Morning Walks: Reflections.

person jogging
Photo by Daniel Reche on

Last week, I decided to get off my derrière and start bringing some activity in this quarantine life of mine. Each morning, before work at home begins, I rise and hit the pavement, taking an hour and a half to promenade around my sprawling neighborhood. Here are some itemized thoughts and comments about this routine:

  1. I love it. Walking has always been my favored pastime; it both clears my thoughts and engenders them, allows for prayer and reflection, and gets me outside and breathing in the beauty of nature. Did you know that your Square Peg is a nature lover? I am. Nope, not into anything that crawls and flies, but I usually stand in wonder of greenery and babbling brooks and flowers and all of it.
  2. I spoke here about fitness in a time of quarantine. Walking has allowed me to get moving. I’m happy about this. I feel great, despite all the achiness of this body in its fourth decade. Enter Aspercreme. Does wonders. Get into it.
  3. If there were no quarantine or pandemic and I was physically at work at every day, I’d still be walking. Either on the treadmill at my office or around our massive campus. So this was a nice way to bring back an aspect of my daily routine.
  4. I’ve been getting in some miles, y’all. Deserves a woo hoo.
  5. Despite #4, what I love about all this walking is that I go at my own pace. I move as I like (read: not speedy or fast) and I deliberately take in the surroundings of my aesthetically pleasing community. It’s been great to get to know the area and to greet other walkers with a nod as we pass each other by.
  6. I have my mask with me, by the way.

Speaking of masks, here are some other things I have with me each morning:

  • An awesomely motivating playlist that I created on Spotify
  • A bottle of water
  • Sunglasses, since despite my early walking time, the sun here in the Lone Star State is typically operating at 1 billion degrees at all hours of the day

It’s been refreshing, and I’m glad I can say that in light of all the general craziness around us. What have you been doing to remain refreshed and rejuvenated amidst this new normal? Share, if you can.


The Mall Walker Returns. (Blogtober #20)

We have a new mall!

Back in the day, when I was the kind of teenager that loved to spend her waking moments–outside of school–in the mall with her fellow nerdy/sweetly obnoxious know-it-all friends, the mall was everything. In our local area, there was one popular mall that brought most of us to its doors. This mall boasted a movie theater, a Bennigan’s (if you remember Bennigan’s, I love you more than you know), and plenty of stores that held our attention as walked up and down the shiny hallways. In time, however, a few things changed when it came to our mall time: 1) we grew up/started jobs/went to college and therefore, had less time on our hands, and 2) this particular mall went downhill. Regarding #2, it was unreal. Leaky ceilings; a weird odor that began to permeate the hallways; the closing of the movie theater that we loved; the closing of several of those above-mentioned stores; and a new swell of teenagers that, although younger than us, inspired a bit of trepidation. In other words, they didn’t seem, uh, that nice. Anyway, needless to say, mall visits went from few and far between to not at all. In the end, the mall was closed down almost completely, with the exception of the Target, Macy’s, and JC Penney’s stores that remained open and unaffected by the smelly odors, leaky ceilings, and scary teens. Rumors abounded that new condos would come in place of the once-popular mall; we also heard that a new mall would come with new stores and a completely new look. Personally, I was happy to see it go after all those years.

The old mall.
The old mall.

And then it re-opened this past weekend.

It was insane. Me and a good friend decided to check it out. I can tell you that we ran the halls like we were mad. We oohed and aahed at the sophisticated layout. At the Michael Kors store (we’ll discuss that in another post); at the White House/Black Market; at the Nordstrom Rack soon to come. The new mall is classy and elegant and aims for a similar clientele and I like it. Not that I have anything against frightening teens, but I’m currently at Stage Clutch-My-Pearls these days and would prefer not to run into sketchy characters while shopping. Anyway, it was a bit surreal, to be back in the place where a teenage Square Peg spent many an evening and weekend; I also worked at the mall during my freshman/ sophomore year of college. Before things went south and I abandoned the place like day old bread, I would also spend evenings just walking the mall. I loved everything about it. Now that school is back in session and the days are getting shorter, my evening walks around the track of the local high school are becoming less and less. I look forward to returning to my mall walking, once the hoopla ends and the grand re-opening crowds die down a bit. I look forward to spending some of my autumn evenings returning to window shopping, actual shopping, people watching, and dinners for one. Good times, indeed.

The new mall. Photo credit: This Square Peg
The new mall. Photo credit: This Square Peg

Fake Limps and 5Ks.

So, quite randomly this morning, I made a mental note to do a search for 5Ks in the area and sign up for one as soon as possible. Moments later, I found myself marveling a bit. We’ve come a looong way, baby. Follow me, won’t you?5K

  1. This is the girl who chose to take zeroes for the day rather than dress up for gym class in high school.
  2. This is the girl who forged her mother’s signature (I wish I was kidding) to excuse her from gym class in high school.
  3. This is the girl who faked a limp in order to get out of participating in the mile run for gym class in high school. (And my gym teacher let me hold the stopwatch, too.)


This 5K will be my fourth one. I marvel. I really do. Obviously, back in the day, not being one of the fast or the coordinated meant I had no desire to do anything related to phys. ed. Add to the humilation of dressing out in the proximity of a personal bully who loved to highlight the many imperfections of my adolescent physique and there was no way I was going to voluntarily ever enjoy something like exercise. (The treadmill in my parents’ home was used to hang clothes. You get my drift.)

But we grow. Bullies go away, school ends, and doctors give you the side eye when they look at those adult lbs on your medical chart. As such, I began voluntarily exercising when I moved into my first apartment many moons ago, which had a gym on the bottom floor. The treadmill was my equipment of choice, and it still is. Nothing like walking and listening to music and sweating. Post high school horrors, I’ve always enjoyed walking, whether leisurely or for a 5K. The best part is that I move to the beat of my own drum, at my speed, and at my level.

No fake limps necessary.

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