Commutes

56-Year-Old Detroit Man Walks 21 Miles To and From Work and Never Misses a Day

56-Year-Old Detroit Man Walks 21 Miles To and From Work and Never Misses a Day
Image credit: Detroit Free Press

The daily grind can be taxing for even the most determined entrepreneurs, but if you need a little pep in your step this week, look no further than Detroit native James Robertson, 56, who braves a 21-mile commute to and from work every single day -- on foot.

Robertson, who sets out at 8 a.m., arrives for his factory job at an engineering plant at around 12:30 p.m. after a short bus ride and an eight-mile walk, according to the Detroit Free Press. Caffeine fuels the journey, as he chugs Mountain Dew and Coke.

When Robertson’s shift ends at 10 p.m., he hops on another bus, follows it up with a 13-mile hike, and typically doesn’t arrive home to his girlfriend until 4 a.m., where he sleeps for a few hours -- only to start right back up again.

Perhaps the only thing more impressive than Robertson’s unimaginable will is the fact that he boasts a perfect attendance record at work. “I set our attendance standard by this man," Todd Wilson, Robertson’s boss at Schain Mold & Engineering, told the Press. “He's never missed. I've seen him come in here wringing wet."

Related: 8 Tips for an Awesome, Healthier Commute

Robertson has had to endure the commute ever since his 1998 Honda Accord broke down in 2005. In addition to his $10.55 hourly salary, Robertson says he loves the outdoors and being around his co-workers, whom he likens to “a family.” Wilson’s wife even whips up homemade soul food dinners for Robertson every evening.

"I sleep a lot on the weekend,” Robertson told the outlet. “Yes, I do.”

But maybe not for long. Shortly after Robertson’s story garnered national attention, hundreds of people across the country have come forward to offer him cash, bus tickets, bicycles, daily chauffeuring and even a new car.

Most notably, a GoFundMe campaign has raised over $50,000. In addition, a local car dealership has offered Robertson a new car and Honda North America also said it would donate a vehicle. Funds raised would also help cover gas and insurance, the latter of which costs more in Detroit than anywhere else in the U.S.

Related: Making a 700-Mile Commute Work

Edition: December 2016

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