LITTLETON, Colo. — Mike Woodrum feels at home alone on a trail.
“I've loved hiking ever since I was a kid," Woodrum said while at Chatfield State Park. “It's my meditation time.”
Every day, Woodrum's goal is to hike seven miles. Many days, he hikes more than that.
He calls himself "Hiking Mike."
“Why not get another couple of miles?" he said. "It's just a cop out if I don't. I've got to do it. To me, this is beautiful. Finding a treasure.”
Woodrum has lived with epilepsy since he was young. He has tonic-clonic seizures, once known as “grand mal” seizures.
“Just tightening up your muscles in your neck and your back. And you just — you feel weak, you can't do anything about it," he said. "And next thing you know, you're into the seizure. You don't know (what) is happening. You just have to wait for it to be over. For me, it was a feeling of the creeps. When you used to feel like something was behind you all the time. It was the seizures that were always there."
In early 2016, Woodrum said he had a surgery that changed his life. He said doctors removed a part of his brain.
“They say I'll always have epilepsy. But I won't have the seizures," Woodrum said. “Since they took that area of the brain out, I have a hard time when I'm trying to read... Because they took that part of the brain out, it's still a disability. But I don't accept it as one. I just keep pushing myself harder than anybody else can.”
Woodrum now sees his hikes as a celebration of the life he got back after the surgery.
“Now that the seizures are gone, I feel like I have no limit. Except money. But still, I make the best out of every day. Hiking is cheap," he said.
Woodrum said he hopes his story inspires others living with epilepsy.