One local man has taken mall walking to a whole new level.
Boyd Otero’s rough up-bringing led him down a destructive path of alcohol addiction. During his time in Alcoholics Anonymous, Otero remembers being told that alcoholics “never finish anything.” Feeling discouraged, he was determined to prove skeptics wrong. That’s when he set a pretty hefty goal for himself– to walk around the world.
“As an alcoholic, a lot of times we don’t finish things that we do, we just make excuses and don’t do them, and I thought if I set a goal, as walking around the world, it’ll take me quite a while,” Otero said.
In 2003, Otero began his journey to walk the circumference of the earth by joining the Colony Square Mall’s “mall walker program.” Otero spends five days a week walking the mall grounds, which he said brings him a lot of joy. Twelve years later and 17 years sober, Otero is now just 152 miles away from reaching his goal.
“God bless the people here, my apartment house, my church, and all of the friends that I’ve met here that are supportive of my doing this, walking, and also my sobriety,” Otero said.
The community is invited to join Otero as he walks his final lap at the Colony Square Mall on October 16 at 1 p.m.