Henry David Thoreau once said “not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” The quote is truly a reflection on resilience and one that drives hope for many suffering through mental illness.
Jesse Cody has taken the words of Thoreau to heart. After struggling with mental illness that brought him to the brink of suicide, Cody began a journey. One that, with no real trail experience, led him on a 2,200 mile hike.
In our conversation Jesse told us, “We all look at life as a narrative. There is a blueprint for success that we need to follow. Getting off script is sometimes the best thing for you.”
Between the long hours of introspection along the trail, physical exhaustion and time spent in nature, clarity came to Jesse and he was able to work through many of the issues that plagued his thoughts and he realized the value of the hike.
Since his first journey in 2014, Jesse has hiked over 7,500 miles and has created Hike the Good Hike, an advocacy group that brings awareness to mental health through wilderness exploration.
While Jesse’s personal journey led him to a hike along the Appalachian Trail, the lessons he learned can be applied to anyone and set them on their own “good hike” toward wellness.
What is Your “Good Hike”?
Although the name “Good Hike” implies a long walk, the idea is more about communing with nature to find balance in your life. Giving you the clarity to work through the struggles that may be impacting your mental wellbeing.
As Jesse shared, it's not about the hike necessarily, “One day recently, I was out for a trail run, I saw someone else hiking. I saw another person on a horse ride, then I saw an older couple sitting in beach chairs – this was in January too! I saw a photographer and I saw a guy with a small canvas painting. I was like, ‘This is amazing! Look at all of us doing our hike.’ That was the environment that gave them all peace of mind.”
Next week, on Tuesday, January 18, during our “Hike the Good Hike: Advocating for Mental and Physical Health on the Hiking Trail” session, Jesse will talk about his journey along the Appalachian Trail and the valuable lessons he learned along the way that brought him from the deepest depths of despair to a place of enlightenment. He will be joined by mountaineer and author, Ty Gagne, who will direct the discussion.
Join us for the conversation and be inspired to discover your “good hike.”