7 No-Sweat Office Workouts from @sparkpe

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#Nashville gets a mention in article RT

#Nashville gets a mention in article RT @EntMagazine: 5 Lessons From Silicon Valley for Developing Business Hubs http://t.co/lF5kNCCGL8 ^NW

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The High Cost of Multitasking (Infographic) http://www.inc.com/laura-montini/infographic/the-high-cost-of-multitasking.html via @Inc ^NW

“Imagination is more important than kno

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” -Albert Einstein http://ow.ly/i/5cC7i

“Good plans shape good decisions. That

“Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.” – Lester R. Bittell ^NW

Perimeter Park Remembers Jules Brazil

The Perimeter Park family was saddened to learn of the passing of long-time client Jules Brazil over the weekend.  Jules had an office at Perimeter Park from the early 1990’s until his retirement from Heritage Environmental in 2006.  We want to celebrate the life of Jules Brazil and the joy he brought to so many by sharing some of the fun times we had with him.  We have included some remembrances from staff and former clients who knew Jules.  We invite others who also knew him to leave your memories of Jules in the comments.  We will make sure they get forwarded to his family.

- The Perimeter Park Staff

The Infamous Jules Brazil

The Infamous Jules Brazil

From Sherry Cheatham, General Manager – Perimeter Park Executive Center:

Jules could always make me laugh more than anyone else I knew.  He would tell a story and make it so funny that you would laugh until you snorted even if you had already heard the story three times before.  He was gregarious and full of good humor.  His laugh and good cheer almost always preceded him into a room.  When anyone asked if Jules was in his office, my standard response if not was, “I haven’t heard him yet.”

When Jules first joined us, about 1991, he worked for Heritage Environmental, and part of his job was to take field samples of various crud and pollutants.  He had an endless amount of Mason jars shipped in and out that contained his samples.  There was no telling what kind of nasty stuff would be in his jars, and I would not have been surprised to have seen a hand rise out of the murk that inhabited his “poop” jars.

But, I digress.  When Jules was new to his office with PPEC, he would put the empty boxes that held his jars in the hallway during the day for cleaning to pick up in the evening.  Tammy Holland, my assistant at the time, told Jules that I wanted him to wait until after 5:00 to put his boxes in the hallway.  His response (and I’m paraphrasing) was to kiss his “derriere,” and Tammy said he was pretty angry when the message was delivered.  After receiving his evidently heartfelt instruction, I took the label off one of his boxes and stuck it to my backside.  I went into his office, turned where he could see the label, and inquired if we had anything to discuss.  He belly laughed, and we were firm friends from that point on.

Jules loved practical jokes, and we had a couple of other clients at the time who were always ready to join in.  The rules were simple: 1) don’t dish it out if you can’t take it and 2) we only stop when we make you cry.  One of the best jokes played on Jules was by Frank Grant.  Frank opened Jules’ door partly and sat two ripe tomatoes on the top of the door.  Of course, when Jules opened the door the rest of the way, the tomatoes came crashing down, or  mashing down as it were, on top of him.

Jules Brazil and Frank Grant

Jules Brazil and Frank Grant

His office was always scary.  He even drafted his wife, Elva, to come in a few times over the years and clean it up for him.  It wasn’t just the boxes stacked around, it was the hundreds of yellow post-it notes stuck to every conceivable surface.  These post-its contained his life and had best not be touched!

Jules in his office

Jules in his office.  He always made the best faces for pictures.

Because of his glow-in-the-dark “poop” jars, we said that we could never allow anyone of reproductive age to office anywhere close to him.  You see, we did not want to be responsible for any two-headed babies.  Cornelia Matthews became his next door neighbor and was so for many years.  As she was already past her child-bearing years, it turned out well, and another great friendship was forged.

Jules Brazil and Cornelia Matthews - Christmas 2003

Jules Brazil and Cornelia Matthews – Christmas 2003

I always told Jules that when he left, we would have to replace the carpet in his office and have the room swept for radiation.  When he retired several years later, we did indeed replace his carpet.  And we are still mindful of the age of the person we put in that office!

Jules was such a devoted family man.  His mother was still alive when he first joined us, and he would go at least weekly to have lunch with her.  He always talked about his wife and boys, and even his dogs and cats.  I know that one of the reasons he enjoyed retirement so much was that he could spend lots of time at home.  I’m sure there were times that his family found him challenging, but I’m equally sure there was never a dull moment in the Brazil household!

After Jules retired and left PPEC, he stopped in a few times to visit.  But he was always a busy man and his visits became infrequent.  I missed him, but knew he was living the “good life” according to Jules.  Now I will just miss him.  But, if heaven is anything like the idealized version, I bet he is now holding court: telling jokes, playing cards, watching football on TV, and waiting for his tee time.

Happy trails, Jules.

From Lynn Durham, retired Receptionist – Perimeter Park Executive Center:

Sweet, fun Jules . . . I still can’t  get my mind around the fact that he is no longer here with us on this earth.  I know he is in a better place, but I am going to miss his presence.

Two memories stand out to me when I think of Jules:  I was always delighted to see Jules walk through the door when I was the downstairs receptionist at Perimeter Park and he had an office there with Heritage.  He was always so cheerful and had something funny to say or tell us about.  He was always nice to me . . . .  I used to stay late at the office sometimes to check my emails after everyone else had left for home.  One of those late afternoons Jules came in to get some of his samples ready to send out, but he was not his usual happy-go-lucky self.  I asked him just what was going on.  He got very serious looking and said that Elva (his wife) was going in for some tests and he was quite concerned about it . . . I just gave him a big hug and asked him if I could pray for her.  So there in the hallway in front of his office we prayed.  I will never forget that.  Jules loved his wife with all of his heart, and that touched me in a way that not many things have.

Jules Brazil and Lynn Durham - PPEC Valentine's Day Party, 2006

Jules Brazil and Lynn Durham – PPEC Valentine’s Day Party, 2006

From Betty Devore, Receptionist – Perimeter Park Executive Center:

I have a lot of fond memories of Jules.  I had just been thinking of him last week and wondering how he was.  It was always fun when he came to the office with his tales and teasing him about the stuff he was growing in his jars.  I was shocked and saddened to hear of this tragedy.  I will miss him.

Jules Brazil and Betty Devore – Christmas 2002

From Nancy Wike, Assistant Manager – Perimeter Park Executive Center:

I first met Jules when I started working at PPEC after moving to Nashville in 2002.  I was five hours away from my family and was homesick.  Jules made me feel welcomed.  He was always around to make you smile or laugh, or to give advice, encouragement, or wisdom when you needed that.  When he found out that I had moved to Gallatin not far from him, he gave me all kinds of information about the town and where to go for what, and told me that if I needed anything, just to let him know.

After my dad passed in 2005, being around Jules helped me to remember the fun times and good memories.   Jules reminded me so much of dad in so many ways – his kindness, his pranks, his sometimes-horribly-corny-but-always-funny jokes.  Being around him made Nashville feel a little more like home.  I thought of him as my surrogate dad until he retired.  I’d like to think that by now they’ve met and are swapping jokes and crazy stories.

Jules was one of the funniest people I have ever met.  To this day, one of his stories will randomly pop into my head, and he can still make me laugh out loud.  He was also one of those rare people that you knew you would always be able to trust and on whom you could depend.  When he said something, he meant it, and he was always willing to help in any way he could.  He was the kind of guy that would take you under his wing – that’s just who he was.  He was an encourager and motivator.  He was a coach at heart.

Jules was one of the best men I’ve ever known.  He loved his family and he loved people.  And it showed.

And football.  He also loved football.  And that showed, too.  :)

October 2004

October 2004

From Cornelia Matthews, friend and former office neighbor: In Memory of Jules Brazil – To His Family

For many months, I was blessed because Jules was my next-door neighbor in our offices at Perimeter Park Executive Center.  He was a wonderful neighbor, and I have so many great memories of my friend to treasure.  At age 92, I look forward to him welcoming me as his neighbor again when I soon move to join him in the new office suites.

For now, we all are comforted by our memories.  Caring and sharing in your sadness.

Jules Brazil and Cornelia Matthews - Christmas 2005

Jules Brazil and Cornelia Matthews – Christmas 2005

From Ed Day, friend and former office neighbor and co-conspirator:

Dear Jules,

Now is a sad time in my life, and yet a very happy time as well.  Why?  Because A) we were friends, B) because we had fun with others, C) we were both radio sports announcers, D) we were Santa Claus every year for PPEC, E) we kept Cornelia Matthews straight, and F) we kept Jacqueline Smith happy (or at least I did.)

I love you, Jules . . . you are the best, and you will keep them laughing in heaven.

God bless you.

Jules Brazil and Ed Day up to no good - again!

Jules Brazil and Ed Day up to no good – again!

Jules Brazil and Ed Day - Christmas 2003 (Don't worry - the "accident" was photoshopped!)

Jules Brazil and Ed Day – Christmas 2003 (Don’t worry – the “accident” was photoshopped!)

Jules Brazil and Ed Day - Christmas 2005

Jules Brazil and Ed Day – Christmas 2005

From Gina Embry, friend and former office neighbor:

Jules was a very special and dear friend, who I’m fortunate to have known for so many years.  I have so many wonderful memories I can’t begin to list them all.  He was kind, caring, witty, and a joy to be around.  When talking over the phone, he always ended the conversation with ‘I love you, girl.’  And I knew he meant it.  I will surely miss Jules and will never, ever forget him.

From Donnette Davis, friend and former office neighbor:

After knowing Jules for the past 10 years, I have so many memories of us joking and picking on one another . . . mainly about what was growing in all those jars in his office or me being from Texas.  What stands out most, though, is how he made everyone around him feel.  When you were with Jules, you always laughed and his big bear hugs made you feel special and loved.  We love you, Jules, and will miss you so much.

Ed Day, Gina Embry, Donnette Davis, and Jules Brazil - June 2005

Ed Day, Gina Embry, Donnette Davis, and Jules Brazil – June 2005

From John Zimmermann, friend and former office neighbor:

Jules was always a fun guy to be around.  He would make you feel good with his quick wit and refreshing kind spirit.  May he rest in peace.  He will surely be missed.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.

Here are a few of our other favorite pictures of Jules from his years at Perimeter Park:

1997 Jules and Austin Pate

Yes, that is a crown Jules is wearing.

Jules at one of our many office parties - this one probably around 2000 or so.  We have LOTS of pictures of Jules with a plate of food!

Jules at one of our many office parties – this one probably around 2000 or so. We have LOTS of pictures of Jules with a plate of food!

Obviously up to something.  These poor ladies probably had no idea what was about to hit them!

Obviously up to something. These poor ladies probably had no idea what was about to hit them!

Christmas 2001

2002 Christmas - with Ed Day

Jules Brazil and Ed Day hamming it up again!

Jules receiving an "honorary degree" from "Heritage University" in 2003.  He was very proud.

Jules receiving an “honorary degree” from “Heritage University” in 2003. He was very proud.

PPEC Picnic - June 2005 - The dessert table was never safe around Jules!

PPEC Picnic – June 2005 – The dessert table was never safe around Jules!

"Dirty Santa" game - Christmas 2005 - Jules REALLY liked getting the reindeer that pooped jelly beans.

“Dirty Santa” game – Christmas 2005 – Jules REALLY liked getting the reindeer that pooped jelly beans.

"Dirty Santa" game - Christmas 2005 - Jules REALLY liked getting the reindeer that pooped jelly beans.

“Dirty Santa” game – Christmas 2005 – “It’s mine! You can’t have it!”

2004 Valentine's Day - Jules

Jules Brazil
1940 – 2013


Easy Ways to Work Out at Work

work out at work

Finding time to exercise is a challenge for anyone with a busy schedule.  Between my full-time job at Perimeter Park and my other full-time job as a single mom, I don’t have the time (or energy) to spend an hour or two a day at the gym.  Getting up early to run before work hasn’t really happened like I had planned, either.  So what’s a busy girl (or guy) who wants to be healthier to do?

The answer is deceptively simple.  Why not work out while I’m at work?  I’m here 8+ hours a day, for crying out loud.  Surely I can work some movement in at some point during the day.

I’ve searched the web for some easy ways to make office exercise part of my daily routine.  Here are some of the best ones:

Walk or bike to work, get off the bus a few blocks early or park farther from the door.

With a 45 minute (on a good day) commute, I don’t live close enough to be able to walk or bike.  Hence my goal to be more disciplined about getting up and getting a mile or so in before work (which I actually did this morning, thankyouverymuch).  The bus is also out for me.  But, my building does have a HUGE parking lot, and I can park on the opposite end from my office and walk farther than usual.  And toting my laptop bag, lunch bag, and purse across the parking lot could be considered weight training . . .

Look for opportunities to add more steps throughout your day.

This could be as simple as getting up every hour or so and taking a lap around the office or building, walking up and down a flight of stairs, delivering a message to a colleague in person, or using the restroom farthest away from you.  My building has a 2nd floor restroom on the opposite end of the building from me, so I walk to the other side of the building and up a flight of steps to get there.  Built in exercise.  Set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to get up and move, if you have to.

You can also take the stairs instead of the elevator if your building has multiple stories.  If you are on the 10th floor, though, I wouldn’t recommend hiking all 10 stories.  You don’t want to actually look/smell like you’ve been to the gym when you exercise at work.  You can, however, get off the elevator a floor or two down and take the stairs the rest of the way.

Look for opportunities to stand.  Try a standing desk, or improvise with a high table or counter.

We have a client who has chronic back issues and swears by the do-it-yourself standing desk he built in his office.  While my office isn’t set up for that, I can take opportunities to stand by taking time to file things as they come in versus letting them accumulate into a pile.  I can also stand while I am relieving the receptionist during breaks and at lunch.

Trade your office chair for a fitness ball.

If you have a private office, this might work for you.   As it is, we have an open door policy at work, and the last thing I would want would be for a client or potential client to see me fall off the thing.   As an alternative, I do try to sit up as straight as I can when I catch myself slumping down in my chair.  I can, however, try the fitness ball thing at home in the evening while watching TV, reading, or working on stuff in my home office.

Organize a lunchtime walking group.

My boss and I try to walk at lunch time, as time and the day permits.  I used an app to measure the walking distance around our building, and four trips around the perimeter of the parking lot is around a mile.  If we can’t walk outside because it is way too hot, cold, or raining, I have also figured out that 9 round trips from our suite entrance through the building hallways to the other end and back is also about a mile.

Conduct walking meetings.

In my building, this would work best outside and not inside because of space constraints.  Also, you would need to make sure that you aren’t disturbing others around you if you attempt to do this indoors.

Use your office furniture/equipment as exercise equipment.

  • Do a set triceps dips using your desk for leverage every time you come back to your desk from somewhere.
  • Do a set of biceps curls or triceps extensions with reams of paper when you need to refill your printer/copier.
  • Shut your door every so often and do push ups, planks, or wall squats for 60 seconds.

What about you?  Do you try to sneak some exercise into your work day?  What are your tips?


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