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I have this exercise ball that’s been hanging around the house for, oh, at least 20 years. I’m pretty sure I got it shortly after we built this house in the early 1990s, so it’s been here a long, long time.

In all that time, I’ve probably spent all of two hours working out with this thing. Two hours. According to my very scientific Google search, there’s 8,760 hours in a year. So multiply that by 20 and you’ve got 175,200 hours this ball has been in the house.

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And if my second Google search is correct (you can Google math problems?! Thank you, Lord!), 2 is 0.0011415525114155 percent of 175,200. So, rounded down, I’ve basically used this exercise ball 0 percent of the time it’s been in this house.

I don’t know why I keep it. It’s not cute. It’s not flat. You can’t set anything on it. Sometimes I’ll think about using it for an office chair – you know, because they’re supposed to be better for your back or something. I believe I tried that about 12 years ago and decided it wasn’t right for me.

The forlorn exercise ball has waited patiently in various rooms of the house during the past two decades. For many years, it was upstairs in the hallway. Then for reasons I can’t remember, it made the long trek down the stairs. Now it’s sitting in the living room, next to the now-vacant spider condo. Just a few more feet, and that ball will be out the screen door, into the yard and down the hill to Bluff Road. Free at last!

Tim just reminded me that I asked him to put some air in it a few years ago, so that’s probably what I’ve been waiting for. Yep, as soon as it’s got a little more air in it, I’ll be fulfilling that exercise ball’s purpose in life.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


  1. I had one a number of years ago provided by a physical therapist for some back ache or pain. I stopped using it after I rolled off, hitting a table leg with my head as I went down. I got a black eye which was hard to explain at work!

  2. I love this post! You are such a good writer, and unabashedly poking fun at yourself in ways we can all relate to, whether exercise ball or whatever other gadgets we buy and barely ever use!
    I have an exercise ball I don’t use for exercise but do find it helpful to lie back on to stretch out my back now and then.
    But even worse, I have a GIANT elliptical machine! I got it when my daughter and her partner lived here; they used it; I thought I would too…

    • Thanks, Sally! I’ll try it for stretching out my back – that sounds divine.

      I’ve tried those elliptical machines at the gym. Harder than I thought! Think I made it all of 5 minutes on my first try. 🙂


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