By Cody Sowa
Spring is just around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited. While the change in the season has always been something to look forward to, this year is especially significant. I’m just finishing up my cancer treatments from being diagnosed with a Stage 3 Sarcoma in my left leg about six months ago. In order to remove the cancerous tumor, they had to remove one of my quad muscles in my left leg. As you can probably imagine, I haven’t done much hiking lately.
After aggressive chemotherapy treatments, surgery and radiation therapy, I’m more than ready to hit the trail. During my treatments and recovery, I put away all of my shoes since I was mainly wearing slip-on sandals or slippers. I put them all away in storage bins, all of them except my AKU boots. While it was tough to see them sometimes and think about the hiking I was missing out on, they were also a beacon of hope that gave me something to shoot for. It gave me more motivation to get to Physical Therapy on days that the exhaustion set in. They were a great reminder of what my goal is… to get back outside and explore.
The outdoors has always been therapeutic for me, but it is now a special form of therapy. The birds seem to chirp a little louder and the wind feels like it gusts a bit more than it did six months ago. I’m colder now when I’m outside, but that could be because it was early fall last time I hiked or it could also be because I’ve lost all of my hair. Probably a little bit of both.
Always have a goal and I’d also suggest setting up a physical reminder of that goal. Something that you’re forced to look at often to ensure you stay focused on that goal.
See you out on the trail!