The duo celebrates their accomplishment atop a mountainside peak
Summertime is often a time that inspires people to get out into the world and make the most out of life. That’s exactly what our PT and Director of Hand Therapy Phaeleau Cunneen did when he set off on a 13-day adventure with his daughter to hike the Dolomites, a mountain range in Northern Italy. The expedition was no easy feat, especially in the middle of an August summer!
The two frequent hikers have embarked on several journeys, from hut-to-hut hiking in New Hampshire, to hiking in the Swiss Alps. On each hike, they’ve met great people from many different countries, all while getting to experience the wonderful natural beauty around them.
Nothing but smiles when you’re surrounded by natural beauty!
“In Italy, we were over 8,000 feet above sea level, so the sunsets were amazing!” Phaeleau says. “We were above the clouds. The next day you get up and hike to the next point. The scenery was ever changing, the views spectacular, and the people warm and friendly.”
For this most recent expedition in Italy, Phaeleau did not need to train, as he knew what to expect from past hikes; however, his experience as a PT proved beneficial: “As both an experienced hiker and a PT, I knew what to expect and how to best prepare. There was some altitude, for example, so we knew we had to be ready for that. We went for almost two weeks, and I had a 27lb backpack in total for the trip, because I knew that carrying weight would be an issue.”
Even though they’re experienced, the trip wasn’t without any obstacles. The most challenging part? Not getting proper directions from the locals! “Sometimes the trail markers were not accurate or non-existent! We had a map, guide/trail description book, and a compass, but it was still very challenging.”
In spite of the obstacles they faced, the trip was a rewarding and successful experience, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life: “It was incredible quality time with my daughter. There was no TV, cell phone, internet, or agenda. Just you, nature, and what you have on your back.”
We love seeing our teammates take on new challenges and accomplish amazing physical feats! These two are true #BacktoLife goals.