- Aging & Longevity
Learning about retired living!
Ahhh - Retirement!
With this new season in my life called "retirement" - I have assumed a new title of "Mall Rat". I've become part of that elite community of people that walk the mall in the mornings for exercise. My barely worn "athletic shoes" with expensive orthotic insoles are my new tools to walk off these extra 50 lbs that have somehow attached itself to my body. At 61, my knees protest under this new routine and my left knee especially tries to remind me every step of the way that this exercise program is going to fail like all the other tries at becoming fit. I've given up on being skinny - but realize the need to get into better physical condition so here's another attempt at my annual New Year's resolution.
So I lace up my shoes and stuff my keys, wallet and phone in my pockets. Carrying a purse is a hassle but it turns out my hands hurt when I hit my pockets when I swing my arms, and my pants keep needing adjustment because of the extra weight. I realize that I'm going to have to find a little purse to carry my "stuff" to resolve these little annoyances.
I hit the doors to the mall and find the first sign of life - the hard working maintenance woman mopping the hallway. I will watch her progress in different areas of the mall as I finish my laps around the perimeter. There are other mall walkers already paving their own trails - the older Asian couple holding hands and talking in low tones, the trio of white haired ladies giggling as they walk. I'm passing again the young man in the wheelchair - seems like he's not walking but waiting for one of the stores to open. I have now become one of the "regulars" and will find others that have picked the mall to exercise - regardless of the weather outside and thankfully having access to the bathroom as a necessary convenience.
I pass window after window and check out the clothes that look better on the headless mannequins than they would ever look on my body! As the minutes pass, workers are starting their own routine and re-staging the windows. They manhandle the plaster bodies and redress and reposition them to entice shoppers to come in and get the same "look". I giggle at the fancy lingerie store - you know the one - and am a little intrigued at the tiny little "butt floss" panties. I know there are SOME women that are thin as a rail that actually buy those things.
Another lap done and I pass large windows where the bright lights shine down on expensive purses with matching shoes and I pass the jewelry store with row after row of sparkling diamond jewelry . The Apple Store is open and there are already classes in progress - I am impressed by all the brain cells that must be going on in there.
Here comes a group of new moms doing boot camp with their babies in their strollers. Sometimes they find a spot and pull out their yoga mats and do floor exercises, sometimes they jog through the mall pushing their babies as they go. "Good for them", I think to myself - they are making the commitment to get in shape after childbirth. Unlike me, I weigh more now than I did before I gave birth to my kids! Yikes!
My body reacts to the wonderful aroma of fresh coffee and I look over at Starbucks. Every morning, the baristas are cheerfully serving that magical drink that will wake up the sleepy people in line. My stomach grumbles when I pass Mrs. Fields or the Bakery Cafe. I won't ever stop for a bite because it would defeat the purpose of my new walking routine.
Two more laps and I can chalk up another day of exercising. I can then go home and put some pain cream on my knee. It's my new fragrance I'm wearing these days. Now I know why old people "smell" - It's the combination of pain relieving cream for their joints and industrial strength Oil of Olay to beat back the ravages of old age!