The Fearsome Project

Julia Barber

Julia Barber

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The Fearsome Project

What is The Fearsome Project?

The Fearsome Project consists of a 2,194 mile hike through the Appalachian Trail to bring awareness to Multiple Sclerosis and highlight resilience in the face of MS and other extreme challenges we face in life.

fit-flavors Packaging Manager, Dave Tilden, reconnected with his long-time friend Jennifer Fear, only to find out that she was battling MS. Multiple Sclerosis is an incurable disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves. The resulting nerve damage disrupts communication between the brain and the body. The symptoms and severity of MS vary from person to person, and in 2016 Jennifer found herself hospitalized after losing all function from the waist down. 

Not knowing if she would walk again, she found strength and comfort in Psalm 139:14, which reads, “I will thank you, Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” To Jennifer, part of what these words meant is that, no matter the challenges that come our way, God has created us with the ability to overcome them.

Fearsome honors the many examples of people who demonstrate what this ability means, such as the artist with MS who now holds her brushes between her toes. In other words, it is about resilience. For Jennifer, resilience has taken the form of hiking. Four months after going from a walker to a cane to again walking on her own, she backpacked 76 miles of the Appalachian Trail through the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. In 2020, she thru-hiked 238 miles on the Ozark Trail in Missouri. 

Dave's Journey

Dave Tilden, fit-flavors Packaging Manager

In addition to bringing awareness to MS and being a supportive friend, Dave says that this hike represents a potentially life changing opportunity for him. 

"It is a chance for personal growth through the achievement of an incredibly challenging goal. The outdoors has always been a place to challenge myself and recharge my spirit."

In preparation for the big hike, Dave has decided make his health and nutrition a priority through fit-flavors nutrition counseling

Good nutrition is a challenge for anyone hiking the Appalachian Trail. Energy has to be maintained, calories consumed have to keep up with calories burned, and the quantity, quality, variety, and simplicity of healthy hiker’s food has to be taken into account. For a hiker living with MS or other autoimmune disease, an additional challenge is to avoid foods that could have a negative impact on the disease and the body.

With the help of fit-flavors and 1:1 nutrition counseling, Dave will serve as the on-trail chef and nutrition resource for the Fearsome team.

You can follow along with Dave's journey on our Nutrition Blog. He will be documenting his thoughts and fears leading up to the hike, how his nutrition counseling is going, planning, and how you can support The Fearsome Project. 

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