Savannah 90-year-old walks three miles a day for past 40 years

William Johnson plans to keep walking well into his 100′s
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 1:29 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Three miles a day, five days a week, for the past 40 years. A total of 31,440 miles.

Which is about the same as walking around the entire world and then walking from Savannah to Athens, Greece.

That’s how far one 90-year-old Savannah man has gone, without ever leaving his favorite park.

If you’ve been to Lake Mayer at some point over the past 40 years, chances are you’ve seen him and if you’ve seen him, well, you’ve definitely heard him.

“Good morning, good morning!” William Johnson says to a passerby

Offering words of encouragement and a little accountability, too.

“You’ve been playing hooky on me, you know that don’t you?” William jokes with another woman.

William Johnson, “I’m the walking man,” is certainly familiar with this park and those who walk it.

“Oh, I know everybody. Been coming out here since 1980.”

They too are more than familiar with him.

“He gets on us when we don’t show up. He’ll say, ‘where were you? It’s still free. It’s for your own good,” says fellow walker Ronald Green.

For William it all started when he retired as a mail carrier.

“I said to myself, ‘I’ve got to do something to continue to keep my body in shape.’ So, I found Lake Mayer. How bout that?”

But not only did he find Lake Mayer, he also found a community. A community that is lucky to have him.

“I didn’t see you yesterday,” William says to a woman on the track,

“I know it’s been a while but I’m going to stay committed just because of you. You my motivation,” she responds.

While it’s hard not to notice William on his walks, that probably has more to do with the size of his heart than the distance that he travels.

“I just love it. I talk to everybody. I don’t have no one special species to talk to. I talk to everybody.”

He says he plans on walking and talking for years to come.

“Till I’m 105, you watch me! I ain’t going to stop. The Lord going to have to stop me.”

And he expects to see everyone there.

“Come out to Lake Mayer and walk. Come out here!”

If you’re looking to tag along with William he’s at Lake Mayer rain or shine Monday through Friday at 9 a.m.

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