I went mall walking this morning at 6:30 a.m. I watched elderly couples and those not attached to a loved one engage in their daily exercise routines. Some talked to each other while they walked. Some didn’t. One couple held hands as they made their rounds. The man, who was plump around the middle, wore bright white tennis shoes, footwear that seemed to be reserved for this activity alone. The woman, who was lean with curved posture, looked happy. Their conversation was quiet but steady, heard in snippets each time that they passed.
Most of the walkers strolled side by side, however, with no physical contact. Some walked by themselves, arms swinging fast at their sides, indicators of movement and speed. One man wore shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt, a look of determination on his face. Another man, by himself, waved across an atrium to another walker, the way bus drivers do when passing in traffic. A Muzak rendition of “She’s Gone” by Hall and Oates played over the sound system.
“There is a large community of enthusiastic and energetic people following their feet over and around the maze of our nation’s malls. Everyday they rack up thousands of miles on foot, while they socialize, window shop and exercise their way to better health.