by Anthony Adragna

image via National Geographic

Do extreme athletes know when they cross the line between pushing their bodies to the limit and putting themselves in mortal danger? The line between pushing yourself to the limit and pushing yourself too far is razor thin. Too often I think athletes don’t know when to stop and hurt themselves because of it.

Arriving at this opinion has taken some time, so let me explain why I’ve reached it.  After re-reading Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air— the story of the disaster on Mount Everest in 1996 that killed 8 people— I realized how much Everest fascinated me and kept reading. I also watched a series that aired on the Discovery Channel called Everest: Beyond the Limits.

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View from the Top: Noel Hanna

by Carrie Adams

On a Thursday morning, most people are settling into work behind a desk, looking forward to weekend plans and just trying to make it through the day. Noel Hanna, 44, isn’t most people. I received this email from him this morning:

“At present I am sitting at Everest Base camp in Tibet with 4 clients who are hoping to reach the summit. I have already been to the summit 3 times from both sides of the mountain.”

He then politely offered me a phone number where I could reach him between “2000hrs until 2300hrs my time if I needed anything. Noel’s days often begin this way, and that’s nothing new to the Northern Ireland native.

Recently, Noel Hanna had an ambitious goal. He set out to climb the highest peak on all seven continents. On December 22, 2009, at the summit of Mt. Vinson in Antarctica, he reached his goal and earned himself a World Record for the effort. In addition to his Mt. Vinson assent, Noel scaled Everest, Denali, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro and the Carstensz Pyramid. He’s seen the world from the highest peaks on all seven continents, but he never stayed to admire the view. Instead, he raced down to sea level by running, skiing, biking, or kayaking over hostile terrain at top speeds. In the process of completing his goal, these peaks, he and his wife Lynne Hanna, an accomplished mountaineer in her own right, raised over 130,000 euro for UCF, the Ulster Cancer Foundation – Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity. You can read about his amazing, record-breaking journey on his website 7Summits2Sea Level.

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