We call them “upper phenomenals” because they are remarkable “superseniors” still actively continuing to play and work at peak performance. Boomers know that whole-life happiness includes physical health and no matter your age, there are ways to enhance longevity.
The one common trait that superseniors share is a competitive spirit. We’ve previously featured Dr. Walter Bortz, who is a supersenior, well on his way to becoming a supercentenarian by daring himself to be 100! With boomer attitude, superseniors like Bortz motivate us to keep moving and stay engaged.
Need more inspiration for longevity and spirit? Reinvention stories abound and achieving a life of meaningful reality after personal crisis is doubly inspiring. Upper phenomenal Mario Locatelli is known far and wide as the “Mountain Goat of the Bitterroots.” A member of the Highpointers Club, he has reached the summits of the highest mountains of all 50 states (for a time, he held the record as the oldest man on record to summit Alaska’s Mount McKinley), has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and he’s climbed 48 of those peaks twice! Locatelli is now 77.
Our own personal encounter with Locatelli occurred when this tiny, bushy-white-bearded-leathery-faced mountain pixie bounded across Missoula’s 3rd Street where he’d parked his Harley “hog” above the old Milwaukee Road train station (now home to the Boone and Crockett Club) enroute to a local bike shop. Not shy about introducing himself, he proceeded to charm the pants off our group of ladies who were on the way to lunch at Scotty’s Table. In perpetual motion, Locatelli hopped flea-like on sinewed legs, snapping pictures of our gob-smacked group.
Delightfully captivating and energetic, he grabbed my hand and dragged me back across the street to admire his Harley! The whole encounter felt a bit like storming the beach along the Clark Fork!
The robust Locatelli is a mountaineering legend in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana. According to the author of his biography, “he’s hiked every drainage in the Bitterroots, hiked or climbed every ridgeline between Lolo and Nez Perce Passes from the Bitterroot Valley to the Idaho border and beyond…and hiked all 39 canyons from Lolo to Nez Perce, covering the entire trail and ridge for each one.” He’s also an upper phenomenal “give-backer” who established the Mountain Goat endurance hike in the Bitterroots to raise money for charity – another example of the boomer do good, live well philosophy.
This boulder-hopping, zestful Italian reinvented a new life by following his passion. Pick up a copy of The Mountain Goat Chronicles by Montana writer Brian D’Ambrosio. A 16-page color section shows Locatelli atop mountain peaks throughout the West. We love the one where he does a headstand on Alaska’s Denali summit! Visit www.stoneydale.com for details.
Welsh poet Dylan Thomas said it well:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
…1914-1953, written in 1940
Embrace your longevity. We might not be supersenior athletes, but none of us wants to live long without a strong body and clear mind. Like Bortz and Locatelli, an active, full-tilt physical lifestyle is a key to avoiding a long decline to old age. And, like Bortz and Locatelli, we’ll not “go gentle into that good night, but burn, rave and rage…”