For those of you having a tough time getting off the couch during the commercials to make it to the refrigerator, consider this: Tamae Watanabe, age 73, has now climbed Mount Everest twice.
In 2002, Watanabe became the oldest woman to ascend Mount Everest, and in May of this year she broke her own world record by scaling it again.
Min Bahadur Sherchan, now 78, is the oldest male to get to the peak (he did it in 2008). Mount Everest in the Himalayas is the planet’s highest mountain.
According to USA Today…
Tamae Watanabe reached Everest’s 8,850-meter-high (29,035-foot-high) summit from the northern side of the mountain in Tibet on Saturday morning [May 19] with four other team members…
Watanabe and her team left the last high altitude camp located at 8,300 meters (27,225 feet) Friday night and climbed all night before reaching the summit Saturday morning.
CBS News reported that the climb was no walk in the park for Watanabe:
It was much more difficult for me this time. I felt I was weaker and had less power. This time it was certainly different. I felt that I had gotten old.
According to the NY Daily News, Watanabe has been an active mountain climber all around the world since the 1970s, and has also scaled Mount McKinley in Alaska, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and the Eiger in Switzerland. She plans to be a mountaineer for another 10 years.
A fitness expert cited by USA Today this week implies that Watanabe is an example of “exceptionally healthy adults who are transforming our image of aging,” that when it comes to regular physical activity, age may indeed be just a number (as that “old” saying goes):
My guess is that as more people “age up” who have been active their whole lives and are really committed, we will see more interesting things from people in the 60-to-80 age range…The short answer is that most of society is not pushing themselves hard enough. However, at the same time, there is this emerging subgroup of fit or super-fit middle-aged and older people who are redefining things.
Watch a CNN interview with Tamae Watanabe:
Since some scientists claim that exercise actually slows aging, does Watanabe’s accomplishments inspire you to get out and exercise more?