Columbus man combats anxiety by hiking at Clear Creek Metro Park

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A place of zen, healing and exercise.

Jason Davis hikes at Clear Creek Metro Park not just to get active, but to also clear his mind of his anxiety.

“When I hike, I get a workout physically but mentally, too, it’s full body exercise and healing," Davis said. "It’s nature’s therapy.”

He has been battling severe anxiety for 20 years. He decided to make a change almost three years ago.

“I was pulled over on the side of 270 and Sawmill Road at a gas station ripping off my T-shirt because I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and I was, I’m done with this,” Davis said.

That was the turning point.

“I reached an ah-ha moment where this is up to me,” Davis said.

Medications and therapy helped some but he felt he needed more for his mind and body.

“I kinda owe the metro parks to me overcoming anxiety and losing weight," Davis said.

And, along the way, he says he’s lost about 70 pounds.

“I’ve gained some weight back but I’m not going to focus on that," Davis said. "I’m going to keep moving.”

Davis walks anywhere from seven to 12 miles every weekend. But this feat didn’t happen overnight.

“I guess the moral of my story is one step at a time," Davis said. "Make little goals for yourself. You may make it up that hill and have to run around. But the next time, try to go 10 feet further or 50 feet further or a mile longer.”

Davis said it is the best decision he has ever made.