MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Some take up leisure activities in retirement like golf, others kick back and relax, but a Madison man is staying busy by walking around the world.
“I was reading the paper, and there was an article in there about some gentleman who walked around the world, and I thought, ‘Huh, I should do that,’” said Jay Kraemer.
Kraemer completed the equivalent of walking around the world on March 2nd, tackling the 24,901 miles by traversing the Madison area or going on hikes while visiting his son in Utah. He first started the venture back in April of 2014, shortly after retiring.
“I already started with the hikes, so let’s just do this,” said Kraemer.
The 72-year-old tracked his walks meticulously via his FitBit, saying the journey took nearly 50 million steps to complete.
“It’s usually about five miles a day in the wintertime; in the summertime, It’s anywhere between seven and 10,” said Kraemer.
But the task of accruing the miles to make it around the world allowed Kraemer to also pursue his second retirement mission: More reading.
“I don’t like to sit; I like to be on my feet moving,” said Kraemer. “So that’s when I thought, ‘Well, let’s start listening to books,’ and I like the mystery type novels like James Patterson, Michael Conley, Lee Child, that type of book, so it just kept me motivated.”
After eight years, and 10 months, Kraemer made it around the world while listening to 148 books, burning through an average of two pairs of shoes each year. Now, he has his sights set on rounding other planets in the solar system.
“It’s either Mercury or Venus next,” said Kraemer. “Bottom line is I find a lot of enjoyment in doing it, and it gets me reading my books, so wherever it takes me, I’m just going to do it. Just keep walking.”
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