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  • 52hikechallengeMotivation Monday: "In 2013, I was diagnosed with an acute subtype of leukemia. Although I didn't lose all my hair, most of my eyebrows were gone by the time I gained remission in 2014, and that was a pretty good trade off! While the doctors were busy saving my life, they overlooked another "L" disease lurking in my body--lupus. Lupus is chronic, incurable, and causes inflammation throughout major organs as well as some pretty gnarly joint pain. It's not exactly compatible with hiking. So, each day when I wake up, I decide if it's a "go." Either way, the pain will exist. But the beauty will also exist to balance out the pain. Nature will envelope me and distract me. This may sound strange, but it's almost a religious experience for me. It elevates, strengthens, and feels as though I overcome. BEING here to experience it is such a gift! No matter what I am going through, others are going through things more difficult. Through my leuky/Lupy challenge, I never looked as sick as I was...I still don't. Only my 3 children and those closest to me know how serious my condition is. I have come to know we should never make assumptions. People often endure things silently. It is best to be kind and compassionate. I share the beauty I experience on my hikes so others may feel it's restorative power. If I could hike for a living I would, because I feel like I am living to hike." - Terri Gray-Smith
    aka @tjgrayster

  • tjgrayster@laoriginalbandachapala, thank you! It's been awesome hiking with you and I can't wait to conquer those 6 peaks!! 💪🏼
  • extremeoutdooradventures435You hit the nail on the head big time...between 7/12 and 12/14 i had 4 back surgeries, 4 strokes, became diabetic on top of already 6 knee surgeries in my life, but wait there is more and than developing noropathy in my feet and hands last year, like i didn't have enough pains and issues. I moved to Moab in April of 2015 from California. I stayed in bed most of the time there because of chronic pain, stress, depression, etc, etc..fast forward to now. I going hiking 2-3 days a week and get out in nature as much possible. I have taken all the strongest drugs know to mankind with pretty much zero results. In the amost 2 years i have been here my pain has been a bit better, but the biggest drug that helps me with huge results is being in nature. Its free, you can't overdose on it and the only side effects of it are being addicted to wanting more and more..what i have is nothing compared to you. I always say something is better than nothing. 15 minutes or 4 hours it helps big time. Keep pushing 1 step at a time. #natureisthebestdrugontheplanet
  • tjgrayster@extremeoutdooradventures435, thanks for sharing. I wish you all the best as you keep pushing. I agree that nature always leaves me wanting more 😊.
  • willowofwonderI have lupus too ... and feel the same way about hiking and nature. I do it because it makes me centered and helps me feel stronger. Sorry about your diagnosis. Look into LDN low dose naltrexone. I just started in December and I have found such improvement. It has felt like a miracle
  • tjgrayster@willowofwonder 💜thank you.
  • tjgrayster@52hikechallenge, thank you for sharing my story~if it influences even one person to seek the benefits that nature has to offer, that will be a step towards improved mental, physical and spiritual health!🐾🏞💙 #lifeisbeautiful
  • missjamiekaren@tjgrayster You are such an inspiration!!
  • tjgrayster@missjamiekaren, 💙 thank you for the kind words.
  • gabrielegend🙏🏻
  • melissajanette@tjgrayster honored to have such a strong badass woman as one of my closest friends!! You are amazing!!
  • tjgrayster@melissajanette, you are an amazing woman yourself, and I consider myself privileged to have you as a "little sis". Love you, chica! ❤
  • joo.leo💪🏽💪🏽👏🏽
  • laurennemeschanskyPrayers
  • christinaleneSo inspiring and beautiful!
  • tjgrayster@christinalene, thank you. 💙
  • tjgrayster@laurennemeschansky thank you 💙🙏🏽
  • designingahealthylifestyleA true fighter
  • tjgrayster@designingahealthylifestyle no one needs to fight alone 😊#strengthinnumbers 💙🙏🏽💙
  • estachinita@tjgrayster 💜🙌🏻✊🏼👏🏼 #luckfupus
  • tjgrayster@estachinita, bahahaha I see what you did there 😆😆 You GO girl! Winning that contest at crossfit was no small feat! 💪🏼 we lupy chicks gotta stick together 💜#strengthinnumbers
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