Rape Survivor Hikes from Mexico to Canada to Reclaim Her Body: 'I Felt Invincible'
A rape survivor has hiked from Mexico to Canada to reclaim her body.
Aspen Matis, 25, completed the 2,600 mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail - becoming one of less than 3,000 people to have ever done so.
She had always wanted to complete the trail but was finally inspired to set off following a horrific incident on her second day at Colorado College in 2008.
"I was raped by another freshman," Aspen told INSIDE EDITION.
The attack left her so shaken that she dropped out of college. But she was determined to heal.
"I decided I was going to physically, literally reclaim my body," she said.
She set out on the incredible journey in 2008 and has now documented the five-and-a-half month trip in a book, entitled Girl in the Woods.
Her experience has parallels with another book, Wild. The movie version of Wild starred Reese Witherspoon, whose character runs out of water while hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail.
The same thing happened to Aspen, she said.
"I'd walked 15 miles and I'd walked 20 miles and there was no water," she recounted. "According to my guide book, the next water was at a place called Cottonwood Creek and I finally arrived there, and it was dry."
But she overcame that challenge, and many others, to complete the route.
"I felt invincible," she said. "I felt like I could do anything."
To other people trying to overcome challenges, she said: "You're stronger than you think you are. You're capable of making your dreams real."