Michigan Man In Recovery To Walk 280 Miles For A Good Cause

By Beth Leipholtz 04/04/19

Mike Hamp wants to show people that they don’t need to rely on substances in order to live a full life. 

Michigan Man In Recovery

A Michigan man plans to walk 280 miles this August as a way of bringing attention to mental health and substance use disorder. 

Fox 17 reports that Mike Hamp, the founder of nonprofit Values Not Feelings Organization, is dubbing the journey “A Walk For Thought” and plans to walk roughly 25 miles daily. He will begin in his hometown, Hastings, Michigan, and finish in St. Ignace, Michigan. 

Hamp has personal experience with substance use disorder, as he struggled with it in high school after numerous surgeries on his shoulder. 

"Addiction for me started back in high school, I was 16 years old when I had four shoulder surgeries and got hooked on opioids," Hamp said, according to Wood TV 8. "It wasn't easy you know, overdoses, almost losing my life and losing marriages and my kids. I realized what I was doing was probably going to take my life." 

Hamp says that over the next 16 years, dialing in on nutrition and exercise helped him overcome his struggles. And when an injury kept him from being able to go to the gym, he turned to walking. 

“The funk, the darkness, the depression, it hit like tenfold and got so intense that I really didn’t know what to really do,” he said, according to Fox 17. “I just started walking; I had to get outside of the house.”

“I feel more clear here, I feel like I can think, like it’s not chaos as much when I’m out here doing this,” he added.

Hamp started his nonprofit in hopes of using his own experiences to show others that it is possible to overcome obstacles. 

“Treating our bodies with respect mentally and physically plays a crucial role in the overall function of our being,” Hamp writes on his website. “Exercise, proper nutrition, proper life and thinking habits, positive thoughts and positive self talk... This is when we begin to find ‘Our Path.’”

As he prepares for the walk in August, Hamp says his intention is to show people that they don’t need to rely on substances in order to live a full life. 

"I'm going to show the people that are really battling that you can really do this without turning to that stuff without literally killing yourself as you’re trying to live," Hamp said.

More information on A Walk For Thought, as well as sponsorship opportunities, can be found at www.valuesnotfeelings.org

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Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in her spare time she enjoys writing about recovery at www.lifetobecontinued.com, doing graphic design and spending time with her boyfriend and three dogs. Find Beth on LinkedInInstagram and Twitter.