PROSSER — When most people think of Mt. Everest, they envision an unattainable climb. But for 60-year-old Mary Jo Oldfield of Prosser, it is another chapter in her lifelong athletic journey.
The mountaineer has her sights set on one of the most dangerous mountain ranges in the world.
“If I complete it, it’s an internal thing for me…it fulfils the stuff I used to have when I was younger,” she acknowledged.
The Washington native embraces this adventure of a lifetime with hopes to inspire others to live life without fear when considering bold life decisions.
She has discovered both her physical strength and mental fortitude, along with the ability to accomplish any expedition she tries.
“You have to use your body or else you will lose it,” Oldfield stated.
She is taking full advantage of her opportunities and at the same time, will prove to herself, family and friends this next level self-fulfillment is obtainable.
While experiencing hikes the scale of Kilimanjaro, Mt. Adams and Rainier, she has been fortunate enough not to be burdened with altitude sickness.
In her earlier years, Oldfield was always active. She explained, “Sometimes I hit that wall and have to push myself a little harder.”
Oldfield told the importance of living an active lifestyle in order to maintain physical and mental health. Her diet always limits her intake of carbohydrates and sugars.
The idea to hike the Himalayans started ten years ago. When she began training, she started with climbing 4,200 steps a day in order to simulate upward mobility.
One main driver for Oldfield’s is to inspire other women to be the best versions of themselves. She explained how hiking with men in the past has put pressure on her to keep up. She doesn’t want women to feel intimidated by men in any facet of their life, and climbing is no different.
Her efforts to the Everest basecamp, 5,364 meters, coincides with a non-profit organization’s effort which encourages just that.
Travel Her Way is an organization that helps women by surrounding them with like-minded women to ensure they reach their goals together. For every trip booked, the organization donates to a Nepalese child’s education for one year.
Life without regrets may seem daunting, but Mary Jo is proving just how possible losing those regrets can be.
She has always cherished her supportive family and friends and is showing them it’s never too late to dream chase.
Her trip begins this Nov. 8, on a flight out of Seattle. She stops at Beijing, Kunming, Katmandu and Lukla before she begins her Everest basecamp trek.