The oldest person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest was 80. The oldest person to reach the summit of K2, a more difficult climb than Everest, was 65. The oldest woman to reach the summit of K2, Vanessa O’Brien in 2017, was 52. Since I wish I’d climbed these mountains, these accomplishments convince me that we will accomplish the so-called impossible by refusing to believe it’s impossible.
There’s always a risk. A lot of people have died on Everest and K2. A lot of people have lost their life’s savings trying to accomplish other tasks. As a writer, I’m inspired when I read about writers a lot older than me who are still sitting at their computers writing new novels and news stories.
Most of the time, I don’t think of what we want to do as pushing the envelope. I think we’re still doing what we always wanted to do. Maybe a bestselling novel will come out of it and maybe it won’t. Yet, as Yoda said, there is no “try.” We simply do, one step after another to the summit of the mountain and one word after another to the conclusion of another book.
Later, if we succeed, people can say “s/he pushed the envelope.”
But while we’re doing it, we’re simply doing it: writing another novel. pushing our limits on another hike, building another house like Jimmy Carter, or one way or another, still singing and still living rather than sitting in an easy chair watching TV.
When I read AARP Magazine, I salute the people who are keeping active and following their dreams. Young people tend to discount the elderly, and I’m here to say that “A lot of elderly people are doing more than young people.”
Why stop doing what you love?
Thank you to those of you who picked up a free copy of one of my novels during this year’s Black Friday giveaway.