Inspiration Information — Jordan Romero

by aaron on August 15, 2010

“It is better to master one mountain that a thousand foothills.”  –William Arthur Ward

At the age of 9, Jordan Romero had a dream.  It popped into his head in the same way most kids dream of one day becoming doctors, or firemen or presidents.  The only difference was in Jordan’s case he decided he wanted to climb the 7 Summits.  And he wanted to start immediately, completing this dream before his 16th birthday.

The 7 summits constitute the highest pinnacle of adventure and expertise in the mountain climbing world.  It requires summiting the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.  Those being:

1. Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa (19,340 ft)

2. Mt. Elbrus in Russia, Europe (18,510 ft)

3. Kosciuszko in Australia (7,310 ft)

4. Mount McKinley in Alaska, North America (20,320 ft)

5. Aconcagua in Argentina, South America (22,841 ft)

6.  Everest in Nepal, Asia (29,029 ft)

7.  Vinson Massif in Antartica (7,310 ft)

In the past 100 years, there have been fewer than 200 climbers who have successfully scaled all seven peaks.  It is an extremely difficult and dangerous challenge, one which requires peak mental, physical and psychological strength; not to mention enormous training and resources.  For a 9 year old boy to state such an unbelievable dream is one thing.  For Jordan to immediately set-out in making that dream a reality is something that defies belief and enters the realm of mind-blowing inspiration.

With the support of his  adventure enthusiast and Emergency Paramedic dad, Paul Romero, and his stepmom Karen, Jordan and his family began training hard.  Carrying heavy packs to school and the mall for weeks at time.  Dragging tires to build cardio.  Sleeping in a special oxygen thinning chamber to simulate the sensation of “the dead zone” that occurs at the peaks of the highest mountains.  The discipline and skills required to climb a mountain require a tremendous amount of hard work and endless training.  For most 9 year olds, just finishing an hour of homework is near impossible.  But Jordan had a dream.

Before his tenth birthday, Jordan and his family summited Mt Kilimanjaro — his first peak.  At eleven he knocked down 4 more summits, two of them (Aconcagua and Mt. Denali) being some of the most technical and dangerous in the world.  When controversy arose over the highest peak in Oceania being Kosciuszko in Australia or Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia, (some argue that Australia is part of the larger Oceania continent)… Jordan climbed both.  Adding an eighth peak to his list (and no small one, at 16,024 ft).

And four days ago, at the age of 13, Jordan became the youngest person to summit the world’s highest mountain, Everest!   He did it completely unassisted, his team consisting as always of his stepmom and dad, plus 3 sherpas.   With 7 peaks already achieved, Jordan only has one last obstacle between him and his ultimate goal.  And he already has plans to tackle Antartica this summer.  Which would put him 3 years ahead of his original dream to climb the 7 summits by 16.

Jordan says he climbs to show kids his age that anything is possible, and to encourage youth to get outside and get active.  In his own words: “Obese children are the future of America, the way things are going.  I am hoping to change that by doing what I do: climbing and motivational speaking.

It’s been an amazing week for youth breaking records.  Reading about these incredibly brave kids like Jessica Watson and Jordan Romero, I am reminded that nothing is impossible.  That the thresholds we create of what we as humans are capable of, are little more than lines in sand, that can easily be blown away through determination of will.  The only barriers preventing us each as individuals from climbing our own personal mountains or crossing our limitless seas, are entirely self-created and self-restricting.

But if a 9 year old boy can dream of Everest, only to stand  4 years later on the top of the world screaming full-lunged “I DID IT!”… why can’t you get that job you always wanted.  Or learn to paint.   Or change the world.

In the wondrous words of Dr. Seuss: “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting.  So… get on your way.”

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