Going the Distance: Bill Henry's Quest to Walk 1,0000 Miles in His Own Backyard
Deep in the heart of Willamette County Wine Country in Salem, Oregon, tucked away on 15 wooded acres surrounding Berger Lake, lies Holiday Retirement’s Hidden Lakes. The scene is picturesque. Some might even describe it as bucolic. If you’re lucky, you may happen upon Holiday resident William “Bill” Henry walking around the lake in the early hours of the day. Don’t worry if you miss him; he always returns for his afternoon laps.
Sometimes, the best challenges are the ones we set for ourselves. Bill is no stranger to walking competitions. He has won awards for several since he adopted the hobby after turning 55 nearly 30 years ago, but it was an offhanded comment in a conversation with a Hidden Lakes neighbor about his exercise habit that spawned Bill’s current challenge to walk 1,000 miles around Berger Lake.
“There wasn’t a plan to do it until that conversation,” Bill said. “It just popped out of my mouth.”
Bill has always been the active type. He played tennis in high school, where he met his future wife. After marrying, the pair made Salem their home. Bill worked for a roofing company until his 40s, when he semi-retired and began traveling with his wife. Never one to sit still, Bill also entered the real estate market then and owned several rental properties.
Bill finds inspiration in the quiet beauty of Berger Lake and its animal inhabitants. Three turns around the lake equal one mile, and Bill has resolved to do three laps every morning and afternoon. Each month, he puts in roughly 60 miles. Since he started the challenge 10 months ago, Bill has walked more than 600 miles. If he can keep this pace, he will reach his 1,000-mile goal in September.
If you ask Bill, who turns 84 in April, how he has managed to maintain such good health, he will tell you: “It’s all of that walking.”
No matter your personal goals, we support your pursuit of them, because life doesn’t stop at retirement. Continue to challenge yourself, and we’ll be your biggest cheerleaders — that’s what having good neighbors in a welcoming community is all about!