In early Could of 1979, Invoice Youngblood suffered a sort of coronary heart assault generally known as the “widow maker.” It wasn’t that – thank God – and to make sure that it wouldn’t turn into that, on July 20 of that very same yr, he tied on some strolling footwear and headed out the door.

He didn’t return till he had lined two arduous miles.

The subsequent day, he tied/headed out once more.

By Day Seven, this had turn into a ritual that continued over the subsequent 4 decades-plus, save for the “arduous” half. Every stroll turned just a little simpler. Every outing’s gait turned steadily quicker over the hills and dales that marked his suburban path.

He didn’t stroll on daily basis, however he was spiritual in seeing that he received in steps throughout a minimum of six days of each week. If he couldn’t stroll outdoors due to the climate, he would drive to the mall and stroll there.

By its very nature strolling will be boring. By his very nature, Invoice will be resourceful. So he determined to make his quest for higher well being a chart-able journey. He logged each mile, marking compilations occasionally on a globe he and his spouse D.Anne hold in the lounge of their dwelling in North Richland Hills, Texas.

His authentic purpose was to “stroll” to Japan, the place he had been stationed as a sailor in the course of the Korean Battle. Getting again there actually wasn’t probably, given loads of circumstances, so he took the subsequent finest course – two miles at a time. Or, to be extra correct, two miles at a time by the use of San Diego to Australia to Hong Kong to Japan.

He reached Tokyo in the summertime of 1996, and, like Forrest Gump, he simply stored going. After making it world wide as soon as he started engaged on a second “lap” – within the different path. A number of years again, I keep in mind him telling me he was “exploring” Greenland.

As a consequence of some latest well being points, he lastly needed to finish the journey simply previous to the pandemic. However the file nonetheless speaks for itself. The earth has a circumference of almost 25,000 miles (give or take a hill or dale in North Richland Hills). I’m guessing there aren’t many 89 yr olds who can declare to have walked that far, a lot much less to have set about strolling it twice.

Invoice Youngblood could make that declare.

He could make one different (although he received’t) this month: He’s additionally the best father a son might ever have. I’m speaking the discuss, right here, however he – in each means conceivable – has walked the stroll.


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