The Triple Crown of Hiking Photo by James Fitzgerald on Unsplash

Healing through Hiking

3 June 2020. We started Another World Adventures with a vision: to enrich people and planet through adventure. It’s a mission we’ve been on ever since.

Last week I came across an inspiring story when researching the impact of nature on mental health and recovery. It’s something I’m very passionate about and I wanted to share it with you.

The Triple Crown of Hiking

What do you know about it? I can tell you this much – more people have gone into outer space and more people have climbed Mount Everest than achieved the Triple Crown of Hiking.

To wear it is to have hiked the Pacific Coast Trail, The Appalachian Trail and the Continental Divide Trail.

Over 8,000 miles.

Last September, Will “Akuna” Robinson became the first African American male to achieve this and his story is compelling and deeply inspiring.

Suffering PTSD after serving in Iraq in 2003 he turned to hiking and the healing power of time in nature.

There’s a beautiful video I encourage you to take 5 minutes to watch below and another shorter one once he’d achieved the crown.

“I wanted to get back to being me, to try and shake this dark cloud, I knew this is the extreme thing I needed to do. And three weeks tops, I was standing at the southern terminus ready to do it. No clue what I was doing but I knew it was where I needed to be.

That action alone took such a weight off my shoulders, that feeling that I was living again.

Hiking gave me the ability to be the person I always was – the confident person capable of doing, instead of just allowing me to sit around and wither away …

There is something about hiking that lets you put reality on hold. But I’m not sure if you’re putting it on hold of if you’re really finding reality”.

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In 2019 he realised his dream of wearing The Triple Crown

 

“Being the first African American male, it’s humbling. It’s an honour, you know. It’s going to give a person of colour that has hiked, a bigger platform to try and inspire more people.”

I’d say that search for reality, or a break from it, is a deep motivation so many of our community have when planning their own journeys.

It struck a chord. There are so many ways to experience adventure, from fun uplifting experiences to the longer, deeper more meaningful journeys which are at the heart of what we stand for.

p.s. If you’re wondering who the first African American female was to wear the crown … it was Elsye Walker check out a great interview with her here