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Sherwood Park man walks 3 million steps to travel every street in his community

Sherwood Park man walks 3 million steps to travel every street in his community
WATCH ABOVE: A Sherwood Park man is challenging you to venture beyond your own neighbourhood. Community reporter Morgan Black shares the story of the 73-year-old whose daily walk has reached an incredible milestone.

He walked 500 miles, and then he walked 500 more — in fact, Terry Fikowski has walked every single street in Sherwood Park.

“I have walked all the industrial areas, all the commercial areas, the subdivisions where the sidewalk is in but the houses are not,” he said.

From trails to back alleys, he’s travelled more than 2,200 kilometres around — or around 1,367 miles.

“From the Anthony Henday to Highway 21 and Highway 16 to the north.”

But why? The 73-year-old’s favourite gym shut down due to health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: Coronavirus: Gyms, pools, indoor fitness can open June 12 for Stage 2 of Alberta relaunch

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He began walking more through the community directly east of Edmonton, but found he was bored travelling the same trails and wanted to challenge himself beyond his daily 10,000 steps.

He branched out to some nearby subdivisions, describing his adventures to his wife when he returned home.

She suggested he begin marking his route down on a map, so he would know where he had been.

Terry Fikowski takes many photos during his walks.
Terry Fikowski takes many photos during his walks. Courtesy: Terry Fikowski

Fikowski realized he could feasibly walk every street in Sherwood Park and started his journey on March 19. In 116 days, he accomplished that goal.

“I keep track of my steps. I averaged 20,000 steps a day, every day. Some days I did 40,000 steps… which is a little intense,” he laughed.

“You would think after walking this long you wouldn’t get blisters — but when you walk for five hours, you still get blisters!”

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Fikowski’s route always begins and ends at his house, no matter how far away his destination is.

“I have never taken a ride anywhere,” he said. “I have been drenched and soaked many a time. We had a lot of rain this summer. If you’re 10 kilometres away from your house and it starts raining — well, what can you do?”

Read more: Saskatoon woman biking every residential street before 65th birthday

Fikowski can point out each and every route he’s travelled on his map of Sherwood Park, which is brightly highlighted in yellow.

Terry Fikowski holds his map
Terry Fikowski holds his map. Morgan Black/Global News

After he accomplished his goal, Fikowski didn’t stop there. On Tuesday, he reached a new milestone of three million steps. His next goal is four million steps by Oct. 4.

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“I’ve lived here 49 years. I thought I knew Sherwood Park, but I had no idea. Beautiful trails, subdivisions, lakes, playgrounds — you name it,” Fikowski said.

“I’ve also met some really nice people.”

Terry Fikowski takes many photos during his walks.
Terry Fikowski takes many photos during his walks. Courtesy: Terry Fikowski

He has also become a bit of a familiar face in the area.

“Just today, one lady said to me ‘Oh, you are that famous walker!’ and I had three trucks honk their horns at me. I don’t know who they are!” he laughed.

Fikowski has also been asked to donate his map and running shoes to the Strathcona County Museum and Archives.

The avid walker hopes his many steps may encourage others to take their first.

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“It would be really neat for people to venture beyond their normal surrounding and see what’s out there.”

Read more: Do gym closures mean muscle loss? How to hit your strength goals at home