OutdoorLoyalty.com cherishes the discovery of “Stories” by Outdoorists that inspires others to challenge one’s goals and dreams to accomplish benchmarks in our life’s journey. Greg P.’s story will motivate Baby Boomers and Millennials on the same scale.
Greg has been an Outdoorist all of his adult life, enjoying the Great Outdoors as his playground for Mountain Biking, Skiing and Climbing along with many other Outdoor Activities. He is Co-Founder/Owner of Momentum Indoor Climbing Gym with 3 locations in Utah. When Greg entered his Fifties, his years of Outdoor Recreational Activities started to take a toll on his body (especially his knee joints). By his mid-fifties the deterioration of both knees started to limit his lifelong passions to the point he could barely climb the stairs in his home.
In 2008, Greg made a momentous decision to have his right knee replaced with a artificial knee manufactured by a Utah Company Ortho Development. The Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Marc Mariani and Dr.Benjamin Hansen, performed the surgery at Salt Lake Orthopedic Clinic. The surgery was successful and over the period of recovery, via physical therapy, brought Greg back to his passion of Hiking/Climbing. Under the guidance of his physical therapist, reminding Greg that “A journey of 10,000 miles begins with but the first step”, the recovery began. Greg, over time, learned to trust his “new knee”.
Over the next few years, Greg’s left knee succumbed to his second surgery in 2012. With that successful joint replacement, he considered himself ready to return to his goal to successfully climb the tallest mountain in the world…Mt. Everest. Ortho Development provided both knee replacements. Greg approached the company to see if they would be interested in sponsoring his lifetime goal to ascend the highest peak in the World at 29,029′ (8,848 meters above sea level). Greg, in his blogsite (www.gregclimbing.com), stated that “I want to be a role model for all those Baby Boomers who think or feel they are too old to pursue their passions and dreams”. Ortho Development was inspired by Greg’s determination to accomplish this goal and became the major sponsor for this journey.
Consecutive attempts, over the past 4 years, were stymied by unique events by Mother Nature causing the ascents to be cancelled at the last minute 3 consecutive times. In 2012, the setback came days before the climb was to begin due to poor weather conditions at the time. Then, in 2014, the climb was called off by a tragic climbing season, confronted with severe Avalanche Activity and unstable conditions causing several deaths and lost climbers and Sherpas. Greg took all this in stride by climb several mountains in other areas of the World. The 2015 beginning of the climbing season was devastated by a disasterous 7.8 magnitude Earthquake on April 25 which destroyed the complete infrastructure of the Capital City of Kathmandu and surrounding villages thus shutting down the total climbing season that year.
Greg, unfazed by all these setbacks, saw his mind and body continue to strengthen and the vision of standing on the peak of Mt Everest did not diminish at all as the 2016 climbing season approached. This past May, Greg took the final steps to the “Peak of his Dreams”. On May 13, 2016, at the age of 61, after having both knees replaced stood on that very peak. His strength, endurance and tenacity put him in a class of his own. He overcame about every set back imaginable to a Outdoorist Climber. His “role status” for Boomers has been illuminated to Hero Heights among us all.
When asked, Greg gives high praise for his success on the climb of his life to Sherpa Nawang. “He made the summit possible when everyone on that climb was thinking about turning around”. Sherpa Nawang was by his side for the past 5 years of attempts, setbacks and eventual success. We can only guess that they will be friends forever.
Here at OutdoorLoyalty.com, we send Greg our “Big Standing O” for being a true Outdoorist. On a scale of 1-10, Greg is a 100. Our own Kiefer, here at OL, is recovering from her left knee replacement in her 8th week of recovery meeting all the goals by her physical therapist and orthopedic surgeon. She sends a big “Shout Out” to Greg and considers him an inspiration for her Life’s Story as an Outdoorist.
If ever you come upon and conquer a challenge, beyond all odds, and you are given the descriptive statement “The first person ever to accomplish it”, consider that you just gave forward to other Outdoorists for now and in the future.
The below link is to an article in Herald Communications published on May 30, 2016. It really enhances Greg’s journey…Enjoy…