Have I Become A…(Gasp) – Mall Walker?

A good portion of Southeast and Western Michigan was a virtual ice rink Wednesday, Jan. 23 when overnight rain turned to ice. Most of the schools were closed in the county in which I live – there were accidents galore on local freeways – and I called off at work. My whole driveway was covered with ice – and the landscaping company’s salt truck was parked at the end of our driveway – with no one in it. Nobody came to clear the roads in my neighborhood until after 4 p.m. Oh yeah, the local airport was shut down, too.

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A scene near Grand Rapids Wednesday morning (photo credit – mlive.com)

It was a…Hell of a thing! Mother Nature was in a shitty mood, and she wanted to share that shitty mood with all of us! Just imagine…all of those poor parents out there stuck with stir-crazy kids at home (oh the humanity). I know all of the teachers were overjoyed to get a “snow day.” Kids love getting them, too. But how do parents really feel about them? Hmmm….

All of this means that I skipped Wednesday’s walk. I had zero interest in dealing with ice, slush ‘n crap and potentially slipping and falling on my ass. Good news is I more than made up for it today! I took a walk in a local shopping mall after work today, and learned beforehand that walking one lap through the mall has a distance of one mile. I decided I’d try doing a couple of laps to see if I’d get a really, really good pace going. Today’s goal was to walk for speed. I turned it into a contest – tried to see how many other people I could pass. I passed quite a lot of people – including a woman I used to work with (I pretended not to see her so I wouldn’t have to stop).

Result? Apparently – I walk like a mother f—er  in a mall! I finished the first lap in about 14 minutes – finished two laps in a half hour – which means I was maintaining (roughly) a four mile-per-hour pace. Now THAT’S something to feel good about! I didn’t have any walking “partners” to slow my pace –  and having that little level of “competition” from other mall walkers kind of lit a bit of a fire! It was good. I need to do at least a couple of super brisk walks like those a week. And since I work in a mall…that should be easy to do!

On my way out, I talked briefly to one of my co-workers, who knew that I had planned to do a “mall walk.”

“Wow, you were already busy and on your feet at work for a few hours this morning,” she said.

“It’s this fitness thing I’m trying out,” I said back to her. “Replace bad habits with better ones.”

Then I got to thinking – what if they made virtual reality programs for those headset things that simulated walking through a shopping mall? That would be a killer way to make a treadmill workout way more interesting! There is absolutely nothing more soul-sucking to me than going to work out in a gym. So, so dull (and smelly). So expensive. And so full of inconsiderate, filthy people – but I digress!

My SanDisk mp3 picked a good selection of “walking tunes” for me today! What songs were randomly picked for today’s walk? A mix of ’70s, ’80s and ’90s tunes! It was very nice having my own “soundtrack” so I wouldn’t have to hear the auto-tuned modern crap that was being played over the P.A. (Hell, it’s better than holiday music).

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Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle in the 1999 film Ravenous, which is about cannibalism. The movie was inspired by a real life person, which you can read more about here. A track from this movie’s soundtrack was randomly picked for today’s walk. I almost skipped over it, but the track had a pretty good “beat” to it and helped me keep up my pace!
  1. Crunchy Granola Suite, Neil Diamond (live – Hot August Night)
  2. Manifest Destiny, Ravenous Motion Picture Soundtrack (Damon Albarn/Michael Nyman)
  3. Woodstock, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
  4. Sweet Child ‘O Mine, Guns ‘n Roses
  5. Sabotage, Beastie Boys
  6. A Little Respect, Erasure

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