Keeping up the pace: Man maintains walking regimen as 91st birthday approaches

Published 1:36 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2016

On Thursday, Bill Hunt will turn 91 years old. He said he does not have any special plans for the big day, but he will be putting his new walking shoes — an early birthday present — to good use.

For the past 17 years, Hunt has arrived at College Park at 8:30 a.m. six days a week and walked several miles on the indoor walking path.

“I walk anywhere from two to three miles each day,” Hunt said. “I’m supposed to walk two, but sometimes I wind up doing more.”

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Hunt is no stranger to an active lifestyle, having worked for most of his life as a farmer and spending decades concurrently working in a factory making car parts.

“I grew tobacco, hay, I had a garden. You name it, I grew it,” he said.

Anita Bridges, Hunt’s daughter, said he grew enough food on his farm to feed his entire community before moving into town almost 20 years ago.

Hunt said after moving to Winchester proper and beginning his walking regimen, he originally walked four miles every morning, but after suffering a heart attack, his doctor advised him to go a shorter distance for his health.

Keeping to only two miles can be difficult though, Hunt said, because he has become friends with numerous other walkers who regularly come to the track, some of whom he brought there himself.

“It’s my day to come over here,” Hunt said. “I have lots of friends. I walk with people who can’t walk, and I’ll get them to come and walk with me.”

As Hunt walked the track Monday, he was greeted by nearly everyone else there with smiles, waves and conversation.

“I’ve got a whole lot (of friends) that come here I reckon,” he said. “I have a lot of fun here.”

In addition to the social aspect of his walking, Hunt said his health benefits in several ways from the morning routine, and he said he thinks more people should take up a similar regimen.

“It helps me mentally and it helps my legs,” he said.

Bridges said while her father only lives a few houses away on her street, he is entirely independent, driving, cooking and cleaning for himself. She said his visit to College Park offers the perfect start to his day, and that sometimes she and other members of the family will join him.

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