the month. (we’ll see….)

In my mind, my planks are all textbook straight as an arrow, elbows directly aligned with my shoulders. In reality, it is possible that my rear is too elevated or my knees dip too low. By tomorrow, as the timer very slowly creeps toward the 2-minute mark, I’m sure my core will be shaking.

Time is constant, but the perception of time is variable. The last minute of the spin cycle before the washing machine shuts off lasts forever. The 60-second ride on a rollercoaster ride goes by in a blink.

Anticipation, both longing and dread, influence my perception of time. Endurance plays a part too. I can still remember the agony of chewing, tasting and swallowing a Brussels sprout at my mother’s dinner table circa 1992. It couldn’t have taken long, but the dread and the endurance of doing something I hated imprinted that horrible minute of chewing in my adult brain forever. (sorry mom).

Walking across the graduation stage at my University is only a vague and joyful memory. The names were being read so fast, the walk, the handshake, the diploma, the relief, the pride.

Life is full of peaks and valleys which is why it is extra important to make a big deal over life’s best moments. Celebrate closing the big deal, toast when your application has been accepted, eat cake on your birthday, write love notes. When the good stuff goes too fast, and the bad stuff lasts too long, we must live for the good minutes and joyful moments in life.

I’m agonizing over tomorrow’s plank: two exhausting minutes of core strength. From the days leading up to this, a small rug burn has already started to flair on my elbow. You can bet those two minutes will feel like an eternity. But, you can also bet I’ll have more than a minute of celebratory glory when the timer finally rings.


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