Everyday, people are sharing amazing stories of their own journeys to wellness or their own challenge goals for the next year. We share some of their stories here. These health warriors inspire us to never lose sight of our goal to hike 52 Peaks in 52 Weeks. Their story might be one of a road back to fitness already accomplished or a new personal best that lies ahead for them in 2016. Enjoy their spirit as much as we do. Share with us a story where you have already pushed yourself past what you thought was possible. Inspire others to begin their own way back by sharing a new goal for yourself in 2016 that pushes your limits. Believe, starting this moment, that you are capable of anything you can imagine and that the journey can begin with one simple step.

Maria Nancy Sanhueza

An Inspiration on Mt. Olympus

TJ and I met Nancy at one of the refuges on Mt. Olympus. She was celebrating her 68th birthday by coming to hike on Mt. Olympus by herself because in her words “no one else was crazy enough to come.” We were so inspired by her courage and determination and asked her to share her story. She has also done the Camino which is a major bucket list item for Tami!

“I am a typical Chilean “patiperra” living in England, who likes to travel. I am quite gregarious even though I prefer on my solo holidays that I can relax at my own pace. Also, being solo I get the chance of meeting new people along the way!  Five years ago, I did the Camino Porto-Santiago de Compostela, the shortest route of 240km, but long enough for me, the sense of freedom, peace and also achievement was priceless. I always wanted to do something like that again. One thing I learnt from that experience, although it sound so  cliché, is that the journey is the best! Just feeling free without the constraints of daily life. Just give me a book and a forest and I […]

Sheri Nork

A True Hiking Warrior

Sheri-Nork-w-TJMany years ago, on a calm Summer’s morning, I was enjoying a peaceful ride on my motorcycle…ahh.  Suddenly, a careless utility truck driver ran his red light.  By that afternoon, I had died…twice.  Surgeons told my hubby I would not survive.  After awakening from my coma, I could not move my body.  I could not speak.  I could not smell or taste.  I had double vision.  I was also told I would never walk again.  Only after years of physical therapy could I walk (barely) unassisted. I was then solely responsible for my health.  However, I struggled with self-discipline; I needed help.  I was rescued at a fitness resort in Malibu, California.  This is where I first smiled with TJ.

TJ just returned from backpacking & hiking Kilimanjaro; she resumed her lead hiking position at this Malibu fitness resort.  She selected to be ‘sweep’ (the last hiking guide in line) in the morning 2 hour, hiking group in which I was placed.  I was unsurprisingly the caboose in this group.  I asked TJ what her next conquest would be. TJ’s spirit energetically lit up telling me about Machu Picchu, Peru.  […]

Ben Milina

Taking back life by rediscovering nature

Ben-2Nature is Life. It is the epitome of all health. It is the cheapest and most effective medicine for many of the ails of modern society. Being resigned and sedentary to indoor life is akin to succumbing to an early grave.
I grew up in and about the New England area of the Northeast United States. In geo-speak that’s about 40-45 North and 60-80 West I played and spent many years of my youth enjoying outdoor activities of all types available to the region. Summers were spent swimming in the ocean, canoeing the many rivers in the region of Massachusetts, and hiking the White & Green Mountains of New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. Winters were spent skiing those same places via the Alpine and Nordic sticks to guide my feet. Those were, by far, the happiest memories of my youth. Whether they were alone, with my boy scout troop, friends, or family—all I can recall is how happy and healthy I was to be there; in Nature. Looking back I realized the only things I had lifting me to those heights were fresh air, sunshine, elevations, water…things that […]

Karen Eaton

A healthy success story that leads to hiking Machu Picchu

Karen-and-TJI joined my first weight-loss group when I was in the fifth grade. I have struggled with my weight my entire life. When I got into college the combination of dorm food, lack of exercise, and working led to a very rapid weight gain. By the time I graduated from college I was almost 320 pounds. My very first year of teaching I had a classroom on the second floor of an elementary school. I would purposely make sure that I didn’t have to walk up and down the stairs to the office more than once per day because it was so difficult and so painful. Going to work was really the only activity that I did during the day. I would usually get fast food on the way home and stay inside my apartment until the next day.

One day my mom convinced me to go to a weight watchers meeting with her. I started eating better and lost about 50 pounds in the first six months and was very excited. I still wasn’t doing very much exercise because it was really difficult. And […]

Susi Kaplan

2016 Goal: Complete 9 races & Run a 5K in 30 minutes


I have always been fortunate in that health and fitness came relatively easy to me. I was an active kid: skating, bike riding, boogie boarding and water skiing. In my 20’s, I started weight training and for a decade I was probably in the best shape of my life. I continued to skate and work-out for fun into my 30’s, but weight training became sporadic. Eventually exercise and fitness became less of a priority and by the time I had my third child, I was still “active” but not fit. One day at the end of the summer in 2012, I looked at myself and I didn’t like what I saw. More importantly, I didn’t like how I felt. I had no energy. I felt deflated. Sad. Bored. I started to push a little bit. I started getting up early to use the Wii Fit to do yoga and cardio. Then I added some weights. Then my husband got motivated and we both started getting up and walking 2.5- 3 miles. Then we added stairs. Then we added P90x. We pushed […]