Buckhead retiree completes 750-mile virtual walk during pandemic

A lot of us had to find ways to stay active during the COVID-19 pandemic - especially when the country shut down in March of last year.

Mary Capka decided to make the most of that time. 

The Buckhead woman set a goal to virtually walk nearly 800 miles to visit her brother in Delaware.

"The objective was to try to make the distance between here and Millsboro, Deleware, which is where my brother lives," Capka said.

Without being able to leave her Buckhead retirement community, Capka started walking the halls at Canterbury Court.

"I had to do something, so what I did was I decided to walk that distance in the hallways and here in the garden areas," she said.

The retiree started her 749-mile journey on July 1, 2020, with the goal to finish her walk in a year.

The challenge was physically demanding for Capka who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is a kidney transplant recipient.

"It was hard, and at times, I wasn't sure I was going to make it. But the thing about a goal is if you make every single goal you set for yourself you've set the bar too low," she said.

The bar wasn't too low for Mary. She finished her near-800 mile trek in May right before her brother's birthday.

"My goal was 12 months. I made it in 10 months and 19 days," she said.

Capka celebrated her walk with fellow residents and her brother on Facetime.

"With Facetime, we met each other. We saw each other. He panned the area. I could hear the seagulls chirping in the background. It was as though I was with him," she said.

As the country returns to normal, Capka says life for her still isn't normal since she's immunocompromised, but she hasn't let that stop her. Her next goal is to reach 1,000 miles by the end of the year.

"I've never been in the box. I've always been outside the box, and I like it there," she says.

Mary plans to teach belly dancing to community residents and staff at her retirement home starting in August.

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