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.


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).


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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