The Australian Prime Minister’s wife, Ms Rein, recently climbed Mt Kilimanjaro to test herself. She succeeded and that’s nice for her. There are people who jump from cliffs, hurl themselves out of planes and drive at breakneck speed to prove something to themselves as well. So be it.
In my opinion, however, life is hard enough for the majority of folk on this planet. There are health problems, financial problems, family problems and then there are the problems caused by wars and famine etc. For me these are the real challenges in life and I don’t feel the need to prance over burning coals or stick pins into myself.
Recently, an 83 year old Australian woman, June Middleton, passed away in a Nursing Home in Melbourne. She had spent 60, yes 60 years in an iron lung after contracting polio at the age of 22.
I can’t begin to understand what she went through and even why she continued to struggle to keep alive for those 60 years. And I wonder what she would think of those thrillseekers who put themselves and rescuers in danger just because they are bored or want to have a greater challenge.
I would suggest that perhaps they should spend some time, a week or so in an iron lung. How brave would their reckless achievements seem then?
June Middleton made it into the Guinness World Book of Records for having spent the longest time in an iron lung. I bet she would have given anything to enjoy some real fresh air.