Some friends and I are about to celebrate our second anniversary as mall walkers. I’m not sure we’re doing the cake and ice cream thing, but it is worth acknowledging.
We live where winter can be inhospitable for walking outdoors. It isn’t the cold as much as it is the wind, the ice, the snow, and often the lack of sidewalks. While the mall isn’t particularly scenic once you’ve seen all the store fronts a couple times, it is safe, dry, well-lit, and warm. There is also a free, fairly clean restroom.
We have “rules” for our regimen. First, it’s really about exercise and not about shopping. Next, we share the rent for a locker to store our coats and purses. That’s a whopping twenty-five cents per person.
We do two laps around the inside perimeter of the mall – passing such diverse shops as the tattoo parlor, the nail salon, Carson’s, and Penny’s. It’s approximately two-thirds of a mile per lap. Then we reverse and do two laps the other way.
Finally we try to get our walking in before the inflatable castle and slide and other contraptions come to life at one end of the mall. Children may love to bounce on these giant toys, but they emit a huge amount of heat. And we already produce our own. For a group of retired ladies, we’re no slouches.