A fire burns within the soul of Mark Inglis who wears many hats indeed. He is a mountaineer, winemaker, motivational speaker, cyclist, scientist, philanthropist, paralympic medalist, author and last but not least, the very first double amputee to ever scale Mount Everest!
Mark lost his legs 29 years ago when he was caught in an ice cave during a blizzard on New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mt. Cook. The storm was the longest in New Zealand’s history, lasting almost 14 days. It took him only two months to return to mountain climbing and he did so without bitterness in his heart, considering the tragedy that took his legs to be a portal leading to a whole new existence.
For Mark, the word disability is a mental condition, as we are bounded by the limits set by our own thinking. It has nothing to do with physical challenges and refers to a lack of both resources and motivation to succeed. While we all know that wishing doesn’t make it so, and that there are some things physical limitations do prevent us from doing, hard work, positive thinking and an unwillingness to give up can make all the difference between success and failure.
The trick is to find out what you can do and not concentrate on what you can’t. For Mark, after almost three decades, it’s a matter of learning how to improve his walk and how to use his stumps better. As far as surviving on a mountain during a blizzard goes, he does have a few words of advice. For one thing, no one should ever climb alone or without any prior experience. For another, remember to retain body heat, conserve energy and avoid the wind if possible.
Being positive is the name of the game and Mark Inglis, mountain climber extraordinaire, sure knows how to play.