BETHLEHEM, PA, April 28– Terry Craig embraces the nickname “The Disabled Hiker,” but he doesn’t let his chronic pain dictate what he can accomplish. At Saturday’s premiere of his documentary “A Mile In Our Shoes” at Bethlehem’s Northampton Community College, Craig spoke to attendees about some of the lessons he learned during the two years he spent shooting this full-length film.
The movie tells the story of Craig and two other hikers with chronic health issues as they trek through the Delaware state forest. The film showcases their teamwork while giving the viewer an inside glimpse into the everyday challenges each faces and how nature can help heal.
Craig, a 57-year-old resident of Easton, lives with intercostal neuralgia, complex regional pain syndrome, sciatica, as well as depression and anxiety issues. He began his blog, “The Disabled Hiker,” in 2011 to chronicle his adventures in the wilderness and offer a resource for other individuals with disabilities. Through videos and written posts, he offers ideas for adaptations, reviews equipment, and more.
“With this film, I hope to offer a timeless look into the need to connect with nature for therapeutic reasons, while demonstrating the perseverance of the human condition and the tenacious attitude that backs it up, regardless of the extra challenges,” said Craig. “In addition to highlighting the healing power of nature, the film also is about resilience and adaptation, and finding a way to pursue your passion despite physical limitations.”
This free, public event, co-hosted by U.S. Pain Foundation, began with time for networking among attendees, college groups, support groups, and vendors. After the film’s premiere, there was a panel and Q&A with two of the the featured hikers, the movie’s crew, and others involved in the film.
At the Q&A session, attendees were encouraged to ask questions inspired by the film’s theme of the healing power of nature. The hikers also stressed the importance of finding a way to pursue their passions despite physical limitations. Craig and one of his co-stars in the movie spoke about what it was like to be a part of such a unique wilderness experience, what their lives with chronic health issues were like, and how they adapt to the demands that hiking presented.
“Terry has been an instrumental advocate for those living with a disease or condition which may hinder their daily lives,” says Shaina Smith, director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development for the U.S. Pain Foundation. “Through his blog and filming of his hiking adventures, including this documentary, Terry is showing us all that we can enjoy nature through innovation and adaptation, not letting our invisible illness take away such an incredible gift: nature.”
U.S. Pain Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those who live with pain conditions and their care providers. It offers dozens of programs and services designed to empower, educate, connect, and advocate for people living with conditions that cause pain. Learn more at https://uspainfoundation.org/.
The Disabled Hiker is a blog and video diary created by Terry Craig. The Disabled Hiker blog reviews hiking gear, posts DIY videos, and shares safe hiking and camping techniques, while promoting nature as part of the healing process. Learn more at http://thedisabledhiker.blogspot.com/.
Interviews with the film’s director/producer Terry Craig are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 610.554.5376.