Mick Dodge is a 62-year-old American who spent the last 25 years of his life away from civilization in a rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington. Dodge, who recently became the protagonist of a show on National Geographic, previously worked as a mechanic in the U.S. military, but gave up the life set by the city to get closer to nature. As he has always been passionate about movement, Dodge invented a new form of gymnastics, for which he uses improvised elements found in the heart of the forest: Earth Gym.
In an interview with Mother Nature Network, Dodge says that one of the main reasons she took the path of the forest were several foot ailments. “It hurt so much that I could barely walk, and I always used walking and running to cope with the stress and the modern world in which I lived. And since the Hoh Forest is my home, I decided to go back home, to heal myself,” says the American, who has been living in the woods for 25 years, without totally isolating himself from people.
“In the period that followed, both I and my feet escaped from the isolation of the modern world and landed on earth. The results were not long in coming. Not only did my legs begin to heal, but the back and neck or heart pains gradually ceased, and in a short time I got back in shape, getting out of the sedentary, stressed, sedated and safe life I had in the modern world. I began to dance like fire, to run like the wind, I became strong as stone and fluid as water, by the simple fact of walking barefoot and allowing the Earth to teach me.” says Dodge, the protagonist of National Geographic’s The Legend of Mike Dodge.
For 25 years since he decided to leave the city for the forest, the American has most of the time given up shoes, except for the cold season, when he wears makeshift boots made of bison leather, and has re-learned the art of survival, adapting to the rhythms of nature. He is omnivorous and, thanks to hunger, says that he has discovered countless sources of food than the usual ones. As for civilization, it has not completely broken away from it, so it still reaches the communities in the area either to buy chocolate cakes or to socialize, alternating life in the wild with short periods in the midst of people.
Among his main preoccupations is sports, so that since he dedicated himself to life in the forest, he invented what he calls Earth Gym, a form of movement in which he uses improvised equipment especially with the help of elements found in nature. Using nets, braided harnesses, ropes and boulders, Dodge is the author of a new fitness concept designed to reconnect with nature. The American also trains those who visit him in search of more adventurous experiences than a visit to the gym. One of Dodge’s special techniques is to run barefoot upstream in the sol duc riverbed.
When he encounters health problems, the man says that he uses the elements of the forest, which he has learned to use to heal himself. “A key element of healing is water. After all, that’s what we all are, some water containers. (…) So I often go into the woods, drink water, and immerse my body in ice-cold water. My grandfather called this the kiss of the glacier. I’ve also discovered all kinds of plants and mushrooms with healing properties and I keep in touch with other communities that master the art of healing.” says Dodge, about which you can learn more on National Geographic.
Source: Mother Nature Network, rotb.ro