Thursday, September 20, 2018

Once I Met Superman

by ranfuchs (writer), CT, USA, March 29, 2010

Credit: Image by ranfuchs
Porters of the Himalayas

The porters of the Himalayas display their fitness in such a casual way that it is nothing if not awe-inspiring.

Having been a fitness freak for most of my life, as far as fitness was concerned, I thought I had seen it all. But I was wrong. It was neither in the military Special Forces nor in the fighting arena that I finally realized what superhuman fitness really meant. It was in a remote location in the Himalayas, inaccessible to any type of transportation other than the human body.

In villages that have not seen a car, motorcycle or even a bicycle; places so high that, due to a lack of oxygen, you must stop to take a rest every few steps; places so steep, that even bulls and yaks cannot travel there, the mountain porters ascend to the highest peaks carrying more than twice their body weight, occasionally up to 270 pounds (120 kg).

The building of entire villages is relying on their endurance: from nails to heaters, from hummers to generators, everything is carried on their backs. No terrain or harsh weather will stop them from carrying their loads. They work for weeks at a time, from the tropical heat of the valleys to the highest snowy mountain-passes that can only be crossed with ropes.

They are neither big nor muscular; in fact, they are just the opposite. Most of them are quite short and no heavier than 140 pounds (60 or 65 kg). While chatting, smoking, and always smiling, they carry twice their body weight along the steepest slopes of the globe.

They hold the records for fastest climbing to the top of Mount Everest – and many other summits. They hold the record to the highest-altitude marathon, the Everest marathon. Nothing seems impossible for them, nothing seems beyond their abilities. And yet, with all their abilities, there is no hint of arrogance in their manners – just the way a true super human should be.

About the Writer

ranfuchs is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Once I Met Superman

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By ranfuchs on March 30, 2010 at 04:54 pm

I agree, this was one of the things that struck me the most. I believe that it's the Buddhist teachings that is responsible for that.

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By Barkha Dhar on August 17, 2010 at 02:00 pm

This is an interesting piece. It appears these people who labor up the hill have a strong mind than muscle power. I like the last few lines of your article that says that these people do not show a hint of arrogance, just the way a true super human should be. We certainly have a lot to learn from these super humans.


Barkha Dhar

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By ranfuchs on August 18, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Barkha, I believe that it is the Buddhist upbringing that is responsible to their attitude. So different to anything our culture teach us

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