Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mall Walking

I'd been wishing for a walking partner to be my motivation to actually get out the door and walk.  So I was thrilled when R called and asked, "Want to walk?"

R prefers to walk indoors.  It's flat.  It's air conditioned.  You don't need an umbrella.  She suggested we walk at the local mall.

I'd heard about how lots of seniors all over the country get their exercise by walking in a nearby mall.  No mall space in Groveland, so it hasn't been an option.  It was a surprise to find out how it works.

Our mall opens early.  Not sure how early, but certainly by 7 a.m. when Long's opens their doors, and definitely by 8 a.m. when the Apple Store begins holding workshops and the exercise classes begin.  On Friday, Saturday and Monday, senior exercisers radiate out from the central court where their leader, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, and Cinnabon reign supreme.  I was intrigued that the leader gives each movement its Chinese name, then describes the movement in English.  There are Baby-and-Me exercisers on the circular carpet area in front of the theaters, near the sushi bar.  There's a hospice support group that meets monthly near California Pizza Kitchen, and assorted small work or study groups gathered in the quiet corners.  There are the knitters and crocheters, and those who come to socialize.  And there are the walkers.  There are fast walkers and slow walkers, walkers with canes and walkers with walkers.  There are the serious exercise walkers, the therapeutic walkers and the social walkers.  The vast majority are seniors.

It takes us about 8 minutes to walk the entire perimeter of the mall.  We walk for an hour.  We no longer have to sit down 40 minutes into our walk.  We've grown from two of us to three (all high school classmates), and sometimes four.  We smell the cookies baking at The Cookie Corner, and watch the pretzels rise at the Pretzelmaker's shop.  We cannot stop and shop -- most of the shops do not open until after we leave.

One of these days, I will remember to ask a security guard what the distance is around the perimeter.  Then we'll know how far we walk.  

Give thanks for friends -- and especially friends who keep you motivated!
Don't forget to pray ....

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