I have to hand it to my local YMCA. They make it very difficult to make excuses about exercising.
On most of the machines that are there for aerobic exercise, whether treadmills, elypticals or cycles, there are little televisions into which you can plug earphones and watch and listen while you exercise.
Believe me, I take advantage of this little luxury. Anything that will hasten the time or help me go into another dimension while I am huffing and puffing is a good thing.
This morning while doing my stepping on the elyptical machine, I watched the funeral mass for Senator Edward Kennedy who died earlier this week.
Now, as I have said about others of Kennedy's left-leaning persuasion, I would have never, ever voted for him. Not in this lifetime; not on this planet.
Still, as I have also said about President Barack Obama, I think if I had ever had the chance to meet Senator Kennedy, I would have liked him. I think we could have been friends. We even share, I believe, some of the same ideological principles; we just have always had different theories on carrying them out.
Today, as I watched his funeral and listened to the eulogies, I was struck once again by what a remarkable country we live in.
Sitting in the audience were Kennedy's admirers, but also some of his strongest detractors. Republicans sat among Democrats; liberals among conservatives. Three former presidents and one sitting one also paid their respects.
For events such as this, we are very civil. We know how to put politics aside and honor a statesman who served his country with distinction; a public servant who championed causes in which he strongly believed; a family man who endured more tragedy in his family than most of us will ever know, and who, as the "baby" of his own family, by default became its patriarch.
There is a lot of needless bickering, partisan yammering and turf-protecting pettiness in U.S. government; of that there is no doubt. But on days when we need to, we can pull ourselves together, suck it up and remind the world what we're made of.
That gives me encouragement about the future of this country; that gives me hope. And I believe that is exactly what Senator Kennedy would have wanted his funeral to do.