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  • Writer's pictureGregory D. Hamilton

Adventure Is Calling!


Answering the Call of Adventure


Will you be ready if adventure beckons?

For Rich and Liz Clapp, the answer was a resounding “Yes!” Their journey to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa wasn’t just a testament to their physical fitness, but also to the commitment they share to embracing life’s opportunities, no matter their age.

The couple, both 66 years old, have been dedicated to studio workouts for almost a decade, working out four times a week now. Their fitness routine includes strength training, endurance exercises, and Pilates.

“We try to stay active on days when we’re not there,” Liz says. “We’re both in better shape than we’ve ever been. And we hope to maintain this and live independently as long as possible.”

While the Clapps may not consider themselves super-athletes, they embody the spirit of embracing life on your terms -- even if you never want to travel around the world and climb a mountain.

A Question of Why Not?

The pair have gone on long hikes in other countries before, like Peru and New Zealand. But those were just warmups for the 19,341-foot-high Kilimanjaro. The iconic African peak had never crossed their minds, let alone appeared on their bucket list.

But when their daughter pitched the idea for a family expedition, Rich and Liz were all in. They knew they were capable of the rigors of traveling so far, and of going on a guided tour up the mountain.

The youngest in their climbing group was 39, and the oldest was 79.

The climbing wasn’t as difficult as some might imagine, they said, but it was increasingly cold the higher they went.


And the lack of oxygen that high meant Liz had to stop just short of the top. Rich and their daughter made it to the summit just as the sun was rising and were rewarded with spectacular vistas.

“The thing that motivated me was seeing the other people. They weren’t super-human. I said, Hey, we can do this,” Rich says. “It’s an amazing feat to get up there. There are glaciers. The horizon is very long and dramatic… The emotion was overwhelming.”

Ready for Life

The adventure reinforced the Clapps’ love of life and staying active – and the awareness that the strength, endurance, and agility they gain in the gym are essential for living a fulfilling life.

For peers who are out of shape and afraid to start exercising, the Clapps have heartfelt advice. They believe there’s still a lot of adventure awaiting them, and they don’t want to miss a thing.

“I hear people say, ‘I’m old, I’m 60, I can’t do those things now,’” Liz says. “I would like to encourage people. You don’t have to go to a gym and lift heavy weights. It’s just moving our bodies, getting up and down, traveling or just playing with our grandchildren.”

“People need to get past the fear and live life,” she says. “I don’t need to be 20. I can be 66 and still achieve what I want to do.”


I could not have said it any better. Stop standing on the sidelines watching life go by. Get in the game, the first step is the hardest. Need help getting started? Give me a call!


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