Lankan Everest conqueror says he was 'humbled by the beauty of the world' he beheld



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By Steve A. Morrell


Yohan Peiris, one of an exclusive few number of persons who mounted the peak of Mount Everest, was also part of an 'ODEL Fitness Week' panel discussion recently that extolled the virtues of exercise and correct eating habits. He said that he was 'humbled by the beauty of this world' on reaching the peak.


Peiris said to achieve his feat he had to maintain a training regime for five years continuously before he could consider himself fit to climb the peak. Before him Everest was climbed by Jayanthi Kuru- Utumpala, who also trained over an year. These two persons are the only Sri Lankans who achieved this feat.


Yohan Peiris described his training in Nuwara Eliya. He climbed Piduruthalagala mountain overlooking the Nuwara Eliya basin many times during his training. Quite often reaching the peak of this mountain each day, continuously for many weeks. He experienced the rigors of cold weather, including cold winds and intense fog during the South West monsoon. The essentials were that he had to get his body functions just right to handle the long climb to the peak of Everest.


His training routine also included road work. Jogging, power walking and an appropriate exercise schedule.


He explained that fitness and endurance exercises to handle the thinning air, including snow and ice; the quickly changing weather from brightness to freezing winds, were tough tasks he had to contend with. His long trek to scale the peak was a grueling experience of sustained training and continuous application to reach his goal. He said there were no half measures to fitness if you had set yourself the goal of scaling Mt. Everest.


‘ When you achieved the peak what was your reaction?’ To this poser he said that what he felt was an exhilarating experience of achievement after continuous hard work. When he achieved the peak, it was fortunately a clear day, and he was literally and physically at the top of the world. What he saw was a continuous panorama of lesser peaks and a curving atmosphere of grandeur all around.


The audience at ODEL that evening applauded his achievement.


‘In John F. Kennedy’s words, the most important key to health was creative intellectual activity, said Group Marketing Director, Softlogic Holdings Desiree Karunaratne, who was on the discussion panel.


Others on the panel included nutritionist Ronali of RAW, Rugby player Omalka Guneratne, former model Jackie Mae and beautician Ramani Fernando.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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