55,000 Steps to Celebrate a 55th Birthday

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A selfie of the Klingbeil family. Each member of the family supported Gerald Klingbeil’s initiative to walk 55,000 steps in a day by walking at least 10,000 steps with him. [Photo: courtesy of Chantal Klingbeil]

Adventist Review associate editor Gerald Klingbeil walks his way into a new year of life.

Fifty-five thousand steps. Or 27.2 miles (44.12 kilometers).

This is how far Adventist Review associate editor Gerald Klingbeil walked in a day in anticipation of his 55th birthday.

During his recent annual leave on the North Sea coast of Germany, Klingbeil decided to walk 1,000 steps for every year of life. To accomplish it, he enlisted a support team that included his entire family, as every member committed to walk at least 10,000 steps with him.

After 8 hours and 23 minutes, he passed the finish line at 55,000 steps. Klingbeil, who usually walks about 15,000 steps a day, enjoyed the rigorous exercise, but even more, he said, appreciated the special times and shared ice creams he enjoyed with each of his three daughters and his wife, Chantal.

“I love getting to know my surroundings by walking from A to B,” Klingbeil said. “Yet the greatest benefit of this walk was spending one-on-one time with the people that I care for most deeply. It’s amazing what kind of profound and even life-changing topics one lands on when you have 10,000 steps or more ahead of you.”

Klingbeil has decided to make this an annual ritual.

“I want to walk a thousand steps for every year of my life,” he said with a smile. “I may run into some problems when I am turning eighty or ninety. It may have to be a two-day or three-day exercise then.”


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