Monday, October 02, 2006

An amazing story of COURAGE

Here is a story of the power of the enduring spirit of human nature, the beauty of nature that draws us to take incredible adventure and the ferocity of challenges that unexpectedly befall on us.

This is the experience that Australian environmentalist Warren MacDonald describes in his book "A Test Of Will." In April 1997, Macdonald and a just-met fellow climber and hiker, a Dutchman Geert Van Keulen decided to climb to the summit of Mount Bowen, on an island off the coast of Australia.

Along the way up, MacDonald meets with an accident when a one ton slab of granite shears away from a rock face pinning MacDonald to the bed of a rising creek . No matter how hard the panicked Geert pushed against it, it wouldn't move. Now Geert faces a break-neck race against time to bring help for his new-found friend.

When Geert managed to bring help some 36 hours later, it was too late to save his legs. Both his legs were amputated above the knees and with the help of prosthetic legs, he had to learn how to walk all over again.

In February 2003, he became the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa’s tallest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro (19,222ft) seen in the picture below, and later that year he conquered El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, North America's tallest cliff face (850 vertical meters), as well as the 180m frozen waterfall "Weeping Wall" in Alberta, Canada.

Most people with lesser conviction and determination would have easily settled for a less adventureous life. But not MacDonald, whose true mettle has started shining bright only after he lost both his legs.

For anyone facing a setback in life, this is a golden inspiration.

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