5 Questions for Petra Thaller from „Outdoor Against Cancer“

We already introduced Petra Thaller and her inspiring project „Outdoor Against Cancer“ in a separate blog post a few days ago. Today we hear a little more about Petra’s motivations behind the project. Read for yourself. 

In a few words: What is Outdoor Against Cancer all about?

Prevention, supervision during the therapy, rehabilitation and the conservation of your health

Why was is it important to you to start OAC?

Outdoor Against Cancer has evolved in many ways. I went for a run with my daughter Sara by the river Isar in Munich the day after the first chemotherapy. Every day, and especially every day slower, until the day when i could run faster again. We are talking about only one single three week cycle. Up to now I already had 7 of these. All in all it will be 8 of them. Easy, slow, fast. Again and again the same.

I went skitouring, freeriding and biking – obviously far away from being physically fit, compared 8 months before, when I was on an expedition to the Carstensz-pyramid. But I did something and that again where the happiest moments during my therapy. Amzalingly enough, I hardly had any side effects. No depression, no fatigue-syndrom.

This is how the idea of Outdoor against Cancer was born. Whereas Outdoor for me starts right in front of my apartment door, not only in the mountains, but also right in the city.

There are versatile possibilities to be active outdoors. For example the 4F-Circles. An outdoor-fitness studio instead of indoor-fitness training, a perfect solution.

Chemotherapy and sport – at first sight it seems like a contradiction. From your own experience: Did outdoor-sport help you during the therapy?

There were and still are days, when I feel strong, like a century old tree. Now, I am already a very positive person, but, when you can still feel your body, when you feel, that you are strong and that you are alive, then this helps you more than anything else during the therapy.

You handle your life with cancer very frankly in your blog http://www.petrathaller.de. Do you want to reassure other cancer patients with your blog, or is your blog something like self-help, because you can write from your soul about worries, doubts, experiences since the day of the diagnosis and during the therapy?

Definitely what you said first. I never, and I mean it exactly the way I am telling you, never worried, never had doubts that I had to write about. My only intention of this blog is to reassure others, show them new ways and give them hope.

You can’t really call it self-help – I know this might sound really strange, but I see cancer as a „present“. I had the chance, because of the diagnosis, to work in a different area than the typical journalism. I am person who likes to help, but since I am not famous, nor am I the wife of a famous person, it took the diagnosis to realize that even I can move things and be of help to other people.

You won well-known advocates and sponsors for Outdoor Against Cancer. What exactly is your plan? What’s your goal? And: how can an individual person support your initiative?

Outdoor Against Cancer will act as an umbrella organization and as a source for new ideas. Different initiatives, which partly already exists, will be bundled under OAC umbrella in the future. There is nothing that hasn’t existed yet before my idea was born.

There are studies that confirm my experiences, there a projects like the „Segelrebellen, that deal with the matter of „what to do after a successful therapy “ and there are for example the already mentioned ‚Outdoor-Fitnessstudios’ 4FCircles – where you can exercise 24/7, without having to go to a fitness studio, where your already weak immune system is stimulated by the many people around you.

Outdoor Against Cancer’s goal is to communicate already existing knowledge about outdoor sport – we are not only talking about hiking, biking, trekking, climbing but also about sailing, golfing, yoga – and to channel the focus in this big community towards the topic cancer and outdoor-activity.

There is a lot every single person can do – for example, we will set up an donation account, from which we will finance a number of support programs for cancer patients and their families. We will also use it to spread helpful information about the importance of outdoor sports for cancer patients.

Aside from donating, you can also buy our friendship t-shirts. It’s a bundle of three t-shirts which, ideally you buy for you and 2 of your healthy friends to spread our message. Another great way to show support is for 2 friends buying the t-shirts, to show support for their sick friend. To show that there are ways to live his life active and to give him or her hope, even when there are tough times.

Thanks Petra.


Follow Petra on her blog and on Outdoor Against Cancer.
Outdoor Against Cancer is supported by the European Outdoor Group and our partner Lowa.
Foto  © Sorin Morar