Climbing mountains when your in your 80’s
Diamond Hill Connemara Hiking
Ilona Madden - Wellness & Touring Ireland with Ilona - Ireland - Dublin

Written by Ilona Madden

September 22, 2022

“Just try” has been my motto with a lot of things I have done in my life. Had I postponed many opportunities that have come along, I would have missed out on so much.
It’s probably 15years ago now, when I got the opportunity to be a “guinea pig” for a Nutritional Therapy Student who needed a case study. I took on board some of her suggestions (by far not all) and just started making small changes.
These small changes had a big impact though !
I often wonder what my life would be like had I said back then “I’ve just got too much on at the moment, I can’t commit?”
Back then, I was gaining weight (without changing my diet), I was very unfit and very unhappy with my life.
The last 15 years have been very happy, very active and very fulfilling years, and apart from my childhood probably the best time of my life!
Could I say that had I not started making those small changes and trying out new things?
Once I made some changes to my diet, my energy levels came back. My mood improved. My motivation kicked in to get back to exercising more. I did some running up until I was 25, but stopped as I was getting pains in my knees. In my mid-forties, I changed my running style and never had problems again. I went on to run 50km on my 50th birthday and had a big party with lots of dancing afterwards. True, I wouldn’t do that anymore today, but I found a love for strength training and hiking.
That’s why I did the qualification as a Track&Trail and Lowland Leader Guide with Mountaineering Ireland. I now lead groups to some of the most beautiful parts of Ireland.
Recently, I was guiding a group of German Hikers and one of the participant was an 85-year old man and he climbed up Diamond HIll – which I thought was pretty impressive! And I have now set myself that goal: I want to climb Diamond Hill and other mountains when I am 85!
What would you like your life to look like in 15 years?
The more I read and study about healthy ageing, the more I realise that:
Every single step you take now will determine your future life and health!

Everything you do (or don’t do) today, and everything you eat (or don’t eat) today, will shape your future health.

Of course, there’s never a guarantee and I could get run over by that “famous” bus (everyone says that after they tell me “Life is too short not to eat cake), but if I want to give myself the best chance to enjoy that stunning view from Diamond Hill and other mountains when I’m 85, I need to start somewhere. And btw, I do eat a lot of chocolate and drink a lot of red wine too, and I don’t feel I’m depriving myself!

Apart from offering hiking tours and other tours around Ireland, I am working a qualified Nutritional Therapist and offer various programmes and often group courses. Please check out the next one, if you too would like to be fit mentally and physically to travel the world, to hike the mountains and enjoy life to the full at 85!

Even if it’s not for you, maybe you know someone who might need some support, so please share the link or this post. Thanks a mil.

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