There is a lot of attention on the elderly community at the moment, assumptions that they are all vulnerable and should stay at home as much as possible, and this can really have a negative impact on their sense of self-worth and esteem. The truth is that older people can be just as fit, if not fitter than those who are younger than them.
George Young, a joiner at Portakabin in York demonstrates this perfectly.
He has been providing inspiration up and down the country working towards his goal, using his beloved Versaclimber, to climb the height of Mount Everest (8,848m / 29,029ft) a mind blowing 70 times before his 70th birthday on 14 February 2021.
A grand total of 619,360 metres (2,032,021ft) to climb by Valentine’s Day! That’s 385 miles!
Each Everest climb takes George around four hours and he is aiming to climb an average of just under six a month to achieve his goal.
As part of his challenge he is also aiming to raise some much needed funds for his two favourite charities; Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Dogs Trust.
Here he talks about this record-breaking challenge:
What inspired you to climb Mount Everest 70 times on the Versaclimber?
I wanted a real challenge, something to give hope not only to me but also to friends my own age. I’ve always enjoyed pushing myself and have broken a few of the Versaclimber records such as climbing half a million metres for example. At first I thought I’d ease into it, but the buzz I got from using the Versaclimber meant that I was doing up to 10,000 feet a day, every day.
As part of the 70 Mount Everest climbs, I also wanted to raise money for two charities close to my heart; The Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Dogs Trust, and I have been encouraging anyone who wishes to sponsor my challenge to donate to one or both of these incredible charities.
How long have you been using a Versaclimber for?
I first started when I was 50 in 2001 at a gym in York, called Courtneys, which is actually where I met my beautiful wife, Michelle! I have been into sport all my life playing football, basketball and athletics on a high level and I love fell running, rowing and climbing, so the Versaclimber intrigued me – all the trainers there raved about it and I wanted to try it.
I took to it straight away and you couldn’t get me off it. I attempted the UK Versaclimber vertical mile record and managed to climb 10,000 feet in 62 minutes. During lockdown I made the decision to buy a Versaclimber to have at home.
What do you think is so special about the Versaclimber?
Where do I begin? You can lose a lot of calories; over the last six months I have lost half a stone and my muscle tone is much improved. It is really good fun and provides a real focus.
Before this challenge I climbed the heights of Ben Nevis and Snowdon and its functions like that, available with the Versaclimber, that give you a real sense of achievement. Ultimately it relaxes me, and gives me a good night’s sleep.
Like everyone, I have experienced my own challenges with 2020 and the lack of motivation I had at the start of lockdown was really affecting my mood. Since using the Versaclimber I am much happier and more alert, I love working out at home and don’t miss the gym at all (which is a big statement coming from me) and I feel younger every day.
Do you have any future goals?
There will be another Versaclimber challenge, watch this space, maybe I’ll climb to the moon or the other side of the world – the possibilities are endless. I love cycling, having been at it for over 20 years, often cycling 30 miles in a day, so I would like to continue to best my personal bests at time trials.
How else will you be celebrating your birthday?
I am really lucky, I find such joy in taking my wife and our beloved dog Ruby, a Bedlington Terrier to our lodge in the Yorkshire Dales. Here we like to cycle and walk and of course, visit cosy pubs for dinner. I love real life climbing too and have always competed in fell running. I have climbed all of the mountains in England and Scotland so I may do some more climbing next year.
What does your wife think of your challenge?
She has been really helpful and supportive, we motivate each other and she often works out with me, her on the rower and me on the Versaclimber (she’d like to use the Versaclimber more but she can’t get me off it enough to have a go).
How will you feel on that last step?
I will be so excited and proud of my achievement. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to get as far as I have, so when I do reach that last step I am going to be so overwhelmed. It has been a really tough challenge but I am happy to be able to show people that you can aim for great things at a later age.
Tell us why you chose to support the Yorkshire Air Ambulance
This fantastic charity helped me when I had a cycling accident when Tour de France was in the Dales and I have supported them ever since. It is an important service to the public.
Tell us why you chose to support the Dog’s Trust
I just love dogs and this charity gives unloved dogs a chance to find a loving home.
For more information on the Versaclimber, call our sales team on 07932 113 120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.