Bill Spinder's birthday gift to himself will surprise you. Here goes.
The climb to the summit of Long Peak (elevation: 14,259 feet) in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, while not classified as a technical climb in the summer months, is a tough trek nonetheless. Its hikers often set out before dawn in order to make the summit and then return to the relative safety of the tree-line before the all-too-frequent afternoon lightning storms strike. Traversing the 7.5-mile trail, with its almost two miles of vertical climb, requires scrambling over boulders at Boulder Field and tight-roping along narrow ledges with 1,000-foot sheer cliff dropoffs. No less than 55 hikers have fallen to their deaths in recent years, about one deadly fall a year; therefore, this is a climb on which one would be surprised to find 75-year-old hikers. Bill Spinder, however, is not your typical septuagenarian and this IS the challenge he gave himself for his 75th birthday. Making this feat of summiting Long Peak even more remarkable is the fact that Bill had a knee replacement and a bout with prostate cancer in recent years.
Due to Bill's active lifestyle, excellent diet and can-do attitude, he was more than up to the challenge. Bill enjoys spicing up his days with regular sessions of biking, swimming, running and weight training. As a result, although he's had to deal with cholesterol and blood pressure issues in the past, he now enjoys being free of all medications.
In an August interview on NBC TV's Nightly News soon after his climb, Bill said in essence that due to a diet high in whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables and all his daily exercise, he can "eat like a horse," "sleeps like a log" and has never felt better. At 75 he claims to be stronger than he was at age 70 and he sees no end in sight to his vibrant well-being.
Bill Spinder is a walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, running advertisement for the benefits of regular exercise and a wholesome diet. He is living evidence that we can live an exciting, active and productive life well into our 70s and beyond. What surprise do you have up your sleeve for the celebration of your next birthday? What are you going to give yourself to make your birthday a memorable and rewarding one?