Woman reaches goal of walking 2,100 miles in 2021

Alexandra “Lilea” Simis walks with her dog Quintin.

TOWN HILL — Alexandra “Lilea” Simis set a goal on Jan. 1 to walk or hike 2,100 miles during the year. She accomplished that goal less than a month shy of the one-year mark. 

Simis, who is also the co-owner of the Town Hill Market, said it was a friend in Colorado who inspired her to take the pledge. “My friend is a runner and there is something out there called ‘run the year’ but since I am not a runner, I decided to walk it.”  

Simis said she is always on a journey to be her healthiest self and even though some days of the pandemic were quite challenging, she made walking a priority.  

“Some days I got up extra early if I could, or I would walk when I could during the day. And sometimes in the summer, I would walk later at night,” she said. Throughout her journey, she had a tracker on her phone that would count the miles she walked when she wasn’t wearing her Fitbit. “Some days I would wear my Fitbit and other days I wouldn’t, but I always kept track of my walks on my phone,” she said.  

When Simis did wear her Fitbit, it would keep track of every step she took during the day, including when she worked. Depending on her schedule, there were days where Simis would walk 13 miles and others where she would walk 2.  

On the first day of her pledge, Simis climbed Sargent Mountain with her dog. “My dog Quintin probably walked more than 2,021 miles,” she said.  

Sometimes she would walk with friends who were inspired by her to take the pledge also. 

Simis believes that 1,900 miles of her total amount were walked in Acadia National Park.  

During the year, Simis did not lose weight in terms of numbers on the scale, but she toned up. “All my clothes fit better, and I feel incredible,” she said.  

During this physical, emotional and mental journey, Simis said she learned a lot about herself as a person. Part of her journey included taking pictures to share on Facebook with friends and relatives who couldn’t get out because of the pandemic.  

“It was great to be so consistent, to show up for myself, to really reach toward a goal that I actually met, and commit to it,” Simis said. 

Simis finished some of her last miles on Thanksgiving Day by hiking Sargent Mountain with Quintin. 

This coming year, Simis plans to make a 2,200-mile commitment and hopes others will join her. 

“Keep moving, be kind to yourself and stay well,” she said. 

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.

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