Direct Link Between Hiking and Cancer? – You’ll Be Surprised How Much!


Ok so that might have been a bit of click bait to get you to read my post, but you are here now so you might as well continue reading.  Since posting my first blog entry I have had contact with no less than 15 people hiking the trail this year who have had cancer or are hiking on behalf of someone who has had it.  In doing Google searches there are countless stories of cancer survivors embracing the AT as a beacon of life after their struggles.  What is it about cancer that draws people to the woods?

For me it is about regaining a sense of control, to simplify in a way that brings the pace of life down to a slow gait up the side of a mountain.  The past two years have gone by so quickly, looking back it’s like a blur of motion and emotion that is indecipherable from the rest of the background noise.  I want each day to have a goal to be accomplished instead of being a blind search for distraction from the meaningless.

I look at the woods and I see hope, ambition, drive, and courage. It’s brought there by the people who traverse the wilderness in search of wholeness, of completion, of peace, and of all you can eat Chinese buffets.

I want to meet you all, swap stories, spread love and be amazed at your resilience.  I want to be the hand that helps you up the mountain and in turn be helped out of the shelter when I hurt.

I know I will lose this fight with Cancer ultimately, but I am going to give as much life as I can to the trail so it can’t take much from me.

If you know of someone who is hiking the trail with cancer or a survivor who is hiking send them my way I want to hear their story!


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Comments 5

  • Atlas : Feb 10th

    When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.” -Stuart Scott

  • terri : Feb 11th

    Was going to say what Atlas posted. You will not ‘lose’ by any means. You are already a winner!

  • Hank McComas - GAME 99 : Feb 12th

    It is not the destination, but the journey,y that matters.

  • TheGraduate : Mar 23rd

    I have Stage 2 Papillary Thyroid cancer and will begin my thru hike exactly a week after graduation. While my cancer is almost certainly not life threatening I really connected with your motivation to hike. Perfectly phrased! Let’s do this thing

  • Tom Jaenicke : Dec 2nd

    I can’t wait to get on the trail. I do have late stage pancreatic cancer which has spread to my hip and spine. Hip repaired over the summer going thru chemo is miserable. All I can think about is listening to Jam Bands and hiking the AT. Not sure how yet or if and when but this is my dream. Doesn’t have to be the entire trail just a variety of sections. Will probably start around Bear Mnt NY, NJ and PA. Unsure yet of how to maintain my illness while on the trail lots of things to figure out.
    Peace to all that hike and dream.


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