Nearly every other day we hear about incredible feats of physical excellence and endurance – whether this be world record breakers or someone who has achieved greatness in sport.
A lot of the time these accolades seem to be the preserve of the young, the fit and the healthy. Every now and then we’re left truly in awe of the challenges achieved by our older generation.
Such an occasion happened this week, following news that an 80-year-old Japanese man has become the oldest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.
Perhaps the most incredible thing about Yuichiro Miura’s ascent is that he completed it following four heart operations and a broken hip – all of which took place since 2007.
His last was only in January of this year, says perthnow.com.au, when Mr Miura was treated for an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
The successful ascent marks Mr Miura’s third in his later years. He also reached the top of Everest at the ages of 70 and 75 – although Mr Miura admits it’s not getting any easier.
“I made it!” Mr Miura told reporters by phone. “I never imagined I could make it to the top of Mount Everest at age 80. This is the world’s best feeling, although I’m totally exhausted. Even at 80, I can still do quite well.”
Is age really just a number?
Mr Miura’s achievement proves that – despite the complications of old age – it’s possible to accomplish great feats. It reminds us that we’re never too old to experience new challenges when travelling, providing we feel confident enough in our own health and remain driven people.
However, for those with pre-existing medical conditions, it’s also a reminder that while great things are possible, we should take our health seriously when travelling including purchasing specialist travel insurance.
In the case of Mr Miura, he was accompanied by not only his son Gota, but also a Nepalese mountaineering official. Mr Miura also had communication links to his Tokyo-based support team, who could effectively advise on how hard they believed the energetic and adventurous climber should push himself.
World record holder
While Mr Miura is now a recognised world record holder, his fame might be short lived.
Unbelievably an 81-year-old Nepalese man, Min Bahadur Sherchan, wants to reclaim his title already (he was formely the oldest record holder at 76 in 2008). He is in preparation to climb the world’s highest peak, also in spite of health problems, related to Mr Sherchan’s stomach.
Free Spirit – because health can’t keep you down.