Agnes Maloney

My Biography. By Agnes Maloney, BioFables

I was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Even though I’ve lived for a dozen years in the Midwest, the Rockies will always be my first home.

The Midwest has its own unique quality, though, and I’m very happy here. I met my husband, Mort, at a health conference I was attending in Chicago. He’s a food chemist and was explaining the nutritional value of his company’s products to a visitor at his employer’s exhibit booth. I waited until his visitor left and asked a fairly detailed question, trying my best to impress him. He answered my question with even more details, obviously trying his best to impress me! And the rest, as they say, is history.

Sports interested me from as long as I can remember … the individual kind (such as skiing and acrobatics), not the team variety (such as volleyball). The robust good health that I enjoy, thanks to the wealth of sports and outdoor activities that I participated in, led me to learn as much as I could about fitness in college and to get several certifications so that I could teach others how to be their physical – and mental – best, regardless of age or condition. For want of a better description, I call myself a wellness guide.

And that I have tried to do, starting informally with my husband, our (now) seven-year-old twins Mallory and his sister Melody, and my father-in-law, Mike. I started substituting for regular instructors at our local health club several years ago and now teach regularly at a number of facilities.

Visiting my family (and skiing) in Colorado, and helping my father-in-law to better health are two things I would like to accomplish in the next year or so. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I am deeply grateful for the wonderful life I’m able to live in the here and now.

I am also deeply grateful to my husband’s Dad. I’ve also called him Dad from the day Mort introduced me as his future wife. He instantly greeted me with a big smile and even bigger hug. It gets confusing for some people, but that’s all right with me. And my own Dad doesn’t mind a bit. In fact, with my parents more than a thousand miles away, my Dad is happy that I have a second Dad near by.

Back to gratitude. Dad sold his software company to a really big company for a really big amount of money and was able to retire in his mid-50’s. He cooked up a plan to fund monthly mini-trips for us and our children, “because travel is broadening,” he said. I felt guilty accepting such a generous gift. Mort and I are doing fine. But Mort convinced me that it was his Dad’s way of making up for all the time he didn’t spend with his only son when he was growing his business, especially since Mort’s Mom passed away when Mort was just entering high school. I just want to make sure our children don’t view Dad as an endless waterfall of gifts. Gratitude, without expectation or a sense of entitlement: that’s how we’d like to raise Mel and Mel. I’ve just gotten an idea for our November outing, a way to pay-it-forward on Thanksgiving. Now to fill in the details.

Our first trip was a whirlwind, literally as well as figuratively. Yellowstone National Park needs weeks to take it all in, and Old Faithful shows off its whirlwind dance once in awhile. A long weekend was far too short for the time it took to travel to Wyoming, so later trips have been closer to home. Dad came with us to my cousin’s farm in southern Illinois, but he begged off our third trip to the Indiana Dunes. “My joints are too stiff to sleep in a tent and I’m too out of shape to climb hills of sand,” he said. I’ve got to convince him that he’s still got a long life ahead of him if he’d just eat better and add some physical activity to his daily routine.

Editor’s note: Agnes wrote this before her father-in-law started eating better and exercising more (Book 4: Palisades Escapades).