The thing about “good” is that it requires doing. Of course a fire can burn itself out, but without brave men and women willing to fight, the damage would be that much worse. Without the fighters what would be left? Luckily there are kind hearted people that are willing to take a stand. The strongest people I have had the pleasure of meeting are those who see how precious life is. Unfortunately, in many of those cases, it means that they are in a situation where their mortality is threatened. In the United States there are 1.6 million cancer diagnosis every year. This disease can strike fast and without warning. It can also be a slow and arduous fight that takes a toll on the diagnosed as well as their loved ones.
I have the pleasure of taking a stand in this fight. When the opportunity to work with a non-profit that stood up in the face of a horrible disease arose, I jumped for it. The foundation is based here in the mountains of Colorado where I live. Epic Experience brings cancer fighters and survivors together in the majestic surroundings for week-long adventure camps.
The mountains have a weight to them. Even the most physically fit mountaineer feels the gravity. It is often this feeling that draws the outdoor community together. It is the Epic Experience: Adventure 4 Life campaign that marries the outdoors with the fight to overcome cancer and thrive as a community of strong and driven individuals.
The campaign has it right. “To do good, you actually have to do something.” And that is exactly what we are doing. I have teamed up with a group of twenty-five adventurers brought together by Outdoor Minded Magazine. Together we are taking on the challenge of funding one of the Epic Experience adventure camps. Throughout these camps the cancer thrivers challenge their physical limits. They kayak, hike and SUP their way into a close-knit crew of fighters. It is their strength that motivates myself and the twenty-four other adventurers.
Each of us are challenged with the task of raising $1000. Together we will raise a total of $25,000, the price of one camp. We are all taking on different outdoor activities in order to motivate people to donate to the Adventure 4 Life Challenge. These range from climbing pro level rock climbing routes to kayaking the islands of Greece. It is all meant to inspire. We are physically overcoming these obstacles out of respect for what the cancer thrivers at Epic Experience are fighting to overcome. I hopes that it will inspire people to get up and stand together for good.
My challenge is to ride the Peak to Peak Byway. This high altitude road is going to take me along the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. The 91 mile trek will lead me from Golden, Colo. to Estes Park. En route I will see peaks and valleys. The more than 5,300 feet of vertical cycling is daunting task ahead of me and I am more than happy to take it on. It does not even come close to the fight that the people we are doing this for are challenged with.
The most inspiring of the twenty-five adventures is also a cancer survivor. Chad Hammond took part in an Epic Experience camp while fighting for his life. He beat the disease and is now helping others follow in his footsteps.
Chad is an avid outdoorsman and climber. After being diagnosed he was unable to continue rock climbing. There is one route in particular that he could not conquer while battling cancer. But now he is going right back to the crag. He is literally climbing mountains to help with this cause. I have full confidence in his ability to take on his latest adventure and come out on top.
We are all in this as a community of people who are willing to stop talking about what should be and work towards doing good. I hope that our Adventure 4 Life team will inspire others to take action as well. Even a baby step for good is a step in the right direction. But we cannot do this alone.
The adventures are taking on the challenge. The cancer thrivers are coming together to build a community of solace and compassion. But we need donations to make it happen. Together we hope to inspire. Whatever your passion is, sit by no more. Take a step to do good in the world. Our step is an adventure for life.