Mountain climber Yuichiro Miura-familyphotoHow often have you heard people under the age of 60 complain they can’t do something or change their habits because they’re too old? I know people in their 30’s who act older than some people who are senior citizens. Take Takao Arayama, a 70 year old Japanese man who didn’t start climbing seriously until he was in his 40s, and who climbed to the top of Mount Everest…

Mr. Arayama apparently beat the previous record holder, another 70 year old Japanese man, Yuichiro Miura, by doing it when he was 3 days older. 175 climbers have died climbing Mount Everest.

The person who previously held the record, Mr. Miura, attended Hokkaido University in Sapporo where I used to live in Japan. And he’s done quite a few brilliant things.

After graduating from Hokkaido University many years ago, Miura became a professional skier. He took part in the Italian Kilometer Lanciad in 1964, where he set what was then the world speed record at 172.084 kilometers per hour (106.9 miles per hour). He later skied down Mt. Fuji and in 1970 skied down Mt. Everest from an altitude of 8,000 meters (26,245 feet), the first time anyone had done so successfully. By 1985, he had skied down the slopes of the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents.

Here’s a good quote from Yuichiro:

“No matter how old people are, they can still hold on to their dreams. You have to continue to make an effort to turn your dreams into reality. I learned that if you keep heart and take one small step after another, you can stand on top of the world. I think far too many people give up on their dreams long before they hit their 50’s let alone 70.”

“One of the admirable Japanese traits is persistence. Ask someone who’s from or lived in Japan to tell you what the word gambare means and how important it is to being Japanese. Too often people focus on the negative aspects of other cultures. Every country has it’s fair share of these. Why not focus on emulating the positive aspects of other cultures?”

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