Mark Twain once said, “Age is a case of mind over matter; if you don’t mind it, it doesn’t matter!” Well, it seems like he was certainly on to something, as 81-years-old Gopal Vasudev Lele just proved him right! The Pune-based man got himself an entry in the Limca Book of Records for being the oldest trekker in the world!

trekker enters Limca Book of Records

Picture Source trekker enters Limca Book of Records

Having been on a trek to the Himalayas more than 10 times in the last 40 years, Lele completed a week-long trek to The Rupin Pass, situated at a height of 15,350 ft in Himachal Pradesh, in September. Having stayed in a tent and braved the rain, snowfall, landslide and temperatures as low as minus 7 degree Celsius, Lele successfully completed the trek, saying,

I don’t feel like an ‘81-year-old’, I regard myself as 81-years-young.

Even at this age, he walks for nearly 8 kilometers a day, performs the Suryanamaskar and several other physical exercises regularly! Not one to slow down anytime soon, he also plans on covering Roopkund in Uttarakhand in September, for which he will start preparing himself from the next month itself.

trekker enters Limca Book of Records

Picture Source trekker enters Limca Book of Records

Lele, a resident of Pradhikaran, does not suffer from any old-age ailments such as blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and the likes, and has been trekking since 1972, having covered places such as Kedarnath, Kailash, Kanchenjunga and Sangla, among others!

I have often heard people saying that there’s less oxygen in high altitude areas. I have trekked Himalayas number of times but have never felt breathless. I think health and fitness is all in the mind. Sitting here in comfortable homes, one should not imagine things.

Based on his years of experience, he, however, said that trekking the Himalayas requires planning and method.

One should not hurry up, because it’s not a race. Besides, months of preparation that requires focus on physical fitness, is needed. One cannot decide just one fine day to trek the Himalayas.

Lele added that the younger generation, especially, should focus on fitness more than earning money as it is an investment that would pay off in the long run!

trekker enters Limca Book of Records

Picture Source trekker enters Limca Book of Records

Well, words aren’t nearly enough to express our admiration for Mr. Lele, but we certainly can learn a lot from this evergreen champion, don’t you think?

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