Transcending Tragedy in the Wilderness with Emily Henkel
January 17, 2023
Hosted by Sydney WIlliams
[Download MP3] [itunes] [Bookmark Episode]
What happens when the worst-case scenario unfolds in slow motion in the desolate wilderness of America's National Parks? How do you return to the places that have brought so much joy and so much pain after tragedy strikes? On April 3, 2021, Emily and her partner, Alexander Lofgren, traveled to Death Valley National Park on a routine camping trip. The next day began the biggest nightmare of their lives - Alex fell from a 70’ cliff and succumbed to his injuries a half hour later. Emily suffered severe injuries while down-climbing the cliff to his aide, but was able to comfort him as he took his final breaths. Unfortunately, this would be the first of six days she had to survive alone, next to the love of her life, on this desolate cliffside until she was found and rescued. Later in 2021, the Alexander Lofgren Veterans in Parks act was passed, and now, thanks to the legislation Alex was working on before his passing, Veterans and Gold Star families have access to the National Parks for life. In this episode, we'll hear about the accident, the physical and emotional recovery Emily has endured since, the vision she has for keeping Alex's legacy alive, how she found the strength and courage to return to the scene of the accident, and her intentions for utilizing the healing power of nature as she continues her recovery.
Wellness in the Wilderness
Tuesday at 1 PM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel
Did you know that the average American spends 90% of their lives indoors? It's tragic and it's true - we have lost our connection to the wilderness from which we came, and it is impacting every aspect of the human experience. If you're ready to slow down and take a cue from nature to help you bring your best self to life, love, and work - welcome to Wellness in the Wilderness, we're glad you're here! Join Hiking My Feelings founder + CEO Sydney Williams and her guests as they explore how creativity, connection, and community are amplified by time spent outside. Through shared story and self-reflection, we can gain tremendous insights and inspiration from our journey on the Trail of Life. Tune in each Tuesday at 1pm PT to feel a little less alone in this world, and understand how the outer wilderness influences our inner wilderness to support optimal wellness of the mind, body, and spirit.
When former collegiate athlete and competitive skydiver, Sydney Williams, unexpectedly found herself on the receiving end of a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis while grappling with unresolved trauma from a decades-old sexual assault, she set out on a mission: turn her pain into power. Two hikes across Catalina Island and 80 miles later, she founded Hiking My Feelings to help others tap into the mind-body connection and healing power of nature that helped kick her self-limiting beliefs and disease into remission. Over the years, she’s been featured on the SXSW stage, as well as in Health Magazine, Diabetic Living Magazine, Psychology Today, US News & World Report, and numerous other publications. Today, she is the author of Hiking My Feelings: Stepping into the Healing Power of Nature, host of Wellness in the Wilderness on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment channel, a certified Wilderness First Responder, instructor at the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park, and travels across the country empowering others to summit their personal mountains on their way to becoming Well Beings.