Updated: Oct 8, 2019
With mental health awareness day in a few days time, I was keen to write a little something about how the outdoors helped me to battle some personal demons, and eventually inspired what is now Summit Fit.
My name is Jack Williams, and in 2016 the concept of Summit Fit was born. I was out climbing mountains on a weekly basis and had visions of blending this with a passion for fitness, so took on a course to become a personal trainer. It was on the last day of this course that I was encouraged to book a doctor's appointment by my girlfriend, Catherine, having explained to her that I had discovered a lump in my right testicle.
She explained that if I didn't at least have a booking made by the end of the day, I would not be going camping that weekend. I've never booked anything so quickly.
I have lost my father and both grandfather's to the disease, so when the doctor explained he could not rule out cancer, I felt teleported to my own island. And it wasn't a nice tropical one.
My therapy was simple, adventure. I didn't know what the outcome would have been at the time as it isn't possible to do a biopsy with testicular cancer. It would be several months before I found out that it was I'm fact stage 1 seminoma testicular cancer. I didn't know, at this point, how long I had left to live.
That being said, I didn't know before? So, in some ways, what difference did it make? The important thing was that I embraced my newfound lust for life and lived has hard as I could.
Cancers only goal seems to be to end lives. So, if I could take cancer and use it to fuel my desire to live, and to do the things I enjoy most, then I was turning cancer on its head! I was setting it against its self, and against the one thing it set out to do!
So, what did I do? I applied to be a part of an arctic expedition that crossed 300 miles from Norway to Sweden in winter. This involved me being voted into the team and did so by gathering more than 10,000 votes.
It was this sense of teamwork that inspired the foundation for Summit Fits community efforts.
Shortly after completing the expedition I returned to the hospital for my results appointment, where I received the good news that I was, and had been since my operation six months earlier, clear of cancer.
I now have a son, who reignited the passion behind
and now, just less than one year on, we are running several meets a year, we print (and soon embroider) our own clothing and are moving into ever more technical equipment all the time.
It isn't always easy to do, but often opportunity can be found in the most unlikely of places! When faced with adversity, if it is possible, turn it on its self, and use it to fuel your desire to achieve!