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From Steps to Success: How TK Mason's Journey Can Inspire Your Own Triumph


In every person's life, there are defining moments that carve paths for the future. For TK Mason, known affectionately as TK the Tardigrade, those moments came wrapped in medical diagnoses that would bend but not break her. Inspired by the resilience of tardigrades, micro-animals renowned for their ability to endure extreme conditions, TK embraced her nickname and set forth on a journey that would challenge her physically, emotionally, and spiritually.


A Life Filled with Challenges

TK’s medical journey reads like a dossier of battles faced and overcome. She has endured a formidable array of health issues including a 7 cm blood clot, seven cryogenic strokes, multiple neurological and gastrointestinal disorders, head traumas, cervical dystonia, neuropathy, endless dizziness and nausea, central sensitization syndrome, and an elusive form of dysautonomia driven by an undiagnosable autoimmune disease.


This medley of challenges culminated in her developing Complex PTSD. Yet, through it all, deep down inside, she knew she could turn things around.


The Power of 'What If?'


The transformative question came while watching "The Octopus Teacher," a documentary that would inspire TK to ask, "What if I walked 10,000 steps a day? What would my health look like in one year?" This question marked the beginning of a remarkable three-year odyssey that not only tested her physical limits but also strengthened her resolve.


Despite an early setback with a severe ankle sprain, TK's determination never faltered. Six weeks after her initial attempt, she resumed her quest, setting the pace for what would become a life-altering routine. "I never really thought I would succeed in pulling off 10,000 steps a day for an entire year. A year feels like a very long time on Day 1," she admits. Yet, she pressed forward, driven by a relentless will to see what lay beyond each day's horizon.


Expanding Goals and Breaking Limits

As the first anniversary of her daily stepping goal approached, TK found herself pondering her next move. Her response was to not only continue her journey but to elevate it. "I decided to lay all my cards down, and I openly said I was going for two years!" This audacious decision led her to undertake a monumental challenge: hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim in a single day. Achieving over 62,000 steps in 12 hours, this feat was a highlight in her ongoing adventure, reinforcing her belief in her own strength and endurance.


Her continuous successes serve as answers to her initial "What if?" questions. "My 'what if' helped me build my core back up, increased my stamina, and made me emotionally and spiritually stronger in life," TK reflects, acknowledging the profound transformation she has undergone.


TK's Resilience Tips


Throughout her journey, TK has distilled essential wisdom into actionable advice, guiding others on their paths to resilience and success.


  • THINK SMALL: "Know when to look at your feet, and when to look at the sky. It’s important to keep your long-term goal in mind, but obsessing about the end of it can feel overwhelming; it’s often best to keep your focus on small milestones that can feel achievable and celebrate them when you do." TK emphasizes the importance of celebrating small wins, which doesn’t have to be a grand gesture—it can be as simple as acknowledging, “Hey, I did it today!”

  • WHY: "To achieve a long-term goal, it's crucial to possess a compelling WHY that goes beyond 'just because'." In tough moments, when motivation is lacking, TK suggests, "Your motivation might be AWOL today, but tomorrow it won’t be. Sometimes not letting your 'tomorrow self' down is the only justification you can come up with, and it’s a good enough reason to keep going."

  • MINDSET: "It's crucial to begin cultivating a positive growth mindset." She underscores the need to use neuroplasticity to retrain our brains, recognizing and intercepting negative thoughts before they take hold, and reframing them to work in our favor.

Celebrating Every Step

Today, TK celebrates more than just her achievements in physical endurance. She celebrates the journey itself—the courage, the pain, the growth, and the unwavering determination that have defined her path. Her transformation is a powerful testament to what can be achieved when we refuse to be defined by our limitations.


Her story transcends the physical realm of steps counted and trails conquered. It is a narrative of a woman who faced with relentless adversity, chose to respond with equal tenacity. It is a story that inspires all of us at The Authentic Rebel to look beyond our perceived limitations and embrace the potential for greatness that lies within.


As we share the third anniversary of TK's incredible journey, we are reminded of the words of Bill Keane: "Yesterday is the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present." Let us all take a step today toward our own 'big audacious goals,' inspired by TK's indomitable spirit.


TK Mason, TK the Tardigrade, continues to step boldly into each new day, her story a beacon of resilience for anyone facing their own unique challenges. Her journey is a profound reminder that the human spirit is capable of incredible resilience, and with each step, we move closer to realizing our fullest potential.


"Everyone’s goal is different," she notes, highlighting how personal challenges often become more manageable, even attainable, with support. "And so often, they are made easier—or even possible—by having someone walk alongside you."


It’s never too late to start. Ready to take the next step in your life? Want to light a fire within?


TK's site OutlierHealing.com can help you 'step up and step out. On her website, she offers guidance and support to those looking to embark on a path of healing and personal growth.


Through coaching, motivational tools, and community support, she helps others build resilience and achieve their own "big audacious goals."


In celebration of TK's milestone, let us all take a step today toward our own monumental goals, embracing each moment as a precious opportunity for growth and achievement.

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