The following reflection was shared by Racine Leahy, Director of Leasing, and is a representation of our team’s commitment to the RockStep Way.
I wrote this about RockStep two years ago with a focus on how we practice “A+ness” as retail is transforming. Little did I know that a pandemic was approaching with serious challenges. As retail continues to transform, RockStep has reached its goals and all that hard work has resulted in several new national and regional leases and a surprising number of local tenants. Retailers either adapted to the environment or are no longer with us. 2021 sales were the highest they have been in the last five years and guess what, brick and mortar stores are essential to achieving those sales.
In this write-up, I’m not going to focus on work but will share with you what is foremost on my mind. I am trying to achieve A+ness with growing older. Of course, all of us are growing older at the same rate day by day. Age is just a number. Right?
My sister-in-law’s mother, Mary Ann is a great example of aging gracefully. She is in her mid-80s, and you would never know it. She is in my ladies’ golf league. When you look at her stature on the golf course, her shoulders are back, and she walks with confidence. She throws the golf bag on her shoulder like a 16-year-old boy. Amazing. Oh, and by the way most of the time she has better scores than all of us. She hikes three times a year in Arizona and keeps up with the rest of the family. No complaining, only an expression of enjoyment. A few years ago, she ran the St. Louis half-marathon with me (I only did this once) and when they blew the horn, she said let’s go and took off so fast, I was not sure what happened. I was not going to let someone 17 years my senior beat me, so I pushed myself. She didn’t beat me, but she placed first in her age group. She walks every day and most of the time eats healthy with an occasional glass of wine. Her positive attitude is a joy to be around. Her success in aging is not genetics but lifestyle and attitude.
What are my takeaways from observing Mary Ann achieving A+ness?
- Be Positive – Always be optimistic even through challenging times.
- Forget about the number – Do not give up on exercise and healthy eating because you think it doesn’t matter.
- Stay Active – A sedentary lifestyle is now considered to be as dangerous for your long-term health as smoking!
- Keep learning – Have the spirit to keep learning—tackle new hobbies, study a foreign language or learn to play the guitar.
- Live with a purpose – So many of my friends are retired and not sure what to do. Find activities that help you feel productive and remember to give back.
I don’t want to be that grandma that sits in the same chair with a blanket on her lap. Although I do that sometimes, no one other than my husband will see it. I want to receive the “A+ Grandma Award” from all my 12 grandchildren and hopefully the great-grandchildren to come.
I’m sure all of us know someone like Mary Ann. No matter your age, follow their lead to your journey of an A+ life.